- FG, World Bank Meet Over $1bn Power Sector Loan
The Federal Government has met with the World Bank over a proposed $1bn loan for the country’s ailing power sector.
The Minister of Finance, Ms Zainab Ahmed, who led the Nigerian team to the meeting with the World Bank Power Sector team, said the raison d’être of the high-level meeting was to discuss the way forward on the proposed $1bn Nigeria Performance- Based Loan.
Ahmed disclosed this on Sunday during the ministerial press briefing at the 2019 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC. The Minister of Budget & National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo- Udoma and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele also attended the briefing which held at the World Bank headquarters.
She said, “We met with the World Bank Power Sector team and discussed the way forward on the proposed $1bn Nigeria Performance -Based Loan. We agreed to bring relevant MDAs together to ensure that we advance this operation in a timely manner.
“We will also discuss the country portfolio performance of Nigeria which currently stands at $9.8bn with the Nigerian Country team at the World Bank and how we could manage the portfolio for optimum results.”
Five years after privatisation, the power sector’s narrative has not changed as the protracted challenges bedevilling the sector have yet to be completely addressed. Power generation plunged to 2,390.20 megawatts as of 6.00 am on October 29, 2018, as the number of idle power plants rose from seven to 15. It dropped to 3,456MW on February 24, 2019, as 1,108MW were lost in seven days.
In spite of the claim by generation companies that generation capacity has improved, the actual available power in the country has fluctuated between 2,500MW and 3,500MW to the chagrin of Nigerians who want stable electricity supply. In view of this, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, had recently urged the Federal Government to revisit the privatisation of the power sector, noting that the country could not afford to be too legalistic about it.
Explaining Nigeria’s activities in the area of climate finance, the finance minister revealed that the country would later this year issue N15bn green bond, having successfully raised N10.92bn in December 2018.
She said, “In view of our efforts as finance ministers who play a key role in steering the economy and managing risks, including from climate change, climate finance, we were invited to join the coalition of climate Finance Ministers, a coalition of Finance Ministers with long experience with climate actions and are well aligned with the principles of the coalition.
“Nigeria endorsed the coalition principles as one of the founding members. Recall, we were the first SSA country to issue a green bond in December (N10.97bn) for the financing of solar and we are currently in the process of issuing a second green bond N15bn later this year to finance various sectors in agriculture, power, health and water resources.”
The minister said her delegation also met with the Director, Africa Department of IMF where the IMF was updated on not only developments in the Nigerian economy but also government’s commitment to fully implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The IMF also promised to assist us in the area of liquidity management and share lessons and experiences on countries where the energy subsidies were successfully managed,” she added.
Also, on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings, the minister and the CBN governor held a bilateral meeting with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands to discuss how Nigeria had fared in the areas of financial inclusion.
“As you are aware, Queen Maxima is the UN Secretary-General Special Advocate leading global advocacy efforts to advance financial inclusion, opening a path to empowerment for all. Following her last visit to Nigeria, she wanted to know what progress has been made in the area of Financial Inclusion and how she could be of help.”
Ahmed said the Dutch royalty was duly informed about various social initiatives of the Federal Government.
FG Borrows N2.36 Trillion from Capital Market in 2020
Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, said the Federal Government borrowed N2.36 trillion from the nation’s capital market in 2020.
The CEO disclosed this at the 2020 market recap/2021 outlook held on Tuesday.
He said the Federal Government issuances account for 92 percent of the total bond issued in the market in the year.
Onyema further explained that corporate organisations leveraged on low yield environment to expand and embark on debt refinancing, raising a total of N192 billion,
“Capital-raising activities in the fixed income market increased significantly in 2020. The NSE’s bond market capitalisation rose by 35.52 per cent from N12.92tn in 2019 to N17.50tn,” he said.
Onyema noted that “The year 2020 was indeed a historic one for global capital markets. Facing buffeting headwinds, world markets saw sharp swings and steep losses, but largely remained resilient and orderly amid rising uncertainty.
“For The Exchange, renewed investor optimism coupled with improved economic conditions and low fixed income yields, propelled a year end bull run. Of 93 global equity indices tracked by Bloomberg, the NSE All Share Index emerged the best-performing index in the world, surpassing the S&P 500 (+16.26 per cent), Dow Jones Industrial Index (+7.25 per cent) and other global and African market indexes, to post a one-year return of +50.03 per cent.”
Speaking on product results for the year, the CEO said, “The Nigerian equities market got off to a strong start in 2020, returning 10.4 per cent by the eighth trading session. By October, the equities market entered a much-awaited bull run.
“Buoyed by the formal declaration of the US president-elect, unattractive fixed income yields and better-than-expected corporate earnings, the NSE ASI recovered from Q1’20, to close the year at 40,270.72 (+50.03 per cent) and erase losses of -14.90 per cent recorded in 2019.
“During its remarkable year end run, the ASI gained 6.23 per cent in a single trading session which triggered a 30-minute halt of trading on all stocks for the first time since the NSE Circuit Breaker was introduced in 2016 to safeguard market integrity in periods of extraordinary volatility.
“At the close of the year, the NSE’s equity market capitalisation was up by 62.42 per cent, from N12.97tn in 2019 to N21.06tn in 2020 while market turnover saw an uptick of 7.25 per cent, from N0.96tn in 2019 to N1.03Tn in 2020.
“Although Initial Public Offering activity was mute, the value of supplementary issues increased dramatically from 2019, rising by 851.37 per cent to N1.42tn, from N148.77bn.
“Also noteworthy is that for the second consecutive year, equity market transactions were dominated by domestic investors who accounted for 65.28 per cent of market turnover by value (retail: 44.98 per cent; institutional: 55.02 per cent) while foreign portfolio investors accounted for 34.72 per cent.”
Airtel to Announce Financial Results for Nine Months Ended December 31, 2020 on 29 January 2021
Airtel Africa, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa, on Wednesday announced it will report its financial statements for the nine months ended December 31, 2020 on January 29, 2021.
The telecom giant disclosed in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary.
The statement reads “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, will announce its results for the nine months to 31 December 2020 on 29 January 2021.
“Management will host a conference call on the day of results for analysts and investors at 2:00pm GMT.
“Participants are requested to pre-register for the call by navigating to:
“Once registered, participants will receive a calendar invitation with the dial in details for the call.”
Global Credit Rating Affirms Sovereign Trust Insurance A Rating
Global Credit Rating, an international rating agency based in South Africa, has affirmed Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc A rating in its latest report released for the month of December 2020.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Global Credit Rating noted “that the Company has shown a great deal of consistency in her claims paying obligations to her numerous customers spread all over the country.
The Report further stated that “the listing of the Rights Issue in 2019 helped in increasing the Shareholders’ funds of the Company by 33.8%, to N7.8b by the end of the Financial year in 2019 as against the figure of N5.8b in 2018.
“Subsequently, by the third quarter of 2020, the Shareholders’ funds had increased to N8.2b which also translated to a 31% increase in the corresponding period of 2019 with a figure of N6.3b. In the Rating Agency’s opinion, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is strong in liquidity with more than adequate claims coverage that compares well to industry averages.
“The capital adequacy of the Underwriting Firm is considered strong according to the rating report and this is underpinned by the sizeable capital base catering for the quantum of insurance and market risks assumed. In this regard, the ratio of Shareholders’ funds to NEP, (Net Earned Premium) improved to 189.2% in the Q3 of 2020 as against 130.9% in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
In terms of peer-to-peer performance comparison, “Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc did very well when compared with other selected insurers in terms of Capital, Total Assets, Gross Premium Income (GPI) and Net Premium Income (NPI).”
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