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

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.”

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.



Access Bank acquires $37m stake in Kenya’s Sidian Bank

By Favour Nnabugwu



Access Bank Holding Plc has concluded plans to acquire Kenya’s Sidian Bank Ltd., for N15 billion ($37 million).

The bank disclosed this in a notice signed by Mr Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary of the bank, and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd., on Wednesday in Lagos.

The bank said its subsidiary, Access Bank, had signed an agreement with Centum Investment Company Plc (‘Centum’) for the acquisition of the entire 83.4 per cent equity stake held by the company in Sidian Bank Ltd.

Centum Investment Plc, a leading East Africa investment firm listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange.

It noted that the purchase consideration is approximately up to N15 billion ($37 million), representing a price to book multiple of 1.1x based on the audited March 31, 2022 shareholders equity of Sidian.
According to the bank, Sidian will be merged with Access Bank’s subsidiary in Kenya, Access Bank Kenya to create a stronger banking institution better positioned to serve the Kenya market.

The Chief Executive of Access Bank, Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, said that the transaction builds on the bank’s earlier acquisition of the former Transnational Bank Plc (now Access Bank Kenya).

Ogbonna said that transaction also underscores the bank’s resolve to strengthen our presence in Kenya, a key African market that fits into its strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification.

“The acquisition and intended subsequent merger will create a strong and competitive balance sheet for Access Bank Kenya, positioning us to be well-placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross border banking services in the East African Community (EAC) and broader COMESA region.

“The proposed combination with Access Bank Kenya would undoubtedly propel Access Bank into a strong contender in the Kenyan market with enhanced capacity to play a more impactful role in the growth of its economy while delivering increased profitability for our shareholders,” he added.

Also, the group CEO of Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated that the deal “represents the relentless focus and execution of our strategic objectives within our banking subsidiary even as we grow the other businesses within Access Corporation’s core segments.

“The acquisition of Sidian is a significant step-up in scale and potential for Access Bank in Kenya which represents the largest market and trade corridor in East Africa.

“The significant increase in scale and customer base presents us with enormous opportunities to support growth in the various ecosystems were are building in our trade and payment business.

“The economies of scale that derive therefrom will continue to drive and enhance contributions to all stakeholders.”

Also, in the notice to the NGX on the proposed purchase, it was stated that the valuation was based on the audited results of the Kenyan lender for the first three months of the year.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Kenya

Ecobank shareholders get $40m dividend

By admin



The Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group, has paid out a total dividend of 40 million dollars to shareholders.

The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of ETI, Ade Ayeyemi, made the disclosure during a hybrid event of ETI’s 34th Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AGM had as its theme: “ One Market. Endless Opportunities”.

The payment is coming after over five years of non-dividend payment.

According to Ayeyemi, improvements recorded in the bank’s ‘Roadmap to Leadership’ strategy adopted in 2016, are instrumental to achieving the dividends payments.

He said that adopting the strategy helped the bank to clarify portfolios across businesses and maximize value of portfolios, which culminated in a cash dividend of 0.16 US cents ($0.0016) per share to shareholders.

Ayeyemi affirmed that the strategy was focused at redefining business segments and building a stronger and more profitable financial institution.

“The group’s profit for the year 2021 was 357 million dollars compared to 88 million dollars in 2020.

“Although the latter was adversely affected by a goodwill impairment charge of 164 million dollars while net revenues increased by 4.6 per cent to 1,757 million dollars.”

He said the bank made meaningful progress across business segments, noting that its gross trade loans increased by 39 per cent to 2.9 billion dollars, driven mainly by commodity financing.

“We transitioned to our ‘Executive Momentum ‘ strategy while continuing to harvest the expected results from our previous strategy.

“We have become more efficient, addressed legacy loan problems, strengthened capital and digitized our operations for the future.”

Ayeyemi assured shareholders that the bank would continue to defend its competitive position, explore growth opportunities, revisit operational strategy in high potential markets and consider constructive exit from low potential markets.

He added that the bank’s first-quarter results for 2022 provided a clear confirmation of Ecobank Group’s continuing strong and sustained performance trajectory.

Ayeyemi said this had reinforced the bank’s reliability and capacity to successfully deliver on its Africa-focused purpose and support for the continent’s economies, regardless of the prevailing challenges.

Also, the Chairman of Ecobank Group, Alain Nkontchou, said the bank had introduced innovative technology that included the virtualisation of its regional processing centres and the automation of a digital MY-HR information system which automates HR processes with enhanced self-service features.

According to him, these programmes are maximising operational efficiency and transforming its businesses for sustainable long term growth.

“The year 2021 was a transformational year for the group, and the board is pleased to be rewarding shareholders with a dividend for the first time since 2016.

“Our results show that we are maximising operational efficiencies and successfully transforming our business for sustainable long-term growth.

“As we continue to deliver on our strategic imperatives, we are firmly positioned as the ideal partner for households and businesses to grow and succeed.

“Also to foster Africa’s economic development, while continuing to grow ourto grow our revenues and value, “he said.

NAN reports that shareholders applauded the group’s impressive strong performance in 2021, which was achieved despite the challenging environment.

Nigeria records 3.11% economic growth in Q1 ’22 – NBS

By Favour Nnabugwu



The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said that Nigeria’s economy grew by 3.11 percent year on year, YoY, in the first quarter of the year (Q1’22) from 0.51 percent recorded in the corresponding period in 2021 (Q1’21).

The NBS stated this in the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q1 2022) released this morning.

The stated”Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11 percent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2022, showing a sustained positive growth for six consecutive quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarter two and three of 2020.

“The first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance. The observed trend since Q4 2020 is an indication of a gradual economic stability.

“The Q1 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51 percent growth rate recorded in Q1 2021 by 2.60 percent points and lower than 3.98% recorded in Q4 2021 by 0.88% points. Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66 percent in Q1 2022 compared to Q4 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter. In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N45,317,823.33 million in nominal terms.

“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of N40,014,482.74 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25 percent. The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25 percent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2021 and higher compared to the 13.11 percent growth recorded in the preceding quarter.”

World Bank avails $30 bn for implementation of food insecurity 

By Favour Nnabugwu



.The World Bank has availed $30 billion  for food security crisis in existing and new projects in agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation.

This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.

“Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “To inform and stabilize markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”

The World Bank is working with countries on the preparation of $12 billion of new projects for the next 15 months to respond to the food security crisis.These projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects, with the majority of resources going to Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. In addition, the World Bank’s existing portfolio includes undisbursed balances of $18.7 billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors. Altogether, this would amount to over $30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.

The World Bank Group’s global response will address four priorities:

Support production and producers: Take actions to enhance next season’s production by removing input trade barriers, focusing on more efficient use of fertilizers, and repurposing public policies and expenditures to better support farmers and output.

Facilitate increased trade: Build international consensus (G7, G20, others) and commitment to avoid export restrictions that increase global food prices and import restrictions that discourage production in developing countries.
Support vulnerable households: Scale up targeted, nutrition-sensitive social protection programs and replenish early-response financing mechanisms.
Invest in sustainable food and nutrition security: Strengthen food systems to make them more resilient to rising risks (conflict, climate, pests, diseases), trade disruptions and economic shocks – balance immediate/short-term needs with long-term investments.

The World Bank gained extensive experience in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis through the temporary Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) that received donor contributions and channeled funds to 49 affected countries through 100 projects. Since then, the Bank had built up new tools dedicated to responding to food security crises, including the IDA Crisis Response Window. The World Bank also hosts the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is an existing financial intermediary fund dedicated to improving food security in low-income countries and could be replenished to help fund the response to the current global food crisis

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product increases by 4.03% In 2021 – NBS

By Favour Nnabugwu



Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 4.03 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, according the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the report, in the third quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s real GDP at basic prices grew by 4.03 per cent on a year-on-year basis showing a steady improvement from the economic downturn in 2020.

The NBS said that growth improved further in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a positive GDP growth rate of 3.98 per cent.

The report said: “in the third quarter of 2021, Nigeria real GDP at basic prices grew by 4.03% on a year-on-year basis showing a steady improvement from the economic downturn in 2020. Growth however, improved further in fourth quarter 2021 with positive GDP growth rate of 3.98%. The negative quarterly growths in Q2 and Q3 2020 resulted in a recession, which led to a negative annual growth rate of -1.92% for 2020, compared to 2.27% in 2019 on a year-on-year basis.

Annual growth of 2021 stood at 3.40%, an improvement of 2020. Compared to the third and fourth quarters of 2020, the performance in 2021 indicated an increase of 7.65% points and 3.87% points higher, respectively.

“Household Consumption Expenditure, in Q3 and Q4 2021 grew by 19.36% and 7.30% in real terms, year on year. For 2021, the annual growth rate in real household consumption expenditure stood at 25.65% compared to -1.69% in 2020. Government Consumption Expenditure recorded growth rates of -39.51% and -16.76% in Q3 and Q4 2021 respectively, year on year, while annual growth rate stood at -34.03% in 2021 compared to 61.58% in 2020.

Net Exports recorded positive growth rates in the first two quarters of 2020 and shifted to negative growth rates in third and fourth quarters of 2020 as well as the first three quarters of 2021, a departure from the trend in 2019

Net exports grew in real terms in Q3 and Q4 2021 by -38.27% and 1.35% respectively. On an annual basis, net exports grew by -55.77% in 2021 compared to -13.17% recorded in 2020.

“National Disposable Income grew by -1.48% in the third quarter of 2021 and 2.84% in the fourth quarter 2021, but recorded growth of 0.32% and -1.28% in Q3 and Q4 of 2020 on a year-on-year basis in real terms, giving a slower growth rate of -2.52% for annual figure in 2021 compared to a positive growth rate in end 2020 (1.07%).

Compensation of Employees, during the third and fourth quarters of 2021 grew by 14.54%, and 11.79% respectively in real terms on year-on-year basis. For 2021, growth rate stood at 13.68% compared to 0.96% in 2020.

“The observed trend in 2020 indicates that real household consumption expenditure declined in Q1 and Q2 accounting for negative growth rates informed by the COVID 19 pandemic. However, positive growth rates were recorded in Q3 and Q4 of 2020 as well as the four quarters of 2021.’’

Household consumption expenditure consists of expenditure, including imputed expenditure, incurred by resident households on individual consumption goods and services.

It said that Government Consumption Expenditure recorded growth rates of -39.51 per cent and -16.76 per cent in Q3 and Q4 of 2021 respectively, year-on-year.

The Bureau said the annual growth rate according to the report stood at -34.03 per cent in 2021, compared to 61.58 per cent in 2020.

The report said Net Exports recorded positive growth rates in the first two quarters of 2020 and shifted to negative growth rates in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

New president of stockbrokers is Oluwole Adeosun

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers ( CIS) has announced a core finance professional, Mr Oluwole Adeosun as its new President and Chairman of the Governing Council.

With his election, at the Institute’s hybrid Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, Adeosun, the Institute’s former 1st Vice succeeded the immediate past President, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe whose tenure was characterized by many laudable achievements

By his election, Adeosun shall be formerly decorated with the paraphernalia of office in a high profile event called investiture at a later date.

Under the new change of baton, the Institute’s 2nd Vice President, Mr Oluropo Dada has emerged the 1st Vice President .
Adeosun, a Fellow of the Institute and multinational professional, brings on board over two decades of robust experience in the financial market.

A product of the prestigious Loyola College, Ibadan, he holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin in 1986 and capped it with Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and specialises in Finance and Banking from University of Lagos in 1993. Adeosun trained at Coopers and Lybrand (Chartered Accountants) now PricewaterhouseCoopers and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in May 1991. He later qualified as a Chartered Stockbroker and Banker.

He has been a long-standing member of the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers since April 2013 and has served as the Institute’s First Vice President in 2020-2022 and Second Vice President from 2018 to 2020. He also served as a member of the Finance and General-Purpose Committee of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and its Investment Subcommittee.

Among the major highlights of the meeting was the re-election of Mrs Fiona Ehimie and Mr Adeyemi Aina to the Institute’s Governing Council and election of Mr Ayodeji Ebo and Mrs Elile Olutimayin to the Board.

He is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Securities Limited and a distinguished Fellow of many major professional Institutes in Nigeria’s financial services sector,including, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) amongst others.

In a recent interview, Amolegbe, the Institute’s immediate past President, expressed optimism that he had left behind a team of top notch professionals that would further advance its growth and development.

“ My Priority has always been to enhance the institute’s brand positioning by increasing its visibility via advocacy while putting the members’ welfare on the front burner.” Said Amolegbe.

Senior Stockbrokers commended the Principal Officers and Management of the Institute for its visibility and and returning it to profitability despite the inclement operating environment. Among them were Mrs Elizabeth Ebi, Group Managing Director of Futureview Group, Mr Oladipo Aina and Mr Oluwaseyi Abe, both past presidents.

FG pays 30 State Governments $138.5m SFTAS funds

By Favour Nnabugwu



The federal government has paid the sum of $138.5 million to 30 State governments  under the States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS),

(SFTAS), is a facility of the World Bank to reward for the State governments of their efforts towards sustainable public debt management.  

Dr. Isyaka Mohammed of the Debt Management Office (DMO) said in Abuja, that  the states were paid for meeting the requirements for debt related Disbursements Link Indicators (DLIs).

The state governments (which were not named)  received the performance-based grants in 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, the benefiting states, received $29.5 million grants for meeting the requirements of DLI7, $1 million for DLI8 and $24 million for scaling through DLI9.

In 2019 the affected states received a total of $84 million as performance based grants broken down as $51 million for DLI7, $7 million for DLI8 and $25.5 million for DLI9. Thus bringing the total grants extended to the state governments to $138.5 million.

Dr. Mohammed identified the three debt-related Disbursements Link Indicators as (DLI) 7, 8 and 9.

According to him, DLI 7 focused on strengthening public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework for the state governments.

He added that DLI 8 was designed to improve the clearance/reduction of stock of domestic expenditure arrears of the state governments; DLI 9 was meant to mprove the  debt sustainability of the various states.

Dr. Mohammed said, “a combination of tools and approaches to support the State Governments in achieving the minimum requirements for the DLIs it supports” were employed.

The tools and approaches he identified were: guidelines; template and tools; physical or virtual workshops; and just-in-time advisory.

He explained that for DLI7.1 in 2018, 10 states met the three criteria  for the legal framework, while in 2019, 23 states met the three criteria.

For DLI7.2, a total of 19 out of 24 eligible states submitted quarterly debt report within 2 months of the end of the quarter in 2018.

According to him, “States’ adherence to the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act on contracting state debts remained a major concern.”

He added that the capacity and  willingness of the state governments to prepare their Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) and Preparation of Medium-Term Debt Strategy (MTDS) also remained a challenge.
Dr. Mohammed suggested that debt reconciliation should be institutionalized with a standing committee comprising the staff of the DMO, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Office oftheAccount- General of the Federation.

However in 2019, 31 out of 32 eligible states met the two months deadline and in 2020, only 15 met the DLR 7.2 requirement because the criteria became more stringent due to the inclusion of Debt Sustainability Analysis

Despite the encouraging performance of the state governments, Dr. Mohammed noted that there were still challenges to debt sustainability for the state governments