The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has invited service providers to submit Expression of Interest to be accredited to personalised cheque-based stock, under the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS).
Requirements for accreditation: The apex bank, in a circular released on its website, said interested entities must provide detailed information about their activities, indicating among other things:
- their qualifications to render such services as the printing of specific bank and customer information; and
- other variable data elements in the MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) code line and Quick Response (QR) code fields on newly produced cheque leaflets.
Process of accreditation: According to the circular, interested applicants, at the submission of the Expression of Interest form, will pay an application fee of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000), after which:
- a mandatory pre-assessment will be carried out based on the response from the Expression of Interest and the criteria as specified in the NCS/NICPAS guideline 2.0, and on the CBN website;
- successful applications will qualify for an accreditation visit by the bank, which is subject to the payment of the mandatory non-refundable accreditation fee of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000); and
- applicants who successfully complete the accreditation process and receive a CBN’s personalisation number and certificate can personalise cheques that would be used in the financial ecosystem in Nigeria.
[READ FURTHER: Central Bank of Nigeria to raise N1tn from treasury bills]
Meanwhile, as Nairametrics earlier reported, personalisers who wish to personalise cheques in line with the new standards must now be accredited by the Central Bank. This is what the circular revealed as the new system and is slated to commence on August 1, 2020.
About the NCS/NICPAS: The scheme was introduced by the Central Bank in 2006 with the aim of increasing efficiency and safety in the Nigerian cheque clearing system, and the implementation date is set at February 1, 2019. This, the bank noted shall run concurrently with the old standard for one and half years before the old standard is finally phased out.
A personalised cheque refers to the cheque produced precisely by a business for its own use with special features such as bank name, bank details, sort code and account details overprinted on the security background of the stock paper, which must be supplied by an accredited cheque printer.
Africa: Ghana’s healthcare overwhelmed due to Covid-19 – President
Ghanaian President has warned that he might impose a partial lockdown as healthcare facilities are overwhelmed by growing cases of coronavirus.
The Ghanaian Government has warned that Ghana’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is rising fast and could overwhelm its already extended Covid-19 treatment centres.
This was disclosed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in a Reuters report.
The Ghanaian President warned that he might impose a partial lockdown in the coming weeks as cases might reach peak levels. Active cases in Ghana climbed to 1,924 from about 900 since the 5th of January.
“Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections,” the President said.
“At this current rate … our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.”
Ghana confirmed that the new variant was present in the country, as cases were imported from people entering Ghana.
“Work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population,” Akufo-Addo said.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country were running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.
AfCFTA: Nigerian Commodities Exchange prepared for agreement – MD
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Commodities Exchange has stated that the agency is fully prepared to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
The Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) is well-positioned to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), through the implementations of several measures to ensure smooth export operations of Nigerian Commodities.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the Commodities Exchange, Mrs. Zaheera Baba-Ari, in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.
- “The establishment of the continental trade bloc will be beneficial to African countries if properly managed.”
She added that the NCX had an established network of 20 warehouses across major production areas in the six geo-political zones of the country for efficient receipt and storage of agro-commodities to be traded on the exchange.
The warehouses, located in Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Bauchi, Sokoto, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Kogi, have a combined capacity to store 50 trillion tonnes of goods. She added that warehouses in Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Jigawa, Edo, Cross River and Ondo States would be ready within the year.
The NCX boss said that AfCFTA would help Africa fight challenges that were caused by the pandemic in the continent’s economies through trade.
- “The NCX has acquired robust Trading Application System for seamless buying and selling of commodity to ensure market integrity, price transparency and the facilitation of cross border trades.
- “It has also acquired a Warehouse Management System that assures an efficient management of warehouse inventories. We have perfected Memorandum of Understanding with relevant foreign and Nigerian Commodity Associations like the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange and the Export Merchants Association of Sudan to trade in selected agro-commodities.”
She added that the NCX has also launched Quality Assurance Laboratories in each of the delivery warehouses, stating that the labs would be used for testing the quality of commodities such as paddy rice, cocoa, sesame seed, soya beans, maize, sorghum and cashew nuts that would be traded on the exchange.
The NCX Chief said the labs were certified to ISO22000 certification which combines ISO 9001 with Food Safety Management and Hazard Analysis, including Critical Control Point System (HACCP).
- “The HACCP identifies specific hazards and proffers measures for the control of identified impurities in the food processing sector. The issue of tariff on agro-commodity exports from Nigeria should be addressed to increase efficiency of trade flows.
- “There is also the need for Nigeria to improve its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking from its current 131st rung of the ladder.”
What you should know
- Nigeria was the 34th African country to fully ratify and submit its Instrument of Ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
- Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited said that the African Continental Free Trade Area would create the desired impetus to stimulate the economic growth of Nigeria in 2021.
- Customs officials in the continent agreed to draft continental guidelines to enable the movement of goods, services and people for the agreement.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 17th of January 2021, 1,444 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 110,387 confirmed cases.
On the 17th of January 2021, 1,444 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 110,387 cases have been confirmed, 89,317 cases have been discharged and 1,435 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.15 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.13 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 17th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 110,387
- Total Number Discharged – 89,317
- Total Deaths – 1,435
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,154,138
According to the NCDC, the 1,444 new cases were reported from 21 states- Lagos (901), Plateau (136), Kaduna (57), FCT (54), Ebonyi (53), Akwa Ibom (52), Nasarawa (32), Osun (29), Ogun (28), Imo (16), Oyo (16), Edo (15), Kano (14), Rivers (10), Ekiti (7), Borno (6), Abia (5), Benue (4), Yobe (4), Kebbi (3), Anambra (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 40,624, followed by Abuja (14,598), Plateau (6,753), Kaduna (6,178), Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,392), Edo (3,261), Ogun (2,859), Kano (2,591), Delta (2,102), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,301), Ebonyi (1,259), Osun (1,215), Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 865 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (608), Niger (547), Adamawa (540), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (258), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.