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CBN Governor unfolds five-year agenda, targets increased financial inclusion, bank recapitalisation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Monday unfolded the policy direction of his new five years tenure, promising to facilitate access to financial services to 95 per cent eligible Nigerians by 2024.

Mr Emefiele, who acknowledged much was still left to be achieved from a similar agenda set in July 5, 2014, due to various challenges, said he was confident the bank will meet the expectations of Nigerians in the next five years.

He reviewed the achievements and challenges of the CBN in his first tenure, saying with increased consultation and cooperation with the fiscal authorities and other interest groups, the agenda will be realised.

The vision of the bank under his management for the next five years, he said, will be to work closely with the fiscal authorities to target a double digit growth; bring down inflation to single digit; and accelerate the rate of employment.

“Put succinctly, our priorities at the CBN over the next five years are the following; First, preserve domestic macroeconomic and financial stability; Second, foster the development of a robust payments system infrastructure that will increase access to finance for all Nigerians thereby raising the financial inclusion rate in the country; Third, continue to work with the Deposit Money Banks to improve access to credit for not only small holder farmers and MSMEs but also consumer credit and mortgage facilities for bank customers. Our intervention support shall also be extended to our youth population who possess entrepreneurship skills in the creative industry,” Mr Emefiele said.

He said the CBN during the period will encourage the Deposit Money Banks to direct more focus in supporting the education sector, grow the country’s external reserves, and support efforts at diversifying the economy through CBN intervention programmes in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

On macro-economic stability, he said over the next five years, emphasis would be on supporting improved gross domestics product (GDP) growth and greater private sector investment.

According to him, the CBN intends to leverage monetary policy tools in supporting a low inflation environment, while seeking to maintain stability in our exchange rate.

He said decisions by the Monetary Policy Committee on inflation and interest rates will be dependent on insights generated from data on key economic variables.

Also, he said the CBN would also strive to continue to sustain a positive interest rate regime.

Monetary policy measures, he said. will be geared towards containing inflationary pressure and supporting improved productivity in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

To bring down the cost of food items, which have considerable weight in the Consumer Price Index basket, Mr Emefiele said the bank will work with other interest groups towards that objective.

“Our ultimate objective is to anchor the public’s inflation expectation at single digits in the medium to long run.

“We believe a low and stable inflationary environment is essential to the growth of our economy because it will help support long term planning by individuals and businesses,” he said.

On Exchange Rate Stability, Mr Emefiele said the bank will continue to operate a managed float exchange rate regime, to reduce the impact the continuous volatility in the exchange rate could have on the country’s economy.

He the CBN will support measures to increase and diversify Nigeria’s exports base and ultimately help in shoring up the country’s foreign reserves.

Nigeria, he said, remains committed to a free trade regime that is mutually beneficial; but, particularly aimed at supporting our domestic industries and creating jobs on a mass scale for Nigerians.

Consequently, he said, the CBN intends to aggressively implement its N500 billion financial support facility to boost the growth of the non-oil exports and improve non-oil export earnings.

To achieve Financial System Stability, Mr Emefiele said a resilient and stable financial system was imperative for continued growth of the country’s economy given the intermediation role of a financial institutions, to support the needs of individuals and businesses.

“In the next five years, we intend to pursue a programme of recapitalising the banking Industry to position Nigerian banks among the top 500 in the world.

“Banks will therefore be required to maintain higher levels of capital, as well as liquid assets in order to reduce the impact of an economic crisis on the financial system,” he said.

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Nigerians ‘spent N3 billion in cinemas for first half of 2019’

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Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

The year opened with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and ‘Up North’ sitting on the top three of the chart, with estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.

The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when ‘Glass’ debuted at number one with ‘Aquaman’ taking second place and ‘Chief Daddy’, third booting ‘Up North’ to fourth place.

This led to combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to N77.2 million as January closed with Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ kicking ‘Chief Daddy’ to fourth place.

NAN reports that earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of N291.8 million.

Top spots were alternated between ‘Alita’, ‘Cold Pursuit’, ‘What Men Want’, ‘Escape Room’ and ‘The UpSide’.

By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.

‘What Men Want’, ‘Alita’, ‘Hire A Woman’, ‘She Is’, ‘Us’ and ‘Babymamas’ enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvel’s flick ‘Captain Marvel’.

At the beginning of April, ‘HellBoy’, ‘Shazam’, ‘Little’ and ‘Us’ continued to share the top spot with ‘Captain Marvel’ until the release of the much anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

NAN also reports that with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.’

The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to (a) major boost from Disney’s ‘Endgame’.

In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With ‘Endgame’, ‘The Intruder’ and ‘Longshot’, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.

The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.

The numbers picked up in June with ‘John Wick’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Aladdin’ leading the numbers. They were supported by ‘Anna’, ‘Men In Black’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Bling Lagosians’.

June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.

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Go Cashless This Summer With FirstBank Visa Multi Currency Card

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has introduced the Visa Multi Currency Card, an All-in One-Card and first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in Nigeria. This card can be linked to all of four currencies namely: NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts.

With the Visa Multi-Currency card, FirstBank customers – within and outside Nigeria – can now enjoy the luxury of having their local and foreign denominated accounts in any currency, linked to a single Debit card. The Visa Multi-Currency Card is designed to ease the daily cashless transactional needs of customers regardless of where they are across the world. 

Amongst the many benefits of the Visa Multi-Currency card are Point of Sale and Online purchases, access to and use of ATMs worldwide. There is no cash collateral requirement prior to its issuance.

Speaking on the card launch, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Product said “FirstBank takes pride in pioneering the Visa Multi Currency Card in the country, as we remain committed to providing products and services that are designed to ensure the banking convenience of our customers regardless of their location.”

“This card is designed to make traveling fun for our customers and ensure they have a seamless transaction experience during their vacation, tourism and other business-related trips around the globe”, he concluded. 

Traveling abroad for summer, walk into any FirstBank branch today for your Visa Multi Currency Card.

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NSE Suspends Airtel Africa Listing

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The planned listing of Airtel Africa Plc on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been postponed.

The exercise was suspended as a result of the failure of the telecommunications company to meet pre-listing requirements.

Yesterday, Business Post reported that Airtel Africa failed to attract at least 300 institutional and high-net worth individual investors, one of the major requirements needed for joining the stock exchange.

The NSE, which confirmed suspension of the listing today, however, did not make it clear when the company would be admitted. It only promised to provide further communication on the issue when all the conditions for the listing in its market had been met.

“The cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc has been postponed from the scheduled date of Friday, July 5, 2019.

“This postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the company meets all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on the NSE.

“However, the facts before the listing event will hold as planned at 11.00 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2019,” the statement said.

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