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MAN, LCCI, Others Oppose Senate on BoI Scrapping



  • MAN, LCCI, Others Oppose Senate on BoI Scrapping

The plan by the Senate to repeal the Act establishing the Bank of Industry and replace it with a National Development Bank of Nigeria has been criticised by several professional groups and workers’ unions.

And if the NDBN Bill, which has passed a second reading at the Senate sails through, the development bank will have take off capital of $323m.

But the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria and the Trade Union Congress said the action would amount to waste of time and resources.

The President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said that the new development bank could suffer political interference in its operation, which might grossly affect the performance of its core mandate given the composition of the Board of Directors and heavy reliance on the Federal Government for funding.

Jacobs concluded that setting up another development bank would amount to a duplication of the one already inaugurated by the last administration, adding that this was a development that the country could not afford at this time.

He said, “Instead of concentrating effort on the establishment of this proposed bank, the National Assembly should assist the Executive in making operational the Development Bank of Nigeria established by the last administration in March, 2015.

“The emphasis at this time should be to increase the capital base of the BoI and the other existing DFIs for effective delivery of their mandates.”

Jacobs, who spoke with one of our correspondents, expressed concerns about changing the status of the BoI, noting that the bank was a product of merger of the defunct Nigerian Industrial Development Bank, Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Economic Reconstruction Fund in 2001.

“For all practical purposes, this merger has been consummated, and the BoI has been functioning and delivering on its mandate within the available funding capacity,” he said.

He also declared that manufacturers would not provide the funding for the proposed development bank.

Reacting to Section 16[1] of the Bill, which listed MAN as one of the possible sources of funding for the NDBN, Jacobs, in a memo made available to one of our correspondents, said, “Members of MAN are supposed to be beneficiaries. It is therefore difficult to see how they will also be part of the institutions that will provide funding for the bank.”

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry also said it “has strong reservations for the proposition in the Bill seeking to establish the NDBN.”

The Director General, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, anchored the chambers’ position on the premise that the BoI was a product of the merger of four defunct banks, adding that since the merger being sought for had already been carried out, it would be a waste of legislative time and a distraction to all stakeholders for the process to continue.

“If the BoI Act has not been regularised, then that should be done urgently. The value of legislation lies in the spirit that drives it. The spirit of this bill is to consolidate a number of institutions into one entity for the purpose of delivering a development finance function more effectively. This has already been done as embodied in the current operations of the BoI,” he said.

The TUC agreed that the BoI was performing its assigned duties to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

The Vice-President, TUC, Olusoji Salako, advised that instead of scrapping it, the bank should be restructured if it was experiencing legal or structural issues.

Similarly, the President of the APBN, Dr. Omede Idris, at a press briefing in Abuja, after the organisation’s board meeting, said the group was opposed to the bill.

“By the track record of the BoI, merging it will be a disservice to the bank and the nation. The BoI should continue to function as a separate entity, based on its impressive performance over the years. However, it should be recapitalised, to continue to play its statutory role. The moribund NBCI and NERFUND could be liquidated,” the APBN president advised.

The group also criticised the Communication Service Tax Bill currently before the National Assembly and what he described as “multiple and unusual high taxation” by both the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Joint Tax Board.

He said, “The proposed tax focuses on the provider. There is no doubt, however, that the customer will eventually bear the pain. Any additional tax burden put on Nigerians under any guise now will inflict more pains. The APBN strongly believes in business. However, telecommunication services, which are of necessity rather than luxury, should not be subjected to such hike in tax.”

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

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Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector



Farmforte - Investors King

Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.

The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.

“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”

He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.

The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”

The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.

“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”

The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”

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OctaFX Launches Dual Life Campaign



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International Forex broker, OctaFX has launched a socially conscious marketing campaign called Dual Life aimed at simplifying forex trading and helping Nigerians create wealth.

A statement by the organisation on Monday said that the marketing campaign would celebrate the superpowers of Nigerians who committed their time and efforts to two or more jobs and were successful at each one of them.

It stated that the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign had influencers in the Nigerian lifestyle and entertainment space such as Toke Makinwa, Bovi, Denola Grey, Timini Egbuson, and others at the core of the engagements, establishing the other sides of the celebrities and influencers as entrepreneurs.

While speaking about the campaign, the Marketing Manager, EMEA, OctaFX, Ali Nwadike said, “We wanted to position forex trading as that activity young Nigerians and everyone else, can engage in, even while focusing on their careers.

“From findings, most young Nigerians today work two or more jobs to pay the bills and attain financial freedom. But, we don’t get to talk about this often or appreciate the efforts, hence the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign.

“While some see their jobs as a burden, we want people to see it as an achievement; and promote the school of thought that says one, two, many jobs is not bad especially when you are trying to create wealth.”

Nwadike added that more Nigerians would be exposed to the beauty of keeping their regular jobs and careers while making more money from forex trading with the OctaFX Trading App.

The statement also affirmed that OctaFX had made necessary arrangements from assembling forex experts and compiling training guides in the simplest and relatable form.

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AfDB Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President



African Development Bank - Investors King

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as its Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The appointment becomes effective from July 1, 2021.

A statement explained that Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior-level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.

Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 US government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty.

“She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene,” the statement added.

President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said he was delighted to appoint Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries,” he added.

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