By Eyewitness reporter
A statement from the ECA, on Sunday, quoted Mr Jean-Paul Adam, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at the commission as making the call at a side event to the ongoing 53rd session of the ECA Conference of Ministers.
The event was tagged “Driving Africa’s Industrialisation Agenda by Investing in Youth’s Digital Innovations Post COVID-19″.
In his keynote address, Adam noted that young entrepreneurs could propel Africa’s industrialisation, emphasising that the youths were a critical part of recovery and reset in response to the pandemic.
“We need to reset our development framework for Africa to succeed and digitalisation will play a key role in this,” he stressed.
The director also explained that the reset was about reconsidering sustainable development for Africa and tapping the energy of young people to build forward better.
“Young people are key agents of that reset, the digital space should be one of empowerment and not restriction.” Adam said.
He further said Africa was impacted more than other regions in the context of COVID-19 and climate change, due to its vulnerability, lack of safety nets and minimal fiscal space to adequately respond to such issues.
“We need to respond. We need to address the immediate impact we are facing in terms of lost jobs, in terms of economic opportunities.
”These have been disrupted and we also need to recover from the initial impacts of the crisis of this unprecedented magnitude.” he said.
Adam disclosed that 110 million young people entered the job market in the last 10 years, but only 37 million wage paying jobs were created.
He said the pandemic, however, had presented opportunities for a reset and green recovery for Africa around sustainable energy access for more than 590 million people, without access to electricity.
Furthermore, Adam stressed that digital services were also an opportunity to move Africa’s commerce into the digital space.
He said consideration should be given to specific digital skills which should be invested in and upgrading digital infrastructure like the internet, enhancing digital services, digital identities, and online payment systems.
“We have to ensure access to markets for young people,” he said.
He, however, added that young entrepreneurs must have access to finance and the procurement space.
“E-commerce has emerged as a trade facilitator and the AfCFTA must be leveraged to facilitate trade for young people.
“If we empower young people to enter the digital space and create their own business space, we can expect that every young person will probably create one other job for another person.
“This is the promise that we have for that reset in reviewing the development architecture we believe is necessary for the empowerment of young people and green recovery for Africa.” Adam said.
CBN succumbs to pressure, extends use of old naira notes to February 10
Up till Saturday, CBN had insisted on the 31st January deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 despite overwhelming complaints that the notes are either not available or in short supply in the banks or their Automated Teller Machines.
Last October, Emefiele announced the Naira redesign policy which entails the issuance of new notes to replace the existing N200, N500 and N1,000 series.
CBN reverses itself on cash withdrawal limits as Emefiele succumbs to pressure
—now pegs weekly withdrawal for individual to N500,000, Corporate N5million
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) may have succumbed to pressure from the National Assembly and other rich Nigerians as it has reversed itself on its earlier cash withdrawal limits for individuals and corporate organisations.
In a circular number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/073 dated December 21st, 2022 and addressed to all Deposit Money Banks(DMBS) and other financial institutions, the apex bank disclosed that the new weekly cash withdrawal limits for both the individuals and corporate organisations have now been reviewed to N500,000 and N5million respectively.
The new weekly cash withdrawal limits now superseded the earlier one released on December 6th, 2022 which were put at N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporate organisations.
In the new revised cash withdrawal limits, the CBN claimed the revision of the policy was in response to feedback from the stakeholders.
The new revised policy also slashed the processing fees for amounts above the approved threshold from an initial 5 percent for individuals to 3 percent and for corporate organisations from 10 percent to 5 percent.
The circular, which was signed by Haruna Mustafa, the Director of Banking supervision, the CBN said the new revised cash withdrawal policy takes effect from January, 9th,2022.
”Following our circular BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/069 dated December 6, 2022, on the above subject and based on feedback received from stakeholders, the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN) hereby makes the following reviews;
–the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5 million respectively.
–In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in (1) above is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.
–Futrher to (2) above, the financial institution shall obtain the following information from the Customer, at the minimum,and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose
a. Valid means of identification of the payee(National ID, International passport, or driver’s license)
b.Bank Verification Number(BVN) of the payee.
c.Tax Identification Number(TIN) of both the payee and the payer.
d. Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal.
–Third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsists.
—Monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the banking supervision, Other financial institution supervision and Payment System Management Departments as applicable
—Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence, currency and suspicious transaction reporting, etc is mandatory in all circumstances.
—Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels(internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira,gets) to conduct their banking transactions”, the circular reads.
The CBN however warned all the banks and OFIS that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.
It could be recalled that the policy, which was first announced on December 6th, 2022, generated mixed reactions, especially from the members of the National Assembly who invited the CBN Governor. Godwin Emefiele to come and explain the rationale behind the cash withdrawal limits.
Twice, the National Assembly invited Mr. Emefiele, but twice, he did not appear, citing national assignment engagement as the reason for his non-appearance.
The review may, however, be as a result of the intense pressure that the CBN governor has lately been subjected to as a result of this policy which analysts believed does not favour the elites, the politicians and the rich Nigerians, especially giving the forthcoming elections.
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