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CBN GETS APPROVAL TO EXEMPT BANKS, OTHERS FROM LOCKDOWN

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The Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have secured approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to exempt key players in the financial services sector from COVID- 19 movement restrictions.

A statement jointly issued by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday appealed to President Buhari to enable the financial services sector particularly banks render skeletal services.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday in his nationwide broadcast, imposed a total lockdown restricting movements in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

Addressing Nigerians, the President said: “based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.”

He urged all citizens in these areas to stay in their homes, adding that travel to or from other states should be postponed.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

All businesses and offices within these locations should also be fully closed during this period, President Buhari ordered.

In a jointly issued statement Monday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and CBN governor, entitled: ‘ Notice to affected stakeholders and general public regarding COVID-19 and restrictions in movement of persons”, they applauded and appreciated the appropriate and proactive restrictions in personal and vehicular movement imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech of Sunday 29 March 2020.

However, the minister and CBN governor noted: ” To ensure that Nigerians can still perform online transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, we will like to inform the general public and all affected stakeholders that we have obtained exemptions from the President to allow very skeletal operations in the Financial System and Money Markets in order to keep the system in light operations during this time”.

They added: “All relevant staff of affected outfits and agencies should look out for further instructions from their immediate bosses”.

Zainab Ahmed, Finance Minister

Zainab Ahmed and Godwin Emefiele stated that they “are mindful of the difficulties these restrictions would bring on ordinary Nigerians and are grateful to the President for approving these exemptions, which should help ease some of these burdens.”

They urged all Nigerians to be patient, cooperative and united as all hands are on deck to defeat this virus.”

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Economy

FG Received N318.5bn Revenue in Q1 – Accountant General

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The Federal Government got a total revenue inflow of N318.5bn in the first quarter of 2024, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja.

Madein stated this while briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, on the revenue performance of the various agencies of government in the first quarter of 2024.

Represented by the Director, Revenue and Investment in the Office of the Accountant General, Felix Ogundaro, AGF noted that the 2024 fiscal year would be exceptional in terms of revenue generation, owing to the policies of the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

She said, “Reconciliation is still being done but the total revenue inflows to the Federal Government for January to March amounts to N318.5bn as against a total budget of 2.691 tn.

“For the budget, the bottom-up cash planning policy is on course and the 2024 budget is going to be implemented via that policy. Officers have been retained and sensitization is ongoing to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies are well equipped on the modalities and conditionalities.”

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Armstrong Takang, who also briefed the lawmakers, disclosed that some agencies under MOFI had declared dividends of N101bn.

Takang said “So far, we have received dividends declared by some companies. But for many others, their reports are either being prepared and have not been completed or have been completed but they have not gone to their boards for approval and subsequently the Annual General Meeting. As such, we cannot use the number of their dividends until that has been done based on the corporate governance rules.

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Economy

FINANCE MINISTER VISITS PTAD, STRESSES NEED FOR DIGITISATION, ENHANCED PENSION MANAGEMENT

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By Sule Musa

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun on Wednesday  visited the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) Headquarters in  Abuja during which he reaffirmed the Federal Government’s unwavering dedication to improving pension management and enhancing the welfare of pensioners.

Edun who was received by PTAD’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, and the management team,  engaged in discussions focused on the vital backend computation projects aimed at improving the efficiency and transparency of pension administration.

The Minister commended PTAD staff for their dedication in pension administration, recognizing their indispensable role and reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to pensioners’ welfare even amid essential economic reforms.

He assured of ongoing Ministry of Finance support for the recent pension increment, aligning with the provisions of section 173:3 of the 1999 constitution which,  according to him, marks a historic initiative in Nigerian pension management with deliberate and timely increments as well as commitment to the timely payment of pension arrears and entitlements.

A statement by the Ministry’s Director of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Manga quotes the Minister as saying that visit underscores the Ministry’s strategy to enhance fiscal management and promote socioeconomic stability through improved governance of public funds and the adoption of digitisation.

“This visit highlights our resolve to ensure that the systems managing our pension funds are not only robust and efficient but also aligned with our broader economic goals of transparency and accountability,” he added.

The Executive Secretary of the organisation,  on behalf of the management and staff,  expressed appreciation for the visit, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining high service standards for pensioners and aligning with the government’s emphasis on enhancing public financial management.

According to the statement, the Minister’s  engagement is integral to the Ministry’s continuous drive to bolster economic resilience and enhance the contribution of all governance sectors to Nigeria’s growth and development.

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Economy

CBN Suspends Charges on Cash Deposits Until September 30, 2024

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*   As Apex Bank Releases List of          Licensed Banks in Nigeria

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