- CBN to Reduce $11bn Food Import Through NIRSAL
The Central Bank of Nigeria through the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending has disclosed plans to facilitate fresh investments to optimise land, infrastructure and water resources within the 11 existing River Basins Development Authorities.
The River Basin Development Authorities have a total of 539,182 hectares of irrigable land spanning across 28 states.
The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, stated this in Abuja while making a presentation at a retreat organised by the Ministry of Water Resources for new management staff of the country’s River Basin Development Authorities.
NIRSAL was set up by the CBN to de-risk and increase the flow of private sector finance into the agriculture sector.
He said the agency, through a strategic partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, would help to ensure full and sustainable utilisation of the very important economic assets, which had remained under-utilised for decades.
The increased optimisation, according to Abdulhameed, will help to achieve the objectives of the agricultural promotion policies of the current administration by significantly increasing production and exports of basic staples foods such as rice, soya beans, and maize.
Specifically, he stated that the strategic partnership would preserve scarce foreign exchange by ensuring food sufficiency, reducing the annual food import bill of $11bn, while at the same time ensuring inclusive growth, economic diversification and food security.
He further stated that NIRSAL would support the partnership with an aggressive but structured investment drive under appropriate medium-term lease options for land and water assets, capacity building for its critical actors to gain new knowledge experience, and innovative funding.
Other areas where NIRSAL would be seeking assistance from the Federal Government are technology (including mechanisation and precision farming support tools), structured market window and agribusiness management advisory services.
He said, “The main objective of this partnership will be to utilise the abundant resources of the River Basin Authorities to drive the agriculture promotion policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which includes diversification of the economy and assurance of food security and consolidation of the national import substitution agenda.
“NIRSAL resources would be focused on facilitating flow of credit and investment for key production operations and revitalisation of existing wasting assets within each RBA.”
Present at the event were the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu.
Ogbeh pointed out that the strategic partnership between the Ministry of Water Resources and NIRSAL would unlock the massive potential of the river basin.
He said, “The coming together of the Ministry of Water Resources and NIRSAL marks a new dawn for the River Basin Development Authorities.
“NIRSAL will ensure that finance which has long held down the development of the assets will now no longer be the biggest problem.
“I encourage all parties to work closely to see that we bring positive change to these immense national assets so that we can ensure food security, self-sufficiency as well as boost exports and stop imports of staples that we can produce here and re-build our economy from the ground up.”
On his part, Adamu advised the new management of the RBDAs to leverage the recommendations in the road map as well as the potential of the collaboration to restore the river basins to their original mandate.
FirstBank Holds Non-Oil Export Webinar Series, Creates Awareness of The Bank’s Export Solutions
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the convening of its non-oil export webinar series. The Event is centered on deliberating opportunities that will enhance the country’s expansion of its drive towards diversifying the national economy, thereby reducing the reliance of oil as a mainstay of the country’s revenue.
The first series of the virtual event is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday, 30th November 2021 via Zoom meeting. To register and be part of this transformational knowledge session, click on this link-https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/business/non-oil-export/ . Registration is Free!!
The event is themed “Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export in Nigeria; Harnessing Opportunities within the AfCFTA Treaty & Agro Commodities” and will have the attendance of Mr. Segun Awolowo MD/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Dr Biodun Adedipe, Founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult) amongst others, as guest speakers.
The webinar series aims to facilitate sustainable exports as well as guide participants on ways of navigating the hurdles and challenges of exports in Nigeria. The webinar will explore market and economic trends, unique export opportunities and potentials within the non-oil export industry across the geopolitical zones in the country.
The importance of exports in Nigeria remains a front burner conversation by individuals and organisations as it provides a means of increasing the markets for producers, and an opportunity to attract the much needed foreign exchange earnings to boost the national economy, which is critical to expanding its Gross Domestic Products.
Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said: “in recent years, the country has witnessed increased activities by the government towards diversifying the economy, thereby boosting the export potentials of the country – beyond the contribution of crude oil – which has been the mainstay of the national economy for many decades.
Our forthcoming Non-oil Webinar series will expand discussions that are crucial to the growth of Nigeria’s export potentials as we unlock numerous opportunities that will promote the economic diversification drive of the government which is essential to the continued growth of the national economy, especially with the current business challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Currency in Circulation Now N2.97 Trillion in October – CBN
Currency in circulation hit N2.97 trillion in the month of October, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The currency in circulation rose by N129 billion from N2.84 trillion recorded in the month of September to N2.97 trillion in October. This was after the currency in circulation declined from N2.8 trillion in July to N2.78 trillion in August.
Currency in circulation stood at N2.74 trillion in June, N2.79 trillion in May, N2.79 trillion in April, N2.8 trillion in March, N2.78 trillion in February and N2.83 trillion in January.
The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.
“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic.”
The bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.
The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.
The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.
2021 NCOY: FirstBank Partners Junior Achievement Nigeria, Reiterates Commitment to Innovation and Education
For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.
This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021. Interested participants are to register via the link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtd-qvqz4pE90NXOHcy-tve6aEXpY_yYAE
The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.
Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu; PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.
Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman; Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.
The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.
The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.
Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.
According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.
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