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Economic Diversification: CBN Provides N1.9bn Loan to 12,405 Farmers

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The central bank is pushing ahead with diversification agenda, offers farmers cheap loans of 1.99 billion in an effort to speed up economic recovery and diversify the economy, according to a CBN report.

The report showed that the Central Bank of Nigeria provided 12,405 farmers a total of N1.99 billion loans under its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) during the second quarter of this year.

The CBN set up the ACGS to boost the development of the agricultural sector and fast-track the diversification of the economy by providing cheap loans to farmers at a single digit interest rate.

The agricultural sector’s report prepared by the central bank, revealed that this amount represented a 21.6 percent increase from the previous quarter and aimed at enhancing national food security by effecting lower agricultural product prices and simultaneously increasing food supply.

Industrial analysis showed about N1.37bn goes to food crops with 9,607 beneficiaries and represent 68.5 percent of the sum, while livestock with 1,149 beneficiaries got N350.6 million and fisheries had 89.5 million.

A total of N83.9 million was apportioned to cash crops with 538 beneficiaries, mixed crop sub-sector which had N68.7m guaranteed to 414 beneficiaries, while N31.1m was guaranteed to 312 beneficiaries under a category referred to as “others.”

Also, the analysis revealed that 31 states and Federal Capital Territory benefited from the scheme, with Edo state getting the highest, N518 million (26 percent), while Taraba state got the lowest, N0.7 million (0.05 percent).

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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Investment

Pension Funds Invest N55.25bn as Total Assets Hit N10.7trn

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Pension Funds Administrators Invest N55.25bn

The Pension Funds Administrators said a total sum of N55.25 billion has been invested under the Contributory Pension Scheme in infrastructure as of the end of May.

This was stated in the commission report titled ‘Summary of pension fund assets as at 31 May, 2020’ obtained on Monday.

According to the report, the total assets under the Pension Funds Administrators stood at N10.79 trillion during the period under review.

In the commission amended investment regulation, it had stated that it would invest the funds in line with the provisions of Pension Reform Act, 2014.

This was also stated by the PenCom. The PenCom said the Pension Funds Administrators must maintain a multi-fund structure in line with the regulation.

It stated, “In addition to the requirements of other guidelines issued by the commission on corporate governance, ethics and business practices, each PFA shall establish an investment strategy committee as well as a risk management committee, in compliance with section 78 of the Pension Reform Act, 2014.

“The investment strategy committee, in addition to other functions specified in the Act, shall formulate internal investment strategies to enable compliance with this regulation, taking into cognisance the macro-economic environment as well as the investment objectives and risk profile of the respective PFA Funds.”

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Investment

Investment Commitment Drops By 67% to $5.06bn in H1, 2020

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Nigeria’s Investment Commitment Depreciates to $5.06 Billion in H1, 2020

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) disclosed that the nation’s total investment commitment by investors declined to $5.06 billion between January and June 2020.

This represents a decline of 67 percent or $10.9 billion from the $15.15 billion reported in the first half of 2019.

The commission disclosed this in a report obtained in Abuja on Sunday and stated that the drop was in line with the projected downward pressure in investment inflows given the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy as a whole.

The report also revealed that investors from Nigeria and three other countries announced 34 projects in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory during the first quarter of the year.

Top destinations for investors in the first quarter were $2.61 billion; Lagos, $221 million; Nasarawa, $56 million; Ekiti, $50 million; and Cross River, $15 million.

Accordingly, the transport and storage sector attracted 40 percent of the total investment commitment while information and communication received 32 percent with mining and quarrying attracting 22 percent.

The United States of America emerged as the most active source of investment during the first quarter, committing 43 percent of the announcements.

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Investment

COVID-19: Zenith Bank to Access First IFC Financing Support Package in Africa

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank to Access $100 Million COVID-19 Support fund from IFC

Africa’s sixth-largest bank, Zenith Bank Plc, is the first African Bank to access a $100 Million loan from International Financial Corporation (IFC) to battle the negative effect of the global health pandemic.

The world Bank Group reported that the investment is to enable Zenith Bank gain access to foreign currency, additional working capital and more fund for trading.

Accordingly, the loan will enable the bank to support Nigerian businesses in various sectors, strengthen operations, preserve employment and help gain access to required raw materials in this challenging economic period.

The Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu said that IFC support will help the nation tackles the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

IFC’s support is essential and will help us respond to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will allow us to support compelling export initiatives and trade financing for critical goods and materials, especially for the medical and pharmaceuticals sectors. Our partnership with IFC is strong and we are committed to its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements,” he stated

The loan to Zenith Bank is part of the $8 billion COVID-19 global support finance package announced by the World Bank in the first quarter of the year to support businesses affected by the pandemic. Over 250 global clients have requested for financial support from the multilateral institution.

Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager in Nigeria, said, “IFC’s support for Nigeria’s banking sector will help keep the wheels of Nigeria’s economy turning at a time when it is facing a major challenge from COVID-19. Our experience from past shocks, including the global financial crisis in 2008, has taught us that keeping companies solvent is key to saving jobs and limiting economic damage.

With the World Bank predicting Africa’s first recession in 25 years, the adverse effects of COVID-19 have seen the shutdown of businesses in Nigeria’s economy and other countries in Africa

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