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Unknown Gunmen Attack ex-Central Bank Governor, Soludo, Kill 3 Police Orderlies, Commissioner Taken Away |RN

Former CBN Governor, Chukwuma Soludo

By Tony Okafor, Awka


Gunmen on Wednesday attacked a former Central Bank Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and killed his three orderlies.

The incident happened in Soludo’s home town in Isiofia in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Soludo’s police orderly

An eyewitness said, “Gunmen disrupted an interactive session between Isuofia youths and Soludo at the town’s civic centre. Three policemen were reportedly shot dead in the meeting.”

A media aide to Soludo, who pleaded not to be identified, also confirmed the incident.

He said, “I can’t confirm the whereabouts of Professor Soludo. There was a stampede, I don’t know where Soludo is now.

“I only learnt that the state Commissioner for Public Utilities, Emeka Ezenwanne, was taken away but I have not heard about the whereabouts of Soludo.”

Soludo’s police orderly

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, also confirmed the incident.

“The incident happened but as of now (8.15pm) I’m still gathering information about the incident,” he told The PUNCH.

Soludo’s police orderly

Soludo, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, is a frontline aspirant in the November 6 governorship poll in the state. (Punch)

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Investing In Cows Better Than Cryptocurrency, Says Adamu Garba |The Republican News

APC Chieftain, Garba Adamu

By Nsikak Nseyen

Adamu Garba, a former presidential aspirant, has opined that investing in cows is better than any form of cryptocurrency business.

Garba was lending his voice to the latest instruction to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

DAILY POST reports that diverse reactions have continued to trail the directive which was issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Friday.

Reacting on Twitter, Adamu said the CBN took a proactive measure to protect Nigerians from fraudsters who deceive ordinary citizens and rid them of their earnings.

”Better Investments! Those who might have lost their monies through a shortcut business called Crypto should learn to invest on real assets, like cows, which assured of huge returns on investment.

”Cow Ranching business is more lucrative than all cryptocurrencies combined.

”Crypto traders are supposed to be regularized so that they can be tracked in the event of cheats.”

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CBN Bans Crypto Currency, Ask Financial Institution To Close Such Accounts |The Republican News

Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele

In 2020, crypto marketplace Paxful reported that Nigeria had the world’s second-largest Bitcoin by trading volume.

HILLARY ESSIEN 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks and other financial institutions to close customer accounts used in trading cryptocurrencies and other related transactions. 

In a circular seen by Peoples Gazette after circulating on social media on Friday afternoon, the Nigerian bank regulator ordered deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions and other financial institutions to “identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately. “

The CBN has been long taken a hardline position against cryptocurrencies, which have become a major unit of commerce across the world in recent years.  

In October last year, at the height of the #ENDSARS protests, the bank restricted some financial institutions from receiving or making crypto payments.

The restricted accounts belonged to predominantly young Nigerians who had either sent or received funds to run the #EndSARS protests. When the major fundraisers, Feminist Coalition, were blocked, a bitcoin wallet was set up which donors used to pour in support from across the world.

The CBN was helpless at blocking the inflow due to cryptocurrencies being run on decentralised monetary systems that no conventional regulator can restrain. 

In the past few weeks, trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed as the global economy becomes increasingly volatile. Nigerians have started utilising crypto transactions to avoid the numerous challenges faced with traditional money transfer services. 

In 2020, crypto marketplace Paxful reported that Nigeria had the world’s second-largest Bitcoin by trading volume. In the last five years,  Nigerians have traded 60,215 Bitcoins, or more than $566 million USD, it was reported.

In 2017, CBN said it would not licence cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, amongst others, and any transactions conducted through them would not have the protection of the Nigerian law.

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Meet Priscilla Ekwere: First Nigerian Female To Have Her Signature On 100 Naira Note |RN

Priscilla-Ekwere

First Nigerian woman to have her signature on Nigerian national currency

 
For the very first time in Nigeria’s 59-year history, the signature of a woman, Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, goes on the naira.
 
Eleje, who has been acting director of currency and operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been confirmed, substantive director.
 
She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature has been appended on the naira — breaking another glass ceiling.
 
Ladi Kwali, Nigeria’s foremost potter, is the only woman on the naira, taking a spot at the back of the N20 note.
Priscilla-Ekwere1
 
Insiders at CBN told TheCable that the Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the bank, has been working to ensure more women come to the table.
 
Source: The Cable
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BREAKING: CBN Grants Diamond Bank Go Ahead To Function As National Bank |RN

Diamond-Bank-Nigeria

Diamond Bank 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted Diamond Bank Plc the approval to operate as a national bank following its application for it.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said this in a statement signed by the bank’s Head of Media, Ezechinyere Anyanwu, on Friday in Abuja.

According to Dozie, the move was part of Diamond Bank’s strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant opportunities.

He said that the change in the license means Diamond Bank could expand product services to Nigerian consumers.

Dozie said: ”With this approval, the bank will cease to operate as an international bank.

“The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond Bank’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and economy as a whole.

“The move follows Diamond Bank’s decision to sell its international operations, which included the disposal of its West African Subsidiary in 2017 and Diamond Bank UK, the sale of which is currently in its final stages.

“The change to national bank status also enables the bank to maintain a lower minimum capital requirement of 10 per cent, as against 15 per cent required for international banks.”

Dozie said that the approval would enable the bank to deploy more capital for stronger growth in the quarters ahead through additional investment in technology platforms.

He said it would also enable the bank deploy funds to customer acquisition and expansion of loans to the critical sectors of the economy.

According to Dozie, the move to a national banking license marks a continuation of a strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant fundamental trends.

This, he said included a large under banked population and Africa’s biggest economy.

He said: ”By focusing and optimising our resources towards Nigeria and the priority area of retail banking, we will be better positioned for longer term growth and greater profitability.

“The reduction in minimum capital requirement also increases our capacity to expand the quantum of business and product services we can offer consumers.

“It will also represent a key step in strengthening our financial position.

“This development does not affect the bank’s ability to offer services to its clients in international locations.

”Rather, with focus on its domestic business being priority, the bank also intends to pay down in full, the Eurobond loan of $200m at maturity in May 2019.

According to the chief executive, there will be no refinancing of the loan.

He said this was because of the intent to pay down with foreign exchange generated from its internal operations, a reflection of the solidity of its operations and funds flow in the last few years.

He further said that top quality services to international customers would continue through the bank’s digital channels and network of correspondence banks.

(NAN)

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Bank Accounts Without BVN Will Be Barred By August 1, Owners Unable To Withdraw-CBN

cbn

Stories by Omodele Adigun

As from August 1, all customers without Bank Verification Number (BVN) linked to their bank accounts will not be allowed to make withdrawal from those accounts, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to the apex bank, the measure becomes necessary as the absence of a unique identifier in the banking industry is a major challenge inhibiting the effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principle.

In a letter to all Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) by its Director, OFIs Supervision Department, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, obtained from CBN website on Monday, the apex bank stated that it has become necessary to extend the BVN enrolment to customers of OFIs, especially as some OFIs are located in the rural areas and have customers that may not have enrolled with commercial banks.

“In view of the foregoing, all OFIs are required to enroll their customers on or before July 31, 2017; conspicuously display notices sensitising customers on BVN in the banking hall; ensure that all new customers have BVN and forward to the Director, OFIs Supervision Department schedule of customers’ accounts with BVN on Auguast 7, 2017,” the circular stated.

Enumerating the benefits of BVN enrollment to both customers and the banking sector, Mrs. Martins said: “The BVN is expected to minimise the incidence of fraud and money laudering in the financial system as well as enhance financial inclusion. The BVN enrollment will support the achievement of the zero default credit targets set for the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department Fund (MSMEDF). It will also open opportunities for credit to millions of Nigerians without a standard means of identification.”

Going down memory lane on the history of the BVN, she stated: “To address this challenge (absence of a unique identifier) and complement the existing means of identification of customers, which include driver’s licence; international passport; National Identity Card and the Permanent Voter’s Card, the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, launched the BVN project in February 2014. The implementation of the BVN initiative, which started with the customers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) has been very successful. However, to avoid a broken identification link in the banking system, it has become necessary to extend the BVN enrolment to the customers of OFIs, especially as some OFIs are located in the rural areas and have customers that may not have enrolled with    (The Sun)

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Federal Government Recorded N3.2trn Deficit In 2016, Says Central Bank

godwin-emefiele-2

Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Federal Government recorded a fiscal deficit of N3.21tn in its operations last year, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed.

The figures are contained in the Financial Stability Report prepared the apex and released in Abuja on Wednesday.

It stated that the fiscal deficit for the second half of the year, which was put at N1.47tn, was lower than the N1.75tn recorded in the first half of 2016.

These figures, according to the report, are also higher than the budgeted deficit of N1.1tn provided for in the second half of 2016.

The deficit, according to the CBN report, was financed through domestic sources, including issuance of government securities.

The apex bank said the fiscal stance of increased spending to address the challenges of the negative growth (recession) led to higher government expenditure in the second half of 2016.

For instance, it said the Federal Government expenditure grew by 10.3 per cent to N4.02tn in the second half, noting that this was above the N3.65tn in the first half of 2016.

It added that the expenditure figure of N4.02tn was also higher than the budgeted expenditure of N3.12tn for the second half of the year under review.

The report explained that the recurrent expenditure component of the total expenditure accounted for N3.46tn, representing 86.9 per cent; while the capital and statutory transfer components accounted for N264.9bn or 6.6 per cent and N263.4bn or 6.5 per cent, respectively.

The report stated that the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the second half of 2016 increased to N2.55tn, above the N1.89tn recorded in the first half and the half-year budget estimate of N2.2tn.

The increase in the retained revenue relative to the first half, it added, was due to increase in non-oil receipts.

A breakdown of the retained revenue showed that the Federal Government’s share of the Federation Account was N1.26tn or 49.4 per cent; Value Added Tax Pool Account, N90.7bn or 3.5 per cent; while the Federal Government Independent Revenue was put at N267.8bn or 10.5 per cent.

The report put the Federal Government’s share of the Excess Crude Account at N141.4bn (5.5 per cent); exchange gain, N316.4bn (12.4 per cent); while others, including Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation refunds, accounted for the balance of N479.3bn or 18.7 per cent.              (Punchng.com)

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Two CBN Directors Arrested For Forex Manipulations |The Republican News

cbn

Central Bank of Nigeria

Eniola Akinkuotu and Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested two directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria for alleged forex manipulation and economic sabotage.

Impeccable sources at the EFCC told one of our correspondents on Wednesday that the directors were still in custody as of press time at 7.30pm.

It was learnt that the investigation into the CBN officials activities sent shockwaves round the apex bank.

The detective said the houses of the directors had been searched while incriminating evidence had been recovered.

A source at the EFCC, who wished to remain anonymous said, “We have arrested two directors of the CBN in connection with forex manipulation. We believe that it was the activities of these individuals that contributed to the dollar scarcity and the weakening of the naira.

“Ironically, immediately we started investigating these chaps a month ago, the CBN reeled out a new forex policy which sought to flood the market with excess dollar and strengthen the naira.

“Already, we have searched their houses and recovered some sensitive documents. We have reason to believe that they may not have acted alone. We expect to make more discoveries as investigations continue.”

When contacted,  the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said no director of the apex bank had been arrested by the EFCC.

He said, “This is not true. No director of the bank (CBN)  has been arrested by the EFCC. The current activities of the CBN  in the forex market is a result of months of study, monitoring  and planning to tackle the activities of black marketers.

“We are succeeding and Nigerians are happy with us.  No amount of false rumours and concoctions to ridicule and sabotage the success we have achieved will make us lose our focus at this time.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC has dispatched letters to several aides and persons linked to Senate President Bukola Saraki for their alleged role in the N19bn illegally deducted from the N522bn Paris Club refund.

About N3.5bn out of the stolen N19bn was said to have been traced to Saraki and several persons close to him, an EFCC report had said.

A top source at the EFCC told one of our correspondents that letters had been dispatched to the indicted persons and some were billed to report at the EFCC office on Thursday (today).

A detective said, “I can confirm to you that letters have been dispatched to aides to the Senate President. Some will appear on Thursday (today) while others will appear on subsequent days depending on the outcome and pace of investigations.”

Some of the persons invited by the anti-graft agency included Saraki’s Deputy Chief of Staff and a former lawmaker, Gbenga Makanjuola; Obiora Amobi and Oladapo Joseph Idowu.

Others are Mr. Kolawole Shittu, and a former Managing Director of Saraki’s defunct bank, Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, and current boss of Melrose General Services Limited, Mr. Robert Mbonu; and the Relationship Manager to the Senate President in Access Bank, Kathleen Erhimu.

Melrose General Services is one of the companies hired as consultants by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

The firm got N3.5bn as consultancy fees while other companies shared about N15.5bn.

When asked why Saraki was singled out for investigation, the source said, “No one is victimising the man. He is an easier target because he has no immunity unlike the governors most of whom still have immunity till 2019.

“The investigation is holistic and in due course everyone found culpable will face justice.”

Recall that the Federal Government had in December 2016 approved the sum of N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement for the over-deduction on the Paris Club loan from 1995 and 2002.

The EFCC had sometimes in January discovered that the Paris loan refunds were illegally routed through the account of the NGF by the CBN.

Upon receiving the funds, the NGF in an alleged connivance with Saraki, began remitting huge sums to private consultants who then laundered about N19bn.

The EFCC report sent to the Presidency states in part, “Suffice to apprise that all payments received by Melrose General Services Company from the NGF have hitherto been diverted directly via cash withdrawals and indirectly through transfers by Hon. Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Joseph Idowu who are principal aides of the Senate President.

“Furthermore, other payments from Melrose General Services Company have also been linked to companies that Dr. Bukola Saraki has interest in and carries out transactions with.

“This includes the sum of $183,000 which was transferred to Bhaska Devji Jewellers, Dubai, a company Dr. Bukola Saraki had repeatedly made payments to.

“Also, the sum of N200m was transferred to Wasp Networks Limited that subsequently transferred the sum of N170m to Xtract Energy Services Limited, a company that routinely made deposits into Dr. Saraki’s Access Bank US dollar Domiciliary account.

The reports concludes that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of unlawful activities  and money laundering contrary to Sections 15(3) and 18(9) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004 can be established against the aforementioned suspects.

The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, however, rubbished the report, adding that the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, was on a revenge mission having been rejected by the Senate two weeks ago.                        (Punchng.com)

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CBN Explains Why Naira Is Appreciating

 Our Reporter

CBN: why Naira is appreciating

 

Where is the Naira’s new strength coming from?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday that the currency’s appreciation against others was the result of its market monitoring and intervention.

Its spokesman  Isaac Okorafor refuted the claim that illegal sale of foreign currencies at ridiculous rates was responsible for the change in Forex policy.

Okorafor, who spoke in Sokoto, also explained that the appreciation of the Naira was in no way connected to the allegations of illegal sale of foreign currencies.

“I want to state categorically that there is no relationship whatsoever between the allegations that dollar was being sold at 61 kobo and the current appreciation of the Naira.

“What led to the appreciation of the Naira was that the CBN did an intelligence on the market and realised that what was driving the demand on the Bureau De Change (BDCs) and the parallel market was speculation.

“We reasoned that since there is a lot of pressure on the two segments of people seeking to buy foreign currencies for BTA, tuition and medicals, that if we successfully addressed that, the pressure will come down.

“Also, before now, the level of our reserves was not enough to make us comfortable enough to really do the kind of intervention that is required.

“We decided to do so now because we are a bit more comfortable with our level of reserve,” he said.

Okorafor said since the new Forex policy, the CBN had intervened with about 591 million dollars in the market, which had led to Naira gaining strength.

“Let me also state as proof that when we placed 500 million dollars in the market, only 370 million dollars was taken.

“That tells you that the real demand is 370 million dollars. When we placed 230 million dollars in the market, only 221 million dollars was taken.

“Anybody who has gone foul of the law and the security agencies have caught up with him, should go and face his or her case and stop causing confusion among participants in the market,” he said.   (The Nation)

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Drop By 11.7% To $25.72b |The Republican News

Collin Nweze

 

Foreign exchange reserves fell 11.7 per cent to $25.72 billion by December 28, from $29.13 billion a year earlier, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) data showed on Friday.

However, the reserves showed a 4.2 per cent increase month-on-month, up from $24.69 billion on November 28 – due to a slight recovery in global oil prices and a rise in the OPEC member’s oil production levels.

Read moreNigeria’s External Reserves Hit Three Month High, Near $25bn |The Republican News

Nigeria’s oil production rose to 1.70 million barrels per day (mbpd) in November, up from 1.65 mbpd the previous month, which lifted the forex reserves.

The foreign exchange reserves fell to $25.78 billion as of August 16, representing 2.11 per cent plunge from a month ago. The reserves position is expected to provide about five months import cover for the country.

Previous data on the reserves showed that they increased marginally by $40 million in March on a 30-day moving average basis to $27.9 billion and have continued to record marginal decline till current position.

The reserves were also at $28.33 billion at end-June 2015, compared with $34.24 billion at end-December 2014, representing a decrease of 17.3 per cent decline.

The fall in reserves was due to the sharp decline in foreign exchange inflow from in the economy due to continuous decline in prices of crude oil in the international markets.

Meanwhile, the naira is set to witness another round of decline against the dollar in the days ahead as an increase in dollar flows from Nigerians living abroad coming home for holidays fell short of expectations, traders said.

The local currency was quoted at 490 to the dollar on Thursday from 495 against the dollar last week on the parallel market.

In the official interbank window, the naira was quoted at 310.25 to the dollar on Thursday, but it was expected to close at around 305.5, the same level it has traded at since August.

“We see the naira depreciating against the dollar by the time more businesses resume operations next week after the festive season as dollar liquidity remains thin in the market,” one currency dealer said. (The Nation)

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