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Ogun assures bankers of adequate security, urges reopening of financial institutions

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The Ogun State Government has assured bankers in the state of adequate protection while promising to continue to engage the Central BANK of Nigeria (CBN) and proffer lasting solutions to the issue of cash shortage.

The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser to the state government, Dr. Dapo Okubadejo, gave the assurance on Wednesday during a meeting with the Bankers Committee in his Oke Mosan, Abeokuta office.

This was a follow up on the meeting earlier held between the group and the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, where the Governor extracted commitment from the bankers to adequately dispense cash to the public.

Okubadejo, moved with the determination to address the scarcity of the naira notes, said the situation is hampering economic activities in the state and that the government is fully prepared to forestall any destruction of banking facilities.

With an assurance of improved security across all financial outlets, the CEA said the unfortunate incident involving the destruction of some banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) was as a result of frustration caused by the unavailability of cash to the citizenry.

He revealed that the State Governor  had earlier held a meeting with the Controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Ogun State, Mr Wahab Oseni.

Abiodun, he added, is concerned about the security of, not just the bankers, but of all lives and property, saying there are frantic efforts at ensuring the safety of every individual in the state.

Okubadejo reiterated that the State would continue to encourage peace and protect lives and property, charging residents of the State to exercise patience as the crisis would soon be a thing of the past, as well as desist from attacking banks and bankers.

Okubadejo, who also noted that the State is always ready to provide adequate security across the State, said the onus lies with the banks to furnish the populace with new naira notes.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated that it would give money to the various banks, so as a State, we are using this opportunity to appeal to the Bankers’ Committee to ensure that people have access to their funds, for the smooth running of economic activities across the State,” Okubadejo said.

He further highlighted the need for the state to be at the forefront of industrialisation, saying the State Government will continue to engage the CBN in order to deal with the current situation.

In his remarks, the leader of the Bankers’ Forum, Mr. Adeniran Oladele appreciated the State Government for its responsiveness, explaining that the meeting earlier called by the State Government with the CBN had positively reduced the impact of the crisis.

He revealed that the crisis was caused by misinformation which has led to the banks losing revenue as a result of the closure.

He advised on the aggressive sensitisation of the general populace on the availability of the naira notes, saying it will go a long way in reducing public unrest.

“Ogun State is known to be a very peaceful state mainly because of the Governor’s deliberate strategy, not only to engage the youth, but also to be pragmatic, responsive and responsible.”

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CIBN backs bank recapitalisation for enhanced economic growth

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has expressed support for the planned recapitalisation exercise for banks in the country.

Ken Opara, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, expressed this during the 2024 annual lecture of the institute on Tuesday in Lagos.

Opara said adequate liquidity within the banking system was fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

He said that the recapitalisation would further help banks to deepen liquidity and guarantee access to credit needed for economic growth and prosperity.

He said that CIBN and the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) had formed collaborations toward building capacity for the recapitalisation of banks.

Opara added that the institute was also collaborating with Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) for capacity building for SMEs, preparing them and building their capacity to access finance.

He called for more allocation of credit to the real sector, which was the foundation of the nation’s economic activities for increased liquidity.

Opara stressed the need for addressing challenges faced by the sector to enhance its competitiveness against foreign counterparts.

To resolve the challenges, he urged the government to improve further the ease of doing business and infrastructural development, such as power, roads, and rail networks.

The CIBN president also called for industrial centres where companies could co-habit and share common infrastructure,
harmonise and reduce the various taxes and levies, including locating them in a single hub.

He said the theme, “Improving Availability of Credit in the Nigerian Real Economy: The Critical Importance of Liquidity”, was timely to address current challenges in the nation.

“As we navigate the complexities of our current economic landscape, it has become increasingly evident that ensuring adequate liquidity within the banking system is fundamental to fostering sustainable economic growth and development.

“The real economy comprises the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and services sectors and serves as the tangible foundation of the nation’s economic activity.

“These sectors collectively represent the intricate web of goods and services that drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and enhance the overall standard of living.

“Despite the significant relevance of the real sector, access to credit for such key sectors compared to other climes is relatively low,” he said.

He said a survey conducted in more than 40 economies and released by Statista in 2024 revealed that nearly 141 trillion dollars worth of credit was lent to the real sector in advanced economies in the second quarter of 2022.

He added that the figures were twice as high as the volume of credit to the same sector in emerging markets.

He commended improvements in liquidity within Nigeria’s real sector but called for increased credit to sector, particularly agriculture.

“According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Net Domestic Credit stood at 66.4 trillion Naira as of December 2022, showcasing the substantial credit extended by financial institutions to the real sector of the economy.

“This figure experienced a significant surge to 96.1 trillion Naira by December 2023, highlighting the tremendous potential for growth and development in the real sector,” he said.

He listed credit volume allocated to the key sectors, saying the Agricultural sector had N5.8 trillion representing about six per cent of the total credit.

He said the manufacturing sector had N19.7 trillion, representing approximately 21 per cent of the total credit, while the services sector had N36 trillion, representing 37.4 per cent of the total credit.

“I humbly propose that we consider offering more credit to these key sectors and particularly the agriculture sector.

“It is for this reason, ladies and gentlemen, that the recapitalisation exercise is a welcome development.

“The recently announced upward review of the Minimum Capital Requirements of Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria would further empower banks to extend more credit to the economy’s productive sectors,” he said.

The Guest Speaker, Prof. Graham Penn, speaking on the theme, explained how other developed countries were leveraging on credit and the need for Nigeria to increase liquidity for economic prosperity.

Penn, a professor of International Finance Law at University College London, listed challenges and measures Nigerian banks, regulators and businesses could adopt to implement laws and regulations to facilitate true sale securitisation.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti to state govt

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says it has transfered regulatory oversight of electricity market in Ekiti State to the state Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EERB).
The commission said this in a statement posted on its website in Abuja on Tuesday.
The commission said the transfer was in compliance with the amended Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) and the Electricity Act 2023 (Amended).
The statement recalled that with the  Electricity Act (EA) 2023, the commission retains the role as central regulator with regulatory oversight on the inter-state and international generation, transmission, supply, trading and system operations.
According to the statement, the Act also mandates any state that intends to establish and regulate intrastate electricity markets to deliver a formal notification of its processes.
The statement also said that the state had to request NERC to transfer regulatory authority over electricity operations in the state to the state regulator.
”Based on this, the government of Ekiti complied with the conditions precedent in the laws, duly notified NERC and requested for the transfer of regulatory oversight of the intrastate electricity market in Ekiti.
”The commission in the Order made the following provisions: direct Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution (IBEDC) Company to incorporate a subsidiary (BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo).
”The two distribution companies are to assume responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Ekiti State from BEDC and IBEDC.
”BEDC and IBEDC shall complete the incorporation of BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo within 60 days from April 22.
”The sub companies shall apply for and obtain licences for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERB, among other directives,”it said
The commission said that all transfers envisaged by the Order shall be completed by October 22.
 NERC had also transfered regulatory oversight of the Enugu electricity market to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
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Minister summons Lead British Int. School over bullying allegation

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The Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday summoned Lead British International School, Abuja over an alarming viral online video regarding alleged bullying incidents at the school.
At the meeting held in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, emphasised government’s steadfast stance against any form of harassment or intimidation within educational institutions.
The delegation from the school to the meeting was led by Mr Abraham Ogunkanmbi, Head of School.
Sununu expressed deep concern over the circulated video.and assured that government would take decisive actions to forestall reoccurrence in any institution of learning.
The minister appointed a seven-member committee to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the documented incidents.
The committee’s mandate, he said, was to investigate the events as depicted in the videos and come up with expanded investigation to other schools, using Lead British International School as a case study, to address broader social vices.
Sununu underscored the importance of establishing stronger bonds between school authorities and students.
He said such bond would facilitate immediate responses to similar incidents in the future., emphasising the critical role of communication in resolving such issues.
The minister assured Nigerian of the government’s commitment to ensuring safety and protecting the rights of all students.
He, also reiterated the seriousness of the  ministry in addressing and eradicating vices within the education sector.
Contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, inquired about the existence of an anonymous suggestion box at the school, where students could lodge their complaints discreetly.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Ogunkanmbi said the school had launched investigations into the unfortunate incidence.
He assured the ministry that appropriate measures would be taken in response to the incidents, including disciplinary actions in accordance with the school’d policies.
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