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Finance

FG To Raise 90B From Sales of State Power Assets Towards 2022 Funding

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Zainab Ahmed

The federal government of Nigeria through the office of finance minister projects 90 billion naira ($219 million) to be raised next year from sales of mostly government-owned power assets to help fund spending in 2022.

The National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) is the government vehicle that owns several power generation plants in the country.

Recall in 2013, the government sold off shares in the state electricity company to private buyers, but that has not ended frequent power cuts in Africa’s biggest economy.

Without disclosing which power assets would be up for sale, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said after a weekly cabinet meeting, “We’re projecting that in 2022 there will be more of these NIPPs that will be sold and from which we’ll realize this N90.3 billion.”

Ahmed said that because government revenues were not enough to fund government projects like roads, rail and water, it would continue resorting to borrowing.

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari plans to borrow nearly $6 billion in external financing to help fund spending in 2021 and to partly finance an expected 6 trillion naira deficit.

“Nigeria’s borrowing has been of great concern and has elicited a lot of discussions, but if you look at the total size of the borrowing, it is still within healthy and sustainable limits,” Ahmed said.

She said total borrowing, which was equal to 23% of GDP as of July, was lower compared to its peers.

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Finance

African Development Bank Group and MTN Nigeria Sign $500,000 Grant Agreement to Study Women’s Access to Financial

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Women Access

The African Development Bank has signed a grant agreement for $500,000 with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, to be used for a study into economic, religious, and social factors hampering access to finance for women in northern Nigeria.

The research, which includes a feasibility study, women-focused design and testing, will focus on both agents and customers to provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services, will be funded through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI).

Despite being the continent’s largest economy, 55% of rural Nigerians still lack access to financial services [1]. The rate of mobile money adoption currently stands at 4% [2],  with an agent ratio of 228.8 agents per 1,000 adults [3]. Political instability and conservative cultural norms in parts of Northern Nigeria are thought to present barriers to women’s access to finance. Additionally, 80% of agents in the region are men.

“The African Development Bank, through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), is delighted to support this project, furthering our work to improve the quality of life for people in Nigeria and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as relates to poverty, and gender inclusion,” said Stefan Nalletamby, African Development Bank Director of Financial Sector Development.

On behalf of YDFS, Usoro Usoro, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are truly excited about this partnership with the African Development Bank, and the possibilities for advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria, particularly for the traditionally excluded segment of women in Northern Nigeria.”

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Banking Sector

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina Assures Nigeria of Bank’s Strong Support to Achieve Food Security

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The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, received a high-level Nigerian delegation led by the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar on Monday.

The meeting follows on the heels of an address by Dr. Adesina last week at a mid-term ministerial retreat presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dr. Adesina and the Nigerian minister discussed means of tackling growing concerns about the country’s food security.

Adesina said the Bank’s strategic support for Nigeria’s food production would be hinged on five factors: support, scale, systemic, speed, and sustainability.

He added, “I want to assure President Buhari that the African Development Bank will provide his government with very strong support to tackle the country’s food security challenges.”

“Inflation in Nigeria is high, at 16% or more. Of course, the biggest share of the consumer price index is the price of food, at almost 65%. So, if we can drive down the price of food, of course, we can drive down inflation.“

Adesina urged the Nigerian minister to concentrate on building the correct team and tactics to optimize the country’s farming seasons. He said that dramatically increased food output will result in lower food prices, which will in turn lower inflation rates.

Abubakar said his consultative mission to Abidjan was at the instruction of President Buhari.

“Our mission is to examine ways Nigeria could enhance food production, lower food prices, and create wealth,” the minister said.

Abubakar welcomed the Bank’s proposed strategy and described it as a landmark one that would spur Nigeria’s food supply production. “It will reverse the ugly trend of a sharp increase in prices of food in the country. I am pleased with the Bank’s strategy to facilitate the production of 9 million metric tons of food in Nigeria and to support us in raising self-sufficiency. The Bank’s Special Agro-Processing Zones initiative is a laudable one and Nigeria is grateful.”

Citing successes in Sudan, Adesina explained how the African Development Bank had supported the country with 65,000 metric tonnes of heat-tolerant wheat varieties, cultivated on 317,000 hectares.

“It took two seasons to do this,” he said. “Change will not happen in years. You will see changes in seasons. Sudan now produces 1.1 million metric tons of wheat. The same thing happened in Ethiopia in just two seasons with the production of 184, 000 hectares of wheat,“ he added.

In response to Bank successes in Sudan and Ethiopia, Abubakar said: “This gives me an additional measure of confidence. If you can do it in Sudan, you can equally do it in Nigeria. Not just in wheat, but also rice, maize, and soybeans.”

The African Development Bank will provide Nigeria with support through input delivery, including highly improved seeds and fertilizers to farmers, and an integrated input delivery platform.

Extensively discussed at the meeting was the Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone initiative as an effective medium-term plan for revolutionizing Nigeria’s agriculture value chain.

Adesina said: “The task, responsibility, and challenge of feeding Nigeria rests on your shoulders. You will receive maximum support from me, and the African Development Bank for the responsibility that President Buhari has given you. You will not be alone.”

He added: “The Bank stands ready to fully support and help Nigeria in the next farming seasons. So, we must make sure things turn around. The president must succeed, and Nigeria must succeed. Agriculture must succeed.”

Abubakar thanked the African Development Bank for its support and said the meeting gave him reassurances of what Nigeria can achieve with the Bank’s support in the farming seasons ahead.

The minister also called for the Bank’s support to recapitalize the country’s Bank of Agriculture. Both parties set up a task force team to develop a plan for accelerated implementation within the next 60 days.

Also at the meeting were a member of Nigeria’s National Assembly, Hon. Munir Baba Dan Agundi, Chair of the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions;  the African Development Bank’s executive director for Nigeria,  Sao Tome and Principe, Dr. Oyebode Oyetunde; Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford; Senior Special Advisor to the President of the Bank on Industrialization, Professor Oyebanji Oyelaran; Director General of the Bank’s Nigeria Country Office in Abuja, Lamin Barrow; the Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, Martin Fregene; the Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, Atsuko Toda; and senior officials from Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

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Finance

Meyer Cost of Sales Dwarf Profit in the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021

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Meyer Plc - Investors King

Meyer Plc, one of Nigeria’s manufacturers and marketers of high-quality Paints, continue to struggle in the first nine months ended September 30, 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and seen by Investors King on Friday, Meyer grew revenue by 34 percent from N566.511 million recorded in the first nine months of 2020 to N759.157 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2021.

However, the company spent 66.48 percent of its revenue on sales. Cost of Sales stood at N504,702 in the period under review.

Therefore, gross profit inched slightly higher by 23.46 percent to N254.455 million, up from N206.097 million achieved in the first nine months of 2020.

Loss from operating activities moderated to -N51.694 million in the period under review from -N133.510 million posted in the corresponding period.

Profit before tax rose to N13.534 million in the first nine months of 2021, up from -N98.404 million filed in 2020 during the peak of the global pandemic. The company paid N4.060 million in taxes in the period under review.

Similarly, profit after tax improved from -N100.528 million recorded in the same period of 2020 to N9.474 million in 2021.

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