CBN, banks offer 10% incentive to importers with Renminbi invoice - BUSINESSDAY
by HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the deposit money banks is offering 10 percent mark-up as an incentive to importers of machinery and equipment with Renminbi invoice.
Also, a percentage spread which is yet to be determined will be given to any importer that brings Renminbi invoice for settlement instead of a dollar invoice.
This implies that these importers will access foreign currency at a cheaper cost than the ones who have U.S dollar invoice and the idea, according to the Bankers Committee, is to encourage importers to receive invoices in Renminbi instead of dollar.
“When you look at the overall cost in terms of naira, if an importer brings Renminbi invoice, it is going to be cheaper for the importer in coming to the CBN to get foreign currency which in this case will be Renminbi. The importer will bring lesser amount of naira. If the importer goes ahead to bring a dollar invoice from the same supplier based in China may be in Beijing, it is going to cost the importer slightly more in terms of the naira he is going to use to get the foreign currency”, Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, said after the Bankers Committee meeting in Lagos.
Others who addressed the media after meeting include, Ahmed Abdullahi, director, banking supervision, CBN, Obeahon Ohiwerei, managing director/CEO, Keystone Bank, Kennedy Uzoka, group managing director/CEO, UBA, and Adesola Adeduntan, managing director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
The committee noted that the nation’s external reserves have risen to $48 billion driven by increase in oil prices and production and stable foreign exchange.
As part of its agenda regarding financial inclusion, the committee plans to unbundle 40 million Nigerians who do have bank account in the next three years.
The CBN, banks, Mobile Money Operators, and Super Agents had in March this year planned to roll-out a 500,000 shared agent network within two years, to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
“We have made significant progress. We have licensed super agents and we have started licensing other agents. We have a common logo that basically show that its shared services. In the next three years we expect that we unbundle 40 million additional customers into the formal banking sector”, Adeduntan said.
The committee noted that the CBN is in a very strong position to defend the exchange rate. At the bankers committee, issues pertaining to the economy were discussed. The committee recognise the mixed signal that is coming from the global economy, rise in US interest rates and impact on Nigerian economy, the impact of trade wars on the economy, the tax cut in the US – capital outflow from emerging economy like Nigeria.
“We recognise the positive outlook of the domestic economy – inflation coming down to 11.6 percent, reserves grown to $48 billion and the GDP estimated grow to 2.4 percent in 2018. Generally bankers committee recognise that the CBN has enough arsenal to ensure that we have stable exchange rate and that any demand for forex will be met to ensure liquidity in the forex market”, Ahmad said.
The committee recognised the threat of cyber attacks on companies and mandated banks to strengthen their security operation centres.