Eleven of the Nigerian banks that are listed on the NSE spent a total of N13.5 billion on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020, according to checks by Nairametrics Research. The figure indicates a 15.7% increase when compared to N11.6 billion which the banks collectively spent for the same purpose in Q1 2019.
As expected, all the tier-1 banks (FUGAZ) spent big on advertising/marketing during the first quarter of the year. However, the biggest spender was Fidelity Bank Plc, a tier-2 bank which incurred as much as N2.6 billion on marketing, communication, and entertainment costs.
This is followed by FBN Holdings Plc (the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd) which spent about N2 billion. Meanwhile, Sterling Bank Plc spent the least amount of N223 million.
See below for a full list of the banks and their expenses on adverts/marketing in Q1 2020.
- Fidelity Bank Plc: N2.6 billion
- FBN Holdings Plc: N2 billion
- Guaranty Trust Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
- Zenith Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
- United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc: N1.7 billion
- Access Bank Plc: N1.4 billion
- FCMB Group Plc: N790 million
- Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc: N394 million
- Wema Bank Plc: N329 million
- Union Bank of Nigeria Plc: N267 million
- Sterling Bank Plc: N223 million
It should be noted that virtually all the companies spent more on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020 except for the likes of FBN Holdings, Sterling Bank, and Union Bank; all of whom significantly reduced their expenses. You may compare the differences by checking here.
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Meanwhile, the banks collectively generated gross earnings of about N935 billion during the first quarter period. Further analysis also showed that Fidelity Bank, which spent the most on advertising and marketing, did not generate the most revenue during the period. Instead, Access Bank did, having recorded a whopping N181.6 billion.
On average, Nigerian banks tend to spend more on advertising compared to companies in other sectors of the economy. And this usually influences their financial performances.
Advertising and Public Relations are two of the most powerful tools that are utilised in the business world to communicate brands’ benefits and create awareness about new or existing products. These, in turn, helps companies to reach newer markets or consolidate existing ones. In light of this, the importance of advertising and public relations can never be underestimated, as no company can really survive without them.
Explained: CBN’s powers to seize bank account of criminals
The CBN expects the powers to be given to it via an amendment of the BOFIA.
Reports across major news outlets in Nigeria reveal the central bank is seeking sweeping powers to freeze bank accounts “linked to criminals” in the country. It expects the powers to be given to it via an amendment of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) of 2004.
Powers to freeze accounts; The CBN’s Director Legal Services, Mr Kofo Salam-Alada, who made the representations at the National Assembly requested for the following;
- “The CBN should be able to apply to the court for orders to freeze accounts which are deemed to be linked with criminal and other civil infractions.”
- Apparently, the bill has passed through First and Second Readings but omitted the provisions they are seeking to include now.
What this means: The CBN is increasingly seeing itself as not just an enforcer of monetary policy but a major stakeholder in curbing the activities of fraudsters looking to exploit the financial banking system. Thus, the CBN needs not wait for anti-corruption bodies like the EFCC to seek court orders to freeze bank accounts that they suspect of being used for fraudulent activities.
For example, a bank account that receives a huge inflow that’s far above its average deposits over a period can be flagged by the bank coming under the radar of the CBN. This could give it major oversight over the parallel market demand for forex.
Dormant Accounts: The CBN is also calling for a provision that will allow it to change the administration of dormant accounts in the banking sector.
- “We propose the inclusion of provisions to improve the administration of dormant accounts in the Nigerian banking sector.”
- “The provisions should address such requirements as the criteria for determining dormancy, the processes for managing the funds in dormant accounts and procedure for reclaiming funds by beneficiaries.”
What this means: It appears the CBN wants to have a more direct control over how dormant accounts are managed by banks in Nigeria. It is thought that some of the older generation banks keep tens of billions of naira in dormant account deposits that may not be reclaimed in the foreseeable future.
Distressed Banks: The CBN also wants an amendment to the law to give it options to managing systemic crises and failed banks without seeking funding from taxpayers.
What they are saying;
- “The Central Bank of Nigeria does the former (managing failed banks and bringing them back to good financial health) as provided in the BOFIA while NDIC is saddled with the latter (taking over liquidated banks and protecting depositors money) under the NDIC Act. The global best practice is to have the banking legislation empower the Financial services industry regulator to regulate banks, promote their soundness and stability superintend issuance and revocation of operating licence without recourse to any other institution; while the Deposit insurer is in charge of bank resolution activities after the revocation of the operating licence,”
- “There is a need to expand the options available to the CBN to resolve failing banks and manage the systemic crisis without recourse to the public treasury. In line with international best practices, we recommend the establishment of a resolution fund to pool resources for managing banking sector distress.”
- “We also recommend the adoption of additional resolution tools such as bail-in (ensuring that losses are absorbed by shareholders and creditors), sale of the business (allowing the resolution authority to sell all or part of the failing bank to a private acquirer) and asset separation (isolating the “bad” assets of the bank in an asset management vehicle for an orderly wind-down, if immediate liquidation is not justified in current market conditions).
What this means: The CBN currently relies on taxpayers funds to bail out banks a policy that has been critisized in the last few years. Currently, failed banks are liquidated by the NDIC but this process means depositors still have to lose billions of naira of their deposits.
Nigerian banks also contribute a percentage of their total assets to AMCON sinking fund, which is also part of what is used to purchase eligible banking assets that are non-performing.
This bill, however, looks like they want to include an option that will allow the CBN to use the assets of the bank or its owners to “bail in” the banks rather than a bail out and also remove the bad loans from the balance sheet of the banks allowing it operate as though it is clean.
New Regulatory Powers: The CBN is also looking at amending its bill to give it more powers and oversight to regulate new wave of financial services firms that have emerged in recent times.
What they are saying;
- “Several new types of licenced institutions have entered the Nigerian Financial Services sector since the enactment of the 1991 Act. These include the non-interest banks, credit bureaux, payment system service providers, among others.”
- ‘There is a compelling need to introduce new provisions in the Bill to address the unique peculiarities of these institutions.”
The National Assembly is also looking to approve the use of digital signatures through the introduction of the Electronic Transactions Bill. This will allow electronic communication to be accepted in the place of physical appearances and give validity to online contracts.
Covid-19: POS transaction value drops by N96 billion due to lock down in April
Transaction volume and values dropped across major platforms due to the Covid-19 imposed lockdowns.
Total volume of payment transactions across Nigerian payment channels fell by a whopping 26% in April compared to the preceding month. The Nigerian Government imposed a lock down of economic activities in the commercial cities of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States between March .
The data available were cheque, ATM, POS, E-bills and NIP (interbank transfers) transactions. The CBN data for April excluded other transaction channels such as Web, Mobile, NEFT etc.
According to provisional data sourced from the central bank, total volume of transactions was 251.9 million in March but dropped to 186.6 million in April, the month of the lockdown. Transaction values also dropped from N12.3 trillion in March 2020 to N7.6 trillion in April 2020 a N4.6 trillion drop or 37.7% drop in transaction value.
The last time Nigeria recorded payment transactions of less than 190 million for the subsets was in February 2018 at 159.9 million.
The impact of the lockdown has been observed in several facets of the economy and is projected to lead the country into a second recession in 4 years. The lockdown was imposed as a counter measure against the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country. However, since the lockdown over 33,000 cases of Covid-19 has been recorded one of the lowest per capita in the world.
In terms of value, the NIBBS or (NIP) platform remains the dominant form of transferring money by value but suffered a N3.9 trillion drop in transaction values. This perhaps reflects the lockdown of economic activities as most companies who rely on this platform to make transfers operated minimally. Cheque channels even performed worse with only N10.3 billion in transaction value.
POS transactions, which reflects spending pattern of Nigerians via merchant outlets such as supermarkets, retail markets and shops, shopping malls etc. dipped by 26.2% from N368.9 billion in March 2020 to just N272 billion in April 2020. Despite this drop, the value of POS transactions recorded in April appears to be an improvement especially when you consider that average value POS transactions in the whole of 2019 was N267 billion per month.
Nigerians spent more on food, medical supplies and household items during the lockdown period according to a basic survey conducted by Nairametrics.
Why this matters: Payment transactions are closely monitored by the financial sector participants particularly FinTechs as they form the basis for the billions of naira in fees and commissions earned on transactions. The hugely competitive electronic payment space means players in the sector may have incurred significant drop in earnings in the month of April corresponding with the data from the CBN.
Wuse II is most expensive city to cook a pot of Jollof Rice
SBM Intelligence’s Jollof Index reports cost of cooking a pot Jollof Rice in cities across Nigeria.
Data from Nigerian based research firm SBM Intelligence reveals it now costs N7, 240 on average to make a pot of Jollof rice in Nigeria a 6% rise from the same period in April.
Jollof rice is a staple delicacy in Nigeria and eaten daily by most lower, middle class and upper-class families. It is also a popular delicacy in West Africa.
According to the report, “the average Jollof Index for the country as at June 2020 was N7,240. This represents a six percent increase from the Q1 2020 figure which obtained when the index was last released in April. Half of the market, mainly in the South East and the South-South (minus Port Harcourt which had the second highest nationally) were below the national average.”
- The data is sourced from markets in 13 cities within 9 states in Nigeria with Port Harcourt being the newest city.
- The report notes a remarkable disparity between the cities reporting Wuse II located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory the highest city for cooking a pot of Jollof Index. It cost N9,300 or 59% more than the lowest, Calabar Municipal.
- The cost of rice, vegetable oil and turkey – three of the ingredients most impacted by the border closure policy – is the biggest driver of this disparity.
- The report cites the border closure as the main reason for the spike in the cost of making a pot of Jollof Rice.
- “A cursory look at the trendline of the Jollof Index will show that by late 2018, it started to decline and maintained this decline into the first quarter of 2019. This changed as the border closure policy was enacted in August 2019 and has been on the rise similar to the recessionary period of 2016 since then. The oil price decline and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it further between March and May 2020 as prices rose due to the scarcity and increased demand during the lockdown.”
Nigeria has seen a spike in inflation rate in recent months following the government’s policies of border closure and denying forex for most importers. This is part of its program to reduce reliance on imported items particularly food items. A recent bi-weekly research conducted by Nairametrics also reveals significant spike in food prices across markets in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
In the Nairametrics report, prices of major household items such as vegetable oil, tomatoes, pepper, rice and several others have once again spiked across major markets. These are all ingredients in making a pot of Jollof rice. The price of a bag of 50kg Mama Gold rice increased marginally by 1.17% to sell for an average of N21,375. Mama’s Pride rice (50kg) also increased marginally by 0.59% to sell for an average of N21,125. A 50kg bag of Foreign rice now sells for an average of N28,500 compared to an initial average of N27,500 indicating a 3.51% increase in price.
The SBM Intelligence report also reveals rice was the most expensive ingredient in the delicacy. Others were groundnut oil, fish and tomatoes.
- From an SBM perspective, fish is not a part of the units used for measuring the Jollof Index, but given that the Calabar area is rich in seafood, fish is the preferred protein additive.
- This increase in the cost of making Jollof rice has made his family reduce the number of times they eat the delicacy. They now substitute with beans, plantain, and garri with soup.
Abuja costliest to cook Jollof Rice
The report indicates Wuse II a major city in the FCT was the most expensive place to cook a pot of Jollof rice. Wuse II is home to most middle class Nigerians living in the capital city Abuja and fast becoming one of the busiest commercial cities in the country.
- According to the report “A respondent based in Abuja said that during the period of the pandemic, the cost of cooking Jollof rice has doubled. She added that she now uses fish in place of chicken or beef as these protein sources are now out of reach for her.
- This has reduced the number of times her family eats Jollof rice, and she substitutes spaghetti or beans.
Jollof is cheaper in the South East
The report also indicates it is cheaper to make a pot of Jollof rice in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Prices in the South-South and South-East were below the national average.
- “In the South-East, a respondent said that over the course of the pandemic, the cost of jollof rice for her family of three has gone up from N1,000 to N2,500. She now substitutes her meal with a local vegetable salad known as abacha.
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