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G7 devt. finance institutions, others to invest $80bn into African businesses

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The G7 Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) have announced a commitment to invest 80 billion dollars in Africa’s private sector, over the next five years, to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in the continent.

A statement on Monday, from the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the G7 DFIs made the announcement along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the AfDB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank.

It is the first time the G7 DFIs have come together to make a collective partnership commitment to the African continent, according to the statement.

Each DFI has its own investment criteria which are aligned to an assessment of need, to achieve development impact across a range of sectors.

DFIs play an important role in helping to build markets, mitigate risks and pave the way for other investors to enter new markets.

The G7 DFI group consists of CDC, Proparco (France), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation, DFC (US), FinDev Canada, DEG (Germany) and CDP (Italy).

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said the UK was proud to back this commitment by world leaders at the G7 Summit.

“This investment will create jobs, boost economic growth, help tackle climate change and fight poverty. It comes at a crucial time as the continent rebuilds its economies, severely impacted by COVID-19,” Duddridge said.

Also, Nick O’Donohoe, the Chief Executive Officer, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Group, said the patient, high quality capital DFIs provided was urgently needed if African economies were to rebuild quickly from the impact of the pandemic.

“CDC is committed to building long term investment partnerships in Africa that fuel sustainable private sector growth in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” O’Donohoe said.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said the EIB welcomed G7 leadership to enhance support for high-impact investment across Africa during and after the pandemic.

“Last year, the EU Bank’s engagement in Africa, as part of Team Europe, represented the largest ever support for climate action and investment in fragile states in 55 years of EIB operations on the continent.

“We stand ready to cooperate further with African and multilateral partners to tackle both COVID-19 and accelerate the green transition in Africa,” Hoyer said.

Also, Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director, said ensuring an inclusive and sustainable recovery for people, businesses and economies across Africa, in coordination with IFC’s development partners, was at the core of the corporation’s development mandate.

“We know that the private sector will play a major role in financing Africa’s future by creating millions of jobs that are essential to ensuring sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.

“We, therefore, welcome this important partnership and are proud to provide financing and to work with partners to help create the right conditions to bring more private investment to Africa,” Diop said.

Similarly, David Marchick, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) said investing more in Africa, under President Biden’s leadership, was a top priority for DFC in fulfilling its development mandate.

“DFC is proud to be doubling down on our commitment to Africa, alongside our G7 and multilateral partners .

”We will continue to prioritise investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent,” Marchick said.

Dario Scannapieco, Chief Executive Officer, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) said closer collaboration among DFIs and multilateral partners was an essential factor in fostering sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa.

“CDP looks forward to contributing to this strategic partnership, supporting the African continent in developing its entrepreneurial and financial private sector, to unlock its vast, untapped potential,” Scannapieco said.

Also, Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, AfDB, said the bank welcomed the global partnership and the opportunity to provide the African voice, as Africa builds back better and boldly.

“The opportunity to create jobs, particularly for youth and women, from a focus on industrialising Africa underpinned by the African Continental Free Trade Area, will be our priority.

“Given the gap between the IMF estimates and what this partnership is committing to, we will seek to crowd-in African development partners.

”As well as African savings from SWFs, pensions, and insurance pools, estimated to have US$1.8 trillion AUM,” Quaynor said.

Furthermore, Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, said harnessing the potential of the private sector was essential in supporting prosperity in Africa and meeting its development needs.

“In the North African countries where we work, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, we have invested over 11.5 billion euros in only nine years.

”It will be focused on boosting the private sector, developing green sustainable infrastructure and promoting youth and women participation in the economy.

“We will pursue our efforts to expand private sector investment opportunities at scale in the region, in close cooperation with other development actors,” Harmgart said.

However, Monika Beck, member of the DEG-Management Board, a German development finance institution, noted that many of the institution’s African partner countries had been affected by the pandemic.

“We quickly developed new services to support private sector SMEs and to help protect jobs and livelihoods.

“In Africa, DEG has always been specifically committed to creating prospects for the young, growing population. Therefore DEG welcome and is proud to be part of the G7 DFI Africa initiative,” Beck said. (NAN)

 

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Tinubu To Present 2024 Supplementary Budget To NASS

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President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
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President Bola Tinubu will soon present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly (NASS).

“I submitted the last budget to you,” the President said when he addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“You expeditiously passed it. We are walking the talk. I will soon bring the Year 2024 (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill. That is just for your information,” the President said in his terse speech at the joint sitting to mark the Silver Jubilee Of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

In his response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said, “Thank you, Mr President, we will be expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2024 as soon as possible.”

Also, at the joint sitting which coincided with the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, the President confirmed ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the “latest national anthem”.

Tinubu said, “You sang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.”

The President pleaded with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to continue to collaborate and work together with the administration to build the country on the path of sustained progress and development.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn,” he said.

 

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We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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