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African Development Bank to hold 54th Annual Meeting June 11 -14

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“When you put your forces together, you can achieve the critical mass to be solid player on the global scene,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Economic Governance & Knowledge Management Celestin Monga told journalists at a press conference ahead of the Bank’s Annual Meetings.

Equatorial Guinea will host the Bank’s 54th Annual Meeting, from 11-14 June 2019, under the theme ‘Regional integration for Africa’s economic prosperity.’ The Meetings will bring together about 2000 delegates. They provide a unique forum for governments, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the media worldwide, to dialogue on critical issues concerning Africa’s development.

Secretary-General of the Bank Vincent Nmehielle hosted the press event held at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan. Senior management in attendance included Vice-president, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain; Vice President Corporate Services and Human Resources, Mateus Magala and Gauthier Bourlard from the Bank’s Resource Mobilization and Partnership Department.

In his opening remarks, Nmehielle explained that the 2019 Annual Meetings are an opportunity to show why regional integration is important. “Equatorial Guinea is one of the most developed countries in Africa, but not many people know that,” he added.

The meetings will include statutory sittings of the Governors and shareholders of the Bank, and a series of knowledge events, including discussions around the Africa Economic Outlook, one of the Bank’s flagship reports. A High-Level Presidential Dialogue on Boosting Africa’s Economic Integration will provide Heads of States an opportunity to discuss challenges and corrective measures to fast track Regional Integration.

Robust conversions on regional value chains in agriculture are on the meetings’ agenda.

“Trade is and will remain the main engine of growth for many of our countries. More than 60% of global trade now occurs in global value chains. We need to see that African economies are getting into global value chains, not just to process unprocessed raw commodities but transform goods creating value additions, creation jobs locally,” Monga noted.

Over 75 percent of Sub-Saharan African countries have a population of less than 25 million, and about half the countries have a gross domestic product (GDP) of less than US$10 billion in 2017 (nominal terms). Deeper market integration for goods, infrastructure services, and key factors to bring together the fragmented economies of Africa.

For Guislain, “Regional integration is part of our core mandate and our DNA. It has been since inception in 1964.” A borderless Africa is the foundation of a competitive continental market that could serve as a global business center, journalists’ heard.

On the Continental Free Trade Area, which came into force on May 30th, the Bank has provided the grounds to the African Union Commission to launch the Secretariat with close to $ 5 million.

Magala shared an update on the Compact Lusophone and how “it provides an opportunity to strengthen economies of countries that share a common language, history, and culture.” He also fielded a few questions from the Portuguese-speaking journalists from Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde.

Gauthier Bourlard representing the Bank’s Resource Mobilization and Partnership Department provided an update on the African Development Fund (ADF) 15th replenishment. ADF, the concessional loan arm of the Bank, seeks to increase funding for fragile countries, focusing on cross cutting themes such as gender, governance, climate change and the private sector. The next round of negotiations with donor countries is slated for early July in Madagascar before a decision is made later in the year.

Twenty-eight journalists from twenty-one Africa countries attended the press conference, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, the Bank’s Director of Communication and External Relations. The journalists are taking part in a three-day Sustainable Development Reporting Course, first of its kind at the Bank, organized in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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(Audio) CIBN scores Buhari administration high on banking regulation

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DMO raises N66.9bn at July bond auction

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, The Debt Management Office (DMO), says  the Federal Government raised N66.9 billion at its bond auction on Wednesday, as part of moves to finance the 2018 budget.

The DMO  said on its website that the bonds were auctioned  in three tenors of five, seven and 10 years.

This, it said, was to give its diverse investor base an opportunity to choose their preferred tenors.

It said investors showed a strong preference for the 10-year bond with a total subscription of N50.51 billion compared to the N40 billion that was offered.

However, N46.39 billion was allotted.

“The Federal Government bonds at the auction were allotted at 13.69 per cent for the five year, 14 per cent for the seven year and 14.2 per cent for the 10-year bond.”

According to the auction results posted on the website, DMO  stated that out of the N25 billion  offered for the five year bond,  subscriptions to the value of N12.93 billion was received, while N8.93 billion was allotted.

It also said that for the seven year paper,  N13.58 billion subscriptions were received for the N25 billion on offer. However,  N11.58 billion was allotted.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

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FEC okays N15.7bn for Enugu-Anambra road project

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Projects

“The contract was awarded in 2012 and they were spurs off the Enugu-Onitsha Highway to six different communities, Ebenebe, Agba, Umana-Ndiagu, Nkpodu, Ekeagu and Ugwuoba.

“Because of lack of appropriate budgeting and funding all of these projects could not be completed.

“There were failures in the implementation as we inherited it; there was also the need to provide for erosion control measures and drains.

“That has led to the revision of the existing contract awarded in 2012 from N10.3 billion to 15.734billion.”

Fashola said that it was the revision to enable the contract to be completed that was presented and approved by the council.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

 

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Annan lived a great life, says Moghalu

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By Chioma Ugboma

Lagos Aug. 19, 2018 A former official of the United Nations (UN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu on Saturday described the late Kofi Annan as a man who lived a great life.

Moghalu, a presidential aspirant of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made this declaration in his tribute to Annan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Annan, the 7th UN Secretary General between 1996 and 2007, died on Saturday at the age of 80.

The late Ghanaian diplomat, was a recipient of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize and led the UN through some of its biggest reforms in order to build a stronger, more capable organization.

In a tribute sent to NAN in Lagos, Moghalu said: “In April I started my tribute to Kofi Annan on his 80th birthday with this quote: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there.

“These are the powerful words from Mr Annan himself; words that have made an indelible mark on both my professional and personal lives.

“On a personal note, I have long admired his adventurous spirit, one that he encouraged in me and others, to seek divergent career paths that ultimately would make for a better employee, and a better organization.

“He himself had taken a circuitous route to his role as leader of the world’s most important body, and he left a strong mark. Long after Mr Annan left, he was spoken of fondly by staff who remembered not just his work, but his calm, intellectual personality that was a much-needed influence in the organization.

“In my tribute, I wrote that his was a “life of consequence”, not merely because he, like, Nelson Mandela, had achieved the feat of projecting a positive role model for black African excellence like few others had, but because he also sought to change the world—and did.

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

 

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By Chiazo Ogbolu

Lagos, Aug. 30, 2018

MTN Nigeria on Thursday refuted the claims by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it illegally, in collusion with four Nigerian banks repatriated $8.1billion from its Nigerian operations to offshore investors.

The CBN said the remittances between 2007 and 2015, in tranches of of 2.63 billion dollars, 1.766 billion dollars and 348 million dollars were done in flagrant violation of the rule that says it can only be done with regular ‘Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs)’ issued by the apex bank.

The CBN said MTN did the repatriation after illegally converting shareholders’ loan of $399, 594,146 to preference shares.

As part of the sanctions, four banks, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, were fined by the CBN.

Standard Chartered Bank would pay a fine of N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria, N1.26 billion and Diamond bank, N250 million.

“MTN Nigeria received a letter on Aug 29 from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleging that Certificate of Capital Important (CCIs) issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders’ loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued.

`As a consequence they claim that historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8.1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims.

“No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” he said.

Aina said that the issues surrounding the CCIs had already been the subject of a thorough enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria.

He added that in September 2016 the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others.

He said that in its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria.

“MTN Nigeria, as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, is committed to good governance and to abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The re-emergence of these issues is regrettable as it damages investor confidence and, by extension, inhibits the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

“We will engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend our position on this matter and provide further information when available.

CBN’s spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank has written MTN Nigeria demanding a refund of the $8.13 billion, repatriated.

The Bank resolved to sanction the commercial banks following investigations in March 2018, which confirmed allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria.

Edited by Fela Fashoro

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