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AfDB to Lend Nigeria $4.1bn

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The African Development Bank is working on giving Nigeria loan facilities of $4.1bn between now and next year for critical sectors of the economy.

The loans include $1bn at a concessionary interest rate of 1.2 per cent for Nigeria to address the 2016 budget deficit and aid her economic recovery.

The President, AfDB, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Monday after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other members of the Economic Management Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the AfDB president, the package includes; $1bn in budget support, $300m to create jobs for 185,000 youths, $250m towards infrastructure development in the North-East, $1m grant to deal with challenges of Internally Displaced Persons, $300m for infrastructure development around Abuja, and $200m for the Transmission Company of Nigeria to improve its facilities, among others.

Stressing that Nigeria was the largest shareholder in the bank, Adesina said that the bank was in the country to offer its support in the face of the current tough times.

He said, “I think the times are difficult but I want to commend the government for being bold in taking the right decisions. I think that the fact that the price of crude oil has gone down is a big challenge, because you have 98 per cent external forex revenue coming from the sector.

“So, it has created calibrations; I’m not going to go into the details of all the problems, but what is important is what we are going to do about it.

“I’m not here to lecture the Nigerian government. I’m here to support very strongly. We have said that we are going to support the Nigerian government with the budget support to be able to deal with some of the fiscal imbalances that they have. We are looking to consider for an award of $1bn to help to deal with that particular deficit.”

Adesina added that the bank would help to revive Nigeria’s economy, especially by deepening the level of diversification in critical sectors such as agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.

According to him, the bank is going to provide in total $4.1bn to Nigeria between 2016 and 2017 for power, infrastructure, agriculture and for the private sector, including financing and lending to the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.

He also said that he expected the AfDB portfolio in the country to grow to $10bn by 2019.

Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, added, “We also recognise that power is perhaps the most important challenge that is driving inflation in the country. So, we expect in our portfolio this year to invest in a total of 1,400 megawatts of power to focus on the energy sector; and by 2017, we plan to add 1,387 megawatts to the sector.”

He said that the bank also discussed with Osinbajo and the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on how to invest in areas of women and youth employment in the country as well as to look for opportunities to support access to finance by supporting the Development Bank of Nigeria with $500m, which will help to provide cheap financing for the real sector that the country wants to grow.

According to him, the bank is also providing $100m to the Bank of Industry to enable it to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Adesina said, “Let me just say that Nigeria is experiencing tough times, but Nigeria is not falling apart; and when people talk about debt crisis, Nigeria is not in a debt crisis. If you look at the fiscal deficit of this country with regard to the GDP, it is about three or 3.5 per cent. It is still way below the five per cent recommended by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

“If you look in terms of the debt to the GDP ratio for Nigeria, it is 15 per cent. So, there is no debt crisis in Nigeria; what you have is liquidity problem and we are trying for the country to be able to drive down inflation and to be able to make sure we are working with the government to be able to provide incentives for the private sector.

“Because to come out of recession you need more than the government, you need the private sector. So, incentives are very important. The Finance minister talked about a whole lot of incentives that they are going to give and I think that is the right way to go.

“Nigeria will come out of this as a better and more diversified economy than before it went into the recession.”

Also speaking, Adeosun said there was no need to fear over the new loan as it would be put into good use, adding that the government was not over-borrowing.

She added, “And as Dr. Adesina said, we are looking unto them with $1bn budget support; but beyond that, there are lots of loans and initiatives around agriculture, job creation for the youths, solid minerals, women empowerment and women’s access to finance, and access to finance by the SMEs.

“We are not over-borrowing, what we are trying to do is to ensure that this money we are borrowing we use it on the key infrastructure that will drive the economy.”

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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CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency

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Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.

In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for  Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.

“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.

“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.

“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”

The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.

Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.

He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”

He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.

Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.

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Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.

The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.

Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.

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PwC to Add 100,000 Jobs in $12 Billion Strategic Revamp

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Price Waterhouse Coopers - Investors King

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing $12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.

The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”

Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.

PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.

The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.

PwC has also set aside $3 billion of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.

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