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NAMFBIN Plans Rebranding

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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

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Army Chief Lauds NIMASA Boss Over Performance

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruq Yahaya, has commended the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, over his efforts in transforming and promoting the transportation sector as president of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA).
He gave the commendation recently, during the 4th National Transport Summit of the Institute in Abuja.
Yahaya, who was represented by Maj. Gen. E. Akerejola, commended the President and members of CIoTA for the many economic sectors it touched: from facilitating international trade, through supporting food security, to enabling industrial and infrastructural development.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies pledged their support to the growth and improvement of the country’s transportation sector to international standards, expressing their willingness to collaborate with CIoTA to achieve this feat.
The COAS stated that the theme of the summit, “Transport Safety and Security Administration in Nigeria”, was also timely, saying it is “an important aspect of the Transportation sector which has often been overlooked by many, including the transport professionals and academia.
“Over the years, the transportation sector has witnessed series of issues and challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, poor regulations, limited specialised professional training institutions, lack of effective and efficient transport policies, intra industry squabbles among transport professionals, to unethical behaviours, poor working condition amongst others,” he said.
He reassured the Institute of the Nigerian Army’s resolve to support the transportation sector wherever necessary.
On his part, President CIoTA and DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, whose speech was read by Prof Samuel Odewumi, noted that the theme for this year’s summit is focused on safety and security of the transportation sector in Nigeria.
In his words: “We were able to achieve the Chartering of the Institute, Renewed Advocacy, Vigorous Membership Drive and Certification. This year’s summit focuses on Safety & Security on all modes of transportation, hence we must all work together as stakeholders and custodians of the transportation sector of Nigeria.
“Safety and security are paramount to achieving a robust and intermodal transport regime in Nigeria.
“CIoTA as the only statutory professional association in charge of the Transportation Industry in Nigeria, therefore, deserves to be accorded its place in nomination of members into relevant agencies and in consultations for policy formulation and implementation strategies. It is the right thing to do.
“As a Chartered Institute, our role is very huge; with great opportunities and challenges. Let’s focus on the job at hand”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Revenue Challenges: DMO Sues For Efficient Tax Administration

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As part of efforts to tackle revenue change in the country, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has called for the operation of an efficient and effective tax administration in Nigeria
Director-General of the agency, Ms Patience Oniha, who made the call in a statement made available to journalists, stressed on the need for Nigeria to operate such efficient tax administration system, that will tackle loopholes in revenue generation of the country.
According to her, a lot of loopholes are noticeable in the current tax system, which has given room for evasions and all sorts of sharp practices, causing hiccups in the public revenue management system.
She said revenue challenge remains one of the most critical policy issues of the Federal Government which is currently threatening the nation’s debt sustainability.
“The country needs to operate an efficient tax administration that would ensure greater compliance to remittances devoid of all forms of evasions in the system,” she said.
Recall that the current revenue problem is compounded by leakages such as an increase in oil theft and petrol subsidy, both of which have significantly reduced the revenue from oil sales that used to account for the bulk of government revenue.
Oniha noted that the outlook of both the local and international markets was becoming tighter with rising interest rate.
The DMO boss, therefore, stressed the need for the country to urgently moderate its new borrowings and ensure that public debt is sustained by accelerating its revenue base to shore up non-oil revenue and rationalising expenditure of the nation.

By: Corlins Walter

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214m Persons Subscribe To Telecoms In Nigeria

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Active telecommunication subscribers in Nigeria have now increased to 214.35 million as at October this year, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The latest NCC statistical records so far obtained shows that this is the highest number of recorded telecoms subscribers in the nation since the total number of subscribers peaked at 207.58 million in October 2020, some months before the SIM-NIN linkage.
The record has revealed that more subscribers were getting new SIMs in a bid to circumvent restrictions on SIMs that had not been linked with their National Identification Numbers, which was the major reason for the growth in 2022.
One of the major service providers in Nigeria, MTN, in its  third quarter release through the Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said the average daily gross connection was 48.1 per cent above the pre-directive level, partly driven by the cohort of subscribers who were initially restricted and opted to register new SIMs.
“Combined with increased usage from the existing base, these have supported an acceleration in the service revenue growth recovery and mitigated the impact of churn on the base”, he said.
Also looking at the predictions in the industry among the global industry’s stakeholders, Nigeria has a sizeable number of its population under the age of 18, which is indicating that its subscriber growth would remain strong for the foreseeable future as more young consumers crossed into adulthood and subscribed to mobile services.
Given the growing population, it is expected that 18 million new Nigerians will become unique telecoms subscribers even by 2025, and as Mobile connectivity is at the core of connectivity in Nigeria, with the majority of online services accessed through mobile channels in the nation.
Records have shown that mobile ecosystem also supported more than 3.2 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with $16bn raised through taxes on the sector, and this will grow in coming years.
However, inspire of this growth, many will not have access to telecom service, just as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had said that about 31.6 million Nigerians live in areas without telecoms coverage.
The absence of such coverage, according to the ministry, had enabled criminal activities and insecurity in these unserved areas to thrive.

By: Corlins Walter

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