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Economy

Emefiele Lists Limitations To A Fully Digitized Financial Ecosystem

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday listed impairments stacked against widening the digital economic space that should be demolished to deepen the global competitiveness of the country.

Fidel Info reports that while speaking at the 2022 Executive Policy Seminar of the CBN themed: “Digitalisation of Money and Monetary Policy in Nigeria”, Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Financial Systems Stability (FSS), Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, noted that the existence of low level formal financial services, low income and financial illiteracy, underdeveloped technology ecosystem and weak infrastructure, continue to limit the potential for integration of digital financial services in Nigeria.

Without Prejudice to the  success recorded so far in the digital transformation journey of the financial sector and economy in general, he inferred that there was still much work to be done.   He said: “Although considerable gains have been achieved in boosting financial inclusion in Nigeria, at 64.0 per cent, the inclusion rate slows down the digital transformation wheel, as all citizens must be carried along to optimize the gains of a digital economy”.

Emefiele stated that the major turning point in the Bank’s digitization journey in the last decade, was the launch, on 25 October 2021, of the eNaira, Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“The eNaira was developed to broaden the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers, capital flow and remittances, among other endless possibilities.

“Since its launch, a total of N8 billion, consisting of over 700,000 transactions, has passed through the eNaira platform. As part of the Bank’s effort to further integrate and broaden the usage of the eNaira, it was assigned an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code, enabling payments by simply dialling ‘*997#’ on a mobile phone”.

He noted that the digitisation of money has been aided by a myriad of factors, including internet penetration; cloud computing; big data analytics; advancements in artificial intelligence; and the emergence of distributed ledger technology (DLT); among others.

“In addition to the afore-mentioned drivers, the COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated the shift to digital payments, beyond the obvious advantages of a digitally driven payment system, leading to greater economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and low marginal costs”, he stated.

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Economy

Breaking: CBN To Limit Cash Withdrawals

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The Central Bank Of Nigeria, has imposed fresh cash withdrawal limits on individuals and organisations.

Fidel Info reports that according to a new memo to banks issued on Tuesday and signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna .B. Mustafa, individuals will only be able to withdraw N100,000 per week ( from over the counter, Point of Sale Machines or the Automated Teller Machines), while organisation can access N500,000 per week.

Banks have also been directed to load only N200 and lower denominations in to their ATM.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Trade Balance Declines By 86%

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Nigeria has recorded a negative trade balance quarter-on-quarter, QoQ, as export declined by 19.8 percent to N5.93 trillion in the third quarter of 2022, Q3’22, from N7.4 trillion in Q2’22, while import bill rose 4.2 percent to N5.66 trillion from N5.43 trillion.

Fidel Info reports that as a result of the negative development in the export sector the total foreign trade recorded a 10 percent decline to N11.59 trillion in Q3’22 from N12.84 trillion in Q2’22, while the trade balance fell quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) by 86 percent to N269.3 billion in the Q3’22 from N1.97 trillion in Q2’22.

These were contained in the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics report for Q3’22 released yesterday.

The report stated: “In the third quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s total trade stood at ¦ 11.59 trillion, this was lower than the value recorded in Q’22 (¦ 12.84 trillion) but was higher than the value recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 which stood at ¦ 10.47 trillion. Total exports stood at ¦ 5.93 trillion of which re-exports were ¦ 25.04 billion, while total imports stood at ¦ 5.66 trillion.

“In the quarter under review, total exports declined by 19.89 when compared to Q3’22 (¦ 7.4 trillion) but it increased by 15.5 percent of the value recorded n Q3’21 (¦ 5.13 trillion).

“On the other hand, total imports increased by 4.2 percent in Q3’22 when compared to the value recorded in Q2’22 (¦ 5.43 trillion) and also grew by 6.16 percent when compared to the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021 (¦ 5.33 trillion).

“The balance of trade in the period under review stood at ¦ 269.34 billion.

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