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CBN raises capital base of commercial banks to N500bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an upward review of the minimum capital requirements for commercial, merchant and non-interest banks.

In a statement on Thursday, CBN said the increase was necessary due to prevailing macroeconomic challenges and headwinds occasioned by external and domestic shocks.

The statement was signed by Haruna Mustafa, director, financial policy and regulation department.

According to the apex bank, the upward review will enhance their resilience, solvency and capacity to continue to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.

CBN increased the capital base for commercial banks with international licences to N500 billion, while national and regional financial institutions’ capital bases were pegged at N200 billion and N50 billion, respectively.

Also, CBN raised the merchant bank minimum capital requirement to N50 billion for national licence holders.

The financial regulator said the capital base for national and regional non-interest banks is N20 billion and n10 billion, respectively.

To meet the minimum capital requirements, CBN advised banks to consider the injection of “fresh equity capital through private placements, rights issue and/or offer for subscription”.

CBN also suggested merger and acquisition (M&A), as well as upgrade or downgrade of licences.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING BANKS

  • The minimum capital specified above shall comprise paid-up capital and share premium only. For the avoidance of doubt, the new capital requirement shall not be based on shareholders’ funds.
  • Additional tier 1 (AT1) capital shall not be eligible for the purpose of meeting the new requirement.
  • All banks are required to meet the minimum capital requirement within a period of 24 months commencing from April 1, 2024 and terminating on March 31, 2026.
  • Notwithstanding the capital increase, banks are to ensure strict compliance with the minimum capital adequacy ratio (CAR) requirement applicable to their license authorization.
  • In line with extant regulations, banks that breach the CAR requirement shall required to inject fresh capital to regularise their position.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR PROPOSED BANKS

  • The minimum capital requirement shall be paid-up capital.
  • The new minimum capital requirement shall be applicable to all new applications for banking licences submitted after April 1, 2024.
  • The CBN shall continue to process all pending applications for banking licences for which capital deposit had been made and/or approval-in-principle (AIP) had been granted. However, the promoters of such proposed banks shall make up the difference between the capital deposited with the CBN and the new capital requirement not later than March 31

CBN said all banks are required to submit an implementation plan, clearly indicating the chosen option{s) for meeting the new capital requirement and various activities involved with their timelines.

“The plan shall be submitted to the Director, Banking Supervision Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, not later than April 30, 2024,” the apex bank said.

CBN said it will monitor and ensure compliance with the new requirements within the specified timeline above.

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JUST IN: CBN reduces banks’ LDR to 50%

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced a review of the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) for banks, from 65 percent to 50 percent to align with the current monetary tightening.

LDR is used to assess a bank’s liquidity by comparing its total loans to its total deposits.

An increase in the loan-to-deposit ratio allows banks to expand their credits to businesses and individuals, however, a decline in LDR reduces their ability to loan customers from depositors’ funds.

The CBN disclosed the increase in a circular on Wednesday titled ‘Re: Regulatory Measures to Improve Lending to the Sector of the Nigerian Economy’, signed by Adetona Adedeji, its acting director of the banking supervision department.

“Following a shift in the Bank’s policy stance towards a more contractionary approach, it is imperative to review the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) policy to align with the current monetary tightening by the CBN,” the apex bank said.

“Accordingly, the CBN has decided to reduce the LDR by 15 percentage points to 50%, in a similar proportion to the increase in the CRR rate for banks.

“All DMBs are required to maintain this level and are further advised that average daily figures shall continue to be applied to assess compliance.

“While DMBs are encouraged to maintain strong risk management practices regarding their lending operations, the CBN shall continue to monitor compliance, review market developments, and make alterations in the LDR as it deems appropriate.”

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WhatsApp launches chat filters to allow users find messages faster

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WhatsApp, the messaging app, has introduced chat filters to allow users to navigate through messages faster and more efficiently.

The Meta-owned platform announced the new feature in a blog post on Tuesday.

WhatsApp said it launched the new feature so that users can get to their important messages without having to scroll through their full inbox.

The social media service said the chat filters have three different features: “All, Unread, and Groups”.

It added that users can choose between any of the three filters that will appear at the top of their chat list.

“Opening WhatsApp and finding the right conversation should feel quick, seamless, and simple,” the post reads.

“As people increasingly do more on WhatsApp, it’s more important than ever before to be able to get to your messages fast.

“We believe filters will make it easier for people to stay organized and find their most important conversations and help navigate through messages more efficiently.

“We will continue to build more options to help you focus on what matters most.”

In recent times, WhatsApp has been actively rolling out new features to enhance user experiences and keep up with evolving communication trends.

In July last year, the Meta-owned firm unveiled an instant video messaging feature.

On August 8, the social network introduced a screen-sharing feature to enhance the video calling experience on its platform.

WhatsApp also introduced a feature that allows users to operate multiple accounts on a single device.

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NCAA suspends three private jet operators for engaging in commercial flights

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it has suspended the permit of three private jet operators for engaging in commercial flights.

Chris Najomo, acting director general of the NCAA, announced the suspension of the three private operators in a statement read to all airlines on Tuesday.

This is coming a day after Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace, said the federal government would arrest and sanction illegal flights and non-certified personnel.

Najomo said the use of private jets for commercial purposes got Keyamo’s attention in November 2023, prompting the minister to issue directives for the cessation of such activities.

“Subsequently, in March 2024, the NCAA had issued a stern warning to holders of the permit for noncommercial flight (PNCF) against engaging the carriage of passengers, cargo or meal for hire reward,” Najomo said.

“The authority had also deployed its official to monitor activities of private jet terminals across airports in Nigeria. As a consequence of this heightened surveillance, no fewer than three private operators have been found to be in violation of the annexure provision of the PNCF and part 9114 of the NCAA regulations.

“In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed that a reevaluation of all orders of PNCF be carried out on or before the 19th of April 2024 to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements.”

Najomo also said all PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours.

“This riot act is also directed at existing air operators certificate (AOC) holders who utilise aircraft listed on the PNCF for commercial chatter operations,” Najomo said.

“It must be emphasised that only aircraft listed in the operation specifications of the AOC are authorised to be used in the provision of such charter services.

“Any of those AOC holders who wish to use the aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist it from their PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specifications.”

The NCAA also urged travellers not to patronise any airline or charter operator who does not hold a valid AOC issued by the NCAA when they wish to procure chartered operation services.

Najomo also encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to report the activities of such “unscrupulous” elements to the authorities promptly for necessary action.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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