Over the years, economy stakeholders have been lamenting the challenges they face in the course of exploiting opportunities in nation’s economy.
Unarguably, one of the many challenges business owners face in the country, including those in the agricultural sector is access to credit. To secure a loan has been a difficult hurdle to cross, which has been impeding the free flow of business and contributing to business failures.
In order to address the menace in the Nigerian agricultural sector, Pan -African technology company, Cellulant Corporations has made a giant strive to secure a credit facility of N2 billion from Wema Bank.
This was disclosed at the gala night ceremony held at Oriental Hotel Lagos, where both parties alongside the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU was signed by Co-CEO Cellulant, Bolaji Akinboro, Managing Director, Wema Bank, Adedamola Adebise, Executive director NIRSAL Rep, Kennedy Nwurah and Ken Njuroge, Co-CEO Cellulant.
Cellulant, with the help of Wema Bank, will be providing funding for Nigerian farmers through their initiative, dubbed ‘Agrikore’. The initiative is a blockchain-based contracting payment and marketplace system that ensures that everyone in the agricultural business can do business in a trusted environment.
Nairametrics understands that the MoU will boost the agricultural value chain for farmers.
While speaking at Cellulant’s inaugural partners’ summit themed ‘Technology for Transformation: Connecting Everyone to Nigeria’s $50bn Agribusiness Opportunity & Creating Jobs for Africa’s Youth’, Bolaji Akinboro stated that the country’s Agric sector is a very big sector that needs to be paid attention to.
According to Akinboro, the consumption of food, which is the end product of most agricultural activities in the country is worth about $100 million daily and between $36 billion to $50 billion annually, hence the need to improve the value chain.
How Cellulant will effect the funding: This funding is meant to serve a purpose, which is to improve the Agric value chain. Cellulant tends to improve the value chain with its payment platform, Tingg, and Agrikore, an innovative platform built on blockchain technology.
In his words, Akinboro said: “We are not just a fintech company; we have the technology and operations via Agrikore. When you combine technology and operations, you can change the world. We are providing technology that makes life better for everyone; Nigerians and Africans. We are the ones that can bring in the change.
“At Cellulant, we remain committed to providing innovative-led solutions to grow the agricultural sector and empower Nigerian farmers. We pioneered Agritech innovation that powers the livelihoods of more than 17 million farmers and allows all players to connect to solutions that transform how they do business.”
Adebise noted that “holistic interventions across the value chain are required to achieve the desired impact and outcomes in the sector.” He identified a low level of budgetary allocation, negligible financial literacy, a large percentage of unbanked population and the limited understanding of the value chain as part of the challenges facing the agric sector.
He added that Wema Bank has committed N2 billion in funds, which is available for immediate drawdown to commodity aggregators on the Cellulant network to facilitate trade across the value chain. The partnership will also see NIRSAL provide credit risk guarantees for all borrowers in the scheme.
“We are collaborating to provide sustainable finance and market access for the small and medium scale agribusinesses in underbanked rural areas in Nigeria, without the need for traditional brick and mortar bank branches,” Adebise said.
More so, Cellulant also launched Tingg, a digital financial service, that specializes in mobile and other forms of electronic payments. Tingg is the digital version of physical wallet, debit and credit cards. It allows one to buy, pay bills, send and receive money and to manage all one’s financial transactions from wallet securely and most importantly privately.
Amongst the unique selling proposition of Tingg, is the provision of control, speed, privacy and mobility customers need with their money any time any day.
Meanwhile, the company in the course of the event recognized key industry players.
Amongst the awardees for the night is Wema Bank, Zenith Bank, Coscharis Motors, Rainoil Limited, and Abubakar Usman.
COVID-19: Lufthansa resumes flights to Nigeria after 8 months suspension
After eight months of suspension due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Lufthansa Airline has resumed its flights to Nigeria.
Lufthansa Airline has resumed its flights to Nigeria after eight months suspension due to Coronavirus pandemic. The first Lufthansa flight arrived in Lagos on Thursday, 03 December 2020.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the airline on Friday and seen by Nairametrics.
According to the airline, it is expected to do up to eight weekly departures scheduled from Lagos and Abuja Airports to Frankfurt. The German carrier also will offer up to five weekly departures from Lagos to Frankfurt and starting on 08 December also connect the capital Abuja with three weekly departures.
Adenike Macaulay, General Manager, Nigeria & Equatorial Guinea Lufthansa Group Airlines, said, “All intending travellers to Nigeria must have tested negative for Covid-19 as PCR test in the country of departure pre-boarding. The PCR test must be done within 120 hours before departure and preferably within 72 hours pre-boarding. International travellers will require a second test to be done in Nigeria, seven days after arrival.
“All long-haul flights depart from Nigeria in the evening as overnight flights, arriving in Lufthansa’s main hub Frankfurt in the early morning. This allows all passengers from Nigeria to get the full choice of connecting flights to European, American and Asian destinations, leaving all from the same terminal 1.
‘’As we have received the final permission to reopen our flight operations, we are happy to be the first airline to reconnect Nigeria directly to the centre of Europe and onwards to all other continents. We offer a considerable number of flights to the US and Canada, allowing our Nigerian guests to have family members and friends again at reach throughout the world. Health and safety continue to be our top priority and we are committed to maintaining strict adherence to hygiene regulations for all our flights.”
What you need to know
Nairametrics had reported when Lufthansa notified its patrons of the suspension of all flights out of Nigeria from 23 March 2020 to 19 April 2020. This was disclosed in an email sent by the airline through its agency, Lufthansa City Centre TIFA Travels and seen by Nairametrics.
In the notification, the airline explained that the decision was due to the current global situation and to curb the spread of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. It read,
“Lufthansa flights out of Nigeria are hereby suspended from 23 March 2020 until 19 April 2020. The last flights from Lagos, Abuja & Port Harcourt will operate on Sunday 22 March 2020, to resume on 20 April 2020 as currently planned.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, its offices were closed to walk-in customers until further notice, however, “we can be reached via telephone lines of our ticketing offices and reservation e-mails. We hope for your understanding as we would do our utmost best to ensure a quick response to your requests.”
Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc projects N60.13 million profit in Q1 2021
Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.
Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.
According to the earnings forecast issued by the bank and seen by Nairametrics, it projected the 134.7% Q-o-Q rise from a loss of N173.49 million recorded in its most audited financial statement for Q3, 2020.
key highlights of its earnings forecast for Q1 2021 when compared with Q3 2020 figures include;
- Pre-tax profit increased to N88.4 million, +151.5% Q-o-Q.
- Interest income increased to approximately N515.9 million, +55.45% Q-o-Q.
- Net operating income increased to N421.94 million, +79.9% Q-o-Q.
- Interest expense increased to N208.06 million, +63.95% Q-o-Q.
- Operating expenses declined to N333.52 million, -17.9% Q-o-Q.
- Credit loss expense increased to N19.83 million, +100% Q-o-Q
- Gross earnings of N649.83 million
- Taxation of N28.3 million
- Other income of N133.84 million.
Despite recording not too impressive results in its last financial statements, the firm is, however, optimistic going for Q1 2021 as reflected in its forecast.
This optimism might be premised on the news of a positive general economy by Q1 2021, which will trickle down to various sub-sectors of the economy.
Nigeria needs $3trillion in 30 years to reduce infrastructure deficit – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.
He disclosed this while featuring at a webinar organized by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Osinbajo told the webinar that Nigeria needs to adopt new models of investments for infrastructural developments because relying on public expenditure alone is not sustainable.
The seminar discussed the roles of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in developing Nigerian infrastructure. The Vice President said Nigeria still face a huge infrastructural deficit, despite government investment which is a roadblock to rapid economic growth.
“The Federal Government recognizes this fact, which is why we are considering other approaches to complement and boost financing for the development and maintenance of infrastructure in Nigeria.
“It is clear that this deficit can only be made up by private investment. Private sector is 92 per cent of GDP, while the public sector is mere 8 per cent. So, the synergy between the public and private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is really the realistic solution.
“The fact that only N2.49 trillion was appropriated for capital expenditure in 2020, reflects the importance of deliberate and pragmatic action to boost infrastructural spending.
“It seems to me to be quite clear that the financial outlay and management capability required for infrastructural development and service delivery outstrip the financial and technical resources available to government.
“In other words, the traditional method of building infrastructure through budgetary allocations is inadequate and set to become harder because of increasingly limited fiscal space,” he said.
He revealed that the FG has launched a series of PPP’s to enable Nigeria meet its infrastructure deficit needs, citing the roles of agencies like the BPE with PPP’s.
“The Federal Government has recently issued a circular on the administration of PPP projects in the country to provide the much-needed clarity.
“The circular re-emphasises that the BPE shall be responsible for the concession of public enterprises and infrastructure already listed in the First and Second Schedules of the Public Enterprises Act.
“The circular equally stipulates that the BPE shall act on behalf of the Federal Government, as the counterparty on all infrastructure projects being developed on a PPP basis,” he said.
He disclosed that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) would continue to act as the regulatory agency for PPP transactions, with directives including inspections and monitoring PPP projects.
“It is expected that this new policy direction would provide clarity to stakeholders and foster the improvement of PPP programmes in the country.
“Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the multilateral agencies and our development partners are urged to support the PPP policy objectives and institutional arrangements already put up by government,” he said.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last month that Moody Investors Services revealed that Nigeria needs to spend about $3 trillion in over 30 years to bridge the infrastructural gap experienced in the country.
- The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, revealed that the Federal Government needs at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continues on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
- Nairametrics also reported last month that the FG approved the establishment of an infrastructure company that will be wholly focused on critical infrastructural investments in the country.