By BUKOLA BELLO, Lagos As schools resume for another academic session, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, says it has set aside a N15 billion facility to be disbursed to private schools though its array of products designed to enable them acquire attractive educational facilities to support their business whilst empowering parents and guardians to seamlessly send their wards back to school. The bank in a statement at the weekend said it remains committed to supporting schools with their business requirements to enhance preparations for the school year. FirstBank’s educational products and solutions include the FirstEdu Loan, Operational Vehicle Loan, Term Loans for constructing new sites and extension of existing sites, Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) and Salary Overdraft (SODA) which enhances Parents/Guardians’ capacity to pay their wards’ school fees. The FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery, Secondary and A-Levels schools. The product offers opportunity for private schools to access flexible funding...
BY BAYO AMODU AND KAYODE TOKEDE Given severe macro economy challenges, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) for half year ended June 30, 2017 (H1) recorded impressive increase in gross earnings that impacted on its net interest income and probability. The prudent management of these financial parameters impacted on financial institution profitability in the period under review, reaffirming the pan-African bank as one of the most profitable and well managed financial institution in Africa. The lender joined other banks to release audited half year results to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with impressive performance in key indices in following up to the first quarter results that was released early in the year. Growth in profitability further reflects the earnings capacity of the Group and its capability to progressively deliver superior returns to shareholders. The growth in profitability impacted positively on shareholders return as management paid interim dividend of N0.20 per share. With the tight liquidity...
By MARY TITUS, Abuja with agency report - Some bank customers in the South-East have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to compel commercial banks to urgently address challenges facing transactions with ATMs at weekends and national public holidays The customers made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday while expressing frustration, anger and anxiety due to the poor performance of the ATMs in banks during the long Eid-el-kabir holidays. In Abakaliki, there were long queues at many ATM points during the holidays due to network failures and cash shortages. NAN reports that customers were seen shuttling from one bank to another in efforts to make withdrawals. But bank officials attached to the ATMs declined to make comments. Customers have questioned the CBN for encouraging the banking public to use electronic payment system when they could not fix the problems associated with the e-banking. “Nigerian banks should upgrade...
By Kayode Tokede, Lagos - As the Information Technology continued to drive innovative across sectors, the financial institution by means of Electronic- Payment (E-Payment) has recorded growth in cashless transaction volumes due to rising adoption of alternate payment instruments. The growth has also leverage on increased financial inclusion, enhanced payments network infrastructure and regulatory initiatives based on digital payment models. The payments system plays a very crucial role in any economy, being the channel through which financial resources flow from one segment of the economy to the other. It, therefore, represents the major foundation of the modern market economy its advances. The 2017 World Payments Report said, 2015 global cashless transaction volumes shows volumes grew 11.2per cent during 2014–2015 to reach 433.1 billion, the highest growth of the past decade. The report noted that two regions fueled this increase: Emerging Asia with a growth rate of 43.4per cent and CEMEA (Central Europe, Middle East, and...
By Kayode Tokede, Lagos - A total of 10 commercial banks that include Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) have reported N26.8 billion on current account maintenance fee in six months. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Unity Bank Plc. The 10 commercial banks in half year of 2016 generated about N26.5 billion for maintaining customers’ current account. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had indirectly reintroduced Commission on Turnover (CoT) fee as Current Account Maintenance (CAM) Fee in 2013. The apex bank in 2013 commenced reduction of CoT terminated with zero CoT charge by 2016. Of the N26.8 billion generated from customers’ current account maintenance, Tier-one banks contributed about N21.99 billion in six months under consideration, a decline of 2.1 per cent from N22.46 billion recorded in...
Press Statement   The allegations raised are a direct result of sustained efforts by the Bank to recover its assets from an aggrieved ex Management staff over the last 18 months.  We are working with the relevant law enforcement agencies in this regard.   The Bank remains focused on its objective of asset recovery and is pursuing these claims lawfully, working with the law enforcement agencies to recover its assets and resolve all the issues. The Bank will continue to work with all regulatory bodies and will provide all necessary information that may be required.   Regardless of the news, allegations and information that may continue to circulate, we are confident that the truth will emerge. The Bank will continue to focus on its daily operational activities and will not be dragged into public exchange of words in a bid to distract it from its ongoing recovery process.   Over the years, ASO Savings &...
By Patrick Ochoga A Professor of Law at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Professor Jim Akhere, has stated that bitcoin as an encrypted virtual currency is a revolutionary and disruptive concept of currency that is bound to hold sway in Modern Global economic order. He argued  that “ the normal currency which depends on central government planning and control is subject to instability, economic volatility and it is used for transaction settlements during which process it can easily be debased adding that “paper money ultimately reverts to its original intrinsic value which is zero“ This position was contained in a paper presentation made available to LEADERSHIP by Professor Jim Akhere, on Cryptocurrency under the aegis of DBI & Spindlar Cyberlaw Centre. He pointed out that the advantages in the use of Cryptocurrency- it's  scam free nature, instantaneous settlements,  lower fees, accessibility to everyone and absence of identity theft, are irresistible qualities in the...
By Kayode Tokede, Lagos The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that commercial banks reduced their lending to the economy by N292 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.  The bureau in its report titled: “Selected Banking Sector Data” also disclosed that Electronic Payment Channels in the Nigeria Banking Sector hits N19.78 trillion in Q2 of 2017. According to NBS report, Commercial banks’ lending to 17 sectors of the economy fell to N15.7 trillion in Q2  of 2017 from N16 trillion in first quarter (Q1)  2017, indicating a drop of N292 billion or 1.8 per cent. The 17 sectors according to NBS include Agriculture, Mining and Quarrying, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, and Power and Energy, among others. However when compared to lending in the second quarter of 2016, commercial banks’ lending to the sectors increased by 0.57 per cent to N15.5 trillion. The report by NBS also showed that oil...
By Bukola Idowu, Lagos - The oil and gas sector continued to account for the largest potions of the banking industry credit, clinching N3.35 trillion of the N15.71 trillion credit to private sector by banks in the country in the second quarter of the year. This is 22.46 per cent of the total banking industry credit to the private sector, a little higher than 22.34 per cent which it accounted for in the first three months of the year. Credit to the manufacturing sector was however much higher than as the sector accounted for 14.11 per cent of the credit to private sector by banks in the second quarter compared to 13.39 per cent share which it held in the first three months of the year. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigerian banks credit to the manufacturing sector had risen to N2.22 trillion as at June 30, 2017. The NBS...
By BAYO AMODU, Abuja The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has decried a situation whereby more than 700 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in recent months have been rendered inactive in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Forex Window. This, according to the body, has put the sustainability of their businesses under serious threat. President of the association, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, who confirmed the development at the weekend, said the BDC business has been badly affected by uncompetitive rate as the CBN sells dollars to BDCs at higher rate compared to what the regulator sells to commercial banks, yet both institutions target the same market segment and customers. The BDCs, he said, buy dollar from the CBN at N360/$1 and sell to end users at N362/$1 while the regulator sells to commercial banks at N358/$1 and the banks sell to end users at N360/$1. The CBN’s approved list showed that...