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FG to Establish Niger Delta Development Bank

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  • FG to Establish Niger Delta Development Bank

The federal government is working towards the establishment of a Niger Delta Development Bank to speed up the development of the region, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, has said.

Addressing representatives of youth groups and ex-agitators from the Niger Delta reign at the headquarters of NDDC in Port Harcourt Wednesday, Ekere said the proposed bank would also assist people from the region, especially youths, to participate in the establishment of modular refineries in the region.

He said one of the programmes of the federal government is the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta region to deter youths in the area from involvement in illegal refineries.

“Instead of doing the small illegal refineries, government wants to help us with the technology to do this bigger so that we will be involved in refining in such a way that the environment will not be destroyed,” he said

He however noted that people in the region, especially youths, would have challenges getting enough capital to get involved in the modular refineries.

His words: “The challenge will be how the youth of the region will get enough money to buy into these modular refineries. Federal government has mandated the NDDC to work out the modalities with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. We want to ensure that whether the youth have money or not, they can key into this. So, we are going to set up a Niger Delta Development Bank to drive the development of the region.

And intet-ministerial committee has also been set up in the presidency to look into all the issues raised during the visit of the vice president to the region.”

He reiterated the commitment of the commission to the economic empowerment and development of youths of the Niger Delta region.

He however called on the youths to assist the federal government and security agencies in creating an environment that would be conducive to attract investors back to the region.

Ekere stated that part of the economic empowerment and development for the youths of the region is the development of illegal refineries scattered in communities in the region to modular refineries with state-of-the-art technologies.

He said: “The NDDC was set up by the federal government to address the problem of underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region. In addition to developing the physical infrastructure of the region, the NDDC will develop the human capital in the region. One of the key areas of the development is the young people.

“The major reason for the meeting with the youths is to rub minds and agree on an sustainable economic empowerment for youths of the Niger Delta. When we talk about empowerment, it is not about giving money. We will not give you fish but we will teach you how to fish.

“The NDDC has been mandated by the federal government to work out the framework with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, so that youths of communities in the Niger Delta will be empowered through the establishment of modular refineries.”

The NDDC boss however, decried the lack of organised leadership structure for youths in the region and advised them to borrow a leaf from the elders of the region, who now have an organised leadership structure through the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

Ekere said: “The major problem that we have had since we came on board, have been how to address and talk to youths of the Niger Delta region. Several generals have been calling me on this and that and it has been difficult to know who government should talk to on issues concerning youths.

“Why can’t we in the Niger Delta agree on a proper youth structure that government can always talk to when matters on youths of the region come up? Even armed robbers have leaders. Why can’t we have an acceptable structure through which we can engage the youths?

“PANDEF has provided the acceptable structure and platform for elders in the Niger Delta region to be organised and we commend them for that. I think the youths should borrow a leaf from the elders. “

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.

Finance

NAIC Pays N1.7bn Claims to Farmers

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The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) said it paid a total of N1.7 billion claims to over 5,000 farmers in the past two years.

NAIC, which is the only federal government owned insurance company authorised to offer agric insurance services to farmers at subsidised rate, said a breakdown of the paid claims showed that it paid N856 million to insured farmers in 2019 and N848 million in 2020.

Commenting on the development, NAIC Managing Director, Mrs. Folashade Joseph, said the claims were paid to the farmers to cover losses incurred in the course of doing business.

Joseph, enjoined agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner NAIC by taking agricultural insurance cover that will enable them remain firm in business despite unforeseen circumstances from weather conditions and other risks in order to realise the food security agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said the above-mentioned amount was shared among five million farmers who suffered various setbacks in their farms as a result of natural course.

According to her, the NAIC Agric Insurance Scheme was launched in 1987 by federal government to restore the confidence and productivity of Nigerian farmers who suffered losses as a result of natural disaster such as flood, drought, pest and diseases.

The NAIC boss explained that the essence of the sensitisation campaign embarked by the corporation was to let the farmers know and understand exactly what NAIC does, the importance of insurance, and make them understand how insurance works, how they can access NAIC products and services, how to process their claims, as well as what insurance stands to do for them.

“Agribusiness is evolving fast and so many risks are being thrown up, many new participants are coming into the business of agriculture, and the risks are on the increase if you look at them across the value chain, there is no so many participants so we need to keep sensitising the farmers and let them know we are serving them, and we need to know from them how to serve them,” she explained.

Speaking further, she said, “our assurance to farmers is that when they are insured and they suffer losses covered by any of the policies they purchased, including natural disasters and whatever, they will get paid for their losses, and that is the purpose of insurance and setting up NAIC.

“Our motor is ‘Plowing the Farmer Back to Business, Plowing the Farmers into Prosperity’, and we settle claims.”

She said NAIC currently deals with thousands of farmers (Small, Medium, and Large scale farmers) across the country, adding that the corporation serves farmers with investment as little as N100, 000, and at the same time serves multinational farmers.

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Banking Sector

UBA Organises Capacity Building Forum

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As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in the continent, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organise the next edition of its UBA Business Series.

The UBA Business Series which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape.

Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving, a statement from the bank explained.

The topic for the next edition of the series is, “Managing Performance for Business Growth,” and it will be held today, via Microsoft Teams.

At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth.

Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company. She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, – a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond.

UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, “with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth.”

He emphasised UBA’s commitment and deep passion for small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy adding, “We know small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2 per cent of all businesses. This no doubt captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”

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Banking Sector

CBN to Extend Credit Risk Management System to OFIs

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In an effort to curb growing bad debt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will extend its Credit Risk Management System to Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) operating in Nigeria to protect them from bad debtors.

According to the apex bank, this is important following the successful implementation of the credit risk system in other lending institutions operating in Nigeria.

The bank disclosed this in a circular titled ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies’ and signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, on Monday.

In part, the circular read, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.

“With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CTMS platform.

“Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis.

“OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions”.

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