The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina announced that the multilateral bank in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has provided a sum of $244 million for emergency food production in Nigeria.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina disclosed this in Abuja at the inauguration of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.
The AfDB President noted that a sum of $134 million will be issued under the bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility while Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will make the remaining $110 million available.
However, Adesina expressed worry that Nigeria has yet to sign and utilise the fund despite its approval by the AfDB since July 2022.
Adesina further stated that the fund is part of the larger fund to help Africa prevent a food crisis following the Russian war in Ukraine.
Investors King learnt that the African Emergency Food Production Facility of $1.5 billion was launched to support 20 million farmers in Africa.
While virtually addressing a cross-section of important personalities which include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Adesina said “Your Excellency, we must act faster, to avert a food crisis in Nigeria.
“It is worrying that these emergency funds approved since July 2022, for emergency food production, have yet to be signed for implementation by Nigeria.
“Yet the seasons wait for no one, while the hungry await timely help. “There is a need for greater action, responsiveness, and delivery.”
It would be recalled that the recent flood in Nigeria has damaged many farmlands across the country, particularly in the North East and North West.
Investors King had also reported that the Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria has lamented that the country’s maize production will fall short of its target due to floods which had damaged several maize farms.
Meanwhile, Akinwumi Adesina noted that Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) will transform the food and agriculture sector in Africa. He revealed that the continental bank is investing more than $1 billion in SAPZs in 18 African countries.
“SAPZ will help to reduce rural to urban migration, expand the fiscal space, and enhance the emergence of competitive agricultural value chains,” he started.
Private Sector Credit Hits Record High of N76.94 Trillion in January 2024 – CBN Report
Private sector credit in Nigeria reached a record N76.94 trillion in January 2024, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This represents a 85.2% year-on-year increase from N41.54 trillion reported in January 2023.
The CBN’s Money and Credit Statistics report unveiled that credit to the private sector experienced a substantial month-on-month surge of 23.06%, or N14.42 trillion, from N62.52 trillion in December 2023.
This surge occurred amid the implementation of the CBN’s policy to unify the naira exchange rate.
Analysts attribute the reported N76.94 trillion credit to the private sector to the recent depreciation of the naira against foreign currencies.
The naira closed at N1,356.88 per dollar in January 2024, representing a 50.87% decline or N457.49 against the dollar compared to December 2023.
This depreciation compelled banks to extend credit to major corporations to meet the CBN’s mandated Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) threshold.
The CBN’s decision to resume the enforcement of the LDR policy, effective July 31, 2023, further propelled banks to increase lending to customers, stimulating the real sector of the economy.
With the CRR mechanism updated, banks with an LDR below the prescribed level faced a 50% lending shortfall penalty.
Experts suggest that the significant increase in private sector credit underscores the growing need for businesses to secure funds amidst economic uncertainties and exchange rate volatility.
It also signifies banks’ efforts to comply with regulatory requirements and support economic growth initiatives.
As Nigeria navigates its economic landscape, stakeholders anticipate further developments in credit dynamics and monetary policies to sustain financial stability and stimulate economic expansion.
Senate Initiates Probe into N30tn Ways and Means Loans under Buhari Administration
The Nigerian Senate has embarked on a comprehensive investigation into the disbursement and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ways and Means facility allows the CBN to provide financial support to the government to cover budget shortfalls.
The decision to probe the massive loans comes amid concerns about the transparency and accountability surrounding the utilization of these funds, particularly as the country grapples with economic challenges, food crises, rising inflation, and worsening insecurity.
The Senate’s investigation aims to shed light on how the substantial overdrafts from the CBN were acquired and expended under the leadership of former President Buhari.
There is growing apprehension that the indiscriminate spending of the overdrafts, particularly during Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor, may have contributed significantly to the current economic predicament facing the nation.
The probe will delve into the details of the N30 trillion overdrafts, with a specific focus on examining the purpose for which the funds were allocated and how they were utilized.
Also, the Senate will scrutinize the N10 trillion disbursed under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, as well as the utilization of $2.4 billion out of the $7 billion earmarked for forex transactions.
The initiative underscores the Senate’s commitment to ensuring transparency, fiscal responsibility, and prudent financial management in the country’s economic affairs.
It is anticipated that the probe will unearth vital insights into the financial transactions of the past administration, enabling corrective measures to be taken to address any mismanagement or discrepancies discovered.
Foreign Loans Dominate Nigeria’s 2023 Capital Importation, Hits $2.31bn – NBS Report
In 2023, foreign loans dominated Nigeria’s capital importation, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The report reveals that out of the total $3.91 billion foreign investment inflow, foreign loans accounted for $2.31 billion, representing 59.1% of the total capital importation.
The NBS data indicates a substantial increase in foreign capital inflow compared to previous quarters.
The final quarter of 2023 saw a notable surge, with foreign capital importation rising from $654.65 million in the third quarter to $1.09 billion.
This surge reflects increased investor confidence and interest in Nigeria’s economic prospects.
However, the dominance of foreign loans in the capital importation landscape raises concerns about Nigeria’s debt profile and sustainability.
While foreign loans can provide crucial funding for development projects and infrastructure, excessive reliance on borrowing poses risks to the country’s fiscal health and economic stability.
It underscores the urgent need for prudent debt management and strategies to diversify funding sources.
The breakdown of the capital importation further reveals that Nigeria received $433.87 million in the first quarter, $771.53 million in the second quarter, $507.71 million in the third quarter, and $594.75 million in the fourth quarter as foreign loans.
The report underscores the importance of addressing structural challenges and creating an enabling environment to attract diverse forms of foreign investment beyond loans.
It emphasizes the need for policies that promote sustainable economic growth, attract foreign direct investment, and reduce reliance on external borrowing.
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