Daily Watch – House summons CBN over cash policy, Malaria deaths fall in 2021

9th December 2022

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele says there are no plans to reverse the new cash withdrawal policy. Speaking with journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, Emefiele said many countries were adopting digitisation and going cashless. For him, the new policy is not intended to make life difficult for Nigerians but to strengthen the economy. Under the new policy, the CBN restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over-the-counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to ₦100,000 and ₦500,000, respectively. Emefiele added that any necessary assessments of the policy’s specifics will be carried out after performance reviews. “We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 percent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank,” he was quoted as saying. The House of Representatives has asked the CBN to suspend the policy pending a House probe and summoned Godwin Emefiele to explain its ramifications. The resolution was passed during a plenary session on Thursday following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Aliyu Magaji (APC: Jigawa – Birnin-Kudu/Buji). Magaji said small businesses are drivers of Nigeria’s economy and most small business owners transact their businesses, trade and transactions in cash. “These set of Nigerians who are the drivers of Nigeria’s economy will be seriously negatively affected and their business and source of livelihood may be seriously impaired with these new directives of CBN,” he said. Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu spoke against the motion, saying the cash withdrawal policy will eventually tackle insecurity and an extension of the implementation period may be the best course of action.

The Body of Attorneys-General of the States (BOAGS) of the federation has criticised the FG over the distribution of funds derived from the Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMT). The revenue derived from the EMT levy is shared based on the derivation and distributed at 15 percent to the FG and Federal Capital Territory, 50 percent to the state governments, and 35 percent to the 774 local governments. However, in a communique issued after a meeting held in Asaba from 30 November to 2 December, the BOAGS described the sharing formula as “incorrect”. The attorneys-general said the action of FG is in disregard of constitutional and statutory provisions stating that neither section 163 of the 1999 Constitution nor section 89A of the Stamp Duties Act (SDA) introduced through section 48 of the Finance Act 2020) countenance the disbursement of the EMT Levy to the local governments. They claim that SDA stipulates a mechanism for allocating the proceeds from the EMT levy, with 15% going to the federal government and the federal capital territory and the remaining 85% going to the state governments.

Moove, which was founded in Nigeria and provides revenue-based vehicle financing, said on Thursday it is raising $30 million in a private placement Islamic bond debut. Franklin Templeton’s Middle East unit is arranging the sukuk, structured as a sukuk al-istisna, a sharia-compliant debt format. Moove, which launched in India this year as well as in London, said it aims for at least 60% of the vehicles it finances to be electric. “Moove will use the funds to scale to 2,000 EVs in the UAE over the coming year,” Ladi Delano, its co-founder and co-chief executive, said in a statement. Moove’s equity investors include Tekton Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, MUFG Innovation Partners, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital, AfricInvest and Kreos Capital.

The World Health Organization says that malaria cases and deaths remained stable last year, after a worrying rise during the first year of the Covid pandemic. In its world malaria report released on Thursday, the WHO warned of new challenges including mosquito resistance to insecticides and parasite resistance to drugs used to treat malaria. Ninety-five per cent of all malaria cases are in Africa, with children under five most at risk. Despite the ongoing disruption to health services caused by Covid-19, malaria deaths fell last year by 6,000, to 619,000. New cases rose slightly to 247 million, a much slower rate than the previous year. The WHO says the relatively good results are due to countries strengthening their response to malaria prevention, testing and treatment. Increasing resistance to insecticides used in bed nets remains a worrying development – as well as mosquitoes changing their habits, biting during the day, outside, where they can avoid bed nets.