African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi A. Adesina has welcomed his reappointment by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group, a distinguished team of 22 global leaders dedicated to eradicating global malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.
The announcement, made on 1 June, reflects the commitment of these nutrition champions to address malnutrition, a significant international problem.
Secretary-General Guterres commended the members of the SUN Movement’s Lead Group for their dedication: “These global leaders are championing country-led efforts to scale up nutrition and to deliver for girls, boys and their families a world free from malnutrition by 2030… I believe that the approach of the SUN Movement to tackle malnutrition through a country-owned, multisectoral and multi-stakeholder approach is more crucial than ever before.”
Adesina said he was “greatly honored” by his appointment. “I look forward to helping to deliver on this agenda,” he said.
The African Development Bank is actively engaged in addressing child undernutrition and stunting, which affects 216 million children in Africa. Poor nutrition—linked to nearly half of all child fatalities in Africa—also imposes an economic toll that costs the continent 11% of its gross domestic product.
Adesina advocates for parallel investment in Africa’s “grey matter infrastructure” alongside physical infrastructure. The term “grey matter” refers to the brain’s region involved in cognitive function and other critical operations.
The Bank’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan 2018–2025, a catalyst for nutrition-focused investments across various sectors, aims to reduce stunting in Africa by 40% by 2025. To date, the Bank has reallocated $2.8 billion of its investment portfolio to nutrition-smart initiatives.
The Bank has also partnered with the African Union Commission to launch the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) initiative, a forum for current and former leaders, finance ministers, and first ladies to promote nutrition in Africa. ALN’s Presidential Dialogue Group, involving Big Win Philanthropy and the governments of Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Niger, and Tanzania among others, is working to tackle stunting in the worst-affected African countries.
Bank nutrition initiatives form part of the Bank’s broader Feed Africa strategy, key to transforming Africa into a net food exporter.
In January 2023, the Bank and the Senegalese government co-hosted the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit which has since mobilized over $70 billion to enhance food and agriculture production in Africa. Additionally, 41 African countries presented “Country Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts” outlining a nutrition-sensitive roadmap to bolster food security.
The African Development Bank is a signatory of the Abidjan II Agreement, committing to collaborate with the African Union Commission, the Foundation for African Agricultural Research, and the Centres for Global International Agricultural Research. This partnership strives to enhance Africa’s resilience to food crises by fortifying agricultural research and innovation systems at national, sub-regional, and continental levels.
First appointed to the SUN Movement Lead Group in 2016, Adesina joins other esteemed members including Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commission Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment; Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada; and Pierre Cooke Jr., the Prime Minister of Barbados’ Youth Parliament and Technical Advisor, Healthy Caribbean Coalition.
Access Bank, Others Collect N154 Billion in Electronic Banking Fees in H1’23, a 16.7% YoY Surge
In the first half of 2023, customers of Nigeria’s top nine commercial banks paid a whopping N154 billion in fees for utilizing electronic banking services, reflecting a robust 16.7% year-on-year increase compared to H1’22’s N131.97 billion.
The data, extracted from the financial statements of these banks, underscores the escalating trend of Nigerians embracing electronic payment channels.
Leading the pack in revenue generation from these fees is Access Bank, amassing N43.9 billion, followed by United Bank for Africa Plc (N51.07 billion), Zenith Bank (N22.27 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N21.2 billion), and others like Stanbic IBTC (N2.14 billion), First City Monument Bank (N7.4 billion), Unity Bank (N1.96 billion), Fidelity Bank (N1.85 billion), and Wema Bank (N3.13 billion).
Electronic banking services encompass a gamut of options, including internet banking, mobile banking, ATMs, and Point of Sale (PoS) systems.
Recent data from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) for Q1’23 indicates a substantial surge in electronic transactions.
Transaction volume increased by 209% YoY to 4.7 billion, and transaction value grew by 48% YoY to N137.52 trillion.
The nine banks collectively raked in N66.7 billion in account maintenance fees and commissions during H1’23, reflecting a 14.7% YoY rise.
Zenith Bank led this category with N21.02 billion, trailed by Access Bank (N13.36 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N10.5 billion), and United Bank of Africa (N9.6 billion).
Overall, the banks’ cumulative net fees and commission income registered a substantial 20.7% YoY growth, reaching N448.47 billion in H1’23 from N371.43 billion in H1’22.
Access Holdings Posts 52.6% Profit for the First Half of the Year
Parent Company of Access Bank Celebrates Remarkable Financial Performance in H1’23
Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has reported a 58.9 percent surge in gross revenue to N940.3 billion for the first half of 2023.
The financial services giant also recorded remarkable growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) at 71.4 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively, culminating in N167.6 billion for PBT and N135.4 billion for PAT during the same period.
These financial milestones were unveiled as part of Access Holdings’ Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period concluding on June 30, 2023.
The driving force behind this unprecedented growth can be attributed to a potent combination of factors. A 63.0 percent growth in interest income and a 51.9 percent increase in non-interest income fueled the surge in gross revenue.
Access Holdings also witnessed a 35 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, capping the first half of 2023 at an impressive N12.5 trillion. This remarkable achievement encompassed all business segments, reinforcing the Group’s status as Nigeria’s largest financial institution by total assets.
The company’s total assets grew by 39.0 percent year-on-year to N20.9 trillion while shareholders’ funds surged by 40.6 percent to N1.7 trillion.
These astounding figures underline the Group’s ability to generate value from a diversified business portfolio, spanning banking, asset management, and payment services.
Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, commented on the company’s positive performance, saying, “Our growth plans for the African continent remain firm and clear, driven by the strong long-term growth prospects and trade opportunities seen across many of the countries.”
He went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its 5-year cyclical strategy, stating, “Our primary objective remains to transform Access Holdings Plc into a leading financial and ecosystem player, fostering opportunities for shared prosperity among all stakeholders.”
Central Bank of Nigeria Postpones 293rd Monetary Policy Committee Meeting
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the postponement of its 293rd Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, originally scheduled for September 25th and 26th, 2023.
Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, released a statement on Thursday confirming the decision.
In the statement, Dr. AbdulMumin stated, “The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has deferred its 293rd meeting, which was initially planned for Monday and Tuesday, September 25th and 26th, 2023, respectively. A new date will be communicated in due course. We regret any inconvenience this change may cause our stakeholders and the general public.”
While the CBN did not provide an official reason for the postponement, some industry experts suggest it may be related to the pending approvals for the newly appointed governor and deputy governors of the bank.
President Bola Tinubu recently nominated Yemi Cardoso as the potential head of the CBN. Additionally, Tinubu has endorsed the nominations of four new deputy governors for the apex bank, who are expected to serve for an initial term of five years, pending confirmation by the Senate.
The nominated deputy governors are Emem Usoro, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello. However, the appointment of the CBN governor is contingent upon Senate confirmation, which is currently on a yearly recess.
The CBN assures stakeholders and the public that the rescheduled MPC meeting date will be communicated promptly as soon as it is confirmed.
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