Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, stated yesterday during the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, that any move to float the naira is tantamount to a disaster for the economy.
Emefiele’s comment came as an indirect response to People Democratic Party’s Presidential aspirant, Mr Atiku Abubakar, who, last week, criticised the CBN’s policies under the current CBN Governor.
Recall that Atiku had also threatened to sack the man if he eventually wins the February 2019 presidential election.
Meanwhile, in his reaction, Mr Emefiele said that Monetary Policy Committee members reviewed Mr Atiku’s plan before concluding that it would be a bad move.
“Normally, the Central Bank as an independent institution is apolitical but it is also important that at the MPC meeting today we asked ourselves if there is any merit in it to begin to say that we should look at free-floating the currency or that we should allow free import of goods that we have restricted. The MPC came to a conclusion that this was a wrong premise.
“We cannot be talking about allowing import of items that can be produced in the country today, exporting jobs from Nigeria to foreign countries, and we say we have the interest of Nigeria at heart? We don’t agree with anybody. It is a wrong premise to say that you will allow imports to just flood the country just because you want to please anybody. It is not in our interest.”
Speaking further, the CBN boss argued if the exchange rate becomes free float, it would result in the following negative implications:
- It will result in capital flight from the country.
- Lead to a massive depreciation/devaluation of the naira.
- Cause a currency crisis in Nigeria.
The CBN Governor then went further to state that the apex bank is getting even more aggressive in its bid to curtail the importation of goods into the country.
And still in a subtle reaction to Mr Atiku’s criticism, Emefiele stated that he has done well as CBN’s Governor. He backed this up by citing the construction of Dangote Refinery, which he implied might never have happened if not for the policy direction taken by the CBN on importation. And as the refinery nears completion, Emefiele is hopeful that Nigeria will end the importation of fertiliser soon.
He concluded by saying that the CBN has always been apolitical and will try as much as possible to remain that way. However, whenever it is dragged into political matters, the apex bank will always clear its name, Emefiele said.
NSITF board to investigate suspended MD and others over financial misconduct
The board of directors of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has revealed that it will investigate the activities of the suspended Managing Director, 3 Executive Directors, and 8 other senior management staff over financial breaches and gross misconduct.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the board of NSITF, Mr. Austin Enajemo-Isire, in a statement in Enugu on Sunday July 5, 2020.
Enajemo-Isire said that the Managing Director and other top management staff of the organization would have the opportunity to clear themselves of any wrongdoing with the probe panel which was being set up.
While reacting to claims that the suspension did not follow due process as President Muhammadu Buhari did not approve it, Enajemo-Isire said that the approval for the suspension of the affected staff had been conveyed to the Labour Minister in a correspondence referenced SGF. 47/511/T/99 of June 30, 2020.
According to the Chairman, “The minister has conveyed this approval and directives to me for necessary action in terms of setting up a board-driven investigative panel.
“This is to give the affected officers the opportunity to clear themselves of the financial and procurement breaches and acts of gross misconduct and other infractions that gave rise to their prima facie indictment.
“It is in this light that I have decided to call a virtual meeting of the management board on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to consider the modalities for our action.”
He, therefore, appealed to staffers of NSITF and their social partners to keep calm and exercise restraint.
A few days ago, Nairametrics reported the suspension of the Managing Director and some senior management staff over corruption allegations. However, the management in its reaction debunked that claim and said that the President did not approve their suspension but that rather, it was the sole decision of the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, who they said was overreaching himself.
Fidelity Bank appoints Chike-Obi as Board Chairman
This announcement was contained in a notice signed by the Company Secretary.
Fidelity Bank has announced the appointment of Mustafa Chike-Obi as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The appointment has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and will take effect on August 14, 2020, after the expiration of the tenure of the current Chairman, Mr Ernest Ebi.
This announcement was contained in a notice signed by the Company Secretary, Ezinwa Unuigboje, and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Also in the notice, the bank announced the retirement of Mr Seni Adetu, who served as Independent Non-Executive Director on the board. He stepped down from the board after completing his tenure on June 30, 2020.
The board of directors and the management of the bank appreciated Ernest Ebi and Seni Adetu for their contributions to the progress of the bank during their tenures.
“Under the chairmanship of Mr Ernest Ebi, the bank recorded significant growth across key financial metrics, with both Messers Ebi and Adetu playing significant roles, complementing management efforts in the delivery of these milestones; in service of the long-term vision of the bank. The banks market share position has also been materially strengthened over the period,” the notice read.
The appointment is in line with the bank’s high governance standards and best practices, and in compliance with internal succession policies; Mr Ebi will, over the next six weeks, ensure a successful transition and smooth handover to Chike-Obi.
Mustafa Chike-Obi has over 40 years’ experience in investment banking and the financial services sector, working with reputable global investment banking and asset Management firms. He is currently with the Alpha African Advisory, where he provides leadership and oversees the capital-raising division.
He was the inaugural CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), from where he joined Alpha African Advisory.
He was also founding president at Madison Advisors, a financial services advisory and consulting firm in New Jersey, where he specialised in hedge funds and private equity investment advice.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Lagos, and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Nigerian Content Intervention Fund increased to US$350 million
The fund expansion was one of the decisions taken at the board’s recent meeting.
The governing council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCMB) announced on Sunday that it has approved a $150 million expansion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, raising it from $200 million to $350 million.
Nigerian Content Intervention Fund Increased to US$350M
The Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has approved the expansion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund from US$200 million to US$350 million.@NigeriaGov pic.twitter.com/Y0TtDzwALq
— NCDMB (@OfficialNCDMB) July 5, 2020
The fund expansion was one of the decisions taken at the board’s recent meeting on June 16, 2020, chaired by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the Chairman of the Council.
The board said that $100 million from the additional fund would be used to boost five existing loan products, which include manufacturing in the oil and gas industry, asset acquisition of rigs, marine vessels, contract financing for Nigerian oil service providers, contract financing for oil and gas community contractors, and loan refinancing with Nigerian banks.
The council also announced that $20 million and $30 million would be used for 2 newly developed loan product types (the Intervention Fund for Women in Oil & Gas and PETAN Products) which include Working Capital loans and Capacity Building loans for PETAN member companies.
Started in 2017, the Nigerian content Intervention fund was developed as a $200 Million fund managed by the Bank of Industry, to facilitate on-lending to qualified stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry on five loan product types.
The NCI Fund is a portion of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), aggregated from the one percent deduction from the value of contracts executed in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
According to the NCMB, “About 94 percent of the NCI Funds has been disbursed to 27 beneficiaries as at May 2020.”