Banking

200 Abia maize farmers to benefit from CBN Anchor Borrower Programme, says bank official

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a loan facility for at least 200 maize farmers in Abia under its Anchor Borrower Programme on maize for the 2019 farming season, an official has said.

Celsius Agla, the Manager, Development Finance Office of CBN, Umuahia branch, said this on Thursday in his presentation at the CBN Fair organised in Umuahia, the Abia capital.

Agla said that farmers, whose applications were not approved, had issues with their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), adding that they had to wait for next year.

Agla spoke extensively on the bank’s Anchor Borrower Programme on Rice, saying that the programme was initiated to boost local production of the commodity to stop its importation.

He said that the bank had identified oil palm and cassava production as two agricultural mainstay of Abia.

He said that the bank had begun to capture the number of oil palm farmers in the state for intervention.

He also discussed other interventions by the bank, including the Agricultural Business Small and Medium  Enterprises Schme, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, among others.

Agla said that the bank was taking steps to address the identifiable challenges militating against the smooth implementation of some of the schemes.

Also, Mrs Ngozi Eze, Senior Manager, Currency Operations Department in the bank, spoke on the Clean Notes Policy of the bank.

Eze appealed to Nigerians to uphold the sanctity of the currency as the nation’s symbol and pride and desist from abusing the naira notes.

She listed ways the naira notes could be abused to include spraying at ceremonies, writing on the note, mutilation, trading on naira notes and counterfeiting the currency, among others.

Eze advocated the use of envelopes and wallets to keep the naira notes clean.

She warned that those caught abusing the naira notes would be prosecuted and liable to six months imprisonment or option of N50,000 fine, if convicted.

She said that the bank was using the media to disseminate information on the policy to the grassroots level.

Mr Nnanna Chukwu, the Senior Manager, Payment System Management, spoke on the alternative payment system, such as the mobile applications, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and internet.

Chukwu said that the alternative payment system was introduced in line with the bank’s policy on cashless economy.

Mr Sam Okogbue, the Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Department, said that the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, introduced a policy to make CBN more people-focussed.

Okogbuo, who represented the Director of the department, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, said that the bank identified 41 agricultural produce that Nigeria had a comparative advantage over other  nations.

He said that the bank banned the issuance of foreign exchange for the importation of those produce, which could be produced to meet local needs.

He said that the nation had benefited immensely from the ban with the attendant boost in the nation’s foreign reserve.

He said that the ban and the success recorded by the Anchor Borrower Programme on rice had also resulted in a cultural change.

He said that majority of Nigerians no longer craze for foreign rice.

Mr Onyekachi Erondu, a participant in the fair and Abia Chairman of the Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, said that 546 members applied for the Anchor Borrower Programme on Maize.

Erondu said that they applied for N480 million but that only 200 of them were successful.

He said that the association was making efforts to rectify the BVN problem to enable the remaining members to benefit.

He regretted that the loan was coming behind their farming timetable, saying that they expected the loan early in the year to enable them to farm twice.

“If the loan came in May, we would have been sure to begin another maize farming by next month but it is no longer possible,” he said.

He therefore appealed to CBN to endeavour to work in line with their farming timetable in order for them to maximise the benefit of the scheme.

In an address of welcome, the CBN Branch Controller, Mr Michael Ogbu, said that the fair was organised to sensitise Abia residents on the various CBN interventions, including BVN, financial inclusion and agric financing, among others.

The fair with the theme, “Promoting financial stability and economic development,” was attended by participants from across the 17 local government areas of the state.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

Banking

CBN’s monetary policy creates virile banking sector — Access Bank boss

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Access Bank Executive Director Victor Etuokwu says various monetary policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has created a virile banking sector, capable of safeguarding depositors’ funds.

Etuokwu said the monetary policies by the apex bank had also helped in sanitising the banking industry, restoring people’s confidence in the sector.

He spoke at the inauguration of a new Access Bank branch in Iree in Boripe Local government area of the state on Saturday.

“Banking is one profession that must be well regulated because people put their hard-earned money in it.

“I believe government and CBN has done well in that area because their concerns is all about safety of depositors’ money’’, Etuokwu said.

He added that the policy of Access Bank to spread branches in all the communities of Nigeria was rooted in the mindset that economy could not grow unless people were economically empowered.

Etuokwu noted that one of the ways in which local populace could be economically empowered was through bringing retail banking of that nature to their doorstep to stimulate access to credit facilities and business guidance.

He explained that in spite the inherent merit of internet banking, people still gave priority to face to face banking engagement.

He said: “We believe that internet banking is good, but branch network is also a good place for banking engagement because people still consider the need to engage in face to face transaction”.

Etuokwu said that Access Bank, in accordance with its branch network policy, would open another twelve branches within the South West zone in the next two weeks.

Earlier in his remarks, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, said that his administration was committed to strengthen of the micro-economy through robust Small and Medium enterprises.

Represented by his Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, Oyetola, said that one of the reasons his administration continued to work assiduously to create environment conducive for investors was to ban poverty among the populace.

The governor, however, said that the state was safe for commercial banks to do business, adding that the issue of internal security remained a cardinal consideration of policy formation and implementation in the state.

“One of the greatest economic measures to finance the economy and empower the people is through Small and Medium enterprises, which access bank is doing presently.

“What gives Osun a leverage on this is the utmost priority given to security for the purpose of entrenching factors for ease of doing business, in which security is integral’’, Oyetola said.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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NDIC pays N100bn liquidation dividends in 30 years—-MD

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said it had paid over N100 billion as liquidation dividends to depositors of closed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), in the last 30 years, with amount in excess of insured deposits.

The NDIC Managing Director, Allhaji Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this on Saturday in Sokoto
during the corporation’s 30th Anniversary celebration organized by the Sokoto Zonal Office.

The Managing Director, who was represented by Allhaji Hashim Ahmad, said that the total liquidation dividends declared by the Corporation for shareholders of DMBs-in-liquidation stood at over N4 billion.

“To date, the NDIC has paid the cumulative sum of over N8.25 billion as insured amount to 442,999 depositors of closed DMBs.

“The sum of over N100 billion has been paid by the corporation as liquidation dividend to depositors of closed DMBs with amount in excess of insured deposits.

“Also, the corporation had paid a cumulative sum of over N2.97 billion to 83,415 depositors of Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), in the system,” he added.

According to the Managing Director, in the past 30 years, not only has the corporation discharged its role as an active player in the Nigerian financial safety-net.

“It also guaranteed the funds of depositors up to the maximum limit stipulated under its enabling Act.

“In conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Corporation has also meticulously discharged its role as a risk minimizer through its involvement in the supervision of insured institutions,” he said.

He said over the years, the corporation was able to evolve and introduce different failure resolution options such as the Purchase and Assumption mechanism as well as Bridge Bank.

“This ensures minimal disruption to the payment, in handling distressed financial institutions to the admiration of other Deposit Insurance Agencies in Africa and the rest of the World,” Ibrahim said.

He assured that the corportion will continue to support the laudable economic policies and programmes of the Federal Government, just as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of protecting depositors in the country.

He said that the Corporation remains resolute and fully committed to the diligent discharge of its role as an active component of the Nigerian financial safety-net.

“This is particularly in the area of engendering confidence and contributing to financial system stability.

“However, the NDIC will in the years ahead continue to partner and collaborate with relevant local and international agencies in that regard,” he said.

The NDIC board member, Alhaji Bello Garba, stated that the Corporation had been able to demonstrate the uncommon capacity for efficiency and effective performance.

“This is to the extent that as we gather here today, we can confidently state that it has effectively implemented its mandate,” he said.

Also speaking, the Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mannir Dan’iya, represented by the Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Sagir Bafarawa, pledged the state government’s continuous support to the NDIC Zonal Office in Sokoto.

The Sokoto Zonal Controller, Mr. Johnson Anifowose, reaffirmed the commitment of the zonal office to continue to discharge its duty of ensuring financial system stability.

Edited by Tukur Muntari.

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Banking

Ghanaian authorities have no intention to confiscate Nigerians’ money – High Commission

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Nigeria High Commission in Accra, Ghana has refuted social media report that Nigerians living in Ghana without resident permit will not be able to withdraw their money from the banks as from November.

A statement signed by the Head of Chancery, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, the Mission described the report as ‘fake news’.

The Mission, therefore, assured Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to disregard the news, stressing “Relevant Ghanaian authorities have disclaimed such directives and appeal to all and sundry to remain calm.”

“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana has been drawn to fake news circulating on social media insinuating that some unnamed Ghanaian authorities have issued a directive forbidding non-resident Nigerians from operating bank accounts in Ghana.

“The fake news purportedly advised such Nigerians to withdraw their money from the Ghanaian banking system in order to avoid being blocked as from November, 2019.

“It ended by advising Nigerians to “be wise and get your documents to avoid this storm seeping away all you have laboured for years in a day,” it said.

The High Commission, however, assured all Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to remain calm. (NAN).


BJO/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

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Banking

Financial inclusion: First Bank to engage 500,000 agents

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), First Bank Nigeria PLC, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said the bank will engage 500,000 agents across the country to ensure that its services were made available to people in every nook and cranny.

Adeduntan made this known on Tuesday at opening of the 12th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is “the future of Nigerian banking sector 360”.

The First Bank CEO said that the bank would support all effort to ensure effective financial inclusion in the country.

“We have a very ambitious plan to appoint about 500,000 agents across the nook and cranny of our country and to ensure that banking facilities and services are made available to our people.

“The Acting Governor of Central Bank, Joseph Nnanna, has also highlighted that the primary purpose for the Central Bank for choosing minimum loan to deposit ratio to 60 per cent is to stimulate the economy.

“This is because without credit, the economy cannot grow,” he said.

According to him, the banking sector remains the primary partners to government as far as economic growth and development are concerned.

He noted that change in the industry was unprecedented especially with the available technology and the leveraging on artificial intelligence, robotic operations, among others.

“If we do not integrate those opportunities and mainstream them properly the country and the entire economy will be left behind,” he added.

He called on participants to ensure robots participation in order to get blue print of what could help the sector for the growth and development of the economy.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Adeduntan is the chairman of the organising committee of the conference.

EMAF/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Banking

(Audio) CIBN scores Buhari administration high on banking regulation

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