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COVID-19: Banks still stable, resilient, says CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says banks in the country have remained stable, robust and resilient in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director, Banking Supervision of CBN, Mr Haruna Mustafa, said this at the 2021 Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) workshop in Ibadan on Friday.

Mustapha, represented by Mr Adekunle Adeniji, the Assistant Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, said the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) rose to 15.21 per cent as at August, Liquidity Ratio (LR) rose to 42.23 per cent.

He said non-performing loan ratio improved from 6.58 per cent to 5. 9 per cent as at August 2021, while banking system credit to the economy increased to 10.99 per cent between January and August.

Mustafa noted that the regulatory measures taken by CBN contributed to the growth.

He listed some interventions by the apex bank to lessen the impact of the pandemic to include reduction in interest rates to five per cent.

Others are: N50 billion target credit facility for households and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and re-enactment of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA 2020) to strengthen the regulatory and resolution architecture for banks and other financial institutions.

The director said CBN would continue to develop additional counter cyclical policy options that could be utilised in periods of stress.

Mustafa explained that macro-prudential regulation and supervision was more critical now than ever.

“We expect financial services to be provided more in a digital manner.

“We will continuously update and assess our prudential rule books and policy to strengthen responses to economic and financial shocks.

“We will continue to deploy effective stress testing methodologies to detect vulnerabilities early to enable appropriate pre-emptive action,” he said.

Mustafa explained that the banking sector had also sustained the growth of key economic activities, which were impacted by the pandemic in the agriculture, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, hospitality and tourism sectors. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

Kaduna refinery will begin production in December – NNPCL Boss, Kyari

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL,Mele Kyari has disclosed that the refinery in Kaduna State will be ready for production by December 2024.

He disclosed this during a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

He disclosed that operations at the Port Harcourt refinery are scheduled to begin in two weeks.

According to Kyari: “We did a mechanical completion of the (Port Harcourt) refinery, that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery.

“It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“The Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

 

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Edun Blames Economic Hardship On Free Printing Of Naira During Buhari’s Govt

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Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

The Federal Government has disclosed that the free printing of naira notes for eight years, under the previous administration went into the hands of a privileged few, without corresponding productivity, resulting in the country’s current economic situation.

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

While elaborating on measures to revamp the economy, the Finance minister vowed to thoroughly audit the 22.7 trillion naira, and mop up the monies from the market and use it to pay the central bank to give the government a balanced book.

Responding to questions, the finance minister addressed the issue of waivers on customs duty running into trillions of naira, promising to overhaul the system, rejig it and implement a technology and payment system that would correct all anomalies in place.

He further disclosed that a total of 13 trillion naira was collected as non-oil revenue in 2023.

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Harsh Economy: FG To Begin Distribution Of Grains Nationwide 

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The Federal Government will begin the distribution of grains nationwide to cushion the impacts of the hardship in Nigeria.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari disclosed this on Monday.

“Dear Fellow Nigerians,” he wrote on his official X handle. “In these trying times, I extend my sincere compassion to those affected by the hardships in the country. I understand the gravity of the situation, especially with the unfortunate event of foodstuff warehouse looting.

“Amidst these challenges, I want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being remains resolute. We shall commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains, as approved by Mr. President, across the 36 states of the federation as one of the programs to be rolled out this week.

“We are working hand in hand with NEMA and the DSS to ensure that the grains get to the right people in the right packages and quantities. Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization.”

The minister who hailed the resilience of the Nigerian people, urged them to back President Bola Tinubu’s government in its quest to address the challenges facing the country.

“I acknowledge the strength of the Nigerian people, and it is this resilience that will guide us through these difficult times. Let us stand together to support Mr. President in his strive for a better Nigeria,” Kyari said.

“Our government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to addressing these challenges and working towards a more secure and prosperous future for all.”

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