MTN has paid $53 million to settles Nigeria dispute says CBN

MTN has settled the dispute between the CBN and its operations in Nigeria.

 

The CBN Governor,  mr Godwin Emefiele has on Tuesday revealed that MTN has paid $53 million to settle a money transfer dispute with Nigeria’s central bank and the management since the matter has been withdrawn from court.

 

Amehnews recall that the central bank had ordered MTN and its lenders to bring back a total of $8.1 billion it alleged the company had illegally repatriated using improperly issued paperwork between 2007 and 2008.

 

Emefiele said the money paid by MTN was a notional sum and that the company has been absolved from any wrongdoing.

 

He stated this during the Tuesday monetary policy meeting at Abuja which the bank left interest rates on hold at 14 percent.

 

CBN Reaffirms of 80% financial inclusion target by 2020

The Federal Government had in 2012 launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy aimed at reducing the number of eligible adult Nigerians that are excluded from the formal financial system from 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent by the year 2020.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday expressed optimism that the 80 per cent financial inclusion target, which was set by the Federal Government in 2012, would be achieved.

 

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said this in Abuja at a national financial literacy stakeholders’ conference.

 

The conference had as its theme, “Implementing financial literacy and consumer protection to advance financial inclusion in Nigeria.”

 

But with two years to the 2020 target, recent data released by Enhancing Financial Innovative and Access indicated that 36.6 million eligible Nigerian adults which are about 36.8 per cent still do not have access to financial services.

 

This development, according to the apex bank governor, underscores the need to work hard on the exclusion rate from this year until 2020.

 

To achieve the 2020 financial inclusion target, the governor at the event unveiled four policy documents for the financial sector.

 

They are the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Financial Literacy Framework, the Consumer Protection Framework and the Consumer Education Framework.

 

He said these policy documents were targeted at facilitating the attainment of the financial inclusion target of 80 per cent by 2020.

 

Emefiele who was represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Mrs Aisha Ahmad, he said, “During the course of implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) which was launched by the President in October 2012, the need arose for the review of the strategy to meet the challenges and re-assess the developments and the current realities, of the ever-evolving environment in which we operate.

“With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we now have a revised strategy which we believe, with your support, would aid us as we strive to meet our year 2020 target of reaching 80 per cent financial inclusion level.”

 

On the Consumer Protection Framework, he said this was developed to provide policy direction for the enthronement of a robust consumer protection regime in the banking and financial services industry.

 

The governor said although it was developed for banks and other financial institutions regulated by the CBN, there was extensive consultation with the entire stakeholders of the larger environment.

 

He said the document, which is the first of its kind, provided policy direction for the banking industry and also served as a guide for other sub-sectors of the financial system.

 

For the National Financial Literacy Framework (NFLF), the apex bank boss said it would provide a high-level road map for the implementation of various financial literacy programmes for different identified target groups of the Nigerian population.

 

For the National Financial Education Strategy (NFES), Emefiele said this was developed to operationalise the National Financial Literacy Framework.

 

Unlike the NFLF which provides strategic direction for financial education programmes on a high level, he said the NFES provided granular activities and actions aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the NFLF.

 

He said, “It is aimed at assisting with detail identification of programmes, players and partners that could implement or facilitate their smooth implementation.

 

“The document is fashioned around, and takes into account, the various consumer segments identified by the NFLF.”

 

He said the CBN was also promoting new initiatives to positively drive financial inclusion statistics in the near term.

He gave some of them as the recently introduced regulations and guidelines for the licensing and operations of Payment Service Banks.

 

This, he added, would leverage technology to promote financial inclusion and enhance access to financial services for the unbanked and underserved segments of the population.

 

He also said the initiative would drive down exclusion rates by leveraging a wider variety of market participants, leveraging technology and multiple channels to enhance access to deposit products, payments and remittance services to small/micro businesses and low-income households.

 

The CBN governor said the apex bank in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee and other stakeholders was facilitating a national micro finance bank to promote access to finance for credit to fund Small and Medium Enterprises and other unbanked groups.

 

“The national MFB shall be technology driven and leverage NIPOST’s presence in 774 local government areas and would serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds such as the Anchor borrowers fund, and SME fund, among others to farmers and SMEs at the grassroots level,” he added.

 

Also speaking at the event, the Director, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, Kofo Salam-Alada, said that despite the strides towards fostering financial inclusion, there were significant challenges.

 

He gave some of them as the dearth of financial literacy and awareness among consumers and a general lack of confidence in dealing with financial institutions.

He said these issues could only be addressed through robust financial literacy and consumer protection programmes.

 

Salam-Alada said if consumers were not adequately protected, they were bound to be apathetic towards the system.

 

This, he noted, would negatively affect the financial inclusion rate and ultimately the stability of the financial system.

CBN Plans to raise N1.8tn Through sale of treasury bills in Q1 2019

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to raise a total of N1.809 trillion from the debt market, in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019.

This is according to data contained in the Nigerian Treasury Bills Issue Programme for the first quarter of 2019, posted on the bank’s website on Tuesday.

The apex bank said it would raise N823.43 billion from rollover programmes with a maturity period ranging from one to three years.

According to the document, 91-day bills worth N51.46 billion will be rolled over, together with 182-day bills worth N164.92 billion and 364-days bill worth N607.05 billion.

The apex bank also said that N985.93 billion worth of treasury bills would mature during the same period.

They are in 91-day, 182-day and 364-day papers worth N59.02 billion, N248.84 billion and N678.06 billion respectively.

The CBN sells treasury bills twice a month to help the federal government raise money to fund its budget deficit.

It issues treasury bills regularly as a control measure to help banks mop up excess liquidity and control the money supply.

Nigeria’s Food Import Drops by $21bn to close at $160.4 million in October 2018 says CBN

The policy of the Federal Government to reduce import of food seems to be yielding the desired result as the country’s food import dropped by $21 billion since January 2015. This translates to $160.4 million in October 2018 from as high as $665.4 million in January 2015.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said at the Bankers Dinner in Lagos that rice, fish, milk, sugar and wheat accounted for the drop while assuring Nigerians that the government will continue to implement farmer-friendly policies to further reduce the country’s dependent on food import.

Emefiele said: “Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from $665.4m in January 2015 to $160.4m as at October 2018; a cumulative fall of 75.9 per cent and an implied savings of over $21billion on food imports alone over that period. Most evident were the 97.3 per cent cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6 per cent in fish, 81.3 per cent in milk, 63.7 per cent in sugar, and 60.5 per cent in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far. Accordingly, this policy is expected to continue with vigour until the underlying imbalances within the Nigerian economy have been fully resolved. We have maintained a particular focus on supporting farmers, entrepreneurs as well as small and medium scale businesses, through our various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers Program, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the National Collateral Registry.”

Emefiele who attributed the reduced food import bill to the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP)  said the Programme has created over 2.5 million employment opportunities across the country while 835,239 hectares of 16 varied crops had been planted by 862,069 farmers so far.

“It is in light of the success of the Anchor Borrowers Program with regards to cultivation of rice and maize that the Monetary Policy Committee in its last meeting on the 21st of November, 2018 recommended that the Anchor Borrowers program be applied to other areas such as palm oil, tomatoes and fisheries to mention a few.”

MPC gives reasons for CBN controlling monetary rates for 14th consecutive time

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

 

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday gave reasons why it resolved to retain for the 14th consecutive time its controlling monetary policy rates.

 

At the end of the 264th meeting of the committee in Abuja, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said all 11 members in attendance voted to leave the monetary policy rate (MPR) unchanged at 14 per cent, just as cash reserve ratio (CRR) was retained at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

 

The asymmetric corridor was also left unchanged at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

In his post-meeting media briefing, Mr Emefiele said the committee resolved to leave the economic parameters unchanged despite other options to either loosen or tighten, due to continued confidence in them to moderate domestic prices and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

 

According to the CBN governor, the committee believed relaxing the policy rates would encourage the flow of credits to the real sector, help reduce aggregate cost of credit and stop business spending and investment.

 

This, he pointed out, would reinforce CBN’s support for output growth and economic recovery and align with its primary mandate of monetary policy and price stability.

 

However, Mr Emefiele said the MPC noted that relaxing the rates would rapidly reverse all the gains of price and exchange rate stability achieved so far, given the liquidity impact that would ensue.

 

Consequently, he said the committee believed the ensuing liquidity would exert pressures on the exchange rate and further depress the capital market, in the light of increased capital flow from monetary policy normalization by the US federal department.

 

Similarly, the CBN governor said the committee decided against tightening the existing policy rates, considering that doing otherwise would strengthen the stability of the foreign exchange market.

 

 

“Because of the dampening effect on the demand for foreign exchange, the committee was convinced tightening will simultaneously dampen investment growth, widen the output gap, depress aggregate demand and weaken output growth,” he stated.

 

Noting the relative stability in the foreign exchange market, the CBN governor attributed this to the sustained policies of the banks to increase the supply of foreign exchange from autonomous sources.

 

Although foreign reserves decreased from $42.6 bn at the end of September 2018 to $41.53 bn on November 16, 2018, he said this reflected the sustained profit-taking activities by portfolio investors, as foreign yields become increasingly more attractive abroad.

 

Also, he said the equities segment of the capital market has remained bearish, with all share index decreasing by 8.7 per cent, from 34,848.45 on August 31 to 32,058.28 on November 16.

Market capitalisation equally decreased by 8.7 per cent, from 12.72 trillion to N11.73 trillion during the same period.

 

However, the MPC expressed optimism the economy would experience the reversal of the declining trend in the medium term given the current efforts by government to further improve investor confidence and the relative stability in the investors and exporters window of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

 

The overall macro-economic indices for the economy, the committee projected, remained positive for the fourth quarter of 2018.

 

Members hinged the turnaround on the expectation of the effective implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan and the 2018 budget; improvement in the security challenge; enhanced flow of credits to real sector and stability in the foreign exchange market, to redirect the economy on the path of inclusive and sustainable growth.

 

 

CBN says Electronic fraud to hit N6tn next 3years

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned that electronic fraud losses in the banking system would reach N6.1 trillion by 2021.

Director, Consumer Protection Department of CBN, Mr Sunday Salam-Alada said in Benin City at the ongoing workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents, organised by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

According to him, the volume and value of e-transactions is projected to continue to increase nationally and globally.

Salam-Alada, was represented by Mr Ibrahim Hassan, Director, Research, Policy, International Relations Department (RPIRD) NDIC, said it was due to broader ecosystem scope, evolution of channels, adaptability to disruptive innovations and modes payment.

He said other reasons included increased inclusion and evolving technologies.

The director also said that the CBN, through its Consumer Protection Department (CPD), had resolved over 13,715 complaints.

Salam-Alada added that this resulted in the refund of about N72.2 billion to customers by the commercial banks based on 25,043 cases of fraud in 2017.

He said the amount represented a 28 per cent increase if compared to 19,531 cases recorded in 2016.

Salam-Alada said there was a 24 per cent reduction in actual fraud loss value in 2017 with N1.63 billion as against the to 2016 figures.

According to him, the statistics provided by the CBN shows there is a significant increase in the year-on-year volume and value of transactions across all payment channels in Nigeria.

Consequently, 1.4 billion transactions with a value of N97.4 trillion were processed in 2017 as against 869 million transactions with a value of N69.1 trillion recorded in 2016.

He said the increase of 59.7 per cent and 40.9 per cent were recorded in the volume and value of transactions in 2017.

The director hinted that the CBN would soon issue a framework on consumer protection.

Salam-Alada said the CPD conducted a mapping exercise of financial literacy activities in the country.

He added that it was one of the achievements of the department.

He said the achievements also included the biannual consumer protection compliance exams and review of the guide to banks’ charges.(NAN)