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Reps Demand Bail out for Ailing Industries

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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja


The House of Representatives has urged the Federal government to design a special bail out strategy for ailing and collapsed industries (both publicly quoted and privately owned companies).

The Legislators said such bail out should be devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks and collateral security so as to enable the industries perform well to generate employment opportunities.
Accordingly, the House asked the Federal government to apply the bail out through the Bank of Industry, the Bank of Agriculture, the Nigeria Export – Import  Bank at a single digit interest rate with three(3) years moratorium,

It demanded that government included Cooperative and Micro Finance Banks and Development Bank of Nigeria in the bailout programmes to lend to business at single digit interest rates to help boost the stock and sales of those traders.

The lower Chamber also resolved that Federal government should initiate a process of identifying specific and critical industries in the country that will be part of the bail out program, devise strategies that will lead to improvement in power supply, especially to serve the industries so as to prevent them from going under due to the high cost of power.

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It further called for the appointment of experienced managers for the ailing industries to ensure the revival of the industries and full repayment of the bailout funds after which the managers will be eased out of the companies or retained on agreed terms.

The House which recently returned from a two-Month long recess, resolved in plenary to ask the government to grant tax incentives to ailing Companies, give preference in access to foreign exchange and other critical inputs and make adequate provision in the 2020 budget for this programme.

Other resolutions reached include the call on the government to empower the capacity of National Directorate of Employment across the country to provide jobs, embark on massive vocational training across the country to reduce reliance on government jobs, identify ailing industries, improve power and infrastructure and monitoring the disbursement of the fund and its application by the House.

The House also mandated its relevant Committees on Finance, Industry, Labour and Employment and Productivity to liase with the Federal Government to actualize the bailout proposal to ailing and moribund industries in order to address the problem of unemployment in the country.

These were the resolutions reached at plenary following motion on matter of urgent public importance on the ‘Need to Bail out Ailing Industries to absorb the Teeming Unemployed Graduates and create wealth for the country’ sponsored by James Faleke (APC, Lagos).

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Faleke while presenting the motion noted that,
an alarming 1.3 million new graduates passed out every year from the over 170 accredited universities for  National Youths Service Scheme and it was estimated that there were about 20 million unemployed graduates in Nigeria at the moment.

He said, the House “also notes that the above number does not include those graduates who are excluded from the national service on account of age or who attend other institutions of higher learning that do not present candidates for the national service, such as holders of the Ordinary National Diploma (OND), National Certificate in Education (NCE) and those who attend the National Open University.

“Unfortunately the majority of the graduates lack the technical knowledge and capacity to become self-employed or to create employment opportunities for others.

“Further notes that as a result of the collapse and closure of many industries that would have employed those graduates, they are now left to roam the streets of major cities in search of unavailable jobs, in the process, are exposed to the risk of kidnapping, prostitution, cultism, armed robbery and other sundry crimes, as well as falling prey to the antics of employment scammers who take advantage of their desperation to exploit them;

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“Aware that many States of the Federation which are dependent on allocations from the federation account for running the States, recently, got bailout funds to pay salaries of workers, as a result, cannot be looked upon to provide employment for their graduates”.

The motion which attracted wide support from Members was voted on, passed and referred to the Committee on Industries.


Business News

Naira Redesign Encourages Financial Inclusion, Electronic Transactions – CBN

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The naira redesign will encourage expanded financial inclusion and other forms of electronic transactions, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday.

CBN Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Umar, stated this at the 2022 workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Port Harcourt yesterday.

Umar, represented by Amina Halidu-Giwa, the Head, Policy Development Division, Currency Operation Department of the bank, said the redesign would encourage many un-banked people to be included in the financial system.

According to him, it will discourage excessive carrying of cash and encourage other electronic means of transactions.

He said that when the un-banked were fully captured in the financial system, it would help form adequate data for effective planning for greater economic growth.

“Naira redesign will also help in reducing cash management expenditures, give visibility and control and will help the bank to know the volume of money in circulation.

“It will also help in fighting counterfeiting and money laundering,” he said.

The director said that contrary to rumours that the CBN would print other denominations apart from the redesigned N1000, N500 and N200, no other denomination would be printed.

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Umar also said that the bank was not making money from the printing of the new notes contrary to insinuations.

He said that it was just a continuous process of printing money by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, adding that no contract was given to outsiders for the printing.

Fielding questions on why the redesign was so simple, he said “we want to solve a problem and we have limited time to do that.

“Redesigning is about change of colour or size. The ink itself is a security feature,” he said.

Umar said that the redesign of the notes were long overdue noting that the N1000 notes had stayed for 17 years, N500 for 21 years and N200 for 22 years.

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Business News

NDIC Pays 443,949 Failed Banks Depositors N11.83bn

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), yesterday said it has paid a total of N11.83 billion to over 443,949 insured depositors and over N101.37 billion to uninsured depositors of all categories of banks as at June 2022.

Managing director of NDIC, Bello Hassan disclosed this at a workshop organized by the Corporation for financial journalists in Portharcourt yesterday.

The NDIC bank liquidation mandate entails reimbursement of insured and uninsured depositors, creditors, and shareholders of banks in liquidation.

“The liquidation activities, as of June 30, 2022, covered a total of 467 insured financial institutions in liquidation, comprising 49 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), 367 Microfinance Banks (MFBs), and 51 Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and out of the 49 DMBs in liquidation, the Corporation in September 2022 declared 100 per cent liquidation dividend in 20 of those institutions, meaning that the Corporation has realized enough funds from their assets to fully pay all depositors of the listed banks.

“As of June 30, 2022, the NDIC provided deposit insurance coverage to a total of 981 insured financial institutions.

“The breakdown includes 33 DMBs made up of 24, commercial banks, six Merchant Banks and three Non-Interest Banks (NIBs) plus two Non-Interest windows; 882 Microfinance Banks (MFBs); 34 Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs); three Payment Service Banks (PSBs) and 29 Mobile Money Operators,” he explained..

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Three papers were presented on the first day of the workshop namely, “Rising Ponzi Scheme and Investment Scam in Nigeria What We need to know; Understanding the role of premium contribution in an asante funding Deposit Insurance System; and The role of the media in addressing emerging issues in the banking industry”.

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Naira Redesign: Abuja ACCI Wants Deadline Extended

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The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the non-continuation of the use of the current currency notes.

The President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, made the appeal in a statement he issued on Tuesday, in Abuja in reaction to the recent announcement by the CBN on the redesigning of the country’s currency.

According to him, there have been various reactions from experts on the policy and while some experts agree with the CBN’s strategic objectives for the exercise, others differ.

“As a chamber, we recognise the advantages of this policy to include improvement in the integrity of the currency, curbing inflation, the efficiency of its supply and strengthening the strategy to conduct monetary policy, among others.

“However, we are not unaware of the cons of this policy on the national economy, specifically to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

“We would recommend to the apex bank to intensify public awareness campaign on the need for people and businesses to transit cash outside the banking system to the banks,’’ he said.

Abubakar explained that the sensitisation would allay the fears of Nigerians, deepen the buy-in of the citizenry and build national support for the implementation process.

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According to him, at the same time, the CBN should extend the deadline for the non-continuation of the use of the old currency notes.

“The chamber would also advise the CBN to provide financial and non-financial interventions (support) to cushion any likely negative impact this policy may have on businesses,’’ he said.

The president also said that the CBN, working with other stakeholders in the financial services eco space, needed to sustain and aggressively pursue and expand financial inclusiveness to cover unbanked segments of the society.

“This can be achieved through new procedures that match the peculiarities of the informal economy.

“The banking establishments also have a duty to harmonise bank charges associated with cash deposits,” Abubakar said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN said that the redesigned Naira notes would be released by Dec. 15, adding that existing ones would cease to be regarded as legal tender by Jan. 31, 2023. (NAN)

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