In a rare turn of events, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again postponed its highly anticipated Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.
This marks the second time in history that such a delay has occurred, leaving many curious about the underlying reasons. The initial postponement took place in January 2020, when the first MPC meeting of the year was rescheduled from January 20-21 to January 23-24.
At the time, the CBN remained tight-lipped about the cause behind the change, leading to speculation that it was related to the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.
Now, in a surprising announcement, the CBN has declared that its September 2023 MPC meeting will not proceed as planned. While no specific reasons were provided for the postponement, Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications, assured stakeholders and the general public that a new date would be communicated in due course.
However, the CBN expressed regret for any inconvenience caused by the alteration. The MPC meeting, which would have marked the 293rd series of discussions and decisions on the apex bank’s monetary policy direction, was originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, September 25 and 26, 2023. The sudden delay has left many speculating about the potential factors at play.
One prevailing theory is that the postponement may be linked to recent changes in the CBN leadership. The Acting Governor and three Deputy governors were recently replaced by President Tinubu, but their replacements have yet to be cleared by the Senate, which is currently on recess.
This uncertainty surrounding the new designates could be a significant factor contributing to the decision to postpone the MPC meeting. As stakeholders eagerly await further updates, the CBN’s decision to delay the MPC meeting has sparked intrigue and speculation. The reasons behind this unexpected change remain shrouded in mystery, leaving room for creative interpretations and theories about the future direction of Nigeria’s monetary policy.
The Senators went on their annual recess in August and are scheduled to resume next Tuesday (September 26).
It was gathered that the lawmakers are not in a hurry to reconvene before the resumption date to screen Yemi Cardoso, the CBN Governor designate and the other nominated Deputy Governors and ministers.
In fact, it was also learnt that the Senators may be considering postponing their resumption till October 6th, 2023.
The Monetary Policy Committee is the highest policy-making committee of CBN with the mandate to review economic and financial conditions in the economy, determine appropriate policy stance in the short to medium term, regularly check the CBN monetary policy framework, and adopt changes when necessary.
It also communicates monetary/financial policy decisions effectively to the public and ensures the credibility of the model of the monetary policy transmission mechanism.
The MPC meets bi-monthly, except otherwise, in the event of an emergency.
FBN Holdings’ market capitalisation hits $2.6bn after week of growth
FBN Holdings, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks on Wednesday has achieved a market capitalisation of N1.06 trillion ($2.6 billion) after a week of growth, with the share price rising by around 10 per cent.
The surge began in 2022 after billionaire investor Femi Otedola acquired a majority stake in the bank, triggering investor enthusiasm and a flurry of stock purchases.
At the time of Otedola’s acquisition, FBNH traded at just under N6 per share, meaning the stock price has quadrupled since the announcement.
In its third-quarter financial statements for the period, FBN Holding’s profit after tax (PAT) was N236.4 billion, a 159.2 percent increase from the N91.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.
By surpassing the N1 trillion market cap, FBNH joins the exclusive group of Nigerian publicly traded companies known as SWOOTs (Stocks Worth Over One Trillion).
Other members of the SWOOTs group include Dangote Cement, Airtel Africa, MTN, BUA Cement, BUA Foods, Seplat, Zenith Bank, and GTCO.
W’ Bank commits $5bn to expand electricity access in Africa by 2030
The World Bank has announced plans to allocate $5 billion towards bringing electricity to 100 million people in Africa by 2030.
The announcement was made by the President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, during his speech at the mid-term review of the International Development Association’s $93 billion replenishment package in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Banga highlighted the importance of providing support to low-income countries through the bank’s IDA, which offers zero- or low-interest loans.
He cited the initiative to bring electricity to millions of people in Africa as an example of how the funds from IDA will be used.
The World Bank’s plan to bring electricity to 100 million people in Africa by 2030 is a significant step towards improving the quality of life for millions of people on the continent.
The lack of access to electricity has been a major hindrance to economic development in many African countries, and this initiative will help to address this issue.
The allocation of $5 billion towards this project is a clear indication of the World Bank’s commitment to supporting sustainable development in Africa.
Banga said World Bank shareholders, donor countries and philanthropies needed to dig deeper to help IDA deliver better development outcomes to low-income countries.
He said, “The truth is we are pushing the limits of this important concessional resource and no amount of creative financial engineering will compensate for the fact that we need more.”
He also said the World Bank needs to revamp how it evaluates its performance to focus on improved outcomes, not numbers of projects or dollars disbursed.
That means moving towards platforms that can be replicated, such as an IDA-financed mini-grid that delivers electricity to rural communities in Nigeria.
“But this is just one example, I want to see 100,000 – 200,000 – half a million more,” he said, adding that IDA was investing $5 billion to deliver affordable renewable electricity to 100 million Africans before 2030.
The World Bank boss added, “But how can we hope to make even adequate progress while 600 million people in Africa – 36 million of whom live here in Tanzania – still don’t have access to reliable electricity? Put simply: We can’t.”
The current, 20th IDA funding round is due to be completed on June 30, 2025, with the Zanzibar conference aimed at adding to that funding.
Banga used to launch his campaign for the subsequent round of funding to well exceed $93 billion.
The World Bank President in Zanzibar said, “The truth is we are pushing the limits of this important concessional resource and no amount of creative financial engineering will compensate for the fact that we need more funding. This must drive each of us to make the next replenishment of IDA the largest of all time.”
CBN approves reviewed service charter to enhance business facilitation
By Sodiq Adelakun
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the approval of its reviewed Service Charter by Governor Olayemi Cardoso.
The Service Charter is a requirement of the Business Facilitation Act (BFA) 2022 and aims to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
It also enables the Bank to comply with SERVICOM Nigeria’s directives on improving customer service delivery.
The Charter outlines the Bank’s promises to work with its external customers to meet their service expectations, as well as what the Bank expects from them.
In the foreword, the Governor reiterated the Bank’s “commitment to providing more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent,” the CBN stated on its website.
The document outlines the Bank’s mandates, vision, mission, and core values. It contains the services the Bank offers through its various departments and the service standards for each service.
The Service Charter also includes a standardised customer complaints form for reporting service failure and a mechanism for addressing service failure in any of the Bank’s services.
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