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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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Farmer Cries Out Over Cattle Invasion

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A farmer in Aluu Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Nwo Nna, has cried out over cattle invasion of his farmland and crops.
Nna made this known in a chat with newsmen in Aluu recently.
He said that the most worrisome aspect of the development was the neglect by the herders of the Anti-Grazing Law passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The farmer who discribed such as vexatious and  provocative, appealed for intervention by relevant agencies in order to secure their future.
“I got to my  farm on Saturday morning only to see my vegetables, cassava, yam and the entire farm devastated by cows”, he said.
He  expressed regrets that his farm, which was not at the road  had experienced such  attack for the second time.
The farmer noted that it would have been a different ball game, if he had met the herders in his farm.
“The saving grace was that  I did not meet them. They should be called to order to avoid problems”, he said.
He also sought for urgent intervention of  the Rivers State Government, Myyetti Allah and other relevant authorities to warn the herders to keep off people’s farms in the interest of peace.
The farmer further explained that it was becoming a regular practice for herders to parade their cows along the roads, and such  cows  stray into farm lands and  destroy people’s means of livelihood.
While declaring that Rivers people are hospitable, the farmer warned stranger elements, who do not have respect for the laws of the land as well as terrorise other people’s means of livelihood, to take their lawlessness elsewhere.
Other farmers who also responded  called for the establishment of a system that monitors the  activities of herders.
According to them, it will enable those who take their cows into farms to be identified and adequately sanctioned in the event of any invasion by the cows.
This, they said will bring a lasting peace and as well  serve as a deterrent to others.

By: King Onunwor

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EFCC Blames Frauds In Banking Sector On Insiders

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission last Wednesday said most frauds in the banking sector were perpetrated by insider Information, Communication Technology employees.
Head, Cybercrime Section of the EFCC, Abbah Sambo, made the declaration at a national seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for judges in Abuja recently.
Sambo, who represented the EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the seminar, said that most banking sector frauds handled by the commission showed that bank employees aided the acts.
He also expressed regrets at the increasing rate of cybercrime in spite of efforts by the commission to tackle it.
Sambo observed that in years past, young people involved in cybercrime were not ICT savvy, but today, it was  ICT graduates that are the champions in perpetrating the crime.
He attributed the increase in cybercrime to moral decadence and peer group influence.
“The rate at which young men are perpetrating cybercrime is seriously alarming.
“When we arrest these criminals, one major reason they give for going into the crime is peer influence.Their friends are into it and they want to run with guys that drive the best cars and have the best girls in town”, he said.
He hinted that most times when  the criminals were arrested, a lot of  assets on them,  are  registered in the names of their parents.
“Cars in the names of their mothers and houses in the names of their fathers. There is a fundamental issue relating to decay in moral coverage in the society,’’ he said.
Sambo said that the greatest challenge in fighting cybercrime was the knowledge gap, and  noted  that the criminals were getting more sophisticated.
According to him, the criminals had the ability to talk to one another seamlessly by sharing knowledge, unlike law enforcement agencies.
“A lot of the people trying to combat the crime in the field tend to lack the drive because they do not have adequate training,’’ he said.
He stressed the need for adequate sensitisation and engagement with youths, especially from secondary school level to let them know the ills of crime.
The two-day seminar was organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in collaboration with the National Judicial Institution.

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SEC Frowns At Resurgence Of Ponzi Schemes

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has frowned upon the resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers in the country’s financial sector.
The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, made the observation of the development at an enlightenment workshop with the staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on in Abuja over the week.
Yuguda said  that the unlawful schemes had continued to enjoy massive patronage of the populace and remained a source of concern for regulators in the financial sector.
According to him, the commission was  poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders toward combating the activities of these Ponzi schemes.
He expressed regrets that the upsurge of the schemes had undermined the reputation of the financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence, among other things.
“SEC firmly believes that the country’s capital market can attain its potential if market operators and participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth”, he said.
He also explained that SEC was committed to always ensure and maintain an environment that was enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to market.
“The commission is also committed to zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practice”, he said
“There is the need to restore investor confidence and improve the participation of retail investors in the market.
He further pointed out that the demography of investors in the country’s capital market showed that the young population do not participate in the capital market, and only a few Nigerians invested in the capital market.
The situation, he said,  created a huge challenge to the market growth and the commission  and added that it was striving to change the narratives by instilling a fair, transparent and orderly market.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, represented by Mr Stephen Okon, Director Home Finance, urged investors to take advantage of the various initiatives in the market.

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