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How N23 billion in CBN-PPP funds were distributed to 28 companies

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A total of 28 companies have received N22.3billion the Central Bank of Nigeria official launch of the 100 for 100 Policy for Production and Productivity (PPP), an intervention of the Apex Bank designed to stimulate investments in Nigeria’s priority sectors.

The Fund which has the core objective of boosting production and productivity, which will aid efforts to stimulate greater growth of the economy and create employment opportunities was launched by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele in Abuja Monday.

Under this initiative, every hundred days, manufacturers in critical sectors that seek to engage in greenfield projects or in expanding their existing facilities will have access to cheaper forms of credit at single-digit rates, as well as the foreign exchange to procure plants and machineries.

Emefiele disclosed at the launch that specifically, “for this first cycle of the initiative ending today, 243 applications valued at N321.06 billion, spread over key sectors such as agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and services sectors were submitted on the portal.

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“After much engagement, 79 applications were received from banks, valued at N121.87 billion, for projects in six (6) sectors, namely agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and services sectors. The requests were carefully screened and scrutinized against a set-out selection criterion, which is categorized into production efficiency and scalability; local content capacity; job creation and human capital development; operating sector relevance; and potential contribution to economic growth.

He said following the due screening of the applications received, 28 companies with projects that have clearly articulated proposals were selected for funding. “These projects, valued at N23.20 billion, comprise 14 in the manufacturing sector, 12 in the agricultural sector, and 2 in the healthcare sector.

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“When fully operational, these projects are expected to create over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs across multiple sectors of the economy, as well as generate close to US$125.80 million in foreign exchange earnings. It is important to note that five (5) of the selected projects are greenfield projects seeking to exploit the huge opportunities in key sectors of our economy.”

He said the Programme has the potential to significantly accelerate manufacturing output, promote further diversification of our economy and enable faster growth of our non-oil exports.

More specifically, the PPP will help to reduce the over-reliance on imports as well as stimulate productivity in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, extractive industries, logistics services, trade-related infrastructure, and renewable energy.

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Speaking on the application that was not successful, Emefiele said: “For the ones that have not qualified, we will go back and review the applications and deal with the issues to enable them to qualify.”

He also disclosed that the Apex bank will engage with commercial banks on the non-oil stimulation facilities in the coming days because there is a need to look into export stimulation in Nigeria.

“We have to make sure that all the transactions are properly recorded to boost export earnings in the country,” He added.

There are no limitations about the sectors. It only just happens that they brought just a few of these sectors.

The governor further hinted that the selection of subsequent beneficiaries will be rolled over every 100 days with new sets of 100 companies and details of these companies will be published in the major national dailies.

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Under the Programme, eligible applicants will be required to submit their applications to their banks, after which, a notification is submitted on a dedicated portal – https://100for100ppp.ng, which has been created to ensure transparency and allow applicants to track the status of their applications.

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Emefiele said for those seeking to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the Bank will continue to provide all the needed support, both in Naira and dollars specifically for the importation of plants and equipment to actualize these investments.

He said: “It is pertinent to point out that the foreign exchange support will be solely for the importation of spares, plants and equipment needed to increase production capacities of these companies.

“Let me emphasize that our mission through this initiative is to ensure that priority is accorded to companies who display verifiable progress in our imports substitution and job creation drive. Consequently, we would soon unveil a new FX bidding regime that is market-driven and supports companies that accord utmost priority for our local production and job creation drive.”

The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige in his remarks said: “Unless the country gets to be productive, all we are doing comes to nothing.

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“All the CBN innovative finance has paid a lot of attention to agriculture because it is a low hanging fruit and it is in agriculture that you have real production.

“These initiatives align with the federal government drive to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. So we have no choice but to stimulate productivity programme in the country.”

He called for sustained collaboration between the Monetary and the fiscal authorities noting that the economy will suffer the most if they fail to synergize to move the economy forward.

The Chairman of the Body of banks CEOs and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe in his remarks said: “We take our responsibility to economic development very seriously because Nigeria has for its benefit, a very young population.

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“COVID-19 has proved to us the need to come together to support production, increase and reduce import.”

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He said the CEOs will do all they can to support the policy

The CBN Governor presented symbolic cheques to the seven (7) participating financial institutions whose customers have been selected as pioneer beneficiaries under the PPP’s first cycle.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) received a total of N1.1bn. Fidelity bank received N5.7bn. Keystone bank, N998million. Stanbic IBTC N3.3bn. Union Bank, N2.3bn. Wema bank N450million and Zenith bank, N9.2bn

One of the beneficiaries, the Chief Operating Officer of Harvest field and Agro-processing ltd, Adedolapo Adeyemi said: “With the new finance, we will be able to increase production by 60 per cent and employ additional 300 people.

“This is a breakthrough for us and we are really happy and we hope to take the Agriculture sector forward.”

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Emefiele urged the beneficiaries to judiciously use the funds for the purpose for which they had indicated in their applications, as independent monitors and evaluators will be engaged to regularly follow up on the progress of the project, with particular focus on the socio-economic impact of the financed projects on their immediate community and the economy in general.

 

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Elumelu says strong insurance sector foundation for strong Nigeria

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Tony Elumelu, CON, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), giving a keynote address at the recent 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) conference, underlined the importance of a vibrant, well capitalised and deep insurance sector to Nigeria’s economy.

“Not least in these testing times, our people need financial security, secure savings and protection against uncertainty. Our industry needs to offer simple, smart products, that give value and deliver. We need an industry that is professional and can catalyse investment in key sectors such as power, infrastructure and housing”.

Elumelu congratulated the NCRIB on its anniversary and the role it has played, joining other prominent guests including Commissioner for Insurance and the President of NCRIB. But he stated there was no room for complacency, with the sector needing to regain trust, stamp down on malpractice and fundamentally evolve its customer proposition to deepen the insurance penetration.

He emphasised the commitment of Heirs Holdings to the insurance industry.

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He said: “Our two insurance companies, Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited, are both leading democratisation of access to insurance – which is a tool for financial inclusion, employment creation, poverty eradication and female advancement. In a country of two hundred million, we can, should and must be more relevant than we are today. I am an optimist, not a pessimist. I know that times are tough, but together we can, and we will transform our industry, create value, and provide solutions that demonstrate the value of insurance to our people.”

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Reiterating Elumelu’s stance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, Commission for Insurance called for more collaboration and effort in enabling access to insurance, stating that the industry could do more in this prospect.

He said: “It is a fundamental truth that the insurance sector exists for other sectors to thrive. A lot has been achieved, but there is still more work to be done. Until insurance becomes the oxygen that homes and other industries breathe, and a subject that is known to everyone, we have not arrived”.

The President, NCRIB, Barrister Rotimi Edu, appreciated Elumelu for delivering the keynote speech at the event, while making a commitment on behalf of the Council to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.

He said: “The Council is already creating avenues through strategic engagements with notable governmental and non-governmental institutions to deepen the industry in the country”.

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Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life are lead sponsors of the NCRIB 60th Anniversary, alongside investment group United Capital Plc and healthcare management company, Avon HMO, all investee companies of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African investment group, with a portfolio spread across 24 African countries and four continents.

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150 Years: FrieslandCampina Pays Tribute to Member Dairy Farmers

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To mark the end of its 150th anniversary year, FrieslandCampina presents its new short film, A New Day. The film pays tribute to the many generations of dairy farmers who have made FrieslandCampina what it is today; a dynamic, forward-looking dairy cooperative and a global company.

‘A New Day’ tells the story of the next generation of farmers, focused on the future of dairy farming with lots of passion and determination, while adapting to the rapidly changing world.

According to Hein Schumacher, CEO FrieslandCampina: “We are very proud of our farmers and our cooperative heritage. For over 150 years, our member farmers have always managed to adapt to what the market and society demand from them. By actively responding to evolving needs and constantly innovating, they have developed themselves into very innovative farmers.

“I have great admiration for the next generation of farmers, especially in these tense and uncertain times. They are building the future of sustainable dairy farming, with the same commitment and unwavering spirit as the many generations before them. This film is our tribute to all dairy farmers, young and old,” Schumacher said.

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Also commenting, Ben Langat, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina Sub-Saharan Africa said, “The story of our cooperative is a special one. ‘A New Day’ celebrates our farmers who are playing that critical role in bringing better nutrition to the tables of families across Sub-Saharan Africa. FrieslandCampina Sub-Saharan Africa salutes our farm heroes and remains steadfast in our commitment and support to the development and prosperity of our local dairy farmers.”

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The four-minute film tells the story of three young dairy farmers who are on a journey, sometimes literally, as they face dilemmas, make choices and emerge stronger, ready for a new day. The film shows the challenges they are facing in this rapidly changing world. ‘A New Day’ is the sequel to ‘The Story of Milk, produced in 2012, also by corporate cinema agency 1Camera.

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Watch it below.

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Asia’s richest man sees growing isolation for China

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Indian billionaire Gautam Adani says that China “will feel increasingly isolated” and the “foremost champion of globalization” would find it hard to bounce back from a period of economic weakness.

Speaking at a conference in Singapore on Tuesday, Adani said “increasing nationalism, supply chain risk mitigation, and technology restrictions,” as well as resistance to Beijing’s huge Belt and Road initiative, would impact China’s global role.

Asia’s richest man said that “housing and credit risks” in the world’s second largest economy were also “drawing comparisons with what happened to the Japanese economy during the ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s.”

Adani was speaking less than a month after the business mogul became the world’s third richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is the first Asian to take that spot.

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The founder of the eponymous Adani Group controls companies ranging from ports to power.

While pessimistic about China, Adani remains bullish about his own country, saying that India is “one of the few relatively bright spots from a political, geostrategic, and market perspective.”

He anticipates India to become the world’s third largest economy by 2030, with “the largest consuming middle class the world will ever see.”

Some technology firms looking to reduce their dependence on Chinese manufacturing already see India as an attractive alternative.

On Monday, Apple announced that it has started making its new iPhone 14 in India, as the technology giant looks to diversify its supply chain. While the company manufactures the bulk of its products in China, it has decided to start producing its latest devices in India much earlier than with previous generations.

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Businesses may have to move away from China not just because of its strict Covid restrictions, which have been hurting supply chains for months now, but also because of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan.

The US government ordered two of America’s top chipmakers to stop selling high-performance chips to China earlier this month. And, last week, leaders of America’s biggest banks said they could exit China if it ever attacks Taiwan.

Adani also mentioned the challenges facing the United Kingdom, and countries in the European Union, because of the war in Ukraine and Brexit.

“While I expect all these economies will readjust over time — and bounce back — the friction of the bounce-back looks far harder this time,” he said.

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