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PRAN Supports Bank Staff Salaries Rationalisation

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The proactive Shareholder Association of Nigeria (PRAN) has applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive to banks to rationalise staff salaries saying it would help reduce unnecessary expenses.

National coordinator at the association, Taiwo Aderinde said this last week in Lagos while responding to questions from media representative. He warned that there is no need for downsising in the banking sub-sector, saying that staff salaries should be at reasonably level. According to him, salaries of most bank executive are outrageous and considering the present economic and financial crisis, there is need to review their salaries so as to avoid liquidity problem and to equally project healthy balance sheets.”

He disclosed that since the coming of the financial crisis, organisations and individuals have cut down their expenses and that the issue of banks reviewing staff salaries should not be overemphasized because it is a necessary option, speaking further he maintained that the CBN governor has a genuine intention for the common people. He is a revolutionary who is fighting a war that I know would benefit the market. My prayer is that he does not derail because he has our backing, “ he added.

The CBN governor does not have a northern agenda, noting that his reform polices are for the good of the economy and the nation at large Taiwo said. He however pleaded that the CBN governor should be supported by all stakeholder to enjoy a sound and safe banking institution.

It would be recalled that CBN in its recent memo to the managing directors and Chief executive offices of the embattled banks, directed among other things to reduce executive and other staff emoluments by at least 30 per- cent and submit an action plan for branch and staff rationalisation (reduction) in order to utilise some hidden economics of scale in the bank’s operation.

This directives is said to have given impetus to new policies that penciled down thousands of workers for retrenchment.

Industry sources have, however expressed concerns that while government all over the world work hard to encourage employment and are measured by the number of jobs created, the current reforms in the Nigerian banking industry encourage chief executives to sack workers with impunity.

Elijah Segun, general secretary NUBIFE, described as unfortunate the reform process that could lead to mass sack in banks. According to him, “this has been our predicament in the banking industry. Workers are usually at the receiving end of any reform. No matter the nature of any reform, at the end of the day, you will discover that the workers are the victims. When they recapitalized, we were at the receiving end. They are now sanitising, and we are also at the receiving end, despite the fact that we are not privy in the perpetration of the so-called atrocity in the industry so it is very unfortunate that it is happening this way.

Jarus Erhemosele, secretary general ASSBIF while responding also pleaded with the CBN governor to tread the path of caution in his management’s action in the banks. 

At the last count, at least 1,000 workers within the rank of banking officers and above in two banks (one cleared as healthy and the other rescued) alone were either sacked or asked to resign in the last two weeks.

This figure excludes the thousands reportedly penciled down for sack in the other 22 healthy and troubled banks still grappling with economic crisis. Meanwhile the federal government had reportedly asked Sanusi Lamido CBN Governor to intervene and put an end to arbitrary retrenchments in most of the banks, especially the eight rescued ones.

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CBN Retains Lending Rate At 11.5%

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent.
Disclosing this during a briefing after the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year held in Abuja yesterday, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also stated parameters left unchanged.
According to the apex bank boss, other parameters left unchanged are the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
While announcing the committee’s decision, Emefiele said, “after a careful balancing of the benefits and the downside risks of the policy options, the MPC decided to hold all parameters constant”.
He said this is “believing that a whole stance will enable the continuous permeation of current policy measures in supporting the recorded growth recovery and further boost production and productivity, which will ultimately rein in inflation in the short to medium term”.
“The MPC”, he continued, “thus decided by a unanimous vote, the MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”

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NARTO Urges FG To Complete Mile 2 Port Access Rd

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A chieftain of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa Mohammed, has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the reconstruction of the Mile 2 – Tincan Island Port Road to ease the hardship encountered on the road by commuters and truckers.
Mohammed, who made the call recently, noted that the completion of the reconstruction work on the road was one of the major expectations of the entire maritime stakeholders which was never met in 2021.
“They have to pay attention to the completion of the reconstruction work and make sure that they create enabling environment for the exporters, and also to make sure that the shipping lines do the needful by providing holding bays where trucks can freely go and discharge their empty containers.
“We urge the government to create an enabling environment. If those things are there and the enforcement team is doing what they should do with the Eto, things will get better.
“But we know now that we are having global challenge because about 65% of import has dropped but we know it’s a global challenge. There’s scarcity of containers globally”, he said.
While emphasizing that the Federal Government did a lot last year to encourage export trade, he, however, expressed regret that the system put in place by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which they thought could have been improved for the exporters, the farmers as well as miners to enjoy was lagging behind.
“If you recall, last year, so many exporters lost their investment because of poor handling and poor facility which resulted to the rejection of some of the items exported by the receiving countries, which is not good for the country.
“So, we do expect that government should pay more attention to see that anything that will disturb the movement of export goods is being taken care of to create an enabling environment for exporters to export their goods”, he stated.
Mohammed, however, called on the Federal Government to de-emphasize tariff increments, adding that it’s not by increasing tariffs, irresponsible revenue drive and creating hardship for the citizens that it would improve the state of the economy, but by fixing charges that would be pocket friendly both to the importers and exporters so as to cushion the hardship on the citizens.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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FG To Convert 200,000 Vehicles To Autogas … Plans 580 Refuelling Centres

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The Federal Government (FG) says it has perfected plans for the full deployment of autogas in filling stations and the conversion of 200,000 commercial vehicles to run on gas this year.
This was disclosed in a meeting with oil marketers in the downstream sector convened by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in Abuja.
The meeting in which government unveiled the 2022 Framework for the deployment of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas, popularly called autogas) in Nigeria, had in attendance Senior officials of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, as well as other key players in the downstream sector.
At the meeting, Sylva told his guests that the government was out to ensure that it made available the alternatives required before the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), stressing that the deployment of autogas was one of such key alternatives.
He also stated that the government would be supporting them with 50 per cent of the conversion kits to fast-track the process, adding that additional support as required would be given, going forward.
“We said we must provide alternative fuel and the alternative that we concluded on was the autogas alternative. To provide it for our people,” the Minister said.
He continued that “Since this agreement between us (government and marketers), a lot of work has been going on and we have come to a certain point where we need to take it further. But we cannot move further without ensuring that you as our partners are fully on board.”
In the framework, the government explained that with abundant gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet, a population of about 200 million people, and the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act, which eliminated the continuous absorption of petrol subsidy, it was now vital to deploy autogas.
The goverent stated that its priority now was the rapid and strategic introduction of Natural Gas Vehicles as an alternative fuel for transportation in Nigeria in line with the approved National Gas Policy.
“This will pave the pathway to full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector in Nigeria, while reducing the effect of deregulation on transportation costs,” the document read in part.
It added that  “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources was charged with the responsibility to provide autogas (LPG, CNG, LNG) as an alternative and competitive fuel for mass transportation
“CNG was selected as the fuel of choice because it holds a comparative advantage due to its ease of deployment, its comparatively lower capital requirements, commodity’s supply stability, existing in-country volumes, and local market commercial structure which relies predominantly on the naira.
“Hence a single track CNG deployment is proposed in the initial phase and other alternatives can be considered as the market attains maturity.”
Three implementation options were highlighted in the document, as the government stated that in the first option, its target was to convert one million public transport vehicles and install 1,000 refueling centres within 36 months.
For the first 18 months it targets to achieve 500,000 conversions and 580 refueling centres supplied by five Original Equipment Manufacturers, among other targets.
In the plan, the government targets to convert 200,000 commercial vehicles this year, including tricycles, cars, mini-buses and large buses.
The cities captured in Phase 1 of the project include Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Niger, and Rivers.
Cities under Phase 2 were listed as Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Osun, Ekiti, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Cross River, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Plateau. For Phase 3 cities, they were listed as Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Benue and Ebonyi.

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