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CBN seeks to ensure 80% of adults can access financial services

The new National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) which was recently revised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was finally disclosed yesterday.

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The new National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), which was recently revised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was finally disclosed yesterday.

The CBN redesigned the NFIS with the objective of ensuring that come 2020, more adult Nigerians (at least eighty percent of them), can easily access financial services.

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Consequently, the new document outlined the strategies that need to implemented in order to actualise Nigeria’s financial inclusion quest.

“The Strategy defined a set of targets for products, channels and enablers of financial inclusion. The KPIs were defined, based on the various dimensions of financial inclusion, including access, usage, affordability, appropriateness, financial literacy, consumer protection and gender. The NFIS proposed strategies for each of these elements, which included a comprehensive set of policy and regulatory changes as well as suggested business models. In the implementation of the Strategy, the targets were further tailored to reflect the needs and challenges of individual financial service providers (FSPs).” -CBN

The NFIS at a glance

Nigeria’s apex bank, the CBN, adopted the NFIS in 2012. The Strategy articulated the demand-side, supply-side and regulatory barriers to financial inclusion. It also identified areas of focus, set targets, determined key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as established implementation structure.

The NFIS was built on four strategic areas of agency banking, which include -mobile banking/mobile payments, linkage models and client empowerment.

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More so, the Strategy defined a set of targets for products, channels and enablers of financial inclusion. The KPIs were defined, based on the various dimensions of financial inclusion, including access, usage, affordability, appropriateness, financial literacy, consumer protection and gender.

What the revised strategy is aimed at

According to the CBN, the revised NFIS is aimed at reducing “the proportion of adult Nigerians that are financially excluded to 20 per cent in the year 2020 from it baseline figure of 46.3 per cent in 2010.”

Nigeria’s financial inclusion puzzle

Note that a total of 40.1 million adult Nigerians (about 41.6 per cent of the adult population) were financially excluded in 2016. Out of this number, 61.4% were between the ages of 18 and 35, and 55.1% were women. Also, 34.0% had no formal education even as 80.4% resided in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the revised strategy has revealed that some demographics were excluded from the earlier strategy. These include 46.5% of the females, 52.5% of those in the rural areas, 53.5% of youths aged 18 to 25, 70% of those from the North West, and 62% of those from the North East. More so, MSMEs were also peculiarly excluded from financial services.

Now, the CBN has emphasised that “the aforementioned demographic (women, rural areas, youth, Northern geopolitical zones and MSMEs shall be the primary focus of intervention in this revised NFIS.”

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Coronavirus

CBN announces new policy measures, reduces interest rates for financial institutions

CBN will be reducing interest rates on its facilities through participating financial institutions from 9% to 5% per annum for a year.

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As part of its monetary and financial policy measures to further mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on households, and businesses, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has approved regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities in the Other Financial Institution (OFI) sub-sector.

This was disclosed in a circular signed by the CBN’s Director for Financial Policy and Regulatory Department, Kevin Amugo, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

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In the circular, stated that Amugo the apex bank will be reducing interest rates on its facilities through participating financial institutions from 9% to 5% per annum for a year with effect from March 1, 2020.

According to the circular, CBN has approved regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector as follows:

‘’CBN Intervention facilities availed through participating OFIs are granted a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments, effective March 1, 2020.

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‘’Interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities through participating OFIs hereby reduced from 9% to 5% per annum for 1-year effective March 1, 2020.

‘’OFIs are granted leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses affected by COVID-19, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFIs sub-sector.”

This new policy measure by the apex bank is in continuation of its intervention in the nation’s economy so as to help manage the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and reduce its effects on household and businesses.

This is coming a day before the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for the month of May which has been slated for tomorrow Thursday, May 27, 2020.

Meanwhile, the CBN said that it shall continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Economy & Politics

President Buhari directs Ministries of Power, Finance, BPE to seal Siemens deal

Presidency has approved the release of funding for the first part of Phase 1 of the PPI, to kick-off the pre-engineering and concession financing workstreams.

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Nigeria-Siemens power deal get N61 billion allocation 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministries of Power, Finance, and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to conclude the nation’s engagement with Siemens AG over regular power supply.

The directive, which was issued via the Presidency’s Twitter handle on Wednesday, was to start the pre-engineering & concessionary financing aspects of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).

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PPI is a power infrastructure upgrade and modernization Programme agreed to by the Federal Government and Siemens AG of Germany, with the support of the German Government. The ultimate goal of the initiative, according to the government, is to modernize and increase the Nigerian electricity grid capacity from its current capacity of  about 5 GW to 25 GW, over three phases.

How it works: Under the PPI, Nigeria on behalf of the other shareholders in the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), will invest in infrastructure upgrades in the form of improved payment systems, distribution substations, transformers, protection devices, smart meters, and transmission lines among others.

The President explained that all DisCos have, directly and through the BPE, been diligently carried along over the last 15 months to understand in detail the challenges in the electricity systems.

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Funding: The funding for the PPI will be secured under concessionary terms (up to 3-year moratorium and 12-year repayment at concessionary interest rates) through the German Euler Hermes cover, which Nigeria will on-lend as a convertible loan to the other shareholders in the DisCos.

According to the statement, President Buhari has approved the release of funding for the first part of Phase 1 of the PPI, to kick-off the pre-engineering and concession financing workstreams.

“To ensure fairness and transparency of the intervention, the President has also directed that the nation engage the International Finance Corporation (‘IFC’) to assist in developing the commercial structure of the intervention…

“The President has also directed that to ensure value for money and preserve the integrity & transparency of the procurement process under the Govt-to-Govt framework, Siemens AG shall be solely responsible for nominating its EPC partners to perform all onshore works; NO middlemen.

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“Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes… Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a Govt-to-Govt framework. No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians,” President Buhari added.

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The PPI journey started on August 31, 2018, when Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Nigeria and met with President Buhari. Then the Chancellor brought along with her a business delegation that included the Global CEO of Siemens.

Nigeria and Germany agreed to explore cooperation in a number of areas, including Power.

PPI was designed to deliver improved power supply nationwide, with attendant results in job creation, investor confidence, cost and ease of doing business and economic growth. The partnership is also  expected to guarantee training & capacity building for thousands of young Nigerians (non-graduates, students & graduates).

Other goals include the creation of economic opportunities for Nigerian engineering companies that will serve as local vendors for the provision of manpower and equipment. Overall, the partnership will guarantee inflow of additional investment into the power sector.

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Companies

Endeavour honours founders of Kobo360

Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent.

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Kobo360

Endeavour, a leading global movement for high-impact entrepreneurship, has honoured the founders of Kobo360, Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele as Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that uses big data and agile technology to reduce friction and improve efficiency in the African logistics ecosystem.

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Managing Director, Endeavor in Nigeria, Gihan-Mbelu, explained that the company is excited to welcome Kobo360 into Endeavor’s network which includes some of the world’s most exciting scale-up entrepreneurs and most experienced mentors and investors.

He said, “Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent, and Kobo360’s rapid growth over the past 3 years is evidence that the company’s valuable services are in critical demand. Obi and Ife are inspiring founders and their relentless focus on scaling Kobo360 serves as an inspiration to high-impact entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Meanwhile, since launching in 2017, Kobo360 has surpassed several milestones, including a $30 million Series A in August 2019.

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“It’s an honour to be joining this global network of high-impact entrepreneurs and to have Endeavor recognise our efforts to transform Africa’s logistics sector using technology. As entrepreneurs, we wanted to turn African problems into African opportunities.

“Focusing on logistics, Ife and I started Kobo360 to not only fix the inefficiencies that exist, but to build opportunities for the businesses we serve and most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers across Africa. This is a fundamental milestone in Kobo360’s journey; our Global Logistics Operating System [GLOS] will revolutionize supply chain across emerging markets, Ozor, Co-founder & CEO of Kobo360.

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