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World Bank Predicts 2.5% Growth for Nigeria in 2018

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The World Bank forecasts that economic growth in Nigeria would edge up to at least 2.5 per cent in 2018, as the country benefits from improved commodity prices, investments and trade.

According to the World Bank’s January 2018 Global Economic Prospect report launched on Tuesday in Washington DC, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2019 and 2020.

The World Bank forecast that global economic growth will go up to 3.1 per cent in the year 2018.

According to the bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to continue to rise to 3.2 per cent in 2018 and to 3.5 per cent in 2019, on the back of firming commodity prices and gradually strengthening domestic demand.

However, the report showed that growth would remain below pre-crisis averages, partly reflecting a struggle in larger economies to boost private investment.

“South Africa is forecast to tick up to 1.1 per cent growth in 2018 from 0.8 per cent in 2017. The recovery is expected to solidify, as improving business sentiment supports a modest rise in investment.

“However, policy uncertainty was likely to remain and could slow needed structural reforms.

“Nigeria is anticipated to accelerate to a 2.5 per cent rate this year from one per cent growth in the year just ended. An upward revision to Nigeria’s forecast is based on expectation that oil production will continue to recover and that reforms will lift non-oil sector growth.

“Growth in Angola is expected to increase to 1.6 per cent in 2018, as a successful political transition improves the possibility of reforms that ameliorate the business environment,” it stated.

According to the report, Côte d’Ivoire is forecast to expand by 7.2 per cent in 2018, Senegal by 6.9 per cent; Ethiopia by 8.2 per cent, Tanzania by 6.8 per cent, and Kenya by 5.5 per cent as inflation eases.

The World Bank said that the regional outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa was subject to external and domestic risks. It showed that any unexpected activity in the United States and Euro Zone could have a negative impact on the region.

Also, an abrupt slowdown in China could generate adverse spillovers to the region through lower-than-expected commodity prices.

“On the domestic front, excessive external borrowing without forward-looking budget management could worsen debt dynamics and hurt growth in many countries.

“A steeper-than-anticipated tightening of global financing conditions could also lead to a reversal in capital flows to the region. Protracted political and policy uncertainty could further hurt confidence and deter investment in some countries.

“Rising government debt levels highlight the importance of fiscal adjustment to contain fiscal deficits and maintain financial stability.

“Structural policies including education, health, labour market, governance, and business climate reforms could help bolster potential growth,’’ it stated.

The World Bank called on policy makers around the world to focus on human investments to increase their countries’ productivity, and move closer to the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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