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Debtors Shiver, As CBN Will Publish List by August

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About N400 billion bad debts outstanding in the banking sector is causing panic in the industry and most of the debtors are individuals who have the capacity to pay but have refused to do so.
Following this development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Deposit Money Banks in the country has concluded plans to publish the list of such debtors starting from August 1, 2015.

Mrs Tokunbo Martins, Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, who spoke to journalists on the outcome of the 322 Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja said that “You will recall that at the last Bankers Committee meeting, we discussed about publishing the names of serial debtors of banks.
“We discussed this again because of the fact that the date is drawing close. Last time we had the meeting, we said that there should be three months of grace to give the debtors the opportunity to put the facilities back to performing status.
“So, by the 1st of August, any debtor that hasn’t done so, the name will be published by the bank. So, the banks are encouraged to speak to their customers that fall into that category that they should put in more effort to pay off,’’ she said .

Martins said that the total credit currently in the system was between N13 and N14 trillion and about three per cent of it was non-performing.
She stressed that banks had an upper limit target of five per cent.
On the electronic banking space, Mr Phillip Oduzua, chief executive of UBA, said that 12.5 million customers had been enrolled on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise.
“We believe that this is a substantial mileage that we have made and there is still room to close the gap knowing that the deadline for everybody to enrol is June 30th.
“In the event that any customer is not enrolled, it is possible that the customer may not be able to enjoy a lot of the banking services.
“As such, we will urge all customers of banks to enrol so that they would continue to enjoy unhindered services from the banks,’’ he said.

According to him, customers who fail to enrol may not enjoy credit facilities, foreign exchange services and internet banking, among others.
On cashless policy, Oduzua said with the progress made so far, the policy would be extended to every part of the country before the end of third quarter.
On the foreign exchange market, Mr Jubril Aku of Ecobank said that the committee reviewed the sector and would continue to partner CBN to meet legitimate needs of customers.

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Currencies

ABCON warns: Forex speculators risk losing money as they push for forceful depreciation

ABCON has strongly warned foreign exchange speculators pushing for the forceful depreciation of the naira through their illegal activities.

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ABCON warns FG on France’s involvement in ECO currency

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has strongly warned foreign exchange speculators, who have been pushing for the forceful depreciation of the naira through their illegal activities, that they run the risk of losing their money.

According to a report from ThisDay, this is contained in a statement issued by ABCON on Sunday, November 22, 2020, and titled, “ABCON warns speculators will lose money as CBN has enough reserves to fund market, defend naira“.

The President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said foreign exchange speculators run the risk of losing their funds, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has enough in its reserve to defend the naira and close the widening gap between official and parallel market rates.

The demand pressure on the naira from importers and currency speculators has seen the local currency depreciate to N484 to a dollar in the parallel market, otherwise known as the black market as at last week Friday, whereas the official CBN rate still remained stable at N379 to a dollar.

Gwadabe, pointed out that with almost $36 billion in foreign reserves, the CBN has what it takes to punish the enemies of the economy, who are forcing the naira to depreciate through speculative activities.

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He said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has continued to take the right steps and measures to stabilize the exchange rate and ensure that foreign exchange is made available to manufacturers and end users, who need the funds for their medical trips, school fees payment, travel allowances, amongst others.

He also acknowledged that the allocation of dollars to Bureau De Change operators (BDCs) has also helped to deepen the forex market and reduce the level of forex scarcity that usually encouraged speculative activities.

He pointed out that the gap between the official rate and the black market will soon be narrowed down to the barest minimum, with the CBN having the needed financial strength to fund the forex market.

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Gwadebe said, “I think that the CBN by pushing the official foreign exchange rate from N306 to N379 to the dollar is in line with market demand. It has also helped to narrow the official-parallel market rates gap that formed the basis of ridiculous speculations among unpatriotic forex dealers and spectators.’’

Gwadabe advised the FG to enhance security surveillance at the nation’s borders to checkmate illegal foreign currency cash transactions.

He further called for BDC operators’ liquidity ratios to be raised to discourage dollar holdings. He said ABCON Executives will from this week begin enforcement of regulatory compliance of its members in BDC design market, saying it was helping to overheat that market.

Gwadabe disclosed that ABCON Executive Council under his leadership will continue to promote transparency and efficient market dealings, while commending the CBN Management for its progressive policies towards a stable exchange rate that aligns with its mandate of exchange rate stability.

What you should know

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It can be recalled that despite the intervention of the CBN with the allocation of forex to BDCs and formulation of policies to help conserve forex and increase the dollar inflow into the country, the exchange rate disparity appears to widen further.

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Debt Securities

N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund

ASHON has rejected plans by the Federal Government of Nigeria to manage the N200 million unclaimed dividends.

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Some capital market experts, represented by the Chairman of the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria, have rejected plans by the Federal Government of Nigeria to manage unclaimed dividends – which is projected to hit N200bn by the end of this year, according to a report by Punch.

The Chairman, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria, Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, explained that capital market regulators and operators had leveraged technology to put in place many initiatives to address the issue of unclaimed dividends. Some of these initiatives include de-materialization of shares, which entails upload of quoted companies share in the Central Securities Clearing System for ease of reconciliation, adoption of e-dividend and e-mandate, consolidation of multiple accounts, identity management engagements, and introduction of electronic Initial Public Offering.

(READ MORE: Nigeria needs $5billion for National Broadband Plan – Chairman, BISC)

What they are saying

Commenting on the recent development, Mr. Ezeagu said, “Generally, the incentives for savers and capital providers in the capital market is the expectation of dividends and capital appreciation.

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It is, therefore, our considered view that the proposed legislation, if passed, will be a great disincentive to savings, long-term capital mobilization, and serious disruption of the Nigerian economy, since it will take away the only expectation of investors in the market.”

Corroborating him, the President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe, said the Securities and Exchange Commission would always ensure the transfer of unclaimed dividends to the capital reserves of the company for restricted utilization, such as capital expansion and issuance of bonus shares to the company’s shareholders.

What you should know

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Nairametrics had earlier reported that some law makers (Reps) raised alarm over N200 billion unclaimed dividends in 2020. In lieu of this perceived need, a proposal for the creation of an unclaimed dividend and utilized bank balance trust fund was emphasized in the 2020 Finance Bill — wherein, dividends declared and unclaimed would be warehoused and owed as a perpetual debt to shareholders.

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Energy

Nigeria imported over 55% of cooking gas consumed in October 2020

55.47% of cooking gas consumed by Nigerians in October 2020 was imported, according to a recent report by the PPPRA.

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Nigerians paid less to refill cooking gas in October - NBS report

Nigeria imported 55.47% of cooking gas, known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), consumed in October 2020, with the remaining 44.53% sourced and supplied locally.

This is according to the monthly LPG supply data, provided by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The data confirmed steady growth in the import of LPG, compared with the previous month (19.6%) and the corresponding period of 2019 (13.2%).

  • Data released by the PPPRA indicated that the total quantity of LPG both imported and sourced locally in October 2020 was 123.27 thousand Metric Tonnes in Vacuum (MT (Vac)).
  • Out of this, 68.37 thousand MT (Vac) was imported, and 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) was sourced locally.

(READ MORE: EndSARS: A day by day timeline of the protest that has brought Nigeria to its knees)

  • Imports grew by 19.6% in October, compared with September and by 13.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
  • On the other hand, LPG sourced locally declined by 30.8%, compared with the previous month. However, it grew significantly by 219.3% compared with the corresponding period of 2019.
  • NIPCO, with Port of Discharge at BOP, Apapa and PWA, Lagos, was the highest importer of the commodity into the country in October 2020, with 32.67 thousand MT (Vac) of LPG, representing 47.8% of the total import and 26.5% of total LPG supplied in the period under review.
  • The other importers, according to the data, includes Matrix Energy, 12.46 thousand MT (Vac); Algasco LPG Services Limited, a subsidiary of Vitol, 13.82 thousand MT (Vac); Prudent, 5.63 thousand MT (Vac); and Hyson, 3.80 thousand MT (Vac).
  • The origin of the imported LPG was the USA and Equatorial Guinea. The USA supplied 50.27 thousand MT (Vac), representing 73.5%, while Equatorial Guinea supplied 18.10 thousand MT (Vac), representing 26.5%. Imported LPG was discharged at BOP, Apapa; Matrix Jetty, Warri; PWA, Lagos, and Prudent Energy Jetty, Oghara.

(READ MORE: FG gives reasons for fuel subsidy removal, discloses alternative to kerosene)

  • NIPCO was responsible for 26.42 thousand MT (Vac) of the total 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) sourced locally in October 2020; Algasco sourced 13.20 thousand MT (Vac); Stockgap Fuels Limited sourced 8.19 thousand MT (Vac), and Rainoil sourced 7.08 MT (Vac).
  • The origin of the locally sourced LPG was NLNG, Bonny and BRT. NLNG supplied 47.82 thousand MT (Vac), representing 87.1%; while BRT supplied 7.08 thousand MT (Vac) representing 12.9%. Local LPG was discharged at PWA, Lagos; Rainoil Jetty, Lagos; Lister Jetty, Apapa; and Stockgap Jetty, Port Harcourt.

What this means

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The 30.8% decline in local supply compared to the previous month is particularly worrying, considering the huge proven gas reserves in the country estimated at over 200 trillion cubic feet.

However, the 219.3% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2019 may mean that all is well. The 55.1% increase in locally sourced LPG from 35.40 thousand MT (Vac) in August to 54.90 thousand MT (Vac) in October 2020 appears to further confirm there may be no cause for alarm.

Notwithstanding the improvement, the country needs to make concerted efforts towards developing facilities and capabilities needed to improve local production of LPG, since it has abundant gas reserves.

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What you should know

It may be argued that efforts are being made towards improving on what is currently obtainable. In this context, Nairametrics reported that the country has increased its LPG storage capacity to 69,968 Metric Tonnes. The latest addition being the 8,400 MT Tonnes capacity built by Techno Oil in Kirikiri, Lagos.

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