…As NIPC Boss says Nigeria records $90.90bn “investment announcements’’***
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday indicated that the bank has registered eight companies to carry out Cash-In-Transit (CIT) as part of key policy measures towards promoting effective and efficient currency management in the country.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Adebisi Shonubi, disclosed this at the unveiling of the Clean Notes Policy and Banknotes Fitness Guidelines on Tuesday in Lagos.
He also said two Cash Processing Companies (CPC) to operate in Nigeria were also registered.
According to him, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), otherwise known as commercial banks, are expected to patronise only these registered companies for CIT and sorting services.
The governor said it was expected that more private sector participation would be involved in the currency management value chain.
This, Emefiele said, would further strengthen the efforts toward ensuring availability of clean banknotes.
He said: “I wish to use this opportunity to inform the industry that the Central Bank of Nigeria, as part of its effort towards devolving the retail cash management to the private sector, has approved the revised guidelines for registration of CIT/CPCs.
“These guidelines provide for the operation of CITs and CPCs at both National and Regional levels.
“It is hoped that this would encourage unregistered companies to come under the regulatory purview of the central bank and ensure a nationwide coverage of these services.”
The CBN boss said the bank had also put in place strategies to enable direct disbursement of lower banknotes to various market associations and merchants through their respective commercial banks.
“The intervention commenced in Abuja and has been extended to Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Umuahia, Yola, Jos, Gombe, Asaba, Ibadan, Kastina, Uyo, Minna and Port Harcourt.
“Furthermore, the bank reduced the processing charges for DMB deposit of lower denomination banknotes from N50 to N5 to encourage the return of unsorted banknotes to CBN for processing.
“The bank also intends to embark on a project that would enable mop-up of the over-circulated and mutilated banknotes from circulation.
“Furthermore, the bank would continue to embark on sustainable institutional reforms and enact policies that will promote efficient currency management in Nigeria.
“Consequently, the two policy documents would be reviewed periodically under the NCMS, in liaison with key stakeholders,” he added.
The governor said the responsibility for clean notes in circulation was not exclusively that of the central bank, rather a collaborative effort between the central bank, banknote suppliers, and deposit money banks (DMBs).
“Others include manufacturers of currency management equipment, currency transportation and processing companies, security agencies, and the general public.”
He also commended the existing collaboration between the CBN and the stakeholders in the currency management value chain, and stressed that should be deepened and strengthened for the overall good of the industry.
Emefiele said: “It is a criminal offence to abuse the Naira. Moreover, the Naira is our identity as a country, so we need to respect it.”
He, however, said the bank would monitor and sanction any commercial bank or financial institution that contravened the provisions of the two policy documents.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku on Tuesday highlighted that the country recorded about 90.90 billion dollars “investment announcements’’ in 2018.
Sadiku stated this in Abuja at an interactive session with newsmen, explaining that the announcements did not necessarily translate into actual investment but served as business investment indicators into Nigeria.
She said that announcements were made for 92 projects across 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory, in mining, manufacturing, transportation, construction and other sectors, from foreign investors.
Sadiku said that the commission also generated more than N5.6 billion in during the period from business registration of foreign companies.
She said that the revenue generated in 2018 had an unusual rise when compared to N4 million generated in 2013 and N29.11 million recorded in 2014.
According to her, the success is due to NIPC new style of operations that has moved from being reactive to being proactive, thereby putting in place initiative and measures to enhance the investment climate in Nigeria.
“It is important that we promote investments that are all inclusive. I think that we should promote foreign investments as well as domestic investments,” she said.
Sadiku said that government had not understood the entertainment industry and was missing in the investment opportunities in the sector, especially the revenue.
She disclosed that the commission would have performed better than it did in the previous years but for funding constraint, which had remained a major challenge in achieving its outlined policies.
The secretary said that NIPC’s strategic plan for 2019 was to develop an e-business facilitation platform, re- launch the One-Stop Investment Centre Laboratory and undertake investment impacts assessment.