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Financial Industry Must Urgently Step up on Climate Change

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First Day Of Trading Of The Lunar New Year at The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx)

The financial industry needs to step up “and now” with “unprecedented levels of cooperation” to tackle the climate change crisis, affirms the CEO and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial services organisations.

The urgent call for industry-wide action from deVere Group’s Nigel Green comes as all eyes turn to Glasgow as world leaders travel to Scotland for the COP26 summit starting this weekend. The event is expected to bring between 20,000 and 25,000 attendees alongside world leaders and business chiefs.

The goal of COP26 is to address the climate crisis, following up on the last event of this kind since 2019. It comes just a few months after the UN’s IPCC Report that described global warming as a “code red for humanity.”

Mr Green said: “Climate change is the greatest risk multiplier to our planet, to our communities, and to our way of life.

“Failing to understand the magnitude of it now is going to have catastrophic, irreversible consequences later.

“Joined-up planning followed by urgent action is essential.  But this will not only take political and social will. It will take trillions of dollars.”

He continues: “The world of international finance needs to step up – and now.

“There needs to be unprecedented levels of cooperation between financial advisories, insurance firms, banks, wealth and asset managers, investment companies, fintech groups, banks, auditors, amongst others, to help unlock and mobilise the trillions of dollars of private finance that is urgently required.

“Without this cooperation, the level of finance will not be available, nor at the pace necessary, to halt the worst effects of human-created global warming.”

Earlier this week, deVere Group pledged to position $2bn of assets under advisement into environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments within five years.

The Group is also one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of powerhouse global finance companies that will help accelerate the transition to a net zero financial system. Its membership means it is committed to “aligning all relevant products and services to achieve net zero greenhouse gases by 2050 and to set meaningful interim targets for 2025.”

The organisation has also confirmed that it “aims to significantly speed-up its own meeting of these Science Based Targets to reduce operational emissions in line with limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Centigrade.”

Mr Green concludes: “COP26 is an opportunity for our planet that cannot afford to be squandered.

“To date, there have been decades of inaction from political leaders. Therefore, it is critical that the business community acts and ushers in an era of real action before it’s too late.

“COP 26 must act as a catalyst for the financial industry to do what needs to be done to support the transition to Net Zero.  This means putting the environment at the heart of all professional decision-making.”

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CBN Starts Debiting Defaulters of Its Intervention Loans

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

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Godwin Emefile

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

The apex bank declared this at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja. It further noted that States Governments and smallholder farmers form a large part of the defaulter. 

It will be recalled that the Central Bank disclosed in August that about N791 billion was disbursed to more than 3 million farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP) and Commercial Agric Credit. 

ABP was launched by Muhammad Buhari on November 17, 2015 to assist Smallholders Farmers. ABP was created to reduce the pains faced by farmers in accessing credit for their operations. It had a single interest rate of nine percent.

Some of the benefiting smallholder farmers are those engaged in the production of rice, maize, wheat, cotton, cassava, potatoes, yam, ginger, oil palm, cocoa, rubber tomatoes, fish and poultry among others.

According to the director of development finance of the CBN, Yusuf Yila, state governments’ monthly federation account allocation committee (FAAC) accruals are already being debited directly every month. He however did not specify the states involved.

“Every person(s) or state that took that loan (ABP) is going to pay. We have their BVN. These persons are smallholder farmers, who received funds for farming. We have started recovering loans from state governments. We have been doing a loan workout programme with them, and we are debiting their monthly Federal Allocation Account (FAAC) accruals directly for the loans”, he stated.

“If a state government has taken N1 billion and is already in default, over six months, we debit them N150 million every month. So, we’ve started that programme.” He continued. So, every single loan that has been given out through any of our intervention programmes must be paid back.” He added

Yila, also mentioned that the CBN has put sentiment aside and is determined to collect the money it is owed. 

 “There is absolutely no mercy. We have started; we are in recovery mode. At the development finance department, we have begun to recover the loans”, he stated.

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Five Million Passengers Used Abuja Airport in 2021

More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

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More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has disclosed that 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja in 2021. This represents a 37.23 per cent increase from 2020.

Speaking in Abuja at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Airport, the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Hamisu Yadudu noted that the airport continued to wax stronger and higher. 

Captain Hamisu further noted that for easy movement of passengers, the Federal Government has completed and commissioned a world-class, brand-new international terminal. 

“I am glad that the airport has continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then. In the year 2021 for example, a total of 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the airport, which was a whopping 37.23% increase on the year 2020 figures. In terms of the facility upgrade, the airport also has been quite progressive”. The MD stated.

Hamisu also noted that Abuja airport was adjudged the Best Airport in Safety for the year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region while the airport also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, among several others laurels. 

The MD, therefore, laud the contributions of all staff, both past and present, as well as partners and stakeholders for the last 40 years.

Meanwhile, the Regional General Manager/ Airport Manager of NAIA, Abuja, Kabir Mohammed revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the construction of a new runway at Abuja airport. 

He added that the new runway will come with a new terminal and a new fire station. 

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) is one of the most used and functional airports in Nigeria. It was established on the 29th of September, 1982. Sited at the seat of power, the airport is often used by the president, majority of the public office holders, visiting presidents and foreign diplomats. 

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World Bank Approves $750 Million Loan For Nigeria

The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

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The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

A statement released by the World Bank on Thursday commended the Nigerian government in its efforts to eliminate constraints in the business environment through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). 

The world bank further noted that although Nigeria’s ability to attract both domestic and international foreign investment remains low when compared to its peers, the country is capable to drive private investment to high growth

According to the statement which was released on Thursday,  the World Bank nonetheless stated that the fund will help Nigeria to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business-enabling environment in the country.

Investors King learnt that though Nigeria moved by 38 places on the global ranking of ease of doing business between 2016 and 2019 from 169 to 131, the previous gains seem to have been wiped out after the adverse effect of covid19 and the current economic challenges. 

Similarly, in June 2022, a publication by the World bank also decried the cumbersome customs procedures in Nigeria, especially at the Nigeria port. 

The report stated that Nigeria’s tariffs are among the highest in the world, especially for capital, intermediate and consumer goods. 

In recent times, there has been a series of complaints about the activities of the Nigerian Customs Service which could be detrimental to goods importation. Manufacturers and importers have an alleged arbitrary approach that the Nigeria Custom is using for duty valuation. 

They argued that it was not helpful for Customs to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to compute value and charge duty, given the high cost of local production.

Consumer Price Index is used to measure the overall change in consumer prices based on a representative basket of goods and services over time. 

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