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FG Begins Audit of TSA Remittances by Banks

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The Federal Government has commenced an independent audit to ascertain the rate of compliance by Deposit Money Banks in the remittance of government funds into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The TSA is a platform which was used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all monies belonging to the federal government are kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The initiative which took off fully in September 2015 had been complied with by over 900 agencies of government with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over N5tn had been moved from banks to the CBN.

There had been controversies whether all the banks actually complied fully with the directive following discoveries last week that about seven banks had yet to remit a total sum of $793m being government funds into the TSA.

But speaking in Abuja at a two day workshop for finance journalists on the TSA and other public financial management reforms, the Director, Funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Alexander Adeyemi, said a comprehensive audit of the remittances by banks is being carried out by the office.

He said the audit which is being conducted by renowned accounting firms such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst and Young would focus on how much of government funds was government funds in banks before the presidential directive was given, how much was actually moved and what was still being held by banks.

He said, “The AGF (Accountant General of the Federation) has given out approval for the audit of the entire TSA and possibly we have very reputable accounting firms like Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Ernst and Young and they are there now in the field doing that audit of the entire TSA so that any money that is still remaining in commercial banks we believe we would be able to discover them.

“They are doing a three-legged reconciliation. We are starting out from the balance of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) before the presidential directive. Then we are proceeding to CBN in terms of how much was moved, was it the total money in banks? We are also auditing that.

“We are also auditing what is the balance now in these various accounts and so it’s a real comprehensive thing that is presently going on. I must say that some of the lapses that we are seeing especially among the banks not adhering to the presidential directive the truth will surely come out.

“So there is no easy way for them because some few weeks ago, more monies were discovered from some of those commercial banks and they are taking steps that those monies are brought back into the TSA.

“Government is adequately putting in place mechanism to monitor and ensure that these funds are paid back into government coffers. The TSA is a wonderful scheme and it’s something that we need to encourage.”

 

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E-Financial

CBN, NDIC Push Banks to Return to Northeast

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There are ongoing moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to get commercial banks and microfinance banks return to the troubled North-East region, Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director, NDIC, has said.

Speaking at the ongoing NDIC Annual Workshop for financial journalists in Kano, Ibrahim, called on the CBN to provide incentives for commercial banks and microfinance banks to come back to the North-east after they closed shops because of the impact of the Boko Haram on their operations.

He said the Northeast has potentials to support economic growth and should be supported by banks to achieve the desired result. He spoke on the theme: “The Nigerian banking sector: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward.”

He said: “Many bank CEOs have forgotten the economic potentials that exist in the Northeast. We need to awaken the banks to see the economic potentials in the Northeast. During the next special Bankers’ Committee meeting, the Northeast infrastructural revival will be discussed. The CBN already has planned to rebuild the Northeast,” he said.

He called on the CBN and other major stakeholders in the financial system to rebuild the financial infrastructure in the troubled North-East region.

He said the activities of insurgents in the region in the last few years have led to huge damage of financial infrastructure in the region.

The NDIC boss disclosed that given the crisis in the North-East region, so many businesses have been adversely affected while some investors have moved their investments out of that region.

He said the rate at which people are being financially excluded in the region has increased due to lack of adequate provision of financial services which was caused by insurgents.

The NDIC boss said he would personally table the issue to the Bankers’ Committee during their next meeting so that concrete steps could be taken to address the problem.

To encourage Deposit Money Banks to open more branches in the North-East, he said there was need for the CBN to provide more incentives to banks. He said, “We need to have the government of the North-East on board, they need to be sensitised on this issue.

“We need more collaboration with the CBN and government of the North-East because without this, not much can be done.

“It is necessary for the CBN to provide incentives for various banks in order to come back to the North-East because many bank CEOs have forgotten the potentials that exist in this region.”

In his presentation titled “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North East”, Mudashiru Olaitan, Director Development Finance, CBN, lamented the low level of access to the bank’s interventions in the region.

Olaitan, who was represented by Sani Mohammed, Deputy Director in the Department, said out of the N82 billion that was spent between 2001-2008, no state in the region accessed the apex bank’s interventions.

“In the commercial agricultural scheme intervention by the CBN, no state in the North-East accessed this intervention except in Taraba and Gombe which have only one each.”So there is need for the region to tap into the interventions,” he added.

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IFC Invests to aid Better Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare in Nigeria

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International Finance Corporation (IFC) the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets has announced that it recently committed an equity investment of USD 8.5 million in Santa Clara Africa Limited, to support the development of a 150-bed hospital and two 10-bed clinics in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The project is promoted by AXA Mansard Plc, the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, who provided equity to the project alongside IFC, the CAPE IV Fund, managed by African Capital Alliance and the hospital operator, Healthshare Ltd, through its parent company EOH Holding Ltd.

The two clinics will create a strong referral system of patients to the hospital.

 

These three facilities together will provide the necessary economies of scale to deliver better value for money in healthcare services.

 

The project is expected to provide healthcare at a price point that is below that of comparable hospitals and clinics in the market.

Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, Nigeria, said “with this investment, IFC wants to contribute to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s healthcare system to offer quality and affordable services.

 

“We will look to scale up this efficient and integrated model nationwide” She added.

Nigeria’s healthcare sector remains underserved as demand – driven by population growth, higher income levels, rapid urbanization, and a rise of non-communicable diseases – continues to outstrip supply of quality healthcare infrastructure.

 

Diagnostic and primary care services are also limited, and at varying qualities. As a result, Nigerians spend an estimated US$1 billion annually on health services abroad.

The lack of secure access to affordable and good quality healthcare with an appropriate service mix has also hampered the growth of health insurance in Nigeria.

 

The low levels of health insurance penetration, which currently constitutes less than 10 percent of the population, contributes to the high cost of healthcare in Nigeria.

 

An increased availability of health insurance schemes would not only provide sustainable access to health services but also motivate the service providers to adopt cost-effective models.

This is IFC’s second investment with the AXA Group in the health sector. Earlier this year, IFC supported AXA’s insurance business in Egypt which includes health insurance, also through an equity investment.

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E-Financial

Linkifin to provide Supply Chain Financial Solution in West Africa

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Linkifin, a leading financial technology company in Nigeria, announces a new partnership with the South African company Propell.

 

This partnership is part of Linkifin’s International Development plan. Linkifin, based in Lagos Nigeria, provides end to end Supply Chain Finance (SCF) solutions across West Africa.

 

Both companies recently signed an agreement to provide Prime Revenue’s award-winning supply chain finance platform in South Africa..

 

Ms. Omolade Fadase, business development and Ibukun Ekujumi, technical lead both at Linkifin spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek on the challenges in the supply chain ecosystem, stating that one of the biggest headaches in the supply chain link was cash flow challenges and delays in payments due by buyers to suppliers and this is what Linkifin SCF platform is about to change.

 

Obinna Mejeh, head of Business Development, added, “Our platform is basically one for invoice trading, adding flexibility and visibility in a supply chain ,unlike the legacy systems used by banks , discount houses and factoring companies. One of the beautiful things about this platform is that it is a win-win situation for all – buyers, suppliers and funders.

 

Hussaini Yakubu, MD/CEO of Linkifin, further commented, “Nigeria is the second strongest economy in Africa and the largest in West Africa. In order to gear the region towards a robust supply chain finance solution for the future we have to act now. The potential is huge and untapped amongst our target of small and medium sized businesses. We have already met with several major local companies and are going to announce new customers in the coming month”.

 

He ended by expressing his optimism that Linkifin will be able to bridge the gap in the supply chain ecosystem and ended the interview by saying the future for supply chain finance in Nigeria was bright.

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