Banks’ volts swell by N740bn on CRR refund by CBN

…Says no extension for BVN deadline
By CHIOMA OBINAGWAM

THE Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Nigeria’s Apex bank has said that the recent reduction in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 31 to 25 per cent is expected to swell the volts of banks to the tune of N740 billion as cash refund.
This was disclosed at a press briefing organised by CBN held in Lagos at the week end. According to the Director of Banking Supervision at CBN, Tokunbo Martins, the aim is to inject more liquidity in the system.
CRR is the percentage or part of the daily deposit to banks that should be kept as reserve and should not be loaned to customers or the public.
She said: “The N740 billion came into banks from the CBN as a result of the CRR reduction from 31 per cent to 25 per cent.”
Although she added that the N740 billion was a combination of both the Treasury Single Account(TSA) and CRR funds, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said that the N1.2 trillion that has been reported to have been moved from banks as result of the TSA implementation was not the actual figure.
He noted that CBN is still reconciling the figures and will make it public as soon as the process is concluded.
On his part, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya affirmed that banks are still liquid and not distressed despite the funds withdrawn from the system due to the TSA implementation.
“The first time TSA was implemented in the country was in 1989. The industry liquidity has remained strong and no bank has been distressed. He said that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project deadline will not be extended beyond October 31, 2015.
Onasanya said that Nigerians in diaspora can go to Nigerian embassies in their various countries of residence or branches of Nigerian banks in those countries for registration.
He warned that customers’ accounts will be frozen after the deadline until the BVN is done.
Furthermore, Martins said that the 41 items that was alleged to be banned as a result of shrinking Foreign Exchange (Forex) were not banned.
She noted that most of the imported items in the country were prioritized and only those with the highest priority benefitted from the Forex from CBN.
“On the 41 items, it is not a ban. What we’ve done is not a ban. We’ve see that Forex is not coming in as it used to. If they have the resources, they can go ahead. What we’ve done is that these things go through the process of highest priority. Those 41 items is not the highest priority, however, those who have the Forex that they need to import these items can go ahead.”

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