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IATF 2021 projected to generate $40bn — Afreximbank




The 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is projected to generate more than US$40 billion in trade and investment deals, Dr George Elombi, Executive Vice President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services at African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has said.

Elombi made the disclosure at a roadshow in Lagos in preparation for the 2nd IATF scheduled to hold in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, 2021.

He said the IATF was crutial in supporting African integration and promoting the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a core mandate of the Afreximbank.

According to him, AfCFTA has become a framework for African economic recovery in the context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Elombi said factors such as market fragmentation, lack of economies of scale, reliance on the export of primary commodities, under-developed regional value chains, and tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade had adversely affected the growth of Africa’s trade.

This, he noted, had resulted in a very low percentage of intra-African trade, averaging around 15 per cent and continuously subjecting Africa’s growth and development to external forces.

“Nigeria is the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing about 17 per cent of the African Economy and about 64 per cent of the economy of West Africa by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Notably, as at 2020, Nigeria’s imports from the African region relative to total imports was at 7 per cent, while the share of Nigeria’s exports to the African region relative to total exports was at 20 per cent.

“For those reasons, and many more, Nigeria stands to benefit the most from an intra African trade fair, an event intended to enhance the trade of African states among themselves, and to meet the objectives of Agenda 2063 as declared by African Heads of State.

“Over years, the bank has supported and facilitated trade and investments in Nigeria through its array of financial and non-financial instruments.

“The Bank has approved over US$26 billion in support of Nigerian public and private sector entities and is currently implementing several of its flagship continental initiatives in Nigeria.

“Some of these initiatives include the development of The African Medical Center of Excellence Initiative (AMCE) in Abuja, the African Quality Assurance Center being developed in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and the Afreximbank Africa Trade Center being in Abuja,” he said.

Elombi added that the bank was committed to supporting the Nigerian economy through various funding programmes for Nigerian businesses.

He revealed that from January to August 2021, total loan approvals for Nigeria were in excess of US$1.89 billion and at the end of August 2021, the bank’s total loans exposure to Nigeria was US$5.5 billion.

“This represents 26.8 per cent share of the bank’s total loans and advances.

“For those reasons, we also think that IATF, an Afreximbank event, deserves the full support of Nigeria,” he said.

Chief Diana Chen, Chairman Choice International Group, GAC Motors, said that the Nigerian economy would grow by an additional five per cent if efforts are focused on the automotive industry.

She, however, noted the country lacked policies, good education system, skills and training to harness the opportunities of the sector.

“We need the people to be well trained so when the opportunities or investors come, they will be ready.

“Economy is a matter of confidence. If you can build the confidence of the people, the economy will grow.

“If you put the effort that you put in oil in automobile, GDP will grow by at least 5 per cent,” she said.(NAN)


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Business & Economy

NDIC commences payment of N16.18bn to liquidated banks’ depositors




Following impressive recoveries from debtors and realisation of assets of banks in liquidation, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has declared N16.18 billion liquidation dividends to depositors, creditors and shareholders of 20 banks in-liquidation.

A statement by the Director, Communication & Public Affairs, NDIC, Bashir Nuhu, disclosed that the Corporation has commenced verification and payment of stakeholders covered by the declarations within 30 days, starting from 28th September 2023.

The ongoing payment is sequel to an earlier payment of various sums which cumulatively amounted to N45.45bn as liquidation dividends in respect of the 20 banks by July 2023, Nuhu said.

Relevant stakeholders have been requested to visit any of the NDIC offices closer to them or go to the claims page on the corporation’s website, to download, complete and submit the verification form with prescribed supporting documents to a dedicated email.

The closed banks covered by the exercise are Liberty Bank, City Express Bank, Assurance Bank, Century Bank, Allied Bank, Financial Merchant Bank, Icon Merchant Bank, Progress Bank, Merchant Bank of Africa (MBA), Premier Commercial Bank, North South Bank and Prime Merchant Bank.

Others are Commercial Trust Bank, Cooperative and Commerce Bank, Rims Merchant Bank, Pan African Bank, Fortune Bank, All States Trust Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank and Amicable Bank in-liquidation.

Liquidation dividends represent amounts in excess of the insured sums paid by the NDIC to depositors of a closed bank from recoveries made from realisation of assets of failed financial institutions. They also cover the amount paid to creditors and shareholders of closed banks after full payment to depositors of such defunct banks.

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Business & Economy

Senate Confirms Appointment Of Cardoso, Others As CBN Governor And Deputies 



Yemi Cardoso


The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and four others as Deputy Governors of the apex bank.

They were confirmed on Tuesday following a screening by the upper legislative body.

The deputy governors who were confirmed are Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.

“The nomination of Olayemi Cardoso is hereby confirmed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Senate President Godswill Akpabio said.

Before their confirmation, the nominees had answered questions on matters related to economic and other policies.

During the screening, Cardoso promised to embrace compliance, assuring that under his leadership, the apex bank would remain apolitical.

“I believe that the Central Bank under our watch will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance,” he said.

“We will not wait for oversight to come and tell us what to do. We will ensure that by the time the system is passing through us, we catch it and we deal with it,” said Cardoso who promised zero tolerance for abuse of compliance.

“That is a cultural shift, a change in mindset, but we will make sure it happens,” the former Citibank Nigeria chairman assured.

Cardoso’s confirmation comes weeks after President Bola Tinubu nominated him as the acting CBN governor and four others as deputies.

He assumed office last week, replacing the then-acting governor of the CBN Folashodun Shonubi.

The recent appointments followed the suspension and resignation of Godwin Emefiele as the apex bank boss. The Delta-born began his reign in 2014 but got backlash owing to the naira redesign policy.

Emefiele, who was later arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) but released on bail,  is being tried on an alleged N6.9b fraud.

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Business & Economy

Senate Screens CBN Governor, Deputies Today – Bamidele 



Yemi Cardoso


The Senate will on Tuesday screen former Chairman of the Board of Citi Bank Nigeria, Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The senate will also screen four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, who will join forces with Cardoso to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.

In a statement by the Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, the senate will screen all the nominees following its resumption from its annual recess.

The statement said: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will resume plenary on Tuesday, September 26. We will consider the screening of Dr. Cardoso at the Committee of the whole.

“Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.

“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”

On September 15, President Tinubu approved the nomination of Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He also approved the nomination of four deputy governors for a term of five years each at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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