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CBN Explains Challenges In Monetary, Fiscal Sector

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says excess volatility in exchange rates creates uncertainty and risk for economic agents and has devastating effects on macro economics.
Mr Moses Tule, Director, Monetary Policy Department, Mr. Moses Tule said this at a three-day National Treasury Workshop organised by Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation  in Abuja, yesterday.
He spoke on “ Issues, challenges and opportunities in managing Nigeria’s monetary and fiscal sector”.
represented by Mr Jibrin Musa of same department, he said that maintaining relatively stable exchange rate was critical for both internal and external balance and growth of the economy.
“Another key challenge to the indirect implementation of monetary policy is the unreliability of forecasts for fiscal revenue and expenditure.
“This is largely attributed to volatile oil output and price which is the major contributor of fiscal revenues.
“ Consequently, fiscal operations become largely irresponsive to traditional liquidity management approaches,” he said.
According to him, the state of the existing payment system infrastructure is another challenge to liquidity management in Nigeria.
He said that existing infrastructure had limited reach, depth and credibility, adding that bank branch and population ratio were inadequate for effective flow of liquidity in the Nigerian economy.
“ The financial system in Nigeria is largely structured along the dividing lines of urban and rural and formal and informal dichotomy.
“This, in addition to low level of financial literacy, impedes the responsiveness of market-based liquidity management initiatives,” he added.
He noted that the apex bank, in spite of the challenges, had constantly fine-tuned operations of the financial system, to ensure that it provided a platform for the transmission of monetary policy.
This, he said, brought about improvement in the inter bank and foreign exchange markets and thus, created competition among banks.
“it also includes reaching the population in rural areas that previously had no access to banking services through financial literacy advocacy, cashless policy, mobile and agent banking framework.
“This helps to spread technology and financial services to non-banked areas,” he said
He added that CBN was developing appropriate macroeconomic policy coordination platform that would ensure that government’s cash management was consistent with the CBN’s overall liquidity management.
On challenges with the fiscal sector, he said oil price slump and threat to fiscal revenues; fiscal leakages, insecurity, infrastructure gaps and uncooperative attitude of tax payers were major challenges.
“ In Nigeria, there is widespread apathy towards the payment of tax, particularly in situations where the tax payer is expected to file such returns himself.
“The Pay-As-You-Go system has greatly enhanced tax collection among corporate organisation’s and a few registered businesses.
“This situation is worse in the large informal sector where enormous tax revenues could be obtained but has not been adequately captured in formal records,” he said
In spite these challenges, he said that there were avenues that could be used to tackle the root causes.
This, he said, included CBN and Ministry of Finance enhanced collaboration to devise newer ways to achieve efficient utilisation of government deposits.
He added that in collaborating, it should be ensured that government borrowing did not crowd out private sector.
He further said that the monetary and fiscal authorities should create a technical committee on macroeconomic management to agree on common macroeconomic objectives and forecast of key macroeconomic variables for policy decisions.

Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon Chuma C. Chinye (left) presenting an award to the Vice Chairman, Moni Pulo, Mrs Seinye Lulu Briggs, during Garden City Corporate Awards, organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Port Harcourt.                                                                               Photo: Egberi Sampson

Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon Chuma C. Chinye (left) presenting an award to the Vice Chairman, Moni Pulo, Mrs Seinye Lulu Briggs, during Garden City Corporate Awards, organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Port Harcourt. Photo: Egberi Sampson

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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