In a reaction to the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which allows bank customers to be charged for cash deposits, United Bank for Africa has issued a response, saying that the estimated charges would not apply on any of its digital channels.
This was reportedly disclosed in an email message issued to its customers’ emails where the bank maintained that digital channels like Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, Leo, *919# and the debit cards will be exempted from any deposit charges.
“As part of the effort to drive the cashless policy and enhance the efficiency of the Nigerian payments system, the Central Bank of Nigeria has re-introduced charges on cash deposits above N500,000 for individuals and N3,000,000 for corporates. This policy will commence with immediate effect and is in addition to the already existing charges on withdrawals.
The charges will apply when you make cash withdrawals or deposits above N500,000 or N3,000,000 at any UBA branch in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers States, and the FCT. A nationwide implementation will take effect from March 31, 2020. Please note that transactions through our digital channels (Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, Leo, *919#) and our debit cards, will not be subject to these charges,” the bank said.
What you should know: Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would begin to charge bank customers making cash deposits and withdrawals from September 19, 2019. In a circular made available to the public, the apex bank disclosed that the new policy of the transaction fees was designed to reduce cash in use.
The charges, according to the Central Bank, would attract 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% processing fees for lodgments of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
Newer Developments: Lawmakers also kicked against the policy, describing it as an overbearing burden that could lead to the closing down of majority of micro, mini, small and medium businesses in the country.
One of the lawmakers, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, added that the policy was also aimed at enriching the deposit money banks owned by a privileged few, without any known financial contribution to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation.
President Buhari signs COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021
President Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy, citing powers conferred to the Presidency, by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, “…and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”
The signing of the regulations was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Wednesday evening.
The law, which comes in 5 parts, includes; Part 1- Restrictions on Gatherings; Part 2- Operations of Public Places; Part 3- Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols; Part 4 – Offences and Penalties; Part 5 – Enforcement and Application; and Part 6 -Interpretation and Citation.
Restrictions on Gatherings
The regulations require that physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons. No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.
“The provisions of these Regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)”
Operations of Public Places
- No person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurant, hotel, event centre, garden, leisure park, recreation centre, motor park, fitness centre or any other similar establishment except the person is using a facemask and has washed hands.
- Managers of hostels, boarding houses, nursing homes, correctional centres, remand homes, holding cells, military detention facilities, and such centres for care and custody of persons, shall ensure compliance with the provisions of these regulations.
- Managers of such facilities shall ensure that suspected cases of Covid-19 are promptly and appropriately separated from others and are reported to medical officers of the State Ministry of Health for necessary action.
Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols
- Persons confirmed to have tested positive to COVID-19 by an NCDC accredited laboratory, may not refuse isolation and or admission to a designated health establishment for management of the disease.
- All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall designate a space or holding bay for the initial triage or assessment of suspected persons with COVID-19 in line with the approved protocol for case management.
- All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall establish sample collection centres, where test samples from suspected cases can be collected and transmitted to an accredited testing laboratory in the State.
Offences and Penalties
- Any person who contravenes the provisions of these regulations commits an offence.
- Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes a direction given under Parts 1 and 2 of these regulations commits an offence.
- An offence under these regulations is punishable, on summary conviction, by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.
Enforcement and Application
- Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant Local Government, State and Federal Government agencies are hereby directed to enforce the provisions of these regulations.
- Any officer of the enforcement agencies who fails, neglects, or refuses to enforce the provisions of these regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action
- State Governors may issue regulations on further steps as may be considered necessary.
On interpretations of the law, the FG said, “Offence” means any act, which may constitute a violation of the provisions of these regulations, while “Enforcement Agency” means any law enforcement or security agency vested with the statutory power to investigate and prosecute. The law also stated that the regulations would go into effect immediately and remain in effect until otherwise determined.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government had announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month with effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp user base top 3.3 billion, Q4 revenue of $28 billion
More people are spending their time online on the bias COVID-19 pandemic has negatively disrupted social mobility.
The world’s biggest social media company, Facebook, recently posted its fourth-quarter earnings which were better than what many stock market experts had expected, against a backdrop of growing regulatory and political challenges.
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp now have a combined user base of 3.3 billion to get their messages out.
Facebook itself has about 2.8 billion monthly users, beating the Wall Street market prediction of 2.76 billion, as humans spend more of their activities online on the basis that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively disrupted social mobility.
Here are highlights of key metrics expected versus the comparable year-ago quarter, according to a Bloomberg consensus forecast of Wall Street analysts:
- Revenue: $28 billion vs $26.407 billion estimated; $21.082 billion in Q4 2019.
- Earnings per share (Adjusted): $3.88 vs $3.54 expected; $2.56 in Q4 2019.
- Ad Revenue: $27.19 billion vs. $26.07 billion expected; $20.74 billion in Q4 2019.
- Daily Active Users (DAU): 1.84 billion vs 1.828 billion estimates; 1.66 billion in Q4 2019.
“We believe our business has benefited from two broad economic trends playing out during the pandemic. The first is the ongoing shift towards online commerce.
“The second is the shift in consumer demand towards products and away from services.” Facebook CFO, Dave Wehner, said.
Capital expenditures including principal payments on finance leases, were $4.82 billion and $15.72 billion for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020, respectively.
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $61.95 billion as of December 31, 2020.
However, in spite of an impressive earning resulted posted by the world’s most valuable social media company, Facebook shares tanked by more than 3% on the consideration that the company printed a blurry outlook amid growing regulatory concerns and stiff competition.
“We also expect to face more significant ad targeting headwinds in 2021. This includes the impact of platform changes, notably iOS 14, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape. While the timing of the iOS 14 changes remains uncertain, we would expect to see an impact beginning late in the first quarter,” Dave Wehner said.
iPhone users top 1 billion, Apple posts revenue of $111.4 billion
The company passed 1.65 billion total installed devices worldwide in the quarter, with the installed base of iPhone topping 1 billion.
The world’s most valuable listed company, Apple, printed better-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter on the basis that users acquired more Macs, iPads, iPhones, and other Apple products at a record pace. Apple’s sales also beat stock market experts’ expectations.
However, Apple shares were down on account that the company failed to provide guidance for the December quarter, which made some investors jittery, thereby shorting the stock.
- On a conference call with stock market experts and journalists, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, disclosed the company passed 1.65 billion total installed devices worldwide in the quarter, with the installed base of iPhone topping 1 billion.
- Overall, Apple printed a revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21% from the year-earlier quarter, and profits of $1.68 a share. That was well above the Wall Street consensus of $102.8 billion and $1.40 a share.
“This quarter for Apple wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and innovative work of every Apple team member worldwide,” said Tim Cook. “We’re gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season.”
The three months ended Dec. 31 were also strong for Apple laptops and tablets. For iPads, sales were $8.4 billion, up 41%, and ahead of the stock market expert prediction of $7.4 billion.
Apple sales gained about 12% in the Americas, 57% in Greater China, and 17% in Europe, with gains of 33% in Japan and 11.5% in the rest of Asia.
The tech company’s wearables sales posted incredible numbers as well, with gains of 30% to $13 billion, ahead of the stock market experts’ prediction at $11.5 billion. And services revenue jumped 24% to $15.7 billion, ahead of the Street consensus at $15.2 billion.
“We are also focused on how we can help the communities we’re a part of build back strongly and equitably, through efforts like our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative as well as our multi-year commitment to invest $350 billion throughout the United States.”
“Our December quarter business performance was fueled by double-digit growth in each product category, which drove all-time revenue records in each of our geographic segments and an all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.
“These results helped us generate a record operating cash flow of $38.8 billion. We also returned over $30 billion to shareholders during the quarter as we maintain our target of reaching a net cash neutral position over time.”
Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.205 per share of the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 11, 2021, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 8, 2021.
The most valuable tech company had posted gains of over 80% in 2020 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which it is a component, has risen about 6%.