By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The lawmaker representing Taraba Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Mr Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, has said to curb corruption and prevent having a larger percentage of money in circulation in the hands of kidnappers and others, he would want the highest denomination in circulation in Nigeria to be N100, and not N1,000.
The Senator gave this submission at the plenary on Thursday during a debate on the new cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which aims to make the highest cash withdrawal for individuals in a week N100,000 and N500,000 for corporate organisations.
On October 26, 2022, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, informed newsmen that of the N3.2 trillion in circulation, about N2.7 trillion was not in the banks’ vaults, a development that prompted the apex bank to redesign the Naira, especially the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations.
On November 23, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new notes, and on December 15, 2022, they were officially introduced into the financial system, with banks giving out the new banknotes at over-the-counter (OTC) and ATMs, with N200 as the highest denomination from the machines from January 9, 2023.
While arguing on the new cash withdrawal limits yesterday, after several persons kicked against it, Mr Yusuf praised the CBN for the policy, saying it would curb corruption.
“When we are talking about cashless, we should be mindful that about N3.3 trillion in circulation, it’s only about a trillion naira that is in the bank. It is a danger to the country.
“Left to me, I would recommend the highest denomination to be N100. I so much support that we should go with the cashless policy in line with the present system that the CBN has adopted,” the lawmaker argued after Mr Uba Sani submitted a report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions on the Implementation of Cashless Policy and the New Withdrawal Limits to the Senate.
Speaking on the report at the plenary presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ovie Omo-Agege, another Senator, Mr Ajibola Basiru, noted that, “The threshold that had been set is unrealistic to have any robust and meaningful life to our people.
“I am not oblivious to the fact that the committee has come up with recommendations. As a Committee of the Senate, we ought to have been alerted with certain indices to come up with recommendations on what should be the adjustment. I am suggesting that the threshold should be N500,000 for individuals per week.”
For Mr Orji Uzor Kalu, he backed the CBN for the policy but suggested that the limit should be N500,000 per day for individuals and N3 million per day for corporates, noting that this “will cover the fear of anybody.”
In her argument, Mrs Biodun Olujimi stated that, “When this issue came out, everyone that spoke on that day agreed on what the CBN was about to do.
“However, we were sceptical of certain issues contained in the proposal. The details were not clear to any of us. If there had been a consultation, we wouldn’t be where we are today. People would have gotten to know what is required of them and what is required of the CBN.
“The CBN approved POS operators and registered them and took money from them, and now those people can only do so little. It took all our unemployed graduates off the street. This policy will send them back to the streets.
“Why is this happening during an election period? Why is it that it is coming now? There is a need to be flexible in what we are doing now.”
Another contributor to the matter, Mr Adamu Aliero, stated that, “This report gives us an ideal picture of what the country should be but in reality, what is happening is different. The informal sector of the economy is very big, and it is not captured in the banking system.
“More people in the rural areas don’t go to the bank, and there is a need for sensitization and enlightenment in order to make this kind of people embrace the banking system.
“We have 774 Local Governments, and the bank covers only about 60% of these local government areas. It is difficult to really force these people to embrace banking culture. I support the idea of the cashless policy, but we should do it with caution.”
“I don’t think that anybody objects to the fact that a cashless society is what we need. My concern comes as a result of us being punitive.
“We must ensure that our society progresses, and those who make efforts to make an additional living should be encouraged. When you look at the measures CBN has put in their policy, to me, it appears punitive. I think in the global best practice, it doesn’t exist, so we don’t deter people from progressing,” the Senator from Anambra State, Ms Stella Oduah, submitted.
After taking inputs from more lawmakers, the Senate agreed that the central bank should considerably adjust the withdrawal limits in response to public outcry on the policy, with the committee tasked to embark on aggressive oversight of the bank on its commitment to flexible adjustment of the withdrawal limit and periodically report the outcome to the Senate.
Unlisted Securities Market Gets 0.34% Boost Thursday
By Adedapo Adesanya
Amid an increase in trading value and volume, the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange ended in the positive territory on Thursday, January 26, as it shot up by 0.34 per cent.
This was buoyed by the increase in the share price of Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc by 50 Kobo to N13.00 per unit from N12.50 per unit, and the surge in the price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc by 30 Kobo to N62.48 per unit from the preceding session’s N62.18 per unit.
This jerked the total value of the unlisted securities market by N3.09 billion to close at N923.76 billion versus N920.67 billion of the previous day, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) increased by 2.36 points to settle at 703.01 points, in contrast to the midweek’s 700.66 points.
During the session, market participants executed eight deals at the bourse, 68 per cent lower than the 25 deals executed a day earlier.
However, the value of transactions increased during the session by 41.3 per cent to N4.9 million from N3.5 million, and the volume of trades jumped by 52.4 per cent to 189,670 units from the 121,494 units published on Wednesday.
At the close of business, Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis, with the sale of 61.1 million units worth N49.2 million. UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 29.7 million units valued at N21.1 million, while NASD Plc was in third place with 944,112 units valued at N13.6 million.
Also, VFD Group Plc maintained its position as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis, with 422,074 units sold for N103.0 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Group Plc was in second place with 899,657 units valued at N59.1 million, while Geo-Fluids Plc was in third place for trading 61.1 million units for N49.2 million.
Naira Crashes at Parallel Market, Gains at Official Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira crashed against the United States Dollar at the parallel market on Thursday by N4 or 0.54 per cent to trade at N752/$1, in contrast to Wednesday’s rate of N748/$1.
However, in the official market, which is the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency appreciated against the greenback yesterday by 45 Kobo or 0.1 per cent to quote at N461.25/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N461.70/$1.
A 58.9 per cent or $64.66 million decrease in the value of forex turnover in the spot market helped the local currency close stronger during the session. Data from FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that FX trades worth $45.16 million were carried out compared with the $109.82 million executed in the previous trading day.
Also, in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX market, the domestic currency gained N2 against the American Dollar to sell at N764/$1 versus Wednesday’s N766/$1.
However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost 24 Kobo against the British Pound Sterling to close at N567.21/£1 compared with the previous N567.45/£1, and depreciated by 20 Kobo against the Euro to quote at N500.73/€1, in contrast to N500.53/€1.
Meanwhile, most of the tokens monitored by Business Post in the crypto market depreciated in value at the close of transactions on Thursday, with Litecoin (LTC) shedding 1.6 per cent to trade at $87.48.
Further, Ripple (XRP) depreciated by 1.4 per cent to sell at $0.4109, Binance Coin (BNB) lost 0.4 per cent to quote at $305.07, Dogecoin (DOGE) dropped 0.2 per cent to finish at $0.0862, and Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.01 per cent to sell at $23,044.70.
Conversely, Cardano (ADA) appreciated yesterday by 2.8 per cent to settle at $0.3808, Ethereum (ETH) rose by 0.6 per cent to sell at $1,604.89, and Solana added a 0.02 per cent to its value to close at $24.36.
but the prices of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at the close of trades at $1.00, respectively.
Stock Market Rebounds by 0.29% as GTCO, Others Enjoy Patronage
By Dipo Olowookere
A 0.29 per cent growth was recorded by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Thursday on the back of renewed demand for stocks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aggressively cut down the stop rate of treasury bills on Wednesday.
The disappointment resulted in investors looking for alternative investment instruments, and equities were the next point of call.
In the previous two trading sessions, the stock market was down, but it rebounded yesterday on the back of a fresh bargain-hunting, which consequently pushed the All-Share Index (ASI) higher by 153.31 points to 52,752.96 points from 52,599.65 points, and the market capitalisation increased by N83 billion to N28.733 trillion from N28.650 trillion.
According to data from the NGX, the banking and energy sectors appreciated by 1.58 per cent each, the insurance space rose by 1.01 per cent, and the consumer goods counter grew by 0.05 per cent, while the industrial goods index depreciated by 0.01 per cent.
During the session, investors traded 139.7 million shares worth N2.0 billion in 3,549 deals compared with the 119.8 million shares valued at N2.7 billion traded in 3,552 deals, indicating an increase in the trading volume by 16.61 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 25.93 per cent, and a drop in the number of deals by 0.08 per cent.
GTCO emerged as the most traded equity yesterday with the sale of 17.8 million units, followed by Access Holdings, which transacted 15.4 million units. Fidelity Bank exchanged 11.9 million shares, Mutual Benefits sold 6.9 million equities, and Dangote Sugar traded 6.7 million stocks.
The market breadth was positive on Thursday, with 25 price gainers and seven price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.
Geregu Power gained 10.00 per cent to trade at N147.40, Coronation Insurance appreciated by 9.76 per cent to 45 Kobo, Chellarams improved by 9.70 per cent to N1.81, International Energy Insurance grew by 9.43 per cent to 58 Kobo, and Tripple Gee jumped by 9.09 per cent to 96 Kobo.
On the flip side, RT Briscoe lost 9.09 per cent to settle at 30 Kobo, Royal Exchange dropped 8.24 per cent to sell at 78 Kobo, Courteville depreciated by 7.84 per cent to 47 Kobo, Linkage Assurance fell by 4.00 per cent to 48 Kobo, and Transcorp shed 0.82 per cent to N1.21.
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