COVID-19: CBN Grants Two-Week Market Holidays To Bureau De Change Operators

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

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted a two-week market holiday to the Bureau De Change (BDC) operators.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, noting that this comes into effect from Friday, March 27.

Mr. Gwadabe said this follows a request which was sent to the apex bank to grant the association market holidays given the ongoing challenges faced in local and global economies due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic.

He added that a notice of CBN’s approval was sent to BDC operators and directors, stating that sales of foreign exchange to BDCs is now suspended for a tentative period of two-weeks.

He also advised the public not to go into panic buying, hoarding and patronising street traders as the apex bank has enough reserves to sustain supplies when the BDCs return to operations.

“This is to urgently bring to the notice of our members nationwide that following our letter of recommendation to the CBN to grant us a market holiday on our bidding days as a proactive and preventive measure on the scourge of the novel COVID-19 and the ban on all air/land travels.

“The CBN has granted our request, effective tomorrow Friday, March 27, 2020, there shall be no market days henceforth for a tentative period of two weeks,” the statement read in part.

The ABCON President advised members to observe strict guidelines on the preventive measures on the dangers of the COVID-19.

Gwadabe said that CBN/NFIU is tracking large movements of funds within the financial sector and the need to be cautious.

CBN Retains MPR At 13.5 Per Cent

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after the two-day meeting which held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

According to Emefiele, all members of the committee had agreed to retain the current monetary policy stance.

“An increase in the MPR will be taken by the deposit in the money banks as an invitation to increase lending rates and this will be most undesirable at this point in time when efforts are being made to avert a recession.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Chief Of Staff, Abba Kyari, Reportedly Tests Positive For Coronavirus

“Besides, a reduction in the MPR will not make the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) reduce lending rates but other strategies of the CBN are making the DMBs to reduce the lending rates in furtherance of growth objectives,” he stated.

“In view of the foregoing, the Committee by unanimous vote to retain monetary policy rate at 13.5 per cent and to hold all other parameters constant,” he stated.

Emefiele explained that the committee held the Cash Reserves Ratio at 27.5 per cent, while the Liquidity Ratio was left unchanged at 30 per cent.

Just In: CBN Sells Dollars At N380/USD

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made an alteration to the price of dollar sales.

In a communique to all banks and Bureau De Change on Friday, the CBN advised that the BDC to end-user sales of the Dollar should not be more than N380/1USD.

This is the highest official exchange rate between the dollar and naira in over two years suggesting a devaluation might be in the pipeline.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: CBN Set To Inject N1trn Into Nigerian Economy

Coronavirus: CBN Set To Inject N1trn Into Nigerian Economy

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced a plan to raise its intervention in all critical sectors of the economy by another N1 trillion.

This is in response to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the intervention will boost local manufacturing and import substitution in the economy as a way of providing succour to the people impacted by the deadly virus and also create more jobs.

READ ALSO: NNPC Retail Stations To Begin Sale Of Fuel At N125 From March 19

As a major focus of the package, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced 100 billion naira loan support for health laboratories in the country.

Mr Emiefele directed all commercial banks in the country to support pharmaceutical companies and the Healthcare industry.

He said the CBN will in the days ahead continue to reel out its support for the economy.

CBN Approves N100bn Loan Support For Health Laboratories

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced 100 billion naira loan support for health laboratories in the country.

This according to Mr Godwin Emiefele is part of the CBN’s intervention in the economy following the impact of COVID 19.

READ ALSO: FG Reduces Price Of Petrol To N125 Per Litre

Mr Emiefele, the Central Bank Governor further stated that that the Apex Bank has also increased its intervention in the manufacturing sector by one trillion naira.

Mr Emefiele also directed all commercial banks in the country to support pharmaceutical companies and the Healthcare industry.

He said the CBN will in the days ahead continue to reel out its support for the economy.

COVID-19: CBN To Create N50bn Fund For Affected Families, Businesses

A file photo of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that N50 billion has been earmarked to support families and businesses affected by the impact of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, explained that six key initial policies will be introduced to help combat the Covid-19 scourge on the nation’s economy.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: IMF Plans $1trn For Member Countries To Address Economic Impact

He added that the interest rate for loans will be reduced from nine to five percent for one year effective from 1st March 2020.

Mr. Emefiele said that the healthcare sector will receive credit support in a bid to help them produce medications that can help contain the spread of the virus.

Other policy interventions announced by the apex bank governor include strengthening of loan to deposit ratio, an extension of the moratorium on loans and regulatory forbearance.

Why Is Our ‘Ogogoro’ Illicit? Fashola Reacts To Economic Diversification Efforts

 

Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has questioned the categorisation of Nigerian alcoholic drinks popularly called ‘Ogogoro’ as illegal, especially in view of efforts to diversify the economy.

READ ALSO: Bill Seeking Ban Of Generator Importation Passes First Reading

The minister raised the poser on Wednesday in Abuja while speaking during the Central Bank of Nigeria’s consultative roundtable session.

“I have heard a lot about diversification, and I wonder what are we really doing?” the minister asked, before explaining that there were anomalies in the drive.

Fashola drew from his experience upon arrival at the venue of the session to back his point.

He explained that on arriving at the venue of the CBN event, he was asked to wash his hands with soap and water and also given a hand sanitiser to use, as part of precautions against the spread of the coronavirus.

The minister was, however, displeased that the sanitiser was made in China.

“The second point is that it is made of berries and alcohol and I know that berries grow wild in Plateau and this sanitiser is made in China.

“The other component of it is alcohol. So, why is our ogogoro illicit?” he questioned.

While the audience burst into laughter in reaction to his question, Fashola was quick to add that, “this is an important point”.

“Why is our ogogoro illicit? Gordon Gin, Rum, Schnapps are not illicit, don’t they contain the same basic components of alcohol?”

“Why are our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and industries not producing these sanitisers for us to use in Nigeria?” Fashola continued.

According to the Minister, these examples and recent global developments provide opportunities for Nigerian industries and manufacturers to embrace and proffer solutions.

He tasked that Nigerian experts constructively deal with problems to successfully defeat it.

The Minister also suggested that the CBN consultative forum should be a continued engagement because it brings together Nigeria’s brightest minds.

“It should be beyond a one-day event,” Fashola concluded.

We Need To Take Diversification Of Nigeria’s Economy More Seriously – Dangote

Popular business mogul and the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has called for more seriousness in handling diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

The tycoon disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing participants at a consultative round table organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in Abuja.

Dangote lamented that he has been hearing about diversification of Nigeria’s economy since as far back as 1979 but now is the time to take things more seriously.

“Diversification of this economy is very important. Since I got to Lagos in 1979, people have been talking about diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

“I think we really need this time around, be more serious so that we don’t just keep talking about diversification. It is possible but people are not really focusing on it.

“We need to find a solution as to how to make our country to be producing things that we consume,” he said.

READ ALSO: Sanusi’s Dethronement: Atedo Peterside Rejects Invitation To Join CBN’s Roundtable

Suggesting ways of diversifying the economy, Dangote said more attention should be paid to the agriculture and manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing creates a lot of jobs and transforms countries. These are the areas I think we really need to focus on,” he said.

Dangote also advised that more attention should be paid on the local market to boost exportation.

According to him, “We import almost every single thing that we consume in Nigeria. We need the sales industry.”

Is Diversification Impossible?

Dangote dismissed the belief that the diversification of Nigeria’s economy is impossible.

He stressed that it can be realised through a joint effort of entrepreneurs and the Nigerian government.

Entrepreneurs according to Dangote have a role to play in diversification of the economy by leaving their comfort zones and joining hands to boost the manufacturing sector.

The role of the Nigerian government, among other factors, Dangote said is to reduce the cost of doing business and employ consistent economic policies.

Dangote also highlighted efforts that have been put in place by his organisation to diversify the economy.

He revealed that Dangote Cement has put in place efforts to ensure that “Nigeria will be the highest exporter of cement in Africa,” and also by the end of this year Dangote group will ensure that Nigeria “will be able to produce 1million tonnes of rice.”

He also spoke concerning the oil sector – “On petroleum products by the time we start our refinery, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa.”

“So, you can see that yes it is possible to diversify the economy,” Dangote concluded.

Court Jails Fake CBN Governor Three Years For N4.5m Fraud

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

 

A fake Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nwalozie Julius, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) revealed this in a series of tweets on Monday.

Julius, according to the anti-graft agency, was sent to jail without an option of fine by the Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Justice Agatha Okeke gave the sentence on Friday last week after Julius was convicted of the crime.

Three days later, the EFCC arraigned one Dasin Bello before Justice Dije Aboki of the Kano State High Court.

The defendant was arraigned on Monday and charged with three counts bordering on criminal breach of trust to the tune of $61,438.

He was alleged to have collected two containers of biscuits and sweets worth $64,046 from the complainant who is based in India under the agreement that he would pay for the items in two months.

CBN To Stop Pollution By Recycling Tonnes Of Bad Naira Notes

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed plans to start recycling about 100 tons of paper banknote wastes generated weekly across the country.

The currency notes and coins withdrawn from circulation by the apex bank have been destroyed in 12 disposal centres across the country weekly.

The CBN stated in a communique tagged “Request for Proposal for the Recycling of Paper Banknote Wastes” that the naira notes wastes are destroyed through open air burning in sites owned by the Bank or rented, usually from the respective State Governments.

It added that “converting the waste materials into reusable objects will prevent wastage of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, minimise energy usage, avoid probable air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling).”

READ ALSO: ECOWAS Leaders Set Up Committee On Nigeria’s Land Border Closure

The apex bank called on accredited recycling companies interested in utilizing paper banknote wastes in its recycling process and help in converting them to useable products that would enhance economic activities in the country in addition to environmental sustainability.

“The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit competitive proposals from reputable companies that can recycle CBN paper banknote wastes into useable products that can be beneficial to the nation while adhering to Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Standards.”

It stressed that reputable companies should submit sealed bids for the purchase of Paper Banknotes briquettes on a monthly/quarterly contract basis from May 2020 and until further notice, while encouraging single or multiple vendors to submit proposals.

The requirements as stated by the CBN include; location of the factory and current activities, recycling process or technology to adopt, either for sole paper or mixed, the type of recycled products to be generated from the recycling process.

Other requirements are “the logistics for accessing or evacuating the banknote wastes from the locations where they are generated; Compliance with health, safety, and environmental standards; It should be noted that under no circumstances should the banknote wastes be diverted to any place other than the premises of the industrial outfit using it.”

Senate Confirms Appointment Of Kingsley Obiora As Deputy Governor Of CBN

 

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Dr Kingsley Obiora as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

During plenary on Thursday, January 30, confirmed Dr Obiora’s appointment.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 16, asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Dr Obiora as the Deputy Governor of the CBN.

In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

Dr Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.

CBN Retains MPR At 13.5 Percent, Raises CRR To 27.5

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the monetary policy benchmark rate at 13.5 percent.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also increased the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 22.5 to 27.5 percent.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during a press conference on Friday at the end of a two-day MPC meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

He explained that nine of the committee members voted to retain the MPR and increase CRR owing to the rise in inflation.

“The committee by a decision of nine members voted to alter cash reserve requirement by 500 basis point from 22.5 to 27.5 percent; while leaving all other policy parameters constant.

“MPC voted to retain the MPR at 13.5 percent, and retain the asymmetric corridor of +200 and -500 basis point around the MPR; and lastly, retain the liquidity ratio at 30 percent,” he stressed.

Mr Emefiele added that the committee maintained MPR essentially for sustainable support to growth before any possible adjustment.

He stated, “This would enable policy to react suitably to development as they occur in the near term.

“Retaining the current policy position provides an avenue to evaluating the impact of the heterodox monetary and financial policies to support lending by the banking industry without altering policy rate.”

According to the governor, the committee noted that it will reduce the speed of economic recovery, relative to loosening, exert a drag on output growth as Deposit Money Banks continue to utilise bond sales, instead of engaging in financial intermediation to the private sector.