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World Bank Rejects Debt Cancellation for Africa

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world bank - Investors King

The World Bank Group yesterday rejected request by African heads of state for cancellation of their countries’ debts, saying the world has moved past that line of action.

World Bank Group President, David Malpass said, who disclosed this yesterday during a media roundtable for western and central Africa, said one of the themes of the Paris Conference two days ago, on Tuesday, was the call by African heads of state for cancellation of debts, but that’s not the direction that the world is moving at this point.

Nigeria has the largest World Bank portfolio of more than $12 billion. Those are programmes under implementation covering a variety of sectors, access to electricity, water, education, health, agriculture.

The World Bank says it has this year, delivered about $2 billion for Nigeria in order to help the population have access to critical services but also to support governments and institutions to provide some technical assistance to a variety of stakeholders.

Malpass said over the last 10 years, the World Bank Group has invested over $200 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa and would be investing another $150 billion in Africa in the next five years to support the continent’s recovery.

He said that comprehensive debt solutions, involve debt suspension, debt reduction, the resolution of debt and debt transparency.

He said a permanent solution is necessary for the overhang of debt stocks for countries that have unsustainable debt levels.

He said the World Bank is working closely with the International Money Fund (IMF) to try to implement the G-20 common framework for debt reduction.

“The success of that hinges on full participation by the private sector, and also improvements in debt transparency. The full private sector participation is an essential part of any path to lasting debt sustainability,” he said.

Malpass said the private creditors need to recognise that a successful debt restructuring is a beneficial outcome for all parties involved.

He said the World Bank and the countries of Africa are working to try to have a stable and thriving economic growth prospect for the people of Africa and the business opportunities that are available there.

Malpass said Nigeria has huge potential, and with some of the improvements in the economic policies, the growth can be rapid for people across Nigeria.

“We’ve encouraged efforts that would reduce the subsidies for fossil fuels, that would encourage trade across borders, where Nigeria could be doing more in that area.”

And very importantly, the multiple exchange rates has been a burden on the people of Nigeria, and we’ve encouraged the elimination of the official rates and the unification of rates so that money and investment and remittances can flow in and out of Nigeria with less friction,” he said.

“So, our programme remains strongly supportive of the people of Nigeria and of Nigeria,” he added.

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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Finance

FG to Earn N462 Billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levy in 2021 – World Bank

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Money Transfer - Investors King

The World Bank has said the Federal Government of Nigeria will earn an estimated N462 billion from electronic money transfer levy in 2021.

The leading multilateral financial institution disclosed in its ‘Resilience through Reforms’ report.

The Federal Government had introduced a levy on electronic money transfer in the Finance Act 2020 to take advantage of the growing electronic transfer in the country and up revenue generation.

The electronic money transfer levy is a single one-off charge of N50 on electronic fund transfer in any deposit money bank or financial institution on any type of account on sums of N10,000 or more.

Akpan Ekpo, the Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, who spoke in a telephone interview voiced his concerns on the levy.

He said, “The levy is remitted to the government, which is fine. But I think the savers, the people who use the transfer channels, are over-levied. You pay maintenance fee, transfer fee, and I think if this level of levying continues, it will discourage people from using electronic channels.

“Personally, I think the EMT levy should be out of the Finance Act. There is too much burden on the citizens, although the government is making great money from it. Let us hope they use the money wisely, but it shouldn’t have been put there in the first place.

“It is a law now; there is nothing that can be done about it. But I hope it is used wisely, and they would be transparent about how the money is being used.”

Akpan said the EMT levy would discourage individuals outside the formal banking net.

He said, “With the EMT levy, more people are discouraged from using the banks and its services. A lot of Nigerians sell in rural areas, and are outside the financial system net.

“With the EMT, more people are further excluded. There really was no need to introduce the EMT; it will discourage those who are not already in the formal banking sector from even coming into it. It is likely to further deepen the financial exclusion of many Nigerians.”

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Banking Sector

Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government

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Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.

The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.

Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.

Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.

According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.

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Insurance

Airtel Partners AXA Mansard, Unveils Mobile Health Insurance via USSD

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AXA Mansard USSD Code-Investors King

Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard, have entered a strategic partnership to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.

The partnership by Airtel and AXA Mansard is in response to the Federal Government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.

By dialing the shortcode, *987*7#, Airtel customers can now conveniently enroll for affordable and robust health insurance plans from AXA Mansard, with access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.

Commenting on Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard on the Mobile Health Insurance, the Head Mobile Financial Services, Airtel Nigeria, Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said the mobile health insurance initiative demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to providing innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings.

“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians. With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector.”

Speaking about the Mobile Health Insurance initiative, the Head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr. Alfred Egbai, stated that “our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low”.

He continued, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.”

Malaria Cover, Inpatient, Outpatient, Specialist medical consultations, Immunizations, Family planning, Ambulance services, Dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.

“The challenges to the implementation of health insurance schemes hitherto include a low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models.

“The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable Health Insurance Scheme,” he said

Airtel Nigeria, as a socially responsible organization, will continue to partner with industry leaders to bring products and services that will touch the lives of its subscribers in very positive ways.

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