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Paraguay: Farmers Get $10m From World Bank

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The international Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group says it has provided a $10 million working capital facility to Frantera Agro-pecuaria del Paraguay (S.A.) to support farming operations in Paraguay.
In a release, the corporation said its financing will help bring farm land into substainable production and create opportunities for rural development.
Agriculture plays an important role in Paraguayan economy, with more than 42 per cent of the population living in rural areas and dependent on agriculture for livelihood. It represents about 25 per cent of the GDP, 30 per cent of employment, and almost all registered exports.
Frontera Agropecuaria del Paraguay, is a member of Desarrollo Agricola del Paraguay Group, the DAP Group, which is an industrial –scale agricultural farming company producing soyabeans, corn, and sunflowers in Paraguay.
“IFC’s support will allow the company to finance its working capital needs property and enhance its competiveness,” said DAP President Pascual Rubiani. He said the IFC investment will help develop agricultural farming, “based on triple bottom-line model-social inclusion, environmental care and substainable economic results.
Oscar Chemerinski, Director of IFC’s global Agric business Department, said “IFC financing will play an important counter cyclical role during the current financial crisis. IFC will be providing financing to Paraguay’s agriculture farming sector to support local players like the DAP Group that adopts sustainable farming practices. The investment is expected to contribute to rural economic development and increase food supply.”
IFC’s strategy in Paraguay is focused on supporting access to finance for micro small and medium enterpreises, promoting global trade, and providing advisory services to improve the investment climate. Key sectors include infrastructure particularly in the areas of transport, electricity, agric-business development, and financial markets.
The corporation creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. It fosters sustainable economic growth in developing counties by supporting private sector development, mobilising private capital and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
DAP on the other hand is a business group with significant Paraguayan and international investments. It is setting a new management benchmark for agribusiness in Paraguay by introducing the triple-bottome-line mode-economic, social, and environmental-and works in partnership with the civil society and rural neighbouring communities. Meanwhile, its committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) has considered the report entitled “Independent-Evaluation Group (IEG). It did this together with the Draft Management Response (DMR).
In the report, the committee commended IEG for a comprehensive- evaluation and generally agreed with the main thrust of its recommendations.
It expressed its pleasure that overall, IFC achieved high development results in most of its investments and advisory services (AS) operations.
It said some members asked management to present an action plan for implementing these recommendations and that members agreed on IEG’s recommendation for IFC to be prepared to address the many of the challenges ahead given the current global financial crisis, including balancing between the need to protect the portfolio and the need for IFC to play what they called a counter-cyclical role.

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Lockdown: NNPC Begs Security Agencies To Allow Tanker Drivers Operate

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to law enforcements agencies across the country to allow petroleum products tanker drivers free movement during the lockdown order in parts of the country by President Muhammadu Buhari and some state governments.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru. The NNPC boss said the exemption granted by President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast to certain categories of essential workers covers the operations of petroleum products tanker drivers.
The President has on Sunday ordered total lockdown of Lagos State, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Ogun State.
The release said the Federal Government counts on the support of the law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure smooth distribution of petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the country during the period of the restriction.
The corporation said that NNPC has over 2.6 billion litres of petrol, enough to last the period of the lockdown and beyond, advising that motorists should not engage in panic buying.

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SEC Urges Firms To Publish Impact Of COVID-19 On Businesses 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on public companies to publish the impact of coronavirus on their business operations.
SEC in a circular dated March 31, and released in Abuja yesterday, advised the companies to publish the information on their websites and or other relevant media.
“All public companies are required to continue to make material disclosures to investors on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations,” the commission stated.
According to SEC, they should also continue to disclose the trend and outlook of the company as well as updates on implementation of business continuity plans.
The commission said it would continue to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the capital market remained resilient, adding that the move was part of its business continuity process.
“In compliance with the Federal Government’s directives on the cessation of movement in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, SEC has activated its business continuity process.
“In light of the global pandemic of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), the commission wishes to provide additional guidance to the capital market as follows:
“Public companies who plan to conduct Annual General Meetings are required to ensure that the conduct of the meetings comply with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Investments and Securities Act, the SEC Rules and Regulations, among others.
“Debt issuers are also expected to continue to engage trustees to ensure that relevant disclosures are provided,’’ the commission said.
The commission enjoined all Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to continue to monitor the real and potential risks COVID-19 might have had on their business operations and the discharge of services to investors and clients.

SEC called on all issuers and trustees who might require further guidance to contact it through the following email addresses: quotedcoyreturns@sec.gov.ng,offerapplications@sec.gov.ng, and dhpostoffer@sec.gov.ng.

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MAN Tasks Govs On Smooth Movement Of Essential Items

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to state governors to give necessary directives to security agencies to allow smooth passage of essential products across states of the federation.
In a statement to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed, said that better sensitisation of such officers became necessary following the actions of some of them, which were hampering the chain of distribution.
Ahmed said, “Since the decision to lock down economic activities by different states and the eventual national declaration by the Federal Government, MAN has maintained consistent talks with relevant governmental authorities.
“The talk is on the survival and sustenance of livelihood of Nigerians, via the operation of critical manufacturing sector and has indeed yielded positive results.
“One of the numerous results is the letter addressed by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to my humble self for manufacturers.
“The food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other complementing sector that makes the value chain of essential products available are very critical.
“The Association is glad that government recognised this critical role in its directive for 14-day lockdown.
“Let me add that the directive of the NGF has yielded good outcomes in some states as our members have testified to unhindered operations in the face of the lockdown.
“Notwithstanding, some security operatives in other states are not yielding, particularly, the rank and file officers on the field.”
Ahmed said, in order to address this setback, MAN has been in talks with the NGF to give the necessary directives for adequate sensitisation of officers to give manufacturers of essential products easy movement.
He commended the Federal Government’s response to manufacturers as it tackles Coronavirus pandemic.

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