- AfDB Approves $4.8m for AfCFTA, Nigeria Assesses Impact
The board of the African Development Bank has approved an institutional support grant of $4.8m to the African Union, to accelerate the momentum of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
AfCFTA received its 22nd ratification on April 2, bringing the agreement into force.
Nigeria, has however been assessing the impact the AfCFTA would have on its economy, before ratifying the agreement.
The AfCFTA is a major force for continental integration aimed at expanding intra-African trade by up to $35bn per year and ushering in freedom of movement for goods, services and people across the continent’s internal borders.
The agreement, which comes with a regime of reduced tariffs and non-tariff barriers to cut the cost of doing business on the continent is also aimed at boosting agriculture and industrial exports by up to $66bn per year.
AfDB’s grant is targeted at laying the institutional foundation for the AfCFTA’s implementation secretariat and the roll out of the implementation programmes.
The Manager, Trade and Investment Climate Division, AfDB, Andoh Mensah, said, “The momentum is now in full swing. It is now crucial to establish a robust, efficient, purpose-driven secretariat, capable of addressing improved stakeholder engagement, inclusiveness and ownership in the AfCFTA implementation.”
The bank stated that the grant would also assist efforts towards full ratification of the agreement by all AU member states including the application of tariff reductions and related commitments, while generating stakeholder support for the AfCFTA to ensure inclusiveness and common ownership.
During an Africa trade forum on AfCFTA ratification and implementation in Lagos, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said Nigeria was following developments on AfCFTA keenly.
“We have our eyes not just on the ball, but on the entire game. We are very much in technical play,” he said.
The minister said that a presidential committee had been established on AfCFTA’s impact assessment and preparedness of Nigeria.
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria had however encouraged the government to ratify the AfCFTA, which was designed to create a single continental market for goods and services as well as the free movement of business persons and investments across the continent.
Remove Face Mask When Using ATM, Banks Tell Customers
Face Mask May Cause ATM Transaction Failure, Banks Tell Customers
Deposit Money Banks have said due to their face recognition technology, customers wearing face masks may experience service failure while using the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In an email issued to customers by Fidelity Bank, the bank said why the use of face masks is important to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, customers should remove when performing ATM transactions.
The bank said “Wearing of face masks is a safety and precautionary measure we must all adhere to in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, we advise that you remove your face mask while making withdrawals or carrying out ATM transactions to allow our ATM properly recognise you.
“Fidelity Bank ATM machines have face detection features installed to curb incidences of fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
“Consequently, you may not be able to carry out any transaction if our ATMs are not able to properly recognise you. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause you.”
Meanwhile, Guaranty Trust Bank plc continues to ease accessibility for all customers and advised customers to protect themselves.
GTBank said, “When visiting any of our branches, kindly protect yourself by wearing a face mask at all times. It is also very important that you keep a safe distance when in a queue inside or outside the branch.
“Before visiting any of our branches, please remember that you can withdraw up to N150,000 at all our ATMs and that you can do most of your banking from the safety of your home.”
Access Bank in Talks to Acquire Cavmont Bank
Access Bank to Acquire Cavmont Bank in Zambia
Access Bank Plc on Wednesday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Zambia, Access Bank Zambia Limited (Access Bank Zambia) is in talks to acquire Cavmont Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Cavmont Capital.
According to the statement signed by Mr. Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary, Access Bank and released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website on Wednesday, the ongoing discussions is to acquire 100 percent of Cavmont Capital’s interest in Cavmont Bank.
However, the lender said “there can be no certainty that a transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms of any such agreement.
“The completion of a transaction would be subject to formal regulatory approvals. Access Bank will be updating the market as appropriate and in accordance with its disclosure obligations.”
The lender, therefore, advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in Access Bank’s securities.
Investors King Ltd note: This announcement further threw more lights on the recent purchases of Access Bank’s shares by Herbert Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Access Bank.
The CEO/MD purchased 7.532 million of Access Bank‘s shares in the last one month.
Mohammed Umar is the New Acting Chairman of EFCC
Buhari Appoints Mohammed Umar as EFCC Acting Chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed, Mohammed Umar, the director of operations at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as the new Acting Chairman of the agency, according to the NAN.
A top official of the commission confirmed to NAN that Umar has taken charge of the agency following the suspension of Ibrahim Magu, the former acting Chairman.
Ibrahim Magu was suspended by the President on Tuesday following series of allegations bordering on frauds, financial misappropriations and abuse of power.
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