Customers Frustrated as Banks Stop Dispensing Old Naira Notes
By Dipo Olowookere
Some customers were left frustrated as a few of the commercial banks visited by Business Post on Monday morning to monitor the extension of the currency swap announced by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Sunday, were unable to pay those who came for cash withdrawals.
Yesterday, after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, Mr Emefiele said the deadline for the exchange of the old Naira notes for the new ones has been pushed forward from January 31 to February 10, 2023.
He explained that it was to allow Nigerians more time to swap their old currency notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 for the newly redesigned denominations.
The extension followed calls by several persons as they complained of scarcity of the new Naira notes, as banks were still dispensing the old notes even a few days before the deadline.
This morning, this reporter visited a few financial institutions in Lagos to monitor the situation, and it was observed that some customers could not withdraw cash from the banks.
At the banking hall of one of the tier-one lenders in the Akowonjo area of Lagos State, the cashiers were not paying customers who came to take their funds.
“I could not get cash from the bank because I was informed that there were no new notes to pay me with, as the central bank has directed them not to pay customers with the old notes,” one of the customers, who identified himself as Mr Idowu Sodunke, said.
At a branch of another bank on Idimu Road, Lagos, a customer, who identified herself as Mrs Bose Kalejaiye, said, “The bank could not pay me my money. They claimed they were short of the new Naira notes. When I told them to pay me in lower denominations, they also could not pay me. We are in a deep mess in this country.”
In the Ikotun area of Lagos State, the banks in the vicinity were crowded as customers, especially POS operators, rushed to withdraw their funds for business after the extension.
They had earlier deposited the cash ahead of the deadline during the weekend, but when they approached the banks to withdraw their money, the banks could not honour their requests, leaving some of them frustrated.
“I don’t have funds to do my business today. I was here yesterday (Sunday) to deposit some cash. It was after I deposited the money that I heard of the extension. I quickly came here this morning to take my money back, but I was told there was no cash to pay me.
“I think the issue is that the banks have stopped paying people with the old notes. I don’t know what to do now,” a POS operator, who identified herself as Rukayat Salami, told Business Post.
An employee of a commercial bank, who begged not to be named, hinted that the CBN directed banks tp stop dispensing old Naira notes to customers because of a directive of the CBN.
This newspaper observed that within the premises of some of the commercial banks visited today, some POS operators, like Ms Salami, resorted to collecting cash from depositors and transferring the money into their accounts so as to have enough cash to do business with at their terminals.
OnePipe Secures N2.25bn Collateralized Loan from TLG Capital
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A collateralized credit facility worth N2.25 billion designed to enable the provision of credit services to the informal sector in Nigeria has been secured by OnePipe.
The debt security-backed loan was provided by a pan-African alternative investments firm, TLG Capital, for the firm to scale up its operations and provide inventory finance to small shops in Nigeria.
According to a statement, the deal was completed by the TLG Africa Growth Impact Fund (AGIF), and it represents TLG Capital’s 34th investment.
OnePipe is a fast-growing financial infrastructure company that enables merchants to access goods on credit from larger distributors who work with OnePipe.
The company has built an extensive network of field officers and partners, including banks and payment service providers. It has also secured a strong roster of equity investors, including Atlantica Ventures, P1 Ventures, Norrsken Foundation, Techstars, Tribe Capital, V&R Associates, Canaan Partners, DFS Labs, Ingressive Capital, Acquity, Raba, Saison Capital, The Fund, and Two Culture Cap.
The investment by TLG Capital will allow OnePipe to expand its operations with a vision of becoming a leading provider of financial services to the informal sector in Nigeria.
According to the International Labour Organization, the informal sector accounts for over 85 per cent of employment in Africa.
Providing financial access to this sector is crucial for economic development and poverty reduction. OnePipe’s model is well-positioned to address this need, and TLG Capital’s investment will help to support this effort.
The CEO of OnePipe, Ope Adeoye, said, “TLG’s extensive experience structuring debt in Nigeria and their deep network across Africa, particularly in venture, made them the partner of choice as we look to scale. TLG is our first debt partner and has been a powerful resource in planning our growth and balance sheet strategy.
“Through this partnership, we’re looking to build the infrastructure to provide credit and payment services to the two-thirds of Nigerian business owners who don’t have access to effective and practical banking services.”
An investment professional at TLG, Isaac Marshall, while commenting on the transaction, said, “Nigeria’s $220 billion cash-based informal sector comprises 38 million enterprises that are the most neglected segment of Nigerian businesses, avoided by both the fintechs and traditional financiers.
“With a clever product to help these businesses to obtain both credit and better purchasing terms on their goods, OnePipe has pioneered a model that can provide sustainable income growth to tens of millions of micro-enterprises.”
TLG Capital’s investment in OnePipe aligns with several Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
By providing credit to informal micro-businesses, OnePipe is helping to create sustainable income growth and promote economic development.
Participants Learn Compliance Requirements at Stanbic IBTC Trade Export Webinar
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A trade export webinar to educate export business owners on the various regulations and compliance requirements, the best practices for finding the right partners, managing risk, using trade barometers, and building trade relationships with potential clients has been organised by Stanbic IBTC Bank, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.
The idea of the programme was to empower participants with the knowledge and resources needed to succeed in the export trade sector.
During the webinar themed Getting Your Business Export Ready, attendees gained valuable insights on successfully navigating the complexities of exporting goods and services in the export trade sector.
During his opening remarks, the Head of Enablement and Ecosystem at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Olufemi Oyekola, noted that the exchange of goods through export and import activities determines the economic status of a nation.
He stated that the trade sector was a catalyst for rapid economic growth, which fosters international relations between countries, noting that an economy that would flourish must place more emphasis on exports than imports.
On his part, the Head of Africa China Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Chigozie Onyeocha, stated that, “At Stanbic IBTC, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest trends that support our agenda for business growth.”
Mr Onyeocha added that the webinar aimed to empower export business owners with the knowledge to prepare for headwinds, as World Trade Organization (WTO) economists predict a 1.0 per cent increase in global merchandise trade volumes, down sharply from the previous estimate of 3.4 per cent.
The panel session at the webinar featured seasoned veterans of international trade, who shared their experiences and provided practical advice to help businesses succeed in the global marketplace.
They also discussed the latest trends and developments in the industry, such as the trade barometer, the importance of e-commerce, trade growth of 2023, Africa-China Trade Solutions offerings, and exporting non-oil products.
The panellists included Bamidele Ayemibo, Lead Consultant, 3T Impex Trade Academy; Ifeoma Abdul, Manager, Trade Finance, Business and Commercial Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank; Lu Fan, Senior Manager, Business Development, Africa China Banking, Business, and Commercial Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Oluwaseun Odunsi, Export Trade Specialist, TPS Trade, Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Others were Philip P Myburgh, Executive Head, Trade and Africa China, Business and Commercial Clients, Standard Bank Group; Chigozie Onyeocha, Head, Africa China Banking; Olajumoke Bello, Head, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Olufemi Oyekola, Head, Enablement, and Ecosystem, Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Attendees also learned about the services offered by Stanbic IBTC Bank to support their export operations, including trade finance, foreign exchange hedging, and international payment solutions. Stanbic IBTC Bank is committed to businesses in their efforts to expand globally.
CBN Prohibits Use of Merchant POS Machines for Deposits, Withdrawals
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The use of merchant point-of-sale (POS) terminals by supermarkets, stores and other small business owners for the deposits and withdrawals of funds has been prohibited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The apex bank, in an Exposure Draft of the Regulatory Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria, said owners of merchant POS machines are not permitted to carry out cash-in, and cash-out transactions as such functions are for another category of agent banking operators.
In the draft, the bank, while listing a set of prohibited activities for agents, said, “Agents shall not use purchase option PoS Terminals for cash-in and cash-out transactions.”
It also said the agents permitted to accept cash deposits and withdrawals have a limit they must not go beyond.
The CBN emphasised that agents must not “accept deposit or allow withdrawal above an amount which shall be prescribed, from time to time, by the bank,” and must not “charge customers fees outside regulated fees regime.”
The central bank explained that it came up with these rules “in the exercise of the powers conferred on the bank by Section 2 (d) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and Section 57 (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
The guidelines cover the operations of agent banking and the licensing of super agents, provide minimum standards and requirements for the operation of agent banking in the country, as well as the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved in agent banking.
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