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New policy on withdrawal limit not political — CBN



The Central Bank of Nigeria has denied being under any form of political pressure to back down on its new policy which limits cash withdrawals and is threatening to deal with banks that will frustrate the policy.

The apex bank also said the policy stems from its mandate and was also not politically induced.

The Director Banking Supervision Department of CBN, Haruna Bala Mustafa, said this on an Arise TV programme monitored by journalists.

Mustafa said, “We are apolitical. There is no pressure from any quarters. This is in the ordinary discharge of our statutory responsibility and like I mentioned this is about Nigeria and enhancing the efficacy of our payment system.

“There is no pressure on us. We want Nigerians to reason with us. This is all about them. In one or two years down the road we will look back and be happy that we took this decision. We need to make this sacrifice for the benefit of our country.”

To push CBN’s quest for a cashless society, the bank made a shocking announcement restricting over-the-counter withdrawals for individuals to N100,000 and for corporates N500,000.

Exceeding the ceiling would attract a five per cent and 10 per cent charge for individuals and corporates respectively. The policy will be effective on January 9, 2023.

The bank also limited ATM withdrawals to N20,000 daily, a move believed would help track spending and curb corruption.

Since the policy was announced on November 6, 2022, Nigerians are questioning about the implication of the policy on the millions who are not financially included.

Lawyers believe the law infringes on the right of citizens to have access to their money, while others believe it would frustrate the 133 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty.

The Nigerian Senate is also worried and would deliberate on the matter.

Mustafa said, “This bold policy will be a silver bullet to address issues addressing the Nigerian economy. It will interest you to know that a broad segment of our population will not be impacted negatively by this policy. Over 90 per cent of Nigerians do transactions below N500,000 and also less than that do N100,000 and below.

“There are no sacred cows. Any aiding and abating of this policy will be severely sanctioned and we are very resolute about this. We have the antimoney laundry, we have the terrorism prevention laws, Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act that codifies all the sanctions and penalties that will be imposed.

“This is about Nigeria. The majority of Kenyans prefer cashless payment and why not Nigerians? We appeal for understanding. This is about the future of this country.”

Musa Itopa Jimo, Director, Payments System Management Department of the CBN in his contribution said Nigerians still have full access to their money, contrary to the outrage that the policy infringes on the right of Nigerians to access their money.

Jimo said, “The CBN is not preventing you from taking your money. Your money is your money. If you go to a bank and you want to withdraw your money, you can withdraw it but we only put a threshold and there are other options you can withdraw your money.

“It is not only through cash that you can access your money. You can access your money in cash and in electronic form. A lot of Nigerians do electronic transactions.

“We started cashless policy since 2012. We used to have a regime where you practically beg a shop to get a POS or acce[pted payments. Today Business outlets are begging banks to come and deploy a POS terminal.”

He said the CBN wants to have accurate data about money supply and monetary aggregates.

Money market

FMDQ Exchange records 6.75% MoM decrease in secondary market turnover



By Sodiq Adelakun

In October, FMDQ Exchange reported a total secondary market turnover of N21.70 trillion, a decrease of 6.75 percent (N1.57 trillion) from the previous month and an increase of 60.27 percent (N8.16 trillion) from the same period last year.

The Spot and Derivatives Market contributed N20.48 trillion and N1.22 trillion respectively to the total turnover.

 The Spot FX Market turnover was $4.66 billion (N3.66 trillion), a decrease of 14.96 percent ($0.82 billion) from September 2023.

Further, the US Dollar appreciated against the Naira in the FX market, with the exchange rate ($/N) increasing by 5.34percent ($/N40.41) to close at an average of $/N797.43 in October 2023 from $/N757.02 recorded in September 2023, trading within a range of $/N741.85 – $/N993.82.

Similarly, in the Derivatives Market, total turnover in the FX Market segment was $1.55billion (N1.22trillion), representing a MoM decrease of 39.27percent ($1billion) from September 2023 figures.

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Money market

Naira’s floating exchange rate brings uncertainty for investment banking in Nigeria — Ex-AIHN president



The former President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria, Ike Chioke, has stated that the currency reforms implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria have brought about both challenges and opportunities for the investment banking industry.

Chioke made this statement at the Investment Banking Awards Night held in Lagos.

He further mentioned that the floating exchange rate of the naira and the elimination of fuel subsidies have had a significant impact on various sectors of the economy.

“Nigeria is bracing up to the impacts of the new government and they are already making changes to what I will call non-unorthodox policies. These policies had also introduced pain and hardship with the free-floating of the naira and removal of fuel subsidy forcing their weaknesses on various sectors of the economy,” he said.

Chioke added that despite the hiccups in the implementation of these reforms, they have thrown up major opportunities for investment banking.

He urged members to apply their best skills and expertise to make the best of the opportunities.

“As you know, the investment banking industry is a critical one for the Nigerian economy and we represent the best brains and the best expertise in that space,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Debt Capital Market Category of the award, Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited won the Private Company Bond House 2022 Award; Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award, and Best Bond House 2022 Award while the Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award went to StanbicIBTC Capital Limited.

In the Equity Capital Markets Category, the Equity Deal of 2022 Award was won by three companies- namely Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, UCML Capital, and Rand Merchant Bank.

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Money market

SMEs contribute 46.31% to Nigeria’s GDP — SMEDAN CEO



The Director General/CEO of SMEDAN, Charles Odili, has highlighted the significant contributions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the Nigerian economy.

According to Odili, SMEs make up 46.31 percent of the national GDP and contribute 6.21 percent to exports. These findings were revealed in the recent nMaSMEs survey, which estimated that there are approximately 39.6 million nMSMEs in Nigeria, employing 62.5 million individuals.

This accounts for a substantial 80.2 percent of the country’s labor force. In another development, 50 rural enterprises in Gombe State are participating in a three-day training program organized by SMEDAN and the Gombe State government.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, in Gombe on Wednesday, the Director General and Chief Executive of SMEDAN, Charles Odili said that the programme was designed to provide an end-to-end business development service to the rural entrepreneurs.

Charlie Odili, who was represented by the Ag. Director of Partnership and Coordination, Prof Adeyinka Fusha, also said that the training was targeted at business owners who were at the bottom of the pyramids as a supportive mechanism to enhance rural entrepreneurship, competitiveness, job creation and financial inclusion.

According to him, “As you may be aware, the Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (nMaSMEs) sub-sector has played an important role in contributing to the economic development of many countries around the world.

“The sub sector accounts for the majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also accounts for the highest number of jobs created in Nigeria’s economy.”

The DG also said that the training has three components, namely; sensitisation, capacity building and empowerment grant.

While declaring the training open, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said that the programme was timely, following the economic hardship in the country.

“The programme would contribute to the economic development of the state and the country at large,” the Governor said.

Inuwa Yahaya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, office of the SSG, Alhaji Abdulkadir Adamu, appreciated SMEDAN and reiterated the government’s commitment to work with it for more opportunities for rural businesses.

He also said that the state government had organised an investment summit which attracted many investors into the state, saying, “This may not be unconnected with the business friendly environment of the state.”

In his remarks, Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Nasiru Mohammed, said that the training would enable the rural enterprise to acquire the needed business techniques as well as empower them with knowledge and skills.

He further said that Governor Inuwa Yahaya had empowered over 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in the state and also established 1,000 hectares of land Industrial park to serve as an export processing zone.

He said, “This is a platform that will attract domestic and foreign investors to come and invest.”

He commended SMEDAN for organising the training and also encouraged the participant to be attentive, learn the techniques that will improve their businesses.

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