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CBN raises hope of importers with Chinese Yuan invoices



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-led Bankers’ Committee has reassured importers will pay less if they get Renminbi invoices from Chinese exporters.

Rising from its meeting in Lagos, the committee, comprising commercial and merchant banks’ Chief Executive Officers, said the discount was meant to encourage importers to go for Renminbi instead of dollars.

This, it said, will help protect Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves, which are in dollars.

The need to keep the naira stable prompted the CBN to sign the bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) worth about $2.5 billion.

In local currencies, the swap is worth 15 billion Renminbi (RMB) or N720 billion. The three-year renewable deal will  allow  for  the  direct exchange of RMB and naira for the purpose of trade and direct investment between the two countries.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Managing Director Demola Sogunle, who spoke at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting, said: “Specifically on the Renminbi and what is in it for importers, the idea is that the CBN is encouraging importers to receive invoices in Renminbi instead of dollars. And one of the incentives is that there is percentage spread, which is yet to be determined. It is actually given to any importer that is bringing Renminbi invoices for settlement, instead of dollar invoices.”

Such importers will avoid 10 per cent mark-up prices usually associated with dollar importation. China remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner. The currency swap deal is expected to help small and medium enterprises grow their businesses.

Sogunle said that in terms of the overall cost, importers who submit Renminbi invoices will pay less. “So, when you look at the overall cost, in terms of naira, if you bring Renminbi invoices, it is going to be cheaper for the importer coming to the CBN to get foreign currency, which in this case will be Renminbi. The importer will have to bring lesser amount of naira. If he goes ahead to bring from the same supplier, based in China and makes the invoice in dollar, it is going to cost more, in terms of the naira amount he is going to use to get the foreign currency,” he added.

The logic is that “if we are able as a country, to bring in machinery and equipment, without depleting the foreign reserves, the external reserves will not be under threat”.

Sogunle also said invoices that are domiciled in Renminbi do not affect the foreign exchange reserves, now at $48 billion. “And do not forget, let’s link to what we are talking about in terms of external reserves, the external reserves will not be under threat. There is 15 billion Renminbi in place, in this bilateral currency swap. We are in a very good position, and that is why it is important to encourage importers to bring invoices in Renminbi, instead of dollars”.

Also speaking, CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Ahmad Abdullahi, said the drop in inflation rate to 11.61 per cent in May and 448 billion in foreign reserves as well as 2.44 per cent projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2018 are all positive indicators for the economy.

He said the CBN had enough arsenal to keep the naira stable and is prepared to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.

United Bank for Africa Group Managing Director/CEO Kennedy Uzoka also assured that the CBN was strong enough to keep defending the naira. He said the regulator made it possible for all the banks to sell Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance to travellers at all their branches, including persons that do not have bank accounts with the lenders.

“The CBN has been intervening in all the markets and has the capacity to defend the naira,”Uzoka  said.

According to the PBoC, the swap is to facilitate  bilateral  trade,  direct  investment,  and  safeguard financial market stability. The trade is expected to reduce the demand for United States dollar by Nigerians importing from China and consequently  strengthen  the  value  of  the  Naira.  The deal will reduce certain barriers  for  Nigerian  importers  of  goods  from China   and   reduce   the   cost   of   transactions   in   multiple currencies.

China  has  been  one  of  Nigeria’s largest  import  partners  over  the  last  five  years, with  imports from  China  accounting  for  an  average  of  20.95 per cent  of  total imports   between   2013   and   2017.

Imports   from   China increased by  21.16 per cent  from  N1.48  trillion in  2013  to  N1.79 trillion in 2017. Nigeria’s exports to China averaged just 1.50 per cent  of  total  exports  over  the  period.  Exports  to  China increased  by  28.99 per cent  from  N171  billion  in  2013  to  N220.57 billion in 2017.

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Banks To Now Charge 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy As Directed By CBN; Netizens React



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks in the country to start charging 0.5% cybersecurity levy on some transactions done by their customers.

The apex bank gave the directive in a circular dated May 6, 2024 and sent to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks as well as mobile money operators and payment service providers.

“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and pursuant to the provision of Section 44 (2) (a) of the Act, ‘a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act’, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA),” the circular partly read.

The Cybersecurity Levy implementation notice

The apex bank said that the implementation of the levy would start two weeks from the date of the circular.

“The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration, ‘Cybersecurity Levy’. Deductions shall commence within two weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of every subsequent month,” the circular said

The apex bank added that this new levy will not be applied on transactions such as loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank.

Also exempted from the levy were inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, ⁠Letters of Credits, ⁠Banks’ recapitalisation-related funding only bulk funds movement from collection accounts, savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments, among others.

This current implementation however is not sitting well with some netizens as they reacted to the new development.

Here were some of their reactions from X.

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EFCC Chairman Tasks Nigerian Youths Against Crimes And Fraudulent Acts



The Chairman of Economic Finance Crime Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has stressed the need for Nigerian Youth to see themselves as agents of positive change that have a lot to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the Nation.

Speaking at the 2nd edition of a Leadership Trainings Programme in Abuja, Olukoyede, who was represented by the Head Enlightenment and Re-orientation unit, (EFCC), Aisha Mohammed, said the commission’s dream is to see the youth contribute meaningfully to the society, emphasizing on the need to work together in bringing positive change to society.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Boss declared the readiness of his agency to work with all Stakeholders, including the youth towards changing the narrative and reposition the country to greater exploit.
Also speaking, the representative of the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Sonny Echono, appealed to the youths is to eschew social vices that could deter their full potential in life.

Other speakers at the event, including the Chairperson, Zero Tolerance for Social Immoralities Initiative (ZEITI) Africa, Rasak Jeje called on all stakeholders to join hands in collective pursuit of empowering new generation of leaders to curb the rising tides of social Vice among Nigerian youths.

The Chairperson, Zero Tolerance for Social Immoralities Initiative (ZEITI) Africa, Rasak Jeje made the call while addressing journalists at the 2nd edition of it Leadership Trainings Programme in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the training was aimed to intimate students leaders with knowledge and insights that will help them drive positive change and become exemplary leaders in their respective spheres.

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AISA Has Refunded The Fees Paid By Yahaya Bello To EFCC



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says the American International School Abuja (AISA) has refunded the fees paid by the immediate past governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, for his children attending the school.

In response to a letter addressed to the Lagos zonal commander of the EFCC, the school said $845,852 was paid in tuition “since the 7th of September 2021 to date”.

AISA said the sum to be refunded is $760,910 because it had deducted educational services already rendered.

“Please forward to us an official written request, with the authentic banking details of the EFCC, for the refund of the above-mentioned funds as previously indicated as part of your investigation into the alleged money laundering activities by the Bello family.

Since the 7th September 2021 to date, $845,852.84 (Eight Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Two US Dollars and eighty four cents) in tuition and other fees has been deposited into our Bank account.

We have calculated the net amount to be transferred and refunded to the State, after deducting the educational services rendered as $760,910.84. (Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ten US Dollars and Eighty Four cents).

No further additional fees are expected in respect of tuition as the students’ fees have now been settled until they graduate from ASIA.”

In a chat with The Cable, the spokesperson of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, confirmed that the school has refunded the money.

‘’The money has been paid into public account,” Dele Oyewale was quoted as saying

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