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Bank customers with BVN rise to 31.4m In 2017- NIBSS

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The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) said bank customers issued Biometric Verification Number (BVN) increased to 31.4 million as at December 31, 2017. Precisely, a total of 31,426,091 were issued BVN last year. As at September 10, 2017 a total number of 30.26 million bank customers were issued BVN as against 29.4 million issued as at June 18, 2017. Early January 2015, a total of about 2.24 million were issued BVN, a year the apex bank commenced the exercise. As at June 7, 2015, the collaborative efforts in the implementation of the BVN initiative had resulted in the achievement of over 12.43 million registered customers in the central database. Analysts maintained that the current figure might increase further this year as a result of the recent extension of Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) registration by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN in collaboration with banks carried out various sensitization exercises which had been assisting in driving the stakeholders support for the project. The enrollment is still ongoing at about 5,000 banks locations across the country. In a move to fast-track OFI registration, the CBN last month placed all accounts without BVN on a ‘post no debit’ status. The OFIs operators are those in Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Institutions, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), Discount House, Bureaux-de-change, among others. The CBN in a circular signed by director, OFI supervision department, Mr. Adedeji Adesemoye, said credit lodgments inclusive of deposits and inward transfers, maybe received into such accounts. He directed those in the OFIs operators to continue to enroll customers of such accounts and remove the suspension once they comply. According to the signed circular, “following the expiration of the extended deadline of December 31, 2017 from your customers to enroll and/or submit their BVN details to your institutions, you are required to place all accounts without BVN on a ‘post no debit’ status. “However, credit lodgments inclusive of deposits and inward transfers, maybe received into such accounts. Your are required to continue to enroll customers of such accounts and only remove the ‘post no debit’ restriction when a valid BVN has been obtained and submitted by the customer or the customer has been duly enrolled by your institution.. “Our earlier directive on the conspicuous display of notices sensitizing customers n BVN in the banking hall. He reiterated that the apex bank will continue to monitor compliance and sanction may be impose on non-compliance. Please note that this directive takes effect immediately and the CBN will continue to monitor compliance. Non-compliance will be met with appropriate sanctions,” the circular signed by he added.

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BUSINESS

Transcorp Hotels MD laments neglect of tourism sector

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The managing director/chief executive officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, has lamented the neglect of the Nigeria’s tourism sector by governments at all levels.

Ozigbo revealed that this was demonstrated by the abysmal marketing of the sector by relevant ministries and agencies of government.

Speaking at a national tourism transport summit and expo in Abuja, yesterday, he advised the relevant ministries and agencies of government at the federal and state levels to spearhead the marketing of the tourism sector in Nigeria, saying doing so would help in leapfrogging the sector into a major revenue earner.

He said: ‘‘If well harnessed,  the tourism sector,  with its vast potential, could displace oil as the nation’s highest revenue earner.’’

Ozigbo, who was a panel discussant in one of the sessions of the event on “Marketing Destinations in Nigeria: What Role for the Transportation and Tourism Sectors”,  stated that everywhere in the world, governments play the critical role of enablers and marketers of the tourism sector while the private  sector  acts as the  driver.

According to him, with the kind of symbiotic relationship between the government and the private sector in the tourism business, the former should spearhead the marketing role while the latter drives the process.

He noted that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for instance was expected to be the chief marketing officer of the tourism potential in the nation’s capital.

According to him, doing so would equipped the minister with the challenges in the sector and propel him to seek solutions with a view to boosting it.

He also explained that with the absence of a potent marketing of the tourism potential in the FCT, Transcorp Hotels Plc had gone out of the way to market and ensure that its customers are availed of the pleasure of visiting some tourism sites in the FCT.

“In Transcorp, we’re not only serving our customers, but selling the city. We’ve been putting together tourism destinations.  Our job will be made easier when the government plays their role,” he said.

He also recalled the strides of a former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke in marketing the tourism potential of that state, which eventually etched the Obudu Resort and other sites in the state on the global map.

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BUSINESS

Forex: CBN intervenes with another $210 million

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made available the sum of $210million, to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market.

In its quest to meet customers’ needs in the various segments of the market, the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got the sum of $55 million.  According to figures obtained from the Bank on Wednesday, 23rdMay, 2018, customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.

It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, during his post-MPC remarks on 22ndMay, 2018 said that the country’s foreign reserve stood at $47.79billion and that pressure on the foreign reserve would be reduced as a result of the recent currency swap between the CBN and the Peoples Bank of China.

Also, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Mr. Isaac Okorafor, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market, in line with its pledge to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability. Mr. Okorafor said that the CBN would sustain its strategic management of forex, with a view to reducing the country’s import bills and halting depletion of its foreign reserves.

The Bank last Friday, May 18, 2018, intervened to the tune of $293 million to cater for requests in the retail segment of the forex market.

Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability in the FOREX market, exchanging at an average of N363/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

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UBA to reward loyal customers in ‘Refer-a-Friend’ campaign

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Pan-African Financial Services Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc will be rewarding its loyal customers who refer friends and family to the bank in its new diaspora campaign.

The campaign is designed to reward customers of the bank who refer their Diaspora friends/relatives to open a UBA account.

Specifically, this campaign will last for three months and the bank will be rewarding any customer who refers other customers with the reward of N5,000 for every successfully opened new and funded account.

For instance, new and existing customers who refer friends and relatives in the Diaspora to open new UBA accounts will be eligible to grab the reward for as many times as the number of people they refer.

According to the campaign managers, the referrer who must have an account with UBA, will have his/her account number inputted in the provided field by the referred. The account number is expected to serve as a reference code for paying the reward, and once the new Diaspora account is funded with a minimum of $100, $100, £100, €100 or N50,000, for a one-month period, the reward sum of N5,000 will be automatically credited into the Referrer’s account.

They further explained that the campaign which kicks-off on May 22, 2018, involves no raffle draws, customers just refer, and redeem their cash prizes after successful funding of the new account.

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