The National Association of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria (NAMFBIN) has concluded plans to change its name to the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBS).
The move would enable it to improve on grassroots empowerment for low income earners and help poor people in the country.
The President of NAMFBIN Olutayo Adenekan, told newsmen last week after the association’s monthly meeting in Lagos that with the new name, Microfinance Banks (MFBS) would be better positioned to gain more financial support from apex bank.
According to him, “arrangements had been completed for the establishment of a new umbrella body. Many MFBs refused to join NAMFBIN because they said that it was established by owners of the defunct community bank but with this, there would be improved integration of more MFBs in the association”.
He said that the CBN has decided to organise all the MFBs in the country under the NAMBs, to enable it harmonise their operations. Adding that, the new body would enable the CBN to further assist MFBs in various ways.
Adenekan further noted that the new association would eliminate disunity among MFBs operators and also enable the CBN assist MFBs with some intervention funds. He said that the capacity building programmes now being floated by the CBN will offer numerous advantages to the banks.
He disclosed that the major challenges in the sector for now are in staff recruitment but with the amalgamation, MFBs will be better able to set standards for staff recruitment.
Sanusi Lamido, CBN governor disclosed this recently at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. He said that the CBN is considering outsourcing the supervision of MFBs in the country to a private firm in view of inadequate personnel.
According to him “the major challenges of the MFBs in Nigeria are that of administration but we are currently working out modalities to address the issue.”
In a similar development, Williams Ogunba, deputy director of financial Institutions Department (OFID) informed that CBN would no longer compromise improper and untimely rendition of statutory returns from MFBs to the apex bank.
According to him, “The manufacturing sector needs funding, it needs tariff regime that supports its course and above all, the sector needs power to enhance its productivity. The banks were supposed to have channeled funds towards the sector, but unfortunately, had diverted such money to the oil and gas industry and the capital market, which is currently witnessing serious downturn.”
He said that though there was need to create an enabling environment for the banks to operate, he stressed that the ongoing banking reforms would shore up the sector, adding that “it is not possible for the banking sector to lose 25 per cent of its equity and the economy is expected to thrive. Growth is a fiscal phenomenon.”
Sanusi, who said the banks have taken a disproportionae steps towards the manufacturing sector, informed that Nigeria’s inflation is expected to fall below 10 per cent in December, down from the 10.4 percent reported in September, adding that if this is achieved, coupled with the relative peace in the Niger Delta, there should be increased development in the manufacturing sector.
On the report that more foreign lines coming to the country have been stopped as a result of the measures taken by the apex bank against erring financial institutions, the CBN governor said: “Not a single correspondent bank has shut its line against Nigerian banks. Infact, a Commerce bank has just increased its lines to Nigeria”.
He stressed that finance remained the ban of the manufacturing sector, noting that finance is just one component of the real sector.
According to him, “CBN will no longer accept such irregularities because it disrupts proper documentations and any MFBs caught will be punished under the CBN Act.
Most MFB operators believed that within the shortest possible time, the sub sector would no doubt wear a new look, but urged the CBN to ensure that MFBs remain committed on their core objectives of empowering low income earners.
Bumi Lawson, managing director and chief executive officer ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited said that the whole financial industry needs to be sanitised adding that the apex regulatory authority should do the same thing it did to reform deposit money bank.
According to her, “I have confidence that within a short period our financial sector would be solid. The regulatory bodies should not just sanitise commercial banks alone, the MFBs, the Bureau De change (BDC) and the mortgage banks should all be cleaned up to allow for efficiency and good corporate governance.
Speaking further, she said that “CBN really needs to reduce the numbers of MFBs in the country. It is now clear that what CBN was trying to address is the issue on the spread of 860 MFBs, over 70 percent of them are actually in the South-East or South-West. It is obvious that their concentration is quite high. In some places in the North, you could barely find any MFBs but again the number is not the issue what we should be doing is to encourage large numbers of branches.”
Jack Kelly Ruth
Nigerians Spend N2.6trn On Data, Airtime In Nine Months
MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa have revealed that the amount spent on airtime and data by Nigerian telecom subscribers rose to at least N2.59 trillion in the first nine months of 2023.
According to the financial statements of the two telecommunication companies, this amounts to a 32.57 per cent increase from the N1.95 trillion both telcos recorded from both income sources in the corresponding period of 2022.
The increase in voice and data venue was partially driven by rising data subscriptions and the devaluation of the naira on Airtel’s part.
In the first nine months of 2022, Airtel made $1.41bn from airtime and data. When converted at the exchange rate of N461/$ which was obtained at the time, it amounted to N647.71billion.
In the same period of 2023, the company’s income from these two revenue sources amounted to $1.29 billion.
When converted at the exchange rate of N777/$ at the time, it amounted to N1.003 trillion.
On MTN’s part, increasing data revenues continue to fuel the company’s overall revenue growth. Data revenues grew by 36.36 per cent year-on-year, while voice revenues only grew by 10.64 per cent, indicating a rise in the usage of the Internet in the country.
Commenting on this growth, MTN said, “Data revenue grew by 36.4 per cent on increased usage and data conversion in new and existing base”.
The firm stated that data usage on its network grew by 29.1 per cent in the period under review.
It noted that “Data usage (GB per user) grew by 29.1 per cent to 8.6GB, and the number of smartphones on our network increased by 7.6 per cent, bringing smartphone penetration to 53.4 per cent, up 1.4pp YoY.
“Consequently, we recorded a 46.3 per cent growth in data traffic, with the 4G network accounting for 83.7 per cent of the total traffic (up 5.2pp YoY)”.
On its part, Airtel recorded an increase in data usage per customer to 5.9 GB per month. The firm highlighted, “Data revenue grew by 29.3 per cent in constant currency, driven by data customer base growth of 17.4 per cent and data ARPU growth of 12.3 per cent.
“Data usage per customer increased by 23.8 per cent to 5.9 GB per month (from 4.8 GB in the prior period). Our continued 4G network rollout has resulted in nearly 100 per cent of all our sites delivering 4G services”, it stated.
Increased Internet usage because of a rise in video streaming pushed the amount telecom consumers spent on telecom services to N3.86 trillion in 2022.
LCCI Faults FG’s $1trn GDP Projections
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said the macro-economic projections in the Federal Government’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) are not sufficient to achieve the $1 trillion economy target it set to achieve by 2029.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Yemi Cardoso, had last weekend restated the commitment of the government to realising the GDP target.
Reviewing Cardoso’s statement, the Director General, LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona, explained that the basis for government’s projection contains some inconsistencies that will make it unachievable.
She said, “LCCI is aware of the enormous challenges and the uphill task before the CBN in ensuring macro-economic stability and restoring investors’ confidence.
“However, we note the inconsistencies between the Federal Government’s vision of achieving a $1 trillion economy in the next six years and the MTEF.
“The macro-economic projections in the MTEF state that the economy will grow by 3.76 percent 4.22 percent, and 4.78 percent in 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively. We note that the projected growths are sub-optimal to achieve a $1trillion GDP by 2029, which implies an average growth of 21 percent over the next six years”.
Almona commended the CBN’s plan to review the minimum capital base of banks, but cautioned the apex bank to strengthen its banking supervision to avoid “too big to fail” banks.
She, however, said, “The Chamber appreciates the intellectual humility of the Governor in admitting the errors or mistakes of the past, particularly in the areas of corporate governance failures, diminished institutional autonomy of CBN, deviation from the core mandate of the bank, and unorthodox use of monetary tools and foray into fiscal activities under the cover of development finance activities.
“As we advance, we challenge the current CBN team to ensure professionalism and integrity and rebuild the trust of the general public.
“On recapitalization of banks, we commend the plan of CBN to review the minimum capital base of banks due to consistent devaluation of the Naira, which has eroded the capital base of banks, attracted significant investment into banks, as well as increased the capacity of banks to provide the required support for the economy.
“However, we caution the CBN to strengthen its banking supervision to avoid “too big to fail” banks.
“Given the sensitivity of monetary policy and price stability, we urge the CBN to ensure transparency and synergy between monetary and fiscal authorities and effectively communicate significant changes in policy direction”.
By: Corlins Walter
Firm Urges FG To Attract Foreign Investment
Multinational professional services firm, EY has advised the Federal Government to improve on its investment attractiveness as a way of building on previous year’s fortunes.
Senior Partner and Head of Markets, EY West Africa, Ashish Bakhshi, while sharing insights on a newly released report on Foreign Direct Investments for 2022, said Nigeria needed to improve on FDIs to achieve the ambitious targets it had set for itself to reduce poverty and build a sizeable middle class by 2030.
“Africa’s leaders will need to adopt pragmatism as they respond to a new geopolitical world order so that its member states can optimize the full spectrum of inbound investment opportunities, which will be essential in meeting Africa’s aspirations for a more equitable, wealthier and urbanised middle-class society”, the report read in part.
It stated further that “Last year saw Africa’s return as a top investment destination hub for global investors. The continent had struggled to attract investment since the onset of COVID-19 and took longer than other regions to recover, as a result of its delayed vaccine rollout and therefore its ability to reopen its 54 national economies.
“To this, its growth lagged pre-pandemic levels for longer than it did in mature markets, setting back the ambitious targets it had set for itself to reduce poverty and build a sizeable middle class by 2030.
“The new report, released by EY, a global multinational professional services firm, uncovered that FDI attracted more than 730 projects across the continent in 2022, injecting $194 billion in capital and creating 154,000 jobs.
“Significantly, Egypt saw a record of $ 107 billion in capital for its 149 FDI projects. In East Africa, Kenya dominated the FDI landscape while Nigeria was the leading country in West Africa.
“The countries came in third and fourth respectively for the largest FDI regions on the continent”.
The EY’s 13th Africa Attractiveness report tagged “A Pivot to Growth”, provides insights into the continent FDI, exposing that the 2022 calendar year saw a strong FDI rebound, led by Renewables inflows, with the West being the largest investor, while the North and Southern hubs of Africa were key beneficiaries.
A notable highlight of the report shows that CleanTech became the largest FDI recipient sector in 2022, leading Africa’s FDI for the first time.
Ict/Telecom4 days ago
Cybercrime:Expert Recommends Homegrown Solutions
News2 days ago
No Room For Internal Sabotage In NDLEA, Marwa Warns New Cadets
Nation2 days ago
NDIC Assures Depositors Of Prompt Payment
News4 days ago
433 Foreign-Trained Doctors Fail MDCN Qualifying Exam
Business4 days ago
N130bn Pension Fund Invested In Infrastructure – PenCom
News2 days ago
Work Together In Synergy To Achieve Goals, RSG Tells Agencies
World4 days ago
UN, US Hail Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Extension
Politics4 days ago
Bode George Decries Alleged Conflicting Verdicts From Tribunals