Afreximbank renews $1bn facility for AfCFTA 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) at its 134th meeting in Cairo, Egypt, renewed its approval of a $1 billion facility to operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Adjustment Funds.

It added that a $10 million Grant Funding to seed the Base Fund of the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds, was equally approved yesterday

Afreximbank and the AfCFTA Secretariat were mandated by the AfCFTA Council of Trade Ministers and the African Union Heads of State and Government to establish and operationalise the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds, which consists of the Base Fund, the General Fund, and the Credit Fund.

The Base Fund will be used to mobilise grants to address tariff revenue losses and to support AfCFTA State Parties to implement the various protocols under the Free Trade Agreement.

The General Fund will be used to mobilise concessional funding, while the Credit Fund will be used to mobilise commercial funding that will be used to support the public and private sector including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), youth and women to adjust to the new trading environment arising from the AfCFTA.

Commenting on the approvals, Professor Benedict Oramah, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, said, “Afreximbank is delighted to have been appointed the Fund Manager of the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds following the extensive collaborative work it has done with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the African Union Commission during the past few years.

“The renewal of the US$1 billion facility and the US$10 million grant funding represents resounding entrustment by our Board of Directors of these efforts. These facilities will again be contributing to making a great idea a reality. We thank the AfCFTA Secretariat for the solid partnership that is bringing the aspirations of the AfCFTA within reach.”

The funding required under the Adjustment Funds is estimated at $8-10 billion. The AfCFTA Adjustment Fund will be managed by Afreximbank, through its subsidiary, the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), in collaboration with the AfCFTA Secretariat.

“We urge other development partners and financial institutions to provide additional resources required under the Adjustment Funds to support the implementation of the AfCFTA”, said Mr. Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

“The endorsement by the Afreximbank Board brings the continent closer to operationalising the AfCFTA Adjustment Funds before the end of 2022

From Bondage to Freedom (Numbers 33:38) by Pastor Favour Onoja

FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM (NUMBERS 33:38)

 

Introduction
Bondage is the state of being bound usually against your will. It’s when someone is bound by a particular habit or character. Bondages are like little, little foxes that destroy the vine if they are not checked.

Bondage can hinder you from serving God effectively and becoming all that God has purposed for you. Beware of bondages. It is a weakness that must be expose and dealt with so that your work with God shall not be destroyed like Samson (1Samuel 16:1-25).

TYPES OF BONDAGES:

1. Fornication And Adultery.
The sin of fornication and adultery has bedeviled our generation today. These has led to so many homes being destroyed (1Corinthians 5:1-2; 6:15-20).

2. Fear.
Fear is false evidence appearing real. It is a torment that can paralyze and cripple your abilities and initiatives. It hinders you from taking a step of faith. Fear also hinders you from operating in love (Job 3:25; Matthew 8:26).

3. Greed And Covetousness.
This is when you are never satisfied with what you have and want to collect what belongs to others (1Timothy 6:10; Matthew 26:15).

4. Worry And Anxiety.
It is a state of being anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems. Worrying is a sin, so be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6-8; Luke 21:34)

5. Addiction.
This limits and contradict moral beliefs. It also destroys good health. Examples can be seen in taking of hard drugs, illicit sex, masturbation, social media, etc. It can lead to the waste of lives.

6. Materialism.
This is the attitude of someone who attaches a lot of importance to riches and wants to possess a lot of material things (1Timothy 6:9; Matthew 16:26).

7. Pornography.
This is the depiction of sexual behaviors in books, pictures, statues, films and other media that is intended to arouse and sexually satisfy the viewers (1Corinthians 6:9, 13, 18-20; 2Timothy 2:22; Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:19-21; Job 31:1; Proverbs 7:21-27).

THE WAY TO FREEDOM FROM BONDAGES:

1. Knowledge.
The first step to your freedom is knowing who you are in Christ Jesus. 2Corinthians 5:17 says “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”.
Therefore, if you are in Christ, you cannot be bound by any inhibiting forces of darkness. Also Proverbs 11:19b states that “but through knowledge shall the just be delivered” John 8:32 says “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”

2. Walking In The Spirit.
Walking in the spirit is something that cannot be brought about by our own volition but is something only the Holy Spirit can give. Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruits of the Spirit. Fruits in the life of the believer is something only the Holy Spirit can give.

3. Declaration.
A closed mouth is a closed destiny. You can enforce your freedom through the declaration of the Word of God through your mouth (Isaiah 43:26).

4. Stand In Your Authority.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).

5. Service.
Service to God is a platform through which your liberty can be established. The reason for their freedom primarily from bondage in Egypt is to serve God (Exodus 4:23).
In the place of service, your character and weakness are exposed, molded and handled.

6. Prophetic Decrees.
The ministry of the prophets are veritable tools and instruments for your liberty and freedom from every bondage and oppression (Hosea 12:13).

7. Prayer And Fasting.
This kind goeth not but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Prayer and fasting energizes your spirit to deal with the works of the flesh and it’s desires.

8. The Word Of God.
The Word is a deliverance tool. It purges, purifies and cleanse you from every form of defilement, dirt and guilt.
Therefore, arm yourself with the Word of God (Psalm 119:9; Proverbs 3:1-4; 7:1-5).

9. Counseling.
This is a way of seeking spiritual or professional guidance in solving personal/psychological problem. Victory can be achieved by this means (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22).

10. Fellowship.
It is a place of communion/ renewal of strength. Church is a service centre where you are serviced, ministered to, refreshed and transformed. Therefore, do not neglect the fellowship of the brethren. It is where you are loved and valued despite your infirmities (weakness)- Hebrews 10:25; Psalm 84:7; Obadiah 1:17.

If you are bound by any of these bondages and you want to give your life to Jesus Christ, kindly pray this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come before you today to surrender my life completely to you. I have lived a self-centered life that is far separated from God. I have had priorities that are not eternity-centred. I have always lived in rebellion, disobedience and sin up till now.

Lord, I am sorry for the way that I have lived and I ask for your forgiveness and mercy. Lord, please cleanse my sins by your Blood and take your place in my life. Fill my heart Lord with the right desires and priorities. Give me the grace to live in righteousness and represent you well to my world.
Help me escape the tragedy of eternity in hell. Help me to make Heaven at the end of my journey on earth.

Thank you Lord for hearing and answering me in Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.

If you pray this prayer, kindly reach me through these platforms:

PASTOR FAVOUR ONOJA

+234(0)805 584 2594

+234(0)703 489 3375
E-mail:onojaaf@yahoo.com
Twitter/Instagram

Kenyan first female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain

By admin

 

 

Captain Irene Koki Mutungi, Africa’s first female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain. She is Kenya Airways’ first female Pilot and Captain, she commanded first father/daughter flight and first all female flight crew in Africa.

Her father was a Pilot at Kenya Airways, flying with him from a very young age ignited her passion to became a Pilot and she never looked back.

At age 17, she attended flight school at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, where she obtained her Private Pilot’s License. She went to obtain her Commercial Pilot’s License from the Federal Aviation Administration, USA.

After obtaining her Commercial Pilot’s License, Captain Irene Koki Mutungi returned to Kenya and was hired by Kenya Airways, as their first female Pilot and she has been with the airline for more than 2 decades.

She is currently commanding a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Kenya Airways.

“My first flight was just few days before I turned 18 and it was the most amazing experience. My most memorable flight was the one I got to do with my father, it was his last flight in the airline, he chose to retire early and wind up his career with a flight he did with me and that was very memorable,” said Captain Irene Koki Mutungi.

Nigeria, Germany to sign agreement for return of Benin bronzes in Berlin

By admin

 

An agreement between the governments of Germany and Nigeria on the return of the Benin artefacts in German museums to Nigeria will be signed today in Berlin.

The historic signing of the ‘Joint Declaration on the Return of the Benin Bronzes and Bilateral Museum Cooperation between Germany and Nigeria’ is the culmination of years of agitation for the return of the cultural goods – famous Benin bronze heads and other artefacts – that were pillaged from the royal palace of the Oba of Benin in 1897 during a punitive expedition of the British Army.

The Nigerian delegation to the event, holding at the Federal Foreign Office, includes Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Alhaji Yusuf Tuggar, and Professor Abba Tijani Isa, Director General of the Nigeria Commission for Museums and Monuments. The German government will be represented, among others, by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, and Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth.

After Germany announced that it would return its collection of the world-famous artefacts early last year, a Nigerian delegation, led by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visited Berlin in July to conduct negotiations with their German counterparts. Other members of the high-powered delegation from Nigeria were Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Professor Isa, and the Benin Crown Prince, HRH Prince Ezelekhae Ewuare.

It was at the meeting of the Nigerian delegation with German officials that a firm commitment was made by Berlin on the return of the artefacts.

In October, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Nigeria and Germany in Abuja on the repatriation of the about 1,130 pieces of artefact.

“The German Government and the German people have taken a bold step by agreeing to voluntarily, without too much coercion on the part of Nigeria, to return these artefacts. Because what the return of the artefacts will do is that it’s going to really cement further relationship between Nigeria and Germany. Culture today has become one of the effective tools for soft diplomacy,” Culture Minister Mohammed said at the event, at which a visiting German delegation, led by the Director General for Culture and Communication of the German Federal Foreign Office, Dr Andreas Gorgen, participated.

In his remarks, Gorgen said the release of the artefacts was part of a cultural policy that would contribute to healing the wound inflicted by the looting of the artefacts from Nigeria and to establishing new relationship between Germany and Nigeria.

In a related development, the Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has announced that it would return artefacts taken from three African nations during the German colonial era.

The Foundation, which manages the city’s various museums, said on Monday it had begun negotiations to return the artefacts to Namibia, Tanzania and Cameroon.

Among the artefacts is a goddess statue, known as Ngonnso’, which will be returned to the kingdom of Nso’ in northwestern Cameroon.

“Bring Back Ngonnso,” a civil society initiative, has been campaigning for the statue’s return for years, as the Nso people say they have suffered numerous calamities since the statue was stolen. “The Ngonnso’ has a central role for the Nso’, as she is considered a mother deity,” the foundation said in a statement

Buhari re-appoints Patience Oniha as DG DMO

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renewal of the appointment of Patience Oniha as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for a second term of five years.

A statement issued in by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the re-appointment was in accordance to Section IV (9-i) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment ETC) Act, 2003.

The statement further said that the renewal takes effect from July 1, 2022.

“Her appointment for a second term was based on the significant achievements recorded by the DMO in the last 5 years, under her leadership.

“Amongst the achievements are the introduction of Sukuk and Green Bonds to finance the development of infrastructure where there is a huge gap.

“Under her watch, as part of the initiatives to improve the sustainability of the public debt and opening up avenues for raising long term funds for corporates, the DMO introduced long term Bonds with tenors of 30 years in the domestic and international markets.

“This is aside from attracting diverse investors including retail investors to the FGN Bond Market, ” the statement said.

It further added, “Internally, Oniha introduced reforms to strengthen the DMO, as a critical agency in the public finance ecosystem of the country.”

43,008 pilgrims for airlifting to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON

*Hajj: We’ll complete airlifting of 43,008 pilgrims to Saudi July 3 – NAHCON reassures*

_By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja_

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has concluded plans to finish the airlifting of all 43,008  pilgrims to the Holy Land for this year’s pilgrimage by July 3. 2022.

This excludes the pilgrims airlifted by private tour operators across the country.

The Saudi government had allocated 43,008 slots to Nigeria, out of which licensed tour operators, under the aegis of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, got 9,032.

NAHCON’s Executive Chairman, Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, who disclosed these while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the Commission had contracted three airlines to fly the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

He was reacting to fears in certain quarters that barely three days to the commencement of this year’s Hajj ceremony, thousands of Nigerian pilgrims may miss the exercise because they have not been airlifted to the Holy Land.

“So far, everything is smooth. We are back to full Hajj operations after two-year interregnum. We have everything in place. We expect to finish flight operations by July 3,” he assured.

“Over  22,000 pilgrims have been airlifted from 23 states and the Armed Forces with Kano and Kaduna State having the highest number of pilgrims.

The Executive Chairman further confirmed that NAHCON’s request for additional slots from Saudi Arabia had been turned down by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

He also said it was true that the request to have some officials who are above 65 years to travel because of their experience in hajj operation was also not granted.

Nonetheless, Hassan blamed the initial hiccups in the airlifting of the pilgrims on the short notice of the Saudi authorities for countries to mobilise their pilgrims for this year’s Hajj.

He, however, regretted that while the contracted airlines were ready to fly the pilgrims to the Islamic capital of the world for the religious expedition, most of the state pilgrims’ boards were not ready with their people for airlifting.

On the challenges faced by nearly 3,000 pilgrims of licensed tour operators, who made deposits to NAHCON’s Treasury Single Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, but whose accounts in Saudi Arabia were yet to be credited to enable them process their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah and pay for other services, Hassan assured that the Commission was working with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia to address the issue.

CBN ACGSF loan to farmers hit N131bn

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has guaranteed the sum of N130. 90 billion loan to farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) between its inception in 1977 and May 2022.

The Chairman of the Board of the ACGSF, Mr. Stephen Okon, gave the update at the 2021 National Best Farmers of the Year Award, held in Abuja, yesterday.

Okon said, “The ACGSF Scheme has proved relatively successful in de-risking the agricultural sector in Nigeria as evidenced in the number of loans guaranteed from inception to date.

“A total of 1,232,326 loans valued N130.903 billion were guaranteed from inception to May 2022 out of which 973,646 beneficiaries had repaid a total of N98.91b.”

The chairman said that the federal government and the CBN both contributed to the Fund in the ratio of 60 percent and 40% respectively, with the CBN doubling as the Managing Agent and the Secretariat.

Mr. Okon said that the timing of the event was apt, given the fact that countries across the globe were experiencing challenges, resulting from the Russian – Ukrainian War.

“Its impact being – global oil and food crises affecting the agricultural sector which has contributed to disruptions in domestic food supply chains and other shocks affecting food production.

“This has led to the loss of incomes, food security risks, inflationary trends, and creating serious tensions in many countries,” he said.

The chairman noted that achieving food security not only carried significant benefits for human health but also served as the basis to achieve sustained economic growth.

“Awakened by a potential rise in food insecurity, many countries and organizations are mounting special efforts to keep agriculture safely running as an essential business,” he added.

In his remarks, the Abuja Branch Controller of the CBN, Mr. Michael Ogbu, said that the successes achieved under the ACGSF had led to significant improvement in Deposit Money Banks’ (DMB) lending to the agricultural sector and to a remarkable growth in the agri-business value chain in Nigeria.

He stressed the determination of the Management of the CBN towards supporting farmers to grow exponentially, saying, “ that way, Nigeria can actually grow what she eats.”

The ACGSF was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977 to guarantee agricultural credit facilities granted to farmers.

The Scheme encourages Deposit Money Banks and Microfinance Banks to lend to those engaged in agriculture by providing guarantee.

It mitigates risks associated with banks’ lending to agriculture by guaranteeing to pay banks 75 per cent of the net amount in default in accordance with the provisions of the enabling Act.

Under the new ACGSF Amendment Act 2019 the maximum for a non-collateralized loan has increased from N20,000.00 to N100,000.00, while the maximum for a collateralized loan moved from N10 million to N50 million.

Mr. Peter Okonkwo emerged overall winner of the 2021 National Best Farmer of the Year.

He was said to have taken an N8. 050 million facility under the scheme for the procurement of additional agricultural plants, machineries and packaging in 2018 and with it, generated N15 million income and a profit of over N2,7 million.

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88,000 candidates sit for 2022 NABTEB examinations

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Not less than 88,000 candidates sat for the ongoing 2022 National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB Certificate examination across the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of NABTEB, Ifeoma Isiugo Abanihe, who spoke while while monitoring the examination in some secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory, said there had been tremendous increase of enrollment in the past five years.

Some of the schools she monitored were Federal Government College, Orozo and Government Technical College, Garki, Abuja.

“The surge began in 2015 when the examinations’ body first recorded 55,000 enrolments, moving to 83000 in 2018″

She warned against any discriminatory art  against the certificate, stated that they henceforth not condone such action by institutions found involved in the practice.

She said,”In 2022,about 88,000 candidates applied to write the NABTEB examination nationwide.

“Starting from 2018, it was about 55,000 candidates, but this year you can see last year was 83,000 plus so there has been steady increase in enrollment and I think it is because of the realisation that TVET is the way to gom

“In the world today there is need for skills acquisition there is need for empowerment in skills, self reliance, and it’s at the bottom of development and that is why there’s more realisation that is a very, very crucial aspect of education.”

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who spoke through his representative and Director, Human Resources of the ministry, David Gende ,called for an end to the demeaning of NABTEB certificates.

“Skill acquisition is what the government is promoting to take over the Nigerian business and technical workspace.”

“People need to stop demeaning this very certificate, so that people can pick up the skills that are required. We need to stop those who are taking over our space, you know if those space were available, the young ones who cannot continue after this level, at least have some skills to carry on and take over the space,”he further said.

Gender said government was presently directing students towards the sector “as option for those who cannot fit into the formal sector.”

“That is the way to go. And that is where we are directing our students to go. Those who cannot fit into other professional areas,there are other sound options that we know are acceptable anywhere, and even contributing greater to the development of our country”,he added.

Efekoha now member of AIO Executive Committee

Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Group Managing Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc, Mr. Eddie Efekoha is now a member of the Executive Committee of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO).

Efekoha admission into the committee took place at the 48th AIO Annual conference and General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, was in recognition of his immense contribution towards the growth and development of insurance in Nigeria and on African continent.

In his role, aside working with AIO Secretariat, he is expected to continue to use his rare talents and experience to deepen the penetration of insurance and address all issues on the African Insurance landscape

Efekoha who was once the chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association ( NIA) has been a strong pillar in the Nigerian insurance industry, having become the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and the Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) in the past of which he served meritoriously.

In a congratulatory letter from CIIN to Efekoha on his feat, the President, CIIN, Sir Muftau Oyegunle, applauded his impact and contributions toward deepening insurance penetration in Nigeria and across the continent, expecting him to dip into his experience to excel in his new role.

“Everything you have done and accomplished in improving the insurance industry both in Nigeria and Africa are plausible. We are sure that this is another opportunity to continue to use your rare talent and experience to deepen the penetration of insurance and address all issues on the African insurance landscape. Accept the institute’s hearty congratulations.”

Efekoha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Insurance and a Master’s degree in Business Administration both from the University of Lagos.

He was the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of Consolidated Risks Insurers, the past President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and the 22nd Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) from 2016-2018

He has worked with leading Insurance Brokerage firms in top executive positions including Hogg Robinson Nigeria, Glanvill Enthoven & Co (Nig.) and Fountain Insurance Brokers as pioneer MD/CEO