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.
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.
Edited by Kayode Olaitan
LCCI, MAN praise CBN’s bailout funds for economic recovery
Manufacturers have praised efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on planned disbursement of N93.2 billion out of N1 trillion intervention fund targeted at manufacturing and agribusiness sectors for economic recovery, post COVID-19.
Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday, welcomed the development.
Yusuf commended the spirited efforts of the CBN in the promotion of development finance.
He, however, stated that many businesses had reported cases of inability to access the loan facilities to the chamber.
He implored CBN to undertake periodic impact assessment of the fund and publish the status of implementation, disbursements, number of beneficiaries and general impact of the funds.
“Finance is critical to the strengthening of the real sector of the economy.
“Funding is necessary but not sufficient condition to transform manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors.
“We need more active interventions from regulatory agencies, the Nigerian Customs Service, better power delivery from the electricity sector, better transport logistics, seamless cargo clearing processes and an investment friendly bureaucracy.
“These complementary actions are desirable and important to achieve the desired outcomes of a truly diversified economy.
“We also implore the commercial banks to take a cue from the CBN in the promotion of economic development goals,” he said.
Also, Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director-General Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) stated that the plan was a prerequisite for, and very critical to, economic growth and recovery post COVID-19.
Oruche reiterated that the manufacturing and agriculture sectors being large drivers of employment, industrialisation and economic growth, needed adequate monetary policy intervention.
“The disbursement is in line with Federal Government’s agenda to keep exploring options with the private sector to fund investments in infrastructure.
“This is expected to aid employment generation, support production and boost output growth and so is a very welcome development,” he said.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN at the CBN Monetary Policy Committee Meeting last week, disclosed that N93.2 billion out of the N1 trillion would be disbursed as intervention.
The Apex bank boss the areas for intervention as agriculture and manufacturing firms, under the real sector support fund, to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors.
CBN adjusts timelines for reversals of complaints on electronic channels
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has adjusted timelines for reversals or resolution of refund complaints on electronic channels with effect from June 8.
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Okorafor explained that the move was aimed at further enhancing service quality, particularly quick refunds when customers experience failed transactions, dispense error or dispute.
He said the adjustment on failed “On Us Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions,” when customers used their cards on their bank ATMs, would now be instantly reversed from the current timelines of three days.
He added that where instant reversal failed due to any technical issue or system glitch, the timeline for manual reversal should not exceed 24 hours.
The director further stated that on refund for failed “Not on us ATM transaction”, where customers used their cards on other bank’s ATMs, should not exceed 48 hours from the current three to five days.
He said resolution of disputed and failed POS or Web transactions should be concluded within 72 hours from the current five days.
Meanwhile, Okorafor noted that the key service providers in Nigerian payment system had also committed to establish integrated dispute resolution platform for the industry and enhance their payment system infrastructure and processes to reduce incidences of transaction failure.
“Members of the public are therefore requested to refer to the updated guidelines for the operation of electronic payment channnels on the bank’s website www.cbn.gov.ng for further details”.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
MPR reduction: NECA commends CBN
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has commended the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for reducing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 13.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, gave the commendation on Friday in Lagos.
Olawale said that the development signalled a pro-growth response.
Olawale said that such a move could lead to reduction in the cost of credit, increase investment and impact positively on output growth to address the current global challenges.
“With the negative effects of COVID-19, the twin challenges of the global oil prices and over-exposure of our economy to external shocks, this decision is a welcomed development by the monetary authority to protect the economy.
“We applaud the current decision of the MPC, which aligned perfectly with the association’s earlier recommendation,” he said in a statement.
The director-general, however, called for synergy between the fiscal and monetary policies in order to move the economy forward.
“Also, opening up the non-oil economy for more productivity, to reduce the shock expected from falling global oil prices, will be a welcome development in pulling the economy from nose-diving into recession.” Olawale said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Ex-CBN director lauds MPC over interest rate reduction
A financial expert, Dr Titus Okunrounmu, has commended the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for reducing the interest rate by one-percentage-point from 13.5 per cent.
According to him, the downward review of interest rate to 12.5 per cent by the Apex bank will encourage private investment to boost the nation’s economy.
He said that the apex bank was trying to induce those who are critically in need of loan facilities, to come and invest.
He said that the CBN decision to reduce the interest rate was an attempt to further encourage people to take credit and loans as the nation’s economic activities had slowed under the lockdown situation.
He noted that productivity and investment would be higher with lower interest rate rather than higher interest rate, thus making the economy to grow faster.
Okunrounmu, however, said that with more investment, industry and agricultural sectors among others would further ease while the unemployment rate will reduce.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
CBN predicts negative economic growth in Q2
He said with this development, he was almost certain that growth in second quarter would be in negative.
According to him, the situation has affected U.S, Europe and China economies as well as developing countries.
“Luckily and pleasantly surprised, Nigeria first quarter growth in 2020 came down from 2.5 per cent from fourth quarter 2019 to 1.87 per cent.
“Understandably by the virtue of the fact, we began to really lockdown our economy in the month of March because we were already seeing some interesting growth trajectory in the month of January and February following the recovery that we have made in 2019.
“So, we saw what I could call a somehow pleasant GDP of 1.87 per cent” he added.
The governor noted Nigeria was part of global economy and if the country was able to manage this impact as quickly as possible, and join others in getting out of the difficult situation, the better for the nation.
He, however, emphasised the need to work together towards achieving vibrant economy.
“As we begin to see the easing of the lockdown, business begin to come back alive again, we all need to move very aggressively and fast to see that corporate activities are pushed to extent where if we are lucky, third quarter growth may come out positive.
“If this is achieved, Nigeria will return to a situation where we can say we are not into recession”.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
CBN to empower 11,250 wet season farmers in Adamawa
Nigeria’s Apex Bank, under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, says it is set to empower no fewer than 11,250 farmers for the 2020 wet season farming in Adamawa.
Alhaji Ilyasu Mu’azu, the Chairman, Adamawa branch of Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), disclosed this during the flag off of the 2020 wet season Anchor Borrowers Programme on Thursday in Yola.
“In the 2020 Wet Season farming, 11,250 farmers will be empowered in Adamawa by the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers Programme in collaboration with Maize Association of Nigeria and Unity Bank.
“In Adamawa state, in 2018 and 2019, the Anchor Borrowers Programme empowered 4,293 small scale farmers, through the provision of inputs, extension services and linkage with market outlets,” Mu’azu said.
He said that the farmers empowerment was a soft loan which would be repaid with farm produce.
The chairman observed that the rate of population growth, climate change, insurgency, farmers/herders conflict, flood effect and COVID-19 pandemic was alarming and threatening national food production in 2020.
Yusuf called on the beneficiary farmers to utilise the inputs given to them judiciously, to improve their standard of living and national food production.
He noted that the inputs were given as soft loam to famers, urging them to repay the loan as at when due, to enable the programme capture additional farmers in the next farming season.
Speaking on behalf of the Adamawa Government, Mr Kabir Bello, commended the Federal Government for the gesture.
Bello said the loan was convered by the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance to reduce negative and natural risks on the farmers.
According to him, the programme will go a long way in improving food production, adding that the state government will ensure farmers make effective use of the inputs.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Usman Michika, State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), also lauded the federal government for initiating the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Michika however urged the CBN to extend the programme to cover more farmers in the state.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
COVID-19: CBN okays reliefs on loans in OFIs Sector, reduces interest rates from 9% to 5%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced interest rates on its facilities through participating Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) from nine to five per cent per annum for one year, effective from March 1, 2020.
The CBN made this known in a circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo on Wednesday.
The apex bank said the move was part of the bank’s continued effort to mitigate the impact of the corona virus (COVID-19) on households, businesses and regulated institutions.
It announced that CBN intervention facilities obtained through participating OFIs Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Banks, and Institutions, among others would be given a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments, also effective March 1, 2020.
According to the circular, OFIs have equally been granted leave to consider temporary and time limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses affected by COVID-19, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector.
Expatiating on the decision of the Bank, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said the management approval for the restructuring of credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector was in line with the Bank’s desire to alleviate momentary strain on households, businesses and regulated institutions triggered by the lockdown due to COVID-19.
Okorafor explained that the CBN would also continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Public Holidays: CBN reschedules MPC meeting
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Okorafor explained that the reschedule of the meeting was due to the declaration of May 25 and May 26 as public holidays by the Federal Government to commemorate the Eid-el Fitr.
The director, however, regretted all inconveniences these changes would have caused stakeholders and general public.
Edited Wale Ojetimi
COVID-19: CBN, NNPC move to save evacuees in Lagos, Abuja
Onyeama said the fund to cover the cost of evacuees’ feeding and accommodation was over N1 billion and since funding was not available, it had to pass the cost onto the evacuees.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some evacuees had protested the condition they were being subjected to at isolation centres, citing poor feeding and other ill treatments.
Onyeama stressed that several attempts made to proffer solution to the imbroglio failed until the Minister of Environment, Malam Mahmood Muhammed, came to the rescue.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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