The fourth quarter 2018 report just released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has shown that currency in circulation as at the end of December, 2818 rose 20.9 percent to stand at N2.32 trillion ($6.4 Billion).
According to the CBN report, the development relative to the preceding quarter reflected mainly 19.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent increase in its currency outside banks and demand deposit components respectively.
Also, the report puts the total deposits at the CBN at N15.7tn at the end of December 2018, indicating a 6.5 per cent increase above the level at the end of September 2018.
The increase, the CBN said is attributable to 13.0 per cent and 9.5 per cent rise in the other deposits of the private sector and the Federal Government respectively.
Of the total deposits at the CBN, the shares of the Federal Government, banks and private sector deposits were 49.6 per cent, 30.6 per cent and 19.8 per cent respectively.
Furthermore, the report showed that reserve money rose by 4.9 per cent to N7.135tn at the end of December 2018, compared with the increase of 7.0 per cent at the end of September 2018. The development reflected the increase in total bank reserves.
On money market development, the CBN disclosed that it was generally stable in the fourth quarter of 2018, as liquidity was buoyed by inflow from fiscal injections, Federal Government bonds, Nigerian treasury bills and maturing CBN bills, while outflow, such as the sale of CBN bills, FGN securities and provisioning and settlement for foreign exchange purchases, impacted on market liquidity.
Overall, the report indicated that banks continued to access the intra- day and standing facilities window to meet their short-term liquidity needs during the review quarter, while showing that total value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018 was N11.897tn, showing an increase of 0.4 per cent, compared with 1.4 per cent increase, at the end of the third quarter of 2018.
The increase, the report said was as a result of the 12.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent increase in bankers’ acceptances and FGN bonds outstanding, respectively, during the quarter under review.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said a cyber attack on Australian lawmakers that breached the networks of major political parties was probably carried out by a foreign government.
However, Morrison did not name any suspects.
As Australia heads for an election due by May, lawmakers were told this month to urgently change their passwords after the cyber intelligence agency detected an attack on the national parliament’s computer network.
“The hackers breached the networks of major political parties.
“Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity.
“We also became aware that the networks of some political parties, Liberal, Labour and Nationals have also been affected,” Morrison said, as he issued an initial assessment by investigators.
Morrison did not reveal what information was accessed, however, he said there was no evidence of election interference.
Alastair MacGibbon, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, (the government department responsible for online security), said investors were still securing local networks.
“Our political institutions represent high-value targets. We will continue to work with our friends and colleagues, both here and overseas, to work out who is behind it and hopefully their intent,” MacGibbon told newsmen in the capital, Canberra.
Also Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Centre at think-tank the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said China, Russia and Iran were the most likely culprits.
“When you consider motivation, you would have to say that China is the leading suspect, while you wouldn’t rule out Russia either.
“It is the honey pot of juicy political gossip that has been hoovered up.
“Emails showing everything from the dirty laundry of internal fights through to who supported a policy could be on display,” Hanson said.
Ties with China have deteriorated since 2017, after Canberra accused Beijing of meddling in its domestic affairs.
Both countries have since sought to mend relations; however Australia remains wary of China.
Tension rose this month after Australia rescinded the visa of a prominent Chinese businessman, just months after barring Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to its 5G broadband network.
U.S. investigators concluded that officers of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency covertly monitored computers of U.S. Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and campaign committees.
The investigators added that Russia also stole large amounts of data.