Speech Delivered by Dr. Akinwumi A Adesina President, African Development Bank Group At the Official Launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Industries (I-DICE) – State House Conference Center, Abuja – Tuesday, 14 March 2023.

Your Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Your Excellencies, State Governors,

Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed

Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo

Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami

Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

Honourable Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors

The President of the Islamic Development Bank, Muhammed Al Jasser

The Chief Executive Officer of the Agence Francaise de Developpement, Remy Rioux,

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Nigeria, Olukayode Pitan

Director Generals, Executive Secretaries, and heads of government agencies,

Young business leaders of Nigeria,

Youth entrepreneurs,

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to join you today for the official launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE). I wish to commend the Federal Government for this initiative. The initiative is timely, strategic, and transformative as it will build the ecosystems to support more competitive entrepreneurs powered by digital technologies.

I am very proud of the African Development Bank Group’s leading role in this initiative, which has the potential to generate millions of jobs for Nigeria’s youths. The urgency of leveraging the implementation of i-DICE for sustainable job creation, and economic transformation, is now.

With over 70% of Nigeria’s population under the age of 30, Nigeria has one of the greatest assets in the world. Some would call this a challenge to be managed. I call it an opportunity to be unleashed. It’s time to do things differently.

Yes, we gather to launch the initiative, but what we are really launching is more than this initiative. We are launching hope for the youth. We are launching platforms that will enhance the ability and capacity of Nigeria’s youth to thrive. We are launching the creation of millions of jobs. We are retooling Nigeria to be more competitive in an increasingly digital world. We are creating hope for a new Nigeria, driven by the power of the youth.

What Nigeria does with its youthful population will determine the future of Nigeria. Its future in terms of first-rate education to make them competitive. Its future in terms of skills to fill jobs today and create jobs of tomorrow. Its future in turning its dynamic, talented, and entrepreneurial youths into revenue assets.

It is time to create youth-based wealth for Nigeria. Youth-based wealth will rapidly expand the creation of jobs, expand the fiscal space with new sources of taxes, and support a more inclusive Nigerian economy, now and well into the future.

That is why, shortly after I was elected President of the African Development Bank, we launched the Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy. We project that the program will create 25 million new jobs by 2026 that focus on practical and high-impact solutions.

We are making great strides.

From 2016 to 2021, the African Development Bank supported the creation of over 12 million jobs, 3.1 million of which were direct and nine million indirect. This has been made possible through our high employment impact operations and special initiatives in key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and financial sectors, as well as in the digital and creative industries.

Additionally, the Bank’s Coding for Employment program has provided onsite centres and digital training platforms that have equipped 23,200 youth from 45 countries with the skills needed to succeed in the digital job market.

We have invested $2 billion in 37 tech projects to improve national and regional broadband infrastructure, foster private investment, and support digital enterprises.

And the African Development Bank is currently designing and will soon roll out Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks, new financial institutions that will build robust financial ecosystems around the businesses of young people across Africa.

That is why we like I-DICE: it is visionary, sees the future and prepares Nigeria for it.

That future is here. Every aspect of life is being transformed digitally. Think of digital financial services for money transfers, payments, banking, and insurance.

Think of e-health with rapid growth of digital platforms that aggregate services of medical doctors, pharmacists, and diagnostic service providers.

Think of e-government for better and more accessible service delivery to citizens.

Think of education, with digital platforms that connect teachers, tutors, and delivers open digital curriculum for enhanced and easily accessible learning for students.

When you think digital, think global.

It is estimated that the size of digital global health will expand from $217 billion in 2022 to over $1 trillion by 2031, an incredible growth.

The size of Africa’s digital economy will rise from $115 billion today to $712 billion by 2050. Most of this growth is already being driven by four countries, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt.

The expansion of the digital economy is driven by several factors including the rapid growth in the youth population, the ubiquitous nature of access to mobile phones especially smart phones, increasing investments in supportive digital infrastructure, and the spark in digital entrepreneurship and innovations during the economic challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These digital trends hold great promise to help create massive number of jobs. For example, estimates by Endeavor (2022) show that expanding digital infrastructure by 10% will lead to a 2.5% annual growth in GDP in Africa. Furthermore, expanding access to the internet in Africa from the current 33% to 75% can help create 44 million jobs, including 3 million jobs in online services by 2025.

We are already witnessing in Nigeria the power of digital technologies, tools, and platforms. Nigeria currently has 5 out of the 11 digital companies that have reached the status of unicorn with market valuation of $1 billion. Names that come to mind include Jumia, Interswitch, Opay, Flutterwave and Andela, mainly in the fintech space.

Nigeria’s poor and fragmented cargo transport system is getting transformed gradually, thanks to Kobo 360 a digital logistics platform launched by two young Nigerians, Obi Ozor, and Ife Oyedele. It is incredible that between 2018 and 2020 the Kobo360 platform has connected 50,000 trucks and truck drivers and helped to move freight worth $200 billion (Source: Endeavor, 2022).

The creative industry in Nigeria is growing rapidly, in line with similar trend in Africa. The creative industry in Africa generated over $14 billion in revenue annually between 2015 and 2018 and is projected to help create close to 3 million jobs by 2025. Nigeria has yet to fully tap into and unleash the power of its creative industry which still needs efforts to promote content creators, supportive infrastructure, and access to financing for the film, media, fashion, visual arts, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment industries.

The I-DICE program will help to fill some of these critical gaps by supporting enterprise and skills development, access to demand-driven digital and creative skills, entrepreneurship skills, ICT enabled infrastructure, as well as expanding access to finance.

The African Development Bank is pleased to be a partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the $618 million I-DICE program. The African Development Bank is providing $170 million in financing to the program.

I am delighted that we have been able to mobilize additional co-financing of $217 million towards the program. I wish to thank our partners, the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) that is providing $100 million; and the Islamic Development Bank that is providing $70 million. I also thank the Bank of Industry and the Federal Government of Nigeria for providing $45 million in counterpart funding. Through the independent fund managers for I-DICE, the program will raise an additional capital of between $131 million and $262 million.

The I-DICE program is set to be a real game changer.

It will help to create 6.1 million direct and indirect jobs and equip more than 175,000 young people with the technology and creative skills needed to drive innovation and foster entrepreneurship.

To start with, I-DICE will support 451 digital technology start-ups, 226 creative enterprises and 75 enterprise support organisations.

The benefits of the program to Nigeria’s economy are projected to be worth $6.4 billion.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my profound appreciation for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the I-DICE program. H.E. President Buhari’s personal endorsement of the Program in June 2022 is a great manifestation of the high political ownership of Nigeria’s innovation agenda.

I also highly commend the dynamic leadership of the Steering Committee of the Advisory Council on Innovation and Creativity chaired by H.E. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that has spearheaded the design of I-DICE. The enactment of the Start-up Act in October 2022 provides a strong boost to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s efforts to enhance the enabling environment for the development of start-ups, as well as position Nigeria as Africa’s leading digital technology centre.

Thank you, Your Excellency Mr. Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for your exceptional leadership and foresight in shaping the design of the I-DICE Program. There are many things you will be remembered for, but I can tell you that nothing will be more than your unrelenting passion for the youth and your drive to ensure that you prepare them for the digital world. Thank for your outstanding leadership and service for our nation.

With the I-DICE, H.E. President Buhari, yourself, Mr. Vice President, and the Federal Government would leave behind a legacy for the future growth and dominance of Nigeria in the digital and creative industries, in Africa, and globally.

Together, let us use I-DICE to unleash an ecosystem that will drive the emergence of more dynamic and competitive youth entrepreneurs from Nigeria.

Let us unleash the wealth creating potential of the digital and creative industries.

Let us foster the emergence of a stronger Nigeria.

A Nigeria, built on the dynamism and creativity of its young people.

Let us bring the future of the youth into the present.

May God Bless Nigeria!

Nigeria to Launch the Investment in Digita, Creative Enterprises Program (i-DICE) today

By Favour Nnabugwu




Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and other partners will launch the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) Program in Abuja on Tuesday, 14 March 2023.

The launch marks the rollout of a flagship initiative that will drive vital funding for Nigeria’s digital and creative industries. In addition to the leaders of government, corporations, and development finance institutions, the event will feature youth working in the digital technology and creative sectors, students, and investors.

i-DICE is a major step toward significantly upscaling entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and creative industries, which include film, fashion, and music.

The program is part of the federal government of Nigeria’s efforts to build back better, greener, and more inclusively, and to create sustainable jobs for its surging youth population. It will consolidate the country’s position as Africa’s leading start-up investment destination and youth entrepreneurship hub.

i-DICE is co-financed by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and Agence Française de Développement. The federal government of Nigeria is providing counterpart finance through the Bank of Industry, which also serves as the executing agency. A steering committee chaired by the vice president’s office will oversee the initiative in cooperation with a technical committee made up of business leaders, and government ministries, departments, and agencies.

The DICE Fund, a venture capital outfit to be created under the program, will draw additional funding from institutional and other private investors.

AfDB, Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, launch $5.9m project to stem illicit financial flows from

By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Development Bank and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) have officially launched a three-year support project to improve regional coherent and coordinated response to illicit financial flows.

The project will help African stakeholders actively engaged in stemming such flows to improve domestic revenue mobilization in African countries.

The launch of the African Financial Integrity and Accountability Support Project (AFIAP) took place at the African Union headquarters on 7 March. The project aims to improve regional coordination of combating illicit financial flows and the oversight and accountability of public finances, for optimal revenue mobilization and management in African countries. It will support the coordinated implementation of recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows(link is external) and the implementation of joint strategies and initiatives related to international taxation.

The grant will support CoDA in its role as the secretariat of both the AU High-Level Panel on IFFs, the Joint Secretariat of the Consortium to Stem IFFs from Africa, and the annual African Fiscal Policy Forum. The support will foster a coherent African response to illicit flows, in line with the AU Assembly Special Declaration on IFFs(link is external) passed in January, 2015, and will advance Africa’s continent-wide asset recovery agenda encapsulated in the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR)(link is external) adopted in February 2020. This will be carried out by CoDA, the African Union Commission Departments of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals and Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, in collaboration with other national, regional and global actors.

The project targets selected African Development Bank member countries, with a particular emphasis on public sector capacities in low-income countries, to reinforce resilience via training, policy research and advocacy activities.

The Bank’s support is in line with the objectives of its Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa (2021 – 2025), its policy and strategic framework and action plan to prevent Illicit Financial Flows in Africa (2017 – 2021, extended to 2023), and “High Five objective that aims to “Improve the quality of life” for the people of Africa. It is consistent with ongoing similar support to regional organisations to stem illicit flows from the African continent..

The ceremony was witnessed by the Bank’s Deputy Director-General for Eastern Africa Regional and Business Delivery Office, Abdul Kamara, and the Executive Director of CoDA / HLP Secretariat, Souad Aden-Osman. Several other officials from the Secretariat, the African Union Commission and the Bank also attended the event.

Abdul expressed satisfaction with the project, noting that it is in line with the High-Level Panel’s mandate to promote a coordinated response of the Bank’s regional member countries in ensuring that policies and practices are mobilized in addressing financial crime, tax avoidance, money laundering. “In addition to combating illicit financial flows, this project will contribute to promoting greater efficiency in public financial management in order to boost revenue mobilization and management,” Kamara said.

“CoDA welcomes this financial support of the AfDB. We are eager to work with the Bank in ensuring Phase II of the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations is well underway. This collaboration with the AfDB is highly useful in this regard and on behalf of its Board of Directors and the High-Level Panel on IFFs from Africa, CoDA is thankful to the President, Management and Board of the AfDB for their continued support”, Aden-Osman said.

Global support contribute $50bn for agriculture

By Favour Nnabugwu




Africa’s drive to transform its agriculture and become a breadbasket continues to receive strong global support, with development partners agreeing to commit more than $50 billion to the plan barely two months after its launch.

At the recent Dakar 2 food summit organized by the Senegalese government and the African Development Bank, political leaders resolved to work tirelessly with international partners on compacts that would transform agriculture across the continent.

Among the donors are Germany, which plans to contribute $14.34 billion, and the United States, which intends to provide $5 billion. The African Development Bank aims to contribute $10 billion over five years, while the Islamic Development Bank intends to provide $7 billion.

Other donors are the European Union; the European Investment Bank (EIB); the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); the West African Development Bank; the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; the French Development Agency, AFD; Ireland; the Netherlands; Switzerland and the United Kingdom

Other donors are the European Union; the European Investment Bank (EIB); the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); the West African Development Bank; the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; the French Development Agency, AFD; Ireland; the Netherlands; Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In Dakar, the leaders agreed to allocate at least 10% of public expenditure to increase funding for agriculture. They also resolved to deploy robust production packages to boost productivity and increase resilience to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.

At the just concluded AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African heads of state and government endorsed the outcomes, calling for global support for its immediate implementation.

In a resolution read at the end of the 36th African Union summit on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, they described the Dakar 2 Food Summit as important and timely to address rising food prices, disruption in the global food supply, and worsening of food insecurity in Africa.

Banks to operation before, after election- ACAMB boss

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) says all bank branches and digital channels will be open for banking services before, during, and after the elections.

The association said this in a statement signed by its president, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, on Wednesday in Lagos.

The body said that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) had not received any directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shut down banking services for five days, as stated in a fake press release.

“The attention of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks has been drawn to the trending social media message purporting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was shutting down banking services for five days from Thursday, 23rd to Monday 27th February 2023 because of the general elections holding in Nigeria over next two weekends.

ACAMB hereby wishes to debunk the fake news in its entirety and wishes to assure Nigerians and the banking public that there is no iota of truth in the viral message that is being circulated.

“Up until this moment, no Deposit Money Banks or other institutions providing financial services have received any directive or communication from the CBN to close the doors of their physical banking halls or shut their digital platforms and online banking channels against their customers because of elections.

“ACAMB further wishes to assure customers that their respective banks have put in place measures to ensure that depositors can as usual, access money in their accounts during this period.

Also, customers who wish to carry out transfers or use electronic banking services will have unhindered access to these services before, during, and after the elections,” it said.

It urged Nigerians not to panic, urging them to ignore the trending message maliciously concocted to cause disaffection among the citizenry and the DMBs.

It advised Nigerians to be peaceful and orderly during the elections, wishing the nation a successful conduct of free, fair, and credible elections.

ACAMB is the umbrella body of Corporate and Marketing Communications Professionals working in Nigeria’s banking sector. (NAN)

Why FG borrowed N2.13trn in 2mths – DMO 

By Favour Nnabugwu 



The Debt Management Office, DMO has explained the reason behind the N2.13 trillion the Federal Government borrowed in the first two months of the year.

The DMO in a statement said that the N2.13 trillion borrowing comprises N1 trillion to partly finance the budget 2023 deficit of N7.043 trillion, and N1.13 trillion to pay off debts that matured during the period.

The DMO stated: “The attention of the Debt Management Office (DMO) has been drawn to a report which stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria has raised the sum of N2.129 trillion between January and February 2023 through the issuance of Domestic FGN Securities.

“The Report further indicated that at this rate of borrowing, the Government may exceed its domestic deficit funding requirement of N7.043 trillion in 2023. “The DMO wishes to clarify that the Domestic Issuance Programme is designed not only to provide funds to finance the Budget Deficit but to also refinance the FGN’s maturing obligations during the fiscal year.

“Thus, while a total of N2.129 trillion has been raised in January and February from issuances of FGN Bonds, Nigerian Treasury Bills and FGN Savings Bond, only N1 trillion has been deployed for deficit financing, representing 14.2% of the total requirement of N7.043 trillion for the year.

“It should be noted that the balance of the funds raised is for refinancing maturing obligations. While the DMO is maximizing the opportunity provided by the strong investor demand to raise funds to facilitate early implementation of the 2023 Budget, the DMO is always guided by the law and thus, cannot exceed the legally approved New Borrowing in the Appropriation Act.”

Cellulant’s payment service solution licence gets renewed by CBN

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has renewed Cellulant’s Payment Service Solution Provider License in Nigeria.

This license enables Cellulant  to continue providing online and offline payment solutions, including collections, check-out, biller aggregation, and payout services securely to thousands of businesses across Nigeria.

Cellulant’s digital payments platform, Tingg (www.Tingg.Africa)- enables businesses to seamlessly accept and make payments offline and online. A single integrated digital payments solution,

Tingg addresses the complex needs of managing payments by simplifying the payment experience for the end-user and providing tools and processes for a merchant to manage their collections from a single dashboard.

“At Cellulant, we are committed to providing innovative and accessible digital payment solutions to businesses in Nigeria, which play a pivotal role in enabling financial inclusion and driving economic growth in the country.

The renewal of our license is a vote of confidence from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the efforts of our team and partners, who have worked tirelessly to create safe and secure solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses in Nigeria and the regulatory standards.

Tingg is now used by thousands of businesses and outlets in the 36 states across Nigeria, enabling businesses to easily collect and make payments, monitor transactions, reconcile and settle cash seamlessly,” said Akshay Grover, Cellulant’s Group CEO.

Nigerian consumers have different payment options, including card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash- with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework. As a result, the demand for digital payments continues to increase.

Roughly 50% of retail customers request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. However, this demand presents several challenges for most merchants who might not always support the customer’s preferred payment method, resulting in merchants having to enable multiple solutions to support multiple wallets and varying processes for settlement and reversals for a merchant.

Tingg solves these challenges by delivering a single solution to accept all digital payment methods (Bank Transfers, USSD payments, Cards & Mobile Money) maintained with the highest compliance and security standards.

Speaking to the news, Frances Diribe, Cellulant’s Group Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, said, “Cellulant is dedicated to meeting the highest standards of risk and compliance management as we understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of our payment platform.

We have invested heavily in robust security measures and compliance processes to ensure our customers can confidently use our services. We welcome this news that showcases our compliance with the standards, directives, and regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

In addition to being licensed to operate as a Payments Service Provider in multiple African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Botswana, and Zambia, Cellulant has also achieved global security, privacy, business continuity and service management standards. The company’s certifications include ISO 27001 (ISMS), ISO 27701 (PIMS), ISO 22301 (BCMS), ISO 20000-1 (Service Management) and PCI-DSS.

(AfDB), IsDB join forces to boost Africa’s health defense systems through the pharmaceutical industry

By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Development Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank have signed a joint partnership action plan for the development of the pharmaceutical industry sector within their African member countries.

The plan offers a new framework for strengthened cooperation and mutual development priorities, with a strong emphasis on boosting the continent’s health defense systems.

The aide-memoire was signed on Thursday, at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, Director of Industrial and Trade Development for the African Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, Director of the Economic and Social Infrastructure Department, Idrissa Dia.

The signing rounded out two days of presentations and deliberations on the institutions’ health strategies for Africa and the African Development Bank’s Pharmaceutical Action Plan (https://apo-opa.info/3Kdrv6Y). During the sessions, teams from both institutions discussed a joint pipeline of pharmaceutical projects proposed for co-financing, as well as potential collaboration in advocacy and knowledge creation for their member countries.

The Joint Action Plan enables both institutions to grow a shared pipeline of bankable projects around key complementary themes to which each institution would bring their comparative advantage. The plan covers lending to public and private sector projects and pharmaceutical development projects using a regional approach.

The institutions will also cooperate on the organization of a global Pharmaceutical Business Forum in May 2023 at the General Annual Meetings of the African

Development Bank. The event will bring together key pharmaceutical sector industry captains, including big pharma companies, continental, regional and governmental regulatory agencies, technology transfer entities. The gathering will deliberate on business opportunities, vaccine off-take agreements, pharmaceutical technology transfer agreements and project preparation resources, among other topics.

“The African Development Bank Group places considerable importance on partnerships in its contributions to sustainable development in Africa. Through partnership we can go further, we can increase development effectiveness, we can leverage our complementarities and harness our synergies,” said Solomon Quaynor, Vice President of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Industrialization.

In addition to defining a joint action plan, Anasse Aissami, IsDB Director General, Country Programs, encouraged the participants to expedite implementation of the respective pharmaceutical programs with focus on increasing local production and regulatory support. Amer Bukvic,

Acting Director General, Global Practices and Partnerships, seconded his remarks, adding that: “we will solidly establish and operationalize the health and pharmaceutical collaboration, and we will work hard to enhance the technical cooperation”.

In 2017, heads of the two institutions signed a co-financing Memorandum of Understanding to scale up co-financing activities over the period 2018-2020. A sum of $2 billion was earmarked for co-financing, equally split between the two institutions. The MoU was extended to December 2023 in order to intensify co-financing across strategic sectors such as infrastructure development; human development; private sector development and investment promotion.

“There is room to extend our partnership under the umbrella of the existing MoU to our priority sectors,” Desire Vencatachellum, Director, Financial Mobilization and Partnerships for the African Development Bank noted during the meetings.

Following the signing, Dia, highlighted the need to increase cooperation across all human development sectors and initiatives, given the strong strategic and operational alignment between the IsDB and the African Development Bank across the health, pharmaceutical, education, water and sanitation sectors.

The African Development Bank’s Pharmaceutical Action Plan is well aligned with IsDB’s strategy in the pharma sector. We will work collaboratively and with other partners to achieve results in this sector, which is critical to Africa’s development,” Mukhtar said.

Dr. Ammar Abdo, Human Development Manager indicated that the IsDB-AfDB health industrialization initiative is a deep dive exercise between the two sisters’ institutions on strategic and operational health matters.”

Also present, Martha Phiri, Director of Human Development Department noted the alignment of the Health Infrastructure Strategy of the African Development Bank with IsDB’s plans. “The respective health teams will explore a joint pipeline in line with this pharmaceutical collaboration pipeline,” she said.

The teams will continue to meet monthly to review progress and share insights on proposed common projects. They also announced that they would hold a review meeting before December 2023 to assess the progress of sovereign and non-sovereign projects.

CBN directs banks to collect old N500, N1,000 notes

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed Deposit Money Banks to  collect  old N500, and N1,000 notes from customers with reference code generated from its Currency Return Portal, CRP

Multiple bank sources stated that  branches received  directives from their head offices  some hours ago that they should collect the old notes from their customers who have enrolled and generated reference code from the CRP.

A top CBN official confirmed saying yes we have directed them to collect the old N500 and N1000 from customers, subject to a maximum of N500,000.

Recall that President Mohammadu Buhari directed that the old N500 and N1,000 notes are no longer legal tenders but those having the notes should take them to the CBN so as not to lose their money.

Consequently, the CBN opened  the CRP  for people with the old N500 and N1,000 notes to register how much they want to deposit and to get a reference code to confirm their registration. The reference code will be used to deposit the old notes at any of  the CBN offices across the country.

Investigation however revealed that the CBN might have allowed the banks to collect the old notes from their customers following the huge number of people that besieged its offices to deposit the old N500 and N1,000.

A too source of a bank said the branch will collect old notes from customers tomorrow, Saturday,  as the branch did not open to customers today due to fear of attack.

Further investigations however showed that some bank branches that had started collecting the old N500 and N1,000 notes from customers were suspended by midday citing inability to access the  CBN’ CRP for registration of old notes deposit.

Meanwhile, the ongoing scarcity of cash persisted yesterday as most banks were closed and most ATMs did not dispense cash.

AfDB appoints Ahmed Rashad Attout as Acting Director of the Financial Sector Development Department

By Favour Nnabugwu




The African Development Bank has appointed Ahmed Rashad Attout as Acting Director, Financial Sector Development Department, effective 1st December 2022.

A seasoned and results-oriented banker, Attout, an Egyptian citizen, has over 23 years of banking experience in Africa and the Middle East and is currently the Manager of the Capital Markets Development Division. He has a special focus on capital markets, sovereign and corporate finance.

As a key member of the Financial Sector Development team responsible for the establishment of client facing capital market operations within the Bank, Attout has been directly involved in the delivery and execution of key capital markets funded and unfunded operations of more than $4.5 billion in over 35 African countries.

He has led several sovereign and non- sovereign capital markets transactions and has been involved in the origination and structuring of different liquidity and mortgage refinancing schemes to assist the continent address its housing challenges.

African Development Bank Group president Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “I am delighted to appoint Mr. Ahmed Rashad Attout as Acting Director, Financial Sector Development Department. Ahmed is an experienced and recognized expert in the development of the African Financial Sector. He will continue to provide leadership to the financial sector team, and support the Bank flagship operations, and transformative Agenda in Africa”.