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African Development Bank COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform Reaches Financial Close for $20 Million SEFA Investment

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The African Development Bank has reached financial close on financing agreements for a $20 million concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP). The 5-year, $50 million blended finance initiative is designed to provide relief and recovery capital to energy access businesses, supporting them through and beyond the pandemic.

The concessional loan agreements were signed with fund managers Lion’s Head Global Partners, Triple Jump, and Social Investment Managers and Advisors, following approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank in December 2020 for a $20 million concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), to establish the platform.

“Lion’s Head is immensely grateful for the support from the AfDB, in particular the SEFA team and funders, for developing this innovative and catalytic co-investment instrument. African markets have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to lack of infrastructure, macro vulnerabilities especially in terms of currency and credit shocks and increasing global protectionism,” said Harry Guinness, Managing Director of the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, part of the wider Facility for Energy Inclusion.

“The COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform comes at a critical moment for early-stage energy access companies affected by COVID-19 and allows the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund to continue releasing flexible capital into the sector at a time when risk capital is increasingly scarce”, said Jan-Henrik Kuhlmann, Head of Sustainable Energy at Triple Jump.

The Platform supports businesses commercializing solar home systems, green mini-grids, clean cooking, and other renewable energy access solutions in mitigating the impacts of the pandemic and ensuring a robust commercial recovery of the industry.

Asad Mahmood, CEO and Managing Partner of Social Investment Managers and Advisors, said: “Many small businesses have suffered seriously during the COVID-19 crisis. The African Development Bank’s relief efforts are market-driven and flexible and will help to leverage existing funds to ultimately assist energy distribution business in Africa.”

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing the immense progress that has been achieved over the last decade in electrification through off-grid technologies across Africa. We are pleased that this initiative will increase resilience of the sector and look forward to working closely with our partners to safeguard energy access services and enable continued business expansion through and beyond the crisis,” said Joao Duarte Cunha, Division Manager for Renewable Energy at the African Development Bank.

Through this Platform and other renewable energy initiatives, the African Development Bank is committed to building a sustainable and more climate-resilient future by catalysing private investment in low carbon infrastructure as a means to create green jobs, diversify national energy sectors, accelerate green growth, and increase the climate resilience of rural communities.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

Nigeria’s External Debt Rises by N560 Billion on Weaker Naira

Nigeria’s total external debt has increased by N560.048 billion in the last eight months, according to the analysis done by Investors King.

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Nigeria’s total external debt has increased by N560.048 billion in the last eight months, according to the analysis done by Investors King.

Economic uncertainty amid chronic foreign exchange (forex) scarcity has plunged the Nigerian Naira from N414.11/US$1 recorded on 21st December 2021 to N428.122 as of August 4, 2022 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex Window, Nigeria’s official forex rate.

According to the latest Debt Management Office (DMO) report, Nigeria’s external debt stood at $39.969.19 billion as of March 31, 2022. A quick analysis revealed that $39.969.19 billion would have been N16.552 trillion in December 2021 if the nation’s exchange rate had remained at N414.11 to the U.S. Dollar.

However, because of the continuous decline in the value of the Nigerian Naira, the nation’s external debt now stood at N17.112 trillion, using the N428.122 exchange rate. This means the Nigerian nation has incurred a sum of N560.048 billion between December 21st, 2021 and August 4, 2022.

A breakdown of Nigeria’s external debt showed that Africa’s largest economy borrowed $18.957 billion or 47.43% of the total external debt from multilateral financial institutions, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group. 

While the bilateral loan from China, France, Japan, India and Germany accounted for $4.495 billion or 11.25%. Nigeria raised $15.918 billion or 39.83%.

The country raised $15.918 billion or 39.83% via bonds. Promissory notes constituted $597.75 million or 1.50%.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank’s Firstmonie Agents Processed Over N22 Trillion in Transaction Value

FirstMonie Agents have processed over N22 trillion in combined transaction value.

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FirstBank New Website - Investors King






Nigeria’s leading financial services provider, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited on Thursday said its fast-growing agent banking network, Firstmonie Agents, has collectively processed over N22 trillion in transaction value.

The lender, which announced a profit after tax of N53.3 billion in the first half of the year, said Firstmonie Agents processed transaction volume in excess of 1 billion across all its 180,000 agents that operate in 772 local governments.

In an effort to bring financial services to the unbanked and underbanked segment of the Nigerian society, Firstmonie Agents was the first banking network to operate in all the local government areas, except the two local governments enmeshed in insecurity.

Since its launch, FirstMonie Agent Banking has been providing convenient banking services to Nigerians previously cut off from the financial system, playing a pivotal role in deepening financial inclusion and empowering existing businesses within the communities to deliver these services.

Popularly called ‘Human ATM’, Firstmonie Agents are empowered to reduce the reliance on over-the-counter transactions while providing convenient personalized services. Amongst the services carried out by the Agents include; Account Opening, Cash Deposit, Airtime Purchase, Bills Payment, Withdrawals and Money Transfer.

Through various empowerment and reward schemes implemented to put its Firstmonie Agents at an advantage to economically impact their immediate communities whilst importantly having their business sustained, the Bank’s Agent Banking scheme has remained a toast to Nigerians, irrespective of where they are in the country. Amongst these schemes is the Agent Credit – launched in 2020 – which has had the Bank provide credit facilities to the tune of 238 billion naira to its teeming Firstmonie Agents.

Commenting on the milestone, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “since the relaunch of our Agent Banking scheme in 2018, our Firstmonie Agents have played a vital role in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country, as many more people have been able to undertake various financial and business transactions in cost-effective ways, thereby saving a lot of time and money in travelling over long distances for basic banking services.“

“We are delighted by the giant strides of our Firstmonie Agents in promoting financial inclusion and commend them for their efforts in taking banking to the doorsteps of Nigerians – irrespective of where they are – in a very effective way”, he concluded.




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Pension

PTAD Begins Revalidation, Adjustment of Pensioners’ Excess Funds

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has officially begun the planned placement of pensioners who have enjoyed excess payment of monthly pension to their accurate pension.

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As part of its efforts to sanitize and ensure a corrupt free administration and management of pensions in Nigeria, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has officially begun the planned placement of pensioners who have enjoyed excess payment of monthly pension to their accurate pension.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications of PTAD, Olubenga Ajayi.

According to the statement, the decision was made in response to the results of the expanded computation project and the re-validation of pensioner’s career documents, both of which were started by the Directorate in 2020 for the Civil Service Pension Department.

The statement read: “Based on the payroll inherited by PTAD, a total of 14,836 retirees were receiving monthly pensions in excess.

“According to the meeting that was held in June 2022, by the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, and the management team of PTAD held a meeting with the Executive members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners(NUP) and the Federal Civil Service Pensioners Branch (FCSPB) to inform the Unions of the Directorate’s plan to properly place pensioners in the Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD) who were being overpaid on their accurate monthly pension.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the parties agreed that the affected pensioners would be contacted and informed of the Directorate’s plan to properly place them on the correct monthly pension beginning in the month of July 2022, while the modalities to recover the over payment would be worked out in due course. Since then, letters have been delivered to the impacted pensioners”.

Meanwhile, so far, 14,825 pensioners’ monthly payments have been changed to reflect their correct computed monthly pensions.

 




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