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World Bank Unveils Strategy in New Nigerian Portfolio

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The World Bank’s new Country Partnership Strategy would focus on three pillars – sustainability and inclusive growth, human development and governance, to achieve results.

Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, Country Director, said that the new portfolio would be applied between the periods of 2014 and 2017.

“The structure of our portfolio is more or less the same in the sense that we have about 50 per cent of our resources going to what we call sustainable development – energy, infrastructure, agriculture and also we put climate change and environment in the same area. We have the third in human development – health, education, social protection and the remainder is allocated between governance, private sector development.’’

Marie-Nelly said governance remained a major challenge in ensuring growth and development in the country, adding that Nigeria’s fight against corruption would be taken into consideration in whatever the bank did with any sector of the economy.

“In fact now, each time we enter into a sector, we start to understand how the sector operates   and what are the institutions; what are the governance challenges. Because when you talk about governance or even corruption, you have to look at it in a broader sense and see what the impediments are, not just to say there is corruption.

“How does the system in place makes room to allow transparency, clarity of responsibility of the various actors, to allow accountability, to allow capacity to measure result, this is part of elements that are part of governance, so you have to put it a broader sense. It is quite clear that it is now an imperative for us. If we are going to succeed in Nigeria we have to incorporate.’’

The country director said that the n bulk of  the bank’s  resources were more in states programmes adding that it had increased its engagements in the states significantly.

She noted that the bank’s focus was more on result-based approach away from an input approach which did not trigger significant improvement in delivery of social services.

She added that a common donor platform had been introduced to avoid duplication of funds.

Commenting of the funding of the new portfolio, Marie-Nelly said that Nigeria had been moved from the International Development Association (IDA) window to the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) window.

The two windows are World Bank funds that support projects in the poorest of the developing nations and low income developing countries.

She said that Nigeria was placed on the IBRD window because of the two years consistent improved gross national income growth per capita.

IDA is a sub-concessional window, where loan beneficiaries enjoy 10 years moratorium, 40 years repayment period, no interest rate, and service charge of about 0.75 per cent.

According to her, for IBRD, instead of having 40 years payment, the repayment period is 25 years and the moratorium is five years.

On the outcome of the Spring Meeting, she said that the bank would focus on ensuring that extreme poverty was reduced from 20 per cent to 3 per cent by 2030.

She said that extreme poverty in Africa had decreased from about 58 per cent in 1996 to 49.5 per cent in 2010.

Marie-Nelly said that in Nigeria, statistics according to the National Bureau of Statistics estimated Nigeria’s poverty rates for children at 62.2 per cent in 2004 against 62.6 per cent in 2010, while the adult equivalent was 48.3 per cent against 46.1 per cent in 2010.

“Meeting the target in Nigeria will require significant and sustained growth but more importantly reduction of inequality,’’ she said.


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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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