AFC announces Emeka Emuwa as Chairman Board of Directors

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) the continent’s leading instrumental infrastructure solutions provider, today announces the appointment of Mr. Emeka Emuwa as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Emuwa brings a wealth of experience spread over three decades leading and transforming banking institutions across Africa. After completing a sterling 25-year career with Citibank where he left as the Country Officer and Managing Director of Citibank in Nigeria, he went on to serve as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria. In this role, he led the bank’s transformation and worked successfully with the new shareholders to transform and restore one of Nigeria’s oldest institutions back to its rightful position as a credible and strong provider of financial services.

Mr. Emuwa’s extensive experience and unwavering dedication to the advancement of Africa make him a valuable asset to AFC at a time when the Corporation is rapidly expanding its operations across the continent and building partnerships through international collaborations.

He has been a part of AFC’s Board since 2015, previously serving as the Chairman of the Board Risk and Investment Committee, and as a member of the Board Nominations and Governance Committee. He is also the Chairman of Tangerine Financial (U.K.), the holding company for a financial services group providing insurance and pensions solutions across the continent. Mr Emuwa is thus well positioned to oversee and guide AFC on its future strategy and growth aspirations.

The Corporation’s mission to accelerate development impact, foster industrialisation, and enhance value capture and retention across the continent through the provision of critical infrastructure, is crucial for African development and prosperity.

Speaking on the appointment, Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, said: “Mr. Emuwa’s considerable experience, insightful perspectives and immense dedication to Africa’s development seamlessly align with our mission.

We are confident that under his continued guidance, AFC will continue to make significant strides in transforming the continent. He brings a deep understanding of Africa’s financial landscape within a global context, and has a clear vision for enabling AFC to further amplify its impact.”

Mr. Emuwa commented on his appointment, saying: “I am deeply honoured to be appointed Chairman of AFC, an institution that has, over the past 16 years, evolved into the leading infrastructure investor in Africa, delivering transformational projects across pivotal sectors of the economy. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the board, management, and all stakeholders to advance AFC’s mission and strengthen its role as a driving force for economic growth and infrastructure development on the African continent.”

AFC with its partners is the biggest investor in renewable energy in Africa following its recent acquisition of Lekela Power, and leadership of major wind power projects including in Djibouti. The Corporation’s development of special economic zones through its investee company ARISE IIP is helping to diversify the economies of nine countries, building a global manufacturing powerhouse.

AFC was appointed lead developer of the Lobito Corridor and Zambia-Lobito Rail Line, bringing together partners including the US government, the European Union, the African Development Bank and the governments of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

AFC enjoys an A3 rating (Moody’s) and has successfully raised and mobilised significant amounts of capital from global markets and investors to work alongside African domestic capital to develop the African industrial and infrastructure base.

DG ADMAC visits DG/CEO NiMet as both exchange ideas

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Director General of the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ADMAC), Andre Kamga Foamouhoue, on Wednesday, paid a courtesy visit on Professor Charles Anosike, the Director General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, as both exchanged ideas

During the visit, Professor Anosike and Mr Foamouhoue exchanged ideas on meteorology, climate change and the socioeconomic impact, as it affects Africa.

Mr Foamouhoue also used the occasion to brief the DG/CEO of NiMet of the activities of ADMAC.

Professor Anosike assured that NiMet will continue to partner ACMAD because of the importance of the services it provides. He also said that it is important for member countries to continue to support the continental body to strengthen its operations.

African leaders pledge urgent action to sustain recovery, build resilience

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

The African Development Bank Group released the inaugural Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook which attracted significant interest among decision-makers in Africa and globally.

The biannual report offers policymakers, global investors, researchers, and other development partners, up-to-date, evidence-based assessments of the continent’s recent macroeconomic performance. It also provides a short-to-medium-term outlook.

In his opening remarks, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat told participants that the report would be presented to heads of state at the African Union Summit to help steer national planning. Adesina said.

He called for strong and collective support to Africa to help the continent navigate the challenges it faces, especially debt burden and debt vulnerabilities.

The bank president explained further: “Africa cannot run up the steep hill carrying a bag of debt on its back. The channeling of the additional $100 billion of Special Drawing Rights will make a huge difference. We must join hands to harness the enormous opportunities in Africa. There is no doubt that we will make good progress. However, we must work fast, be inclusive, and be competitive.”the G-21,” he added.

Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, Prof Kevin Urama, highlighted the importance of Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook 2023.

He said: “As we gather here today, global macroeconomic conditions have become increasingly uncertain due to multiple overlapping shocks that make policymaking and investment decisions very challenging. Countries need regular diagnostics and focused policy actions to address these recurring and overlapping shocks.”

Professor Urama affirmed that Africa remains the place to invest despite suffering global shocks.

What the 2023 Africa’s Macro-Economic Performance and Outlook report says

Following two years of global shocks, the report notes that African economies are set to overcome various domestic and global shocks and return to a path of economic recovery, stability, and growth.

The lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ravages of accelerating climate change, and the impact of rising geopolitical conflicts and tension slowed Africa’s growth to an average of 3.8% in 2022.

To sustain growth, Africa’s economies will require comprehensive information and insights to navigate a labyrinth of intertwined global risks, the report stated.

The bank will release the report in the first and third quarters of each year to complement its flagship Annual African Economic Outlook. The African Development Bank is the first institution to release a macroeconomic outlook for Africa for 2023.

IWMI seeks NiMet’s support on multinational project 

By Favour Nnabugwu
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has requested for support from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet) in the execution of a multinational project that includes Nigeria.
The Senior Researcher at IWMI,  Sander Zwart, made the disclosure when he led a delegation to NiMet Headquarters.
Speaking, Dr Zwart said they were about to embark on a huge project called CLiM O , ” We have this project coming up , it is called the CLiM O. It is led by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The goal is to assist member states of the Niger Basin Authority to be more climate resilient and of course Nigeria is part of the Niger Basin”, He asserted..
Dr Zwart  explained that based on the information obtained online as well as consultations they discovered that flood and drought are major challenges, especially after last year’s flood.
He said this led them to develop activities that will ensure people are better prepared for flood now and in the future. To achieve this, he revealed that there are four components they have proposed for the project and that as their institution will drive the project, they are keen to have NiMet’s input.
He listed these components to be Hydrological modelling; Flood forecasting; Data sharing and Underground actions that involves how people can adapt themselves to flood.
In his response, the Director Weather Forecasting Services, Engr. Mailadi  Yusuf , who represented the Director General, assured the visitors of NiMet’s support, adding that NiMet is in close collaboration with Federal and State Ministries of Water Resources where the lead sister Agency that develops the Annual Flood Outlook (NiHSA) for the country is resident.
He stated that apart from predicting water availability for farming activities ( Onset of rain, duration and amount expected ) NiMet would soon engage water users across the country on dry season (irrigation) farming activities by delivering and training them on the use of the Seasonal Climate Prediction for optimal harvest outputs.
The CLIM O project, when fully implemented will support the member states of the Niger Basin Authority in strengthening transboundary governance of water resources, adaptation,and mitigation of the impact of climate change. The IWMI will lead the design and implementation of the project in the Benue River Basin.
FG shutdown 40 Universities across nation

By Favour Nnabugwu
The National Universities Commission has ordered a closure of universities of 40 across the country to enable students to participate in the 2023 general elections.
In a letter addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities and directors of inter-university centres, the NUC noted that the directive was based on the directive of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
“As Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Director/Chief Executive of Inter-University Centres are quite aware the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday February 25, 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday March 11, 2023 for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively.
“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of the our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adama Adamu has following extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies, directed that all Universities and Inter-University Centres be shut down and academic activities be suspended between 22 February and 14th March, 2023
FG targets $33, 000 per capita income come 2050

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

The federal government has set a target of $33, 000 per capita income by year 2050, from the current level of $3, 500.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, made this known at the opening of the on-going Nigerian Economic Summit today

Ahmed said, “I am pleased to inform you that the draft Nigeria Agenda 2050 is being finalised and will be launched soon.

“The Plan seeks to increase the country’s per capita income to $33,000 by 2050 and place Nigeria amongst the rank of Upper Middle Income Countries.

“The Plan will be implemented by successive governments through Six, 5-Year Medium-Term National Development Plans and Annual Budgets.

“The Nigeria Agenda 2050 has a moral imperative to lower the poverty and unemployment rate significantly as this is the only way we can ensure sustainable broad-based growth”

According to Mrs. Ahmed, the government would renew the social contract with Nigerians and encourage the citizens to pay their taxes to enable government fund Programmes and projects.

She said that the federal government would consciously design Programmes and projects that would attract Diaspora Nigerians to invest at home.

Mrs. Ahmed added that the administration was focused on unlocking the economic potential of the non-oil and high employment generating sectors to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and development.

Earlier in his address, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said that the administration was review 18 laws and 10 policies considered as o stacked to the private sector businesses.

The minister said that the National Development Plan 2017-2025 paid particular attention to the diversification of the economy, amongst others.

His words, “The NDP 2021 – 2025 has a unique objective of establishing a strong foundation for a concentric economic diversification, implying that the economy had already been diversified but the focus of the Plan is to deepen the diversification effort within the sectors such that each sector could substantially increase its contribution to GDP and create more jobs.

“The Volume III deals with the legislative imperatives identified as binding constraints to Plan implementation and has identified 18 laws and 10 policies that constrained Plan implementation over the years.

” A Technical Working Team (TWT) comprising the Office of the President on Ease of Doing Business, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and a renowned legal firm has been set-up to review these laws and policies with a view to enriching Plan implementation.”

In his Keynote address, one of the founding fathers of the NESG, Mr. Paschal Dozie, said that “the Nigeria we need” must be “truly federal”, not just in name but in reality.

He said that there the Exclusive and the Concurrent Lists should be reviewed to enable decentralization of government, with a real federal system, as obtained in other federal governments.

He added that the federal government should de-personalise institutions to make Nigeria more attractive to domestic and international investors.

In his contribution as a panelist, economist and banker, Mr. Atedo Peterside, noted that the nation was being held hostage by what he described as “rigged-properity” by a few elite.

According to him those in that class were less than 1 million people but they have improverished the multitudes of ordinary Nigerians.

Mr. Peterside regretted that based on data released by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS), at the end of 2015, 68 million Nigerians were in full employment but that as at end of 2020 the figure of Nigerians in full employment has fallen to a mere 31 million.

He lamented that very few Nigerians had access to the exchange rate at the official rate and those with such access did not represent the generality of Nigerians.

Mr. Peterside also condemned the fuel subsidy which has continued to put pressure on the nation’s fiscal position.

According to him, those who were involved in the massive oil theft were those in government or their cronies.

He wondered how many Nigerians had.the capacity to bring in ships into the country and load crude oil and take it away from the country, without the government stopping them.

NRC lost N531m revenue since Abuja-Kaduna rail attack in March

By Favour Nnabugwu
Federal Government has lost a whopping N531 million revenue to the suspended Abuja to Kaduna train service between March and September, 2022..
The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria made this in Lagos while addressing newsmen
We have lost a total of N531million between March 28 to September, 2022, adding that the money would have been remitted to the federal government.
It would be recalled that terrorists unleashed an attack on the Abuja to Kaduna trail which led to the death of eight passengers. About 41 others were injured while scores were kidnapped.
Although, most of those kidnapped have been released, over 22 are still in the den of the terrorists. Reports had it that about 970 passengers were onboard the train during the attack.
In response, the Nigerian Railway Corporation halt service along the Abuja to Kaduna train corridor.
Okhiria said the corporation will not resume service on Abuja to Kaduna rail until all those who remain with the terrorist are released.
The Managing Director further said that four members of the railway corporation are among those still held captive.
He, however, expressed optimism that all those still in captivity will soon be released. He noted that the Minister of Transportation is leading the struggle for the safe release of those still in captivity.
Meanwhile, the federal government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for train passengers and all train facilities.  The committee is to liaise with the appropriate ministries and agencies to fine-tune a safer railway system.
“We are talking about present-day technology so that we can have real-time monitoring. We will also be deploying a lot of security agencies to be at strategic locations”.
Celestine O. Isele died 5 months after wedding in Turke

By admin

 

 

A 35-year-old Nigerian man, Celestine Omorodion Isele, died five months after his wedding in Turkey.

Celestine and his wife, Gloria, got married on April 23, 2022 at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Umunakanu Owerre, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state.
He returned to Turkey after the wedding and died second week of September.

The Delta State indigene was laid to rest on Wednesday, September, 28, 2022, at Kilyos Cemetery in Turkey.

According to his Facebook profile, Isele graduated from University of Benin, Edo State and seems to dealer in clothes and shoes.

 

Agencies multiple charges cost Nigeria $250 bn agro-export produce – NEPZA

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has said that government agencies have not done well to import and export with complicated roadblocks costing the country US$250billon on agro-export produce to the country alone.

This is just as it has said that eleven (11) out of sixteen (16) sundry charges are illegal stressing that some of these has caused international cargo airlines to prefer flying out of Nigeria empty.

In his presentation, Aviation & Cargo Export in Nigeria, at the 2nd Edition of Aviation and Cargo Conference Managing Director/CEO – NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made this known highlighting some challenges that are militating against import and exports in the country.

He was represented by Assistant Director Investor Promotion, Augustine Onyekwere who presented his paper at the event.

Professor Adesugba said, “Among the 16 sundry charges tracked for goods coming in or departing the country via airports, only five are officially recognised. Nigeria’s import-to- export airfreight ratio imbalance stood at 87:13 from available statistics.

“The implication according to cargo agencies is loss of at least about USD 250 billon on agro-export produce to the country.

He mentioned other challenges to include, lack of modern Infrastructure, lack of corporate governance, policy and regulation, high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate funding and resources, high cost of operation, insecurity, insurance and corruption.

Adesugba noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to support the Aviation Industry and stimulate multiplier effects in the economy in May 2021 designated the four (4) Major International Airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt) respectively as Special Economic Zones to enable the companies operating at these airports enjoy the benefits of the Free zone scheme.

Stating that ASEZ are designed to accelerate investment in the Aviation sector and its value chain, improve the utilization of the airports, generate more revenues for the Federal Government as well as attract more local and foreign direct Investment and increase aviation contribution to the GDP.

According to him, “SEZ can grow the aviation and cargo export in Nigeria with the incentives and concessions available in the Nigeria Free Zones with concepts like tax holidays, one stop approvals as well as 100% foreign ownership of businesses.

He said, “Complete tax holiday from all Federal, State and Local Government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies, one-stop approvals for all permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers. Duty-free, tax-free import of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export.

“Duty-free importation of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment, and furniture.

Permission to sell 100 percent of manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic Nigerian market and meeting the 35% value addition.

The NEPZA boss added, “Export duty into the custom territory is calculated based on the value of the raw material or components used in assembling the product not on the finished product’s value.

“100% foreign ownership of investments. 100% repatriation of capital, profits and dividends as well as waiver on all import and export licenses, waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operating in the Zones

70% of Nigerian children suffer learning poverty- UNICEF

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

Not less than 70 per cent of Nigerian children are suffering from learning poverty, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The World Bank defined learning poverty as the inability of a 10-year-old to read or understand a simple sentence or solve basic numeracy problem.

According to UNICEF, “Research has shown that schooling does not always result in learning. Many children, even if in school, are not learning fundamental skills required for proficiency. As a result, many children are experiencing learning poverty, with an estimated 70 per cent of Nigerian children falling under this category, varying from state to state”

“Even before COVID-19, the world was grappling with a learning crisis with half of all ten-year-olds in middle and low-income countries unable to read or comprehend a simple story. In sub-Saharan Africa this is nearly 9 in every 10 children.”

Hence, the import of the ongoing launch of the Nigeria Learning Passport in states across the country.

Usamatu Mohammad Gona, the Katsina State Coordinator of the programme during the launch in Katsina said, “the Nigeria Learning Passport is an electronic distance learning medium fortified with audio-visual materials and books to aid self-based learning has been launched in Katsina State to help fast track learning among pupils and students of primary and junior secondary schools across the state.

“The platform makes learning possible even outside the confines of a school which will help address the spiralling number of out-of-school children, especially in states where insecurity hinders access to schools.”

Gona explained that “the NLP education model offers foundational literacy and numeracy skills, sciences, digital and employability skills. The Learning Passport supports early childhood education, primary and secondary education, and provides adolescent skills, technical & vocational education that is tailored to the needs of children and youth who are either out of school, or in need of support to ensure the education they are receiving is of sufficient quality.”

According to Gona, the NLP has the potential to provide access to learning to every Nigerian child within or outside the four walls of a classroom.

Gona who noted that the NLP platform is geared towards ensuring that no Nigerian child misses out of education said “education isn’t just a fundamental right but the fulcrum around which the engine of development revolves; it is the engine of the progress of any society.

“We plan to reach every Nigerian child over time with the NLP but in the short-term, out target is to reach 4.5 million learners by 2023 and 12 million by 2025.

“Additionally, 30,500 teachers and school leaders are being trained on the use of the NLP and on how to integrate technology in classroom instructional practice.

Narrowing it down to Katsina, the NLP Coordinator in the state said: “In Katsina, we are targeting 10,000 learners and teachers across the over 300 schools in the state before the end of November 2023.”

The Learning Passport is delivered by UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Education and powered by Microsoft, with funding support from Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and is free of charge for all learners.