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Economy

BUA Cement refutes claims of increase in ex-factory price of cement

The Management of BUA Cement Plc on Sunday debunked claims of a purported increase in the price of its cement by N300 per bag.

The management, in a statement obtained from its verified Twitter handle, said the company had no plans to increase the prices of its cement now or in the near future.

According to the statement, the company, noting the increased demand for cement, stated that the solution was not an increase of ex-factory price at this period.

The company reiterated its stand that the timing was not right for any increase in the price of major commodities.

It stated that work was ongoing towards ramping up production capacity to ensure that commodities like cement remain accessible and affordable for our consumers.

“BUA Cement Plc, in the past two days, has been inundated with calls seeking clarification as to whether it is part of a purported price increase of N300 per bag.

“BUA Cement wishes to inform the public, its distributors, and stakeholders that it has not and does not intend to increase its price of cement now or in the near future, barring any material unforeseen circumstances.

“BUA Cement is very much aware of the fact that there is a huge difference in the ex-factory prices of cement and the retail market prices of cement, which is mostly because of retailers taking advantage of increased cement demand to make maximum profits.

“Whilst we are aware that demand for cement is high with current supply levels not sufficient to meet this increased demand, we do not believe the solution lies in an increase in ex-factory price of cement, especially not at this period.

“It is our strong conviction that any increase in prices of major commodities at a time like this is not right whilst Nigerians are still trying to recover from the economic consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“BUA Cement, therefore, wishes to restate that it is not a part of the purported increase in cement prices and we once again enjoin and appeal to our distributors, who have been advised to ensure there are no further arbitrary increases or excessive profit-taking in the retail price of cement,” the statement read.

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Economy

CBN reverses itself on cash withdrawal limits as Emefiele succumbs to pressure

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

 

—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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Economy

ICT media chiefs launch foundation to drive advocacy, development

Bimbo Tooki
Abiodun Bayo
Top ICT media practitioners and pioneers in Nigeria have launched a Foundation known as Cloud Network Foundation, (CNF), to drive advocacy for skills acquisition and capacity building among youths and push for policy that encourages local content in ICT development in Nigeria.
The Foundation, made of the first eleven in ICT journalism in Nigeria, is worried that, among others, policy direction and implementation in the country has primarily neglected local content development and the creation of the requisite skills and enablement for Nigeria’s teeming youth to excel in the ICT ecosystem.
Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Abimbola Tooki, who remarked at the body’s inaugural meeting, said Nigeria has so much untapped potential that, when harnessed by the provision of the right policies and strategies, could replicate another Silicon Valley in California, the United States to Bangalore in India.
“We can move from a consuming nation to a producing one in a few years in the ICT ecosystem, and over 20 million of our youths can be lifted out of poverty every year if they have the right information, guidance, enabling environment and skills at their disposal if we take the right steps”, Tooki said.
 He said if the government prioritised integrating technology (ICT) infrastructure into public service delivery to promote growth-oriented policies, it would be easier for all tiers and arms of government to collaborate to pull Nigerians out of poverty.
The Cloud Network Foundation promises to provide an influential voice for stakeholders in the media, business community and government on the benefits of ICT in economic growth and national development.
It will also promote multidisciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary initiatives on ICT to foster the creation, usage and sharing of knowledge in the fields of ICT for national development.
Also speaking at the body’s inauguration, Vice Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Don Pedro Aganbi further said industry stakeholders should look forward to the Foundation’s resolve to ensure a more active ICT industry in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the CNF announced in the statement that as the election produced the Chairman and Vice Chairman, the group also elected the following officials: Olubayo Abiodun (Secretary); Ufuoma Emuophedaro, (Treasurer) and Ayo Makinde, as  Publicity Secretary.
Aganbi said CNF would ensure that all operators wake up to their responsibilities of delivering quality services to Nigerians while fostering a friendly environment for all.
Other members of the fully registered non-political, non-religious and non-profit organisation include award-winning and pioneering ICT journalists such as Mr. Aaron Ukodie, Mkpe Abang, Bayero Agabi, Bunmi Idowu, Enyi Moses, Ken Nwogbo, Shina Badaru, Biyi Fasoyin, Tayo Adewusi, and Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, among others.
The CNF stated that it will also work with educational institutions at all levels in advancing the usage and adoption of ICT in learning and educational endeavours, and providing an effective voice for stakeholders in the media, business community and government on the benefits of ICT in economic growth and national development.
It will also promote research in diverse segments of ICT, develop professionals in ICT Journalism, and promote multidisciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary initiatives on ICT to foster the creation, usage and sharing of knowledge in the fields of ICT for national development.
Cloud Network Foundation has an active online presence, with a dedicated website (cloudnetwork.ng), twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Economy

Cashless policy: CBN limits daily cash withdrawals to N20k

—-removes N500, N1000 notes from ATM

The Eyewitness reporter

In a bid to give a bite to the cashless policy of the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has pegged the daily cash withdrawal threshold.
It has also mandated banks not to anymore load N500 and N1000 notes into their Automatic Teller Machines(ATM).
In a circular by the apex bank to all the Deposit Money Banks Tuesday, only N200 notes or below are now to be loaded into their ATMs.
“The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
This is as the apex bank pegged over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities per week to not exceeding N100,000 and N500, 000, respectively.

The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and 500,000 respectively.

 Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively,” the circular reads.

“Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.

Analysts believe the latest policy, which comes on the heel of the Naira redesigning policy, will not only strengthen the cashless policy of the federal government but will also considerably inhibits the illicit use of the naira notes.
They also noted that the policy will control the amount of money in circulation which will enable the apex bank to monitor and control inflation in the economy.
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