Adebisi Shonubi Becomes New Deputy, CBN

Following the nomination of Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), President Muhammadu Buhari has given an approval.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made this known in statement in Abuja on Friday.

Shonubi replaces Adebayo Adelabu, who resigned last week to take part in politics in Oyo state.

Shonubi is at present the Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) – the financial payments, facilitation and settlement platform.

NIBSS has been instrumental to the growth in electronic payments in the Nigerian financial industry.

Before assuming the headship of NIBBS in 2012, Shonubi had garnered decades of executive-level experience in financial service operations, notably as Executive Director at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Ltd and Ecobank Nigeria Plc.

On the website of NIBBS, he is described as an Information Technology-driven banker with over 22 years professional experience.

Prior to his appointment as the Managing Director of NIBSS Plc., Mr. Shonubi was Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; a member of the Board of Union Homes and Director Information Technology and Corporate Services in Renaissance Securities Nigeria limited, with responsibility for the Group’s IT infrastructure in Africa.

Mr. Shonubi also had a stint with Citibank Nigeria Limited as its Head, Treasury Operations (1990-1993).

Between 1999 and 2007, he worked in MBC International as Deputy General Manager and supervised their IT operational platforms. He served in First City Monument Bank Limited as Vice – President and in Ecobank Nigeria Limited as Executive Director.

He has served on a number of sub-committees of the Bankers’ Committee, including the Ethics and Professionalism sub-committee.

Shonubi holds double Masters Degree respectively in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering, from University of Lagos.

CBN Deputy Governor Adebayo Adelabu Resigns For Political Aspirations

Deputy Governor in charge of Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Adebayo Adelabu has resigned after President Muhammadu Buhari  formally accepted his disengagement through a letter dated May 24, 2018 thanking Mr. Adelabu for his services to the country and wishing him the best in his future ambitions.

“While appreciating your services in the Central Bank of Nigeria since 9th April 2014, I wish you the very best in your future ambitions and continued commitment to public service in our country and specifically, as you seek to play a more active role in politics, in your home State,” the letter stated.

Reports have however revealed that Adelabu’s resignation is due to his  ambition of contesting the governorship of Oyo State in the forthcoming primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is a direct grandson of late Adegoke Adelabu (aka Penkelemesi), an articulate grassroots politician of the pre-independence political era.

He formally assumed duty as Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on April 9, 2014 and served at different times as Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS), Corporate Services (CS), and lastly Operations (Ops), before he tendered his letter of disengagement.

He was an Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc. He holds a First Class degree in Accounting from the (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

CBN Gives BDCs New Order on Foreign Exchange

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made it mandatory for all the Bureau de Change (BDCs) operating in Nigeria to access Foreign Exchange from it three a week.

A statement from the CBN acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, on Sunday indicated that the new directive would allow eligible travellers more access to foreign exchange and allow more liquidity to the market.

“All BDCs shall henceforth access forex from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.”It is compulsory that all BDCs access forex at least three times weekly.”Any BDC that fails to access the forex window at least three times weekly shall have its licence reviewed by the CBN,” Okorafor said.

According to Okorafor, the CBN has also authorised all commercial banks to buy and sell foreign exchange to travellers whether they operate an account in the said bank or not.

He said that the banks were mandated to do this once a customer or non-customer presents relevant, valid travel documents such as visa and travel ticket.“All travellers shall be attended to immediately at the banks’ counters. Any contravention shall be sanctioned by the CBN,” he said.

This new directive is coming after the CBN announced on Wednesday that some banks were turning back customers that come to purchase Foreign Exchange for Personal and Business Travel as well as for pilgrimage.

According to the CBN, it has supplied enough dollars to the banks to meet needs in the invisible segment.

Customers were enjoined to report any bank that refuses to attend to their legitimate demands within 24 hours.

Reacting to the new directive on BDCs, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau de Change Operators in Nigeria (ABCON) said it would further increase the existing rate multiplicity in the market.

“Our immediate response is to call for an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council to put up our demand for clarifications. It is totally unfair to the BDC sub sector.“Our recommendation is that the thrice market days for BDCs per week should be reviewed to twice with only the amount being reviewed up from 20,000 dollars to 30,000 dollars per market day.

“Also, both the banks and BDCs transaction rates should be merged to be the same. We also demand that BDCs should be allowed to return their unsold position to the CBN as is the practice by banks,” he said.

Gwadabe said that the association would schedule a meeting with the CBN to get more details about the new directive.Top on the list, he said would be the trading rates under the new directive and also if the same compulsion of thrice bidding per week by BDCs also apply to the banks.

Meanwhile, the Naira had begun to depreciate against the dollar in the BDC segment.It went from N363 to a dollar last Monday to N367 dollars as of close of market on Friday.

CBN Cautions Nigerians Against Naira Abuse

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has cautioned Nigerians against mishandling naira notes, adding that the currency is a symbol national identity and pride.

The Deputy Governor, Corporate Services of the apex bank, Mr. Edward Adamu, stated this in Abuja during the celebration of the 2018 International Museum Day.

According to him, “The naira as a symbol of our national pride should not be sprayed or stepped on; it should not be squeezed, defaced or stained.

“The naira should not be sold or counterfeited. Be a role model by neatly arranging the naira in pouches, wallets or envelopes.”

A currency museum exhibition also held as part of the activities marking the day, which showcased the unveiling of the CBN’s temporary currency museum where currencies of various countries from both ancient and modern times were on display.

Adamu said the idea of the currency museum was to enable members of the public to appreciate the various stages of the production of the nation’s currency notes and coins.

The museum, he added, consisted of a complete lifecycle from birth to death of bank notes as well as knowledge sharing, irrespective of one’s age.

According to him, the activities of the currency museum will expose members of the public to better education on how to properly handle the naira and other related matters.

Also speaking, the Deputy Director, Currency Operations Department, CBN, Mr. Vincent Wuranti, said the way and manner people handle the naira would affect its lifespan.

He explained that a lot of thought was put into the design and production of the currencies, hence the need to have respect for them.

According to Section 21 of the CBN Act, 2007, abuse of naira such as squeezing, staining, writing on it, spraying and illegal sale, among others, are punishable offences.

Currency Swap Deal with China will Support Naira — Analysts

The $2.5bn bilateral currency swap deal between Nigeria and China is likely to reduce further the strong demand for the United States dollar and support the naira, analysts at Ecobank Capital have said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria early this month signed the deal with the People’s Bank of China, making Nigeria, the third country in Africa (after South Africa and Egypt) to sign such a deal with China.

The agreement will allow the two countries to swap a total of 15 billion renminbi for N720bn, or vice versa, in the next three years. The deal can be extended by mutual consent.

The currency swap was calculated at the CBN’s interbank rate of N305:$1, rather than the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Fixings rate of N338.7:$1.

“This implies that we are unlikely to see any unification between Nigerian exchange rates anytime soon,” the analysts said in a note.

The deal aims to facilitate bilateral trade and investment, and to promote financial stability and broader economic cooperation between the two countries.

The analysts said it would also help the Nigeria to position itself as a trading hub with China in the West African sub-region.

They noted that the agreement would provide naira liquidity to Chinese firms looking to do business with Nigeria and provide the RMB liquidity to Nigerian firms looking to do business with China.

This, according to the analysts, would help in achieving effectiveness and efficiency in trade transactions between the two countries, without being exposed to the challenge of seeking another foreign currency.

“In terms of the impact, we believe that pressure on Nigerian importers who need the US dollars to import goods from China is likely to dissipate, improving the CBN’s management of the country’s foreign exchange reserves,” they said.

Nigeria’s forex reserves have improved over the past year and stood at $47bn as of April 2018 from $30.9bn a year ago, reflecting improved oil receipts alongside significant foreign portfolio investment flows via the Investor and Exporter window introduced in April 2017.

The CBN has also diversified its forex reserves away from the dollar by switching into yuan, which currently represents approximately a tenth of its total reserves, according to the analysts.

They noted that with improved trading activity, stronger forex reserves and continued CBN support, the official exchange rate had been static at N360:$1.

“In the light of this new currency swap, we expect a strengthening bias on the naira in the near term as this agreement is likely to improve forex liquidity and lead to higher flows from China.”

According to Ecobank, the CBN is likely to retain its exchange rate at N305-306:$1 and maintain interventions in the Secondary Market Intervention Sales windows at the NIFEX exchange rate of N327-340:$1.

“By year end, our expectations of lower oil prices and increased FPI exits from naira assets ahead of the 2019 elections are likely to offset some of the gains, resulting in softer naira and bearish activity in the bonds market,” the analysts added.

CBN Signs $2.5bn Currency Swap Agreement With China

Following two years of intense negotiations, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Peoples Republic of China (PBoC) have finally signed a $2.5 billion worth of currency swap deal.

At a ceremony, which held in Beijing, China last Friday, Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, led CBN officials while PBoC Governor, Dr Yi Gang, led the Chinese team.

According to a statement signed by CBN Spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, the official ceremony was “a culmination of over two years of painstaking negotiations by both Central Banks.

“The transaction, which is valued at Renminbi (RMB) 16 billion, or the equivalent of about $2.5bn, is aimed at providing adequate local currency liquidity to Nigerian and Chinese industrialists and other businesses thereby reducing the difficulties encountered in the search for third currencies.”

According to Okorafor, this agreement will among others provide Naira liquidity to Chinese businesses and provide RMB liquidity to Nigerian businesses respectively, thereby improving the speed, convenience and volume of transactions between the two countries.

“It will also assist both countries in their foreign exchange reserves management, enhance financial stability and promote broader economic cooperation between the two countries.

“With the operationalisation of this agreement, it will be easier for most Nigerian manufacturers, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cottage industries in manufacturing and export businesses to import raw materials, spare-parts and simple machinery to undertake their businesses by taking advantage of available RMB liquidity from Nigerian banks without being exposed to the difficulties of seeking other scarce foreign currencies.

“The deal, which is purely e foreign an exchange of currencies, will also make it easier for Chinese manufacturers seeking to buy raw materials from Nigeria to obtain enough Naira from banks in China to pay for their imports from Nigeria.

“Indeed, the deal will protect Nigerian business people from the harsh effects of third currency fluctuations.”

With last Friday’s agreement, Nigeria becomes the third African country to have such an agreement in place with the PBoC.

Both the Nigerian and Chinese officials expressed delight at the conclusion and signing of the agreement and expressed the hope that it would boost mutually beneficial business transactions between Nigeria and the Peoples Republic of China, Okorafor disclosed.

ABCON Urges CBN to End Multiple Exchange Rate Regime

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to end the multiplicity of foreign exchange windows and the resultant multiple exchange rate regime in the economy.

ABCON also said it had concluded plans to launch the naijabddc.com, a platform designed to provide credible and up-to-date foreign exchange rates to the public.

The website is expected to be launched during the second quarter of this year, according to the first edition of the Quarterly Economic Review of the association.

It read in part, “ABCON is concerned about the multiplicity of foreign exchange windows operated by the CBN and the resultant multiple exchange rate regime in the economy. Africa’s biggest economy has at least six exchange rates ranging from one for Muslim pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia, a retail rate set by licensed BDCs, a rate for foreign travel and school fees, and the official and black market rates.

The association said there was the need to begin the process of integrating the BDCs into the CBN Investors & Exporters FX windows.

This, it said, would deepen the market and unify the exchange rate, since the CBN Investors & Exporters window services the SMEs liquidity needs for forex exchange.

The Acting President, ABCON, Alhaji Gwadabe Aminu, was quoted as saying “The issue of multiple rates is a thing we have been discussing with the CBN. It is not helping a lot of companies to plan. So, we are imploring the CBN who is the custodian of exchange rate management to work towards a single exchange rate that would favour the economy.

He said ABCON was also concerned about the ripple effects of the forthcoming 2019 elections and the preceding campaign process on exchange rate.

The ABCON leader added that the negative implication of the likely exit of portfolio investors from the local bourse before the election, was a major concern on the local currency’s continued stability.

SOURCE: PUNCH

CBN Injects Fresh $210m Into Forex Market

In continuation of its intervention in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wednesday made available another $210 million in the market to meet the requests of customers.

A breakdown of the figures made available by the Bank indicated that the CBN offered the sum of $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, just as it allocated the sum of $55 million each to the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment and the invisibles segment to meet needs tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others.

Confirming the intervention, a statement quoted the CBN Acting Director in charge of the Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Isaac Okorafor, said the continued intervention by the Bank was in line with the Governor’s commitment to ensure liquidity in the market as well as reduce pressure on the naira.

Okorafor said the CBN was pleased with the current market situation brought about by policies it had put in place to check forex speculatiors, round trippers and rent-seekers.

According to him, these policies had helped to stabilise the exchange rate in addition to the establishment of the Investors-Exporters window, which had increased fx supply with over $20 billion inflow since its inception.

According to him, the Bank would not relent in its effort to manage the country’s forex with a view to reducing its import bills and checking any haemorhage of its foreign reserves.

The CBN, in its last intervention last Tuesday had intervened to the tune of $210 million to cater for requests in the various segments of the forex market.

Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability on the forex market, exchanging at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment yesterday.

Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Hit $47 Billion

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have continued to grow significantly with latest figures by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at about $47.37 billion as at April 5.

The new figures rose from about $46.2 billion realised at the end of March.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the new balance in the reserves on Monday at the opening of the 25th seminar for Business Editors and financial Correspondents in Uyo.

Mr Emefiele, who was represented by the newly appointed deputy governor, Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, said the CBN hopes to meet the $50 billion target before the end of the year.

Nigeria’s latest foreign reserves is about $4 billion more than that of South Africa.

South Africa’s net foreign reserves rose to $43.384 billion in March from $43.272 billion in February, the Reserve Bank said on Monday.

Gross reserves fell to $49.979 billion from 50.051 billion dollars, the South African central bank data showed.

The forward position, which represents the central bank’s unsettled or swap transactions, fell to $1.996 billion from $2.057 billion.

“The decrease of 72 million dollars in the gross reserves reflects the foreign exchange payments made on behalf of the government.

“It was partially offset by the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against most currencies,” the South African central bank said.

CBN Assign New Directors

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has assigned duties to the newly appointed Deputy Governors who assumed duty on March 28.

The acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement on Sunday said Mrs Aishah Ahmad was deployed to the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate, while Mr Edward Lemetek Adamu was assigned to Corporate Services.

Emefiele also approved the deployment of Dr Okwu Nnanna from the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate to the Economic Policy Directorate.

“Mr Adebayo Adelabu, however, retains his portfolio as Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate,” Okoroafor said.

According to Okoroafor, the affected principal officers have since assumed duty in their new duties.

CBN Retains Monetary Policy Rate At 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday left the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

He explained that nine members of the committee unanimously agreed to maintain the current monetary policy stance.

He said apart from the MPR which was retained at 14 per cent, the committee also retained the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.