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$1.1bn Brazilian Loan: FG to Create Five Million Jobs

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Loan - Investors King
  • $1.1bn Brazilian Loan: FG to Create Five Million Jobs

Up to five million new jobs will be created in a fresh $1.1bn agricultural loan project with the Brazilian Government, the Nigerian Government disclosed in Abuja on Thursday.

The loan is sourced under a Nigeria-Brazil bilateral project, ‘Green Imperative’, which was launched at the Presidential Villa by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.

The partnership involves the provision of modern agricultural machinery and support services, including 10,000 tractors to be assembled locally in Nigeria and the establishment of over 707 training centres for Nigerians.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Osinbajo said it was part of the government’s promise to invest in agriculture.

“We cannot bring our nation out of poverty without investment in agriculture. Also, the sheer number of young people coming of age will not only need to be fed but also employed. They want dignified jobs with decent pay,” Osinbajo stated.

He explained that the fascinating aspect of the deal was the emphasis on mechanised agriculture, which he said, would lead to higher yields.

He noted, “Today, we are producing Paddy Rice as much as we need because of mechanisation of agriculture.

“The only way to make the quantum leap required in our economy is what we are doing today with this project, the Green Imperative.”

With mechanised agriculture, the VP believed that the youth would be attracted to farming because of the simplicity that came with the modern farming system.

He added, “One of the reasons young people don’t warm up to agriculture is because it is not mechanised but that will change with this project.

“We have made a significant difference in creating food sufficiency and decent jobs. We have ensured that this will be private sector driven.”

The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, challenged the youth to seize the opportunity offered by the project to create wealth, using agriculture.

“With Brazilian support, we will get to where we want to get to.

“Importation alone does not make a country great, production does. By importation, we also imported poverty and unemployment but this administration is set to reverse all that. Work is prayer in action,” the minister said.

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, spoke on the loan package, saying that the government went for it as part of the policy on diversifying the economy from oil to non-oil options.

“The project we are launching today will be implemented with a total loan package of $1.1bn majorly from the Brazilian Government, which will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years.

“It is pertinent to state here that greater percentage of the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machinery and implements in the form of Completely Knocked Down parts.

“This arrangement is expected to reduce fiduciary risks and create more employment opportunities for our teeming youth and those that will be involved in assembling the machinery and implements.

“Another important benefit of the project is that its implementation will be purely private-sector led in all its operations including the assembling of the machinery/ implements, operation of the service centres and the agro-processing centres.

“The project will be implemented in all the 774 local government areas of the country in phases.

“Let me use this opportunity to sensitise the Nigerian private sector, youth and women to get ready for business. The selection of the participants in this project will be done on merit as our concern is nothing but the success of the project. We will ensure that participation is devoid of politics and any form of nepotism.”

The Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, confirmed $1.1bn worth of the deal and the other components reeled out by the Nigerian government officials.

But, he called for urgent solutions to post-harvest losses in Nigeria, which he observed accounted for the loss of revenue in billions of Naira yearly.

On the benefits of the deal, the envoy stated, “It has become imperative to make agriculture attractive to young farmers since this is the only way to develop human capital.

“The truth is that agriculture has the potential to create jobs for millions, support small scale farmers to actualise their potential.”

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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Economy

AfCFTA: Nigeria-South Africa Chamber Advocate Single Africa Passport, Free Visa

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African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)- Investors King

The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) has called for a single Africa passport and a free visa to ensure the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Speaking on Thursday in Lagos during the chamber’s September Breakfast Forum, with the theme: `Perspectives on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in Relation to Nigeria’, its President, Mr. Osayande Giwa-Osagie noted that AfCFTA would boost intra-African trade by 22 percent, adding that its implementation would impact positively on the Nigerian economy.

AfCFTA is a single continental market that adopts free flow of goods, services, and capital, supported by the free movement of persons across Africa.

Giwa-Osagie however said Nigeria must diversify its economy in order to harness the gains of the agreement.

“Current intra-African trade rated at 15 to 17 percent is low and the AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African by 22 percent. Challenges to its implementation are lack of infrastructure, political instability and lack of economic diversification.

“This gives rise to the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy to harness the gains of the agreement. Given the importance of the free movement of people, there is a need for a free visa for Africa and a single Africa passport.

“While the implementation would help boost the Nigerian economy, the impact would be limited if there are no free movement of people,” he said.

Mr Jesuseun Fatoyinbo, Head, Trade and Transactional Services, Stanbic IBTC Bank, said the business community needed more clarification on tariff reduction or elimination under the agreement.

According to him, the little information available to corporate organisations with regards to tariffs may lead to holding back on investments.

“We have noted increased interests from global multinationals and other corporates in setting up facilities in Africa aimed at serving the continent and exporting abroad.

“So more transparency around tariff reductions both in terms of timelines and details of goods could prompt companies to act,” he said.

Fatoyinbo also called for more attention to the digitisation of trade processes across the continent. “Currently, trade in Africa is largely reliant on physical documentation and this is a major impediment. Policymakers need to prioritize regulatory amendments that allow for the digital signatures, a digital certificate of origin, digital bills of lading, and other documentation,” he added.

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Nigeria Borrows $4 Billion Through Eurobonds as Order Book Peaked at $12.2 Billion

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Eurobonds - Investorsking

The Federal Government of Nigeria has raised a fresh $4 billion through Eurobonds, according to the latest statement from the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Nigeria had set out to raise $3 billion but investors oversubscription peaked at $12.2 billion, enabling the Federal Government to raise $1 billion more than the $3 billion it announced.

DMO said “This exceptional performance has been described as, “one of the biggest financial trades to come out of Africa in 2021” and “an excellent outcome”.

Bids were received from investors in Europe, America, Asia and several local investors. The statement noted that the quality of investors and the size of the Order Book demonstrated confidence in Nigeria.

The Eurobonds were issued in three tranches, details, namely seven years–,$1.25 billion at 6.125 per cent per annum; 12 years -$1.5 billion at 7.375 per cent per annum as well as 30 years -$1.25 billion at 8.25 per annum.

The DMO explained that the long tenors of the Eurobonds and the spread across different maturities are well aligned with Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategy, 2020 –2023.

The Eurobonds were issued as part of the New External Borrowing stipulated in the 2021 Appropriation Act. DMO noted that the $4 billion will help finance projects state in the 2021 budget.

Nigeria’s total debt stood at $87.239 billion as at March 31, 2021. However, with the $4 billion new borrowing, the nation’s debt is now $91.239 billion. A serious concern for most Nigerians given the nation’s weak foreign revenue generation and rising cost of servicing the debt.

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CIBN Banking and Finance Conference 2021: Structural Transformation and Growth

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Coronation Merchant Bank - Investors King

Today we highlight one of the sessions, ‘Economic Recovery’, at the recently concluded CIBN Banking and Finance conference. This was a hybrid event in Abuja, Lagos and partially virtual last week. The Covid-19 disruptions have created demand and supply shocks in the global system while unlocking new opportunities for growth.

Given the pre-existing financing challenges and growing spending needs, many developing countries are in dire need of financial support. As a result of the pandemic, the financing gap for the sustainable development goals increased by 70% (over USD4.2bn). The speaker on this session, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group focused on structural transformation, technology, finance and sustainability.

Recent developments such as the allocation of the USD650bn in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) were highlighted during the session. Although the SDR offers improved liquidity into the system, Africa is set to receive only USD32.2bn (or 6.4% of the total amount). Therefore, it is important that the funds are channeled towards well-targeted sectors that can contribute to sustainable development.

The banking and finance sector plays a crucial role. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement offers an opportunity for the financial sector to work within a continental market of 1.2 billion people. According to Amina J. Mohammed, three main actions areas will reshape the financial sector and support stronger recovery.

The first, better customer engagement with a dynamic range of relevant products and services that go beyond bank-based financing mechanisms and offer innovative financial products tailored to specific needs of business ecosystems. Second, the adoption of new operating models to drive efficiency and inclusion. Third, a deliberate focus on enabling sustainable development investing.

Furthermore, Nigeria’s banking and finance industry is well positioned to drive specific UN sustainable development goals such as inclusive and affordable credit, especially for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The industry can also provide support towards climate change.

Technology also featured in the discussion points. Undoubtedly, technology is a catalyst for growth across economies and the pandemic has further exposed the deficit within the sector across developing countries. Investments in digital infrastructure need to be rapidly expanded and scaled up to boost socio-economic development.

The speaker commended the FGN’s efforts on its push towards sustainable economic recovery. Some policy and regulatory reforms highlighted include, regulation of fintechs and related services to strengthen payment systems and regulate data protection; the green bonds which Nigeria first issued in 2017 in support of green projects, including solar energy and the modernisation of the Nigerian stock exchange that has given rise to a new operational structure and leadership.

These are laudable steps. However, we note that there is still room for improvement. To achieve double-digit GDP growth and sustainable development, structural transformation should remain on the FGN’s priority list.

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