Nov 18, 2019

Economy Archives - Daily Mail Online


October 19, 2019400


 Again and again, Nigerians are being sucked of their hard earned money from dubious groups in the name of financial institutions granting loans to people.

 A month long investigations by Daily Mail OnLine into the activities of these dubious groups have revealed that not only do they gather all bank information of loan applicants, they instantly deduct certain amount of money left in the apapplicants’ bank accounts.
For instance, a loan app called Sokoloan like almost all loan apps requires no physical presence of applicants but once an applicants fill their online forms, N80 is instantly deducted from the applicants’ accounts.
After that deduction, the applicant’s request is declined and he is told his application is unsuccessful.
Daily Mail OnLine applied to verify the claims of some Nigerians who have had the experienced and N80 was instantly deducted and the application was then declined.
Attempts to contact the group proved abortive as online chat with them was not responded to.
The groups operating the loan app usually ask for bank account details including bank verification number, BVN, a telephone number linked to the BVN, residential address, office address if the loan being sought is for business.
The applicant is then told to wait for the determination of the right amount he’s qualified for based on his monthly earning.
Once that’s generated, then a 10% interest  is placed on it.
Another loan group that charges outrageous fee before informing the applicants of their qualifications is eLoan.
Once the form is filled online, eLoan request the applicant to pay into the group’s account the sum of of N5000 before they are informed their loan application is successful but it is never given.
Also Clarret Credits allows you to fill their form and request you pay N500 non refundable fee before you are given the loan but the loan is never given.
Comment sections of these dubious loan groups on social media show various degree of abuses, complaints and prayers for God to deal with them for duping applicants of their hard earned money.
Not quite long ago, MMM, a crypto currency block chain went under ground with many Nigerians losing millions.
Then emerged a group called Loom which did not last up to a month.
 Again, many Nigerians lost millions for participating in Loom that was all over social media.
According to a financial expert, Tayo Oluyemi, the regulators are to blame.
“There’s a Central Bank of Nigeria in Nigeria. They do nothing other than hiding money for politicians.
“What’s expected of CBN is to quickly rise to the occasion, sensitise the people first then make quick arrest or in the case of these fictitious groups, take their apps down.
“They bait applicants with small amount of loan and in the end get some money in the name of fee from them. Imagine the thousands of people they collect N500 from weekly and see how much they make.
“The CBN can trace these faceless groups through their bank accounts but they will never do.”
He advised Nigerians “to seek for appropriate and approved institutions that offer loans. I know the conditions to be met before the loans are granted are difficult but it is better to fufli tough conditions where loans would be granted than being ripped off the little one has.”
An economist, Tochukwu James said these are crypto currency groups emerging in different forms.
“Some are genuine, I have seen genuine ones among them but they are few. Majority of those are fake and don’t have the money or licence or approval from the regulator, the CBN.
“They are capitalising on the hardship in the land. Imagine giving somebody a loan of N2000. Imagine giving somebody you have not met, who could provide fake residential address to you.
“Somebody said he’s unemployed or self-employed and you are granting him loan of N14,000 to pay back in 20 days, who does that?
“What would the person use the money to do? In Nigeria of today, what business would somebody use N14,000 to do and get interest before paying back both the principal and interest?
“Nigeria is now self regulating itself in many ways and it’s dangerous. The masses have been abandoned as it looks. People are being creamed off their littler hard earned money.”
He advised Nigerians not to provide details or patronize these groups as many of them are ‘Yahoo Yahoo’, internet fraudsters in different or more refined ways of operation to scam unsuspecting members of the public.
Many attempts to speak with the CBN spokesman,
Isaac Okorafor proved abortive as he didn’t pick his calls. He also didn’t reply to text messages sent to his line.


October 19, 2019400

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has backed Nigeria’s closure of its borders with some neighbouring countries over issues bordering on illegal trade.

Mr Abebe Selassie, the Director of the African Department at the IMF, gave the position at a media briefing on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington.

He was responding to a question on whether the closure negates the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Selassie said although free trade was critical to economic growth of the continent, it must be legal and in line with agreements.

“On the border closure in Nigeria which has been impacting Benin and Niger, our understanding is that the action reflects concerns about smuggling that has been taking place.

“It is about illegal trade, which is not what you want to facilitate,’’ Selassie said.

He said the IMF was hoping for a speedy resolution of the issues as the action was already taking a toll on the economies of the country’s neighbours.

“We are very hopeful that discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade is posing.

“If the border closure is to be sustained for a long time, it will definitely have an impact on Benin and Niger which, of course, rely quite extensively on the big brother next door,’’ he said.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the borders were closed to curb illegal trading activities by Nigeria’s neighbours.

Ahmed said the closure would remain in force until the country secured the commitment of its neighbours to trade agreements and treaties signed with them.

Meanwhile, the IMF director said the AfCFTA was one of the most exciting policy developments in the region in recent months.

Selassie said analyses by the Fund showed that the initiative had a “tremendous potential to facilitate higher economic growth’’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IMF projected a region wide economic growth of 3.2 per cent in 2019.

Selassie said the “hard task’’ before African nations was making sure the AfCFTA was fully implemented “to facilitate the trade that we need to see between countries in the region’’.

The IMF director also commented on the continent’s high debt burden, especially from China, resulting largely from borrowing to balance budget deficits.

He explained that the Fund was not particularly wary of China, which he said “has been a very important development partner for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa’’.

“There are some counties that have borrowed extensively, and this is not just from China but from all other sources of financing either through Euro bond, domestic markets or other sources of capital.

“Yes, there are countries that have borrowed beyond what they can quickly pay, but it is important that we get this story straight.

“China has been a very important partner for many countries and remains so.

“Our concern really is more about overall debt level, not just about debt but some other things.

“One is, once you have borrowed money to invest in infrastructure, health and education, it is important you are able to capture the rate of return on that investment so that the debt can be serviced.

“What you put the debt to and how effective the investment projects that you are undertaking is really the important part of the equation,’’ Selassie said.

He added that it was also important for countries to address their “tremendous development needs avoiding debts becoming unsustainable’’.


September 22, 2019460

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Friday said he sympathises with Nigerians over the hike in Value-Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5% and the newly-introduced bank charges for cash deposits and withdrawals in line with the cashless policy.

Speaking at the bi-quarterly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, the governor said he was sympathetic to the pains Nigerians were subjected to with regards to the new programmes, even as he appealed for total support and understanding.

The CBN governor assured that the citizens will be best for it in no distant time.

He said: “The federal government has to fend for everyone and has to generate funds for expenditure. We are saying debt stock is too high. Debt service ratios are also too high. This means interest rate is very high compared to revenue. It means revenue we generate is too low.

“So, if it must raise revenue without heavy borrowing, then it calls to rational that VAT moves from 5-7.5%. Government has its responsibilities. And even with our VAT at 7.5%, it’s still one of the lowest, if not the lowest in the world. I appeal to Nigerians to show understanding. Let us look at the positive side of this. Government needs to meet its obligations, ensure GDP growth, raise revenue, carry out capital projects, tackle infrastructure.”

On the newly-introduced charges in its effort to complete the cashless policy cycle, the CBN governor begged: “I sympathize with the banking public and inconvenience it causes them. But thiscashless policy is not new. It was first launched in 2012 after several engagements with all relevant stakeholders. Deposit and withdrawal charges above certain threshold has always been in place since 2012.

“Withdrawal charges have always been there but we only introduced depositcharges that was halted in 2014.

“We wanted those who kept their money outside to come in. But over five years now, we feel all those who kept cash in pillows and mattresses will be ready to  bring them into the bank. Besides, it only affects six states for now. By March 2020, it’ll be for all Nigerians”, he stated.

Explaining the benefits of cashlesspolicy, Emefiele said it will reduce ransom payment, advanced fee fraud and ultimately improve transparency and accountability.

He further revealed that many of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have various options for collecting legitimate payment for goods and services rendered.

“There’s PoS, USSD, e-banking etc. Really, it’s in public interest to gocashless to reduce charges passed on to the customers. Again, since thecashless policy commenced, electronic transactions have increased by 4,692% and has hit N2.3 trillion as at the end of 2018”. (Sun)


September 21, 2019220
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has issued 180 certificates to exporters in Benue and Nasarawa states to boost the export of agricultural and non-oil produce from the two states.
The Trade Advisor/Head, NEPC Makurdi Export Assistance Office in charge of Benue and Nasarawa states, Mr. Ben Egon made this known when he led a delegation on an advocacy visit to the Benue State Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Makurdi.

According to Egon “It is a government policy that every business enterprise interested in going into export must fulfill the conditions for registration and be issued with an export certificate.

“In Benue and Nasarawa states, we have issued over 180 certificates to registered exporters and the Makurdi export Assistance office has carried out survey exercise which is a core operation of the council to identify products with export potentials in our states of coverage.

Continuing he said, “the value chains covered so far includes a survey on solid minerals, sesame seed, shea butter, maize, cashew, yam, and melon.

“With the Result of these studies, a product map for agro commodities and solid minerals was drawn for Benue state. The results are regularly reviewed and updated accordingly,” he added.

Receiving the delegation, Responding the Commissioner, Mr. Kachina Merga said the NEPC was very strategic to boosting the export drive of the federal government assuring that the state government would partner the council to find an export market for farmers in the state.


September 21, 201980

FG, States and LGCs shares N740.880 billion for the month of August, 2019
The Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). today in Abuja at its meeting, shared to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils a sum total of  N740.880 billion as federal allocation for the month of August 2019.

From this amount, the Federal Government received N301.804 billion, representing 52.68 per cent, the States received N188.925 billion representing 26.72 per cent and Local government councils got N142.654 billion, representing 20.60 per cent, while the oil producing states received N43.513 billion as 13 per cent derivation revenue.

However, cost of collection/Transfers/ FIRS, refund was N43.984 billion.

A communiqué issued by the FAAC indicated that the Gross Revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) for August 2019 was N88.082 billion as against the N94.159 billion distributed in the previous month of July, 2019, resulting in a decrease of N6.077 billion.

The distributed Statutory Revenue of N631.796 billion received for the month of August was lower than the N674.365 billion received in the previous month by N42.569 billion.

The communiqué further disclosed that, revenues from Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) increased considerably, while Value Added Tax (VAT), Royalties, Import and Excise duties recorded decreases.

However, additional N20 billion from the Forex Equalization Account shall be shared accordingly among the three tiers of government, which brings the total distributable revenue to N740.880 billion.

Furthermore, the committee stated that as at August 19th, 2019, the Excess Crude Account (ECA) is $328.122m.

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