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Minister: Fed Govt Targets $22b Foreign Investments in Two Years

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  • Minister: Fed Govt Targets $22b Foreign Investments in Two Years

The Federal Government will attract $22 billion private sector investments through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) “Focused Laboratories” in two years, Budget and National Planning Minister Senator Udoma Udo Udoma said yesterday.

Nigerians, he said, may have to wait for that period before reaping the fruit of foreign investments.

The government, through the ERGP, the minister said, planned to create about 15 million jobs by 2020.

“We intend to achieve this principally through stimulating the private sector.

“Our aim is to make Nigeria a more investment-friendly place, a more attractive place for people to do business.

“We have conducted sector specific labs, which we referred to as the ERGP Focus Labs, to bring potential investors and government officials together to seek to remove the bottlenecks and impediments impeding investment projects.

“We identified over $22 billion of potential investments which could be unlocked, if we can remove some of these impediments,” he said.

Udoma said in Nigeria, the government was forced to cut down its growth projections for this year from three per cent to 2.1 per cent due to oil production challenges in the second quarter of the year.

The minister spoke in Bali, Indonesia, at the launch of the Sub Sahara Africa Regional Economic Outlook.

He said it would take at least two years for the full manifestation of the investment potential of the EPRG of the Federal Government.

“I think it will take one or two years before they actually come to fruition.

“However, government has set up a crack team of four experts who were recruited to work with stakeholders in the private sector on ways to actually have the expected investors come in under the economic plan”, the minister said.

He said the flooding in some states affected the agriculture sector as did the herdsmen clashes in certain areas.

On foreign investments, Udoma agreed with the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria must put in place sound macro-economic policy to mitigate risks associated with volatile capital flows.

Director of the IMF’s African Department Mr Abebe Selassie, while presenting the regional outlook, said Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic recovery was expected to continue growing.

He said growth was projected to increase from 2.7 per cent in 2017 to 3.1 per cent in 2018 and 3.8 percent in 2019.

“Growth is set to improve most notably for oil exporters, while non-resource intensive countries continue to grow strongly, with quite a few growing at six per cent or more.”

“While there has been progress in narrowing fiscal deficits, more focus is needed to raise revenues to support continued development spending and to service debt,” he said.

According to the 2018 Sub-Sahara Africa Regional Economic Outlook, to grow, the region must create at least 20 million jobs per year to absorb new entrants into the labor market.

The IMF in the report advised the region to take policy actions to encourage deepening of trade and financial integration, in the context of the African Continental Free Trade.

It also advised the region to remove market distortions, improve the efficiency of public spending, promoting digital connectivity and a flexible education system and fostering an environment that is conducive to private investment and risk taking.

The World Bank Group (WBG) also yesterday urged Nigeria to invest massively in human capital development as a matter of priority or risk having a jobless work force in about 20 years.

Its President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who gave the advice at a briefing at the ongoing 2018 Annual Meetings of the IMF/WBG in Bali described Nigeria is one of the most important countries in Africa and in the world, “so we feel that it will be extremely important for Nigeria to really go on a different level all together in terms of their commitment to investing in human capital.

He said it was important that development actions were guided by data, saying that “Nigeria unfortunately ranks 152 out of 157 countries. He said the World Bank has been quite supportive in providing aid to the country in the health sector, “but we feel that the overall spending in health (about .076 of GDP) is just far too low. The educational outcomes in Nigeria are very, very low,” he added.

The World Bank chief who was responding to a question on what programme the bank has for Nigeria on human capital development, admitted nonetheless that the bank has its own share of the blames for the woes, not only in Nigeria, but the African sub-continent.

He said: Many African countries are in the red zone. I think the World Bank has to take some responsibility for having emphasised hard infrastructure – roads, rails, energy, for a very long time,” stating that the bank has begun to reverse that scenario in the last 20 years. But he said for most African countries, the thinking remains that “we’ll invest in hard infrastructure and then when we grow rich, we’ll have enough money to invest in health and education.”

But that’s the wrong approach, Kim said.

“We’re now saying that’s the wrong approach, you’ve got to start investing in your people right now.” Pointing out that if this option was ignored, it will spell doom for the affected countries because of the ” rapid change in technology and the fact that many low-income jobs will be eliminated.”

He said the bank cannot put a finger on exactly when this prediction will evolve, but said 20years from now look somewhat the time frame.

”Nobody is quite sure how long that will take, but a child born today, in 20years almost certainly, many of the low-skill jobs today will be gone. Ant the requirement for this child to be able to learn throughout his, or her entire life is simply going to get higher. The requirement, the needs are going to get higher and higher,” he stated.

Kim said the World Bank is ready to lend its support to African countries that are ready to take on the gauntlet, saying funding for growing the skills and human capital development, are not only ready, but enlarged.

As he put it: “This is a very loud and strong message to Africa. Africa needs to invest more in health and education,” saying, “our Fund for the poorest countries is 50 per cent larger than it was three years ago because we have financing, we can provide more support for African countries.”

For the bank’s input to achieve the intended results, Kim urged the respective governments to take responsibility for the success of the programme.

He said: “But the message here is that Heads of State and Ministers of finance have to take responsibility,” saying that the long age practice of waiting for grants before action was taken in developing human capital should be done away with and called on Nigeria to answer this call.

“So we hope that this is a loud wake-up-call for leaders throughout the Africa continent, and especially in Nigeria,” he stressed.

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 markets.

Finance

Banks’ Credit to Economy Hits N19.33 Trillion in August

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Godwin Emefile

Deposit Money Banks Credit to Economy Rose to N19.33 Trillion in August

The total credit facility to the economy rose to N19.33 trillion in the month of August.

The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary committee disclosed on Tuesday after the nation’s monetary policy committee meeting.

The committee attributed the improvement to the 65 percent loan-to-deposit ratio policy implemented to compel the nation’s deposit money banks to join central bank efforts at growing the real sector of the economy.

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who spoke during the meeting said “The bank’s policy on Loan to Deposit ratio also resulted in a significant growth in credit to various sectors from N15.57tn to N19.33tn between end-May 2019 and end-August 2020, an increase of N3.77tn.

“This growth in credit was mainly to manufacturing (N866.27bn), consumer credit (N527.65bn), oil and gas (N477.65bn), agriculture (N287.11bn) and construction (N270.97bn).”

On monetary aggregates, broad money supply (M3) rose to 6.93 per cent (year-to-date) in August 2020 from 5.23 per cent in July 2020, reflecting the increase in both Net Foreign Assets and Net Domestic Assets.

He said total domestic credit grew by 6.94 percent in August 2020, lower than the 9.43 percent recorded in July 2020.

The committee reduced the nation’s benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 percent, down from the previous 12.5 percent.

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Emerging Cities Take on Established Hubs for Graduates Seeking a Career in Finance

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Graduates Seeking a Career in Finance Prefer Dubai to Start Their Career

Dubai is the number one global destination for graduates who successfully complete the flagship graduate programme at one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

On passing the intensive scheme, deVere Group routinely asks graduates in which location within the Group’s global network of offices they would like to start their international financial services career. This year, 36% have responded with Dubai.

The second most popular is London (25%); Hong Kong is third (14 %); Mexico City is fourth (13%) and Moscow is fifth (6%).

The remaining 6% is made up of other destinations including Shanghai, Geneva, Paris, and Abu Dhabi.

deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green comments: “This survey highlights that the next generation of financial services professionals are open to look beyond the traditional and more established global financial hubs.

“The order of the top destinations changes with each group of grads we take on, but Dubai, London, and Hong Kong are typically in the top five somewhere.

“This is because, quite understandably, these global hubs of finance, commerce and technology represent centres of enormous possibilities for ambitious individuals about to embark on careers as international wealth-advisory and fintech professionals.

“There are some common traits amongst these cities, including that English is commonly spoken, they are politically and economically stable, there is a high level of internationally-minded high net worth individuals, and by relocating to these places one can usually expect comparatively high financial rewards.”

He continues: “What is different this year is that for the first time emerging financial hub cities are making the top five. Mexico City and Moscow are now actively competing for top talent with well-established international financial centres like Shanghai, Geneva and Tokyo.

“All these global destinations are unique and differ from each other in terms of the lifestyle they offer and in terms of clients’ expectations, economic environments and regulatory conditions.

“With each of the top five cities offering unique opportunities and challenges, each one attracts grads who have often quite markedly different strengths and weaknesses, skill sets and aspirations,” notes Mr Green.

“The results of this survey suggest that despite the pandemic, talented young people seeking a rewarding career are keen to look for opportunities internationally.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “With a globally-focused outlook from the wealth advisers and fintech professionals of the future, we can expect this trend of emerging hub cities to take on stalwart destinations to continue for the foreseeable future.”

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Adesina, Godwin Emefiele, Others to Deliver Keynote Address at ASA 2020

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Akinwumi Adesina

Adesina and Godwin Emefiele to Deliver Keynote Speech at Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2020

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), President Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, is expected to deliver the keynote address at the 2020 Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) holding this week.

The yearly summit organised by Sterling Bank is titled ‘Fast forward agriculture: Exploiting the Next Revolution’ this year.

According to the organisers, participants were expected to log in online while a few others would be in Lagos and Abuja studios.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Yemi Odubiyi, the Executive Director of Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank said other dignitaries were expected to deliver goodwill messages at the summit.

Some of the names mentioned were the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono; Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Kebbi counterpart, Senator Atiku Bagudu; and the Oniru of Iru Kingdom, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal.

Director, Advocacy and Country Alignment Function (ACAF), Director-General’s Office, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Kwasi Attah-Krah, is expected to deliver another keynote address on the second day.

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