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Naira gains to N358.5/$ in parallel market

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The naira yesterday appreciated to N358.5 per  dollar in the parallel market.

According to naijabdcs.com, the live exchange rate platform of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), the parallel market exchange dropped to N358.5 per dollar from N359 per dollar last week Friday, indicating 50 kobo appreciation of the naira.

However, the naira yesterday depreciated by 33 kobo in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even as the volume of dollars traded rose marginally to $586.83 million.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window rose to N363.11 per dollar yesterday from N362.78 per dollar last week Friday, indicating 33 kobo depreciation of the naira.

 

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WAUG: Heritage Bank restates commitment to youth, sport devt

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Heritage Bank Plc has restated commitment to improved youth and sport developments in the country, thereby attaining rapid growth in these areas, through sponsorship of sporting activities in tertiary institutions.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo affirmed this at the just concluded 14thedition of the West African Universities Game (WAUG) held in Port Harcourt at the University of Port Harcourt.

The bank recently supported the premier edition of Africa Freestyle Football Championship and continued to sponsor youth entrepreneurial initiatives, particularly, The Next Titan,” a reality television show.

Sekibo, who was represented by a Senior Manager, Oladapo Lawal stressed that the financial institution has strong desire to see young Nigerians succeed in other areas other than what they studied in school, whilst urging government at all levels and private institutions to pay closer attention to sponsorship and innovation.

He stated that Heritage Bank, as the sponsor of WAUG, is working assiduously towards achieving its vision to become a bank of national reckoning for which it was established.

He noted that there is need for institutions to give back to society through sponsorship.

“Heritage Bank believes in development. These are University Students and we want to level our legacy on University students that is one of reasons we decided to sponsor the event. We have the tenacity to develop and sport is a way of developing youths in the country. We want to encourage the youth and I believe that this type of games are capable of robbing off on the students in future.

“I would advise the federal government to look in this direction, because when we support this kind of project, we are developing our country. The government needs to do more in sponsorship drive of sports in the country, “he noted.
Meanwhile, UNIPORT emerged the overall winner of the 14th WAUG, 2018 amassing 125 medals to top the log.

A breakdown of the figures shows that UNIPORT won 75 gold, 26 silver and 24 bronze medals to beat University of Lagos (UNILAG), the first runners up that scored 16 gold, 24 silver and 16 bronze.

The second Runners up was University of Cape Coast, Ghana that bagged 9 gold and 16 silver medals.

The football event went to University for Development Studies, Ghana that beat Bayero University,Kano(BUK) 4-2 on penalties after the duo played out a 1-1 draw within 90 minutes regulation time and 30 minutes extra time.

Declaring the competition closed, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu congratulated the winners and indeed all the participants for a job well done.
He commended UNIPORT for organizing what he described as one of the best championships in the history of WAUG.

The Minister said university games and sports generally should be encouraged in our institutions to build friendships and bridge barriers among the students in Nigeria and beyond.

He promised that the Federal Government will continue to encourage sports in our schools.

In his speech, the Vice Chancellor(VC) of UNIPORT, Prof Ndowa Lale commended Heritage Bank for its sponsorship to the successful competition. He congratulated he winners and the losers alike. The VC particularly commended University of Cape Coast for coming all the way from Ghana to lift the football trophy regarded as the king of sports.

Prof Lale who said the hosting of the games was not perfect, expressed confidence that subsequent editions will be better.

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Ambode urges Entrepreneurs to leverage on Business Networks

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… As 2018 Lagos International Trade Fair ends

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday urged the entrepreneurs to build on new networks established during the just concluded ten-day Lagos International Trade Fair to advance their businesses for the economic prosperity of Lagos State and the country at large.

Governor Ambode, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, gave the advice at the closing ceremony of the 32nd Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos.

He said the country had once again through the Fair showed the international community that Nigerian entrepreneurs have a lot to offer shoppers beyond the shores of the country in terms of products and services and called on business-oriented individuals to make the State a prime place of choice for their businesses.

“I urge you to connect with us in Lagos State as there are abundant investment opportunities waiting to be explored. Our State is investor-friendly and with your partnership, we are committed to doing more”, the Governor assured.

He expressed delight in the fact that Lagos State had consistently hosted the yearly event for the past three decades with huge participation from indigenous traders and entrepreneurs.

He, however, expressed the hope that the numerous trade experiences which the Fair has helped to facilitate will translate to increased GDP for the State, enhanced socio-economic capital for the citizens through temporary jobs, new investments, business opportunities and networks that sprung up throughout the Fair.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye maintained that the annual Trade Fair affords the State the opportunity to accommodate a number of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Lagos State Pavilion to relieve them of the cost of participation, thereby affording them the chance to showcase their products and services to the international business community and the general public free of charge.

According to her, the provision of free exhibition stands for young entrepreneurs was one of the many ways the State government promotes and provides business support for owners of MSMEs in order to stimulate demand for their products as well as services and ultimately facilitate the enhancement of their productivity and profitability.

She described the visit of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo during the opening session of the Fair as a promotional boost and opportunity for investment linkages for MSMEs.

The fair which started on November 2 had hundreds of foreign exhibitors, thousands of visitors and representatives of some States in attendance.

 

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Heritage Bank calls for increased govt, banks’ support in Agriculture sector

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Heritage Bank Plc has called on government at all levels and deposit money banks to increase supports in agriculture, as it is the most resilient and important sector of Nigerian economy, despite underwhelming investment in the sector.

The Executive Director of the bank, Jude Monye stated this while delivering a paper, titled, “Bank Experience in Lending to the Real Sector (Agric) of the Economy,” at the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) 2018 Chief Risk Officers Forum Retreat, in Lagos, yesterday.

He disclosed that increased focus on the agriculture sector would contribute to the Job creation objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), as its labour intensive process across the value chain has the potential of creating multiple jobs, create wealth, and increase the sector’s contribution to GDP and foreign exchange earnings

Meanwhile, Monye stressed that the under-performance of the sector is closely tied; amongst other factors; to poor credit access from banks.

On the part of government, he decried that Nigeria’s Agricultural research institutes that are established to drive the sector’s business were underfunded compared to India’s.

“The 2018 budget allocates N54bn and N149bn (US$490m) to the agriculture and rural development ministry for recurrent and capital spending respectively.

“Agricultural research institutes have received an average of N28bn (US$90m) annually over the past five years. The comparable figure for India, with six times the population, is closer to US$2bn,” he stated.

He further noted that the economic recovery and growth plan of the government is heavy on Agriculture and MSMEs as key drivers of the economic diversification plan.

“Successful implementation of the Government’s Recovery Plan provides significant opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and financiers – particularly in the Agro-allied Sector,” Monye affirmed.

The Executive Director added that investments in infrastructure (energy and transportation) are supportive of the Agric-led growth.

He explained that to explore options for de-risking and unlocking bank lending to the Agric sector so as to develop and position the sector for increased contribution to the Nigeria’s GDP and revenues, there is need to Continue regulatory driven intervention funds to increase access to credit at single digit rates and long tenors, Improve knowledge of Banks and Bankers on Agric finance and Agricultural Risk Management through focused capacity building and many others.

Speaking at retreat with theme, “Achieving Economic Diversification for Nigeria via the De-Risking of Lending to the Nigerian Non-oil Sectors, the MD/CEO of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abduhameed, explained that the value chain financing is one of the major problem facing Nigerian agricultural sector.

But, he pointed out that NIRSAL does this by ‘de-risking’ the agricultural financing value chain, building long-term capabilities and institutionalizing agricultural lending through risk sharing with banks, technical capacity building as well as the provision of incentives to encourage bank lending.

According to him, Nigeria is endowed with all the natural resources to thrive in agriculture, but the sector lacks the capital with which to maximally meet the opportunities.

He stated that NIRSAL aims to increase deposit money banks’ lending and other private investment.

Abduhameed disclosed that proposal has been put before the Central Bank of Nigeria for NIRSAL to be recognised as collateral instrument as well as flow instrument, as this would fast track the de-risking of the value chain financing.

Group ED/Agribusiness TGI Group, Farouk Gumel, as one of the panellists, stressed the need to shed more light on banking agriculture rather than de-risking.

He also canvassed for more investments in infrastructure and addressing eco-climate system in the country.

 

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