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CBN to Introduce New FX Laws and Guidelines to Tackle Naira Depreciation — Cardoso

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Mr Yemi Cardoso, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, has stated that the apex bank will soon introduce a new set of foreign exchange laws and guidelines to tackle Naira depreciation and achieve exchange rate stability.

Cardoso who made the announcement while giving a keynote speech at the 2023 Annual Bankers Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on Friday November 24, said they will also conduct a new recapitalisation exercise for the banking industry, by directing banks to increase their minimum capital base to a level sufficient to support the vision of a $1trillion economy.

He said, “Our monetary policies will aim to achieve price stability, foster sustainable economic growth, stabilize the exchange rate of the naira, and reduce interest rates to facilitate borrowing and investments in the real sector.

“In order to ensure the proper functioning of domestic and foreign currency markets, clear, transparent, and harmonized rules governing market operations are essential. “New foreign exchange guidelines and legislation will be developed, and extensive consultations will be conducted with banks and FX market operators before implementing any new requirements.

“Considering the policy imperatives and the projected economic growth, it is crucial for us to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy. It is not just about the stability of the financial system in the present moment, as we have already established that the current assessment shows stability.

“However, we need to ask ourselves: Will Nigerian banks have sufficient capital relative to the financial system’s needs in servicing a $1.0 trillion economy in the near future? In my opinion, the answer is “No!” unless we take action.

“Therefore, we must make difficult decisions regarding capital adequacy. As a first step, we will be directing banks to increase their capital.”

On new licensing framework for fintechs, Cardoso said: “Technology will continue to play a critical role in delivering financial services and enhancing financial inclusion.

“However, recent developments in the payment services landscape have raised concerns regarding the use of technology and the existing licensing and regulatory framework. We have observed that some licensees are operating outside the approved activities, breaching the boundaries set for them.

“Any intentional or unintended noncompliance will be subject to sanctions, as operators have the responsibility to ensure that they are licensed for the activities they undertake.

“Concurrently, as we conduct a comprehensive review of the licensing framework for payment services, we will engage in extensive consultations to develop a new regulatory and compliance framework that is suitable for the technology-driven payment services sector.”


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E-Financial

YouThrive: Access Bank Set to Empower over 700,000 MSMEs with 50Bn Loans

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Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by customer base with a global footprint beyond Africa has launched a “YouThrive” initiative which targets to empower 700,000 MSMEs in the country through a 5N0bn loan.

YouThrive: Access Bank Set to Empower over 700,000 MSMEs with 50Bn Loans

Victor Etuokwu, deputy managing director, Access Bank announced this during a press briefing held recently at the bank’s head office in Lagos. The bank’s Deputy Managing Director also revealed that the MSMEs that would benefit from the programme would undergo trainings to enable them optimally make use of the loan.

In his words, “Access Bank is set to financially empower over 700,000 youth MSMEs and to achieve this, we have set aside N50bn to lend to them at a huge, discounted interest rate.

To be eligible to access this loan, all applicants must be within the ages of 21 to 40 years.

“The Youthrive’ is a transformative initiative designed by Access Bank to empower, uplift, and accelerate the next generation of MSMEs. In the next four years we will empower 4 million youth, one million per year.

It would not just be about lending, we are building various capacity-building activities for them, and the curriculum will be centred around Technology, Creatives, Business Management and Skill acquisition.

Reiterating Victor’s comments at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum, hosted by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on job creation and MSME held recently in Abuja, Chioma Ogwo, head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank said “In four years, we hope to empower four million people, or one million each year. We have a business exchange program for the beneficiaries that would enable the SMEs to go and exchange ideas with their counterparts in other countries. Every year, 700,000 would be given access to financing, and 300,000 would be trained.” After then, we will take the best advice from the best and return to Nigeria to implement it.

There is also going to be employment opportunities as 1000 outstanding individuals who receive these trainings by the Bank and its holding companies will be recruited within the Tech space, the Access corporation ecosystem and other partner companies” Ogwo concluded.

Speaking on this initiative, Temitola Adekunle Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the president on job creation and MSMEs said that the initiative by Access Bank will help address the issue of access to affordable loans by small businesses.

He said the end point is to achieve a single digit loan by commercial banks for MSMEs. “Our aim is to ensure single digit loans become the norm for MSMEs.” He disclosed that disbursements will be made after the loan assessment is processed. This initiative will help reduce the bottlenecks often faced by MSMEs in securing funding for their businesses.

He commended the bank for using its funds and giving out the loan at a discounted rate and urged small businesses to take advantage of the opportunity and grow their businesses

Adekunle-Johnson also disclosed that the government is working towards creating 100,000 thousand jobs by May 29 and 384,000 jobs in four years.

He said the initiative will be launched massively across the country as the government is willing to provide businesses with the support of the social and private sector partnership.

He therefore urged other financial institutions to come up with programmes to support the SME sector.

To be part of this initiative and learn more about the YouThrive project, please click HERE or send an email to [email protected] for more enquires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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E-Financial

Banking Sector Becoming Cesspool of Financial Crimes- EFCC

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has revealed that approximately 70 percent of financial crimes in Nigeria are connected to banks.

Banking Sector Becoming Cesspool of Financial Crimes- EFCC

Ola Olukoyede, chairman, EFCC, stated this during his address in Abuja at the 2023 Annual Retreat and General Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria.

The EFCC boss pointed out that the banking industry was becoming more characterized by fraudulent activities, posing significant challenges and concerns for the commission.

Olukoyede, represented by Idowu Apejoye, director of Internal Audit, EFCC, emphasized the importance of collaborative actions from relevant authorities and industry professionals, particularly audit executives, to proactively address and combat fraudulent activities within the sector.

“Broadly speaking, banking fraud in Nigeria is both inside and outside related. The inside related fraud comprises outright selling of customers’ deposits, authorising loan facilities, forgery and several other kinds of unhealthy and criminal practices,” he said.

“The outsider related ones include hacking, ATM fraud, conspiracy, among others. And then the absurd one is when both collaborate, that is collaboration among the bankers and the outsider.

“That one is the one that is really absurd because when you do that, that means you are selling out the system. It is estimated that about 70 per cent of financial crimes in Nigeria are traceable to the banking sector, this scenario is disturbing and unacceptable,” he added.


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Ekiti to Engage 1000 Youths for Agency Banking Programme

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Worried by the exodus of banks from many areas in the state, the Ekiti State government has disclosed that it is taking financial services to all 177 wards in the state through agency banking.

It would be recalled that as a result of incessant bank robberies, many financial institutions have relocated from many local government areas in the state, leaving residents to travel to the state capital for banking transactions.

According to the government, the intending banks for the proposed programme include Wema, Stanbic IBTC, and First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

The state Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Kayode Fasae, made this known in Ado-Ekiti during an inter-ministerial meeting with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies that would play roles in the mobilisation of relevant stakeholders and participants for the programme.

Mr Fasae said the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment has delineated the state into 132 units in preparation for the commencement of the guided Agency Banking Programme in Ekiti state under which many unemployed youths would be empowered.

He described agency banking as a strategy in the financial industry that uses authorised agents to deliver financial services to customers living in remote areas and beyond the reach of the traditional branch network.

Mr Fasae said would-be beneficiaries are to form cluster groups before they can take part in the programme.

Relatedly, the commissioner also disclosed that the government would soon begin the collation of data on unemployed youths, market women, artisans, motorcycle riders, people with disabilities and other citizens between the ages of 18 and 50.

He said that every individual captured under the programme would have a unique means of identification, so they could easily be contacted whenever there are job opportunities and other empowerment opportunities.

 

 


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