- Elumelu Seeks More Multilateral Organisations’ Support to Boost Entrepreneurship in Africa
The Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Mr. Tony Elumelu, has stressed the need for global organisations and multinational institutions to support the much-needed growth in the African continent; adding that ultimately, such growth will affect the world positively.
Elumelu, who pointed this out on the sidelines of the ongoing 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, said organisations must come together to provide solutions to key challenges negatively impacting African economies, especially with regards to power supply and infrastructural challenges which are the major issues that the economies have had to grapple with.
Speaking specifically about the challenge of power supply on the continent, he said: “Under the Obama administration the Power Plan programme was initiated, which helped in a number of ways. However, now, we have a number of investors, like the Transcorp Power Plc, that is working hard to improve power in the continent in the 21st century. The truth is we have a new crop of investors who know and realise that it is important to have access to power to grow the continent, and our governments have keyed into this.
“To this end, we would also continue to need support from World Bank, AfDB, and other organisations to support with the huge capital that is needed to boost that sector. We could also do with the support of America, because if we improve access to electricity in Africa, it would help the world in a variety of ways.”
While noting that the private sector needs to get more involved, he cited the example of the achievements of the TEF over the past few years, which he said has begun to bear fruits, adding “We are beginning to see signs of the great things that these people are doing and they are making us proud. We have helped them realise their dreams and they are doing well.”
He commended organisations that had keyed into the TEF’s vision of empowering 10,000 African youths such as the International Red Cross Society, which according to him, had helped to create more opportunities for more Africans to benefit from the TEF’s entrepreneurship programmes.
He added: “We have seen that our interventions of 1,000 beneficiaries every year cannot be enough, in the first year, for instance, we had about 20,000 applications, we selected only 1,000; by the second year, it rose to 40,000 where another 1,000 was selected; last year, which was the third, we had 98,000 and we again selected 1000.
“It has become imperative to create more opportunities and to engage with our friends and partners and those who love Africa and who believe in this form of development that is truly sustainable.
“So, we reached out and I am happy that Red Cross came through and they have committed $1m, so now, we would not just be talking about 1,000 entrepreneurs, but now, it would be 1,200 entrepreneurs. Thanks to Red Cross for the additional 200.”
He explained that the additional $1 million fund they are bringing to the table is for the Niger-Delta region, covering the Ogoni part, and the North-Eastern region where we have the Boko Haram insurgence.”
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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