The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has proposed new loan provisioning regimes and a framework for collateral adjustments for lost facilities in a bid to adjust to the current economic realities necessitating lending to the critical sectors of the economy.
The board of the CBN is expected to approve this proposal which will lead to a longer period of loan provisioning when it meets in the middle of this month in Abuja.
Banks – majority of which got their hands burnt through margin loans (loans that allows customers to buy shares on credit) in the stock market and are still making provisions for them – are very excited about this development, which, when effective, may reduce their level of provisioning.
A majority of the banks taken over by the banking watchdog last year played heavily in the stock market and the downstream sector of the oil industry, which was hit by the volatility in the international price of crude oil and the depreciation of the naira exchange rate.
The last time the current Prudential Guidelines, which is now going to be reviewed every five years, was issued was in 1990 and the review is considered long overdue.
The current Prudential Guidelines requires that all loans irrespective of whether they are short or long term are accorded the same loan loss provisioning standards.
Loans that are due but not paid after 90 days attract 25 per cent provisioning, 180 days 50 per cent, and 360 days 100 per cent.
But, according to a draft exposure on “Review of Prudential Guidelines” which classifies the various types of loans banks can give into 11 categories, a special provisioning regime using a time-based approach is in being proposed.
Under the proposed regime, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Agric Financing (both short- term) will now attract provisioning of 25 per cent if such facilities fall between 90 days to one year; 50 per cent for one year to one and half years; 75 per cent for one and half years to two years and 100 per cent for facilities above two years.
But banks desirous of lending to SME and Agric Financing for long-term would have to make provisions of 50 per cent for facilities that fall between a year and two years; 75 per cent for two years to three years, and 100 per cent for facilities above three years.
For infrastructure project financing which are long-term projects (like roads, dams, petroleum extraction, power transmission and distribution etc), the CBN said the banks portfolio should not be more than 20 per cent of gross loan book including off balance sheet engagements. It said any excess over 20 per cent limit would be fully provided for.
Banks keen on engaging in project financing are to make provisions of 25 per cent if such facilities fall between two and three years; 50 per cent for three to four years; 75 per cent for four to five years and 100 per cent for facilities above five years.
Banks into object financing (e.g. ships, aircraft, satellites, railcars etc) would have to make provisions of 25 per cent for facilities that fall 180 days and two years; 50 per cent for two to three years; 75 per cent for three to four years and 100 per cent for facilities above four years.
For real estate financing (projects like office buildings to let, retail space, multifamily residential buildings, industrial or warehouse space or hotels), where the prospects for repayment and recovery on exposure depend primarily on the cash flows generated by the asset, banks have to provide 25 per cent if such facilities fall between 180 days and one year; 50 per cent for one to two years; 75 per cent for two to three years and 100 per cent for facilities above three years.
The banking watchdog also proposed collateral adjustments in loan provisioning. The CBN, however, said it can require that banks make additional provisions based on concentrations risks, industry knowledge on obligors and other subjective factors – details of which will be provided in the revised prudential guidelines.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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