CBN, Others Partner to Close Infrastructure Deficit, Raise $37bn
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has said the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria is signing an agreement with some public and private sector partners to raise funds to close infrastructure deficit in the country.
He spoke during an event on InfraCorp term sheet signing with independent asset managers in Lagos on Friday.
The CBN said InfraCorp was launched with initial seed capital from the promoters of N1tn ($2.5bn) and aims to raise three times as much in private capital over the next three years, and up to $37bn for infrastructure investments in Nigeria’s economy by 2030.
Emefiele also announced and congratulated Dr. Lazarus Angbazo on his appointment as the pioneer chief executive officer of InfraCorp, as he drives the company to deliver on its mandate to the nation.
He said, “For infrastructure projects originated by the public sector, InfraCorp’s goal is to shape projects for private sector financing and management.
“For projects originated by the private sector, InfraCorp will help shape government policy to support and sustain private sector investment.”
For Nigerian companies to focus successfully on their competencies, he said they needed to be assured of the infrastructure that they rely upon.
“The deficit may be large; however, with resources from the private-sector, targeted incentives from the public sector and the drive of our individual citizens, I strongly believe that Nigeria will be ready, willing and able to deliver the infrastructure that will be the foundation of our development,” he said.
He said the signing event marked a major milestone as InfraCorp and the Infrastructure Asset Managers – the AAA Consortium, Chapel Hill Denham, Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers in Nigeria, and Sanlam Infraworks-had concluded the initial discussions on how they would operate together to deliver infrastructure to the nation.
Explaining, he said InfraCorp is a government-backed infrastructure investment vehicle established and co-owned by the CBN, Africa Finance Corporation and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (the promoters) and managed by its own board and management.
The vehicle, he said, had been established to harness opportunities for infrastructure development in Nigeria by originating, structuring, executing, and managing end-to-end bankable projects, managed by reputable and highly experienced infrastructure asset managers and in partnership with public and private sector participants.
He said InfraCorp would mainly leverage public-private partnerships to unlock assets for the development and completion of projects.
InfraCorp’s core mandate is to tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit and generate a growth multiplier effect across critical sectors.
By supporting project development, financial structuring, and private-capital mobilisation, InfraCorp would help to combat issues of underemployment and under-investment in critical nation-building assets, according to the CBN.
Nigeria’s Currency in Circulation Drops by 235% Due to Central Bank’s Redesign Policy
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported a significant drop in the currency in circulation in the country following its redesign policy that plunged the nation into untold hardship.
The figures obtained from the CBN by Investors King revealed that N2.3 trillion was mopped up from circulation from October 2022 to February 2023, resulting in a 235.03% decline to N982.09 billion from N3.29 trillion reported at the end of October 2022.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had in October 2022, announced plans to redesign the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to address several challenges associated with currency management, including hoarding of banknotes, shortage of clean and fit banknotes, and increased risk of counterfeiting.
The CBN employed an “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in Nigeria. This approach involved tracking the movements of currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
For every withdrawal made by a Deposit Money Bank (DMB) at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in the currency in circulation was recorded, and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in the currency in circulation was recorded.
The apex bank said analysis of the currency in circulation showed that a large and increasing proportion of the naira outside the commercial banking system was held by the public who hoard a lot of the new banknotes.
At the expiration of the deadline for the old notes, due to the scarcity of the new naira notes, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the continued use of the old N200 as legal tender till April 10.
However, after some state governments sued the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy, the Supreme Court in its ruling on March 3 extended the legal tender status of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to December 31.
The drop in the currency in circulation has caused some hardship to Nigerians, and the continued use of old notes as legal tender has been approved to ease the situation.
The CBN has ordered commercial banks to comply with the Supreme Court verdict and extend the legal tender status of the old notes.
Npower Release Update on Failed Payment, Send Validation Link to Affected Beneficiaries
The management of Npower scheme, NASIMs has sent validation links to Npower batch C, Stream 2 beneficiaries. NASIMs noted that the link will be used to validate the details of beneficiaries with failed payments.
NASIMs had earlier stated that it noticed that some Npower beneficiaries are having issues with detail validation which has affected both their payment and status in the programme.
NASIMs further added that an SMS link will be sent to all selected beneficiaries for the purpose of profile validation.
It would be recalled that a significant number of batch C, Stream 2 Npower beneficiaries had taken to social media to complain of non-payment of their allowances after their colleagues had received theirs.
Therefore, the validation message sent by NASIMs to Batch C, Stream 2 N-Power Beneficiaries read: “This is to notify you that we encountered issues validating the details you provided on your N-Power (NASIMS) profile. This could be due to an error in data entry or in the case of your bank account, invalid/inactive account.
Kindly use the link below to validate your BVN and account details to continue maintaining your status on the N-Power Program.”
However, Investors King gathered that if you have received your payment as Npower Batch C, Stream 2 Beneficiary, you do not need to validate your account again.
The revalidation process is primarily aimed to rectify errors in payment issues for those who are yet to receive any payment.
A check on the Npower platform further shows that affected beneficiaries will need to provide their Npower Identification Number, BVN and Bank Account to validate their details. This will ensure they received their backlog payment.
If you have not received an SMS from Npower and you are one of the affected beneficiaries, you can however log on to http://validation.nasim.ng to validate your details.
Digital Banking Startup Credable Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round to Expand Offerings
Mumbai-based digital Banking Platform that is driving the future of banking by embedding financial services in businesses across emerging markets Credable, has raised a $2.5 million seed round to expand its offerings to emerging markets.
Speaking on the latest seed raised, the company’s CEO Nadeem Juma disclosed that Credable is seeking to offer banking services to the unbanked while planning to become the unit for emerging markets as it has rolled out plans to expand its offerings to large markets where the regulatory environment is conducive and businesses with profitable channels across MENAP and West Africa.
In his words,
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that a huge population of underbanked customers need banking services to improve their livelihoods. They are in different channels that they use every day, like telco-led mobile money, e-commerce platforms, and gig economy apps.
“Rather than try to create a new channel to bank these customers, we aim to enable these channels through a B2B2C offering that provides the customers with the banking services they need in the channels they’re already in.”
He further added that Africa’s most populous nations Nigeria, and Pakistan are at the top of its list of markets it seeks to expand its offerings.
Last May, Credable launched two products in East Africa, a 30-day term loan product in partnership with Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania and a short-term lending product for Diamond Trust Bank in Kenya.
The startup is committed to working capital and eradicating credit challenges faced by small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the new digital world. It aims to create inclusive growth for small businesses by providing them with cash management, payment, credit, and growth tools that will enable small business owners to efficiently grow and manage their businesses.”
Credable also hopes to address one financial malpractice which is predatory microlending, which typically involves imposing unfair and deceptive loan terms on end consumers.
Investors King understands that the startup handholds its business customers through product design, development, and management and works with them to ensure the product is relevant to its end consumers.
The platform syncs in with the existing accounting software and bank accounts of a business and provides real-time data that helps them make informed decisions to manage financial operations like collection and payments and avail instant, collateral-free access to working capital financing along with other growth tools.
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