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African Development Bank to hold 54th Annual Meeting June 11 -14

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“When you put your forces together, you can achieve the critical mass to be solid player on the global scene,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Economic Governance & Knowledge Management Celestin Monga told journalists at a press conference ahead of the Bank’s Annual Meetings.

Equatorial Guinea will host the Bank’s 54th Annual Meeting, from 11-14 June 2019, under the theme ‘Regional integration for Africa’s economic prosperity.’ The Meetings will bring together about 2000 delegates. They provide a unique forum for governments, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the media worldwide, to dialogue on critical issues concerning Africa’s development.

Secretary-General of the Bank Vincent Nmehielle hosted the press event held at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan. Senior management in attendance included Vice-president, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain; Vice President Corporate Services and Human Resources, Mateus Magala and Gauthier Bourlard from the Bank’s Resource Mobilization and Partnership Department.

In his opening remarks, Nmehielle explained that the 2019 Annual Meetings are an opportunity to show why regional integration is important. “Equatorial Guinea is one of the most developed countries in Africa, but not many people know that,” he added.

The meetings will include statutory sittings of the Governors and shareholders of the Bank, and a series of knowledge events, including discussions around the Africa Economic Outlook, one of the Bank’s flagship reports. A High-Level Presidential Dialogue on Boosting Africa’s Economic Integration will provide Heads of States an opportunity to discuss challenges and corrective measures to fast track Regional Integration.

Robust conversions on regional value chains in agriculture are on the meetings’ agenda.

“Trade is and will remain the main engine of growth for many of our countries. More than 60% of global trade now occurs in global value chains. We need to see that African economies are getting into global value chains, not just to process unprocessed raw commodities but transform goods creating value additions, creation jobs locally,” Monga noted.

Over 75 percent of Sub-Saharan African countries have a population of less than 25 million, and about half the countries have a gross domestic product (GDP) of less than US$10 billion in 2017 (nominal terms). Deeper market integration for goods, infrastructure services, and key factors to bring together the fragmented economies of Africa.

For Guislain, “Regional integration is part of our core mandate and our DNA. It has been since inception in 1964.” A borderless Africa is the foundation of a competitive continental market that could serve as a global business center, journalists’ heard.

On the Continental Free Trade Area, which came into force on May 30th, the Bank has provided the grounds to the African Union Commission to launch the Secretariat with close to $ 5 million.

Magala shared an update on the Compact Lusophone and how “it provides an opportunity to strengthen economies of countries that share a common language, history, and culture.” He also fielded a few questions from the Portuguese-speaking journalists from Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde.

Gauthier Bourlard representing the Bank’s Resource Mobilization and Partnership Department provided an update on the African Development Fund (ADF) 15th replenishment. ADF, the concessional loan arm of the Bank, seeks to increase funding for fragile countries, focusing on cross cutting themes such as gender, governance, climate change and the private sector. The next round of negotiations with donor countries is slated for early July in Madagascar before a decision is made later in the year.

Twenty-eight journalists from twenty-one Africa countries attended the press conference, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, the Bank’s Director of Communication and External Relations. The journalists are taking part in a three-day Sustainable Development Reporting Course, first of its kind at the Bank, organized in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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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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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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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(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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