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Economy

Nigerian Payment System Attracts $500m Investment in 5 Years

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Nigerian payment system

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the Nigerian payment system attracted investment of about $500 million in between 2015 and 2020.

Governor of the national lender, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this on Wednesday while speaking in Enugu at the 31st seminar for Finance Correspondents & Business Editors themed Trends In Nigerian Payments System: Regulating the Fintech Digital Playing Field.

He said over the past 14 years, the Nigerian payment system has evolved significantly with extensive technological development backed by deliberate enabling regulation by the CBN.

Mr Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services, Mr Edward Adamu, said the payment system had no doubt accelerated the development of novel financial products, services and channels all of which have placed Nigeria at the fore of the financial innovation race.

He said due to the lockdowns associated with the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial traffic to digital platforms increased significantly in 2020.

“Indeed, the spread of the virus at the time accelerated the speed of digitalization of many sectors of the economy,” he said.

“Expectedly, discussions have increased around the issue of the digital economy just as more opportunities have come up for financial institutions and other players within the payment ecosystem to innovate and provide more efficient options for payments and settlements,” Mr Emefiele added.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest crises that have faced mankind in recent history, adding that Nigeria like most commodity-dependent countries was not spared the deleterious impact of the pandemic, given our dependence on crude oil export as a major source of revenue and foreign exchange.

“Furthermore, the pandemic tested the operational resilience and business continuity strategies of our banks. Operational risk increased due to the increased reliance on technology and third-party service providers during the period.

“Also, the risk of money laundering and cybercrimes have increased. There is also the elevated risk of unauthorized access to banks’ networks and data security breaches.

“It is noteworthy that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated the global economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic at $28 trillion in lost output.

“In a bid to address the fallouts of the pandemic, authorities all over the world have implemented extraordinary policy measures to ease financial stability risks and we were not an exception,” the banker stated.

In response to the crisis, he said the CBN introduced and implemented a suite of measures aimed at reducing the risk to financial stability, boosting demand and economic growth, ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on some sectors and obligors, such as the oil & gas, manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and hospitality sectors.

“As I noted recently, our robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria. The high level of confidence in our payment system, between 2015 and 2020, has attracted the investment of about $500m in firms run by Nigerian founders.

“In spite of these gains, about 36 per cent of adult Nigerians still do not have access to financial services. Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to businesses,” he said.

In other to improve financial inclusion, he said CBN decided to introduce a central bank digital currency, the eNaira, which would help in attaining our goals of fostering greater inclusion using digital channels, supporting cross border payments for businesses and firms as well as providing a reliable channel for remittances inflows into the country.

Mr Emefiele, however, explained that with the deployment of the eNaira, Nigerians in remote areas can conduct financial activities using their digital as well as features on phone devices.

“Partnering with our stakeholders in the financial industry, I believe that more Nigerians will be financially included,” the former Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, said.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

Achieve Greater Control of Your Assets with a Living Trust

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Living Trust

By FBNQuest

Estate Planning is more about gaining control of your assets while you are alive than about one’s passing. A Living Trust (an Estate Planning tool) is one way by which individuals maintain control over their assets whilst alive and also have their wishes carried out when they pass on. It is called a Living Trust because it takes effect during the lifetime of the individual who set it up.

Indeed, the power of a Trust is in the control. A Trust left for a beneficiary will be held and managed by a Trust organisation and the assets could then be distributed to the beneficiary in a predetermined way.

The design of the Trust will ensure that other interested parties are unable to change the instruction of the creator of the Trust. With this arrangement, you are able to achieve greater control over what happens to your assets, providing greater security for the beneficiaries of the Trust.

A Trust also allows you to control how the assets in the Trust are managed, ensuring that only those that you specify can stake a claim to them.

A Living Trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A Revocable Trust can be revoked or amended, but an Irrevocable Trust cannot be changed once it is executed. The assets placed into a properly drafted Irrevocable Trust are permanently removed from the Estate of the individual. They are therefore not considered part of the Estate and will not be subject to estate taxes in the event of the creator’s demise.

In addition to estate tax savings, a Living Trust can offer you tremendous flexibility and efficiency. It can hold the money for your minor children until they are responsible enough to manage the money themselves. If you cannot trust your children or any other beneficiary with the responsibility of managing your assets after your demise, the Trust can address this concern. The trustee can do so by holding the assets in trust for the Settlor’s lifetime and only distribute it to the beneficiary as stated in the Trust.

Placing your assets in the Trust during your lifetime instead of a Will also helps you avoid probate. A Will that is probated as well as other information relating to the assets listed in the Will becomes a public record when you pass on. In contrast, a Living Trust is a private document and the assets listed in it will not be exposed to the general public.

The added benefit of a Living Trust is its usefulness during your lifetime in the event that you become incapacitated. You can arrange for a Trustee to manage the Trust assets on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Does a Living Trust sound like a good fit for you to gain control of your assets while preparing to gift these assets to a beneficiary? If so, consider reaching out to FBNQuest Trustees. We can help you create a Living Trust agreement that outlines how the Trust assets are to be managed and distributed.

Our team will also walk you through the process of transferring assets to the Trust. The process may take less time than you think.

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Economy

C&I Leasing Drops Centurion Registrars Limited

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Centurion Registrars Limited

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Centurion Registrars Limited has been dropped as the registrar of C&I Leasing Plc, a statement from the company has confirmed.

Centurion Registrars was replaced by C&I Leasing with Cordros Registrars Limited, a notice signed by the company secretary, Mbanugo Udenze & Co, stated.

It was disclosed that the appointment of the new registrar became effective from January 1, 2022.

“C&I Leasing Plc hereby notifies Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), its shareholders and the investing public of the appointment of Cordros Registrars Limited as its Registrars, share registration and data management service provider.

“Cordros Registrars Limited replaces Centurion Registrars Limited and takes over the register of members of C & I Leasing Plc effective January 1, 2022,” the disclosure stated.

C&I Leasing is one of the companies trading its shares on the Nigerian stock exchange. It provides both operating and finance leases and other services.

Its principal activities include the extension of structured operating and finance leases to the productive and other sectors of the economy.

The company was established in 1990 as a private organisation but was converted into a public company listed at the Nigerian stock exchange in 1997.

The Ghanaian subsidiary of the group; Leasafric Ghana Plc is the largest provider of fleet management services in Ghana.

The fleet management, which is managed along with the Hertz car rental franchise in Nigeria, is adequately supported by C&I leasing’s own service centre and their Citracks Telematics solutions making the fleet management business a one-stop brand for fleet management services.

Over the weekend, in a chat with newsmen, its chief executive, Mr Ugoji Ugoji, said the firm was planning to explore opportunities in the digital space to grow its revenue on a sustainable basis despite the pandemic.

He also stated that C&I Leasing will retool its fleet business and focus on vehicle fleets due to increased opportunity in the space.

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Economy

Nigeria’s December 2021 Inflation Jumps to 15.63%

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Nigeria's inflation

By Dipo Olowookere

For the first time in nine months, the inflation rate in Nigeria increased to 15.63 per cent year-on-year in December 2021, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday stated.

In the previous eight months, the inflation rate in Nigeria had slowed, declining to 15.40 per cent in November 2021, according to the stats office.

In the report released today, the NBS said when compared with the corresponding period of 2020, inflation, which is a measure of the consumer price index (CPI), moderated by 0.13 per cent as it stood at 15.75 per cent a year ago.

The stats office further disclosed that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the headline index and on a month-on-month basis, it rose by 1.82 per cent last month, 0.74 per cent higher than the 1.08 per cent recorded in November 2021.

In addition, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending December 2021 increased by 16.95 per cent from 16.98 per cent over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period recorded in November 2021 down by 0.03 per cent points.

As for urban inflation, it increased by 16.17 per cent (year-on-year) in December 2021 from 16.33 per cent in December 2020, while rural inflation jumped by 15.11 per cent in December 2021 from 15.20 per cent in December 2020.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.87 per cent in December 2021, up by 0.75 the rate recorded in November 2021, which stood at 1.12 per cent, while the rural index also rose by 1.77 per cent in December 2021, up by 0.73 the rate that was recorded in November 2021, which was 1.04 per cent.

Business Post reports that in the period under review, the composite food sub-index rose by 17.37 per cent compared with 19.56 per cent a year ago, indicating a decline by 2.19 per cent.

The NBS attributed this to moderation in the prices of bread and cereals, food product, meat, fish, potatoes, yam and other tuber, soft drinks and fruit.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 2.19 per cent in December 2021, up by 1.12

Per cent from 1.07 per cent recorded in November 2021.

It said the average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending December 2021 over the previous twelve-month average was 20.40 per cent, 0.22 per cent lower than the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2021, which stood at 20.62 per cent.

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