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CBN Disburses N366.39b for 465 Agricultural Projects

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  • CBN Disburses N366.39b for 465 Agricultural Projects

As part of its economic empowerment agenda, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said it has disbursed a total of N366.39 billion for the execution of 465 projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, CACS, from 2009 to date.

The Scheme, established to address the financing challenges of the entire value chain, such as production, processing, storage and marketing/distribution of agricultural produce in the country.

The Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele who disclosed this at the International Conference on Environment Dialogue on: “Diversification of Economy: The Role of Jatropha,” said the apex bank provided finance to commercial farmers at single digit interest rate.

Represented by Dr. Aisha Mahmud, he said the dialogue could not have come at a better time than now, when the current global economic crisis required game-changing transformations to achieve resilient and sustainable growth through economic diversification.

“The bank as a major stakeholder in the financing value chain has a number of development finance interventions which have producers, processors and other significant players in the jatropha value chain can access in order to realise the desired objectives.”

To Emefiele, the financial sector had developed and adopted Nigeria sustainable principles as a commitment to promote sustainable growth, adding that the use of Jatropha as a bio-energy crop for the production of biodiesel which is carbon-neutral is a welcome development.

He, therefore, hinted that the banking industry is currently developing a roadmap to increase lending and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with the global momentum on climate finance. “There are Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Fund, MSMEDF; Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP; and Real Sector Support Facility, RSSF, put in place to encourage agriculture as a means of diversifying the economic base,” the CBN boss disclosed.

He explained that the objectives of these facilities are for the provision of cheap wholesale funds, deepening access to finance, job creation and grassroots economic development, pointing out that as at June 2016, a total of N81.13 billion was disbursed for 315 projects nationwide.

His words: “This renewed emphasis on the cultivation of and processing of Jatropha is therefore, an investment opportunity that can address the current economic challenges as well as harmonised framework for biofuel production.”

Giving the Dialogue objectives, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, acknowledged huge investment in developing and looking at the role of jatropha, which she maintained, would empower people and create decent jobs for women and youths. To her, government wants to establish a mechanism for securing technical and financial support of international partners/investors interested in jatropha production and processing in Nigeria.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial market.

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Government

COVID-19: World Bank to Support Nigerian Frontline Healthcare Workers With $114.28m

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World Bank Strengthens Nigerian Response to COVID-19

The World Bank has once again approved another $114.28 million financing for Nigeria to improve its COVID-19 response time and further curb the spread of the virus in Africa’s most populous nation.

The multilateral financial institution said the money will help Africa’s largest economy prevent, detect and respond to the threat of ravaging COVID-19 better.

In a statement titled “Nigeria to boost states capacity for COVID-19 response” and released on Friday, the lender said the fund includes $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

The statement reads, “Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.

The lender, however, stated that grants for states would be based on the adoption of COVID-19 measures and strategies. In particular, the strategies must be in line with the ones put in place by the Federal Government.

CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the strategic response plan,” it stated.

The bank added that it would help the Federal Government in such response capacity through the training of frontline healthcare workers and provision of the necessary equipment to aid their work, strengthen public healthcare network for emergencies and generally improve their response efficiency.

Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.”

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Mismanagement of Public Funds and Resources Will Destroy Nigeria, Says Stakeholders

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Buhari in Port Harcourt

Some concerned stakeholders have said the broad-based financial misappropriation, abuse of public office by Public Officeholders and unchecked borrowing will destroy the nation’s present and future if not checked.

According to Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, who spoke at a stakeholders’ dialogue on ‘Policies, Gaps and Alternatives in Fiscal Transparency in Private Sector Governance,’ organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI), with support from OXFAM’s country office in Nigeria, abuse of power and financial recklessness as been going on for far too long.

Musa said, “This has been going on for too long, and every singular effort from the citizens is termed as hate or unpatriotic. Meanwhile, the consequences of this anomaly are staring us in the face on a daily basis and are on the increase. Increased poverty; banditry allegedly occasioned by rising unemployment; and unpatriotic citizens trooping into leadership positions to perpetuate the looting and misappropriation due to no oversight and punitive sanctions, not to mention health, infrastructure and societal decay. The list is inexhaustible.

He also implored the Government that in order to reduce the excessive misuse of public resources, mismanagement of finances and strengthen the financial management system, the holes that encourage people to evade and undermine the collection of taxes must be bridged and in-depth economic improvement devised to close policy gaps.

There are many areas in which the government can increase its revenue drive. For instance, in the Oil and Gas sector, there are a lot of gaps as a result of lack of a clear legal framework through the PIB, which will enable the sector to be more efficient, transparent and competitive. Again, the oil theft needs to be blocked; other areas like maritime revenue can be harnessed in these sectors.

“Also, the government should block the areas where revenues are supposed to be collected and are not collected. For instance, the audit report clearly shows how the government is losing revenue.” he said.

The stakeholders urge policymakers to look for other sources of revenue that can guarantee development in Nigeria.

Also, speaking at the event was the Programme Manager, Tax, Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, CISLAC, Chinedu Bassey, who said one of the reasons to strengthen the Nigerian financial management system is to stop people from stealing and mismanaging resources meant for development.

Iheme Madukairo, the Manager, Large Tax Audit, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), advised Nigerians who evade taxes to stop such act that the law will take its course.

He said “Enforcement is out there, sleeves are rolled up to do the job that we are mandated to do by the act and sooner or later, we will catch up with them. The sanctions have also increased by virtue of the finance act. The penalty has been increased, once it is found out that it is a deliberate act to breach the law, the law will take its course.

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Lai Mohammed Says Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds

President Muhammadu Buhari government has recovered over N800 billion looted by corrupt Nigerians since the beginning of this administration in 2015.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference held in Abuja.

He said, “This administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim.

“This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800bn, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has made recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets one of his priorities since he became president in 2015.

Several of Nigeria’s untouchables have been convicted despite political experts and social commentators saying the war against corruption should not be only against opposition but also against those in the ruling party that seems to have been overlooked.

Still, the ruling party has insisted that members of the party have been convicted and one of such is Kalu.

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