As the world emerges from COVID-19, there is renewed impetus to tackle climate change. Ahead of COP26, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva joined U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to discuss how to turn climate ambitions into action while creating vibrant and inclusive opportunities as part of the transition to the new climate economy as part of IMF and World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings.
“Climate change is a growing risk to macroeconomic stability and to financial stability. But also with the same token climate action, investment in clean technologies and in climate resilience generate green growth and green jobs. This is what the IMF is all about. Stability, employment, growth. And this is why climate is now in the DNA of our institution, at the heart of our work, as we engage in policy discussions with our members. We look at how they can have more successful mitigation and adaptation strategies. As we look at financial stability, we measure climate related financial stability risks and we act on data because good data make good policy,” said Georgieva.
Secretary Kerry shed a light on the new opportunities for jobs and growth a new climate economy would create
“It’s pretty basic economics. The fact is that there is incredible job opportunity, the creation of new jobs in the investments that need to be made in order to deal with the climate crisis. Let me give you an example. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States says there are three jobs that will grow more than 50 percent over the next year. Number one is wind turbine technician. Number two is nurse practitioner; we know why that’s happening. And number three, a solar panel installer. It’s happening now. The market is already moving. It’s moving away from coal. It’s moving to renewables to alternative sustainable energy,” said Kerry
Managing Director Georgieva stressed on the ways in which the IMF can direct membership countries towards a greener future through Programs especially set for vulnerable countries to help them step up through good policies and fiscal space to make sound investments.
“It is hugely important that we recognize dealing with the climate crisis means mitigating, bringing emissions down, but also adapting. We need to walk and chew gum at the same time. And unfortunately, you’re so right, many countries that have done very little to nothing to create this problem are suffering the consequences. This is why it is paramount for the wealthy world to deliver on the promise of a hundred billion dollars a year between now and 2030 to help the developing world accelerate the transition to low carbon, but also adapt. And for us at the IMF, what it means is that we look at ways in which we can help these countries. And in fact, our preoccupation is with adaptation strategies. What can be done for countries to have the financial buffers so when they are hit by shock, they can act and have the means to invest in resilience,” said Georgieva.
She also added that the COVID-19 crisis is proof to how vulnerable the world is to shocks and that collaborative efforts is our way out to a more resilient world.
“We have seen in this pandemic that we are vulnerable to shocks and what is ahead of us is a more shock prone world. To build resilience to the shocks, we ought to invest in people, so they are healthy, educated, protected in tough times and resilient. We have to invest in nature. So, nature is resilient. And of course, we have to continue to invest in the resilience of our economy. I think that the pandemic has put an earring on our ear and it is don’t joke with nature. It also told us we are in this together. We have to work together to get to a more resilient world,” said Georgieva.
Wema Bank, MOD Launch Scheme For International Students
Wema Bank has launched an advisory and loan scheme, the Education Advisory Service, in partnership with MOD Education for young Nigerians wishing to study abroad.
Following foreign exchange control measures introduced by the government, parents and guardians have experienced difficulties paying tuition fees for their children and wards studying abroad. Some who have the money don’t know the requirements for foreign admission and waste lots of time and resources in fruitless searches.
But to help them surmount these challenges, Wema Bank has partnered with MOD Education, a professional student advisory, marketing, recruitment and placement company for the advisory services and school fees advance facility. The partnership, which was launched on Friday, April 9 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, will see both organizations providing innovative education advisory services and funds for international students.
Speaking about the partnership, Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank, Dotun Ifebogun, explained that the initiative would aid hundreds of thousands of Nigerians requiring advisory and financial support to pay for their wards in foreign schools.
He explained that Wema Bank does not want the aspirations of Nigerians desirous of foreign education truncated, hence the support.
“We are interested in everything that concerns our customers, and education is one of them. Some parents and guardians desire a certain quality of education for their wards outside the shores of Nigeria, and we would be able to assist them with this product. Our school fees advance loan results from the requests of parents and guardians who need to get short term financial support to meet the tuition obligation of their wards irrespective of the constant increase in fees.
“There’s nothing as heartbreaking as withdrawing a child already in a foreign university or being unable to raise the requisite forex for a child offered admission in a top-rated foreign institution of higher learning. But our school fees advance loan will take care of this problem and help secure the futures of such students – both undergraduates and postgraduates. The fact that you get counsel from the right sources at any particular time is another benefit of this product.
Also, the Managing Director, MOD Education, Michael Dosunmu, expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the partnership. “Wema Bank has been supportive to us as a business and it was just a natural marriage. We trust the bank enough to bank with them, and our trust is enough to recommend it to others.”
NAIC Pays N1.7bn Claims to Farmers
The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) said it paid a total of N1.7 billion claims to over 5,000 farmers in the past two years.
NAIC, which is the only federal government owned insurance company authorised to offer agric insurance services to farmers at subsidised rate, said a breakdown of the paid claims showed that it paid N856 million to insured farmers in 2019 and N848 million in 2020.
Commenting on the development, NAIC Managing Director, Mrs. Folashade Joseph, said the claims were paid to the farmers to cover losses incurred in the course of doing business.
Joseph, enjoined agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner NAIC by taking agricultural insurance cover that will enable them remain firm in business despite unforeseen circumstances from weather conditions and other risks in order to realise the food security agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said the above-mentioned amount was shared among five million farmers who suffered various setbacks in their farms as a result of natural course.
According to her, the NAIC Agric Insurance Scheme was launched in 1987 by federal government to restore the confidence and productivity of Nigerian farmers who suffered losses as a result of natural disaster such as flood, drought, pest and diseases.
The NAIC boss explained that the essence of the sensitisation campaign embarked by the corporation was to let the farmers know and understand exactly what NAIC does, the importance of insurance, and make them understand how insurance works, how they can access NAIC products and services, how to process their claims, as well as what insurance stands to do for them.
“Agribusiness is evolving fast and so many risks are being thrown up, many new participants are coming into the business of agriculture, and the risks are on the increase if you look at them across the value chain, there is no so many participants so we need to keep sensitising the farmers and let them know we are serving them, and we need to know from them how to serve them,” she explained.
Speaking further, she said, “our assurance to farmers is that when they are insured and they suffer losses covered by any of the policies they purchased, including natural disasters and whatever, they will get paid for their losses, and that is the purpose of insurance and setting up NAIC.
“Our motor is ‘Plowing the Farmer Back to Business, Plowing the Farmers into Prosperity’, and we settle claims.”
She said NAIC currently deals with thousands of farmers (Small, Medium, and Large scale farmers) across the country, adding that the corporation serves farmers with investment as little as N100, 000, and at the same time serves multinational farmers.
UBA Organises Capacity Building Forum
As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in the continent, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organise the next edition of its UBA Business Series.
The UBA Business Series which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape.
Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving, a statement from the bank explained.
The topic for the next edition of the series is, “Managing Performance for Business Growth,” and it will be held today, via Microsoft Teams.
At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth.
Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company. She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, – a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond.
UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, “with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth.”
He emphasised UBA’s commitment and deep passion for small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy adding, “We know small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2 per cent of all businesses. This no doubt captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”
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