The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that the Bank, 2017, achieved its highest annual disbursement ever of 7.67 billion dollars on supports.
Adesina said this in a statement made available to The Tide source in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the Bank would continue to support African countries in ensuring stronger macroeconomic policies.
“The Bank achieved its highest annual disbursement ever in its history, at 7.67 billion dollars.
“Our investment in the energy sector in 2017 covered 31 operations in 23 countries and totalled 1.39 billion dollars, representing a 30 per cent increase over 2016.
“In 2017, the Bank maintained its AAA rating with stable outlook by all four global rating agencies.
“The Bank’s AAA stable outlook rating is underpinned by sound financial and risk management policies, excellent liquidity and strong shareholder support,” Adesina said.
He said that the Bank was working hard to be more efficient and become impact driven organisation; one that accelerated Africa’s development, holding itself to a higher standard of performance.
The president said that it was only when the Bank became performance driven that it could meet Africa’s expectations.
Adesina assured that the Bank intended to score a lot more development goals for Africa, adding that there was need for greater alignment, performance and accountability for results.
He said that the Bank launched its largest bond transaction with 2.5 billion dollars three-year global benchmark followed by its largest ever five-year global benchmark for 2 billion dollars.
According to him, the Bank continues to grow its income solidly, reversing its declining income when he started two years ago.
He said that the net operating income of the Bank had declined from 589.3 million dollars in 2014 to 492.7 million dollars in 2015, when he took over, adding that ever since there had been a rapid turnaround.
“In 2016, the net operating income rose to 556.6 million dollars and shot up to 855 million dollars in 2017, an increase of almost 54 per cent over 2016.
“ To put things in context, this is also a 73 per cent increase over where we were in 2015.
“The Bank is mobilising more resources for Africa. In 2017, we mobilised 9.73 billion dollars from the capital markets for African countries including 300 million dollars from the enhanced private sector facility for Africa.
“I am delighted that in 2017, the Bank helped leverage 6 billion dollars for the landmark Japan-Africa Energy Financing Facility.
“This will help accelerate efforts to light up and power Africa,” Adesina said.
He said that the Bank was doing a lot on “Light Up and Power Africa agenda”, adding that in 2017 it invested 1.39 billion dollars.
He added that the aim was to improve access to electricity to help generate an additional 1,400 MW of power and connect 3.8 million persons to electricity.
On renewable engergy, the president said that the Bank was leading, adding that when he assumed office, the share of renewable energy in the Bank total power portfolio was just 14 per cent.
“However, we increased that to 74 per cent in 2016 and in 2017; we achieved a record-breaking 100 per cent of our new lending in renewable energy.
He said that with access to more funding, “we hope to provide electricity to an unprecedented 29.3 million Africans between 2018-2020”.
The president said that the Bank was spearheading the development of the desert to power initiative to harness electricity from the sun all across the Sahel.
He said that “ our goal is to support the generation of 10,000 MW of power, connect 250 million persons to electricity, of which 75 million people will be through off-grid systems.
“Africa needs to promote green growth. We are extremely conscious of our climate and environmental responsibilities and leadership role.
Adesina said that the Bank would be tripling its climate finance to 40 per cent of its portfolio by 2020.
On agriculture, he said that the Bank in 2017, invested 1.16 billion dollars in the sector – the highest ever in the Bank’s history.
It also launched Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a one-billion dollar initiative to take agriculture technologies to scale for millions of farmers.
Adesina said that with adequate resources, between 2018-2020, the Bank expected to provide 29.2 million Africans with access to electricity.
He added that the bank’s Integrate Africa High 5 would provide 50 million Africans with improved access to transport.
Likewise, the Bank’s High 5 on Industrialising Africa would enable seven million people to benefit from investment projects.
He added that High 5, on improving the quality of life would also provide 36.8 million persons with improved access to water and sanitation.
Adesina said that the support of all shareholders was crucial for the general capital increase of the Bank.
He said that the Bank would do more for Africa and “we are working extremely hard to revamp the Bank and put it in a much stronger position, with more highly capable staff and institutional capacity to deliver more, better and faster support.
“ Our ability to deliver in the past and now is a good indication that you can depend on us to deliver more in the future.
CAC Registers 245,000 SMEs Free Of Charge
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it has registered more than 245,000 Small and Medium Enterp-rises free of charge.
The Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said in Abuja on Wednesday that it did this with the approval of the Federal Government.
The Federal Government, he said, approved the free registration of 250,000 business names as part of its intervention to assuage the economic effect of Covid-19.
He said the Federal Government paid 50 per cent of the cost of registration to CAC and more than 245,000 business names were consequently registered.
Abubakar explained that the process was electronic and applicants also got their certificates electronically.
He added that the numbers were divided between the 36 states of the federation and the FCT noting that Lagos, Abia and Kano States had the largest numbers.
He said free registration of 6, 606 business names was approved for 33 states while Abia, Lagos and Kano States would have 7, 906, 9,084 and 8,406 respectively.
Abubakar noted that aggregators were appointed and paid to collect SMEs information and submit same to CAC.
He explained that the commission provided special access for the aggregators for effective service delivery since they were responsible for scanning and uploading of documents.
He added that CAC had to take over from one of the aggregators appointed for two states but failed to deliver.
Abubakar said also that the intervention of CAC and appointment of substitute aggregators to take over in the two states sped up the process, already nearing completion.
“We are hoping that by end of September the exercise will come to an end,’’ he said.
IPMAN Seeks Foreign Partnership For Robust Refinery Deal
The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr King Eppie, has said that he would be seeking the partnership of foreign bodies as part of his plans to strengthen the association.
Eppie said this when he spoke in a chat with newsmen in his office in Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, Wednesday.
He pointed out that such plans would also encourage business growth especially to some of his members whom he said are experiencing stormy business weather.
According to him, the challenging business condition was as a result of non functional refineries in the country, stressing the need to seek for partnership.
He said that since its core business area was petroleum products, that his leadership would do all within its reach to improve the system.
The Rivers IPMAN boss, expressed hope that the ailing refineries in the country would bounce back to life.
“ I will be happy to see the refineries working again. Most of our members are suffering and business is no longer what it used to be, that’s why I want the refineries to come back to operation”, he said.
About the issue of legal battle in the association, he said that his team has been vindicated by the Apex court by declaring him the authentic chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State.
He recalled that the association was in a legal battle for about eight years, but expressed joy over its victorious end.
To those who were on the other side of the divide, he said that he has extended an olive branch to them as part of his plans to run an all inclusive government.
“ The platform for those who went to court against us has been created for them to come back to the fold. IPMAN is one in the state and we are open to all, that is why we want everyone to come back”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the IPMAN chairman is barely one week in office after years of legal battle that greeted the association as a result of leadership tussle.
1,818 MSMEs Benefit From Covid-19 Recovery Package In Delta
No fewer than 1,818 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from Federal Government and the World Bank Covid-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) in Delta.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa addressed the beneficiaries at the launch of funds disbursement in Asaba on Wednesday.
He commended the Federal Government and the World Bank for the partnership to provide succour for those affected by the pandemic in the country.
He said that now that the scheme had been domesticated in the state, the beneficiaries were in the first phase of the programme.
Okowa also lauded the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) for supporting the federal government to ensure that the programme was approved by the World Bank for implementation in Nigeria.
He also thanked the World Bank for the intervention and for working with state governments in the country towards cushioning the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
According to Okowa, today’s ceremony is a major step at putting MSMEs that are badly hurt by the pandemic on the path of recovery and growth.
He said this was “more so, with the disbursement of funds to the first set of 1,818 beneficiaries who have met the World Bank stipulated eligibility criteria within the initial six months.
“A total of 2,529 MSMEs are expected to receive grants to support post-covid-19 loans, operational costs and to enhance their IT capabilities.
“Indeed, we are glad to be part of the CARES programme of the Federal Government.
“The focus of intervention clearly aligns with the priority of the state government to give relief to those whose lives, businesses, jobs and means of livelihood have been distorted by the pandemic.
“The programme, which we have domesticated as the Delta CARES, is a two-year emergency recovery programme.
“It is aimed at supporting state governments’ budgeted programme of expenditures and interventions.
“It is to enable them to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms,” he said.
He said that the programme would also directly support 25,269 poor and vulnerable households with social transfers, basic services and livelihood grants.
The governor said it would as well support 13,976 farmers to boost food production and ensure smooth functioning of the food supply chain.
“The outlined figures are the targets stipulated by the World Bank, but do not preclude the State Government from scaling up if the need arises.
“It is my expectation that those charged with the implementation of Delta-CARES will be faithful in executing the mandate so that the desired results are achieved, bearing in mind that it is a Programme for Result (PforR),” Okowa said.
On his part, Dr Barry Pere-Gbe, Chairman, Steering Committee for Delta-CARES and State Commissioner for Economic Planning, commended Okowa for providing the funds for the programme.
Pere-Gbe was represented by the Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwunyenga.
He said that the main focus of the programme was to bring succour to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of Covid-19.
He said that the programme was hinged on three thematic area.
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