Mauritania: African Development Bank Extends $2.1m for Rollout of Disaster Risk Financing
The African Development Bank’s Board on Wednesday approved a grant of $2.1 million to boost the country’s resilience against climate related shocks and food insecurity. The funds, sourced from the African Development Fund, will go to provide technical and institutional support to strengthen Mauritania’s capacity to assess climate-related risk.
The Bank is extending the funding under its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRIFI) program to enable the country to take out a drought risk index-based insurance policy that is expected to cushion Mauritania’s economy against the impacts of drought-related shocks, at a moment when the country is also reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The African Development Bank is pleased that ADRiFi Mauritania will provide efficient and timely first-response delivery to targeted beneficiaries in communities that will be affected by disasters, and will strengthen resilience to drought-linked disasters in Mauritania,” said Atsuko Toda, Bank Director for Agriculture, Finance and Rural Development.
Mauritania, a Saharan-Sahelian country, experiences irregular rainfall pattern and repeated drought, which has a profound effect on food production and incomes. In 2017, 28% of the total population were food insecure.
The project will have three components: development of climate risk management solutions; supporting access to disaster risk transfer mechanisms; and programme management and coordination.
Advancing climate risk management solutions will be done in two ways: building in-country capacity to understand drought risk and implement contingency plans; and collecting more precise agro-climatic data for use in calibration of index-based insurance. Technical staff and policymakers will receive capacity building training that will help the country model its drought-related disaster risk more effectively.
Under component two, ADRIFI will provide funding for payment of 50% of the insurance policy premium for years 2020 and 2021 as well as support resource mobilization to establish a food crisis response mechanism.
The final component concerns overall coordination and monitoring of activities which will be carried out by the country’s Food Security Commission (CSA).
Mauritania’s risk insurance policy will be held by African Risk Capacity agency, a partner of the Bank on the ADRiFi programme.
ADRIFI in addition to providing African countries assistance in paying risk premiums, enhances the management of natural disaster risk by strengthening national capacities. Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Gambia have ADRiFi programmes.
ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialized Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacity to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies, as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.
Nigerians to Start Receiving Remittance Inflows in Foreign Currency Today
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday announced that all arrangements have been perfected by both the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) and the Deposit Money Banks to start paying diaspora remittances in foreign currency (US Dollar).
In a statement issued by the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said the institution has engaged both the commercial banks and the IMTOs to ensure that Nigerians start receiving remittance inflows in foreign currency today.
The statement reads in part, “Following the announcement of these new policy measures, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in an effort to enable smooth implementation, engaged with the commercial banks and the IMTOs to ensure that recipients of remittance inflows are able to receive their funds in the designated foreign currency of their choice.
“As a result of these engagements which took place with major IMTOs and the DMBs, today, Thursday, December 3, 2020, the stakeholders have committed that they would deploy all the necessary tools to ensure that these measures become effective from Friday, December 4, 2020.”
Emefiele added that “I, therefore, seize this opportunity to announce to Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora, that the policy of recipients receiving their monies from abroad kicks off on December 4, 2020. All the IT systems of these IMTOs (Western Union, Moneygram and Ria services) and the DMBs have been properly configured to begin remittance tomorrow, Friday, December 4, 2020.”
Ecobank Profit After Tax Declined by 298 Percent in Q3, 2020
Ecobank, whose official name is Ecobank Transnational Inc., reported a 298 percent declined in profit after tax for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.
In the unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the leading lender’s profit after tax declined from N19.347 billion profit posted in the same quarter of 2019 to -N38.250 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Representing a decline of 298 percent.
Similarly, profit before tax dipped by 182 percent from N36.052 billion filed in the corresponding quarter to -N38.250 billion in the quarter under the review.
However, net interest income rose by 45 percent from N64.563 billion in 2019 to N93.621 billion in 2020. But the 163 percent plunged in other operating income from N77.939 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to -N4.505 billion in the quarter under review weighed on non-interest revenue by 1 percent to N77.229 billion.
Similarly, operating expenses rose by 12 percent to N106.321 billion, up from N94.526 billion. Net monetary loss arising from hyperinflationary economy rose from zero in the third quarter of 2019 to N8.817 billion in Q3 2020 with Goodwill impairment hitting N60.584 billion from zero in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
This, coupled with N8.762 billion tax dragged profit before tax to -N29.635 billion in the third quarter.
First Bank, GTBank, UBA, Others Generate N133.92 Billion from Electronic Payment in Nine Months
Rising investment in financial technologies and the growing adoption of electronic payments have earned 12 Nigerian banks a total sum of N133.92 billion in the first nine months of the year.
Billions spent in ensuring that bank customers have access to their funds and can perform financial transactions 24 hours a day paid off during the COVID-19 lockdown as many customers were able to maintain social distancing by carrying out financial transactions on numerous digital platforms.
Some of the electronic platforms banks generated revenue from in the first nine months were Automated Teller Machine transactions, USSD, online transfer, electronic bills payments, Remita, Point of Sale payments and agency banking, among others.
While some of the twelve banks were Access Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.
The other five were Jaiz Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Plc.
A breakdown of the banks’ unaudited financial statements showed Access Bank’s revenue from electronic payments rose by 105 percent to N38.80 billion in the period under review, up from N18.96 billion posted in the same period of 2019.
First Bank’s electronic payment revenue stood at N34.59 billion, representing an increase of 0.5 percent over the N34.42 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
Similarly, fees and commissions FCMB earned from digital payments in the first nine months amounted to N6.62 billion, a 17 percent contraction from the N7.98 billion earned in the same period of 2019.
Jaiz Bank posted a 24 percent contraction on its electronic payment earnings from N406.65 million in 2019 to N309.55 million in the same period in 2020.
Also, Stanbic IBTC’s electronic earnings dropped by 15 percent from N2.49 billion posted in 2019 to N2.12 billion in 2020.
Fidelity Bank’s e-payments revenue contracted by 34 percent in the first nine months of the year to N1.74 billion, down from N2.63 billion in 2019. While GTBank posted a 26 percent decline in electronic banking income to N8.21 billion in the period under review, below N11.04 billion earned in the same period of 2019.
Union Bank Plc realised N5.34 billion from electronic payments charges in the first three quarters of the year. Meaning, the bank’s electronic payments decline by 5 percent to N5.6 billion.
For Sterling Bank Plc, electronic products earned the bank N4.31 billion in the very first nine months of 2020, again a reduction of 16 percent from N5.11 billion posted in the same period of 2019.
UBA Plc, Unity Bank and Wema Bank Plc generated N26.71 billion, N1.74 billion and N2.02 billion from electronic payment income, respectively.
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