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Business News

These Five States got the highest share from the N243.7 billion Paris Club refund

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The Federal Government has released N243.79 billion as the second tranche of the Paris Club Refund to the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory. With the fresh release of the second tranche of N243.79 billion, the amount so far disbursed to states as refund under the Paris Club loan is now N760.17 billion.

About “Paris Club” Payment

President Muhammadu Buhari on May 4, approved payment in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deduction from their allocations from the Federation Account for external debts service arising between 1995 and 2002.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun explained that these debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the FG and states. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states had already been overcharged.”

The funds, according to the statement, were released to the state governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy.

It added that the funds were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.

How it should be used

The ministry said the releases were predicated on the condition that a minimum of 75 per cent of the money would be used for the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.

Some examples;

  • The Osun State Government, in a statement on Tuesday confirmed that it had received N6.314 billion as the second tranche of the refund. The state government, in the statement by the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, said the money was paid into the account of the state on Monday.
  • The Benue State Government said it received N6.4billion, half of the N12 billion they were expecting. They said the money would be substantially utilised for salary payment after one or two processes would have been completed.
  • The Ogun State Government also said it received N5.7billion as second tranche of the refund. Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had approved N4.5 billion for the payment of cooperative deductions arrears to all categories of workers in the state.  N3.4 billion had been disbursed for the payment of six months’ arrears of outstanding cooperative deductions to all categories of the workforce at the state level. Another N1.1billlion was disbursed for the payment of three months of outstanding cooperative deductions to workers at the local government level.

Highest share

A breakdown of the N243.79 billion Paris Club refund showed that Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Kano, and Rivers received the highest amount of N10billion each.

The total amount of N50billion received by these five states represents 20.5 per cent of the entire amount released under the second tranche.

These five states also got the highest chunk – N135.09billion when the first tranche of N516.38 billion was released by the government in December last year.

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Who got what

  • Lagos received N8.37billion;
  • Katsina, N8.2 billion;
  • Oyo, N7.9 billion;
  • Kaduna, N7.72 billion;
  • Borno, N7.34 billion
  • Niger N7.21 billion.
  • Abia, N5.71billion
  • Adamawa, N6.11billion;
  • Anambra, N6.12billion;
  • Bauchi, N6.87billion;
  • Benue, N6.85 billion;
  • Cross River, N6.07 billion;
  • Ebonyi, N4.51 billion;
  • Edo N6.09 billion;
  • Ekiti N4.77billion.
  • Enugu, N5.36 billion;
  • Gombe, N4.47 billion;
  • Imo, N7 billion;
  • Jigawa, N7.1 billion;
  • Kebbi, N5.97 billion;
  • Kogi, N6.02billion;
  • Kwara N5.12 billion;
  • Nasarawa, N4.55 billion;
  • Ogun, N5.73 billion;
  • Ondo, N7 billion;
  • Osun, N6.31 billion
  • Plateau, N5.64billion;
  • Sokoto, N6.44billion;
  • Taraba, N5.61billion;
  • Yobe N5.41billion;
  • Zamfara, N5.44billion;
  • Federal Capital Territory N684.86million.

 

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Business News

Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

READ: 28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

What they are saying

Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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Business News

ABCON asks CBN to check impact of cryptocurrencies on diaspora remittances

The association also noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

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ABCON disagrees with those calling for naira devaluation

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce measures that will neutralize the positive effects of cryptocurrencies as a channel for diaspora remittances.

This is to redirect diaspora remittances away from cryptocurrency exchanges to official channels and also protect such against potential disruptions.

This call was made by ABCON during its Quarterly Economic Review for the first quarter of 2021 where it commended the CBN for the N5/$ rebate scheme introduced to encourage diaspora Nigerians to use official channels to remit their funds.

However, the association noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

READ: Nigeria among worst countries to start a career, and they all don’t accept crypto

What ABCON is saying in their statement

The association in its statement said, “It is noteworthy that public acceptability for cryptocurrency exchanges are rising which could be quite accountable for the wide drop in diaspora inflows to Nigeria. Insecurity in the country is giving it greater prominence as investors and citizens are finding Cryptocurrency a safe haven for their wealth in case of any eventuality.

In most Emerging Markets Bitcoin transfers surged last year, as the pandemic exposed the cheaper and more efficient digital remittance services. Migrants sending money across borders to their families prefer the minimal transaction costs of cryptocurrency exchanges against the exorbitant costs of traditional money transfer companies like Western Union.”

READ: Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

According to ABCON, “Cryptocurrency transactions are faster than the conventional transfers, which require passing through banks reliant SWIFT, the sluggish, half-century-old interbank messaging system that handles cross-border payments.

These exchanges override the political complications of official channels. The global reach of cryptocurrencies avoids the inflation risk inherent to official currencies, especially in politically unstable countries reliant on fickle foreign investors.

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Thus, while we commend the efforts of CBN in introducing the package of Five Naira for One Dollar transfer, it can be seen from the analysis above that the challenges exceed just non-payment of foreign currency by the IMTCs and the exchange rate. Strategies that satisfy the most sensitive of these advantages of Cryptocurrency exchanges must be introduced to redirect flows to the official channel.”

ABCON also expressed concerns over the country’s huge unemployment rate, urging the government to apply radical approaches with the use of both conventional and unconventional economic and political tools to redress the trend.

READ: Afreximbank President reveals ways Nigeria can boost diaspora participation in economy

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What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the apex bank had about 2 months ago, warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
  • The CBN directed financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a few days ago, revealed that it is working with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.

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