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CBN to Reduce $11bn Food Import Through NIRSAL



  • 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.

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.

Banking Sector

BoI Grows Assets by 78.8% to N1.86 Trillion




The Bank of Industry Group concluded the 2020 financial year with a 78.8 per cent growth of assets from N1.04tn to N1.86tn between 2019 and 2020.

A statement by the bank on Monday said the increase was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndication of €1bn and $1bn that were concluded in March and December 2020 respectively.

BoI stated that the group’s financial statement demonstrated resilience and strength, noting that the period had significant challenges in the operating environment on account of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

“It also indicates synergy with the various interventions developed by the Federal Government, the Central Bank as well as other strategic partners towards ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian enterprises,” the statement said.

The group’s total equity increased by 14.8 per cent from N293.08bn in the previous year to N336.48bn in 2020.

It added that as a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new facilities, loans and advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84bn from the 2019 position.

The bank explained that this was largely due to the economic slowdown in the year as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the bank for its customers.

“The bank reviewed and restructured all its managed projects under the CBN intervention programme with interest rate reduction from nine to five per cent per annum for a period of one year and moratorium extension of three months (with a possible extension up to 12 months),” it said.

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Banking Sector

TAJBank Deploys NQR Solution To Ease Customer Transactions



TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest bank, has announced the deployment of the NQR Payment solution, an indigenous Quick Response Code (QRC) by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), for merchants and customers as the newest addition to its innovative e-business channels.

The NQR Payment solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform developed for merchants and customers to receive and make payments for goods and services in a quick, easy, contactless and secure manner.

A statement signed by the Founder/Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr. Hamid Joda, indicated that the ingenious solution would further drive TAJBank’s culture of innovation and create a seamless payment experience for its rapidly growing individual and corporate customers in their banking transactions.

“We are excited to have this payment channel introduced into the nation’s financial system as an addition to other innovative solutions we have deployed over the past few months.

This is a proof that, as we have said in our communications signature line, TAJBank’s interest is always in our customers”, Joda enthused.

In his remarks, the non-interest lender’s Chief Marketing Officer/Co-Founder, Mr. Sherif Idi, also maintained that the deployment of the NQR payment solution would revolutionize the e-payment experience and open new frontiers for small, medium and large scale businesses who are major stakeholders of the bank.

Since it commenced operations in the non-interest banking segment of the financial services industry, TAJBank is noted for its impeccable track record of growth and innovation, rendering exceptional quality services to customers.

The lender’s NQR solution is open to all customers of the bank, both merchants and individuals, across all its branches and digital channels globally.

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African Development Bank’s First Virtual Business Opportunities Seminar of 2021, Draws 450 Global Partners and Suppliers




The African Development Bank hosted its first virtual business opportunities seminar (BOS) of 2021 on 6 and 7 April.

The BOS seminars offer a one-stop shop for companies, civil contractors, manufacturers, consultants, and suppliers from the Bank Group’s regional and non-regional members seeking to provide goods and services to projects or to the Bank.

Held virtually as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, delegates were informed about the Bank’s strategy for supporting economic growth, its priority areas, rules and procedures for project and corporate procurement, and ongoing public and private sector operations.

During the sessions staff discussed the sectors that offer opportunities for partners and suppliers: climate change; infrastructure, cities and urban development; industries and trade; finance and SMEs; agriculture; health, human capital, youth, and skills development.

“The Bank’s 2021 Business Opportunities Seminar was an impressive learning experience and an open door to interact virtually with different experts and gain insights into best practices and directions for conducting effective business approaches within the Bank,” said David Andrés Rojas Mejía, Senior Business Development Specialist at Catalonia Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

Private sector partners contributed richly to the discussion, sharing their experience around partnering and contracting with the Bank. They included Kwame Boate, country director of TechnoServe Inc., (Ghana) and Cletus Kayenwee of the Rural Enterprises Program at the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade, who shared their experience contracting with the Bank on Ghana’s “One District One Factory” Enable Youth Program. The program aims to build the entrepreneurial capacity of graduate youth. Participants also heard from Abdelillah Zenjari, Deputy General Director of TEKCIM. He shared his experience partnering and obtaining a loan of €45 million to build a cement factory with a capacity of 1.4 million tons in the region of d’El Jadida in Morocco.

Over the years, the seminars have hosted approximately 2,500 delegates from 55 countries, with an average of 75% of delegates from non-regional member countries and 90% from the private sector.

For the Bank, the seminars increase interest in Bank-financed projects and enhance competition, thereby promoting higher-quality offers that deliver optimal value for money for its regional member countries.

“The sessions have also helped me to understand how to find opportunities for my firm by being better able to navigate your procurement framework and processes,” said Dede Watkin, Business Development Manager at Beale &Co, a participant.

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