The Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed the sum of 6.9 billion naira credit facility for the Electricity Market Stabilization.
Most of the beneficiaries in the third batch disbursement are companies that supply gas to Nigeria’s electricity plants.
The facility is being issued to the gas companies as payments owed them by the generating and distribution companies. Seven gas companies benefited from the disbursement.
The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, observed that the debts owed the gas companies had risen up to 40 billion naira as at December 2014.
He said that the debts were caused by electricity tariff not reflecting the true cost of operating the privatized generation and distribution companies and this intervention is expected to address the situation.
The privatization of the nation’s power sector had raised hope that electricity generation would improve as more power plants were established across the country.
However, 20 of the 23 power plants are powered by gas which has been in short supply, thereby holding back over 2,500 megawatts of electricity.
The beneficiaries of the facility accepted the payments with renewed commitment to improve gas supply for domestic use and ultimately improve electricity supply in Nigeria.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has joined the rest of the world to mark the World Environment Day.
The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said that the celebration is in compliance with the Central Bank’s commitment to the sustainable banking principles for which it is a signatory.
He says the bank is committed to preserving and efficiently managing resources through banking and non banking practices that would have a positive impact on the environment.
The Special Adviser to the Bank on Sustainable Banking, Aisha Usman-Mahmood, explained that besides practices in the apex bank that are environment friendly, the bank has also monitored compliance in other financial institutions.
According to her, incentives have been attached to the practice in order to encourage the banks to sustain the practice.
The Nigerian sustainable banking principles is a set of principles adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions in the country to contribute their quota to the protection and preservation of the environment.
Top officials of the Central Bank, including the Governor of the bank planted trees to commemorate the day.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines for an advisory body that will oversee Islamic banking in Nigeria, becoming the latest regulator to opt for a centralised approach to the industry.
Nigeria’s advisory body, known as the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts, will be tasked with ensuring all banking products that are designated as Islamic conform to sharia principles.
The guidelines, published on Friday, set out minimum requirements for the advisory body, which will comprise a minimum of five members including a CBN official.
Members will serve renewable two-year terms, must be qualified in Islamic jurisprudence, and are restricted from working for any other financial institution supervised by the CBN.
Financial institutions that offer Islamic banking products in Nigeria are already required to have their own boards of sharia finance experts, who are limited to serving in one institution at a time.
The CBN’s advisory body will be guided by the principles of sharia governance issued by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board.
Countries including Bahrain and Morocco have opted for such a format, which can help to limit differences between products, speed the design of new products and boost investor confidence.
Electronic trading in the naira was halted for the second day on Thursday as the local currency was quoted at a new record low of 206.60 Naira to the dollar.
This would be amongst the issues discussed by the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, as he meets with the bankers’ committee in the nation’s commercial centre, Lagos.
Apart from its renewed effort to stabilise the naira, the bankers committee might consider issues around a possible devaluation of the local currency ahead the Monetary Policy Committee meeting next month, depleting foreign exchange reserves and the effect of polls shift on the financial market.
He was also expected to visit the Nigerian equities market after the meeting.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has assured Nigerians that the government and private sector’s spending for the 2015 general elections will not lead to inflation.
She said that all necessary measures had been put in place to check the inflation rate.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala gave the assurance in Washington at the end of the IMF/ World Bank meeting on Saturday.
The Finance Minister, who is also the Coordinating Minister of the Nigerian Economy, also said that the nations budget had been implemented as approved by the National Assembly.
She assured Nigerians and members of the international community that the nation’s financial system had remained stable.
“Activities leading to the polls will not in any way lead to an increase in inflation rate,”she said.
Economy Is Doing Well
While prices of oil at the international market is falling in recent times, Dr Okonjo-Iweala stressed that there was a contingency plan to avoid shocks that were likely to come with the fall in oil prices.
It is barely four months to the 2015 general elections and preparations for its success are ongoing, with expectations that there would be huge spending by politicians. many Nigerians had expressed fears that there would be too much money in circulation due to political activities.
But there is no cause for alarm, that is what the Minister of Finance is saying.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, also gave his words on the nation’s financial stability.
He is optimistic that key sectors of the economy such as; agriculture, oil and gas and the solid mineral sectors had played a key role in achieving the stability and that such stability would be maintained.
Government officials have continued to provide needed statistics on the performance of the nations economy, saying “it has done well”.
What many Nigerians hope to see is the translation of all of the improvements in their lives. Despite these claims, the poverty rate in the nation is still high, something that the Finance Minister says it will reduce in coming years.
Former Minister of Finance, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu has advised the Central Bank Governor designate, Mr Godwin Emefiele to work in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, to achieve success in his tenure.
Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu spoke to business correspondent, Chimezie Obi-Iwuagwu, on Business Incorporated.
Reacting to the issue of the autonomy of the CBN, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu said that Nigeria, as a developing country, has not reached the stage where both the CBN and the Ministry of Finance can be independent.
He believes that Mr Emefiele would need to review the rules and regulations guiding the institution, understand the powers of the apex bank, and brush himself up in various macro-economic aggregates.