Tag Archives: emefiele

Breaking: Nigeria must not continue to rely on crude oil – Emefiele

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The governor, who was represented by Mr Edward Adamu, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, CBN, therefore, urged the country to harness its other economic potentials to enhance its growth.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has reiterated the need for the country to discontinue with heavy dependence on crude oil to guarantee public revenue and foreign exchange.

Emefiele made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the prize presentation ceremony to mark the end of the 2020 CBN Governor’s Golf Cup tournament.

According to him, this has become even more imperative to facilitate early exit of the economy from the current recession.

According to him, sports cannot be left behind while deploying available tools to ensure the development of the country since it attracts foreign exchange.

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This, he said, had propelled the CBN into sponsoring numerous sporting events in the country including golf.

He said that the apex bank would not relent in its effort to empower the youth, sportsmen and sportswomen as they had constantly launched the country and themselves into the international sporting arena.

“The Bank’s consistency in promoting the game of golf and other sports in the country has had a remarkable impact on youths and sportsmen and women generally.

“In particular, the sponsored events have continued to provide platforms for Nigerians to express themselves and launch into the international sporting sphere.

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“At the CBN, we are committed to sustaining people-centered policies,” he said.

According to him, through interventions in various sectors of the economy, the Bank is able to touch lives and livelihoods; specifically, the Bank’s policies prioritise jobs, wealth creation and inclusion.

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“The CBN has been in the vanguard of promoting youth empowerment not only through sporting events, but also through development finance initiatives and schemes.

“These include Youth Entrepreneurship Development Scheme, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Development Centres .

“Others are the Agri-Business and Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme and the Private Sector-led Accelerated Agricultural Credit Scheme.

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According to Emefiele, the bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has a tremendous effect on agriculture, impacting greatly on local production of various crops, most significantly rice and nine other crops.

He noted that the ABP had significantly contributed in cutting down rice importation in the country, while the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme recorded considerable beneficiaries who have greatly contributed to the nation’s drive for sustained food security.

“I urge Nigerians to take advantage of these initiatives to contribute to the country’s growth and development and share in her prosperity,” he added.

Noble Reporters Media reports that the one-day golf tournament saw winners emerged from various categories of the tournament including the CBN Staff category which O. Owoeye won with a handicap of 28 and gross nett of 116 and 88.

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Abubakar Abdullahi emerged as the runner up with a handicap of 11, gross score of 97 and 86 nett.

Winners also emerged from the Auxiliary, Veteran Ladies, Veteran

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#Newsworthy

Breaking: Emefiele to host CEOs of multi national companies

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has hinted on plans to meet with the Chief Executives of multinational companies in Nigeria, to discuss the revamp of Nigerian export markets.

Mr. Emefiele dropped the hint on Tuesday, during the meeting of the Bankers’ Committee, noting that the CBN is ready to encourage the revamp of Nigeria’s export sector through deliberate policies that would boost investment and job creation.

While decrying the situation where many Nigerian produce of export quality were waiting to be tapped, Mr Emefiele said the CBN, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, would ensure the facilitation of a reboot of the Nigerian export market.

The CBN Governor reiterated that the country had no choice but to diversify its economic base away from heavy reliance on crude oil, so that Nigerians can produce what they eat and eat what they produce

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, speaks to the press about the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of June 20, 2020 (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

The date of the meeting is yet to be disclosed, but it is expected to come up with a roadmap on how best to revitalize the export sector in order to earn foreign exchange for the country, as well as generate jobs for millions of Nigerians.


#Newsworthy…

Reps committee frowns as CBN Emefiele refuses to honor their invitation again

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Chairman of the House of Representatives adhoc committee which is investigating the privatisation process of the power sector, Ado Doguwa, has once again frowned at the refusal of the Central Bank governor to honour the invitation of the committee.

This is the second time the Central Bank governor has failed to honour the invitation of the committee.

Mr Doguwa says the Central Bank governor has been busy expending taxpayers’ money but has refused to appear before the committee to account for those monies.

He, however, said the committee will take all necessary actions to compel him to appear before the committee even as he questioned if the CBN governor has something to hide.


#Newsworthy…

National Theatre Handover: Court summons Emefiele, Malami, Others

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and five others to appear before it on Friday, July 24.

    According to the court, they are to explain the alleged handover of the National Theatre to some developers while the structure is a subject of a pending lawsuit.

    Among the five others summoned by Justice Ayokunle Faji is Access Bank of Nigeria Plc and its Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe.

    Others summoned to appear before the court are the Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and National Orientation, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the National Theatre and the National Troupe of Nigeria Board.

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    Justice Faji summoned all the parties who are listed as defendant/respondents in a suit before it by a company, Topwideapeas Limited.

    Topwideapeas Limited is reportedly designated as the concessionaire of the fallow land adjoining the National Theatre.

    Through its lawyer, Chijioke Okoli (SAN), the company brought an exparte application before the court asking it to reverse the handover in order to protect its interest in the property.

    The senior lawyer contended that if not reversed, the handover of the structure would render the eventual decision of the court in the suit null and void.

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    Okoli also complained that despite pending litigation on the structure, the National Theatre was handed over to the CBN, Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, and Herbert Wigwe on July 12.

    The handover was said to have been purportedly done by the National Theatre and the National Troupe of Nigeria Board, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and the Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture & National Orientation who are listed as the 1st to 3rd defendant in the suit.

    Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

    Okoli, therefore, is seeking an order “suspending or staying the purported handover on or about July 12, 2020, by the 1st and 3rd defendant/respondents to the 5th-7thdefendant/respondents of the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos and the adjoining lands, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion for an interlocutory injunction (by notice filed on December 31, 2019).”


    #Newsworthy…

    COVID-19 tragedy, opportunity for better Nigeria – CBN Governor.


    As many people are now aware, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in China rapidly permeated and profoundly changed the world.

    While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of over 123,600 people worldwide, and counting, the economic damages are unprecedented on several fronts: Crude oil prices declined dramatically to as low as US$17 per barrel by the end of March, even before applying the discounts many oil exporters are offering; Stock valuations for the NSE-ASI, Nikkei, Dow Jones and FTSE-100 declined by an average of 23.8 percent between January and March 2020; Global airlines have lost about US$252 billion in revenues and across the broad range of industries from hospitality to services, the pain is growing.

    These outcomes have expectedly thrown the global economy into a recession, the depth and duration of which is currently difficult to fathom. In fact, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the global economy would decline by 3 percent this year.

    Around the world, countries have moved away from multilateralism and responded by fighting for themselves with several measures to protect their own people and economies, regardless of the spillover effects on the rest of the world.

    According to the World Customs Organization, a total of 32 countries and territories, adopted stringent and immediate export restrictions on critical medical supplies and drugs that were specifically meant to respond to COVID-19. As of 10 April 2020, an updated count of total export restrictions by the Global Trade Alert Team at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland suggest a total of 102 restrictions by 75 countries.

    On 4 March 2020, Germany announced an export ban that applied to all sorts of medical protection gear including breathing masks, medical gloves and protective suits.

    Around the same time, President Macron announced that France will requisition all face masks produced in the country, a de facto export ban.

    Between 8 February 2020 and 6 April 2020, India released eight (8) different export notifications banning several drugs and medical supplies including hydroxychloroquine, ventilators, personal protections masks, oxygen therapy apparatus, and breathing devices.

    On 3 April 2020, the Trump Administration invoked the war-era US Defense Production Act to stop major US mask manufacturer, 3M, from exporting N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America.

    Fears of a long global recession have also led to worries about unprecedented global food insecurity, with concerns that agricultural production may be dislocated by containment measures that constrain workers from planting, managing and harvesting critical crops.

    Rather than seek cooperative and global solutions, several countries have resorted to export restrictions of critical agricultural produce. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), about 37 countries have enacted various forms of food export restrictions in response to COVID-19, even in countries where average production exceeds domestic consumption.

    For example, Vietnam, the world’s third largest exporter of rice, suspended granting rice export certificates until the country “reviews domestic inventories”. Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, announced a ten-day ban on the export of buckwheat and rice due to concerns over panic buying in local supermarkets.

    What if these restrictions become the new normal? What if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in a second wave or another pandemic occurs in which all borders are shut and food imports are significantly restricted? What if we cannot seek medical care outside Nigeria and must rely on local hospitals and medical professionals? For how long shall we continue to rely on the world for anything and everything at every time?

    What if these restrictions become the new normal? What if the COVID-19 pandemic continues in a second wave or another pandemic occurs in which all borders are shut and food imports are significantly restricted? What if we cannot seek medical care outside Nigeria and must rely on local hospitals and medical professionals? For how long shall we continue to rely on the world for anything and everything at every time?

    Although these developments are troubling, they present a clear opportunity to re-echo a persistent message the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been sending for a long time, and at this time even more urgently so: We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare, and cutting-edge education for our people. For a country of over 200 million people, and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally. The security and well-being of our nation is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy.

    When I became Governor of the Central Bank in June 2014, imports of rice, fish, wheat and sugar alone consumed about N1.3 trillion worth of foreign exchange from the Bank. My immediate question was: can we not produce these ourselves? After all, only a few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of many agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts. Today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, whilst Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 percent of global demand. In 2017, Indonesia earned US$12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but US$18.4 billion from palm oil. I believe that this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest it is now more critical than ever that we take back control; not just control over our economy, but also of our destiny and our future.

    Although these developments are troubling, they present a clear opportunity to re-echo a persistent message the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been sending for a long time, and at this time even more urgently so: We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare, and cutting-edge education for our people. For a country of over 200 million people, and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally. The security and well-being of our nation is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy.

    In line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN has indeed created several lending programmes and provided hundreds of billions to smallholder farmers and industrial processors in several key agricultural produce. These policies are aimed at positioning Nigeria to become a self-sufficient food producer, creating millions of jobs, supplying key markets across the country and dampening the effects of exchange rate movements on local prices.

    This philosophy has been a consistent theme of the CBN’s policies over the last few years. At the 2016 Annual Bankers’ Dinner, I challenged the bankers that we needed to take decisive actions to fundamentally transform the structure of our economy. Throughout that speech, I talked about the damaging effects of Nigeria’s unsustainable propensity to import, and opined that it was high time we looked inwards and stopped using hard-earned foreign exchange (FX) to import items that we should produce locally. This determination, therefore, formed the bedrock of the Bank’s policy, which restricts access to FX for importers of many items. These sentiments were re-echoed at the 2017 edition of the same Bankers’ Dinner with specific examples of several companies that have benefited significantly from this policy of self-sufficiency. With President Buhari’s full support, we have continued to refine this policy to ensure that the best interest of Nigeria is served.

    Many times, the Bank has been accused of promoting protectionist policies. My answer has always been that leaders are first and foremost accountable to their own citizens. If the vagaries of international trade threaten their wellbeing, leaders have to react by compelling some change in patterns of trade to the greater good of their citizens.

    That is why in response to COVID-19, we are strengthening the Nigerian economy by providing a combined stimulus package of about N3.5 trillion in targeted measures to households, businesses, manufacturers and healthcare providers. These measures are deliberately designed to both support the Federal Government’s immediate fight against COVID-19, but also to build a more resilient, more self-reliant Nigerian economy.

    Only a few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of many agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts. Today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, whilst Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 percent of global demand. In 2017, Indonesia earned US$12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but US$18.4 billion from palm oil. I believe that this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest it is now more critical than ever that we take back control; not just control over our economy, but also of our destiny and our future.

    We do not know what the world will look like after this pandemic. Countries may continue to look inwards and globalization as we know it today may be dead for a generation. Therefore, as a nation, we cannot afford to continue relying on the world for our food, education and healthcare. The time has come to fully transform Nigeria into a modern, sophisticated and inclusive economy that is self-sufficient, rewards the hardworking, protects the poor and vulnerable, and can compete internationally across a range of strategic sectors.

    In order to achieve this goal, we must begin immediately to support the Federal Government to:
    1) Build a base of high quality infrastructure, including reliable power that can engender industrial activity;
    2) Support both smallholder and large scale agriculture production in select staple and cash crops;
    3) Create an ecosystem of factories, storages, and logistics companies that move raw materials for value-added production, and finished goods to markets;
    4) Use our fiscal priorities to create a robust educational system that enables critical thinking and creativity, which would better prepare our children for the world of tomorrow;
    5) Develop a healthcare system that is trusted to keep all Nigerians healthy, irrespective of social class;
    6) Facilitate access to cheap and long-term credit for Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates;
    7) Develop and strengthen pro-poor policies that bring financial services and security to the poor and the vulnerable; and
    8) Expedite the development of venture capitalists for nurturing new ideas and engendering Nigerian businesses to compete globally.

    India is in a position to ban exports because it is producing critical drugs and medical supplies that the rest of the world needs. It also has companies that are global champions, and even merging with or acquiring peers in advanced nations. Why should this be out of our reach? We have the companies and the manpower. Some of the best brains in the world from the Americas to Europe and from Asia to Africa are Nigerians; driving global innovations in all fields. Nigerians are successful everywhere, and are already one of the most sought after immigrant groups in the United States. Now is the time to seize this opportunity and create an environment that empowers our people to thrive within our own shores.

    To this end, the Central Bank has developed a Policy Response Timeline to guide our crises management and the orderly reboot of the Nigerian economy.


    Immediate-Term Policies (0-3 Months)


    In light of the fact that this crisis is an exogenous one thrust upon us without much warning, this phase reflects the government’s efforts at containment and mitigation. Although global cases are heading towards two million with over 123, 600 deaths as of 14 April 2020, we now have 343 cases, of which there have been 91 recoveries and sadly 10 deaths. With President Buhari’s continuing strong leadership, Nigeria can now test 1,500 persons per day in twelve (12) Molecular Test Laboratories.

    We believe that his strong leadership to impose early travel restrictions, lockdown, social distancing, and other measures have been greatly effective in curbing the spread of the disease.

    More so, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have helped the country stay ahead of the curve with increased testing capacity, provision of better-equipped isolation centres, and effective contact tracing.

    Within this milieu, the CBN has responded in several ways, first by supporting hospitals and pharmaceutical industry with low interest loans to immediately deal with the public health crises; then by working with the private sector Coalition Against COVID (CACOVID) to support the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 across its response, while mobilizing palliatives for the poor and vulnerable.


    Under this Immediate-Term Response, we have activated the following:


    1) Ensure financial system stability by granting regulatory forbearance to banks to restructure terms of facilities in affected sectors;

    2) Trigger banks and other financial institutions to roll-out business continuity processes to ensure that banking services are delivered in a safe social-distance regime for all customers and bankers;

    3) Grant additional moratorium of 1 year on CBN intervention facilities;

    4) Reduce interest rates on intervention facilities from 9 percent to 5 percent;

    5) Create N50 billion targeted credit facility for affected households and SMEs;

    6) Strengthen the Loan-Deposit Ratio (LDR) policy, which is encouraging significant extra lending from banks;

    7) Improve FX supply to the CBN by directing all oil companies (international and domestic) and all related companies (oil service) to sell FX to CBN and no longer to the NNPC;

    8) Provide additional N100b intervention in healthcare loans to pharmaceutical companies, healthcare practitioners intending to expand/build capacity;

    9) Provide N1 trillion in loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors;

    10) Engender financial inclusion by ensuring the poor and vulnerable are able, by all means necessary, through banks, microfinance, community and non-bank financial institutions, to access financial services to meet their basic needs.


    Short-Term Policy Priorities (0 – 12 months)


    As soon as President Muhammadu Buhari and the Health authorities determine our Coronavirus Transmission Curve is flattening and many of the ongoing restrictions are eased, this will be the phase for repositioning the Nigerian economic space.

    As part of the lessons from the current pandemic, we must ensure that that our value-added sector, the manufacturing industry is strengthened. Accordingly, the CBN will pursue the following policies in this phase:

    1) Reinvigorate our financial support for the manufacturing sector by expanding the intervention all through its value-chain. In most cases, we will ensure that primary products sourced locally provide essential raw material for the manufacturing sector except where they are only available overseas;

    2) With the support of the Federal Government, the CBN will embark on a project to get banks and private equity firms to finance homegrown and sustainable healthcare services that will help to reverse medical tourism out of Nigeria. By offering long-term financing for the entire healthcare value-chain (including medicine, pharmaceuticals, and critical care), banks will work with healthcare providers to consolidate on the current efforts to rebuild our medical facilities in order to ensure Nigeria has world class affordable hospitals for the people of Nigeria and those wishing to visit Nigeria for treatment;

    3) The CBN will promote the establishment of InfraCo PLC, a world class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, and managed by an independent infrastructure fund manager. This fund will be utilized to support the Federal Government in building the transport infrastructure required to move agriculture products to processors, raw materials to factories, and finished goods to markets, as envisaged at the CBN Going for Growth Roundtable in March 2020; and

    4) Continue to prioritize the provision of FX for the importation of machinery and critical raw materials needed to drive a self-sufficient Nigerian economy.

    COVID-19 may have plunged us into a crisis of unprecedented proportions. But, as Winston Churchill once admonished, we must never let a crisis go to waste.


    Medium-Term Policy Priorities (0 -3 Years)


    Once the world returns to some new normal having tamed COVID-19 by a combination of vaccines and social distancing, and the Nigerian economy reopens fully for business, we will act quickly to enable faster recovery of the economy by targeted measures towards particular sectors that are able to support mass employment and wealth creation in the country.

    We will do so by focusing on four main areas, namely, light manufacturing, affordable housing, renewable energy, and cutting-edge research.

    In manufacturing, for example, it is pertinent to note that Nigeria’s gross fixed capital formation is currently estimated at N24.55 trillion made up residential and non-residential properties, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, land improvement, research and development, and breeding stocks.

    Of this estimated value, machinery and equipment, which are the main inputs into economic production, are currently valued at only N2.61 trillion. In order to pursue a substantial economic renewal, including replacement of at least 25 percent of the existing machinery and equipment for enhanced local production, we estimate at least N662 billion worth of investments to acquire hi-tech machinery and equipment.

    Therefore, the CBN will consider an initial intervention of N500 billion over the medium term, specifically targeted at manufacturing firms to procure state-of-the-art machinery and equipment and automated manufacturing models that would fast-track local production and economic rejuvenation, as well as support increased patronage of locally processed products such as cement, steel, iron rods, and doors, amongst several other products. The recent private sector investments in cement production using enhanced technology and automated manufacturing models is a good example of the kind of economic renewal we will be pursuing in this phase. We will develop a thorough screening process and stringent criteria for equipment types that would qualify for funding under this phase.

    In order to boost job creation, household incomes and economic growth, we will focus our attention on bridging the housing deficit in the country by facilitating government intervention in three critical areas: housing development, mortgage finance, and institutional capacity.

    We will pursue the creation of a fund that will target housing construction for developers that provide evidence of profiled off-takers with financial capacity to repay. The current identification framework in the banking sector using the bank verification number (BVN) will be used to verify the information provided by the off-takers before the developer can access the funds.

    We will consider ways to assist the Mortgage Finance sub-sector as well as build capacity at the State levels for their land administration agencies to process and issue land titles promptly, implement investment friendly foreclosure laws and reduce the cost of land documentation, as these have remained major inhibiting factors in the provision of affordable housing in the country.

    Over the next 3 years, we will also support the financing of environmentally friendly energy production, as this has a tangential long-term health benefits. We will look at efforts to drive innovation and research in every sector, through our universities, research institutions, creative industry initiatives, and all other media of novelty and inventions.

    In conclusion, I believe we must now envision and work toward a Nigeria with the cutting edge medical facilities to provide world class care to the sick and vulnerable, enable our universities and research institutions to provide the requisite education and training that is required to keep these ecosystems functioning sustainably and efficiently, and millions of Nigerians employed in meaningful and well-paying jobs.

    This is the Nigeria that we must aspire to build.

    COVID-19 may have plunged us into a crisis of unprecedented proportions. But, as Winston Churchill once admonished, we must never let a crisis go to waste.

    *Godwin I. Emefiele, CON is Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria


    #Newsworthy….

    Senate send arrest threat to Emefiele over $289m payment.


    The Senate Public Accounts Committee said on Tuesday that it might consider demanding a warrant for the arrest of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over his alleged refusal to honour invitations extended to him by the legislature.

    The committee invited Emefiele to address it on the release of $289m cash to a former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, sometime in 2015.


    The Senate had, while acting on a report of the Auditor General for the Federation, last week, uncovered how the CBN released $289m cash to the former NIA DG.

    The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said the CBN governor had been summoned several times but he ignored the invitations.


    Urhoghide fumed that Emefiele did not also deem it fit to send any official of the CBN to appear before the committee.

    He said, “We have summoned the CBN governor; it is the only part remaining in the investigation.


    “The CBN governor has not sent any of his officials; they have to corroborate the story being told by those mentioned in the audit query, whether they are correct or not correct.

    “The committee may consider consulting with the Senate leadership with a view to issuing a warrant for the arrest of the governor of Central Bank if he pushes us to the extreme.


    “There are over 10 issues highlighted in the audit query that needed to be addressed by Emefiele and his top officials.”

    He added that other issues, like the sales of federal bonds, funds collection, and discrepancies in figures between some agencies and the CBN, needed to be addressed by the governor of the apex bank.


    The Director of Finance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Godwin Okonkwko, had last week told the committee that $289m was released to the former NIA DG.

    Okonkwo had explained that the $289m cash given to the former NIA boss by the CBN was based on a directive to that effect from the NNPC.

    The $43m found in an Ikoyi apartment in 2017 that led to the sacking of Oke as the DG of NIA was a fraction of $289m cash collected by the DG from the NNPC.


    #Newsworthy…

    COVID-19: CBN drops N1.1trn for support.


    The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday announced a N1.1tn intervention fund to support critical sectors of the economy.

    The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said this in a statement made available to journalists.


    The governor in the statement said the out of the N1.1tn, about N1tn would be used to support the local manufacturing sector as well as boost import substitution.

    He added that the balance of N100bn would be used to support the health authorities to ensure laboratories, researchers and innovators work with global scientists to patent and produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria.


    This, he said, was imperative following the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that the N100bn would enable the country prepare for any major crises ahead.

    He said given the continuing impact of the disease on global supply chains, the CBN will increase its intervention in boosting the economy.


    He said, “First the CBN is directing all Deposit Money Banks to increase their support to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

    “In local drug manufacturing, in increased bed count in hospitals across Nigeria, in funding intensive care as well as in training, laboratory testing, equipment and R&D.


    “In addition to the N50bn soft loans to small businesses already announced, the CBN will increase its intervention by another N100bn in loans this year to support health authorities.

    “Secondly, given the continuing impact of the disease on global supply chains, the CBN will increase its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution by another N1tn across all critical sectors of the economy.”

    He said the management of the CBN will meet with the Bankers Committee this Saturday at 10.00 am to work out the modalities for the intervention.

    The N1.1tn intervention is coming about three days when the apex bank announced a N50bn facility for Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy


    #Newsworthy…

    Tomato supply void: CBN swear to make it up ..


    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Monday assured tomato farmers and processors that they would be sufficiently financed under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

    According to him, this is tohelp meet local demand and bridge an annual shortfall of more than 1.2 million tonnes valued at about $2.5billion, met before now through importation and smuggling.

    This is as the Managing Director of Tomato Jos, Miss Mira Mehta, said the company would invest N7 billion within the next five years to scale up its investment in tomato farming and processing.


    Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Limited located in Kaduna, Emefiele said that the CBN, as far back as June 2015, before the current tomato policy was approved in 2017, had excluded importers of 41 items, among which is tomato, from accessing foreign exchange (forex) at the Nigerian forex markets.

    “Pursuant to the above, we introduced the Commodity Champion model in the first quarter of 2019, to stimulate production of tomato and strengthen the end-to-end linkages in the value chain from input supplies to the final consumer. The strategy adopted is largely hinged on the twin approaches of outgrower contractual arrangement in the short to medium term, and backward integration in the medium to long term. Efforts have begun to yield results with the mobilisation and validation of about 140,848 farmers from various tomato farmers associations across 25 states in Nigeria. They are to be financed under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) where they would be linked to proximal processors where applicable, or financed to produce fresh fruits for direct consumption, which constitutes the largest use of tomato in Nigeria.


    “We are also partnering with other big players in the tomato value chain like Dangote Tomato Processing Ltd,

    Sonia Foods, GB Foods (GBF), Vegefresh Company Limited and a host of others. This is with a view to ensuring that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in tomato, and our processing companies, functioning at full capacity and employıing millions of Nigerian youths”, he said.

    Emefiele said the CBN was also addressing the challenge of low quantum of production per hectare that results in low yield.

    The CBN Governor appreciated the management of Tomato Jos and the Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir el-Rufai, for the robust investment in agriculture.


    #Newsworthy…

    Bank customers complain after banks turn deaf ears to CBN on decreased bank charges.


    Some bank customers have frowned at their banks’ non-compliance with the new guidelines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which ordered them to cut their charges on Automated Teller Machine (ATM)and other services.

    Some of the customers who spoke in Abuja lamented that banks have now devised means of deducting ATM charges without sending the notifications to their customers.

    CBN had last December released new guidelines on service charges’ reduction for banks, other financial and non-bank financial institutions, to take effect from January 1, 2020.


    The guidelines involved reduction in the amount payable for cash withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs as Remote-on-Us transactions.

    The reduction is from N65 to N35 after the third withdrawal within one month.


    Mr Tony Iruu, a customer with one of the old generation banks, told NAN on Thursday, that the bank refused to adhere to the CBN guidelines.

    Iruu appealed to the apex bank to take decisive action against any bank that is found wanting.


    “When I heard about the new CBN guidelines, I was impressed because my bank charges me for virtually everything I do. But I have noticed that most times, banks do not adhere to some guidelines except the ones that favour them,’’ he said.

    Miss Joy Akpakuma, a customer with one of the new generation banks said that though her bank did not send a debit notification for the ATM charge, it had however, reflected in her account.


    “I withdrew money from an ATM that is not my bank on January 1, but they only sent me the alert of the money I withdrew without the charges.

    “I was happy thinking that they have complied with the guidelines, but when I checked my balance, I knew that there was something wrong.


    “I had about N194, 000 in my account, I withdrew N5, 000 but I did the withdrawal three times to see if they will remove N35 at the third withdrawal.

    “When the alert came, my money was remaining N188, 263. It means that the bank charged me about N800 for the transaction.


    “Even if the money removed was for other transactions or monthly charges, they would have stated it in the alert.

    “As it stands right now, I do not even know the charges or what they debited my account for.


    “It is so sad that even with the new CBN guidelines, they are still charging exorbitantly,’’ Akpakuma said.

    On N50 stamp duty charged customers at filling stations, they appealed to CBN to also look into the issue with a view to forcing the merchants to adhere to its directive.


    Mrs. Lilian Ukwu, a teacher, noted that though CBN said that the N50 stamp duty charged to customers for using PoS (Point of Sale), on goods and services is illegal, fuel stations are yet to comply with the directie.

    “When I go to a filling station, I often use the PoS, but they still deduct extra N50 from my account.


    “I read a report where CBN said the additional N50 deducted from customers is illegal.

    “CBN should please help us to force these merchants and banks to adhere to its directives.


    “If CBN cannot hold these people accountable, it means that we customers are handicapped,’’ Ukwu said.

    The CBN’s Director of Payment System Management, Mr Musa Jimoh, said that the stamp duty circular issued to merchants was misinterpreted.

    According to him, the circular that talks about merchants paying stamp duties, according to the law, did not state that it should be paid by the consumers, that is a misinterpretation of CBN’s directive.

    “What our directive says is that merchants should pay all necessary taxes as regulated by government agencies, including stamp duty.’’


    #Newsworthy…

    Bank officials, Emefiele set to commence redevelopment


    Despite stiff opposition from stakeholders, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee have announced that it would commence the redevelopment of the National Arts Theatre in Lagos, by January 2020.

    The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while making a presentation on the Bankers’ Final Briefing monitored on Channels Television Business Morning, announced that the Bankers Committee has received presentations from the project consultants.

    He said the Bankers’ Committee, having reviewed their presentations, including project numbers and details, set up a governance and trustee committee to oversee the process that would lead to the award of contract for the bid winners.


    ‘‘The contract award is expected to go through a competitive bid process and that jobs for the commencement of the renovation works for the National Arts Theatre as well as the building and development of a creative hub must start by January 2020’’.

    He said the hub would serve as a fulcrum for massive activities and events even after shows must have ended inside the theater.


    The CBN boss added that the building of the hub within the National Theater wouldhelp create opportunities for people to come around and undertake different business and economic activities that would help not only to grow the economy of Lagos but that of Nigeria as a whole.

    Two Nigerian companies, Topwide Apeas and Jadeas Trust, had in November, called on the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), and the Board of the National Arts Theatre, to prevail on the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee to cease all plans for the redevelopment of the National Arts Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos.


    The call came on the heels of recent media reports that the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee have been given the go-ahead by the Federal Government to transform the National Arts Theatre Complex and the surrounding fallow ground into a creative industry park.

    Topwide Apeas and Jadeas Trust, who are a part of a consortium comprising a team of international financial institutions and private sector partners, are claiming the rights to develop the structure via a concession granted by the ICRC.

    Godwin Emefiele


    Topwide Apeas Limited, through a letter by its law firm, Associated Attorney, and addressed to the ICRC, copying the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee, stated that they had emerged the preferred bidders to develop the national monument following a series of negotiations that started in 2003 with the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, and later the ICRC.

    The agreement was sealed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that mandated both companies to jointly execute the project via a harmonised master plan and under the terms of the project endorsed by the BPE and ICRC.


    #Newsworthy…

    CBN, Emefiele set 100 million goal for BVN enrollment.


    The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will get the number of people enrolled on Bank Verification Number system to 100 million over the next five years.

    NobleReporters learnt that the apex bank said the increase in BVN enrolment would address the constraint that poor identification has on the availability of credit to prospective banking customers, particularly those in the informal sector.


    According to recent figures released by Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems, over 40 million active bank accounts are currently linked with BVN and the CBN had pledged to increase the figures within the next five years through its proactive measures.

    The BVN project, which captures the uniqueness of every bank customer, is one of the most-innovative projects introduced into the Nigerian financial system in 2014.


    The Bankers’ Committee has also unveiled a new plan that requires classification of BVN into two – BVN Premium and BVN Lite.

    CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said BVN Premium will cover customers that can provide the 18 basic requirements for a complete BVN enrolment, while the BVN Lite will require minimal documentation like name and phone number for bank customers, especially those in rural areas that do not meet the full requirements.


    This, he said, would enable such grassroots’ customers, mainly the poor, conduct minimal financial services and reduce financial exclusion rate.

    The CBN boss said the Bankers’ Committee was collaborating with the Nigerian Communication Commission and Mobile Money Operators to ensure that the project succeeds and more Nigerians brought into the financial system.

    CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele


    Emefiele said the Know Your Customer scheme would be migrated into the BVN Lite.

    He said, “However, there are people currently financially excluded, like people in our rural communities that carry phones, but not having financial services. With the collaboration of NCC, we are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them conduct minimal financial services.”


    #Newsworthy…

    Marlians! Yahoo Boy Nabbed By EFCC.

    …after impersonating Godwin Emefiele

    …cbn governor

    An internet fraudster, Onyebuchi Nwalozie Julius, is currently cooling off in one of the detention facilities of the EFCC, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for impersonating the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele.

    Onyebuchi, a native of Ngor-Okpala, Imo State, who said he is into Estate Management, allegedly confessed via verbal and written statements that he posed as the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele with email account: emefilegodwin586@yahoo.com to defraud his victims.

    A statement released by the antigraft agency says Onyebuchi confessed to have defrauded one Mr. Omar Es Sh Deeb, an Arab National, who he said made payments to him through Western Union. He also allegedly confessed that he specialized in Business Email Compromise, BEC, and his modus operandi involves searching for email addresses via Google search and sending convincing emails to his prospective victims and defrauding them as soon as they fall prey to whatever scam he had planned out.

    According to EFCC, though Onyebuchi allegedly confessed to have benefited as much as N4.5million from his criminality on the cyber space, the evidence gathered so far, may prove otherwise as investigation is still ongoing and responses are still being awaited from some of the finance houses he transacted with.

    Yahoo boy arrested for impersonating CBN governor (photos)

    Yahoo boy arrested for impersonating CBN governor (photos)
    #Newsworthy…

    Just in – CBN seeks to review strategy in tackling housing deficit.

    …the sector remains grossly underdeveloped

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has called for a review of strategy in tackling the nation’s 17million housing deficit.

    It also expressed worry on how housing projects in the country favour the upper class alone; leaving the lower class that according to the bank; has more need for shelter in desolation.

    The apex bank said whereas there is a burgeoning demand for affordable housing in Nigeria, the existing intervention by government and other economic agents were insufficient to narrow the huge and growing gap in the housing sector.

    CBN Deputy Governor, Economic policy, Dr. Nnanna Okwu stated these during the commissioning of CBN Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited Housing Project ‘Solar City Estate Enugu’.

    Represented by CBN Enugu Branch Controller, Ogbueshi Chiedozie Okonjo, Okwu noted that the housing sector is strategic to the Nigerian economy and contributed about 8.0 per cent to GDP during the period 2014-2018.

    “However, the sector remains grossly underdeveloped due to certain inhibiting factors, which have resulted to a huge housing deficit. Besides, housing production in the country caters mainly for the upper income households in the urban centres, leaving an acute housing shortage for middle- and low-income households. Ironically it is the people in the lower income strata that have the greatest need for housing,” Okwu lamented.

    He therefore suggested that meeting Nigeria’s housing needs must not be predicated on the so-called ‘Trickle-down theory.’

    Okwu said the construction of the new estate in Enugu was a giant stride towards innovative solutions to providing affordable housing for members irrespective of their financial capabilities, guarantees flexible payment plan, in line with federal government initiatives of reducing the housing deficit in the country.

    Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Simon Ortuanya stated that the housing project was an indication that CBN has staff welfare as one of its priorities and sensitive to its corporate social responsibilities and environment.

    The developer, Mr. Uche Uche disclosed that the Estate was made up 180 plots in 14 hectares land space and powered with solar system electricity with other amenities.

    He said with the commissioning of the first phase of the project, the second phase which will involve development of properties in the estate will commence right away.

    #Newsworthy..

    Banks to promote women entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

    As Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), back in 2012, the current Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammadu Sanusi 11, never doubted the capacity of the Nigerian woman to create jobs and contribute to the nation’s GDP if only her access to finance could be enhanced.

    In recognition of her unique role in national economic development, the then apex bank’s boss’s next challenge was on how to activate the various buttons to improve women entrepreneurs’ access to business finance hitherto beclouded by a variety of cultural, religious and legal encumbrances, realising that financial empowerment of women-run businesses could be a stepping stone to higher standards of living for more people in the country.

    That he did with the launch of a dedicated fund for women entreprenuers at single digit interest rate.

    Following that historic flag off by Sanusi, the current leadership of the CBN under Mr Godwin Emefiele, took the initiative higher with the Revised Microfinance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria which set aside a N220billion intervention fund to increase access to credit opportunities for women in business to expand their projects.

    In collaboration with the Bankers Committee, a body of Chief Executives of banks in the country, the CBN backed up these credit policy initiatives with management toolkit and capacity building schemes embedded in its financial inclusion mandate to equip intervention fund beneficiaries with hands-on knowledge on book keeping, financial planning, and improved bankability of their projects, as well as the financial discipline needed to sustain a mutually beneficial relationship within the banking industry.

    In the last five years, the narrative of financial services for most women entrepreneurs has drastically changed given the speed of implementation and disbursement of the N220billion set aside for small businesses owned and managed by women having been statutorily allocated 60 per cent of the fund.

    Recent reports on the performance of the intervention fund show the initiative has created thousands of successful women entrepreneurs, who have been able to increase their networth, employ more labour and are also contributing to the nation’s GDP through taxes to the government. As in other sectors of the economy, the apex bank’s new stimulus to carving a niche for women in business has boosted their access to financial services with a financial inclusion rating rising higher year on year.

    With Nigeria’s adult financial inclusion rate at over 60 per cent according to a 2018 survey by EFInA, women position has also risen higher with opportunities now available to them to borrow from formal financial channels.

    Before now however, although the contributions of women to Nigeria’s economic development were well recognised,, not much was done in the area of credit to help them fully optimise their potential.

    Today the story of the Nigerian business women is changing from small family enterprises to bigger and more formalised organisations with improved access to credit.

    A recent publication by the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion highlights that in developed countries, women are starting businesses at a faster rate than men, and making significant contributions to job creation and economic growth and this is also true for transition economies, although the comparable rate of growth could be slower.

    This improvement is largely attributable to their enhanced capacity of women-owned businesses to get funding from the banks, unlike before when such barriers like absence of collateral ownership and lack of credit histories due to the fact that most of them ran unstructured businesses stood against their efforts

    Yet, it is a fact that improving financial support for women would increase the number of new businesses, which in turn, would boost economic activity, enable the expansion of old businesses, leading to increased productivity and growth. Financial empowerment enhances the bargaining power of women at the family level and this allows larger latitude for investment in child-nutrition, health and education, thereby regenerating the future workforce.

    The experience of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh provides evidence that women might be better fund managers. It noted that of the loans given out by the bank, over 98 per cent were recovered, implying a near 0 per cent default.

    Moreover, giving women access to finance has emerged as a lucrative business for fund providers. The Global Banking Alliance for women has seen a steady upward trend in its profits, which has also put its operations on the path to sustainability.

    Initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria

    One of the key targets of the Revised Microfinance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria is to eliminate gender disparity by ensuring that women’s access to financial services increases by 15 per cent annually.

    In view of the peculiar challenges that women face in accessing financial services in Nigeria, the CBN approved the establishment of MSMEDF intended to ensure that a minimum of 60 per cent of the MSMEDF are committed to providing funding to women in order to address their peculiar financial exclusion challenges. The key objectives include providing grants for capacity building of staff in microfinance institutions (MFBs, MFIs and similar institutions) and their apex bodies on women based lending, promoting the development of regulatory provisions that are favourable to women lending, supporting initiatives that can improve financial literacy, entrepreneurship development for women clients, supporting programmes that are geared towards the mobilisation of women, research and development, and promotion of women friendly financial innovations and products.

    The CBN also supports, inclusion and literacy as cornerstones for reducing poverty against which background it took the lead in developing Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy to ensure that a clear agenda is set for increasing both access and usage of financial services within a defined timeline for excluded groups including women is achieved. Indeed, the financial inclusion strategy provides for reducing the exclusion rate of women from 54 per cent to 20 per cent by the year 2020. To achieve this, special incentives and provisions would be made available to financial institutions to develop products that would meet the needs of Nigerian women. The CBN as part of its developmental efforts supports Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDC) in the six geo-political zones of the country with special focus on women in the implementation of these centres.

    In addition to the above, it has also been promoting women into leadership and decision- making roles with the Bankers’ Committee comprising the CBN, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Deposit Money-Banks and Discount Houses leading to its declaring 2012 the year of “Women Economic Empowerment”. The Bankers’ Committee has also dedicated a sub-committee focused on women economic empowerment headed by a female bank chief.

    Women-owned Enterprises

    Seed Capital

    The Fund took off with a seed capital of N220billion, 60 per cent of which was available to providing financial services to women managing small and medium scales enterprises (SMEs) so that they can be gainfully involved in the private sector of the economy. The remaining 40 per cent of the loan goes to other micro business entrepreneurs such as vulcanisers, hair salon owners, bakers, tailors, as well as other medium-scale businesses that help to promote production of goods in the country

    Improving the bankability of women entrepreneurs,

    To make the project achieve its purpose, the apex bank in collaboration with the Bankers Committee has also taken steps through capacity building to enhance the bankability of women businesses to prepare them for lenders/investors willing to finance. In this regard a number of these entrepreneurs have given the capacity to be able to run the numbers to understand their future cash flows – (the net value of what you receive vs your expenses), to know if their cashflow projections would be sufficient to repay the loan on time.

    With such trainings too, the women business managers can understand when they are at break -even point assuming the business profitable.

    Furthermore, all the issues about collateral security that would enable them stay on the right side of the law and complying with industry regulations are now being resolved to avoid unnecessary sanction that can threaten the future survival of the entity.

    It is also very critical that women entrepreneurs understand the need to separate their company’s financials from your personal finances since personal lifestyle should not be funded using the capitalincome of the company.

    To make a business case attractive, the business plan should include details such as the scalability of the project; profitability, liquidity; technology and quality of management. Other important aspects of the business plan are a clear description of the market and the value- added proposition which clearly articulates the uniqueness of the project or service.

    There are several examples of Nigerian women who have successfully balanced passion and viability with the support of some of the financial institutions with passion for supporting businesses owned and managed by women.

    Through the banking industry’s deliberate policy initiative to support women entrepreneurs, several Nigerian women has now come up to fill identified gaps in specific niche markets to create products and services that meet the needs of the customers across sectors with the very robust support of the banks that assisted to expand and create more jobs for the youths

    Leading the rank of banks partnering the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide funding for women-run enterprises are, Zenith International Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc and Access Bank among others.

    Zenith Bank Plc

    Zenith Bank has been deepely involved in the promotion of small and medium enterprises including those founded and managed by women.

    For instance, “STYLE BY ZENITH 2.0” comes naturally as one of the flagship programmes for empowerment of women run businesses.

    Using it extensive network of branches within and outside the country, Zenith Bank Plc, has in the last three decades emerged as a preferred financial services provider for the Nigerian business community wishing to be different from the rest of the crowd.

    It is therefore not surprising that Zenith Bank is staunchly supporting businesses owned and run by women entrepreneurs through its robust financing packages for small and medium enterprises across different sectors of the economy.

    Indeed, apart from its deep understanding of the peculiarities of the Nigerian business environment, the bank has also proven it has adequate resources to meet the needs of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), against which it has built a global network of financial services and products that have made it a reliable partner for Nigerian women entrepreneurs. This attribute coupled with its globally acclaimed sustainability principles and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have place Zenith Bank in a class of its own.

    A classic example of the bank’s commitment to changing the narrative of women MSMEs in its annual sponsorship of its small businesses clinic, “STYLE BY ZENITH 2.0” following the success of the maiden edition of that signature product,”

    Available report says the impact the programme has left in the lives of the business community since the maiden out was huge against the management adopted it as the spring board for mentoring thousands of budding women entrepreneurs in the Nigerian MSME space, hence the second outing last August.

    The bank believes that with the sustained hosting of that signature project “Style by Zenith 2.0”, as its flagship lifestyle fair dedicated to intentionally celebrating the ‘small’ things that make ‘big’ differences in the lives of Nigerian people, many more Nigerians would be lifted out of poverty.

    First hosted in 2018, the “Style by Zenith 2.0” initiative was created with the objective of supporting and creating value for customers by focusing on various aspects of their lifestyle and covers a wide range of activities where most Nigerian women have excelled including fashion designing, makeup artists, ICT and programme design among others

    For 2019, “Style by Zenith 2.0” took things up a notch with the theme, “Style the Life you Desire”, aimed at encouraging Nigerians to live their best lives and be extraordinary. The platform sought to inspire people to be authentic, while showing them that with ordinary talent and extraordinary effort, they can thrive and make a real change in this world.

    Speaking on the rationale behind “Style by Zenith 2.0”, the Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc., Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, said, “Banking, for Zenith Bank means going that extra mile to be present in the lives of our customers. Driven by a culture of excellence and providing cutting edge solutions, the bank is championing this cause to enable individuals and businesses to grow wealth.”

    He added that “Beyond providing financial solutions, Zenith Bank Plc seeks to be a reliable partner to its customers, ensuring that they excel on every front. With “Style by Zenith 2.0”, the bank continues in its commitment to empowering individuals and entrepreneurs by celebrating real talents. We will be helping people do what they know how to do best and repositioning them for greater levels of success in their various endeavours.”

    This year’s programme included an interesting line up of activities all culminating in the 3-day Lifestyle Fair taking place at the end of 2019. Kicking off the array of activities is the “Style by Zenith 2.0” Fitness Walks being held in conjunction with Mass Medical Missions, a non-profit organisation, and Venus Medicare Ltd, a leading Health Management Organisation in the country.

    The Fitness Walk served as a platform to promote Mission Pink Cruise – a project of Mass Medical Missions supported by Zenith Bank, aimed at taking holistic cancer prevention and health promotion to various communities across the country using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) nicknamed Pink Cruises, the first of its kind in Nigeria.

    These Fitness Walks and Cancer Screening exercises were held in five cities across Nigeria – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Onitsha.

    Aside the fitness walks across the country, there is a whole lot of activities such as conferences, online engagements, and a special event for models that builds on the masterclass held last year, not forgetting the special play arcade and activities designed for children at the fair. The whole gamut of events and activities lined up also come with free medical check-ups like free eye, dental and cancer tests, amongst other special promotions both online and at the events leading to the final crescendo which is the 3-Day Lifestyle Fair.

    With initiatives such as these and many more to come, “Style by Zenith 2.0” offered an all-encompassing experience touching on key aspects of the lifestyle of Zenith customers and the public.

    The “Style by Zenith 2.0” platform is also a testament to the priority given to SMEs and the retail segment of the market by the bank. Along with its various partners, Zenith Bank will be laying the foundation for a future where individuals and SMEs can live up to their full potential.

    Fashion One, the leading global fashion and lifestyle channel will once again be working with Zenith Bank on the “Style by Zenith 2.0” initiative.

    Established in 1990, Zenith Bank Plc is a leading multinational bank providing corporate, business, retail and personal banking services through its network of over 500 branches and business offices, serving millions of customers. The brand is a proven leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology and has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking.

    Fidelity Bank

    At Fidelity Bank Plc, helping to build startups in all sectors including women owned enterprises comes naturally.

    That perhaps explains why as a leading player in the financing of Nigerian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) evidenced in its successful running of the Fidelity Managed SMEs initiative where many women managed organisations have been largely supported, the bank has always taken a front row in development financing.

    The bank had continued to leverage local and international financing windows from the Central Bank of Nigeria the on-lending initiatives with the Bank of Industry, the Development Bank of Nigerian and the World Bank to promote financial inclusiveness of Nigerian women by financing their various projects, particularly under the Fidelity Managed SMEs scheme to give a helping hand to various women -run enterprises in parts of the country . The project focuses on providing solutions to the challenges faced by MSMEs in Nigeria through a multifaceted approach. At the core of the solutions that the bank provides to MSMEs is the robust business advisory service component that embodies the totality of the practical steps needed to handhold and guide aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to building sustainable businesses. Fidelity Bank also has the all new Fidelity Business Plus, a combination of low-cost current account product and the Sage One Accounting Software.

    Over the last few years, the bank has helped thousands of women-owned and managed enterprises rediscover the winning ways, thus creating jobs for Nigerian youths and supporting the government build a sustainable economy.

    Access Bank Plc

    In the business of financing women owned businesses, Access Bank Plc stands out in the Nigerian banking industry with its iconic W Initiative which seeks to promote enterprises owned and run by women.

    Through this project, the bank has given more women a stronger voice in corporate Nigeria, by nurturing them from their informal activities to a more formalised structure

    Only last September, Access Bank’s W Initiative partnered the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to launch LSETF designed to empower women in the state.

    The initiative, with a total loan portfolio of N10 billion, will be available for businesses that women hold at least 50per cent ownership share and must have been in operation for one to five years.

    Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of Lagos state, summed it all when said at the MoU signing ceremony that: “The LSETF W Initiative has come at a very critical time for our economy, as we believe that women have a great role to play towards achieving the developmental results that we seek in our state.

    Sanwo-Olu said “It is important to leverage on the accumulation of resources built through relationships, trust, goodwill, and influence between the State and other private sector stakeholders to make things happen quickly, stressing the state was very proud of Access Bank which has continued to make its financial and business expertise as well as funds available towards ensuring that Nigerian women are given adequate access to resources that will aid their successes.”

    Although that LSETF launch with the Lagos government was not the first for the bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank group managing director, used it to restate its commitment to partner various stakeholders to give women the support they need to successfully implement their business ideas.

    “Looking at the number of women present here today, I don’t think the initial N4billion we set aside to help them will be sufficient and based on that, the initiative fund will be increased to N10billion.

    He noted that through partnerships with organisations like the LSETF, Access Bank will continue to help women break boundaries, reinvent the status-quo and take advantage of opportunities provided by technology and quality financial systems to make a significant impact on the economy of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.