Cash-strapped banks borrow N338.4bn from CBN in one month

Cash-strapped banks borrowed N338.5bn from the Central Bank of Nigeria in January to bridge their funding gap, according to the banking data.

Figures from the CBN’s monthly report for January on ‘Standing facilities window operation’ showed that the banks continued to utilise the Standing Lending Facility and Deposit Lending Facility in the sector.

It stated that, “Activities at the standing facility window during the period reflected improved banking system liquidity.

“Total Standing Lending Facility contracted considerably by 52.4 per cent to N338.4bn from N711.54bn in December 2021, fallout of the improved banking system liquidity in the period.

“In addition, the activity at the inter-bank call segment contributed to the significant decline in SLF.

“Transactions at the Standing Deposit Facility increased by 7.0 per cent to N246.21bn from N230.22bn in the preceding month, further buttressing liquidity condition in the market.”

The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, did not pick calls or respond to text messages seeking comments.

Bank officials declined comments on the development.

However, industry expert and the Managing Director, Lancelot Ventures Limited, Adebayo Adeleke, said the public cannot go and deposit money or withdraw money from the CBN.

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He said, “The CBN is the bank of last resort, it is the only one authorised to print naira. The only bank that should not run dry is CBN. They also control the banks by ensuring that the banks maintain some levels of deposits with CBN.

“The CBN technically speaking is bankers’ bank.  All the banks bank with CBN, they deposit money and also bank with the CBN and that is why the CBN is able to control the influx of the naira into the economy, regulate the interest rates, increasing Monetary Policy Rate and others.

“So they set the temple for the control of money. The CBN is the bankers’ bank, the bank of the last resort and the bank of the Federal Government.”

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr Johnson Chukwu, said, “The banks borrow from the CBN to meet their funding gap. The SDR and SLR also move regularly. But remember that the banks also keep money in the Central Bank.”

A former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said, “The banks have to take from the CBN because it is the bank of the last resort. CBN is also keeping part of their money which they cannot lend.“They borrow money from the CBN when they don’t have where to borrow money from and they are short of cash. They borrow from the CBN and pay back.”

Sultan decries killing of woman, four children in Anambra

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, has decried the killing of Harira Jibrin, and her four children at Isulo in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State by unknown gunmen.

The Sultan who leads the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, condemned the dastardly act, describing the killing as senseless and barbaric.

He also urged the Federal Government to spare no efforts in smoking out the unknown gunmen from the hideouts with immediate effects.

The Sultan, who is the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims, also condemned the recurring heartless and calamitous unprovoked killings and maiming across the country as result of insecurity.

The JNI statement read in part,
“At the instance of its President-General, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji(Dr.) Muhammad Sa’adu Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam condemns the senseless, barbaric and unprovoked killing of one Harira Jibrin; a pregnant woman with four of her children at Isulo in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

“The incident is just but an addition to the series of many other killings meted, particularly to Muslims in the South-Eastern States of Nigeria.

“The recurring heartless and calamitous unprovoked killings and maiming over there, as well as across other parts of the country are, to say the least condemnable.

2023: US vows to impose visa restriction on promoters of violence

The United States of America said it would impose visa restrictions on anyone who promotes violence as Nigeria holds its  general election in 2023.

America’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Mr  Michael Gonzales, handed out the warning at an international conference with the theme: “United States Policy and Nigeria’s National Decisions in the 2023 Elections”, held at John Hopkins University, United States.

The conference, which was held at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, virtually, brought together Nigerian and American policy communities to discuss issues around the 2023 general election.

It was organised by policy research centre, Nextier Nigeria, in partnership with SAIS at John Hopkins University; the School of International Service at the American University; and the Centre for Peace, Democracy and Development at the University of Massachusetts.

Gonzales said the United States government “will continue to use our messaging, as well as other diplomatic channels at our disposal, including visa restrictions, where warranted, to dissuade those who may be tempted to use violence to undermine Nigeria’s democratic process.”

According to him, the US government remains committed to working with Nigeria to uphold its conventions toward ensuring a peaceful power transition in 2023.

The conference, moderated by Dr  Ndubuisi Nwokolo, a Partner at Nextier and Honorary Research Fellow, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, among other global scholars, therefore, stated that Nigeria should maintain existing political conventions that guaranteed peace.

Other event moderators at the conference were Dr Carl LeVan, Professor, School of International Service, American University and Chair, Comparative and Regional Studies; and Dr. Darren Kew, Professor of Conflict Resolution, University of Massachusetts, Boston and Executive Director of Centre for Peace, Democracy and Development.

Nextier’s Founding Partner, Patrick Okigbo, clarified that the reason for hosting the conference in the United States was to elevate the election issues and conversations to the international stage.

He reiterated the need for Nigeria’s international partners to assist in upholding her democratic process, even as he pointed out that “democracy is not an end state but a project that requires continuous nurturing.’’

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Okigbo said, “Insecurity in Nigeria and recent occurrences in West Africa and Sahel regions should cause Nigeria’s elite to use the 2023 elections to douse the tensions and set the country on a growth path.’’

He further cautioned that failure to address the issues raised at the conference could have devastating consequences, whilst attention to the recommendations could yield a bountiful harvest.

Other panellists highlighted the insecurity risks and the need to manage the 2023 elections properly, in addition to other points raised at the conference.

Among these points were the issue of faltering political developments as they concerned elitism and Nigeria’s progress, as it was observed that since 1999, the Nigerian elite had found a way to maintain a modicum of stability for elections and “eventually share the dividends of the election outcomes.”

In his contribution, Brigadier General Saleh Bala (retd.), observed that “security challenges in Nigeria are true, present and tangible but what is consistent is the lurking shadow of elite interests and how they serve their interests.”

On insecurity threats to Nigeria’s democracy, the conference found that poor management of the elections, especially the rotational presidency convention, could threaten Nigeria’s democracy against the backdrop of pervasive insecurity, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, rise of self-help groups, and increased secessionist agitations in southern Nigeria.

Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Ms. Idayat Hassan, noted that “political parties during the Anambra  governorship election cycle could not campaign due to insecurity,” and that worse scenarios could happen in 2023.

Hassan asserted that “the zoning of the presidency to the south, particularly the South-East, will give the region a sense of belonging in Nigeria.”