Banking and Finance

MPC Retains Lending Rate at 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has once again retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 14 per cent due to persistent uncertain economic conditions and high inflation.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this while briefing newsmen on outcome of the first MPC meeting for 2018 in Abuja yesterday.

He said the MPC members unanimously voted to retain the existing MPR and other monetary indices.

MPC Advised to Check High Lending Rates for Banks

The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyepere, has called on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to fix interest rates on bank loans to check the high rate by financial institutions.

Onyepere, who said this in an interview with reporters in Abuja, noted that this could be a solution to high lending rates by financial institutions, news agency Voice of Nigeria reports.

According to him, the CBN should ensure that commercial banks peg their lending rate not more than 400 basis points above the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).

Nigeria Ratifies Agreements with Singapore and Switzerland

Following the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), President Muhammadu Buhari has signed two instruments, ratifying agreements with Singapore and Switzerland.

The Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Republic of Singapore covers the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains.

Afreximbank Opens $800m Credit Lines for 55 Banks

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has opened credit lines amounting to $800 million in 55 banks across Africa to facilitate the confirmation of letters of credit to support intra-African trade.

Mr Obi Emekekwue, the bank’s Director and Global Head, Communications and Events Management Department, said that under the strategy launched in 2016, about $25 billion would be disbursed in support of intra-African trade during the five years ending in 2021.

Nigeria’s Economic Growth Outlook Positive after Recession

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that the country’s economic outlook for 2018 and beyond was positive.

Adeosun, disclosed this at the 4th Ogun State Investors Forum in Abeokuta, which had in attendance Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, former Mexican President, Mr. Felipe Calderone, and eminent persons and captains of industry, news agency Voice of Nigeria reports.

Nigeria Plans ₦54b Treasury Auction

Nigeria plans to raise 53.96 billion naira at a treasury auction on Wednesday after repaying the same amount of bills, with the aim of lowering its borrowing costs, traders said.

The debt office has said it would repay some treasury obligations in phases as they mature. It plans to repay 482 billion naira of treasury bills in the second quarter and half the amount it wants to raise between March and May.

Economist Warns FG on External Borrowings

An economist, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, yesterday described the nation’s debt stock of N21.73 trillion as worrisome and urged the Federal Government to stop external borrowing.

Tella, a professor of Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, expressed his views in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said that the current size of the country’s external debt was worrisome.

Foreign Exchange Market gets fresh $210m from Central Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected 210 million dollars into the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market, in its bid to sustain liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor in a statement said that the move would ensure the continuous availability of foreign exchange to customers.

Nigerian Banks Lose 2m Customers in 2 Years –Report

Despite Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) effort to promote financial inclusion, Nigerian banks lost over 2 million customers between 2016 and 2017.

According to statistics from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the number of active bank accounts also reduced by 1.5 million, dropping from 65 million to 63.5 million.

The statistics obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria from the NIBSS website on Sunday, showed that the total number of bank customers dropped from 61 million in 2016 to 59 million in 2017.

Nigeria Assures Businesses of Protection in Africa Free Trade

Nigeria would protect the interest of businesses in the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has said.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria after a meeting with a cross section of members of Organised Private Sector on AfCFTA in Abuja, that he convened the meeting to address some issues concerning AfCFTA.

The agreement, he said, would be signed at the meeting of Africa head of states on March 21 in Kigali, Rwanda.