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MPC increased rates as measure to control inflation — CBN



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its Monetary Policy Committe (MPC) decision to increase Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) is to control rising inflation.

Hassan Mahmoud, CBN’s Director, Monetary Policy Department said this on Wednesday at a post-MPC briefing tagged: “Unveiling Facts behind the Figures”.

The MPC, in its 287th meeting on Tuesday, had increased the MPR by 150 basis points, from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent.

The MPR is the baseline interest rate in an economy on which other interest rates within that economy are built on.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele had said that the decision was informed by persistent rise in inflation rate and fragile economic growth.

According to Mahmud, the MPC got to a point where stringent measures have to be taken to control inflation.

He said that the Committee took cognisance of global as well as local economic issues in arriving at its policy decisions.

“We raised the MPR because it is necessary to do so. The quantity of money in the system was too much for the economy to absorb,” he said.

He said that monetary policy tools were meant to deal with short term risks, adding that the idea was to make cost of funds expensive to drive down inflation.

According to Mahmud, the stimuluses that governments across the world provided for their citizens during COVID-19 increased the ability of people to spend, thereby, creating challenges with global supply.

“A lot of households and small businesses were injected with stimuluses; the U.S did two trillion dollars, Nigeria did about five trillion Naira, these increased the ability of people to spend.

“But the supply side could not meet up with the demand because that volume of injection was far more than the regular intake for those economies, this made prices to go up,” he said.

Speaking on the various economic intervention initiatives by the Apex bank and the prospect of recouping the funds,  Director, Development Finance Department,Dr Yusuf Yila, said about nine trillion Naira had been invested in the various development finance interventions.

He, however, said that all the monies would be recovered.

According to Yila, N9.3 trillion has been invested in various development finance interventions, out of which N3.7 trillion has been repaid.

“Most of the loans are still under moratorium, especially those in manufacturing. Manufacturing forms the largest part of our portfolio, about 31 per cent,” he said.

He, however, said that one of the best performing interventions was the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), where out of the N800 billion that was lent out, about N700 billion had been repaid.

Yila said that through the flagship agriculture intervention scheme, the Anchor Borrowers Programme, one trillion Naira had been lent out to small holder farmers, while about N400 billion has so far been recovered.

According to him, the department will restrict intervention to critical sectors like the SMEs and the electricity sector for now.

Speaking on the depreciation of the Naira, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mrs Ozoemena Nnaji, said the Apex bank was taking steps to firm up the currency.

Nnaji said that demand for foreign exchange outstripped supply currency, adding that the CBN was doing a lot to mop up supply.

“One of the steps is the Naira for dollar remittance drive, which has resulted to a huge increase in diaspora remittances.

“There is also the RT200 bringing in forex. Repatriation has gone up from 20 million dollars in the first quarter to about 600 million dollars in the second quarter.

“In this third quarter we are looking at more than one billion dollars of repatriated inflows,” she said.

Money market

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.

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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.”

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Money market

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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