The office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has listed Nigeria among 11 countries being probed for alleged war and international human rights crimes in its end of the year report on preliminary examination activities as the country continues to defend its territorial integrity against terrorist groups. The prosecutor has outlined 10 possible cases it could press against Nigerian security forces and the three factions of insurgent groups operating under Boko Haram. The country is among those in phase three of the investigation stages dealing with admissibility; the last stage before the conclusion of investigation under the ICC processes. The office of the prosecutor has examined information regarding a wide range of crimes allegedly committed in Nigeria, since 2010, according to the report, dated 5 December 2019. Boko haram and its leaders, the international prosecutor said, may have to answer for “targeted attacks against the civilian population; abductions and imprisonment of civilians; among others. Venezuela, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Palestine, Republic of Philippines, Ukraine and Bangladesh/Myanmar are other cases being investigated alongside Nigeria’s.
Data from the CBN shows that loans to the private sector increased by ₦3.46 trillion between January and November 2019. The credit offered to the private sector, which rose by 15 percent from ₦22.94 trillion in January 2019 to ₦26.41 trillion as of November 2019, is not unconnected to the CBN’s continuous effort in compelling banks to boost their credit to the real sector of the economy. The breakdown of the credit offered showed that at the end of November 2019, the total net domestic credit in the Nigerian economy rose from ₦28.65 trillion in January to N35.51 trillion indicating that the net domestic credit in the economy rose by ₦6.86 trillion or 23.9 percent. Out of the total ₦35.51 trillion, credit to the private sector and the government rose to ₦26.4 trillion, and N9.10 trillion, respectively. This shows that credit to the private sector constitutes 74 percent, while to government constitutes 26 percent of the total net domestic credit. The credit to the private sector was at the highest in December in 2019 while the government was at the highest in October. Across the sectors, as at the end of September 2019, the oil and gas sector recorded the biggest gross domestic loan estimated at ₦4.50 trillion, followed by manufacturing ₦2.56 trillion and Government, ₦1.34 trillion.
The CBN announced Wednesday that it would retain the 65 percent minimum Loan to Deposit Ratio for now. In a circular to all banks signed by its Director, Banking Supervision, Ahmad Abdullahi, the regulator expressed satisfaction that the policy has helped ramp-up leading by the commercial lenders to the economy. There was speculation that the CBN could raise the threshold to 70 percent by the end of 2019, but it said in the circular that “All DMBs are required to maintain this level and are further advised that average daily figures shall be applied to assess compliance going forward.” The regulator further explained that the incentive which assigns a weight of 150 percent in respect of lending to SMEs, Retail Mortgage and Consumer Lending would continue to apply while failure to achieve the target would still attract a levy of additional Cash Reserve Requirement of 50 percent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR on or before March 31, 2020. CBN had in July 2018, asked banks to lend a minimum of 60 percent of their customers’ deposits, and later raised that to 65 percent, a policy which attracts a levy of additional Cash Reserve Requirement equal to 50 percent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR on failure to adhere.
MTN Nigeria has so far paid Nigeria more than ₦1.7 trillion in taxes, the firm’s CEO, Mazen Mroue, has said. Mroue noted that the telco, being the number one in the country has over 20 million Nigerians who live in areas where MTN is the only network provider. MTN, Mroue boasted, continues to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development in a way that no other company within its space has done. The firm launched its mobile money service, MoMo Agent, under its subsidiary, the Y’ello Digital Financial Services in the last quarter of 2019. Since its launch, the financial service has been well received across markets and rural areas in Nigeria, he added. The company’s top objective has always been on how to create value for the customer, its chief enterprise business officer, Linda Saint-Nwafor said. According to recent data by the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN has over 61 million subscribers. Irrespective of the challenges with working in Nigeria such as the highly contestable fine by Central bank of Nigeria, and the attacks on MTN’s infrastructure by Nigerians in retaliation to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa MTN has remained a strong and highly sought after development partner of governments at various levels, Saint-Nwafor added.