Author: Ken Ibenne

The European Commission (EC) and the African Development Bank Group have formalized a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement to increase investments in infrastructure projects in Africa on the fringes of this week’s Italy-Africa Summit. Over the past two years, the European Union has boosted its contribution to co-finance operations with the African Development Bank dramatically, to the point where blending operations and guarantees currently total €972 million. Following the signature of the updated Financial Framework Partnership Agreement, this amount will rise even further. This historic agreement, which was signed today by Presidents of the African Development Bank Group and the…

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The Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC) project in Delta State will require $27.29 billion in funding, and Hong Kong-based EDIB International Limited has indicated that it is willing to provide that money. The development project, which is situated in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State’s Escravos (Gbaramatu Island/Omadino) is to be carried out through a Joint Venture Partnership (JVP) with the Nigerian company Mercury Maritime Concession Company Limited (MMCC). According to Kwame Springer, the chairman of EDIB International Limited, the company is asking the government for protection over the $27.29 billion it has funded for the ESIC…

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The African Continental Free Commerce Area (AfCFTA) and the expansion of commerce in goods and services between the United States and Africa have received backing from the United States government, which reported that it had donated $160 million. This was said by Julie LeBlanc, the US Mission Commercial Counselor to Nigeria, in her keynote speech at the Business Day Africa Trade and Investment Summit, which was held in Lagos and had as its theme, “AGOA, AfCTA, top U.S. programs and priorities for Africa and Nigeria.” “Reimagining Economic Growth in Africa” was the summit’s topic. According to her, the financing supports…

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Airtel Africa said that it would initiate a $100 million share repurchase program following the release of its results for the nine months that ended on December 31, 2023, which showed tremendous underlying performance. The company revealed that, despite the significant impact of currency fluctuations on growth, revenues at constant currency increased by 21% year over year in the three months ending December 31, but decreased by 8.3% as a result of the naira’s depreciation. According to the results that were made public yesterday, constant-currency revenues increased by 20.2% to $3.86 billion for the first three quarters of the fiscal…

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The Nigerian stock market maintained pessimistic sentiments yesterday as market capitalization dropped by N1.068 trillion to close trading for the month of January due to losses in MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) Plc and 56 other companies, following losses suffered by numerous highly capitalized stocks, particularly MTNN and Conoil. As a result, the All Share Index (ASI) closed at 101,154.46 points, down 1,955.69 points or 1.90 percent. Additionally, market capitalization closed at N55.358 trillion, down N1.068 trillion. Losses in medium- and large-cap equities, such as those in MTNN, Conoil, NASCON Allied Industries, Dangote Sugar Refinery, and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO),…

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Due to reduced oil and gas prices, Shell reported on Thursday that its profit more than halved in 2023 after surging to a record the year before due to the Ukraine crisis. After-tax earnings fell to $19.4 billion in 2022 from $42.3 billion, as prices spiked due to Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, a major oil producer. The British energy firm said in a press release that “full year 2023 income… reflected lower realised oil and gas prices, lower volumes, and lower refining margins.” Revenue fell to $316.6 billion, nearly a five percent decline. Nonetheless, the company will give stockholders…

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The Lagos State Government’s abrupt and unexpected announcement of a ban on the production, distribution, and use of single-use plastic (SUP) and styrofoam has taken the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) by surprise. The announcement’s somewhat harsh tone and wording, according to MAN’s Director-General Segun Ajayi-Kadir, have alarmed company owners along the value chain, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, transporters, and users, who might all find themselves “clamped down.” “To put that in perspective, on Sunday, a product that was lawful on Saturday was declared illegal. Thus, within a day, every business owner involved in the styrofoam and SUPs value chain…

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Amidst the persistent decline in the value of the naira, which presently stands at approximately N1,500 per dollar, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned authorized dealers to guarantee that transactions are carried out transparently. The top bank issued a warning, threatening sanctions for any distortion that results in market manipulation. The bank stated that its investigations had shown instances of underreporting transaction rates and fixed income transactions in a statement released in Abuja yesterday and signed by Aliyu Ashiru, Director, Financial Market Department. According to the apex bank, it permits financial market transactions to take place between “willing-buyer…

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To address the foreign exchange (FX) crisis, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed an additional $500 million to various sectors of the economy. Hakama Sidi-Ali, the acting director of the CBN’s corporate communications department, made this announcement yesterday in Abuja. Sidi-Ali claims that this occurred just one week after the top bank paid over $2 billion to satisfy unpaid debts in a number of industries. She declared that the CBN’s management was dedicated to clearing all valid foreign exchange backlogs as soon as possible. According to her, the CBN has started putting into practice a thorough plan to…

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The money supply increased by an astounding 50% last year, or N25.6 trillion, to reach an all-time high of N78.74 trillion. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provided the data, which indicated that this growth was among the strongest in recent memory. The total amount of money held by the public is used to calculate the money supply, which peaked in 2022 at N52.16 trillion but increased by more than half that amount. The money supply and inflation should, in theory, go up. Therefore, according to economists, maintaining the money base would be necessary to control inflation. To keep inflation…

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The African Development Bank Group (AfBD) has received praise from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the remarkable work it is doing to help feed both Africa and the rest of the globe. Incredibly hard work is being done to get Africa to the point where it can feed the world and itself. Secretary of State Blinken stated, “I’m convinced that can happen,” on Tuesday in Abidjan while being hosted by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB Group. The two got together at AfricaRice’s headquarters, a pan-African center of excellence for rice production, research, and capacity building that…

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Stakeholders have differing opinions on the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) proposal to spend a combined N8.7 billion this year on software alone. The Ministry of Budget and Economic Development has issued the budget for government-owned businesses (GOEs) for 2024, which includes N8.7 billion. To further its goal of tax reform in 2024, FIRS intends to spend N3.5 billion on software acquisition. With N5.2 billion, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has the largest software budget among GOEs, with the sum being the second-biggest. The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), which…

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Africa’s fintech business is predicted to grow significantly over the next six years, reaching a valuation of $65 billion, with potential increases in work, investments, and policies. The fintech revenue in Africa is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% by 2030. By then, the African fintech market would have a valuation of over $65 billion, based on a recent analysis from QED Investors and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). According to the survey, the leaders of Africa’s fintech race are South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt. A portion of this can be attributed to the…

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The 2023–24 Carabao Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool will be their second meeting in the previous three years. That day, the Reds overcame their opponents from London. A match that concluded with a score of 0-0, favouring Jurgen Klopp’s team. The Blues, who lost the first leg 1-0 at Riverside Stadium, will be hoping for a better outcome after cruising over Middlesbrough 6-2 on aggregate. They have performed well in the Carabao Cup, defeating teams like Brighton, Blackburn Rovers, and Newcastle United en route to Wembley, despite their dismal performance in the Premier League. Liverpool has had a fantastic…

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According to the federal government, its goal for the fiscal year 2024 is to reach a 25% revenue to GDP ratio. This was said on Wednesday by Wale Edun, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, when he opened the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) 2024 strategic management retreat, which was taking place in Abuja. He noted that borrowing is not the best option given the global trend of high and steady interest rate increases. According to him, the focus is on equity and the mobilisation of domestic resources rather than loan finance. “Re-imagining Tax Administration for…

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited’s 20% stake in the Dangote Petroleum Refinery has drawn criticism from the international Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Abuja yesterday. It also noted that certain issues with other loans backed by crude oil remain unresolved. With former President Muhammadu Buhari’s consent, NNPC made a swift move in August 2021 and paid $2.76 billion to acquire a 20% share in the Dangote refinery. In addition, the refinery expects the NNPC to supply 300,000 barrels of petroleum per day while repaying a $3.3 billion debt from Afrexim Bank with crude. According to Alex Gordy,…

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Ivory Coast will need other outcomes to escape a shock Africa Cup of Nations group-stage exit after Equatorial Guinea trounced the Elephants in Abidjan. Emilio Nsue’s double, Pablo Ganet’s 25-yard free kick and Yannick Buyla’s late goal gave the National Thunder a memorable victory that secured first place in Group A. After placing third in their group, the hosts must now focus on qualification – the four best third-placed teams from the six groups advance to the last 16. Ibrahim Sangare twice had equalizers called out for the Ivorians when they were only a goal down, but the Elephants squandered…

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Licensed coal miners in Kogi State have expressed support for the recent impoundment of 21 coal trucks by the Kogi State government and security personnel, which they claim belonged to illicit coal miners in the state. The trio of Dr. Innocent Ezuma, Partha Ghosh, and Dr. Ramos of Etazuma Mining and Industries Limited, Koyla Energy Limited, and Mosra Energy Limited praised the federal government, Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dele Alake, Kogi State government, and security agencies for taking up the fight against what they called ‘economic saboteurs who breed terrorism’. In December, Alake reiterated the federal government’s ban on…

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After last week’s trading in the capital market’s equities segment, the industrial index led the gainers’ chart as investors’ growing desire for Dangote Cement (+53.9%) and BUA Cement (+45.8%) lifted the sector by 46.9 percent. The development caused the sector to grow by 59.4% year-to-date (YTD), making it the best-performing this year. Next in line, at 14.9%, was the insurance industry. The consumer goods index increased by +8.2 percent, while the oil and gas industry lagged with 8.8 percent. But the banking index lost 0.1% of its value, making it the only loser of the week. Investors on the exchange…

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Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) stated Wednesday that business organizations in Nigeria should be encouraged to use greener energy due to the rising cost of fossil fuel-powered generators, which might result in an energy cost reduction of over 70%. Speaking at the signing of a tripartite agreement between AEDC, Daystar Power, and The Wood Factory, the organization’s managing director, Christopher Ezeafulukwe, stated that the deal will result in the generation of roughly 18 hours of energy each day for the organization. Ezeafuluke pointed out that in order to accomplish carbon footprint reduction targets, lower operational costs, and have energy security,…

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Non-oil exports fell from $4.8 billion in 2022 to $4.5 billion last year, according to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), despite the federal government’s efforts to diversify the economy. NEPC also ascribed the fall to issues such as product rejections, inadequate product certification, political unrest in surrounding African nations, difficulties with currency rates, and an increase in global trade, among other things. This was revealed Tuesday in Abuja during the presentation of the council’s progress report on the non-oil export performance in 2023 by Nonye Ayeni, the chief executive officer of NEPC. According to Ayeni, 273 distinct products—ranging from…

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License holders in the telecommunications sector will be held more responsible for all of their actions moving ahead. This was said yesterday in Lagos during a conversation with journalists by Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission. Using the event to present his proposal for the industry, Maida stated that it is now essential to reposition and advance the industry. The EVC, who celebrated his 100th day on the job yesterday, said that the NCC would be led by him and would prioritize cooperation, data-driven operations, compliance and oversight, and digitization. Regarding compliance, Maida emphasized…

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The fourth quarter (Q4) of last year saw an 8% year-over-year gain in global smartphone shipments to 320 million units, snapping a seven-quarter decrease. In the quarter, Apple surpassed Samsung to take the top rank, according to Canalys Research. Toby Zhu, Senior Analyst at Canalys, noted in a statement that the mid-to-low range smartphone industry is expanding and that demand for smartphones was better during the holidays. In addition, Zhu mentioned a “rebound in demand” in emerging countries, such as those in the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. According to the analyst, vendors may now focus more…

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The government, at all levels, has been encouraged by experts to lower and, in some cases, completely eliminate taxes and levies imposed on manufacturers and firms. They have added that while these taxes greatly burden entrepreneurs, they do not contribute significantly to the government’s revenue. Speaking at this year’s economic outlook and budget analysis, which had as its theme “Building Economic Resilience in 2024: Strategies for a Sustainable Future,” Financial Derivatives Company Chief Executive Officer Bismarck Rewane stated that the economy is expected to grow at a rate of 3.3% this year after avoiding a recession the previous year. He…

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Concerns exist regarding the power sector’s future this year as industry participants closely monitor developments and how they may impact the sector’s performance in light of growing expectations for a possible change in government policy. They contend that the industry faces evident difficulties and necessitates a thorough comprehension of the changing dynamics of supply and demand. In response to the worries, Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu has unveiled a comprehensive plan aimed at improving the sector’s performance this year. The first three months of the minister’s plan are dedicated to diagnosis, stakeholder consultation, and strategy formulation. He asserted that the…

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A new product called Diaspora Investor Direct Investment (DIDI) has been introduced by Optiva Capital Partners Limited, the top investment immigration wealth management business in Nigeria, in keeping with its mission to safeguard, build, enhance, and optimize wealth for astute investors. Franklin Nechi, Chairman of Optiva Capital Partners, announced the launch of the unique product at a dinner last week. He stated that DIDI is “our unique product to attract diaspora funds and investments into the country” and that it hopes to bring in $5 billion annually. “We bridge that gap so that Nigerians in the diaspora who wish to…

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According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), artificial intelligence (AI) would have an impact on about 40% of occupations worldwide; established economies are anticipated to be more affected than developing markets and low-income nations. To combat the effects of AI, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva urged governments to set up social safety nets and provide retraining programs in a blog post. “In most scenarios, AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must address proactively to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions,” she wrote ahead of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland,…

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After launching its main artificial intelligence digital assistant and chatbot, Leo, for six years, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has unveiled new products meant to expand the scope of digital banking in Nigeria. UBA’s Leo has been a technology asset and a creative revolutionary aide since its inception on January 11, 2018, and it has had a significant impact on the financial industry in Nigeria and throughout Africa. UBA has pledged that LEO’s services will be even more extensive and superior because the bank has once again made investments in top-notch, cutting-edge technology that will enhance the user experience…

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By this year’s second quarter, Dangote Refinery might be producing at full capacity, which is 650,000 barrels per day. This is happening at a time when China is driving the world's oil consumption to two million barrels per day (bpd), bringing the overall demand to roughly 103 million bpd. According to a recent Wood Makenzie projection that The Guardian could access yesterday, refining capacity would rise by a very small 600,000 bpd this year. According to the estimate, the successful ramp-up of Middle East capacity and high utilization rates would accompany the growth. The Dangote Refinery was singled out in…

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As the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) prepares to reopen its electronic auction portal (e-auction) for public participation on January 15, Nigerians have urged for openness. Remember that the NCS launched the e-auction platform in July 2017? It was halted as a result of numerous customer complaints and hacking attempts. In four weeks across the nation, the NCS claimed to have raised N49 million and registered 254 winners of various auctions. While encouraging interested parties to carefully analyze and adhere to the rules of this e- auction, the NCS has also offered participation to its officers and the owners of the…

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