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.
FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador
The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.
He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”
What you should know
In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.
Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.
He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.
SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects
SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.
The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.
This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.
SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.
What SERAP is saying in its letter
In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”
The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”
These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”
SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”
Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”
Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”
We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.
The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”
Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”
The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- Okomu Oil proposes dividend worth N6.7 billion for shareholders.
- Ardova Plc confirms appointment of Oladeinde Nelson-Cole as secretary.
- Cadbury Nigeria Plc set to hold 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 16.
- FCMB Group Plc appoints Muibat Ijaiya as Director.
- Afromedia Plc reports a loss after tax of N27.3 million in Q1 2021.