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.
Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year
Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.
The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.
In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.
Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.
However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.
Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.
He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.
Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.
The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.
South African Billionaire Christo Wiese Predicts Return of Major Players to Nigeria Despite Recent Exodus
South African billionaire Christo Wiese remains optimistic about Nigeria’s economic prospects, predicting the eventual return of major players despite a recent exodus from the West African nation.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Wiese explained that it is impossible to ignore Nigeria’s large and growing population, “how do you ignore an economy like this?”
Wiese, the former chairman of Shoprite Holdings Ltd., acknowledges the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, where recent currency woes and policy missteps have contributed to an exodus of international companies.
Procter & Gamble Co. and Shoprite are among the global conglomerates that have announced their departure from Africa’s most populous nation.
However, Wiese sees the recent exits as temporary setbacks rather than a long-term trend. He believes that the allure of Nigeria’s vast consumer market and its economic potential will eventually draw major players back.
Despite the current uncertainty, Wiese remains confident in Nigeria’s future, emphasizing the need for governments to adopt correct policies and for investors to exercise patience.
While acknowledging Nigeria’s single-commodity economy vulnerabilities, Wiese highlights the resilience of the nation’s economy and its potential for growth and development.
He suggests that foreign investors, including South African ones, are adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating a time when the economy stabilizes and favorable policies are in place.
Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.
In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.
Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.
He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.
Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.
In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.
Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.
Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.
In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.
The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.
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