CBN Injects $253.38m, CNY 16.7m Into Retail SMIS

Nigeria's Foreign Exchange Reserves Rise

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made an intervention of $253.38million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

CBN Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, who revealed this on Friday noted that it was the first intervention of the apex bank for the year.

He said the bank also made an intervention of CNY 16.76million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.

Okorafor explained that the intervention was for requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors.

He added that the Chinese Yuan, on the other hand, was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit.

The CBN spokesperson pointed out the stability of the foreign exchange, especially during the yuletide and New Year celebrations.

According to him, this was largely due to sustained intervention by the nation’s financial regulator.

Okorafor gave the assurance that the CBN would remain committed to ensuring that all the sectors of the market continue to enjoy access to the needed foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, $1 exchanged for N359 at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market, while CNY1 exchanged at N46.

Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector Expands By 60.8 Points In December – CBN

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the Purchasing Managers Index of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector stood at 60.8 index points in December, indicating a 33-month consecutive expansion.

The PMI Survey report released on Monday by the apex bank stated that the index grew at a faster rate when compared to the index in November, stating that all the 14 surveyed subsectors which recorded growth include: “petroleum & coal products; transportation equipment; plastics & rubber products; food, beverage & tobacco products; fabricated metal products; furniture & related products.”

READ ALSO: FG Puts Debt Stock At $83bn, Says Nigeria Not In Trouble

Other subsectors include “primary metal; chemical & pharmaceutical products; printing & related support activities; textile, apparel, leather & footwear; cement; paper products; electrical equipment; and non-metallic mineral products.”

The report stated that the production level of the manufacturing sector also grew for the 34th consecutive month at 61.8 points, indicating a faster growth compared to its level in November 2019.

Meanwhile, 11 of the 14 manufacturing subsectors recorded an increased production level, two remained unchanged while one recorded decline.

Employment level index for December 2019 stood at 58.0 points, indicating growth in employment level for the thirty-second consecutive month. Of the 14 subsectors, 10 reported increased employment level, 3 reported unchanged employment level while 1 reported decreased employment in the review month.

‘It’s Illegal,’ FG Asks Nigerians To Report Merchants Demanding N50 POS Charge

Banks React To Court Order, Deny Violation Of TSA Policy
Nigerians at an ATM

 

The Federal Government has declared that the imposed N50 stamp duty on Point of Sales transactions by merchants is illegal and Nigerians should report violations with evidence when they occur.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, clarified issues of the extra charges on customers by merchants, insisting that N50 stamp duty is a fee regulated by an act that directs merchants to pay all necessary taxes as regulated by government agencies.

This position was reiterated by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, who insisted that in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), other relevant regulators and law enforcement authorities, the law will be enforced to its fullest extent.

“The Commission hereby provides this guidance pursuant to S. 18 (2) FCCPA and prohibits any such assessments pursuant to S. 18 (a), (e), (f) and (h).

“In addition to the provisions above, such assessments may be in violation of other extant provisions and law, including S. 129 (1) (a) and (2). The Commission, in collaboration with CBN, other relevant regulators and law enforcement authorities, intends to enforce the law to its fullest extent and invites consumers to report violations (when they occur) with evidence of such violations.”

READ ALSO: CBN Goes Tough On Banks, Slams N2m Fine For Arbitrary Charges

It explained that the agency had engaged with the CBN and held that an assessment imposed on merchants necessarily is a component of their cost of doing business, and may only be directly passed on to consumer in limited circumstances.

“The FCCPC’s strongly held position was that an assessment imposed on merchants necessarily is a component of their cost of doing business, and may only be directly passed on to the consumer in limited circumstances.

“For many reasons, including and particularly the CBN’s effort to promote a cashless economy, the merchants’ response of imposing this assessment on consumers were not only inconsistent with the underlying policy, but also counterproductive and burdensome on consumers.

“Effectively, and in furtherance of this clarification, merchants are now prohibited from penalising or otherwise assessing any duty, costs or assessment characterised as “stamp duty” on consumers who select the point of sale options to conclude their purchases or transactions.”

Stating further, the agency maintained that businesses, by their very nature, already capture the operating cost price of their goods and services. “To impose an additional fee on consumers that is exclusive of price and discriminates based on the selected mode of payment essentially amounts to a penalty for the adopted mode of payment.”

CBN Goes Tough On Banks, Slams N2m Fine For Arbitrary Charges

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked banks and other financial institutions to adhere strictly to the Guide to Bank Charges directives or face a penalty of N2 million per infraction.

The apex bank had on Sunday, issued a 76-page circular to all banks, financial and non-bank financial institutions on the application of charges offered to customers.

According to the CBN, the revised guide to charges by banks will take effect on January 1, 2020.

READ ALSO: Nobody Should Pay N50 Charges On POS Transactions, Says CBN

To guard against excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges, the apex bank in a tweet, restated the penalty for banks who fail to comply with the directives.

“To guard against excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges by banks and other financial institutions, the Guide to Bank Charges stipulates a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time for financial institutions that breach any provision of the guide.”

It stated that another N2 million daily penalty will be charged on erring banks if they fail to comply with the earlier sanction.

“The guide also emphasizes that failure by any bank to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

“In order to ensure that banks actually attend to every customer’s complaints, CBN has directed banks to log every complaint received from their customers into the Consumer Complaints Management System (CCMS) in addition to generating a unique reference code for each complaint lodged, which must be given to the customer.

“CBN has also warned that failure to log and provide the code to the customer will amount to a breach and is sanctionable with a penalty of N1,000,000 per breach,” it added.

 

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Nobody Should Pay N50 Charges On POS Transactions, Says CBN

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clarified the issue of payments of N50 charges by merchants who use Point of Sale (POS) machines for cashless transactions, insisting that nobody should pay extra on goods and services.

The CBN explained that the N50 stamp duty is a fee regulated by an act that directs merchants to pay all necessary taxes as regulated by government agencies.

READ ALSO: CBN Drops ATM Withdrawal Fee To N35, Reviews Bank Charges

Speaking on Channels Television’s Business Morning programme, the CBN Director of Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh, said the apex bank issued a circular and merchants have misinterpreted the directive.

“Stamp duty has been misinterpreted, our circular that talks about merchants paying stamp duties according to the law do not say that the stamp duty should be paid by the consumer; that is a misrepresentation of CBN directive. What our directive says is that merchants should pay all necessary tax as regulated by government agencies including stamp duty.

“What we told the merchants is that we would like the banks to ensure that the merchants comply with this directive by ensuring that every single payment that customers make to them, the merchants pay the regulated stamp duty of N50.

“What has happened is that they have actually transferred this fee blatantly and openly to the consumers; this is very wrong. No single individual should pay N50 in addition to the cost of the goods.

He stated that “Stamp duty is not to be paid by individuals that are consuming the goods and services of the merchants, the merchants who are receiving the money are the ones who are supposed to pay.”

Mr. Jimoh explained that because the stamp duty is not regulated by the CBN, there are no plans to stop stamp duties.

“Stamp duty is not a CBN regulated fee, it is a fee regulated by an act, and so we can’t change or push anything in that direction.

To this, the stamp duty remains and cannot be changed by the CBN, what we are doing is to ensure that the institutions we regulate (the banks) become more responsible to ensure that these fees are collected and given to the government.

Suspected Fraudster ‘Cooling Off’ In EFCC Custody For Impersonating Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele                                                                                                                Onyebuchi Julius

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a suspected fraudster for impersonating Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

In a statement on Friday, the anti-graft agency said the suspect, Onyebuchi Julius, “is currently cooling off in one of the detention facilities of the EFCC, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.”

Onyebuchi, a native of Ngor-Okpala in Imo State, is said to have claimed that he is into estate management.

READ ALSO: Man Climbs Mast To Commit Suicide, Seeks TB Joshua’s Intervention

According to the EFCC, the suspect confessed via verbal and written statements that he posed as the CBN Governor with an email account ‘[email protected]’ to defraud his victims.

He added that he defrauded an Arab national, Omar Es Sh Deeb, whom he said made payments to him through Western Union.

The suspect was also said to have confessed that he specialised in Business Email Compromise (BEC), and his modus operandi involved searching for email addresses via Google.

According to him, he sends convincing emails to his prospective victims and defrauds them as soon as they fall prey to whatever scam he had planned out.

The EFCC noted that Onyebuchi confessed to have benefited as much as N4.5million from his alleged criminality on the cyberspace.

It, however, stressed that the evidence gathered so far may prove otherwise as investigation was ongoing and responses were being awaited from some of the finance houses the suspect transacted with.

Senate To Probe CBN, NIBSS Over N20trn Unremitted Stamp Duties

 

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its subsidiary, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) over an allegedly failure to remit N20 trillion revenue to  the Federation Account.

CBN reportedly collected the amount as stamp duty from banks and financial institutions in the country.

The resolution follows a motion by Senator representing Ondo central, Ayo Akinyelure.

READ ALSO: Petroleum Tankers Safety Bill Passes Second Reading In Senate

“The Central Bank of Nigeria and NIBBS have technically refused to comply with the presidential directives for the recovery of over N20 trillion revenue into the coffers of government.

“The CBN and NIBSS deliberately failed to cooperate and comply with the directives of Mr President for the realisation of over N20 trillion revenue due from stamp duties collected for 2013 to 2016 and subsequently over N5 trillion minimum revenue due to be collected annually to the federation account to be shared among states of the federation for infrastructural and economic development.

“The Senate must consider whether the target N20 trillion fund is being recycled into private banks when federal government had directed its recovery,” he said.

The lawmakers expressed concerns that despite government decision to appoint a consultant to help it recovered the money; the CBN and NIBSS have technically refused to comply with the presidential directive for the recovery of the money into the Federation Account.

Senator Isah Jibrin in his contribution said, “I want to support this motion. The issue is a major problem with financial remittance. The issue is to unravel who is benefiting from the non-compliance of this directive from President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Senate then resolved to Mandate the Committee on Finance to investigate this issue of over N20 trillion unremitted stamp duties revenue due to the Federal Government of Nigeria from banks and other financial institutions through (NIBSS) a subsidiary of CBN for 2013 – 2016 and financial accountability of stamp duty collections from 2016 when the CBN officially directed all banks to collect on behalf of the federal government to date.

In his concluding remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said, “I engaged the Ministry of Finance and CBN for an interaction, and I discovered that what we have been expecting to be available as stamp duty is not so.

“I was under the impression that we had over N20 trillion somewhere. It will interest you to know that we don’t even have N1 trillion. What has happened is because those that are supposed to collect the stamp duties were taking advantage of the non-electronic transaction.

“With the passage of the finance bill, this is an opportunity we have to start getting what ordinarily should go to the government.

“The banks and many private organizations have taken advantage of the way the stamp duties have been.

“I want to believe that from January 2020, when the Finance Bill will start being effective, the stamp duty collection will be significantly improved,” he said.

Lawan added that is for our Finance Committee to monitor closely what the collection should be.

“We would like to know in the first quarter how much they have collected, and if they have not met targets; if they have met targets, how do we do better than that? The idea is not to slow agencies to do whatever they want.”

 

Video: Why CBN, FIRS, NNPC Are Excluded From IPPIS


The Director of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) Mr. Olufehinti Olusegun has shed more light on why the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and a few other agencies are not on their platform.

Mr. Olusegun explained that they are all revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government who don’t get their personnel cost from the consolidated revenue funds.

The IPPIS boss who was on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday stated that the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari was decisive and it targeted Ministries, Department, and Agencies of Government who draw their cost from the consolidated revenue funds.

President Buhari, during the 2020 budget presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly, directed that all Federal Government workers yet to be captured in the IPPIS platform risk not being paid by the end of October 2019.

The directive generated a reaction, particularly from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who argued that they were not under the MDA’s and such arrangement will not fit into the university system.

“It is surprising because the President’s directive was direct and decisive that all MDA’s or institutions drawing their salaries from consolidated revenue funds which are a Federal Government account is to key into IPPIS.

“The government knows that all agencies cannot be brought in at a go, but for those who get their personnel cost from the consolidated revenue funds of the FG should be brought on board.

“For CBN, FIRS, NNPC they are revenue agencies who live on cost of collection; they are revenue-generating agencies to FG so they don’t draw from the consolidated revenue funds as of today.”

READ ALSO: House Of Reps Increases 2020 Budget To N10.6tn

He added that, “it is left to government to know what to do because it is a journey that has just started which FG believes the best way to save Nigeria scarce resources is to ensure these monies are not wasted through other means, that is why FG restricted it to consolidated revenue funds MDAs that come to request for funds.”

Mr. Olusegun revealed that between 2017 and 2018, the Federal Government realized over N273bn from MDAs and ASUU by association with the Ministry of Education, should be captured on the platform.

However, the President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, posited that going by the IPPIS arrangement, it will be impossible to welcome university scholars who come to add some support service to the system.

He said that the original design of IPPIS is meant for accountability in the civil services and universities are not part of core civil service.

“Universities welcome scholars who come for some support services to revitalise the system, but Nigeria, going by IPPIS arrangement, would not have room for that, even if a scholar in diaspora wants to come to Nigeria for one year sabbatical leave, bringing a lot of experience, the IPPIS arrangement will not accommodate such.

“IPPIS was originally designed as a program meant for professionalism and accountability in the civil service and universities are not part of MDAs of core civil service.”

Nigeria Imports $600m Cassava Products Annually – CBN

FX Restriction: Milk Importation Is Not Banned – CBN
A file photo of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

 

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says Nigeria imports cassava derivatives valued at about S600 million annually.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele disclosed this on Tuesday at a meeting with governors of cassava-producing states in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the event, the apex bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and Large Scale Cassava Processors.

Emefiele explained that the country was blessed with several varieties of cassava that could be explored to optimum potential.

He, however, said there was a need to adopt improved varieties and practices that would guarantee better yield, better processing efficiency, increased profit and improved standard of living for the farmers.

READ ALSO: Niger Govt Seals Deal To Save Nigeria $1.2bn Annually From Milk Importation

In achieving this goal, the CBN governor revealed that consultations were ongoing with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike.

According to him, increasing cassava production is a necessity apart from foreign exchange conservation as starch, glucose, sorbitol, and other products were being imported.

“Statistics show that out of the 53.0 million metric tonnes of cassava produced in Nigeria annually, more than 90 per cent is processed into food for human consumption.

“Whereas a significant industrial demand exists for the output of processed cassava, primarily as substitutes for imported raw materials and semi-finished products,” Emefiele said.

He added, “Potential demand that exists in our cassava value chain, demand High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in bread, biscuits and snacks is above 500,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 15,000 tonnes.

“Demand for cassava starch is above 300,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 10,000 tonnes.”

The demand for cassava-based constituents in sugar syrup, according to the CBN governor, is above 350,000 tonnes annually while supply is almost nonexistent.

He noted that potential demand for ethanol in the country as a fuel for cooking, to power vehicles (E10), and other industrial uses, exceeded one billion litres while production was nearly zero.

Emefiele said the CBN was taking bolder steps in collaborating with the private sector, state governments producing cassava, and other stakeholders towards resuscitating the sector.

2006 Bank Recapitalisation: Court Fixes Dec To Try Ex-bankers Suit Against CBN, NDIC

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

 

The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos has fixed December 17 and 18 to try the suit initiated by over 1,000 former bank workers affected by the recapitalisation exercise in 2006.

The defendants in the suit are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

At the proceedings on Tuesday, the court was informed that one of the defendants, the NDIC, was not present or represented by its counsel.

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The defendant’s lawyer was said to have sent in word that he was stranded in Abuja.

Although the court was not happy about the development, it granted another adjournment to enable the defendants to file their reply to the interrogatories filed earlier by the former bank workers.

On the other hand, the other defendant – CBN – particularly asked the court for a short time to file its reply to the interrogatories.

The apex bank explained that it needed time to access its archives spread all over the country, in order to come up with an appropriate response to the interrogatories.

Reacting to the adjournment on behalf of his colleagues, chairman of the former bank workers, Magnus Maduka, reiterated their commitment to pursue the case to a logical conclusion to ensure that their terminal benefits and allowances were paid.

Interrogatories, also known as requests for further information, are a formal set of written questions by one party and required to be answered by another party or parties in a suit, in order to clarify matters of fact and help to determine in advance what facts will be presented at the trial of a case.

Reps To Investigate Alleged Non-Repayment Of $7bn Foreign Reserves

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives says it will investigate the alleged non-repayment of seven billion dollars from the country’s foreign reserves, disbursed to 14 global asset managers and 14 banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2006.

The House on Thursday resolved to investigate the matter, after a motion sponsored by representative Abubakar Ahmad.

According to the motion, the CBN gave each asset manager and its Nigerian bank counterpart a sum of $500 million dollars from the nation’s foreign reserves to manage.

Read Also: Court Fixes December To Hear Suit Seeking Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Properties

The lawmakers are worried that after 13 years, the $7 billion foreign reserves has not been repaid to the CBN.

Senate Committee Rejects Emefiele’s Representatives

 

The Senate Committee on Finance on Monday refused to allow the representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to address it on the rationale behind the exchange rates it used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.

The Committee had on Sunday invited the CBN Governor to appear before it on Monday November 4, but the CBN Governor, instead sent the Deputy Governor Operations, Mr Adebisi Shonubi, to represent him.

Read Also: Emefiele: Border Closure Will Reduce Kidnapping, ‘Yahoo Yahoo’

Led by the Chairman, Solomon Adeola, the Committee members, however, refused to allow the Deputy Governor address them.

According to them, the invitation was not meant for him.

The panel also noted that Emefiele had failed to inform it earlier that he would be sending a representative.

They, therefore, insisted that Emefiele must appear before the committee on Wednesday, November 6.