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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)

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(Audio) CIBN scores Buhari administration high on banking regulation

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DMO raises N66.9bn at July bond auction

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, The Debt Management Office (DMO), says  the Federal Government raised N66.9 billion at its bond auction on Wednesday, as part of moves to finance the 2018 budget.

The DMO  said on its website that the bonds were auctioned  in three tenors of five, seven and 10 years.

This, it said, was to give its diverse investor base an opportunity to choose their preferred tenors.

It said investors showed a strong preference for the 10-year bond with a total subscription of N50.51 billion compared to the N40 billion that was offered.

However, N46.39 billion was allotted.

“The Federal Government bonds at the auction were allotted at 13.69 per cent for the five year, 14 per cent for the seven year and 14.2 per cent for the 10-year bond.”

According to the auction results posted on the website, DMO  stated that out of the N25 billion  offered for the five year bond,  subscriptions to the value of N12.93 billion was received, while N8.93 billion was allotted.

It also said that for the seven year paper,  N13.58 billion subscriptions were received for the N25 billion on offer. However,  N11.58 billion was allotted.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

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FEC okays N15.7bn for Enugu-Anambra road project

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Projects

“The contract was awarded in 2012 and they were spurs off the Enugu-Onitsha Highway to six different communities, Ebenebe, Agba, Umana-Ndiagu, Nkpodu, Ekeagu and Ugwuoba.

“Because of lack of appropriate budgeting and funding all of these projects could not be completed.

“There were failures in the implementation as we inherited it; there was also the need to provide for erosion control measures and drains.

“That has led to the revision of the existing contract awarded in 2012 from N10.3 billion to 15.734billion.”

Fashola said that it was the revision to enable the contract to be completed that was presented and approved by the council.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

 

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Annan lived a great life, says Moghalu

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By Chioma Ugboma

Lagos Aug. 19, 2018 A former official of the United Nations (UN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu on Saturday described the late Kofi Annan as a man who lived a great life.

Moghalu, a presidential aspirant of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made this declaration in his tribute to Annan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Annan, the 7th UN Secretary General between 1996 and 2007, died on Saturday at the age of 80.

The late Ghanaian diplomat, was a recipient of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize and led the UN through some of its biggest reforms in order to build a stronger, more capable organization.

In a tribute sent to NAN in Lagos, Moghalu said: “In April I started my tribute to Kofi Annan on his 80th birthday with this quote: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there.

“These are the powerful words from Mr Annan himself; words that have made an indelible mark on both my professional and personal lives.

“On a personal note, I have long admired his adventurous spirit, one that he encouraged in me and others, to seek divergent career paths that ultimately would make for a better employee, and a better organization.

“He himself had taken a circuitous route to his role as leader of the world’s most important body, and he left a strong mark. Long after Mr Annan left, he was spoken of fondly by staff who remembered not just his work, but his calm, intellectual personality that was a much-needed influence in the organization.

“In my tribute, I wrote that his was a “life of consequence”, not merely because he, like, Nelson Mandela, had achieved the feat of projecting a positive role model for black African excellence like few others had, but because he also sought to change the world—and did.

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

 

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By Chiazo Ogbolu

Lagos, Aug. 30, 2018

MTN Nigeria on Thursday refuted the claims by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it illegally, in collusion with four Nigerian banks repatriated $8.1billion from its Nigerian operations to offshore investors.

The CBN said the remittances between 2007 and 2015, in tranches of of 2.63 billion dollars, 1.766 billion dollars and 348 million dollars were done in flagrant violation of the rule that says it can only be done with regular ‘Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs)’ issued by the apex bank.

The CBN said MTN did the repatriation after illegally converting shareholders’ loan of $399, 594,146 to preference shares.

As part of the sanctions, four banks, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, were fined by the CBN.

Standard Chartered Bank would pay a fine of N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria, N1.26 billion and Diamond bank, N250 million.

“MTN Nigeria received a letter on Aug 29 from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleging that Certificate of Capital Important (CCIs) issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders’ loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued.

`As a consequence they claim that historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8.1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims.

“No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” he said.

Aina said that the issues surrounding the CCIs had already been the subject of a thorough enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria.

He added that in September 2016 the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others.

He said that in its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria.

“MTN Nigeria, as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, is committed to good governance and to abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The re-emergence of these issues is regrettable as it damages investor confidence and, by extension, inhibits the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

“We will engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend our position on this matter and provide further information when available.

CBN’s spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank has written MTN Nigeria demanding a refund of the $8.13 billion, repatriated.

The Bank resolved to sanction the commercial banks following investigations in March 2018, which confirmed allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria.

Edited by Fela Fashoro

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