Exactly 25 days after the burial of former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari who died of complications from COVID-19, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed his replacement – Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari.
The formal announcement was made Wednesday afternoon during the Federal Executive Council Meeting. This is according to a Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, who announced the development on Twitter.
President @MBuhari has appointed Professor Ibrahim Gambari, as his Chief of Staff, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, announced the appointment today at the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting.
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) May 13, 2020
While the flurry of encomiums and congratulatory messages continue to pour in, it is expedient to briefly look at Gambari’s pedigree. He has held numerous leadership positions (both national and international) and garnered experiences that validate his competencies. He was appointed Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid in 1990, a position he held till 1994. He became Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in 1990 and served there for 9 years.
Between 1999 and 2005, he served with the United Nations as the first Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General in Africa. At about the same time, he was the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola. He was also the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs between 2005 and 2007. The professor is also a one-time Minister for External Affairs (1984-1985), joining the African Union at the time as a national delegate.
He once served as the Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur. He also served as the Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Ambassador Gambari was also a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., as well as a Resident Scholar with the Rockefeller Foundation Centre in Bellagio, Italy. He was also a visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, and Howard University in Washington, D.C. for three years, starting from 1986.
A man of the letters, Gambari has earned and been decorated with several honours and awards, including the third-highest honour in Nigeria, the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR). He has also received South Africa’s highest national honour, the Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo, which was conferred on him personally by President Jacob Zuma in October 2012.
He was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from The University of Bridgeport, Connecticut (2002) and Farleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey (2006). Also in 2002, Professor Gambari was elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance at Africa University, Zimbabwe. In 2013, he was appointed pioneer Chancellor of the Kwara State University.
An indigene of Kwara state Nigeria. Gambari bagged his first degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in International Relations. He obtained his Masters and Doctoral degree in Political Science/International Relations from Columbia University, New York, USA.
CBN grants Greenwich Trust Limited operational license for merchant banking
CBN has upscaled Greenwich Trust Limited to the status of a merchant bank.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has upscaled Greenwich Trust Limited and granted it, operational license for merchant banking in the country.
According to an official statement released by the firm, the entity would be known as Greenwich Merchant Bank Limited. This license allows Greenwich Merchant Bank to upscale and offer such diverse services as corporate banking, investment banking, financial advisory services, securities dealing, treasury wealth and asset management, etc., making it possible to provide increased value to stakeholders beyond its previous scope.
Recall that the minimum capital requirements for establishing a merchant bank according to Merchant Banking Licensing Regulations in 2010 are N15 billion
With the addition of Greenwich Merchant Bank, Nigeria now has six merchant banks. The others are; FBN Quest, Coronation Merchant Bank, DSH Merchant Bank, Nova Merchant Bank and Rand Merchant Bank.
About Greenwich Trust Limited
Greenwich Trust Limited is an investment banking firm duly registered with relevant authorities such as the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is a diversified firm with subsidiaries such as Asset management, GTL Properties, GTL Securities Limited, Cedar Express Limited and Meyer Plc.
Emirates Airlines banned from operating in Nigeria
UAE’s Emirate Airline has been banned from operating in Nigeria.
Emirates Airline has been added to the list of airlines which have been banned from operating in Nigeria. The ban will take effect from the 21st of September.
This was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in a social media statement on Friday.
The PTF sub committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) September 18, 2020
“The PTF sub committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020,” Sirika stated.
This comes as the UAE government has been accused of not renewing visas of Nigerians in Dubai and also rumours of a VISA ban for Nigerians applying for visas.
Last month, the UAE embassy in Nigeria denied there is a VISA ban on Nigerians entering the Middle Eastern country. They said: “At the onset of the COVlD-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.
“After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria.”
CBN introduces N250 billion stimulus package for gas investment to ease pain of fuel price increase
The CBN has introduced a stimulus package to help stimulate investment in gas as an alternative to fuel.
As part of the palliative following the sharp increase in the price in the pump price of petrol, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a N250 billion stimulus package under a National Gas Expansion Programme that it hopes will help stimulate investment in the gas value chain and spur its use in transportation as an alternative to fuel-powered cars.
Large scale projects under this intervention programme will be financed under the Power and Airlines Intervention Fund (PAIF), in line with existing guidelines regulating the PAIF, while small scale operators and retail distributors will be financed by the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and/or any other Participating Financial Institution (PFI) under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS).
This initiative is to be implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The objectives of the facility include;
- Improved access to finance for private sector investments in the domestic gas value chain.
- Stimulate investments in the development of infrastructure to optimize the domestic gas resources for economic development.
- Fast track the adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the fuel of choice for transportation and power generation, as well as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the fuel of choice for domestic cooking, transportation, and captive power.
- Fast track the development of gas-based industries particularly petrochemical (fertilizer, methanol, etc) to support large industries such as agriculture, textile, and related industries.
- Provide leverage for additional private sector investments in the domestic gas market.
- Boost employment across the country.
The activities that are eligible under the intervention shall include;
- Establishment of gas processing plants and small scale petrochemical plants.
- Establishment of gas cylinder manufacturing plants.
- Establishment of L-CNG regasification modular systems
- Establishment of autogas conversion kits or components manufacturing plants.
- Establishment of CNG primary and secondary compression stations.
- Establishment and manufacturing of LPG retail skid tanks and refilling equipment.
- Development/enhancement of autogas transportation systems, conversion, and distribution infrastructure.
- Enhancement of domestic cylinder production and distribution by cylinder manufacturing plants and LPG wholesale outlets.
- Establishment/expansion of micro-distribution outlets and service centres for LPG sales, domestic cylinder injection, and exchange and
- Any other mid to downstream gas value chain related activity recommended by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The aggregators, manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, and related activities shall be funded under the Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF), while the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and retail distributors shall be funded by NIRSAL Microfinance Bank under AgSMEIS.
For the manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, etc, the term loan shall be determined based on the activity and shall not exceed N10 billion per obligor. The working capital shall be a maximum of N500 million per obligor.
While for the small and medium enterprises, the term loan shall be based on the activity and shall not exceed N50 million per obligor. The working capital shall be a maximum of N5 million per obligor.
The interest rate under the intervention shall be at not more than 5% per annum (all-inclusive) up to February 28, 2021, thereafter, interest on the facility shall revert to 9% per annum (all-inclusive) with effect from March 1, 2021.
Loan Tenor and Moratorium
The manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, will have term loans which shall have a maximum tenor of 10 years (not exceeding December 31, 2030) with a maximum of a 2-year moratorium on principal repayment only. The working capital facility of 1 year with a maximum rollover of not more than twice, subject to prior approval.
The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail distributors will have term loans that shall have a maximum tenor of 5 years (not exceeding December 31, 2030) with a maximum of 2 years on principal repayment only. The working capital facility of 1 year with a maximum rollover of not more than twice and subject to prior approval.
This new initiative involves getting many vehicles to run on gas by collaborating with investors to build the required infrastructure such as pipelines and petrol stations. It is also expected to help accelerate the use of natural gas and end gas flaring.