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CBN Resumes Dollar Sales for SMEs, School Fees Payment

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Central Bank of Nigeria CBN
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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja


Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown both globally and in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks.

In a statement by CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor on Wednesday, the move is to enable parents wishing to pay schools fees and SMEs to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country. 


According to the statement, the apex bank was particularly resuming the provision of over US$100 million per week for both categories.


The statement also disclosed that the CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.


“With these actions, the CBN wishes to reiterate that it is adequately meeting the needs of all legitimate users, and our continued capacity to do so should not be in doubt. 


“There is therefore no need for panic by any end-user that could necessitate recourse to illegitimate sources and spike in foreign exchange rates.


“Given this, the Bank has ramped up its surveillance of the foreign exchange markets for speculators, smugglers and other illegal users, and will take decisive actions against anyone/institutions involved in such nefarious activities”, the statement added.

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Business News

Eurobond Offer: Nigeria Back at International Capital Market -DMO

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The federal government has announced plans to return to the
International Capital Market (ICM) for the issuance of Eurobond Offer.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.


Consequently, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said in a statement on
Thursday that virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for
September 17 and 20, 2021.
According to the statement, in order to avail local investors the
opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held
with local investors. This is the first time local investors will be
included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a
Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was
appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.

Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to
USD$3 billion but no more than USD$6.2 billion. The issuance for which
all statutory approvals have been received, is for the purpose of
implementing the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act.
Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.
In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the
2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits
the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: it is an
inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External
Reserves. External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and
Nigeria’s sovereign rating; When Nigeria raises funds externally,
through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for
private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the
sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market; The
issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for
Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise
capital in the ICM. By so doing, their capital base has been
strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting
regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the
ICM, extending up to 30 years.
*The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange
Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range
of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market
capitalisation. Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the
investor meetings that precede the pricing, have provided a strong
global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities
available in Nigeria for investors.
The statement then named the Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria
for the issuance to include, International Bookrunners/ – JP Morgan,
Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers Standard
Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill
Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank
Ltd; International Legal Adviser – White & Case LLP and Nigerian Legal
Adviser – Banwo & Ighodalo.

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JAIZ Bank: World Most Improved Islamic Financial Institution – GIFA

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Jaiz Bank Plc, Nigeria’s premier non-interest bank has been announced as the Most Improved Islamic Bank 2021 in the world by the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA).

Chairman of GIFA Professor Humayon Dar in his congratulatory message to Jaiz Bank for the award, said the Bank was the best out of three organisations considered in that category after long deliberations which was based on several factors included in the GIFA Methodology.

The GIFA methodology on which the awards are based, and winners selected is the most detailed approach to screen only the best of the best in their respective award categories.

Basically, there are three factors considered by GIFA in the selection of a winner. These include Social Responsibility; Shari’ah Authenticity and Commitment to Islamic Banking and Finance. 

According to the Awards Committee, Jaiz Bank was able to meet all the above factors, hence the basis for its selection as the winner.

Managing Director/CE of Jaiz Bank Hassan Usman thanked GIFA for once again choosing the Bank as the Most Improved Islamic Bank in the world.

He said: “Winning the Most Improved Islamic Bank award for the second time in a row from the Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA) is a revalidation of our efforts towards continuous process improvement in serving our customers. We truly appreciate the Committee for seeing us worthy of the award.

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“This re-energises us to even do more, knowing that the world watches and appreciates our modest contributions to the development of Islamic Finance. As always, we are dedicating this award to our Creator, in whose Grace all things are perfected. We appreciate the contributions of our loyal customers, dedicated staff, committed shareholders and caring regulators”, he added. 

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Business News

Nigeria’s Inflation Drops to 17.01 percent in August – NBS

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday released the Consumer Price Index which measures inflation with the rate dropping to 17.01 per cent in August.

This represents 0.37 percent points lower than the 17.38 percent recorded in July this year.

This is the fifth consecutive month that the country’s inflation rate will be trending downward since March this year.

It dropped from 18.17 per cent March to 18.12 per cent in April before dropping further to 17.93 per cent, 17.75 per cent and 17.38 per cent in the months of May, June and July respectively.

The NBS said on month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.02 percent in August 2021, adding that this is 0.09
percent rate higher than the 0.93 per cent recorded in July 2021.

The Report stated, “The consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 17.01 percent (year-on-year) in
August 2021.

“This is 0.37 percent points lower than the rate recorded in July 2021 (17.38) percent.

“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending August 2021 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 16.60 percent, showing 0.30
percent point from 16.30 percent recorded in July 2021.”

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The Report stated that the urban inflation rate increased by 17.59 per cent (year-on-year) in August 2021 from the 18.01 per cent
recorded in July 2021, while the rural inflation rate also rose by 16.43 per cent in August 2021 from 16.75 per cent in July 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, it said that the urban index rose by 1.06 per cent in August 2021, representing 0.08 percent increase over the rate recorded in July 2021, while the rural index also rose by 0.99 per cent in August 2021.

“The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 17.19 percent in August 2021.

“This is higher than 16.89 percent reported in July 2021, while the corresponding
rural inflation rate in August 2021 is 16.03 percent compared to 15.73 percent recorded in July 2021,” the Report added.

For the composite food index, it said this rose by 20.30 percent in August 2021 compared to 21.03 percent in July 2021.

The rise in the food index, it noted, was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, milk, cheese and egg, oils
and fats, potatoes, yam and other tuber, food product, meat and coffee, tea and cocoa.

On a month-on-month basis, it said the food sub-index increased by 1.06 per cent in August 2021, up by 0.20
percent points from the 0.86 percent recorded in July 2021.

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In terms of States with the highest inflation rate in August, the Report stated that it was highest in Kogi (23.40 per cent), Bauchi (21.56 per cent) and Oyo (20.32 per cent), while Bayelsa (15.04 per cent), Rivers (14.73 per cent) and Kwara (14.64 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year on year inflation.

On a month on month basis however, it said inflation was highest in Cross River (2.65 per cent), Zamfara (2.05 per cent) and Akwa Ibom (2.01 per cent), while Kaduna (0.20 per cent) and Rivers (0.14 per cent) recorded the slowest
rise.

It added that Ebonyi recorded price deflation or negative inflation(general decrease in the prices of goods and services or a negative inflation rate).

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