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Women entrepreneurs set to benefit $200 million from Union Bank  

Women Entrepreneurs will benefit from a $200 million facility acquired by Union Bank to support Women-led businesses. 

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Women Entrepreneurs will benefit from a $200 million facility which has been secured by Union Bank to support women-led businesses.

This was disclosed by the lender in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

The Details: The $200 million fund was secured by Union Bank in a partnership with sub-Saharan Africa financial services group, Atlas Mara Limited, and in agreement with Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States government’s development finance institution.

[READ ALSO: Konga’s former CEO, Sim Shagaya, explains the main problems facing SMEs]

The fund is a 10-year term credit facility of up to $200 million from OPIC. It is expected to be utilized to encourage digitization, lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and provide funding for women-led businesses.

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Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, who was elated with the development, explained that the fund was in line with the bank’s commitment in empowering women-owned businesses.

We welcome this partnership with OPIC as we are well-positioned in Nigeria to further advance lending to key segments of the population, especially SMEs. The 10-year tenor of the OPIC facility provides flexibility to maximize impact across key sectors of the Nigerian economy as we continue to advance proven initiatives including those focused on women’s banking and financial inclusion,” Emuwa stated.

Acting President and CEO of OPIC, David Bohigian, said, “OPIC is delighted to partner with Atlas Mara and the team at Union Bank to drive inclusive lending in Nigeria. This funding benefits SMEs and women and will help serve the needs of underbanked and unbanked individuals and businesses while fostering entrepreneurship and economic development across Nigeria.”

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What you should know: Earlier this year, Union Bank launched Alpher (α), a dynamic proposition aimed at uplifting women across all segments of the Nigerian society through capacity building opportunities, networking platforms, scholarships and tailored financial services for women.

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Last year, Union Bank also introduced an innovative business acceleration programme, ‘Start up Connect’, which enables Nigerian businesses creating technology-based solutions to be more competitive in the rapidly expanding African technology market.

Union Bank has been consistent in providing innovative services where SMEs can access up to $20,000 per quarter for importation without opening Letters of Credit or Bills for Collection under the Form Q scheme.

About Union Bank: Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank has a network of over 300 sales and service centres across Nigeria.

Following recapitalization in 2012 from new investors and the appointment of a new Executive Management team, Union Bank has undergone an award-winning transformation to re-establish the Bank as a leading provider of financial services in Nigeria.

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[READ ALSO: Firstbank targets 500,000 agents to boost financial inclusion]

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Union Bank is focused on Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking. In addition to standard current and savings product portfolio, Union Bank has launched pioneering products into the Nigerian retail market including UnionKorrect, UnionGoal and UnionBetta.

 

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Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Economy & Politics

Uganda Elections: Museveni re-elected for 6th term with 58.6% of the votes

Uganda’s President Museveni has won a 6th term in office as the opposition alleges wide-scale rigging.

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The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has been re-elected as President, gathering 5.85 million votes compared to 3.48 million votes by main opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine.

According to Reuters, this victory represents 58.6% of the vote cast while Bobi Wine got 34.8%

Bobi Wine announced that the election results show this is the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda and urged his followers to reject the result.

What you should know

  • Yoweri Museveni, aged 76, has been President of the East African nation since 1986.
  • Bobi Wine claimed via his official Twitter handle that military men jumped over his fence and took control of his home yesterday.

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Coronavirus

Combined Vaccine Manufacturing capacity to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021.

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Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

Meristem Group disclosed that the combined effort in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for global use is expected to yield about 6.8 billion doses in 2021.

This was revealed in the Annual Outlook 2021 report presented by Meristem Group, titled Bracing for a different future.”

According to the report, the existing manufacturing capacity will only be sufficient enough to immunize about 44% of the global population, which would create obvious vaccination gap and make the pandemic last longer than necessary.

The report states,

  • The cold temperature requirements for vaccine storage pose major logistics concern particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. WHO estimates that about 50% of vaccines are wasted every year, largely due to a lack of temperature control.”

According to the report, the estimated 6.8billion doses are expected to be collaboratively manufactured as follows:  CanSino – 0.2billion, AstraZeneca – 3.0 billion, Gamaleya – 0.3billion, Moderna – 0.4billion, Pfizer-BioNtech – 1.3billion, SinoPharm – 1billion, and SinoVac – 0.6billion.

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What you should know

  • The global population as of 2020 is 7.8billion and 70% is required to achieve herd immunity (otherwise called herd protection)
  • Herd Immunity or herd protection is achieved when you have most of the population immunized against an infectious disease.
  • 2 doses of the vaccines are required for each person for immunity.
  • It is expected that between 11 and 15 billion doses would be required to achieve the desired herd immunity, globally.
  • From all indications, herd immunity may not be achieved until mid or late 2022, with the subsisting 100% vaccine production capacity utilization in 2021 – with neither production nor distribution losses.
  • To achieve regulatory approval, a vaccine must undergo a three-stage clinical development process after the exploratory and pre-clinical stages and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets a phase 3 efficacy benchmark of 50%.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Global deaths surpass 2 million

Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday.

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Nigeria blows past 40,000 COVID-19 cases

The Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday, with the United States accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths, as it has recorded over 386,000 casualties so far.

This was disclosed in a report by Reuters in its Covid-19 tally reported on Friday evening.

After the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India and the U.K contribute nearly 50% of the combined casualties.

The report also disclosed that an average of 11,900 casualties are recorded per day in year 2021, despite the fact that it took 9 months for the world to record 1 million casualties.

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the 2 million death count was “a heart-wrenching milestone.”

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  • “Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” he added.

The WHO warned that 2021 could be tougher due to the nature of new variants which transmit the disease faster.

  • “We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” WHO Chief, Mike Ryan, said.

Analysts expect the global death toll to surpass 3 million by April 2021.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that the total number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria had surpassed the 100,000 mark on Sunday 10th January 2021, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
  • The African Union stated that it secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers to supplement the COVAX programme, a step towards the commencement of the complex task of vaccinating over 1.2 billion people with limited financial resources.
  • The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday 15th January 2021, announced that 1,867 new cases of the covid-19 virus were recorded across 24 states in the country. This represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day.

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