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Afreximbank Board Retains Nigeria as Chairman *Shareholders to Enjoy $69m Dividends

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will pay a total of $69 million to its shareholders as dividend from its 2018 earnings, according to decisions reached during the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) of the Bank which ended in Moscow on Sunday.

The shareholders also appointed one new member to its Board of Directors and decided to retain Nigeria, which has been its Chairman since the last meeting in Abuja in 2018, in that position for one more year.

According to a statement from the Bank made available to Daily Asset in Abuja on Sunday, the AGM also approved the Bank’s 2018 Annual Report which includes the 2018 Financial Statements.

In his report to the AGM, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said that the Bank’s total revenues rose by 24 per cent in 2018 to reach $806 million while the net income increased to $276 million, representing a 26 per cent increase on the level in 2017.

The Bank’s total assets, including contingent liabilities, went up by 15 per cent from $13 billion in 2017 to $15 billion in 2018, said President Oramah. That profit performance reflected strong growth in interest and fee income from diversified sources by geography and financial products.

He informed the shareholders that during its extra-ordinary session in Nouakchott in July 2018, the African Union Heads of State Summit had approved the accreditation of the Bank to the AU, allowing the AU to adopt most of the Bank’s flagship initiatives as continental initiatives. That action would help to accelerate adoption of such initiatives at the national level, thereby improving the pace of implementation at lower cost.

Prof. Oramah explained that the accreditation was a privilege which was previously enjoyed only by the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The end of the AGM marked the conclusion of the Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings (AAM2019) which started on 20 June with the seminar and meeting of the Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa, declared open by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

On 21 June, Dimitri Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, had addressed the opening session of the AGM.

AAM2019 was held under the theme “Harnessing Emerging Partnerships in an Era of Rising Protectionism” and deliberated on such topics as: How South-South trade can be a path to Africa’s integration into the global economy; Multilateralism in the current global economic order of protectionism; and The role of investing in Africa’s infrastructure in accelerating intra-African trade and economic development.

Highlights of AAM2019 include the launch of the African Trade Report 2019; the launch of the Afreximbank Export Trading Company Strategy; and a half-day programme of activities dedicated to Russia–Africa investment cooperation. A number of trade agreements were also signed at the event.

AAM2019 marked the second time Afreximbank Annual Meetings would take place outside Africa. The 2012 Annual Meetings were held in Beijing.

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NAICOM, RMAFC Collaborate on Economic Diversification 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Commissioner for Insurance and CEO, Mr. Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, and his management team have met with the members of the Constitutional Committee on “Mobilisation and Diversification” of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission ( RMAFC) led by Engr.

Sani Mohammed Baba, to explore ways of diversifying the Nigerian economy.
 

During their working visit to NAICOM Headquarters, Mr.

Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, in his opening remarks, reaffirmed the critical role of the insurance sector regulator in supervising, regulating, and safeguarding the interests of insurance policyholders. 

He highlighted insurance’s pivotal role in mobilising savings for long-term developmental projects and enabling businesses to thrive while managing risks effectively.

 

He also stressed the Commission’s commitment to ensuring insurance companies meet their obligations, thus contributing to the sustainability of the economy.

Speaking, Mohammed Baba emphasised the importance of revenue generation, institutional expansion, and employment creation for Nigerians through collaborative efforts.

The Commissioner for Insurance also acknowledged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ambitious goal of growing the Nigerian economy to One Trillion United States Dollars ($1 trillion) by 2026. 

He expressed the insurance sector’s intent to significantly contribute to this objective. Additionally, he mentioned ongoing efforts to embed insurance within the National Credit Scheme to ensure its sustainability.

Omosehin stressed the need for continuous advocacy and sensitization of government institutions about the vital role of insurance in national economic development.

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CBN Unveils Strategy to Boost Remittances, Grants AIP To 14 New IMTOs

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).

This was disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs.

Hakama Sidi Ali, who stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.
 

She said, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.

“It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared: “We’ve set ourselves a target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, a goal I firmly believe is within reach. 

“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry,” she stated.

Continuing, Sidi Ali, said that the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows—one of the major sources of foreign exchange, accounting for over 6% of GDP—as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

The increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Governor Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria. 

The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States of America, in April 2024. The task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

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Tinubu Inaugurates Critical Gas Projects, Reassures Energy Sector Investors

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By Matthew Dadiya, Abuja

President Bola Tinubu has reassured investors in the energy sector of his administration’s resolve to further enhance the business environment and ensure investment convenience.

The President spoke Wednesday at the inauguration of three milestone projects, including the expanded AHL Gas Processing Plant; the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, and the 23.

3km ANOH – Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline.

In a speech during the virtual inauguration of the projects at the State House, Tinubu also assured citizens that his administration is stepping up its coordination of other landmark projects and initiatives that will ensure the earliest realization of gas-fueled prosperity in the country.

 

The President, according to a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, noted that the projects were fully in line with the Decade of Gas Initiative and his administration’s vision to grow value from the nation’s abundant gas assets, while concurrently eliminating gas flaring and accelerating industrialization. 

“This event is highly significant to our country as it demonstrates the administration’s concerted efforts to accelerate the development of critical gas infrastructure geared at significantly enhancing the supply of energy to boost industrial growth and create employment opportunities.

“It is pleasing that when these projects become fully operational, approximately 500MMscf of gas in aggregate will be supplied to the domestic market from these two gas processing plants, which represents over 25% incremental growth in gas supply. 

“In practical terms, this is more gas to the power sector, gas-based industries, and other critical segments of the economy. I, therefore, commend the strategic vision of the NNPC Limited and its partners, Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) and Seplat Energy Plc, for this laudable and value-adding projects,” President Tinubu said.

The President said his government remains determined in its bid to leverage the nation’s vast gas capacity to drive economic growth. 

“Aside from the presidential CNG initiative which is aimed at moving the good people of Nigeria away from petrol and diesel as vehicular combustion fuel, significant progress has also been recorded in incentivizing gas development through Presidential Directives.

“The theme of this inauguration – ‘From Gas to Prosperity; Renewed Hope’, must be adopted by all gas-sector participants and would-be investors as a clarion call to ramp up efforts to accelerate investment and developments of projects in the gas sector on a win-win basis.

“I would once again commend the efforts of NNPC Ltd, alongside SEEPCO and Seplat Energy, on this business partnership initiative, and congratulate you all on the successful implementation of the three projects,” the President said.

President Tinubu also reiterated his government’s resolve to continue to provide support in deepening domestic gas utilization, increase national power generation capacity, revitalize industries, and create multiple job opportunities for economic growth.

“Today, I have the singular honour to inaugurate the expansion of the AHL Gas Processing Plant, the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, and the 23.3Km ANOH to Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Custody Transfer Metering Station Gas Pipeline Projects in line with my administration’s resolve to provide energy for Nigerians, and to use our vast natural gas resources to transform Nigeria,” the President stated.

May 15, 2024

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