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World Bank Approves $750m For Nigeria’s Power Sector

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The World Bank has approved a $750 million International Development Association credit for Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Operation.

This was contained in a statement issued by the bank on Wednesday.

The statement quoted World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, as saying the credit would help to improve the electricity supply in Nigeria.

It expressed worry that about 47 per cent of Nigerians have no access to grid electricity and those who had access, faced regular power cuts.

According to the bank, the economic cost of power shortages in Nigeria is estimated at around 28 billion dollars, which is equivalent to two per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.

It stated that getting access to electricity was one of the major constraints for the private sector, according to the Ease of Doing Business report.

The statement read in part, “Lack of reliable power has stifled economic activity and private investment and job creation.

”This is ultimately what is needed to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

“The objective of this operation is to help turn around the power sector and set it on a fiscally sustainable path. This is particularly urgent at a time when the government needs all the fiscal resources it can marshal to help protect lives and livelihoods amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The PSRO is expected to increase annual electricity supplied to the distribution grid, enhance power sector financial viability while reducing annual tariff shortfalls and protecting the poor from the impact of tariff adjustments.

“This will enable the turnaround of power sector while helping the Federal Government to redirect large fiscal resources from highly regressive tariff shortfall financing towards critical crisis-responsive and pro-poor expenditures. It will also increase public awareness about ongoing power sector reforms and performance.

“Specifically, the PSRO will ensure that 4,500 mwh/hour of electricity is supplied to the distribution grid by 2022 by strengthening the regulatory, policy and financing framework.

“It will also enhance the accountability and financial viability of the sector, helping the sector create a track record of sustainable operation necessary for unlocking much needed private investments in the future.”

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Nigeria Set To Host AIO Confab, As Tope Smart Emerges President

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By Sola Alabadan

All arrangements have been concluded for the forthcoming 47th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) holding in Lagos from September 4 to 8.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee Of AIO 2021, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, who addressed journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, said since the conference could not hold last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the AIO Secretariat LOC decided to hold it this year as a hybrid event to cater for those who will not be able to attend physically.
She emphasised that in planning the conference at this time, the organisers  have taken full cognizance of all the health protocols and restrictions on public gathering, hence the decision to make it a hybrid event.
To give further impetus to this decision, she pointed out that “we are limiting the number of physical attendees, while others are being encouraged to take advantage of the virtual conference to participate from their different locations. For physical attendees, all covid-19 protocols will be observed and implemented to the letter.”

She also commended the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Olorundare Thomas for working assiduously and liaising with the various ministries and agencies to ensure that the organisers get the full support from the government.
She equally informed that of the major highlights of the 47th Conference is that the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association and Group Managing Director of NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart will assume office as the next president of the pan African organisation for the next one year.
As Covid-19 pandemic had left very debilitating effects on many economies and there are efforts at addressing these challenges, participants at the 47th AIO conference would be contributing to discussions around how insurance can contribute to ongoing efforts at rebuilding economies seriously impacted by the pandemic.
The theme of this year’s conference is: Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: An Insurance Perspective.

The four other subtopics to address other contemporary issues affecting the insurance industry are:
The new normal: How leaders can reset for growth beyond covid-19
Regulation, innovation and the future of insurance

Harnessing the potential for growth and development in the Nigerian insurance market

AfCFTA and the African Insurer: Prospects and Opportunities

She added that the AIO Secretariat has assembled a strong faculty to deliver the different papers.
The resource persons are: Mr. Jakkie Cilliers, Institute of Security Studies, South Africa, Mr. Belhassen Tanat of Munich re, Mr. Yinka Sanni of Standard Bank Group, Mr. Tawiah Ben- Ahmed of Metropolitan Life Insurance, Ghana.
The AIO conference will also include the Life Seminar and all related activities.
The LOC chairman further stated that hosting the conference is significant to Nigeria, as it will enable her to showcase hee rich culture and hospitality, as well as provide a great opportunity to correct some of the misconceptions about Nigeria and her people.

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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