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Embrace interest-free banking, Reps urge CBN, others



The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government, especially its financial institutions to create more interest-free banking opportunities for Nigerians.

This was specifically directed at the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget, and National Planning; Agriculture and Commerce (now Industry, Trade and Investment).

The House ask them to provide “a deliberate policy that will encourage the Bank of Industry, the Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending, micro-finance banks, and other government-owned financial institutions to provide non-interest banking to their customers.”

It also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to review its current policy on non-interest banking and direct the Development Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks to integrate same into their systems.

It urged the CBN to review its policy on non-interest banking to allow commercial banks “carry it out as a product rather than having to acquire a separate license for non-interest banking as is obtainable currently.”

These resolutions were based on a motion moved by a member of the House, Kabir Tukura, which was unanimously adopted at the plenary on Thursday. It was titled, ‘Need for Banks to Adopt Non-Interest Banking System to Stimulate the Economy.’

Moving the motion, Tukura said, “The House is concerned that conventional banking is an interest-based system whose relationship with their customer is that of creditor and borrower, where interest is fixed in advance and risk or loss is only incurred by the borrower. A large number of Nigerians, especially those from the northern part of the country, do not take loans with interest due to religious concerns, which thus short changes them from benefitting from Federal Government policies and stimulus packages and is constituting one of the major reasons for the slow economic growth of the region.

“The House is concerned that Nigeria’s lending rate, in conventional banking, is one of the highest in the world, and creates serious hardship, particularly on low–income earners, most especially in this period of the COVID–19 pandemic. The House is disturbed that with higher interest rates, interest payments on credit cards and loans are more expensive, consequently discouraging people from borrowing and spending with the attendant decrease in consumption.”

Non-interest banking, he contended, would encourage asset banking with financial transactions tied to tangible assets such as real estate investment or investment which would not depreciate


Don’t link your SIM card with another person’s NIN, NCC warns



The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned telecom consumers not allow their National Identification Number to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card no matter how close the person is to them.

The commission gave the warning during its third Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme on Human Rights Radio 101.1FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform: “NCC Digital Signature on Radio”, a statement by the NCC stated on Tuesday.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the commission created to educate the general public on the mandate of the commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how the NCC is delivering on this mandate.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on: “The Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration”, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said, “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with their NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with the advice would protect the true owner of the NIN from liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

He said, “If the person whose SIM is linked to your line uses his own SIM to commit a crime or any form of atrocity, it is easy to be traced to you, and then you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN.”

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Lagos threatens to suspend NURTW, RTEAN over clashes



The Lagos State Government has threatened to suspend operations of transport unions in the Mile 2 area of the state should they continue to clash.

Three people reportedly died during a bloody clash last week on the Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Amuwo division.

Responding to the violence, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday brokered peace between the warring factions in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, stated that the state government would deal with the case after the police had concluded their investigation and presented the report of the crisis.

He noted that multiple levies on truckers by the unions around the axis had been the cause the dispute.

Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this would soil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of the activities by the state government as the safety of lives and properties is first and sacrosanct.

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Port congestion: Relocate overtime cargos, Customs urges NPA



The Nigeria Customs Service has advised the Nigerian Ports Authority to move all overtime cargos from the terminal to reduce congestion.

This advice was given bythe Apapa Area Command of the NCS, noting that the transfer of overtime cargos from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu was the responsibility of the NPA.

Cargos are classified as overtime when they stay in the ports for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them.

Managing Director of the NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, had recently said there were over 5,000 overtime containers across the nation’s seaports taking up space for new imports.

Bello- Koko, who spoke during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.

The NCS Controller of Apapa, Yusuf Malanta, who spoke when he received executive members of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria in his office, said it required a lot in terms of logistics and financial commitment to move overtime cargos from the port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

According to him, there were currently about 500 overtime containers, including import and export, at the Apapa port, and that it would cost an average of N600,000 to move each of the containers from the port to Ikorodu – a cost which he said the command was not ready to bear.

The customs boss explained that there were also laid-down procedures for the disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned, to avoid litigation.

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