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CBN, Banks Introduce New Measure to Boost Financial Inclusion 7ada5cf8 emefiele 696x455 300x196
CBN, Banks Introduce New Measure to Boost Financial Inclusion
•Repair work at National Theatre gulps N25bn, to commence January
Obinna Chima
As part of efforts to enhance financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks, under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, have concluded plans to simplify the requirements for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for certain types of transactions.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this yesterday, while briefing journalists at the end of a two-day annual Bankers’ Committee retreat at Ogere, Ogun State.
The retreat had the theme, “Delivering Inclusive Growth: Leveraging Digital Finance”.
A BVN is a biometric identification system implemented by the CBN to curb illegal banking transactions in Nigeria. It is a security measure aimed at reducing fraud in the banking system.
The new move would result in the creation of what the CBN Governor described as “BVN Lite,” which would require fewer information to enrol customers that hitherto were excluded because of certain stringent requirements.
However, under the BVN Lite, Emefiele pointed out that the amount of transactions to be carried out by such persons would be limited.
He said, “BVN as it is today, we have close to 40 million people enrolled on the platform. We think that because of the benefits of the BVN today to bank customers and, indeed, to the economy, there is need to move to what is called BVN 2.0.
“What it entails is to reclassify and segregate transactions that can be held by BVN. For instance, we have two classifications. The existence BVN requirement that we have in the system has almost about 18 lines of information that are required, and where your 10 prints and fingers are taken to ensure that all transactions that you take are within the banking system.
“We have decided to classify that as BVN classic and BVN premium. But we agreed that there should also be a system where people who are today financially excluded can now be financially included. Here, we are talking about creating another segment called BVN Lite.
“Here, minimal information about the person will be held. What is means is that if you are classified a BVN Lite, then there is a limit to the kind of transactions you can conduct in the banking sector, maybe in terms of deposit or loans.”
Emefiele stressed that the focus was to ensure that more persons, especially the rural dwellers, were financially included and able to conduct basic banking services.
“For our brethren in local communities, we think that by being allocated the BVN Lite, they would be automatically migrated into the banking system,” he stated. “Some of our brethren that are doing the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme or the Social Investment Programme, we believe we can use the BVN Lite as an arrangement, so that everybody can be financially included and can conduct banking transactions. What is important is that we can have a view of total number of people in the financially included,” he added.
He said members of the Bankers’ Committee also discussed the need for banks to continue to invest in tools that would prevent the financial system from cyber attacks.
“The committee also discussed the need to digitise the tax collection system. That is where the world is going to and we need to embrace it,” the CBN governor said.
Commenting on the move by the Bankers’ Committee to revamp the National Theatre at Lagos, Emefiele said the committee had gotten a presidential approval to give the facility a facelift. He disclosed that repair work at the National Theatre would commence next month, just as he assured workers that their jobs would not be affected.
Emefiele put the estimated amount to be spent on renovation of the National Theatre at N25 billion, saying the committee would thereafter intervene at the national theatres in Kano, Rivers and Enugu states.
According to him, “We are just trying to redevelop the National Theatre and build around it, these four hubs – IT, fashion, music and Nollywood – that would help create economic activities around the National Art Theatre, and then present it as an opportunity to create jobs for people, particularly our youths.
“We must create jobs for our youths. A larger number of our people are youths and if they are jobless, how can they live a life? These people have certain innate skills endowed by God. What we just trying to say is for them to unleash these skills.”

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War: US, China sign first deal

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War: US, China sign first deal 20200117 020314

The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

Still, President Donald Trump hailed the “historic” agreement at a lengthy White House signing ceremony.

“Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world.

“The world is watching today.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said, while stressing that he viewed the remaining tariffs as a negotiating tool.

China will buy 40 billion dollars in U.S. agriculture products “in line with market terms,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the ceremony, while noting that demand would also be a factor.

Trump has made closing the large trade deficit between the U.S. and China one of the goals of his administration.

He also has sought an end to abuses of U.S. intellectual property rights by Chinese companies along with forced technology transfers.

“We are not likely to see in this agreement any provisions addressing the key structural problems with China,” Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, warned ahead of the ceremony.

Hillman cited Beijing’s use of subsidies to “prop up” companies that flood markets with goods and drive down prices among the practices.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not attend the event in Washington, praised the deal, in a letter read out by Liu.

“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact,” Xi said.

“In that spirit, I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities,” the letter added.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, “(The deal) is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair.”

Chinese observers also feel like the deal, while halting a trade conflict that was spiralling out of control, may fail to serve China’s national interests.

Beijing might also find it hard to purchase the set amounts of U.S. agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods outlined in the agreement without alienating other countries, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

“I think China has made a lot of concessions, and the implementation of the first phase of the agreement poses a considerable challenge,” he said.

Other countries have raised objections to the deal, saying it would force China to adopt a system of “managed trade” to the detriment of other nations, according to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

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What Nigeria must do to stop extreme poverty – World Bank

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What Nigeria must do to stop extreme poverty – World Bank worldbank

The World Bank latest economic analysis for Nigeria says increasing productivity will be vital to support robust growth and job creation and to keep millions from falling into extreme poverty.

In its latest publication on Africa’s largest nation titled “The Nigeria Economic Update, Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments”, the institution listed priority to include increased policy transparency and improved access to finance.

The report recommended areas where reforms can contribute to economic growth and expand the job market, such as in trade, education and the digital economy.

“Without robust productivity growth, the report warns that living standards will continue to deteriorate, and the number of people living in poverty will continue to rise, increasing by more than 30 million by 2030”, it said.

Marco Hernandez, World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria, and co-author of the report said: “Nigeria’s population is expected to grow by as much as 35 million in the next decade.

“Unless the pace of growth and job creation accelerates, the country will account for a quarter of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide.

“Creating new opportunities for this rapidly increasing labor force will require a new economic model based on productivity growth.”

The update analyzes the evolution of productivity in Nigeria and identifies the policies and institutions which can help accelerate Nigeria’s economic expansion and create new job opportunities.

It further outlined four priority areas that would lay the foundation for Nigeria’s transition to a new economic model.

World Bank urged the Nigerian government to: “Ensure policy transparency and predictability, which will be critical to reduce investment risk and promote growth outside the extractive industry;

“Enhance factor quality by investing in infrastructure, strengthening land tenure security, improving educational outcomes, liberalizing the trade regime and enhancing trade and transport facilitation to help develop value chains and facilitate the efficient reallocation of factors of production, making Nigeria more cost-competitive;

“Reduce regulatory discretion to help attract foreign and domestic investment to the non-oil sector, encourage competition, and promote formalization;

“Improve access to finance, which could enable new firms to compete with incumbents and allow more productive firms to scale up their operations.

Additionally, the report recommends building momentum for reforms, which are essential to mitigate risks and promote faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth that improves living standards and reduces poverty.

Select reform areas include: “Leverage trade integration to harness the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area;

“Improve basic education financing to improve human capital outcomes;

“Monitor the impact of conflict on the welfare of households to protect poor and vulnerable people;

“Leverage digital technologies to diversify the economy and create jobs for young workers.”

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