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Ecobank Pledges Zero Charges On USSD Code

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Fund management
  • Ecobank Pledges Zero Charges On USSD Code

Ecobank Nigeria on Tuesday declared that it will not charge its customers on transactions through the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel.

The commercial bank, in a post on his verified Twitter page, quoted its Managing Director, Patrick Akinwuntan saying this at the 4th National Fintech Conference in Lagos.

Akinwuntan noted that it is possible for banks not to charge Nigerians on mobile banking, urging other banks and telcos to adopt the same policy in order to boost financial inclusion.

“People want to participate in banking processes in an orderly, safe, reliable, easy to use, cheap and sustainable manner”

“It is also possible to offer to every Nigerian, zero charges to use mobile banking services and Ecobank has taken the decision that there will be zero charges to use the *326# USSD”

“@ecobank_nigeria will offer USSD banking *326# services free to all Nigerians. We challenge all other banks and telcos to do same…let’s bring financial services to all Nigerians and improve financial inclusion,” Ecobank Nigeria tweeted.

Recall that MTN Nigeria had recently sent a message to subscribers that it will start charging them for USSD access to banking services.

“Yello, please note that from October 21, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for the USSD access to banking services. Thank you,” the message reads.

Body of Bank CEOs had already distanced itself from the charges, saying “that the banks did not ask MTN to start charging customers as contained in the text message. The decision on whether, and what amount, to charge a customer for accessing USSD is entire that of the telco company, in the same way, a customer is billed for calls, SMS, and data.”

Reacting, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said banks are the biggest beneficiaries of the USSD charges.

Meanwhile, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had announced: “the immediate suspension of End User Billing for financial transactions through USSD channel by all service providers.”

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Finance

DSS Arrests EFCC, Acting Chairman, Magu

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DSS Arrested Magu, the Acting Chairman of EFCC

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on allegation bordering on financial misappropriation, abuse of power and embesslement.

The Acting Chairman was accused of siphoning part of the money recovered from looters, a Punch reported stated.

The report stated “It was learnt that the security details to Magu put up a stiff resistance during the arrest of their principal, as they objected to the DSS move.

But he is now undergoing interrogation at the DSS Headquarters In Aso Drive.

This is happening barely two weeks after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) reportedly complained to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) about Magu’s conduct and advised that he should be relieved of his appointment.

The AGF was said to have accused Magu of insubordination and discrepancies in the figures of funds recovered by the EFCC.

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Again CBN Debits Banks N118 Billion for Failing to Meet CRR Target

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CBN Debits Deposit Money Banks N118bn for Not Meeting CRR Target

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday debited the nation’s deposit money banks a total sum of N118 billion for failing to meet 27.5 percent Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) target.

This is the fourth of such action, bringing the total amount debited so far this year to N2.2 trillion.

According to Tunde Abidoye, an analyst at Lagos-based FBN Quest, the move brings “further downward pressure on banks liquidity ratios and earnings.”

“Based on the total sum that each bank has been debited this year, and our NIM assumptions for each bank, we estimate an aggregate opportunity cost of funds of N86bn for our universe of banks coverage,” Abidoye stated in a note to clients.

The central bank continues to debit banks to force them to loan more into the real sector and also reduce their forex purchasing power to better manage the nation’s weak foreign reserves and curb capital outflow. A series of recent reports have pointed to a possible foreign exchange devaluation to ease pressure on the nation’s reserves.

The report shows that the Stanbic IBTC and Guaranty Trust Bank were debited N15 billion each.

Details later…

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Debt Market: Dangote Cement Raises N250 Billion in H1, 2020

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Dangote Cement Raises N250 Billion From Debt Market in H1 2020

Dangote Cement raised a total sum of N250 billion from the nation’s debt market in the first half of the year, according to the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

In the statement published on the FMDQ website, the N250 billion debt includes the N100 billion Series 1 Bond raised under Dangote Cement’s N300 billion Bond Programme and the N150 billion Commercial Paper (Series 13-16 Domestic CP Issuance Programme) offered earlier in the year and now listed and quoted on FMDQ Securities.

Mr Michel Puchercos, the Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, was quoted as saying, “This landmark transaction is the largest-ever bond issuance by a corporate issuer in Nigeria.

“It allows us to further broaden our sources of funding by accessing long-term debt at competitive costs from the capital market and builds further on the success of our domestic commercial paper programme.

“The success of these transactions, in the current challenging environment, illustrates investors’ continuous confidence in Dangote Cement’s strategy, strong cash generation and solid credit profile.”

Mr Kobby Bentsi-Enchill, the Executive Director and Head of Debt Capital Markets, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, said, “Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited has a long history of partnering with Dangote Cement Plc, and are delighted to have advised on this landmark corporate bond issuance, which reflects the depth and diversity of the Nigerian debt capital markets.”

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