The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Wednesday, continued its intervention in the internet-bank segment of foreign exchange market as it injected another $210 million.

According to the CBN, authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market got $100m, while those in the Small and Medium Enterprises segment were offered $55m.

Similarly, customers purchasing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance, among others, were offered $55m.

Confirming this, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said that the CBN would continue to ensure the availability of foreign exchange in order to ensure continued stability in the markets.

The apex had last week Thursday intervened in the retail secondary market sales segment with $254.8m and CNY34.8m.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has thrown its weight behind the planned increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Federal Government.

The Organisation also encouraged the country look into increasing other forms of taxes, from non oil revenues, as a means of raising more funds.

This was disclosed on Wednesday in a press release after the conclusion of the IMF Executive Board 19 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria.

The Executive Directors said with 2.5 percent in the medium term, and with population growing at a faster rate, growth per capital will be less than zero percent.

The statement read in part, ‘’They welcomed the authorities’ tax reform plan to increase non-oil revenue, including through tax policy and administration measures.

‘’They stressed the importance of strengthening domestic revenue mobilization, including through additional excises, a comprehensive VAT reform, and elimination of tax incentives. Securing oil revenues through reforms of state owned enterprises and measures to improve the governance of the oil sector will also be crucial.’’

 

It also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop its direct intervention in the foreign exchange market.

“They stressed the importance of strengthening domestic revenue mobilization, including through additional excises, a comprehensive VAT reform, and elimination of tax incentives.

“Directors highlighted the importance of shifting the expenditure mix toward priority areas. They welcomed, in this context, the significant increase in public investment but underlined the need for greater investment efficiency.

“They also recommended increasing funding for health and education. They noted that phasing out implicit fuel subsidies while strengthening social safety nets to mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable would help reduce the poverty gap and free up additional fiscal space.”

The Directors also emphasized the need to strengthen governance, transparency, and anti-corruption initiatives, including by enhancing AML/CFT and improving accountability in the public sector.

‘’Directors also recommended establishing a credible time bound recapitalization plan for weak banks and a timeline for phasing out the state backed asset management company AMCON,’’ part of the release stated.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is set to device a new means of liquidity management in order to reduce associated expenses.

The Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services at the CBN, Mr. Edward Adamu, stated this on Wednesday when he presented the 2019 budget proposal of the apex bank on behalf of the bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele to the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency.

Adamu, who gave a summary of all the vote heads and commitments of the bank for 2019, explained that the bank remained committed to sustaining stability in the financial system, in addition to pushing policies that would continue to engender growth in the Nigerian economy.

The Chairman of the committee, Jones Onyereri, acknowledged the efforts of the CBN at managing liquidity, urging the apex bank to do more by further enlightening members on the dynamics of liquidity management.

Figures made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have shown that the country’s foreign exchange reserve has hit a six months high at $44.14 billion as at Thursday.

The external reserves have gained over $1.8bn since February 28, when it dropped to its 2019 low of $42.296bn.

The reserves had risen slightly from $43.116bn on December 31, 2018, to $43.174bn on January 31, 2019, only to fall to $42.296bn at the end of last month.

It would be recalled that the external reserves rose to a high of $47.865bn on May 10, 2018. It however plunged to $41.523bn on November 22 from $44.305bn on September 28.

This is coming just as the United States’ President, Donald Trump’s tweet cussed another price upset in the crude oil market.

Trump had on Thursday, called for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost oil production to lower the price of the commodity.

“[it is] very important that OPEC increase the flow of oil. World markets are fragile; price of oil getting too high. Thank you!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Immediately after the tweet, the US crude oil futures fell by more than $1 to $58.33 a barrel and Brent futures were down by more than $1 to a session low of $66.76 per barrel, News reported.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has estimated that the country’s inflationary rate will rise to 12 percent and thereafter moderate.

The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele stated this on Thursday in Lagos at the Businessday post election economic agenda conference, adding that the apex bank would also keep the current monetary policy stance of the bank.

“The CBN has set the post-election agenda for the nation’s monetary policy, projecting that the current monetary policy stance of the bank is expected to continue while inflation is estimated to rise to 12 per cent and moderate thereafter,” he said.

The inflation rate is currently put at 11.31 percent for February, according to statistics from the CBN and the National Bureau of Statistics.

 

Hinging the monetary policy stance of the bank on rising inflation expectations, the CBN governor however noted that the bank would adjust the policy rate in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks, adding that the bank would continue in its drive to ensure that the policy interest rate was set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilisation.

Emefiele, who disclosed that the apex bank based the inflationary projection on productivity gains in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, said the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, was expected to pick up in the first half of the current year owing largely to the continued efforts at driving indigenous production in high-impact real sector activities.

Speaking on the bank’s foreign exchange rate policy, Emefiele said the CBN, in spite of expected pressures from the volatility in the crude oil markets, would maintain its stable exchange rate over the next year.

“Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market, given increased oil production and contained import bill,” he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has estimated that the country’s inflationary rate will rise to 12 percent and thereafter moderate.
 
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele stated this on Thursday in Lagos at the Businessday post election economic agenda conference, adding that the apex bank would also keep the current monetary policy stance of the bank.
 
“The CBN has set the post-election agenda for the nation’s monetary policy, projecting that the current monetary policy stance of the bank is expected to continue while inflation is estimated to rise to 12 per cent and moderate thereafter,” he said.
 
The inflation rate is currently put at 11.31 percent for February, according to statistics from the CBN and the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
 
Hinging the monetary policy stance of the bank on rising inflation expectations, the CBN governor however noted that the bank would adjust the policy rate in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks, adding that the bank would continue in its drive to ensure that the policy interest rate was set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilisation.
 
Emefiele, who disclosed that the apex bank based the inflationary projection on productivity gains in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, said the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, was expected to pick up in the first half of the current year owing largely to the continued efforts at driving indigenous production in high-impact real sector activities.
 
Speaking on the bank’s foreign exchange rate policy, Emefiele said the CBN, in spite of expected pressures from the volatility in the crude oil markets, would maintain its stable exchange rate over the next year.
 
“Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market, given increased oil production and contained import bill,” he said.
 
Access Bank Plc. said on Monday that a five-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured N15 billion Green Bond, the first climate bond to be issued in Africa, had been fully subscribed.
 
The bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated this at the bond-signing ceremony in Lagos.
 
Green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects. It is typically asset-linked and backed by the issuer’s balance sheet, and are also referred to as climate bonds
 
Wigwe said that the Green Bond offer was achieved by way of Book Building, a systematic process of generating, capturing, and recording investor demand for shares during an initial public offering (IPO), or other securities during their issuance process.
 
This is in order to support efficient price discovery.
 
He said that the bond, priced at a coupon of 15.5 per cent, had participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.
 
Wigwe said that the bank supported the global climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda and was seeking to promote responsible green lending globally.
 
According to him, the Green Bond issuance demonstrates the bank’s commitment to sustainable operational practices, being a pioneer operator both in domestic and international capital markets.
 
He added that the bank viewed the global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing as an opportunity to raise capital for the creation of assets through climate change financing.
 
Wigwe maintained that the bank had a strong track record of deploying environmental and social risk management tools as well as working closely with local and international agencies to deliver a greener outcome from investing activities.
 
“With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations.
 
“We are confident that this issue with further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives whilst simultaneously supporting the bank’s customer towards realising growth opportunities in fast-developing low carbon economy,” Wigwe said.
 
He noted that the new funding would be directed toward financing new loans and refinancing existing loans in accordance with the bank’s Green Bond Framework, and support projects directed at flood defense, solar generation facilities, and agriculture.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday revealed plans to bar criminals from opening bank accounts in the country.
 
This was disclosed at the end of a meeting between the agencies held at the Head Office of the CBN in Abuja.
 
According to the the Director, Corporate Communications of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, the strategy was adopted to curtail unwholesome activities of economic saboteurs including smuggling of commodities like rice, textile materials, fertiliser, wheat and other items on the prohibition list.
 
The two agencies also aim to monitor foreign exchange access through official window, as well as tracking illicit financial flows and improving on the level of information-sharing and surveillance of the financial sector.
 
The bodies also agreed to collaborate in tracking anti-money laundry and the monitoring of politically exposed persons in the country.
 
The inter-agency meeting was chaired by the Director, Governors’ Department of the CBN, Mr Jeremiah Abue.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria (FIRS) has disclosed that a total of N12.62 trillion was generated as revenue from  2016 to 2018.
 
This was revealed in a document made available to newsmen by the Head of Communications and Servicom Department of the agency, Wahab Gbadamosi.
 
N3.3 trillion was generated in 2016, N4.02 trillion in 2017 and N5.32 trillion was realised in 2018, making it the highest revenue generated in the last three years.
 
The document stated that this was made possible as a result of several initiatives designed by the agency to ensure a robust tax administration that is beneficial to all stakeholders.
 
It explained that non-oil tax revenue increased to N2.149 trillion in 2016, N2.5 trillion in 2017 and N2.852 trillion in 2018.
 
The document quoted the Executive Chairman of the agency, Babatunde Fowler saying the achievement was a reflection of the diversification of the Nigerian economy by the Federal Government.
 
“This does not mean that we have left behind the oil tax revenues. It grew from N1.15 trillion in 2016 to N1.52 trillion in 2017 and N2.52trillion in 2018. Non-oil tax revenue is still over in excess of the oil tax revenue.
 
“We also do collect four per cent in terms of cost of collection but only for non-oil revenue collected. On oil revenue collection, we do not get any commission and we have been able to make sure that our services are more efficient and convenient to taxpayers.
 
“This has brought about a considerable reduction in the cost of collection of actual taxes.
 
“In 2016, it was 2.6 per cent, 2017, 2.49 per cent and 2018, 2.14 per cent, meaning that our actual cost of collection is heading downwards based on the efficiency and technology that we are deploying to tax collection.
 
“Some of the ICT initiatives that we have continued to build on are the e-payment channels which make it convenient and easy to pay taxes anywhere in the world and to also download receipts of payment from any point one so desires,” he said.
 
The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) has said that the volume of fraud in Nigerian banks increased to N25 billion in the last five years.
 
This was disclosed by the Protem President of the institute, Dr. Victoria Enape in Abuja on Friday at the opening of intensive training for forensic and investigative auditors.
 
She noted that the training had become necessary going by the global acknowledgment of corruption in most government and financial institution and its (corruption) rejection by the United Nation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
 
“Government at all levels are losing billions of Naira every day and most of these criminal cases bordering on fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes are partly because there are no forensic and investigative auditors in Nigeria to prevent fraud from taking place.
 
“The place of training of forensic and investigative auditors cannot be overemphasised because the whole world has embraced this current trend years ago which has assisted them in the fight against fraud.
 
“Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors is an anti-fraud organisation, saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology to prevent, detect and investigate fraud of all kinds.
 
“The Institute also has mechanism to block illicit financial flows in the country; it therefore becomes indispensable in Nigeria if Nigerians and the future generation must experience peace and economic development,” Enape said.
 
Enape noted that scandalous collapses, financial loses, loss of employment, investment and investors, loss of earnings and means of livelihood are some of the consequential social dislocations and risks of corruption and fraud.
 
According to her, fraud and corruption weakened the institutional capacity of governments and organisations as well as impedes trade and investment.
 
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