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Afreximbank Okays $1b for African Trade

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  • Afreximbank Okays $1b for African Trade

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has instituted a $1billion Agreement for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Adjustment Facility to enable countries adjust in an orderly manner to sudden tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who addressed the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State, announced a series of initiatives to support the implementation of AfCFTA, yesterday in Niamey, Niger.

“This facility will help countries to accelerate the ratification of the AfCFTA,” he said, telling the heads of state that, by starting the operational phase of the AfCFTA, “you have started a movement.”“You must not look back. This movement is now unstoppable.”

He added that, as part of its support for the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Bank had provided support to aid the work being done by the African Regional Standards Organisation and the AU in implementing the agreement. Oramah also said the Summit of the launch the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the first continent-wide payment digital system focused on facilitating payments for goods and services in intra-African trade in African currencies.

“Today we will launch the Africa-wide digital payment infrastructure – the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) – that we developed in collaboration with the African Union,” he said. “It is a platform that will domesticate, intra-regional payments, save the continent more than $5 billion in payment transaction costs per annum, formalise a significant proportion of the estimated $50 billion of informal intra-African trade, and above all, contribute in boosting intra-African trade.”

“Making cross-border payments easier, cheaper and safer is an obvious critical step in creating an Africa we want,” he concluded.

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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Buhari Doubles Npower Beneficiaries to 1 Million, Increase GEEP by 1 Million, School Feeding by 5 Million

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Sadiya Farouq

In an effort to speed up the process of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to double the number of Npower beneficiaries from the old 500,000 to 1 million.

The President also instructed the ministry to increase the number of beneficiaries of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) by another 1 million and expand the beneficiaries of the Home-Grown School Feeding by 5 million.

Sadiya Farouq, the Ministery disclosed this on Monday during a ministerial media briefing in Abuja.

She said: “In a bid to realise Mr. President’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years, the ministry places significant emphasis on youth empowerment by strategically ascertaining youth engagement as a foundational objective in implementing the following strategies: double the scope of the National Social Investment Programmes.

“Mr. President has graciously approved the expansion of all NSIP programmes. Such as increase of N-Power beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000, increase GEEP beneficiaries by 1,000,000 and increase of beneficiaries of Home-Grown School Feeding by 5,000,000.”

This was coming a few days after the ministry through the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria launched NEXIT for the Batch A and B exited Npower beneficiaries to apply for the apex bank job options. For a detailed breakdown of how to register for NEXIT, click here.

Speaking on the success of the National Social Register, the minister said around 3.7 million households comprising of more than 15.5 million individuals have been captured so far.

In championing Social Inclusion, deliberate efforts were made to capture vulnerable youth and groups which included Women, People with Special Needs, in the expansion of the National Social Register by one million households. Also, in the Economic Sustainability Plan, we have over 1,000,000 urban poor in the National Social Register.

“As of June 2020, 4.41 per cent of the total number of individuals captured in the National Social Register are recognised as persons with special needs. This comes to a total of 685,090 persons with special needs in the National Social Register.

“About 3.7 million households comprising of more than 15.5 million Individuals have been captured on the National Social Register. Of that number, over 2.8 million of the households which comprise of 13.5 million individuals are eligible for Conditional Cash Transfer. This numbers are spread across the 36 states and FCT. The numbers are further broken down to 7.6 million males and 7.9 million females as shown on the screen,” she said.

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Access Bank Seals Seplat Petroleum Headquarters Over Debt

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seplate to announce financial results on July 29, 2020

Access Bank Plc on Thursday sealed the building in which Seplat Corporate Headquarters is located at 16 A Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in connection to a loan Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc claimed were obtained by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited, a third party providing drilling services to Seplat.

In a statement quickly put out by Seplat, the company said while it understands that Cardinal Drilling has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank, Seplat is not a shareholder of Cardinal Drilling, nor has outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank.

The statement reads in part, “We understand that Cardinal Drilling has outstanding loan obligations to Access Bank. However, SEPLAT is neither a shareholder in Cardinal Drilling, nor has outstanding loan obligations or guarantees to Access Bank and did not at any time make any commitments or guarantees in respect of Cardinal Drilling’s loan obligations to Access Bank.

“SEPLAT strongly believes that there is no merit or justification for this action against it and has taken prompt legal action to vacate the court order pursuant to which the building was sealed. This action was taken by Access Bank without any prior notice to SEPLAT, as required under Nigerian law.

“SEPLAT will vigorously defend against this improper action to the full extent of the law and will seek all appropriate legal remedies.”

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COVID-19: Demand for Second Passport by High Net Worth Individuals Surges 50 Percent

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The number of high net worth individuals looking for a second international passport in order to improve their global access rose by 50 percent year-on-year, according to the latest statement from the deVere Group.

The group said national lockdowns, borders and travel restrictions have helped boost enquiries for second passports, citizenships and overseas residencies this year.

deVere Group, an independent financial advisory firm, that manages over 100,000 clients globally said demand for its residency and citizen service skyrocketed in this highly unusual year.

Most of the enquiries were from high net worth individuals from the U.S., India, South Africa, Russia, the Middle East and East Asia “who are seeking alternative options in Europe and the Commonwealth.”

According to Nigel Green, the Founder and CEO of deVere Group, “Previously, a second passport, citizenship or residency were regarded by many as the ultimate luxury item; a status symbol like yachts, supercars and original artwork.

“While this still remains the case, there’s also been a shift due to the pandemic.

“Now, second citizenship or overseas residency are increasingly becoming not just a ‘nice to have accessory’ but a ‘must have.’

“Whether it be for personal reasons, such as to remain with loved ones overseas or be able to visit them, or for business reasons, a growing number of people are seeking ways to secure their freedom of movement as they have faced travel restrictions which are, typically, based on citizenship.”

He continues: “The pandemic has served as a major catalyst for demand which skyrocketed this year. It has focused minds to secure that second passport or elite residency.

“However, the appeal for is broader than just the global Covid-19 crisis.

“Increasingly people prefer the concept of being a global citizen, rather than being solely tied to the country of their birth.

“They too value the many associated benefits including visa-free travel, world-class education, optimal healthcare, political and economic stability, reduced tax liabilities and wider business and career opportunities.”

However, nations have different criteria for granting citizenship, including time spent in the country, the ability to prove the legal source of funds and zero criminal records.

For instance, Portugal’s residency program requires just two weeks every two years of residency to gain the benefits, including the right to live, work, study and open a business there, as well as travel across the 26 countries of Europe’s Schengen area.

“More and more nations are running citizenship-by-investment programs, in which applicants invest an amount of money in a sponsoring country typically in high-end, new-build real estate developments in exchange for permanent residency, citizenship, or both,” affirms James Minns, deVere’s Head of Residency & Citizenship.

“These programmes, which high-net-worth individuals regard as invaluable insurance, are typically based on property investments that start from 250,000 EUR.”

Nigel Green concludes: “These highly unusual times have fuelled the surge in demand for second passports.

“The pandemic has brought into sharp focus what really matters to people: family, freedom and security.”

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