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The Federal Government is processing a World Bank loan of $750 million on behalf of state governments, to stimulate the local economy as well as support vulnerable household’s consumption, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said.

The Minister disclosed this at the inauguration of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES), in Abuja on Monday.
She said “the loan is part of windows of opportunities to mitigate the effect of Covid-19.”
She maintained that the diverse and severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic had continued to be felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses, households that survive on daily income and the peasant farmers, who depended on their farm produce to survive.
“This key population make up over 60% of our entire population in Nigeria, hence the need to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the vulnerable sectors through the provision of palliatives and stimulus package,” she added.
She noted that the Federal Government had created several windows of interventions as captured in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30.
Ahmed added that among other things, the ESP was to respond robustly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to identify fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending.
According to the minister, the Steering Committee was made up of carefully selected ministers and permanent secretaries, while the Technical Committee, made up of directors of key MDAs, had to be in place to ensure that the implementation of the N-CARES was in line with Federal Government priorities, as outlined in the Economic Sustainability Plan.
“Government has carefully selected you as members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important roles your MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty, and I have no doubt you can deliver” she maintained.
The major role of the Federal Steering committee would be to provide an overall policy direction for the implementation of N-CARES programme and advise the President appropriately.
The Federal Technical Committee would be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).
For Ahmed, inaugurating the committee was important because of the need for emergency intervention and the fact that Nigeria, as the biggest economy in Africa, could not afford to remain in recession.
“The survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do, as such, we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace,” she added.
She reminded the committee about the high consequences that could be of the root cause of rising civil unrest in the country was ignored.

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Control Risks Lists Top 5 Risks For Business In 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic, emerging digital threats, climate change and the US China relationship are among the Top 5 Risks for business in 2021, published today by Control Risks, the specialist global risk consultancy.

Underpinning these risks, the danger of missing the rebound in a year of multi-speed recovery is a top risk for business in the coming year.

“There’s no doubt that businesses will continue to face considerable disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, but we believe that the opportunities are real and exciting for many companies in 2021,” comments Control Risks CEO, Nick Allan.

All top 5 global risks are present in Africa but play out in unique ways. In some areas the continent presents a positive break from the more negative global trends, such as in the regional cooperation shown by the continent in its response COVID-19 and the planned launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Overall, however, 2021 will be a tough year for a continent that will struggle to recover from COVID-19 as fast as much of the rest of the world. Despite many significant opportunities for investors, the markets they are investing in will be ones characterised by significant operational and political uncertainty.

The investors that will achieve success in 2021 are those that understand that Africa’s post-pandemic landscape will be tangibly changed from what came before, presenting different challenges and new opportunities.

The global Top 5 Risks for Business in 2021 

The Top 5 risks are released as part of Control Risks’ annual RiskMap report, a global risk forecast for business leaders and policy makers across the world, published today.

1. A world with long COVID

2021 will be a year of uneven recovery as vaccine rollouts create a world ofhaves and have-nots, with pockets of forever COVID at the bottom of the pecking order. Much of Africa, unfortunately, will be in the have-notcategory and companies will face prolonged operational uncertainty as localised restrictions are sporadically imposed in response to virus spikes. Africa’s economic recovery will also be more gradual, as governments with limited fiscal headroom cannot engage in sustained stimulus spending and must instead rely on under-developed private sectors to drive their recoveries.

2. US-China: stabilisation without normalisation

While 2021 should see superficial stabilisation in the US-China relationship, the straining of the international rules-based system seen over the past few years will not go into full reverse. Competition rather than cooperation will remain the norm in international relations. In this regard at least Africa represents a welcome break from global trends, as 1 January will see the launch of ACFTA, and although full implementation of a continental free trade area will be slow the fact that Africa is moving in that direction when much of the world is not should be attractive to potential investors.

3. Go green or go bust

An inflection point is coming for the relationship between businesses and climate change in 2021. No organisation can now afford not to take a stance. The environment is a critical aspect in a broader area of the ESG agenda. Although no African country bar South Africa has made a net zero pledge to date – without special funding, governments do not view it as a priority – the continent nonetheless has huge renewable energy potential. Renewable energy projects connected to microgrids make sense in a continent of small population centres spread over huge areas, and the recent liberalisation of energy markets in many countries has opened up multiple opportunities for private-sector investors. Without government backing, however, investor may ignore these opportunities for the subsidies and support on offer elsewhere.

4. Digital acceleration hits emerging threats

The remarkable increase in connectivity across Africa – in mobile phone penetration, internet penetration, social media use and data traffic flows – has opened up a vast array of new opportunities. This is evidenced by the rapid growth in the African tech sector over the past few years. But this connectivity also brings risks. Cyber crime has boomed across Africa, from simple scams to sophisticated attacks on critical infrastructure. Criminal and state actors have also engaged in influence operations, spreading misinformation and inflammatory content that poses reputational risks to companies as well as political players. Companies in Africa, just like the rest of the world, will have to balance the drive for technological innovation with security, integrity and resilience challenges.

5. Missing the Rebound

The coming year will see strong GDP growth in multiple markets, the roll-out of vaccines and a world hungry to start living again. While progress will be faltering, an uplift is coming – do not miss the rebound. If 2020 was about survival for many companies, 2021 is the time to focus on opportunity. Under the duress of COVID-19 many companies have flexed, not broken. Through innovation, rapid technology adoption and streamlining, they have emerged stronger, while weaker competitors have fallen. Those companies that turn the efficiency gains of 2020 into productivity gains, continue to accurately assess trends and show flexibility in adapting their operations will benefit from the coming surge in demand.

“Governance, policy consistency and rule of law are critical for investors in Africa and deep-rooted challenges remain across the continent in this realm, however we do see positive change across the region. Recovery will be an opportunity for governments to address structural constraints and promote new approaches & technologies – the region remains front and centre for many of our clients. For Control Risks, Africa sits at the heart of our past, present, and future – we continue to invest and see growth across the region” explains Tom Griffin, Partner – Africa and Middle East, Control Risks.

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Allianz Begins Olympic, Paralympic Partnership 

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Allianz officially began its eight-year worldwide partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements on January 1, the company’s management has said.
“Allianz is proud to be the „Worldwide Insurance Partner” of the Olympic & Paralympic Movements,” said Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE. “As a supporter of the sports ecosystem and through shared core values of excellence, friendship, inclusion and respect, Allianz and our 148,000employees and 100,000 agents are excited to care and deliver for athletes, their families and their ambitions.”

Since announcing the partnership in September 2018, the insurer has engaged fans, athletes, teams and employees through health across four pilot markets – Australia, China, France and Spain. Allianz presented the Australian Olympic Committee’s Wellbeing Week to showcase ways to improve mental health. Allianz also worked with the Organising Committee Olympic Games Paris 2024 to encourage people to walk and run for “Club Paris 2024”, an initiative to move and be part of the Games.

Allianz will expand local initiatives to connect with athletes and fans across the world. To name a few, the global insurer will offer consumers and employees the chance to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay at Beijing 2022 and will engage youth with the spirit & values of the Movements at its Allianz Sports Camps through trying sports, building friendships and learning from athletes. Furthermore, it will support the Movements with tailored insurance solutions and services.

“Having announced this new agreement in 2018, our teams have already been working together in key pilot markets to support athletes and the Olympic Movement,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “As we start this new Olympic year, we are excited to begin in earnest our global collaboration with Allianz.” 

“Allianz brings global visibility to the athletes and values of the Paralympic Movement and we look forward to our next phase working together,” added IPC President Andrew Parsons. 

The partnership runs from 2021-2028.

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Adamawa Begins Payment Of Outstanding Gratuity To Retirees

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Medugu who made the disclosure to journalists in Yola, said that the State and Local Government Councils jointly contribute N14 million monthly for the payments.

He explained that the amount being contributed monthly for settlement of the retirees’ gratuity would also help to cushion the hardship occasioned by COVID-19.”

So far, Government has settled the gratuity of about 6,300 local government retirees.

“And on monthly basis, State and Local Government’s Councils are contributing about N14 million for the payment of the gratuity.”

“According to our records, 989 local government Pensioners are not receiving their monthly pension, this is as a result of recent verification exercise,” he said.

Medugu urged the affected pensioners to be patient as the board was working to ensure that those mistakenly omitted  in the payment were integrated into the system.

Similarly, Chairman of Adamama State Pension Board, Mr Thomas Mahdi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, had approved N1.5 billion for payment of gratuities.

Mahdi said that the payment of the arrears of gratuity to State Government retirees affected those who retired between 2009 and 2012.

“The payments are categorised based on Senior Ma

 

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