Order electronic banking platforms overhaul, Reps urge CBN
The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to direct banks to immediately overhaul their electronic transaction platforms.
According to the House, the move has become necessary in the aftermath of the recent CBN policies, which have put pressure on online and electronic banking.
The CBN had set lower limits for cash withdrawal and redesigned the N1,000, N500 and N200 noted, policies that caused chaos in the country.
A member of the House, Sergius Ogun, at the plenary on Thursday, moved a motion demanding reinforcement and upgrade of banking systems, especially those of the Deposit Money Banks also known as commercial banks.
The motion was titled ‘Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to Direct All Commercial Banks to Overhaul their Online Banking Service Platforms to Ease Electronic Banking Operations.’
Moving the motion, Ogun noted that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly, like the CBN.
The lawmaker also noted that the CBN was established under Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to issue legal tender currencies in Nigeria. He added that Section 2 of the CBN Act saddles the bank with the duty of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria.
He said, “The House acknowledges that in the wake of the recent naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been an increase in the use of online and electronic banking services to carry out monetary transactions across the country.
“The House also acknowledges that the use of online or internet banking services by Nigerians in the past three months or thereabout has been characterised by varying degrees of hitches, ranging from unsuccessful electronic bank transfers, Point of Sale service failure and a host of others.
“The House is disturbed that the ineffectiveness or difficulty in using internet banking services across the online banking platforms of most commercial banks in Nigeria has brought untold hardship, suffering and difficulties on Nigerians in the past three months.”
Ogun added, “The House is worried that if nothing is done by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks to address these difficulties or ineffectiveness, Nigerians will continue to suffer untold hardships and loss of monies to unsuccessful electronic bank transactions.”
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to urge the CBN to “direct all commercial banks in the country to immediately overhaul their existing online/electronic banking platforms for efficiency and ease of conducting electronic banking operations.”
The House further mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to ensure compliance with the resolutions and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Uncertainty grips Nigerians as NNPCL confirms new PMS pump price
Fear of uncertainty grip most Nigerians on Wednesday as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) confirmed a new PMS pump price of N537 per litre of fuel in Abuja.
The over 200 percent increase of in a product that have influencing impart on transportation cost and consequently on prices of other commodities ,left the residents of Abuja wondering on how to survive in the coming days ,weeks and months.
Nigerians should brace up for harder times as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has confirmed a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), across section of the residents said, but majority of the residents preferred to hold back their comments .
In its release dated 31 May, 2023 the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, Garba Deen Muhammad, had confirmed the new price regime.
He stated in the release, tagged “Adjustment In Pump Price Of PMS”, that the adjustment in the pump price of fuel was in line with current market realities.
The NNPCL could not give any assurance of stability of the new price regime for PMS as it declared: “It is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.”
It however promised to strive to provide end users of the petroleum product of quality service and ceaseless supply.
“NNPC Limited wishes to inform our esteemed customers that we have adjusted our pump prices of PMS across our retail outlets, in line with current market realities.
“As we strive to provide you with the quality service for which we are known, it is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.
“We assure you that NNPC Limited is committed to ensuring a ceaseless supply of products.
“The company sincerely regrets any inconvenience this development may have caused.
“We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, support, and understanding during this time of change and growth,” NNPCL stated in the release.
There has been sudden fuel scarcity in several parts of the country following the affirmation by President Bola Tinubu, during his inauguration on Monday, that the fuel subsidy has been removed.
Motorists have since been finding it difficult to get fuel, even as the pump price of the product rose to as high as N650 per litre at some filling stations.
The sudden increment was against an initial understanding that the removal of oil subsidy would be implemented by the end of June.
In the midst of the controversies, Nigerians woke up on Wednesday morning only to learn that the NNPCL had jerked up pump prices of petrol (PMS) by over 200 per cent.
The new PMS pump price template purportedly sent by NNPCL to petroleum marketers.
The latest increment brought the pump price to between N488 and N577 per litre, with Lagos State having the lowest price, while Borno and Yobe states would be selling at N557 per litre.
This was a sharp increase from the old pump price regime of between N189 per litre and N199 per litre across the states before the removal of subsidy.
If the new pricing template, purportedly sent by the NNPCL Management to marketers is anything to go by, the new price regime takes effect from today.
As contained in the template, the new price regime per litre, across the states, effective from today, 31 May, 2023, is as follows:
Lagos: ₦488; FCT Abuja: ₦537; Abia: ₦515; Adamawa: ₦550; Akwa Ibom: ₦515; Anambra: ₦520; Bauchi: ₦550; Bayelsa: ₦515; Benue: ₦537; Borno: ₦557; Cross River: ₦511; Delta: ₦511; Edo: ₦511;
Ekiti: ₦500; Enugu: ₦520; Ebonyi: ₦520; Gombe: ₦550; Imo: ₦515; Jigawa: ₦540; Kaduna: ₦540; Kano: ₦540; Katsina: ₦540; Kebbi: ₦545; Kogi: ₦537; Kwara: ₦515; Nasarawa: N537;
Niger: ₦537; Ogun: ₦500; Ondo: ₦500; Osun: ₦500 per litre; Oyo: ₦500! Plateau: ₦537; Rivers: ₦511; Sokoto: ₦540; Taraba: ₦550! Yobe: ₦557! and Zamfara: ₦540 per litre.
MAN, NECA, NACCIMA reject FG’s excise tax hike
The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industries, and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises has rejected the recently announced increase in excise tax.
The hike, contained in the circular dated April 20, 2023, was reportedly signed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
In a statement signed by the Director-General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir; Director-General, NACCIMA, Olusola Obadimu; Director-General, NECA, Adewale Oyerinde; Director-General, Ifeanyi Oputa; and Director-General, NASSI, and Eke Ubiji, the OPSN called for an immediate reversal of the hike. It said the increase was unwarranted, ill-timed and inimical to the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector in particular.
It said the manufacturing sector is presently grappling with unprecedented challenges including the sustained scarcity of naira, limited access to foreign exchange, a struggling economy and persistent inflation, alongside perennial problems of multiple taxation and epileptic power supply.
These challenges, the OPSN said, had resulted in a record crash in sales for most businesses running into billions of Naira, with the result that manufacturers are struggling to remain in business, amidst looming job cuts, mothballing of factories and total shutdown of businesses.
The statement partly read, “Therefore, increasing excise rates at this time is extremely ill-advised and may sound the death knell for affected businesses and their contribution to the national economy, even as the broader manufacturing sector continues to deteriorate.
“In light of the above, the OPSN respectfully requests the Federal Government to urgently reverse the increase in excise rates to protect the affected industries and the dependent businesses in their extended value chain from imminent collapse with calamitous consequences for the economy.
“We further request that the Federal Government suspends excise taxes in the manufacturing sector for a minimum of six months, to arrest the alarming decline in the sector.”
The OPSN also advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently deploy measures to fully alleviate the Naira scarcity crisis and prioritise foreign exchange allocations to the productive sector.
Livestock accounts for over 40 % of global Agric GDP – FG
The Livestock sub-sector accounts for more than 40 per cent of the global agricultural Gross Domestic Product, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said.
Umakhihe said the sub-sector also provides more than 33 per cent of the World’s protein intake.
Umakhihe, who stated this on Tuesday at the opening of a training for farmers on the utilisation of low-grade grains, however, noted that the utilisation of the cheapest and most available livestock feed was a major challenge facing farmers in Nigeria.
The permanent secretary was represented by Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin, Director, Animal Husbandry Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He listed the cheap feed resources to include crop residues (rice, maize, ground nut and cassava by-products, animal processing wastes, and brewery wastes, among others.
“On the other hand, such feeds must be cost effective. Nutritious animal feed is essential for development and productivity of animals, especially food animals.
“In Nigeria, animal feed remains a challenge to animal husbandry practices, largely due to high cost of animal feeds, which are not readily available and where they are, they are not easily affordable by an average farmer,” Umakhihe said.
According to him, it is gratifying to note that the contribution of the Livestock sub-sector to the economy goes beyond the production of meat, milk and eggs.
“The livestock sub-sector supports over one billion people globally, accounting for over 40 per cent of global GDP and provides over 33 per cent of the world’s protein intake,” he said.
He said the capacity-building programme was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to leverage the agricultural sector for wealth creation, employment generation and diversification of the economy.
Umakhihe expressed optimism that the training would also provide the required knowledge to sustain livestock through reduced availability of animal feed ingredients, labour, processing facilities, inputs and services.
In her address, Lai-Solarin said that the ministry was determined to support all agricultural farmers to improve their production process to achieve feed and food security.
“It is an established fact that feed constitutes about 70 per cent of the cost of livestock production.
“Therefore, subsidising the cost of feed production will not only increase the farmers’ profit, but also sustain their interest,” she said.
Lai-Solarin, who was also represented by Mrs Florence Hamed, Chief Health and Animal Husbandry Technician, said silage making and utilisation was one of such knowledge that could make a difference.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, a participant, Mr Eimoga Francis of Ampersand Farms, said the event was timely, as it would address the challenge of animal feed to animal husbandry practices.
The farmers were also trained on making alternative feed ingredients for climate smart animal feed production.
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