- Heritage Bank Resumes Forex Sales to SMEs, to Disburse N100bn Loan
Heritage Bank has resumed the sale of foreign exchange to Small and Medium Enterprises and parents looking to pay their kids school fees abroad.
The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria resumed sale of forex to banks in the country.
The bank is also set to disburse the N100billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of proactive measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 and revamp the nation’s dwindling economy.
Specifically, the scheme is to provide credit to indigenous pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.
Also, the CBN resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay schools fees and small medium enterprises (SMEs) with plans to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country.
In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of over US$100 million per week for both categories.
Meanwhile, Heritage Bank serves as a conduit which will assess and channel the profiles of interested applicants to the CBN while using its platforms to create awareness for the scheme.
The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.
To access the N100bn loans provided by the CBN for firms in the healthcare sector, a corporate entity must submit its application to a participating financial institution (PFI) which could be either a Deposit Money Bank or a Development Finance Institution of its choice with a bankable business plan.
It stated in its latest guidelines that the PFI must appraise and conduct due diligence on the application; and upon approval by the PFI’s credit committee, the application would be submitted to the apex bank with relevant documents attached.
The CBN would process and disburse funds to the PFI for onward release to the project, it added.
The CBN stated that the PFI must receive and review applications submitted by its customers; undertake due diligence based on normal business considerations, and bear the credit risk.
They must also issue offer letters and forward qualified applications to the CBN; disburse the released funds to successful applicants; monitor the project and recover the loans from the beneficiaries, and maintain adequate records of all beneficiaries and facilities.
It requires the PFIs to register all movable assets with the National Collateral Registry; forward periodic returns in the prescribed format on the scheme to the CBN; comply with the guidelines, and carry out any other duties as the CBN may prescribe from time to time.
According to the CBN, eligible participants under the scheme comprise healthcare product manufacturers – pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; and healthcare service providers/medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, diagnostic centres/laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres and blood banks, among others.
Others include pharmaceutical/medical products distribution and logistics services; and other human healthcare service providers as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
Eligible activities under the scheme would include manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; establishment/expansion/upgrade of basic and specialised healthcare facilities; and medical/pharmaceutical supplies.
Others are medical/pharmaceutical research and development; distribution of medical/pharmaceutical drugs and supplies; Manufacturing of medical/pharmaceutical drugs distribution technology; and any other healthcare value chain activity as may be prescribed by the CBN.
The CBN said the term loan had a maximum of N2billion per obligor; and the interest rate under the intervention would not be more than five per cent per annum up until February 28, 2021; and that interest on the facility would revert to nine per cent as from March 2021.
FG Includes Emirates Airlines in Restricted Flights
FG Restricts Emirates Airlines From Flying Nigeria
The Federal Government on Friday said it has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to fly into Nigeria as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, disclosed this via his official Twitter handle on Friday.
According to him, the decision was taken after a meeting between members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and European Union ambassadors.
The minister said the ban would take effect on Monday, September 21, 2020.
“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Hadi Sirika tweeted.
“The PTF sub committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020.”
FG to Absorb Exited N-power Beneficiaries into New Program
Exited N-power Beneficiaries to Be Absorbed into Another Program
The Federal Government has commenced plans to absorb exited N-power beneficiaries into a new program in an effort to help them eke a living.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, made the statement at an interactive forum with state focal persons of the National Social Investment Programmes in Abuja.
She said: “As we renew our commitment to the service of humanity, I will like to cease this opportunity to once again state that we have successfully exited Batch A and B of the N-Power beneficiaries in June and July respectively and we are still working towards ensuring a transition plan that will further engage or absorb them into other programmes.”
Sadiya also stated that the selection process of the Batch C N-power application will be thorough and base on merit.
“We have also received over 5 million applications from proposed N-Power Batch C and we are currently in the process of selecting the qualified beneficiaries coming into the programme.
“I assure all the applicants and Nigerians that the selection process will be transparent,” she said.
She added that, “I wish to reiterate that I have given approval for the payment of stipends for the exited beneficiaries of batches A and B up to the month of June 2020 including that of the independent monitors. Also, the final payment of stipend for Batch B is almost ready for transmission to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for final checks and payment.
The minister urged state coordinators to discharge their duties diligently and not let her down.
“It is against this background that I urge everyone of you to continue to give in your best to ensure the lives of those we are called to serve are made better.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that each one of the vulnerable persons are not mere numbers or statistics but real people with dreams, hopes, aspirations and a desire to live decent lives in peace and safety,” he submitted.
FG Says All Airports Are Now Open for Domestic Flight Operations
All Airports Are Now Open for Domestic Flight Operations Says FG
The Federal Government on Monday said all airports in the country are officially open for domestic flight operations.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
Hadi, however, noted that operators flying into private-owned airports must know the status of such airports.
Speaking at the PTF Briefing, the minister said there is no need for flight approval within Nigeria again as all airports are now opened for domestic operations.
He said, “All airports in Nigeria are now open for domestic flights, including those that are for private charter operations.
“They (operators) will no longer need approvals from us to operate domestically within government-owned airports. However, for the private airports, operators should check their safety status with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
“Such airports are Jalingo, Uyo, Asaba, Gombe, Nasarawa, Damaturu, Osubi, etc. So you don’t need any approval from the minister, but you should check the status of these airports with the NCAA.”
Commenting on international chartered flights, the minister said they need approvals to flight out of the country.
He said, “All flights out of the country that are private charter will still need approvals for those kind of flights, including technical stops.
“So with this, it means that the approvals that are sent via the NCAA, NAMA and myself will cease and if there is any change, it will be so advised accordingly.”
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