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Naira Crunch: CBN Monetary Policies Best For Nigeria Economy – Obaseki



Despite criticism, pains and suffering in accessing the naira, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Monday insisted that the Central Bank of Nigeria, monetary policies of Godwin Emefiele’s towards a cashless economy remain the right decision for the nation’s economy.

The Governor, however, called for more enlightenment and patience on the path of Nigerians, even as he urged the apex bank to ensure the availability of naira notes for the citizenry whom he said are going through pains in getting money to spend.

The Governor spoke shortly after he summoned a meeting with senior officials of the CBN and senior management staff of banks in Government House Benin on the difficulty of the people in accessing cash.

He also appealed to the people to take advantage of ATMs, POS and bank wallets for transactions.

He said, “I had to invite the Central Bank and senior management of all the banks in Edo state to come and meet with me in the government house because government is very much concern about the plight and suffering of our people who are worried over the inability to get cash from the banking system in Edo state.

“Haven discussed extensively with the CBN and the bankers that the policy of moving the Nigeria economy to one of a cashless system should be encouraged. It is the best thing for our banking system so the Edo state government has no problem with the policy of the federal government to move our economy to a cashless one.

“However, we want to ensure we do this as painlessly as possible; we have to improve on the communication with our people to reduce their fear. When people go to banks to collect cash because they want to spend it on something, we want to help to inform them that they don’t need to collect cash to spend cash.

“We actually have other means to spend cash without going to the bank to collect cash. From Phones, payment can be made to whomever. For those who don’t have sophisticated phones, with USSID codes you can pay for things as small as N500 without spending cash. So when you go to POS terminals, don’t ask for cash, let them do for you what you want to use the cash for via transfer”.

Director, Risk Management of Central Bank, Blaise Ijebor said they are in Edo to ensure there is supply of naira to everyone on Edo state.

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“We are also here to encourage people to use alternative means to make their payment. If you are able to use your card, app or USSID to pay, you can even go to an ATM that doesn’t have cash to do your transfer from them.

“We are aware a number of ATMs are not paying. We are going to make sure that there is supply in a day or two, we have supply available through your bank branches to give some cash to use.”

He also added that there are monitoring teams going round working with EFCC and ICPC to check any illegal act or collusion with banks.


CBN Sells Fresh Dollars To BDCs At N1,021/$



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started fresh and direct sales of US dollars at N1,021 per dollar to Bureau De Change operators.

Nigeria’s apex bank disclosed this in a circular signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department Hassan Mahmud.

“We write to inform you of the sale of $10,000 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to BDCs at the rate of N1,021/$1. The BDCs are in turn to sell to eligible end users at a spread of NOT MORE THAN 1.5 percent above the purchase price,” the circular posted on its website read.

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“ALL eligible BDCs are therefore directed to commence payment of the Naira deposit to the underlisted CBN Naira Deposit Account Numbers from today, Monday, April 22, 2024, and submit confirmation of payment, with other necessary documentations, for disbursement of FX at the respective CBN Branches.”

CBN’s move is coming as the naira is recording a slight depreciation against the dollar after weeks of gains.

In late March, the bank also sold $10,000 to each of the eligible Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country at the rate of N1,251/$1.

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Like in the most recent sales, it warned BDCs against breaching terms of the dollar sales, vowing to sanction defaulters “including outright suspension from further participation in the sale”.

The fortunes of the naira have fallen sharply since President Bola Tinubu took over in May. Inflation figures have reached new highs and the cost of living hitting the rooftops.

Nigeria’s currency slid to about N1,900/$ some months ago at the parallel market. But in recent weeks, it has gained against the dollar.

The Nigerian authorities have also doubled down on their crackdown against cryptocurrency platform Binance and illegal BDCs.

On March 1, the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 BDCs over compliance failures.

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JUST IN: FirstBank Gets New MD/CEO



Olusegun Alebiosu has been appointed as the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank Group), effective April 2024.

Alebiosu steps into this pivotal role from his previous position as the Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer, and Executive Compliance Officer, a position he held since January 2022.

Alebiosu brings to the helm of FirstBank over 28 years of extensive experience in the banking and financial services industry. His expertise spans various domains including credit risk management, financial planning and control, corporate and commercial banking, agriculture financing, oil and gas, transportation, and project financing.

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Having embarked on his professional journey in 1991 with Oceanic Bank Plc. (now EcoBank Plc.), Alebiosu has held several notable positions in esteemed financial institutions.

Prior to joining FirstBank in 2016, he served as Chief Risk Officer at Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Chief Credit Risk Officer at the African Development Bank Group, and Group Head of Credit Policy & Deputy Chief Credit Risk Officer at United Bank for Africa Plc.

Alebiosu’s academic credentials further enrich his professional profile. He is an alumnus of the Harvard School of Government and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Additionally, he obtained a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, as well as a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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A distinguished member of various professional bodies, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA), Nigeria Institute of Management (ANIM), and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Alebiosu is renowned for his commitment to excellence and ethical practices in the banking sector.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Alebiosu is known for his passion for golf and adventure. He is happily married and a proud parent.

With Alebiosu’s appointment, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited anticipates continued growth and innovation under his leadership, reinforcing its position as a leading financial institution in Nigeria and beyond.


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CBN Gives New Directive On Lending In Real Estate



The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released a new regulatory directive to enhance lending to the real sector of the Nigerian economy.

The directive, issued on April 17, 2024, with reference number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/005 and signed by the Acting Director of Banking Supervision, Adetona Adedeji, signifies a notable shift in the bank’s policy towards a more contractionary approach.

In line with the new measures, the CBN has reduced the loan-to-deposit ratio by 15 percentage points, down to 50 per cent.

This move aligns with the CBN’s current monetary tightening policies and reflects the increase in the Cash Reserve ratio rate for banks.

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The LDR is a metric used to evaluate a bank’s liquidity by comparing its total loans to its total deposits over the same period, expressed as a percentage.

An excessively high ratio may indicate insufficient liquidity to meet unexpected fund requirements.

All Deposit Money Banks are now mandated to adhere to this revised LDR.

The CBN has stated that average daily figures will be utilised to gauge compliance with this directive.

Furthermore, while DMBs are encouraged to maintain robust risk management practices in their lending activities, the CBN has committed to continuous monitoring of adherence and will adjust the LDR as necessary based on market developments.

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Adedeji has called on all banks to acknowledge these modifications and adjust their operations accordingly. He emphasised that this regulatory adjustment is anticipated to significantly influence the banking sector and the wider Nigerian economy.

The circular read in part, “Following a shift in the Bank’s policy stance towards a more contractionary approach, it is crucial to revise the loan-to-deposit ratio policy to conform with the CBN’s ongoing monetary tightening.

“Consequently, the CBN has decided to decrease the LDR by 15 percentage points to 50 per cent, proportionate to the rise in the CRR rate for banks.

“All DMBs must maintain this level, and it is advised that average daily figures will still be applied for compliance assessment.

“While DMBs are urged to sustain strong risk management practices concerning their lending operations, the CBN will persist in monitoring compliance, reviewing market developments, and making necessary adjustments to the LDR. Please be guided accordingly.”

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