The Federal Government on Monday said the sum of ₦750 billion would be released this week to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the execution of some capital projects contained in the 2017 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun,gave this cheering news while receiving a delegation of investors from France.
The Federal Government had initially released N450 billion.This brings to N1.2 trillion, the total money released for capital projects in the 2017 budget.
“Last year (2016), we released N1.3 trillion of capital and so far this year we have released N450 billion and this week, we will release another N750 billion and this will take the release to N1.2 trillion by the end of the year.”
She told the delegation that the infrastructure deficit in the country was huge, adding that this has provided an opportunity for investment.
Adeosun also stated that the fund is not a largess to the MDAs but meant to finance critical capital projects as contained in the 2017 budget.
The minister also restated the government commitment to improving on the level of infrastructure and provision of enabling environment for foreign investors.
“What the government is doing is to provide the enabling infrastructure that would turn potential into a reality.”
The head of the delegation, Mr. Philippe Labonne, said the investors had indicated interest to invest in key sectors of the economy such as banking, infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture and youth empowerment.
He said the decision of the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the government of France for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.
“We are here to assess the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us to take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.”
“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking; and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.”
Labonne, stated their readiness to invest in areas such as energy, agriculture and services, especially towards youth (development) with an assurance to identify other areas subsequently.
Labonne described the Nigerian economic environment as encouraging, considering the recent stability in the foreign exchange market.
To achieve their investment objective, Labonne said, most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterparts.
Former Liberian President to sit on WHO review panel of COVID-19 response effort
Ellen Sirleaf has been picked alongside Helen Clark, to serve as co-chairs of the independent panel.
Following stern criticism by US President, Donald Trump, over their handling of the COVID-19 response efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it will implement an independent panel to review said response efforts to the pandemic.
To this end, Liberia’s former President and West Africa’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has been picked alongside former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, to serve as co-chairs of the independent panel. They will be responsible for selecting the other members of the panel, according to the WHO.
WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, announced the panel will produce an interim report in a November meeting of global health ministers. Meanwhile, the substantive report would be produced by May 2021.
Tedros also said that the size of the pandemic calls for the need for a “commensurate evaluation, an honest evaluation”, adding that the WHO would be very serious with the preparation of the report.
The WHO members in May agreed to an independent review of the organization’s response to the pandemic. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the review of the body’s response would be challenging but looks forward to her role in doing what she can contribute to the response of the pandemic’s challenges.
The panel will also report monthly updates on the body’s response and will not only review the WHO’s response but also the International community’s response. Tedros added that it’s time for an honest reflection on the global response, saying a response will help with lessons on the pandemic.
Presidency dismisses allegation of Osinbajo receiving N4 billion from recovered loots
The accusation was described to be an obvious campaign of lies and calumny.
The office of the Vice President has reacted to a series of tweets accusing Professor Yemi Osinbajo of instructing the embattled acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to release the sum of N4 billion out of N39 billion that was recovered from alleged looters.
These allegations have been described as “false and baseless”.
A statement that was signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said, “with all emphasis at our disposal, let it be firmly stated that these are totally false and baseless fabrications purposing to reflect goings-on at the probe panel investigating Mr Ibrahim Magu”.
Ibrahim Magu was relieved of his duties this week, after a probe was conducted on his activities as Acting Chairman of the nation’s anti-graft agency. He has since been replaced with Mohammed Umar.
Meanwhile, the statement by the Presidency also complained about the recent rise in people being paid to “peddle blatant falsehoods” against the Vice President and says Mr Osinbajo “will not be distracted by these obvious campaigns of lies and calumny”.
The statement added that the online publications “being criminally defamatory in nature” have been referred to law enforcement agencies for investigation.
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) July 8, 2020
Stanbic IBTC observes closed period, as directors set to consider H1 results
The directors will also consider a proposal to pay an interim dividend to shareholders.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc announced earlier today that its board of directors will meet on Wednesday, July 29, as part of preparations towards the release of the company’s consolidated and separate audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider a proposal to pay the company’s shareholders an interim dividend.
A statement issued by the Stanbic IBTC to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) noted that the scheduled board meeting is in tandem with guidelines contained in section 1.2 of the NSE’s rules book.
In the meantime, the bank Hold-Co has already commenced observing its closed period ahead of the release of the half-year financial statements. Specifically, Stanbic IBTC began observing its closed period on June 1st, 2020, the implication being that all insiders and their relatives have been prohibited from trading the company’s shares for more than one month now.
Note that the Stanbic IBTC’s closed period will continue until the half-year financial statements are released. Part of the statement which was signed by Chidi Okezie (Company Secretary), said:
“In accordance with the provisions of Section 1.2 of the Rules of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The NSE) relating to Board Meetings and General Meetings of Issuers, we would like to notify The NSE and our Shareholders, that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (the Company) is scheduled to hold on Wednesday 29 July 2020 at 1:00 pm. The meeting will discuss amongst other items, the Company’s Consolidated and Separate Audited Financial Statements for the Half-year ended 30 June 2020 as well as a proposed interim dividend.
“In view of the above, the closed period for the release of half-year results, which commenced on Monday, 01 June 2020 will continue to be in effect until the release of the Company’s Half-year audited financial statements.”
Recall that the last earnings report that was released by Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc was for Q1 2020. The unaudited report showed that gross earnings stood at N61.4 billion as against N58.7 billion in Q1 2019, even though interest income for the period declined by 12% year on year to N27.5 billion. Meanwhile, profit for the period stood at N20.6 billion, an increase when compared to N19.2 billion in Q1 2019.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ share price closed at N30.25 at the end of today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Year to date, the stock has declined by nearly -20%.