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Govt Releases N37bn COVID-19 Survival Fund

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Nigeria Youth Investment Fund

Govt Releases N37bn COVID-19 Survival Fund

The Federal Government has so far released N37bn (Survival Fund) as part of the implementation of its Economic Sustainability Plan aimed at cushioning the negative impact of COVID-19 on Nigerians.

The fund covers schemes such as N50,000 Payroll Support for three months to over 300,000 beneficiaries; one-time grants of N30,000 to about 100,000 artisans, and 100,000 business name registrations paid for by the Federal Government.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Monday titled ‘Millions of Nigerians impacted by ESP/COVID-19 stimulus packages’.

Akande said the release of N37bn was part of the reports presented by ministers and heads of government agencies at a meeting of the Economic Sustainability Committee presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.

“Highlights of the reports presented to the Committee include the release of N37bn for the Survival Fund covering such schemes like N50,000 Payroll Support for three months to over 300,000 beneficiaries, one-time grants of N30,000 to about 100,000 artisans, and 100,000 business name registrations paid for by the Federal Government,” the statement read in part.

Akande said while the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, reported the progress of the Survival Fund to the committee, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also reported on the bank’s intervention including disbursement of over N192bn for household/MSMEs grants to 426,000 beneficiaries across the country, with plans to do over N100bn more in that category named Targeted Credit Facility.

The presidential aide further quoted Emefiele as saying that under the collateral-free Agric-Business/Small & Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, there were ongoing grants of concessionary loans from between N150,000 to N2.5m.

He disclosed that over N106bn had been disbursed so far to over 27,000 beneficiaries in that category.

The statement added, “In the agric sector, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, also reported that under the ESP, a total of 5.4 million farmers have now been enumerated to get the support under the plan.

“He added that for the enumeration which involved geospatial tagging, almost 73,000 N-Power volunteers were trained and 30,000 of them deployed to 774 local government areas.

“For the purposes of funding through the CBN, the minister disclosed that 2.9 million of the farmers have had their BVN enrolment validated.

“Also, the clearing of 3,200 hectares of land for farming is ongoing in several states including Edo, Plateau, Ekiti, Cross River, Ogun, Kaduna, Kwara, and Osun States while rural road constructions have reached about 28 per cent completion covering 344km, linking about 500 markets across the country.”

Akande also quoted the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, as briefing the committee that broadband.

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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Tesla’s Valuation Crosses $1 Trillion Mark After Hertz Orders 100,000 Vehicles

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Tesla Model 3 - Investors King

Price of Tesla stock rose by $115.18 or 12.66 percent on Monday after Hertz, an American car rental company based in Estero, Florida, ordered 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles in a deal worth $4.2 billion.

Four months after surviving bankruptcy, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is strategically moving away from fuel cars to electrify its rental-car fleet.

According to Hertz, customers will be able to order Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe starting from early November.

The announcement bolstered Tesla’s market value above $1.03 trillion before it moderated to $1.01 trillion at the close of business on Monday.

Tesla’s valuation has risen at an unusual pace since the COVID-19 outbreak. The company’s valuation jumped from $100 billion to $1 trillion in less than two years, according to data available on Dow Jones. It took Amazon, Apple and others more years to attain the same status. To put it in perspective, it took Amazon more than eight years to move from a $100 billion valuation company to $1 trillion.

Despite analysts saying Tesla is extremely overvalued and a series of price adjustments post-COVID-19 are predicted, Tesla Inc and Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and Co-founder, seem not to be slowing down.

Musk’s Tesla holdings, including vested and unvested options, were valued at around $297 billion as of Monday, October 25, 2021, according to corporate-governance data company Equilar Inc. Elon Musk’s holdings in Tesla is more than the valuation of Toyota Motor Corp., the second-largest automaker by market capitalization.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited Merge to Deepen Presence in Zambia

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Access bank

Access Bank Plc on Monday announced it has signed a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Limited on a proposed merger between Access Bank’s subsidiary in Zambia, Access bank Zambia Limited and African Banking Corporation (Atlas Mara Zambia).

Upon completion of this prospective transaction, the Bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, approximately US$1 billion in total assets and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.

The transaction will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the Bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020. The proposed transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfillment of conditions precedent including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of the Bank said, “This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives. The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.

“We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the Bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.”

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Merger and Acquisition

Verdant Capital Advises Baxi, a Leading Super-agent in Nigeria, on its Sale to MFS Africa

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Edmund Higenbottam, MD of Verdant Capital - Investorsking.com

MFS Africa is acquiring Baxi to expand its network into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most fintech dynamic market. Nigeria is also the largest remittance market in Africa representing one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, and is home to the largest number of SMEs.

Verdant Capital views the two businesses as highly complimentary:  Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub. The transaction further extends Verdant Capital’s track-record of advising on transactions shaping the fintech sector in Africa.

The sale of Baxi is Verdant Capital’s fifth successful fintech transaction of the year, having advised Retail Capital, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in South Africa on a USD 10 million capital raise; Zeepay, a leading pan-African digital remittance and mobile payments business on its USD 8 million Series-A and on its acquisition of Mangwee in Zambia; and Tugende, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in East Africa on its USD 10 million Series-A.  The transactions cover West, East and South Africa.  In part because of its successful track-record in transactions in the fintech sector, as well as because of its leading private equity franchise, Verdant Capital was named the best independent advisor of the year, pan-Africa, by Africa Global Funds, for the second year running in October 2021.

Founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, Baxi is one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. Baxi provides a comprehensive range of services to the last mile including cash-in/cash-out, account opening, money transfer and bill payment. Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi processed over USD 1 billion in transactions in the first nine months of 2021.  Following the close of the transaction, MFS Africa plans to build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria. MFS Africa also intends to expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.

Strong agent networks are the crucial interface for fintechs to reach Nigeria’s circa 100 million financially unserved or underserved population. Supporting and nurturing SMEs is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as they contribute 50% of Gross Domestic Product and provide 76% of jobs (source:  Federal Ministry of Information and Culture).  With its presence in all 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing informal SMEs and other unbanked Nigerians access to financial services.  Verdant Capital is proud to support the leading businesses that support SMEs across the Continent.

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