By Comfort Barida
Banking and Financial Institutions
- Skye Bank Plc. is seeking to dispose of majority stakes in its businesses in Gambia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in a bid to ease pressure on capital. With this move, the bank seeks to relinquish its international licence and become a national bank. National banks require a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 10% as against 15% for international banks.
- The Federal Government and the World Bank have signed a Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) agreement for the supply of gas to the $500 million Calabar gas plant to boost energy supply by 500 megawatts. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who witnessed the signing of the agreement at the Presidential Villa, said the event is very significant for the country as it would encourage investment in gas infrastructure.
- The Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) in collaboration with all the money deposit banks in Nigeria and the four major telecommunications operators, Etisalat, MTN, Airtel and Globacom, has launched a new mobile money payment solution. Known as mCash, the new mobile money solution will facilitate low value retail payments; grow e-payments by providing accessible electronic channels to a wider range of users and to further enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria, by extending e-payment benefits to payers and merchants at the bottom of the pyramid where usage of cash has been predominant.
- The federal government has approved the upward review of the Maximum Deposit Insurance Coverage (MDIC) per depositor of mortgage banks to N500,000 from N200,000. Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim disclosed Monday in Lagos.
Nigerian Economy Update
- Professor Ndi Okereke Onyiuke, A former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has called on the federal government to merge the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in order to promote increased effectiveness in the financial sector.
- Director-General of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom) Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, disclosed at the Journalists’ conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State that pension assets had climbed to over N5.9 trillion. The pension assets were invested in safe and structured financial instruments. According to the DG, who was represented by the Commissioner, Inspectorate Division, Professor Mohammed Kaejo, workers that have enlisted into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have hit 7.2 million, even as not less than 170,000 pensioners now receive monthly pensions from the scheme.
- The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) newly appointed Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, said the Governing Board and Management would focus on intervention programmes that will deliver real measurable developmental outcomes for the region and its citizens. Concerned that militant activities is at the verge of crippling Nigeria’s oil operations, the new management of the NDDC, says it will prioritise the development of the Non-oil sector in a bid to attract new industries. He stated this during the formal handover by the former Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, to the new board led by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday.
- A 12-year-old student of Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Lagos State, Tomisin Ogunnubi, on Tuesday completed the development of an Android mobile tracking application named: ‘My Locator’. The app was immediately uploaded online and available for free download from the Google Store. The invention confirms Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s statement two months ago that Nigeria was blessed with focussed youths who in the future “will emerge as Nigeria’s industry captains and will become tomorrow’s entrepreneurial giants like Bill Gates and the Google boys, among others.” Ogunnubi developed the app under the tutelage of an Information and Communications Technology partnership between the Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls and New Horizons Computer Learning Centre.
- The naira fell briefly to a new low against the dollar in the official market on Tuesday but rebounded after the central bank pumped $1.5 million into the market to stabilise the battered currency. The currency weakened to a record low of N375.50 to the dollar earlier yesterday, according to Thomson Reuter’s data. The central bank later sold around $1.5 million to some commercial lenders, helping the naira to close at N305 to the dollar.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday warned Nigerians in the Diaspora to desist from patronising illegal International Money Transfer Operators as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the unscrupulous operators lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate and use Naira accounts opened in local banks for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channelling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market. It added that such illegal practice is distortionary to the economy.
- The manufacturing sector’s foreign exchange demand, put at more than $800 million has been reduced by $660 million by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The amount is a summation of two interventions by the apex bank at the inter-bank market, particularly targeted at the sector to source raw materials and spare parts for their industries. According to an industry source, the move by the CBN is in line with its earlier promise to ease the foreign exchange pressure on manufacturing and agricultural businesses through forward sales under the new flexible policy regime. By the details available to The Guardian, the forex demand pressure by the manufacturers, now being addressed also include raw materials for pharmaceutical, automobile, aviation, plant and machinery, power, telecommunications, and printing, among others.
- Department of State Services (DSS) Officials yesterday raided the offices of some bureaux de change (BDC) in Lagos, and arrested operators selling above the stipulated exchange rate of N385 per dollar.