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Nigeria’s debt increases to N31tr



Nigeria’s total debt stock has risen in the last three months to N31.009 trillion ($85.897 billion), from N28.628 trillion ($79.303billion), according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

DMO on Wednesday  in Abuja’s new total debt figure comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The N2.381trillion (or $6.593 billion) increase recorded in the debt Stock, the DMO said, “was accounted for by the $3.36 billion Budget Support Loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Other contributors to the nation’s growing debt profile include “New Domestic Borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act, the issuance of the N162.557 billion Sukuk and Promissory Notes issued to settle Claims of Exporters”.

The DMO has also warned that it expects the Public Debt Stock to grow. “The nation’s debt will grow because of “the balance of the New Domestic Borrowing and expected disbursements are made by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, which were arranged to finance the 2020 Budget”.

The DMO said more Promissory Notes would be issued later, adding: “This and new borrowings by state governments are also expected to increase the Public Debt Stock”.

It will be recalled that the 2020 Appropriation Act had to be revised in the face of the adverse and severe impact of COVID-19 on the Government’s Revenues and increased expenditure needs on health and economic stimulus, amongst others.

As a result of these borrowings from multilateral financial institutions, the federal government will be compelled to meet some stringent conditionalities like the removal of petroleum products subsidy, adjusted electricity tariffs, currency value adjustments and the IMF auditing of the books of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).




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CBN Issues National Licence To TAJBANK



…as lender revs up financial inclusion drive

By Mariam Sanni and Joel Ajayi

TAJBank Limited, Nigeria’s leading non-interest bank, has secured the approval for nationwide banking operations from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The license is coming on the heels of several awards bagged by the bank in the past two years of operations in recognition of its outstanding banking services, including three International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications for its commitment to customer safety assurance, service excellence and business operations resilience prioritization.

Speaking on the national licence issued to the bank by the Apex bank during a media chat on Wednesday in Abuja, the bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Hamid Joda, described it “as another feat achieved by the Bank to leverage on our cutting-edge and impressive products and service delivery scorecards and by so doing, make TAJBank the preferred choice in non-interest banking operations at the grassroots in the country.

“We want to thank the regulatory authorities for issuing a national license as well as the growing number of our customers who are yearning to see us give them the best in non-interest banking services, especially at the grassroots and throughout the country.

“I want to assure them that with the latest approval by the authorities, we will deploy all human and technological resources to their doorsteps and give real meaning to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) by bringing world class non-interest banking products and services to their doorsteps for growth and prosperity”, Joda assured.

Attributing TAJBank’s impressive performances over the past two years to innovativeness in key areas of customer-centric service delivery powered by world-class technologies and solutions, human resource capacity building and shareholders and customers’ growing confidence, the CEO said the national license would help in growing the bank’s agency network to 25,000 by 2025, thereby reducing the financial exclusion rate.

It would be recalled that TAJBank’s management had last month unveiled plans to launch Nigeria’s first private sector Sukuk offering under a N100 billion programme under a Mudarabah structure, thereby marking a historic shift from government-dominated Sukuk offerings to a fully private sector-oriented offering in the Nigerian debt markets.

Commenting on the national licence issuance to the non-interest lender, the bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Sherif Idi enthused: “We are very excited to achieve this feat, especially when the potential benefits to our customers and the nation’s economy cannot be quantified in socio-economic terms. For us, it is a call for more services to millions of Nigerians, who are desirous of having access to credit without pains. Let me say it loud, we shall not disappoint them on this expectation.”

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