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Mass Housing: FG, Shelter Afrique Sign N610bn MoU

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  • Mass Housing: FG, Shelter Afrique Sign N610bn MoU

The Federal Government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shelter Afrique and the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria for the construction of about 100,000 housing units across the country for N610bn.

It stated that a total of $200m would be used for the construction of about 10,000 houses nationwide on a yearly basis and that the project would be over 10 years.

This makes it a total 100,000 housing, units which will gulp $2bn (N610bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) for the 10-year period.

Representing the Federal Government during the MoU signing ceremony at the headquarters of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in Abuja, the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive, FMBN, Mr. Richard Esin, stated that the Nigerian housing market did not require anything less than $200m annually over the next 10 years to build considerable number of houses.

He, however, stated that the projection was to build about 10,000 housing units annually, adding that over 100,000 jobs would be created across the country through the scheme.

Esin said, “The $2bn will be used for the construction of mass housing units over a 10-year period and this translates to about $200m annually. So, whatever that gives us every year is what we will take as we make adjustments for inflation, etc.

“The projection is 10,000 housing units annually, but even if we are able to get 8,000 units annually, I think it is okay. This will be done over the next 10 years and there are other things we are also doing to make sure this exercise is successful.

“The minimum number of jobs we are looking at through this exercise is about 150,000 jobs across the country.”

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Shelter Afrique, a company for habitat and housing in Africa, Mr. James Mugerwa, stated that his organisation’s shareholders included 44 African countries and two financial institutions.

According to him, Shelter Afrique provides loans, grants and credits for the development of the environment and the provision of houses for Africans, adding that Nigeria had a deficit of more than 17 million houses.

“We will commit and dedicate all the expertise to ensure that good quality houses are delivered, and these will be houses that are energy efficient, environmental friendly and comfortable. Nigeria is our biggest sovereign shareholder and this collaboration is the beginning of many other opportunities,” Mugerwa said.

The President, REDAN, Mr. Ugochukwu Chime, said the signing of the MoU was a milestone in housing delivery and appreciated the Minister of Power, Works and Housing for making the exercise happen.

He noted that it was gratifying that the FMBN was reaching out to other stakeholders in a bid to close the housing gap and stressed that previous efforts by the bank were made in isolation of critical industry players.

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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Econet Group and Mastercard To Collaborate on Fintech Solutions For Covid-19 Response in Africa

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The Econet Group through its subsidiary Cassava Fintech International (Cassava Fintech) and Mastercard have entered into a strategic partnership to advance digital inclusion across Africa and collaborate on a range of initiatives including expansion of the Africa CDC TravelPass.

TravelPass is a digital health pass developed by Cassava Fintech and offered in conjunction with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). It is accessible to users of Cassava Fintech’s Sasai SuperApp and is recognised as one of the leading initiatives in the fight against the cross-border spread of Covid-19 in Africa. Mastercard is partnering with Cassava Fintech to enhance the security of TravelPass through Mastercard’s Community Pass platform. Mastercard Community Pass is an interoperable digital platform facilitating service delivery for marginalised individuals and communities, including access to critical health services like patient care plan tracking for Covid-19.

The joint initiative between Mastercard and Cassava Fintech seeks to offer a unified solution with greater convenience and enhanced security, that is expected to promote safe cross border travel in Africa in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partnership will also allow the two organizations to explore collaboration such as the further integration of the Community Pass with Cassava Fintech’s mobile and financial services, acquiring and processing of card payments across the continent, along with the introduction of a virtual or physical card on the Sasai SuperApp.

Cassava Fintech’s CEO, Darlington Mandivenga said the partnership with Mastercard would pave the way for both companies to jointly tackle the challenges facing African economies as they re-open post the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to work with Mastercard to explore solutions that will, among other things, mitigate the risk of falsified presentation of a third party’s Travel Pass at access and transit points,” Mandivenga said, adding that the same technology could also be used in payment solutions.

Cassava Fintech uses an integrated model to provide financial and digital services to ensure a “financially inclusive future that leaves no African behind”.

“We look forward to joining hands with Cassava Fintech in exploring new solutions that will make a difference and benefit the continent. In addition to digital innovation for future travel, Cassava will also leverage our secure payments network to advance access to financial services,” said Mark Elliott, Divisional President, Southern Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard is a leading global technology company focused on building an inclusive, sustainable digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere, by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.

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Nestlé Health Science to Acquire Nuun

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Nestlé Health Science and Nuun, a leader in functional hydration, have entered into an agreement in which Nestlé Health Science will acquire Nuun.

The acquisition complements Nestlé Health Science’s existing broad portfolio of active lifestyle nutrition brands with Nuun’s range of clean, low-sugar, effervescent tablets and powders.

“Every day, health-conscious consumers are becoming more aware of how functional hydration products can add to their overall well-being as well as support them during exercise by replacing the minerals that the body loses. That growing awareness is reflected in the steady growth of the category,” said Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science. “Nuun is a leader in the fast-growing functional hydration category with its high-quality, clean, plant-based products. We look forward to combining our companies’ expertise to bring Nuun to more people around the world.”

Nuun was founded in Seattle, Washington in 2004, pioneering the separation of electrolyte replacement from carbohydrates. Its low-sugar electrolyte tablet revolutionized the sports beverage market. It now has a broad range of effervescent tablets and powders containing additional minerals and vitamins for energy, relaxation and overall well-being.

“Nestlé Health Science and Nuun share the same philosophy: nothing is more important than health and well-being,” said Kevin Rutherford, CEO of Nuun. “In joining Nestlé Health Science, Nuun will further its mission of ‘hydration that empowers the world to move more.’ The Nuun team has built an incredible business and now with the reach, expertise and capabilities of Nestlé, I’m confident that together we will grow, even more, making people and the planet healthier.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021. Financial details are not being disclosed.

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itel Partners Amatem and Drug-Aid Distributes Relief Materials In Fight Against Malaria

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itel Malaria Day

To commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day, itel recently partnered with Amatem Softgel, an anti-malaria drug in Nigeria, and Drug-Aid Africa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides medical drug supplies and support to low-income patients in Nigeria and across Africa.

A statement by itel explained that in tandem with the theme of this year’s World Malaria Day, ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, the three brands joined the global fight against malaria by donating treated mosquito nets, free medical tests, mosquito repellent cream and free anti-malaria drugs to over 1,500 households in Isale-Akoka Community, Bariga, Lagos state.

It explained that malaria is a prevalent disease in sub-Saharan Africa, and was responsible for thousands of deaths yearly, adding that as socially responsible organisations, itel, Amatem Softgel, and Drug-Aid Africa, “believe that they have a quota to contribute in ensuring a relatively healthier society.”

The Marketing Manager for West Africa and Nigeria, itel, Oke Umurhohwo, expressed commitment in bridging the gap in low-income communities through its ‘Love Always On CSR initiative.’

He added that the brand was partnering with Amatem Softgel and Drug Aid Africa to provide these communities, “with an even greater fighting chance against malaria is a part of our commitment to them.”

The General Manager, Elbe Pharma, Shivakumar, said: “Malaria is a life-threatening disease, but it is preventable and curable. We at Elbe continue to find a better way to combat this disease, support the vulnerable ones especially the young children. Hence, the introduction of this innovative anti-malaria brand AMATEM SOFTGEL and this CSR partnership.”

The Programme Officer, Drug-Aid Africa, Oluseyi Sanyaolu, said malaria has been ravaging the vulnerable in the society for years, saying, “it is the reasons why Drug-Aid Africa is dedicated to supporting those in indigent communities with medicines and medical supplies. Together, we can end this menace.”

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