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AfDB Spends $300m to Empower Nigerian Youths

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The  Africa Development Bank

The Africa Development Bank, (AfDB), has announced plans to commence a youth empowerment programme in the 36 states of the federation.

The programme is to gulp 300 million dollars and would be implemented in collaboration with the 36 states.

Country Director of the bank in Nigeria, Dr. Ousmane Dore disclosed this on Friday in Zaria, Kaduna state, at the launch of the bank’s 2016 Annual Economic Outlook, (AEO).

Ousmane said the project was targeted at the graduates who would be trained in agriculture business and other relevant skills that will make them self-reliant.

He explained that at the end of the training the graduates would be assisted with funds to start their agriculture businesses.

“We will incubate them into existing farms and agriculture business and once they go through that incubation period , we will then propose and give them the funds.

“That has been the missing link, how do you train them and send them out without funds , you need to give them money so that they can set up the farm” Ousmane said.

He said already the AEO has 100 million dollar project in Kaduna state in collaboration with the Islamic development Bank and the CBN to deliver the water project, adding the bank hopes to assist the current administration in its reform programmes.

“This is a state that we believe can show good example in the federation because of the effort put in place for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and one of the states that

have introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA) and with a lot of reforms ongoing, we believe a lot of reforms are ongoing in the public finance side.

“We want to start with states that are ready and we believe Kaduna state has all the requisite to be among the first states to benefit from this 300 million dollars programme.

“The project is in partnership with the state and federal government and their counterparts is to provide land , so they get the funding and the land and they are ready to go. I can assure you that what I have seen in Kaduna is the best practices that other states can emulate” Ousmane said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

CBN Offers Farmer N131 Billion Loan Guarantee

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) has guaranteed loans estimated at N13.903 billion for farmers across the country.

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Food Security - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) has guaranteed loans estimated at N13.903 billion for farmers across the country.

The CBN disclosed this on Thursday at the national award ceremony for the 2021 Best Farmer of the Year Award organised by the ACGSF in Abuja.

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

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ACGSF guaranteed a total of 82 loans worth N22.580 million between January to May 2022. This, according to Okon, brought the total loans guaranteed in FCT from the begining of the scheme in 1978 to May 2022 to 14,258 and at a value of N1.748 billion.

In terms of loan recovery, the Chairman said FCT farmers have repaid 11,726 loans worth N801.058 million since inception, adding that the positive result showed a high level of commitment of loan offers in FCT as well as the determination of the farmers.

“We do hope that before long, participants in the agricultural value chain in the FCT will take advantage of the opportunities provided in the Amended Act,” he said.

The ACGSF was created under in April, 1978 to de-risk agricultural loans by providing guarantees to deposit money banks offering loans to the agricultural sector.

Speaking on Thursday ceremony, Michael Onyeka Ogbu the Abuja Branch Controller, said the gathering shows CBN commitment to supporting hard work, innovation, and productivity in the agricultural value chain.

“To this end, the CBN challenges Nigerian farmers to explore our various agricultural interventions aimed at enhancing value addition to their output towards attaining food self-sufficiency, provision of raw materials to our manufacturing industries and also for export, which ultimately assists in diversifying and improving the foreign exchange earnings base of our economy,” he said.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Launches Single-Digit Loan for Women-Owned Businesses, Reinforces its Role in Strengthening Gender Inclusion in Nigeria

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the launch of the FirstGem fund (FirstGem loan); a single-digit loan scheme, exclusively designed to put women at an advantage in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

In furtherance of its role in promoting female entrepreneurship across the country, Nigeria’s premier banking institution and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the launch of the FirstGem fund (FirstGem loan); a single-digit loan scheme, exclusively designed to put women at an advantage in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.

The FirstGem loan scheme is designed for female-owned or partnered SMEs  in the following sectors  Food/Beverage processing & Packaging, Beauty and cosmetics, Confectionaries, Catering & Restaurants, Transportation (Logistics) and Agric/Agro-Allied (retail value chain). With an interest rate of 9% per annum, FirstGem loan is a collateral-free loan that is available to the bank’s existing and prospective female customers. Based on eligibility, customers can access loans from N500,000.00 to N3,000,000.00.

To access the loan, Female owned or partnered SMEs can visit the Bank’s website – https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/personal/loans/more-financing-options/firstgem-funds/ – to download and fill out the Retail Loan Application Form. The completely filled form should be submitted to the nearest FirstBank branch with accompanying documents.

Speaking on the loan Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said, “we are delighted with the role our FirstGem product plays in creating an avenue to enlarge the business activities and endeavours of female entrepreneurs across the country. Our FirstGem value proposition offers real solutions to constraints encountered by female entrepreneurs and working professionals, as it exposes women to opportunities for the advancement of their business. We implore every female business-minded individual to take advantage of the FirstGem loan as it puts them at an advantage to contribute their quota to the national economy.”

Launched in 2016, FirstGem has been impactful in driving financial inclusion, influencing women’s empowerment through gender-advancement programmes like savings culture, financial literacy, wealth  management and building an investment portfolio. FirstGem is  designed specifically to meet the needs of the female gender, aged 18 years and above.

FirstGem  is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women through an array of benefits such as free business advisory services, access to finance, specialized training on business development initiatives (virtual  and physicalevents),  regular insights on business / investment  opportunities. and mouth-watering discounts at partner merchant outlets (spas, salons, grocery stores) offering  lifestyle products and services.

Recently, FirstBank announced its partnership with CDC Group, the UK Government’s development finance organisation to economically empower women-owned and led businesses as well as local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The facility, which is in the sum of US$100 million will have a minimum of 30% allocated in the form of credit lines to women entrepreneurs. 

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Finance

Despite Paying $300 Million Debt, Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Increased by $250 Million

Nigeria’s foreign reserves increased by $250 million in the last seven days to $39.138 billion despite the country redeeming a $300 million diaspora bond.

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Dollar

Nigeria’s foreign reserves increased by $250 million in the last seven days to $39.138 billion despite the country redeeming a $300 million diaspora bond.

According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), the five-year bond was issued on June 27, 2017 to finance the deficit of the 2017 Appropriation Act.

However, on June 27, 2022 the DMO announced that the Federal Government had redeemed the bond in a show of commitment to its obligations.

An analysis of the nation’s foreign reserves revealed that despite the huge payment, Nigeria’s reserves increased from $38.925 billion on June 24, 2022 to $39.135 billion on June 29, 2022, representing an increase of $250 million.

Still, Nigeria’s rising debt profile remained a concern given the nation’s weak revenue generation and rising population. Many experts have said rising debt and the cost of servicing debt is responsible for the nation’s weak infrastructure growth and other developments.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, Nigeria spent N896.6 billion on debt servicing, according to data from the DMO. A total sum of N668.69 billion of the amount was spent on domestic debt servicing while another $548.79 million or N227.87 billion was dumped on external debt servicing.

In the first three months of the year, Nigeria’s total debt jumped by N2.04 trillion to N41.60 trillion, up from N39.56 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In a recent interview, the Deputy President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Gabriel Idahosa, said, “Essentially, our debt service is almost equal to our revenue. At some point, it was about 96 per cent of our revenue. So, really, we are borrowing to fund the government. Almost all our revenue is going into servicing debts. That’s what the numbers are looking like right now. At the beginning of the year, the estimate was that about 80 per cent of our revenue will go into debt service.

“If you look at revenue generated and debt serviced, they are almost equal. It means that everything we generate is actually going into servicing debts. That’s the situation we find ourselves and it’s going to continue unfortunately because the fuel subsidy estimate of N4trn this year, with the continuous rise in the price of crude oil, fuel subsidy could take as much as N6trn.”

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