The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $23.04 million loan to Prime Meridian Docks AssetCo Ltd (PMD), a special purpose entity to co-finance the construction of a modern floating dock ship repair facility in Ghana’s western Takoradi port.
The loan will support the company to design, build, operate and maintain a world-class ship repair and maintenance facility in the Gulf of Guinea under a 25-year concession granted to the company by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
The project, estimated to cost $137 million, will involve constructing a 200-meter jetty, dredging 300,000 cubic meters of rock in the port basin, and procuring and installing a 13,500-tonne lift capacity floating dock. The facility will also have offices, a warehouse, mechanical workshops for steel and pipe fabrication, electrical works, blasting and painting, and equipment maintenance.
The Board also authorized the syndication, on a “best efforts basis”, of additional financing of up to $11 million.
Commenting on the approval, Mike Salawou, Director for Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development of the African Development Bank, said: “Vessel repair and maintenance is an underserved market on the continent. Investing in it will provide a more holistic approach to supporting maritime transport and its sustainability, which will accelerate regional integration and attract international trade and economic activity.”
PMD is a Ghanaian company founded and headed by Mr. Stanley Raja Korshie Ahorlu, sponsor of the project. The African Development Bank’s approval and facility is a “culmination of many years of dedication and commitment and an endorsement of PMD’s drive to transform Africa’s maritime sector,” stated Ahorlu.
The African Development Bank’s hard currency long-term financing for the project will enable it to create over 400 permanent jobs – 15% of which are expected to go to women. This is significantly above the global average of 2% in the maritime sector.
The construction of the floating dock will enhance the resilience of the ocean economy in Ghana and mitigate the carbon footprint from an expected increase in vessel flow, promoting the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and slow vessel steaming. This aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s best practices and Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions, making the project Paris Aligned.
The project aligns with the African Development Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Ghana (2019-2023) to increase private sector investment in the real sector. It contributes to job creation, bridging inequality gaps and supports the overall macroeconomic stability in Ghana while mainstreaming various crosscutting issues into the bank’s interventions.
The project further aligns with the national ambition of Ghana to become a hub for shipping and petroleum operations in West Africa. By enhancing the supply of maritime maintenance and repair services, the project will help minimize transport and logistic costs and time, resulting in increased mobility and connectivity and boosting Ghana’s competitiveness.
Skills transfer is a significant development outcome of the project. The project’s operations/technical and commercial management operator will train staff in its Aberdeen training institute, and a partnership will be developed with the Regional Maritime University in Tema, Ghana, throughout the project’s life.
Nigerian Banks’ Borrowings from CBN Surge 835% in a Month, Raising Liquidity Concerns
The Nigerian banking sector has witnessed an unprecedented 835% surge in borrowings from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the span of just one month, igniting concerns over the nation’s liquidity stability.
Data reveals that banks’ dependence on the CBN has reached new heights, with their borrowings skyrocketing from a relatively modest N323.97 billion in August to N3.03 trillion in September. This remarkable increase underscores a growing reliance on the CBN’s support in times of financial stress.
This surge in borrowing activity has primarily been attributed to the CBN’s stringent monetary policies aimed at curbing inflation and managing the demand for foreign exchange. These policies have, in turn, squeezed commercial banks, compelling them to tap into the CBN’s Standing Lending Facility (SLF) for immediate liquidity needs.
Despite the escalating dependence on CBN funds, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the apex bank insists that the Nigerian banking sector remains fundamentally robust. MPC member Adenikinju Festus highlighted key indicators, including Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratios, which still align with prudential standards. Furthermore, liquidity ratios have improved, and returns on equity and assets have risen.
However, the banking industry’s persistently high operating costs are raising alarms. In comparison to international standards, Nigerian banks are grappling with substantially higher operating expenses, prompting concerns about their long-term sustainability.
In a parallel development, the CBN’s Development Finance Department has disbursed a total of N9.714 trillion to various sectors of the economy over the past three years, with manufacturing and industries receiving the largest share at 32.6%.
Other sectors, including energy, agriculture, services, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), export, and health, have also benefited significantly from these disbursements.
While the CBN remains committed to fostering sustainable economic growth, the surging dependence of Nigerian banks on short-term borrowings from the central bank is casting shadows on the sector’s long-term stability.
As Nigeria grapples with these liquidity concerns, the financial industry and regulators face the challenging task of charting a course towards a more resilient and sustainable banking environment.
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.
Currency in Circulation Surges by N1.7 Trillion Amidst Rising Cash Transactions
News3 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities3 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
Naira4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Today Black Market, August 28, 2023
Naira4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Today Black Market, August 29, 2023
News2 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Banking Sector3 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex3 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 1st September 2023
News4 weeks ago
N-Power Batch “C” Beneficiaries Appeal to President Tinubu for Urgent Stipend Intervention