- We Won’t Change Forex Policy, Says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday stated that no amount of criticism and blackmail from “self-centred individuals” would make it change its current flexible foreign exchange rate policy.
The apex bank said this in a statement titled: ‘Nigeria’s current economic situation: Our case’, signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.
The bank said while it was not opposed to the fact that Nigerians had the right to express their views, majority of such views had become attacks on its policy rather than proffering solutions.
The statement read in part, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has observed with great concern the continued and unwarranted attack on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, findings have shown, are anything near altruistic, but rather self-serving and unpatriotic.
“While we respect the rights of every Nigerian or stakeholder to their respective views, we find it curious that certain interests have remained persistent in their move to misinform the larger public, with the intention of discrediting genuine efforts at managing the economy, thereby creating public distrust and panic within the financial system.
“Indeed, self-centred individuals, who have failed to assail our patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of our policies.
“Intelligence reports at the disposal of the bank reveal the involvement of some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the CBN and the Federal Government reverse its forex policy, which is aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and manufacturing, and also promoting exports.”
The apex bank said the present economic challenges facing Nigeria were worsened by the country’s past practice of frittering away huge earnings made from oil sales over the years.
The statement added, “As we have explained on several occasions, our decisions on forex management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round-tripping.
“It is pertinent to note that pressures on the country’s foreign reserves have persisted due to a huge fall in the monthly foreign earnings, which fell from over $3.2bn sometime in 2013 to below $500m per month sometime in 2016, when the demand for the US dollar, particularly by importers, continued to rise considerably.
“In spite of the challenges and the basic economic fact that countries earn dollars from international trade, we have ensured we meet the genuine demand of importers to pay for eligible imports and other transactions within available resources.”
It explained that in line with its mandate and working with the fiscal authorities, the management of the CBN would continue to ensure monetary and price stability as well as maintain the external reserves to safeguard the international value of the naira.
“While leaving our doors open for genuine partnership with all our stakeholders, we will only take economic decisions that will impact positively on the lives of all Nigerians,” it added.
Central Bank Restricts Maize/Corn Importation
CBN Adds Maize/Corn to Foreign Exchange Restriction List
In a bid to stimulate local production and support new job creation, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday said it has added maize/corn to the foreign exchange restriction list.
In a statement signed by DR. O.S. Nnaji, director trade and exchange department, and released on the apex bank’s website, the central bank said authorised dealers are directed to discontinue the processing of Forms M for the importation of Maize/Corn with immediate effect.
This means while importers of maize/corn are not restricted from importing the commodity, importers can no longer access forex through the central bank rather they will now have to source for their own foreign exchange from the black market or bureau de change operators.
Accordingly, the central bank said authorised forex dealers are required to submit all registered Forms M for the importation of Maize/Corn before the closing of business on Wednesday for processing.
“All Authorised Dealers are hereby requested to submit the list of Forms M already registered for the importation of Maize/Corn using the attached format on or before the close of business on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.”
The CBN continues to add to its growing forex restriction list to further ease pressure on the dwindling foreign reserves, stimulate local production and boost new job creation.
This is coming a few days after Nigerian Naira plunged to over three years’ low of N465 against the United States dollar on the black market and central bank’s official rate was adjusted to N380 following the inability of the apex bank to sustain N360 per US dollar rate.
CBN, Banks to Spend N25 Billion Renovating National Theatre
Bankers’ Committee, CBN to Spend About N25bn on National Theatre
The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee on Sunday said they plan to spend as much as N25 billion on Nigeria Creative Centre at the National Theatre, Lagos and three other states in Nigeria.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who spoke during the official handing over of the National Theatre to the Bankers’ Committee for renovation and upgrade on Sunday, thanked President Buhari for the approval and eventual handing over of properties Bankers’ Committee.
He said: “Given our dependence on crude oil as a major source of government revenue, as well as for our foreign exchange earnings, these challenges have served to reinforce the need for stakeholders to promote policies and programmes that will enable greater diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“A diversified economy that supports increased productivity in agriculture and manufacturing sectors, while harnessing the talents of our youths in the creative industries will lead to the build-up of a more resilient economy, which is better able to withstand external shocks, while creating wealth and jobs for our growing population,” he said.
The CBN Governor, who also doubled as the Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee, said in about 18 months, the Bankers’ Committee would have transformed the facility into Nigeria’s creative industrial centre.
“The creative centre, which comprises music, movies, fashion and ICT, can be a key source of growth for our economy creating up to one million jobs for the country’s teeming youths,” he said, adding that it would also aid the objective of reducing the country’s dependence on revenue from crude oil.
Emefiele explained: “India for example in 2018 generated over $240 billion from exports of IT, movies, music and fashion related goods and services. This amount is over five times our annual earnings from the sale of crude oil. With our human capital resources and an enabling environment that will help harness the creative talents of our youths, Nigeria has the potential to earn over $20 billion annually from the creative industry.
“With the growing demand for Nigerian music, movies and fashion, across Africa and in various parts of the globe, our creative industries are spurring innovation, creating jobs, and helping to shape perceptions of Nigeria, as a nation with a strong spirit of creativity and ingenuity.
“We must do more to encourage the innovative works of these young talented Nigerians as they can make significant contributions to the growth and development of our country.
“Second, given our growing population of close to 200 million people, out of which 60 per cent are under the age of 35, it is imperative that we strive to create opportunities that will keep our youths engaged, as it would portend great dangers for the progress of our nation if we allow these talents go to waste.”
Remove Face Mask When Using ATM, Banks Tell Customers
Face Mask May Cause ATM Transaction Failure, Banks Tell Customers
Deposit Money Banks have said due to their face recognition technology, customers wearing face masks may experience service failure while using the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In an email issued to customers by Fidelity Bank, the bank said why the use of face masks is important to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, customers should remove when performing ATM transactions.
The bank said “Wearing of face masks is a safety and precautionary measure we must all adhere to in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, we advise that you remove your face mask while making withdrawals or carrying out ATM transactions to allow our ATM properly recognise you.
“Fidelity Bank ATM machines have face detection features installed to curb incidences of fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
“Consequently, you may not be able to carry out any transaction if our ATMs are not able to properly recognise you. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause you.”
Meanwhile, Guaranty Trust Bank plc continues to ease accessibility for all customers and advised customers to protect themselves.
GTBank said, “When visiting any of our branches, kindly protect yourself by wearing a face mask at all times. It is also very important that you keep a safe distance when in a queue inside or outside the branch.
“Before visiting any of our branches, please remember that you can withdraw up to N150,000 at all our ATMs and that you can do most of your banking from the safety of your home.”
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