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Economy

Nigeria Has N1tn Financing Gap Yearly ― BoI

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  • Nigeria Has N1tn Financing Gap Yearly ― BoI

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, has said there exists a financing gap of about N1tn in the country every year.

Pitan, while speaking at the Economic and Business Conference organised by Rand Merchant Bank in Lagos on Tuesday, noted that the BoI had invested over N20bn in the creative industry.

The conference was themed: ‘Unlocking the real sector growth to drive sustainable economic development.’

According to Pitan , BoI is the biggest financier of the creative industry.

While calling on other banks to partner key players in various sectors of the economy, Pitan said most companies were thronging to the BoI to borrow money because commercial banks were making it hard for businesses to thrive due to their over 20 per cent (sometimes 30 per cent) interest rate on loans.

He said, “People are coming to the BoI to borrow because it makes more sense to them. The BoI gives loans at 10 per cent interest rate; if we have an inflation of 11 per cent and loans are given out at 10 per cent, it means that the lending has been subsidised.

“The country has about N1tn funding gap every year. We want to help, but we have challenges with coming up with the funds people want. That is why we are calling on other banks for support.”

The Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, Nigeria, Eme Lore, said the banking sector was not playing its expected role in the affairs of the economy.

She said there was a need to ensure more access to affordable funding by Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.

Lore stated that the IFC had partnered the government to launch new initiatives that would enable SMEs to use ideas as collateral for loans.

She added that legislation had also been made on credit bureaux to ensure that a lot of credit information was accessible.

She said, “Achieving real sector growth is a process; it will not happen like that. We need to introduce more initiatives to support real sector growth and attract foreign investment into the country.

“Investors have a lot of space to invest in Nigeria but are looking for the right environment. We need to work on our exchange rate environment, power sector reform agenda and the petroleum subsidy.”

According to Lore, a lot of people are taking advantage of the petroleum subsidy and the real people are not benefitting from it.

She stated that tackling all the items would increase foreign direct investment, adding that “We do not collect enough revenue in Nigeria as 60 per cent of oil revenue is paid out as interest on borrowings.”

Lore said those were the things long-term investors looked out for.

The Chief Executive Officer, RMB Nigeria, Mr Michael Larbie, said it was important for banks to understand the various sectors and clients properly.

He said, “At RMB, we try to take time to understand our clients, their needs and their growth trajectories. We need a lot more financing and lesser costs of production. We must find a way to generate more power so that the costs of manufacturing can reduce.”

The Chairman, Africa Industries Group, Mr Raj Gupta, said banks needed to get involved in understanding people’s businesses and getting experts to do analyses for them if necessary.

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.

Economy

India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS

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India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.

However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.

It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.

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Economy

Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy

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The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.

Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.

The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.

According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.

Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.

The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.

He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.

‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”

Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.

Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.

‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.

Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.

Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.

The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.

Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.

According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.

The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.

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Economy

France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership

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France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.

Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.

A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”

It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.

It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”

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