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Bill Gates Donates $1m for Food, Farming Aids to Borno

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Bill Gates

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on Sunday inaugurated the distribution of food items and farm outreach committee targeting 40,000 victims of the Boko Haram insurgency through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated one million dollars to the Borno State Government as a post conflict intervention meant to support victims who are returning to their communities.

Shettima inaugurated the support commitee to begin with the distribution of 25 kilogram bag of rice and 10 kilogram bag of beans to each of 1,100 households at Mainok village in Kaga local government area, 45 kilometres away from Maiduguri.

The governor said officials of the state government working with the Gates Foundation used the $1m to procure the food items and commenced funding of 100 hectares of farm where beans is being cultivated.

He explained that 200 farm-families would be allocated tilled and fertile land measuring half hectare each along with improved seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and technical supervision so that they can start growing food crops. The Governor also announced the release of two trucks of maize grid to add to the food procured with the Gates’ donation.

“We are grateful to God for creating people like Mr Bill Gates and his dear wife, Melinda. These leading lights of philanthropy across the world have shown love to the good people of Borno State at a time we are on the ground and looking for any hand to hold in trying to lift ourselves up.

“Now, with the emerging peace in Borno State, it is only necessary that as Post Insurgency response, focus should be combined in supporting all categories of the victims from those at Internally Displaced Persons, those in communities within Maiduguri, those in our satellite camps outside Maiduguri, those in communities across different local government areas who are returning to their homes and those being resettled.

“It is in this regard, that we are gathered today to Flag off the distribution of a key intervention of one million dollars food and farming aide donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Let me say it for the record, that unlike majority of interventions which happily came to us in kind, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated cash of one million dollars to the Borno State Government. “It is the State Government that is carrying out procurement in the implementation of this particular intervention. The intervention is targeting returning and re-settling communities by giving them food aid and also helping them to return to their familiar ways of producing food for themselves and for commercial purposes.

“The intervention from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being used for food supplies and to fund farming activities for households. As a preliminary stage, beans is being cultivated in one hundred hectares of land. Half hectare is being allocated to a farm-family with a target of reaching 200 households. Each household may have from 2 to 10 family members.

“Already, farms have been established in Konduga and Damboa. Each household is to be allocated not only tilled and fertile land but also improved variety of seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and most importantly, technical field supervision by extension workers.

“On the food aspect, one thousand, one hundred households, not individuals, will be given a 25 kilogram bag of rice and a 10-kilogram bag for each household here in Mainok, Kaga local government area. The intervention aims at reaching 40,000 victims of the insurgency through households on both food aid and farming activity.

“We are particularly interested in ensuring that citizens begin to produce food crops in safe locations because direct food aid in post conflict situations is never sustainable over a long period of time” Shettima said.

Officials of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ‎(UNOCHA) witnessed the distribution with goodwill presented by them.

The Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Borno State, Dr Babagana Umara Zulum explained that two trucks of food items as well as two farms in Damboa and Konduga funded through the Gates donation were ‎ready for immediate access on Sunday while more communities were to benefit in a continuous exercise.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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MTN Nigeria Joins FG Delegation at the 2021 Edition of UNIIS to Woo investors!

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Karl O Toriola - Investorsking.com

MTN Nigeria is participating at this year’s edition of the US-Nigerian Investment Summit scheduled to hold on the 17th and 18th of September, 2021 in New York City. The participation is in furtherance of the company’s  commitment to partner with the Federal Government,  through the  Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to attract investors and investment to Nigeria.

Themed “Nigeria: The Future of Global Business”, the event builds on the success of the 2018 maiden edition. The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Olutokun Toriola as well as Chief Financial officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadiri will be in attendance at the summit. Toriola will be speaking at the summit, highlighting opportunities in Nigeria with MTN Nigeria’s success story as a reference.

“We are passionate about the development of our economy. This can be seen in our unrelenting efforts in working with   Government and institutions in different sectors to advance economic growth in our nation. We believe in the many opportunities Nigeria avails investors, and our 20 year journey is a testament to the promise the country holds,” said Toriola.

The US-Nigeria Investment Summit plays a vital role in attracting and facilitating business investment and job creation by raising awareness about a range of opportunities, and enabling vital direct connections between investors and the Nigeria economy. The investment summit features senior government officials, C-Suite business executives, and other thought leaders.

MTN Nigeria continues to advance its Good Together philosophy through strategic interventions, working  with the people and government of Nigeria. Recently, the company announced a series of activities as part of its milestone anniversary celebration including participating in the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Programme (RITC) for an opportunity to reconstruct the Enugu – Onitsha expressway in South-Eastern Nigeria, building a world-class campus in Nigeria and selling down up to 14% of its equity to Nigerians.

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SEC In plans To Embrace Crypto Investment, Set Up Fintech Unit For Regulations

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up a fintech division to study crypto investments and products in order to come up with regulations, the Director-General of the commission, Lamido Yuguda said on Thursday.

“We are looking at this market closely to see how we can bring out regulations that will help investors protect their investment in blockchain,” Yuguda was reported to have said by Reuters in a virtual interview in Abuja.

He did not provide a time frame for issuing regulations but said the SEC will step in with regulations once crypto is allowed within the Nigerian banking system.

The SEC has sought to regulate crypto on the grounds that they qualify as securities transactions.

Nigeria is one of the biggest markets for crypto trading, but in February the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banned banks from transacting or facilitating deals in cryptocurrencies.

The use of bitcoin, the original and biggest cryptocurrency, has boomed in Nigeria in recent years, driven by payments from small businesses and a weakening naira currency, which makes it difficult to get the U.S. dollars needed to import goods or services.

Yuguda said the commission has been in talks with the CBN, part of which led to the plan by the regulatory bank to launch the country’s digital currency, e-naira.

The commission is seeking to work with fintech firms to boost the marketing of domestic securities to prevent capital flight.

The central bank this month blocked the accounts of six firms for allegedly sourcing funds from illegal foreign exchange operators to buy foreign securities and cryptocurrencies.

He said the SEC is looking to boost savings through investment schemes, which currently have over N4 trillion under management split between public and private fund managers.

Yuguda said the regulator has asked private managers to put in place custody arrangements to protect investors.

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In 4 Years 92 Percent Of Investment Opportunities Lost in Nigeria

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Within the period of 2017 and 2020, Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria has lost over 92 percent of investment available to the country. The loss in investment sums up about $188.29 billion.

According to the report of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on “Investment announcements versus FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) Inflow in Nigeria, 2017 – 2020” the discrepancies between the FDI announcement and actual FDI inflow were revealed. The commission stated that the actual inflow of FDI into Nigeria was 7.65 percent of the total FDI announcements.

This is an affirmation that the FDI announced by the commission did not materialize or translate to actual investment inflow.

In the period 2017 to 2020, the NIPC FDI announcement stood at $203,89 billion, however, the actual FDI within the same period was $15.6 billion and unmaterialized FDI announced was $188.29 billion.

In 2017, statistics obtained from NIPC revealed a total of $66.35 billion FDI announcement but only $3.5 FDI inflow was recorded. For 2018, 2019 and 2020, $90.89 billion, $29.91 billion and $16.74 billion FDI were announced in each year respectively. However 2018 FDI inflow was $6.4 billion, 2019 inflow was $3.3 billion and 2020 FDI inflow was $2.4 billion.

With this report, the commission asserted that its report was based solely on Investment announcements which may not contain exhaustive information on all investment announcements in the country within the said period.

According to NIPC, the gaps between announcements and actual investments demonstrate investments potentials that were not fully actualised.

The Commission stated: “A more proactive all-of-government approach to investor support, across federal and state governments, is required to convert more announcements to actual investments.”

Reacting to the situation, Director General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, noted that the gap may not be unconnected to the economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic events within the period, aggravated by policy instability.

Olukanni stated: “Numerous studies have established that Foreign Direct Investment is dependent on the market size of the host country, deregulation, level of political stability, investment incentives, openness to international trade, economic policy coherence, exchange rate depreciation, availability of skilled labour, the endowment of natural resources and inflation.

“You will agree with me that the four years spanning 2017 and 2020 are characterized by the struggle to exit from economic recession, a period of slight recovery, the COVID-19 pandemic, and another period of recession. These circumstances may or may not be responsible for the political and economic reaction that can be witnessed in the uncertainty in the foreign exchange market, increased inflation, increased unemployment, increased political unrest and insecurity and so on.

“What can be established is that Foreign Direct Investment is averse to risk and uncertainty, especially the kind of uncertainty brought about by policy instability and economic policy. An obvious example is the closure of the land borders in 2019, while justifiable through the lens of national security is certain to have a negative impact on Foreign Direct Investment which has a long-term planning horizon.

“In summary, to seek to increase actual FDI is to promote the factors that have been shown, empirically, to positively impact FDI. While the Nigerian economy checks the boxes of most of these factors, economic policy coherence, foreign exchange market stability and insecurity are issues that are currently the bane of FDI inflows.”

Also commenting, an economist and private sector advocate, Dr. Muda Yusuf, who is also the immediate past Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce of Industry (LCCI), said the development reflects the low level of investors’ confidence occasioned by structural problems of infrastructure and worsening security situation.

His words: “It is investors’ confidence that drives investment, whether domestic or foreign. Investors are generally very cautious and painstaking in taking decisions with respect to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This is because FDIs are often long-term and invariably riskier, especially in volatile economic and business environments. Uncertainties aggravate investment risk.

“Investors in the real sector space are grappling with structural problems, especially around infrastructure. There are also worries around liquidity in the forex market; there are concerns about the accelerated weakening of the currency. There are issues of heightened regulatory and policy risks in many sectors.

“Investors’ confidence has also been adversely affected by the worsening security situation in the country. Meanwhile, the economy is still struggling to recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the likely factors impacting investment decisions.

“Our ability to attract FDI will depend on how well we position ourselves. The critical question will be around expected returns on investment. Overall, it is the investment climate quality that will make the difference. We need to ensure an acceleration of necessary reforms to make Nigeria a much better investment destination. We need policy reforms, regulatory reforms and institutional reforms, among others.

“We should accelerate the ongoing foreign exchange reforms; we need to undertake trade policy reforms to liberalise trade in sectors of weak comparative advantage; we need regulatory reforms to make regulations more investment-friendly. We need to create new opportunities in the public-private partnership (PPP) space, especially in infrastructure. We need to see more privatization of public enterprises.

“It is important as well to quickly fix the ravaging insecurity in the country. All of these are crucial to boost investors’ confidence.”

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