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CBN set to make Nigeria predominantly cashless economy



CBN set to make Nigeria predominantly cashless economy

…President says Islamic Development Bank to support Nigeria on economic, social infrastructure***

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Tuesday in Lagos that it would take decisive steps to ensure that Nigeria operated a 100 percent cashless economy.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, made the assertion at the first-year anniversary of the Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira.

“The destination as far as I am concerned is to achieve a 100 percent cashless economy in Nigeria.

“I know that those who doubt us will say that 100 percent cashless is unattainable. Yes, it is true! But, Nigeria must move from being a predominantly cash economy to a predominantly cashless economy.

“At this time, I can say from what I have read from online banking to introducing the POS to ATMs, to mobile banking, working and collaborating with the Ministry of Education, I want to say that we have provided all the necessary infrastructure that should enable us make cashless a nationwide journey.

“It is not something that some of us will like but, we would in the coming weeks and months make pronouncements that must make cashless go nationwide.

“I believe part of those pronouncements will begin from tomorrow and there will be some breaking news tomorrow about it.

“Even the bankers committee will hold a special bankers committee meeting tomorrow to deliberate further on this, so let’s expect the news,” Emefiele said.

He said that the eNaira, which was another product added for Nigerians to embrace a cashless economy, had in its first year of operation, recorded over eight billion transactions.

He said that the apex bank would continue to refine, fine-tune and upgrade the eNaira as it was a journey of possibilities and not a one-off event.

According to him, Nigerians should expect to see additional functionalities in the coming months.

Emefiele said, “The additional functionalities include onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections.

“Collaborating with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs through the creation of sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025.’’

He assured the apex bank would continue to act decisively to encourage innovation, while at the same time protecting the interests of consumers and other stakeholders.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, congratulated Emefiele for the courage to introduce the initiative and the success it had recorded in the last one year to further deepen the policy of inclusion in the financial ecosystem.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr. Rabiu Olowo, Commissioner of Finance, Lagos State, urged the apex bank to try to win the trust of the people in this product.

“The need to engender the trust of the people in this product cannot be over-emphasised.

“That’s why financial literacy advocacy education campaign is very important as we move on, to get this product ready for its versatility, where it can be quickly and easily deployed to give out stimulus checks to the lowest income groups who need government handouts and intervention the most, especially during recession or during a significant situation like the one we experienced during COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the epitome of the influence that this innovation can have on inclusive growth and development of a nation,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.

The eNaira, designed to provide Nigerians with a cheap, safe and trusted means of payment within the domestic and global economy, was introduced Oct. 25, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari, given the potential benefits it portends for a digital economy.

Its objective is to enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens and support a resilient payments ecosystem.

It is also to improve availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and reduce cost and improve efficiency of cross-border payment among others

In another development, The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will continue to engage Nigeria on its strategic priorities areas such as economic and social infrastructure, the President of the bank, Dr. Muhammad Aljasseer has said.

Aljaseer made this known while briefing newsmen while visiting project sites in Kano State on Tuesday.

The president, who said that it was his first time visiting Nigeria or Sub-Saharan Africa,  commended the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) for meeting the expectations of the bank, which is the sponsor of the project whose objective is to reduce poverty by strengthening food security in Kano.

He said that the project funded by the bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds (LLF), has contributed to poverty reduction and strengthened food and nutrition security in the state.

“The bank has been monitoring Kano’s performance. I am impressed that you are working very hard to meet the bank’s expectations.

”The IsDB has approved a total financing of 1.8 billion dollars for Nigeria.

”The 1.8 billion dollars facility for Nigeria is made up of 971 million dollars for project financing by the bank, and about 288 million dollars provided by the Islamic Corporation for Development (ICD)–IsDB’s private sector affiliate,” he said.

He further said that 477 million dollars was in form of trade operations by its trade arm, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and 90 million dollars from other funds and operations.

“Our investment guarantee arm has provided 1.1 billion dollars as business insured and 1 billion dollars as a new insurance commitment to help attract businesses and insure them.

“The IsDB active portfolio in Nigeria now stands at 1.2 billion dollars and we look forward to strengthening our bilateral relations.

“The bank is keen to continue to engage Nigeria on its strategic priorities areas such as economic and social infrastructure and advisory support for strengthening Islamic financial services,” he added.

Aljasser also inaugurated Veterinary Reference laboratory renovated and equipped by KSADP at Gwale Veterinary Clinic, in Kano.

The president also visited Watari dam infrastructure, renovated by KSADP, with funding from the IsDB and the LLF.



Banking & Finance

NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart



NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart

The domestic stock market on Nigeria Exchange Ltd. (NGX) continued on a negative note as the market capitalisation on Monday dropped by N622 billion amid sustained profit-taking activities.

Accordingly, investors lost N622 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to  N29.281 trillion from N29.903 trillion recorded at the previous session.

The All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1,141.76 points, representing a decline of 2.08 percent, to close at 53,750.77 points as against the 54,892.53 posted on Friday.

Consequently, the ASI’s year-to-date (YTD) return fell to 4.88 percent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Seplat Energy, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), Nigerian Breweries and Lafarge Africa.

“We expect risk-on sentiments to be sustained in the equities markets even as the depressed interest rate environment will continue to favour the local bourse in line with our expectations for Q1, 2023.

“Taking positions in stocks with solid valuations and dividend yields ahead of the dividend-paying season remains the choice strategy.

“However, we see room for extended profit-taking activities,” Analysts at United Capital Plc said.

The market breadth was negative as 21 stocks lost relative to five gainers.

Courteville Business Solutions recorded the highest price gain of 6.67 percent to close at 48k per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a gain of 2.7 percent to close at N1.90 and AIICO Insurance up by 1.75 percent to close at 58k per share.

FBN Holdings (FBNH) rose by 0.92 percent to close at N11, while Zenith Bank gained 0. 2 percent to close at N25 per share.

Conversely, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.79 percent to close at N2.12, per share.

Unity Bank followed with a decline of 9.43 percent to close at 48k, while Prestige Assurance declined by 8.89 percent to close at 41k, per share.

SUNU Assurance declined 8.33 percent to close at 44k, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration and Airtel Africa shed 8.31 percent each to close at N2.98 and N1,420 respectively per share.

Also, the total volume traded decreased by 26.66 percent to 100.883 million units, valued at N4.342 billion and exchanged in 3,279 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) topped the activity chart with 12.836 million shares valued at N318.513 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 11.920 million shares worth N297.982 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 10.038 million shares valued at N80.242 million.

MTNN traded 8.264 million shares valued at N1.927 billion, while FBNH transacted 7.719 million shares worth N84.577.

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Banking & Finance

Emefiele: CBN disbursed N12.65bn as agriculture intervention since January; N1.09 trillion since 2015



Emefiele: CBN disbursed N12.65bn as agriculture intervention since January; N1.09 trillion since 2015

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has disbursed N12.65 billion to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), its flagship agriculture intervention scheme from January till date, despite the soaring cost of food.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said this on Tuesday in Abuja, when he read the communique issued at the end of the 290th meeting of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

According to Emefiele, the total sum that has been disbursed under the ABP since inception in 2015 is N1.09 trillion.

“Between January and February 2023, the bank disbursed N12.65 billion to three agricultural projects under the ABP.

“It brings the cumulative disbursement under the programme to N1.09 trillion to more than 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on an approved 6.02 million hectares of farmland,” Emefiele said.

He said that the CBN had also disbursed huge sums as intervention to various other sectors of the economy.

“The CBN also released the sum of N23.70 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to eight new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.

“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Facility currently stands at N2.43 trillion disbursed to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services and 13 mining sector projects,” he said.

He said that the apex bank also released N3.01 billion under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2) for capital and operational expenditure of electricity distribution companies

He said that the facility was aimed at improving liquidity status of the Discos and aiding their recovery of legacy debt.

“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N254.39 billion,” he said.

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Banking & Finance

NGX: Investors Lose N16bn, Ikeja Hotel, Wapic Insurance lead Losers’ Chart 



NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart

 Investors at the stock market of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) on Monday lost N16 billion due to sell-offs in medium and large capitalised stocks.

The NGX All Share Index (ASI) decreased by 29.35 basis points or 0.05 percent to close at 54,886.04 basis points from 54,915.39 recorded on Friday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation lost N16 billion to close at N29.899 trillion from N29.915 trillion posted in the previous trading.

Analysing by sectors, the NGX Banking Index added 1.3 percent, and NGX Industrial Goods appreciated by 0.1 percent.

Also, the Insurance Index was down by 0.5 percent and NGX Consumer Goods Index depreciated by 0.4 percent, while the NGX Oil & Gas index closed flat.

Meanwhile, market breadth, which is measured by market sentiment was positive, as 19 stocks gained relative to 14 losers.

Access Holdings recorded the highest price gain of 7.14 percent to close at N9.00, per share.

Cutix followed with a gain of 5.69 percent to close at N2.23, while University Press appreciated by 5.53 percent to close at N2.10, per share.

Custodian Investment went up by 5.17 percent to close at N6.10, while Chams Holding Company appreciated by 4.17 percent to close at 25k,  per share.

Conversely, Ikeja Hotel led the losers’ chart by 9.52 percent to close at N1.14, per share.

Wapic Insurance followed with a decline of 9.52 percent to close at 38k, while Stanbic IBTC Holdings went down by 8.52 to close at N36.50, per share.

Multiverse Mining and Exploration lost 5.80 percent to close at N3.25, while Livestock Feeds shed 5.50 percent to close at N1.03, per share.

The total volume traded went up by 646.50 percent to 1.172 billion units, valued at N2.877 billion, and exchanged in 3,066 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Neimeth Pharmaceutical topped the activity chart with 1.069 billion shares valued at N1.581 billion.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 15.964 million shares worth N128.784 million, while Access Holdings traded 13.033 million shares valued at N114.365 million.

Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) traded 11.770 million shares valued at N15.257 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 9.861 million shares worth N243.759 million.

Analysts at InvestmentOne Research said, “The equities market recorded a negative performance today due to the slumping prices printed in the Consumer Goods sector.

“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns and developments in the interest rate space.” 

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