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Sobowale On Business

Skye Bank as a metaphor for banking in Nigeria

Chairman, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo

LAST month, when the Central Bank of Nigeria took out advertisements in several national newspapers to disclaim the “rumour” that Skye Bank was not distressed, an article appeared on this page titled WHY CBN AND LAGOS STATE MIGHT FAIL IN THEIR EFFORT TO SAVE SKYE BANK.

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bread5

Price of bread is now N300

Announcement on shop window at Odunlami Street, Lagos Island. Odunlami Street, for those not familiar with Lagos Island, is famous for the shops selling coffins and arranging funerals. The bread shop is stuck between two of those shops. So its announcement concerning the increase of bread price was made with all the finality of a death sentence pronounced by a hanging judge. Bread, as the saying goes, is the staff of life. No food is more universally consumed than bread; the second is rice.

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Emefiele CBN Governor

Why CBN and Lagos state might fail to save Skye Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Lagos State government have different reasons for desperately averting possible Skye Bank distress. Even the hint of likely distress inhibiting deposits and inviting a run on the bank is not in their interests. For the CBN, the collapse of any bank, at this time, is likely to create collateral damage affecting other banks, governments, the organized private sector and the financial system. So their anxiety on this matter is understandable.

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Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele

Thank God for Godwin Emefiele

There must be occasions when the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, must feel like the late Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, 1883-1945, who declared that “Governing Italians is not impossible; it is merely useless”. Governing the Nigerian monetary policy sector and its financial systems, rationally, is also not impossible. It is increasingly clear that is might be the closest thing to exercise in futility.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI ATTENDS APC NEC MEETING. 2A. R-L; Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo,National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, President Muhammadu Buhari, National Women Leader of the Party, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Speaker Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara  and Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar during NEC meeting at the Headquarters in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE/STATE HOUSE. MARCH 24 2016.

APC’S welfare package commences next month

Kolawole is one of the reasons for buying THISDAY. His economic analysis is always incisive and professional. Even when you don’t agree with him, it is almost impossible not to respect his point of view. Simon, though generally correct in that article made two minor errors. First he assumed we don’t have an “economic war room” and that jollof rice was not part of the package of giveaways by the APC government which would have loved to have the Biblical Prodigal son as a member of that war room.

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Bank

Have bandit bankers struck again?

“Banka’ toxic assets may hit N3.0 trillion”. Emeka Anaeto, Economy Editor, VAGUARD, July 17, 2016. When George Santayana, 1863-1952, warned that “Those who do not remember the past [mistakes] are condemned to repeat it” (VANGUARD BOOK p 93), he did not have Nigeria’s banking sector in mind. In fact, that sector had recorded more high profile crooks than any other since the first authentic Nigerian banks were established in the 1950s by individuals whose names would not be mentioned now.

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Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria’s economic outlook for the rest of 2016

That the Nigerian economy is in a recession is no longer news. In fact, for some of us, it was predictable, even long before the Economic Management Team was aware that it was on the way. The International Monetary Fund, IMF, recently projected contraction of 1.8% for 2016. The Federal Government while not officially contesting the IMF estimates still clings to the faint hope that “the economy will show recovery in the third quarter of this year” (Mrs Adeosun).

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President Buhari

Diving headlong into another debt trap – 2

Popularity, real or imagined, is the opium of the political classes. The only way to wound a politician’s ego is to tell him that he is no longer popular or that his popularity is nosing downwards. Two weeks ago, President Buhari announced that the goodwill he started with among Nigerians is still intact. That shows the reader what the shift from candidate to President can do to anybody.

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BAIL-OUT

Diving headlong into another debt trap

There are two Ministries scaring the hell out of a lot of experts these days the Ministries of Justice and Finance. Right now, it is difficult to know which of the two will finish us in first. This is not the Law page, comments on the activities of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation will be left to others versed in litigation. Finance is another matter and here what is easily discernible is that the Federal Government is setting a bad example in fiscal irresponsibility for the states by adopting a “borrow-and-spend” policy.

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CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele

How to kill a bank, cbn style

The report by Collins Nweze which dominated the financial news on that Tuesday ended weeks or even months of rumours and speculations that one or two banks were in distress. Even the unsolicited comment by one of the rating outfits, last week, stating that Nigerian banks are sound only served to increase anxieties among stakeholders. With the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, announcement on Monday afternoon of July 4, 2016, clients of Skye Bank, at least have now had their worst fears confirmed. The ripple effects in the banking sector are immeasurable but will certainly be considerable.

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Buhari

Buhari Learns A Bitter Lesson: Economics is No Respecter of Presidents

Taft was American President from 1909 to 1913; meaning he served only one term during which the US economy was in a recession. He paid the price for coming to power at the wrong time. Taft was not the first, and he would not be the last president, to learn the age-long lesson that economics, like rain, sun or earthquakes etc, respects no president’s wishes. When Karl Marx, 1818-1883, pronounced that “Men make history, but not just as they please” (VBQ p 93), he must have had leaders like Buhari in mind. Nigerians were aware that Buhari, until he went to London for “God-knows-what”, was adamantly opposed to the devaluation of the naira for reasons that were badly explained because he is not an economist.

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BAIL-OUT

Another round of bailout for states? God forbid (2)

The first part of this series appeared last week after the Federal Minister of Finance reversed herself by announcing that the Federal Government was again considering a bail-out package for the states. Even, before writing last week’s column, it was clear that advising governments in Nigeria is just about as useful as talking to a wall. They ask for “all hands on deck”; but they take cognizance of only the hands closer to the corridors of power and whose vested interests must be protected at all costs – even if the people pay dearly for it.

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BAIL-OUT

Another round of bail-outs for states? God forbid

The same Chinese have been known to derisively refer to a person or government saying two opposite things at the same time as someone “speaking with forked tongues”. The Federal Government of Nigeria has been speaking with forked tongues with regard to fresh bail-out for the states, who despite a previous botched bail-out, are still in financial turmoil. Irrespective of political party in power, all the states are in various degrees in trouble. Even Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, is feeling the pinch badly.

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