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Microfinance Banks Loans to MSMEs Hit N214Bn — CBN

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said that total credit granted by Microfinance banks to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has hit N214.32 billion as at December 31, 2016.

Mrs Tokunbo Martins, director of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD), made this known at the 2nd Annual Professional Training organised for Lagos state Microfinance banks operators.

The seminar was organised by National Association of Microfinance Bank, Lagos Chapter (NAMBLAG) in conjunction with CA Compusult and Associates with the theme “Sustainable Microfinance Banking in Nigeria’’.

Martins also said the total assets of the sub-sector presently stood at N365.51 billion.

She said the figures above was grossly inadequate given the country’s population of 170 million that largely consisted of people at the bottom of the social pyramid that consisted a veritable targets of the banks.

She added, “the industry is highly concentrated and unevenly distributed with the top 10 of the 991 Microfinance banks accounting for 37 per cent to 40 per cent of the total loans, deposits and assets as at March 31, 2017.

“The sub-sector is also under capitalised with high non-performing loans and characterized by a high spate of distress and failures with many institutions particularly unit Microfinance banks technically insolvent or inactive.”

Martins said the bank has also expended 12 million dollars to register the 991 Microfinance banks and some finance houses with Credit Bureaux to enable them combat dubious customers.

Martins, who was represented by Mr Bassey Ekpo, a deputy Deputy Director in OFISD ,however, commended NAMBLAG for organizing the seminar.

“I also commend the association for considering it appropriate to hold the the brainstorming seminar outside Lagos to enable maximum concentration.

“The seminar is significant in three vital aspects, firstly, it holds on the heels of the recent economic recession that hits the country.

“Secondly, the theme this year underlines the need for stakeholders to re-tool and re-invent themselves in the face of economic challenges.

“Thirdly the seminar holds at the time of economic challenge in which Microfinance banks is expected to play critical role and contribute to the on –going economic recovery efforts.”

Mr Omololu Fatunbi, chairman of NAMBLAG, in his keynote address, commended CBN for its support to the banks.

Omololu said that NAMBLAG was not unaware of the many initiatives by the apex bank to push Microfinance banks to higher level.

The NAMBLAG boss said that the he would also put all efforts to ensure all the banks in the state meet the deadline for the registration of Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Reacting to performance of the sub-sector, he said the banks in Lagos state were ready to support the Federal Government’s effort to take the country out of recession. “By God’s grace, NAMBLAG will ensure that our services are extended to all Nigerians living in Lagos State.

 “We will penetrate the rural towns and villages to empower them for agricultural development.

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E-Financial

Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership

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By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut

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Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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E-Financial

Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time

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Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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