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Banking System Credits Up By 4.6%

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The 5.5 per cent increase in claims on the private sector drove the aggregate banking system’s credit (net) to the domestic economy by 4.6 per cent in July 2009, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed.

Claims on the private sector include gross credit from the financial system to individuals, enterprises and non-financial public entities not included under net domestic credit, as well as  financial institutions not  included elsewhere.

Before the recent CBN cleansing exercise in the banking sector, banks credit to the economy has been the major driver of recorded growth in other sectors of the economy. This is an indication that other sectors’ activities may have been boosted in relative terms by 4.6 per cent increase in banks’ credit to the economy.

This recorded credit level is compared to the increase of 3.6 per cent in the preceding month.

At N3.088 billion, the banking system’s credit (net) to the Federal Government declined by 7.2 per cent, compared to the fall of 4.9 per cent in June, 2009. The fall was attributed wholly to the 11.1 per cent decline in deposit money banks’ (DMBs) holdings of government securities during the month.

The banking system’s credit to the private sector rose by 5.5 per cent to 9.026 billion, compared to the increase of 0.6 per cent in June 2009. This reflected largely the 4.6 per cent increase in DMBs claim on other private sectors. At N7.554 billion, foreign assets (net) of the banking systems declined by 1.2 per cent, as against the increase of 0.1 per cent in the preceding month. The development was attributed to the fall in both CBN and DMBs’ holding.

Meanwhile, the recorded contraction in broad money (M2) is a reflection of the respective decline of 1.2 and 8.5 per cent in net foreign assets and other assets (net) of the banking system. Barely a month to the end of year 2009, the apex bank noted in its July report that over the level at end – December 2008, M2 decline by 3 per cent.

With the expectation  of more developments on the sector by the CBN as the year draws to a close, monetary and credit developments in the economy have been trailed with mixed developments in July.

For instance, provisional data by the CBN indicated a decline in monetary aggregates  at the end July 2009, while broad money (M2) fell by 2.1 per cent to N8.889 billion, compared to the 4.1 per cent decline in June 2009. Similarly, narrow money (M1) declined by 4 per cent to N4.303 billion, as against the incase of 3.8 per cent in the preceding month.

The CBN revealed that quashi money fell by 0.2 per cent to N4.585 billion, in contrast to the increase of 4.4 per cent in June 2009. The development reflected the decline in all the components, namely:   time, savings and foreign currency deposits of the DMBs.

Other assets (net) of the banking system also fell by 8.5 per cent to N4.602 billion, compared to the decline of 3.4 per cent in the preceding month. The fall was attributed to the decline in unclassified assets of both the CBN and the DMBs.

At N1,008 billion, currency in circulation increased by 0.2 per cent in July 2009, over the level in the  preceding month. The rise was due to the 2.7 per cent increase in currency outside the banks. Monetary aggregates contracted further in July 2009, while banks’ deposit and lending rates indicates a general increase. The value of money market assets increased, largely on account of the rise in commercial papers (cps).

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CBN Assures On Depositors’ Fund Safety 

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reassured the banking public of the safety of their deposits and the banking system’s resilience.
CBN’s Acting Director of  Corporate Communications Department, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the assurance in a statement on  Monday in Abuja.
The statement, a response to concerns raised about the stability of some Nigerian banks in the wake of Heritage Bank Plc’s license revocation, faulted claims that the CBN was considering revoking the operating licences of Fidelity, Polaris, Wema, and Unity Banks.
It also clarified that a circular issued by the Bank on January 10, 2024, notifying the public about the dissolution of the Boards of Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks, was currently being circulated as though it was freshly issued.
According to the Director, Heritage Bank’s case was isolated.
“Allegations of further revocation of licences prior to the completion of CBN’s recapitalisation exercise are mere fabrications aimed at creating panic within the system”, Sidi-Ali said.
She stated that bank customers, particularly those of Heritage Bank, need not worry about the safety of their deposits, adding that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) had commenced payment to the bank’s insured depositors.
The spokesperson urged members of the public to continue their regular banking activities without fear, dismissing any false reports regarding the health of specific Deposit Money Banks.
“The CBN, with its robust regulatory framework, is proactively ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s financial system, thereby guaranteeing the safety of depositors’ funds in all Nigerian financial institutions”, she said.
Sidi-Ali reiterated the assurances of the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, that the recapitalisation of banks in Nigeria was intended to bolster the banking system and safeguard the sector against risks.

She urged all stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring the success of the process, which she said would be for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Without prejudice to the ongoing recapitalisation process, I want to restate that the Nigerian banking industry remains resilient. Key financial soundness indicators remain within current regulatory thresholds.

“Customers are, therefore, encouraged to proceed with their transactions as usual, as the CBN is committed to ensuring the safety of the banking system”, she said

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NERC Approves New Tariff Hike For Port Harcourt DisCo

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In spire of calls that the recently hiked “Band A” tariff be reversed, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a new tariff hike for the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo).
NERC permitted the PHED to raise tariffs for Band A customers categorised as Maximum Demand 2 Special (A – MD2 Special).
MD customers are customers that have a load of 45kVA and above. They also operate and maintain their dedicated transformers.
From N206 per kilowatt-hour, this category of customers within the Port Harcourt franchise will now pay N225/KWh.
In a regulatory instrument tagged June 2024 Supplementary Order to the Multi-Year Tariff Order – 2024 (“June 2024 Supplementary Order”) for Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc, the NERC said the tariff approval was under the Tariff Review Application by PHED.
“Further to Section 23 of the MYTO-2024, this Supplementary Order seeks to reflect the changes in the pass-through indices outside the control of licensees including inflation rates, naira/dollar exchange rate, available generation capacity and gas price for the determination of Cost-Reflective Tariffs”, NERC stated.
The electricity regilator emphasised the basis for the review, saying the Naira to the US Dollar exchange rate of N1,469.06 per dollar has been adopted for June to December 2024. It said this has been determined by adding a 1 per cent transaction cost to the average foreign exchange rate of N1,454.52 during the period May 1 to 24, 2024 as obtained from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
It also added that the Nigerian inflation rate of 33.69 per cent for April 2024 as published by the National Bureau of Statistics was applied to revise the Nigerian inflation rate projection for 2024.
“Under Section 116 of the Electricity Act and extant regulations, the commission has considered and approved for PHED, the tariffs (in Table 2) effective 1st June 2024. The approved tariffs shall remain in force subject to monthly adjustments of pass-through indices including inflation rates, naira/dollar exchange rates and gas-to-power prices.
“In line with the policy direction of the Federal Government of Nigeria on electricity subsidy, the allowed tariffs for Bands B – E customer categories shall remain frozen at the rates payable since December 2022 subject to further policy direction by the government.
“With this policy, the estimated subsidy benefit for customers under the PHED franchise in 2024 is approximately N11.49bn monthly”, the NERC stated.
In April, the NERC announced a new tariff for customers in Band A, from N68/KWh to N225/KWh.
It later reduced the tariff to N206.80/KWh based on the rebound of the naira.
Meanwhile, organised labour and manufacturers have kicked against the Band A tariff.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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AMJON Partners School To Train Journalists On Maritime Operations 

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The Association of Maritime journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) has gone into a mutually beneficial collaboration with School of Eloquence to strengthen the capacity and reporting skills of Maritime journalists.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Chairman, AMJON Organising Committee, Mr. Segun Oladipupo and made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Monday.
According to the statement, “This year’s edition, tagged “Special Edition”, is a collaborative effort between the foremost Public Speaking training School,  School of Eloquence and AMJON”.
Oladipupo said the training is slated to hold on Friday at the School of Eloquence premises at Osborne Road, Ikoyi.
“Experts from the Nigeria Customs Service, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and School of Eloquence have been lined up to train journalists on the rudiments of their own operations”, according to the statement.
Speaking, the President of AMJON, Paul Ogbuokiri, said journalism required constant training to be in tune with evolving trends in the industry.
According to him, journalism has taken a leap from what it used to be and journalists need to equip themselves with modern journalism tools that will help them to catch up with the trends.
“We need constant training and restraining to be relevant in this age of journalism. If we fail to update ourselves, we will soon fizzle out,
“This partnership with the School of Eloquence is a right step in the right direction. It will no doubt, energise our knowledge of reportage”, he stated.
On his part, the Chairman, Organising Committee, Segun Oladipupo, said the event would afford members the opportunity to take their reporting to enviable height
He, therefore, enjoined participants to seize the opportunity to learn new trends in journalism and also learn the business side of the job.
He thanked the School of Eloquence for providing a platform for Nigerian journalists to take a flight in their daily assignment.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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