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Stakeholders seek Islamic financing for primary healthcare

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Stakeholders seek Islamic financing for primary healthcare

Finance and healthcare experts have called for the utilisation of Islamic financing as an alternative funding source for primary healthcare in Nigeria.

They made the call yesterday in Abuja during a one-day international summit organised by the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation and the Duke Logistics and Consult Limited with the support of the Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC).

The summit brought together, participants from the Islamic Development Bank, academics, the business community and technology firms on telemedicine, among others.

It was themed ‘Harnessing Innovative Sources of Financing Primary Healthcare Infrastructural Development in Nigeria.’

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A former Kano State governor, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, who chaired the summit, said that investing in digital health technology through the instrument of Islamic financing would not only bridge the gaps in healthcare delivery in Nigeria but also improve access, reduce geographical barriers, and enhance the quality of healthcare services.

He said it would also seamlessly provide specialised healthcare for Nigerians regardless of their social status.

Dr Stanley Ukpai said there was a need for Nigeria to review its dependence on budget as the only source of healthcare financing.

He called on stakeholders at the summit to find alternative funding sources to diversify the domestic funding sources for health.

The president of the African Islamic Economic Foundation, Malam Baba Yunus Muhammad, said accessibility to quality primary healthcare remained a significant hurdle, especially in remote areas, adding that digital technology and Islamic finance could play a pivotal role in revolutionising healthcare infrastructural development.

Stakeholders seek Islamic financing for primary healthcare

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CBN to Customs: Adopt official forex rate for import duty

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CBN to Customs: Adopt official forex rate for import duty

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria has told the Nigeria Custom Service to adopt official foreign exchange rate on the date of opening Form M for importation of goods.

This, it said on Friday, should be the foreign exchange rate for Import Duty Assessment with effect from February 26, 2024.

This is contained in a circular to the Customs, all authorised dealers and the general public.

The statement was signed by its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Hassan Mahmud.

The advice, it said, was based on the concerns expressed by importers of goods and services on the irregular changes in the import duty assessment levies applied by the NCS.

This was said to have built uncertainty around the pricing structure of goods and services in the economy and creating abnormal increases in the final sale prices of items.

The CBN noted that the rate would remain valid until the date of termination of the importation and clearance of goods by importers.

It said, “Following the liberalization of the FX market on Willing Buyer – Willing Seller trading principle, the CBN has noted the concerns of importers of goods and services in the irregular changes in the Import Duty Assessment levies applied by the NCS.

“These developments have further built uncertainties around the pricing structure of goods and services in the economy and creating abnormal increases in the final sale prices of items, which is largely driven by uncertainties, rather than traditional market fundamentals, with implications to near term inflation trend.

“To this effect, the CBN wishes to advise that the NCS and other related parties adopt the closing FX rate on the date of opening Form M for the importation of goods, as the FX rate to be used for Import Duty Assessment.

“This rate remains valid until the date of termination of the importation and clearance of goods by importers.

“This would enable the NCS and the importers to effectively plan appropriately and reduce the uncertainties around varying daily exchange rate in determining

their revenue or cost structure, respectively.

“Therefore, effective 26th February 2024, the closing rate on the date of opening of Form M for the importation of goods and services would be the rates that would apply for the assessment of import duty.

“This supersedes the requirements of Memorandum 9, J (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Foreign Exchange Manual. (Revised edition), 2018.

“While the CBN is mindful of the initial volatility and price distortions in the aftermath of the FX market liberalization, the bank is confident that these reforms, would in the medium term, ensure stability in the market and entrench market confidence necessary to attract investment capital for the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.”

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Naira sells N1,770/$ at parallel market, 1,665/$ official window 

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Naira sells N1,770/$ at parallel market, 1,665/$ official window 

Naira on Friday closed at N1,770 against the US dollar at the parallel foreign exchange market.

This shows an appreciation by N90 or 4.84 percent, compared to the N1,860 per dollar reported on February 21, 2024.

Operators at the black market as the parallel market is called gave the buying price of the naira as N1,730 and the selling price N1,770, with a profit margin of N40.

It was however a different story at the official window where the naira depreciated by 5.99 percent to close at N1665.50/$ on Friday against N1,571.31/$ on February 22.

The naira has been on a free fall against the dollar and other major currently since January despite measures introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to stem the slide.

A few days ago, it was above N190/$ and there were fears it was going to hit the N200 mark before the end of February.

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Forex reforms: FG says naira already stabilizing, will go after saboteurs undermining the currency

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Forex reforms: FG says naira already stabilizing, will go after saboteurs undermining the currency

The Federal Government has insisted that the ongoing reforms in the foreign exchange market is beginning to yield results, with the naira stabilizing and the forex market experiencing surge of inflows.

The government stated that it has directed relevant regulatory and enforcement agencies to deal with speculators and other unscrupulous players within and outside the country who are engaged in malpractices capable of undermining the naira.

This disclosure is contained in a press statement issued by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Mohammed in the statement said that the latest figure from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that capital importation into Nigeria increased by over 66% in Q4 2023 when compared with the previous quarter.

He also noted that the new reforms have led to an inflow of $1.8 billion into the foreign exchange market last week.

CBN proactive, forex market stabilizing

The statement partly reads, ‘’The CBN has been proactive, initiating a comprehensive strategy to enhance liquidity in the forex market.

In addition to unifying the rates, the bank has also cleared a significant amount of outstanding Forex obligations, and outlined new operational mechanisms for commercial banks, Bureau De Change (BDC) operators and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).

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‘’It is heart-warming to note that we are starting to see the results. Indeed, the naira is stabilizing, and the foreign exchange market is seeing a surge of inflows.

The latest NBS figures show that capital importation into Nigeria rose by over 66 percent in Q4 2023, compared with the preceding quarter.

The CBN Governor has also highlighted the fact that $1.8 billion flowed into the forex market last week, on the back of the new reforms.’’

Government going after saboteurs, speculators

  • The minister added, ‘’Sadly, as with any effort to reform and sanitise a system entrenched in long-term malpractice, the CBN’s efforts have been met with ferocious resistance from speculators and other unscrupulous players within and outside our country, who profit from dysfunction and opacity.
  • ‘’To tackle this, regulatory and enforcement agencies of government have been working round the clock in the past few days, joining forces to address these efforts at undermining the reforms. That strategic alliance has led to the intelligence-led identification, investigation and sanctioning of individuals and organizations involved in illegal activities and sabotage within the forex market.
  • ‘’Relevant regulatory and security agencies have been directed to remain vigilant to ensure that malpractices capable of undermining our currency are averted and that those engaged in these acts are brought to book. The government will not allow its efforts to be jeopardised.
  • ‘’The emerging stability of the naira is in the interest of all Nigerians.”

Government to take further steps

The minister assured that the Federal Government will continue to take further steps to stabilize the naira and safeguard the economy.

  • He said, ‘’Nigerians should rest assured that the government will continue to take further steps to stabilize the naira and safeguard our economy.
  • ‘’We will continue to seek the patience and understanding of Nigerians as we push through these difficult times, into a season of abundant benefits and truly renewed Hope. As the President never fails to emphasize, these headwinds we are facing are only temporary, and, collectively, we will surely overcome.
  • ‘’The President and his team are and will remain resolutely committed and focused on the task of bringing immediate relief and enduring prosperity to all Nigerians.’’

Forex reforms: FG says naira already stabilizing, will go after saboteurs undermining the currency

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