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AfDB Achieved Highest Annual Disbursement in 2017 – Adesina

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Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB), said that the Bank, 2017, achieved its highest annual disbursement ever of 7.67 billion dollars on supports.

Adesina said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the Bank would continue to support African countries in ensuring stronger macroeconomic policies.

“The Bank achieved its highest annual disbursement ever in its history, at 7.67 billion dollars.

“Our investment in the energy sector in 2017 covered 31 operations in 23 countries and totaled 1.39 billion dollars, representing a 30 per cent increase over 2016.

” In 2017, the Bank maintained its AAA rating with stable outlook by all four global rating agencies.

“The Bank’s AAA stable outlook rating is underpinned by sound financial and risk management policies, excellent liquidity and strong shareholder support,” Adesina said.

He said that the Bank was working hard to be more efficient and become impact driven organisation; one that accelerated Africa’s development, holding itself to a higher standard of performance.

The president said that it was only when the Bank became performance driven that it could meet Africa’s expectations.

Adesina assured that the Bank intended to score a lot more development goals for Africa, adding that there was need for greater alignment, performance and accountability for results.

He said that the Bank launched its largest bond transaction with 2.5 billion dollars three-year global benchmark followed by its largest ever five-year global benchmark for 2 billion dollars.

According to him, the Bank continues to grow its income solidly, reversing its declining income when he started two years ago.

He said that the net operating income of the Bank had declined from 589.3 million dollars in 2014 to 492.7 million dollars in 2015, when he took over, adding that ever since there had been a rapid turnaround.

“In 2016, the net operating income rose to 556.6 million dollars and shot up to 855 million dollars in 2017, an increase of almost 54 per cent over 2016.

” To put things in context, this is also a 73 per cent increase over where we were in 2015.

“The Bank is mobilising more resources for Africa. In 2017, we mobilised 9.73 billion dollars from the capital markets for African countries including 300 million dollars from the enhanced private sector facility for Africa.

“I am delighted that in 2017, the Bank helped leverage 6 billion dollars for the landmark Japan-Africa Energy Financing Facility.

“This will help accelerate efforts to light up and power Africa,” Adesina said.

He said that the Bank was doing a lot on “Light Up and Power Africa agenda”, adding that in 2017 it invested 1.39 billion dollars.

He added that the aim was to improve access to electricity to help generate an additional 1,400 MW of power and connect 3.8 million persons to electricity.

On renewable engergy, the president said that the Bank was leading, adding that when he assumed office, the share of renewable energy in the Bank total power portfolio was just 14 per cent.

“However, we increased that to 74 per cent in 2016 and in 2017; we achieved a record-breaking 100 per cent of our new lending in renewable energy.

He said that with access to more funding, “we hope to provide electricity to an unprecedented 29.3 million Africans between 2018-2020”.

The president said that the Bank was spearheading the development of the desert to power initiative to harness electricity from the sun all across the Sahel.

He said that “our goal is to support the generation of 10,000 MW of power, connect 250 million persons to electricity, of which 75 million people will be through off-grid systems.

“Africa needs to promote green growth. We are extremely conscious of our climate and environmental responsibilities and leadership role.

Adesina said that the Bank would be tripling its climate finance to 40 per cent of its portfolio by 2020.

On agriculture, he said that the Bank in 2017, invested 1.16 billion dollars in the sector – the highest ever in the Bank’s history.

It also launched Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a one-billion dollar initiative to take agriculture technologies to scale for millions of farmers.

Adesina said that with adequate resources, between 2018-2020, the Bank expected to provide 29.2 million Africans with access to electricity.

He added that the bank’s Integrate Africa High 5 would provide 50 million Africans with improved access to transport.

Likewise, the Bank’s High 5 on Industrialising Africa would enable seven million people to benefit from investment projects.

He added that High 5, on improving the quality of life would also provide 36.8 million persons with improved access to water and sanitation.

Adesina said that the support of all shareholders was crucial for the general capital increase of the Bank.

He said that the Bank would do more for Africa and “we are working extremely hard to revamp the Bank and put it in a much stronger position, with more highly capable staff and institutional capacity to deliver more, better and faster support.

” Our ability to deliver in the past and now is a good indication that you can depend on us to deliver more in the future.

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Court Jails Union Bank Head of Ops over N450m Fraud

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Mr Paul Onwughalu, former Head of Operations at the Head Office of Union Bank Plc

Mr Paul Onwughalu, former Head of Operations at the Head Office of Union Bank Plc in Marina, Lagos, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for his involvement in fraud to the tune of N450 million.

 

Mr Onwughalu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in February 2014 before Justice S.S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on a four-count charge bordering on failure to conduct due diligence in financial transactions.

 

Ruling on the matter in March 2018, Justice Ogunsanya found the accused guilty of the offence and sentenced him to three years imprisonment on each count.

One of the counts read, “That you, Paul Onwughalu, on or about the 9th of January, 2013, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, whilst being an employee of Union Bank Plc, failed to exercise due diligence in relation to the conduct of financial transactions with one DanKawu Bureau De Change by confirming and authorizing payment of the sum of N450 million fraudulently transferred by hacking into Union Bank database (flexcube) and transferring the said sum to Union Bank Plc account of one DanKawu Bureau De Change domiciled in Union Bank, Head Office Branch, Marina, Lagos and thereby facilitated the crediting and withdrawal of the said sum by one DanKawu Bureau De Change to various accounts in Ecobank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and Dankawu Bureau De Change.”

 

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.

 

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Fadeke Giwa, presented a number of witnesses and tendered various documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

 

However, counsel to the convict, O. Fagbemi, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.

 

 

 

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African Development Bank Delivers Strong Operational Results

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The African Development Bank is delivering on its goals and making good progress towards achieving its development and operational targets according to the 2018 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) (link is external), which was released at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Every year, ADER scrutinizes the Bank’s operational effectiveness and its organizational efficiency, using the Bank’s results measurement framework for 2016-2025. It brings together evidence of strengths and weaknesses to provide management with a clear understanding of what has worked well and what the Bank must do better to achieve its High 5 development goals.

“The report shows that the African Development Bank is delivering on its commitment to help Africa achieve the Bank’s High 5 priorities,” said Charles Boamah, Senior Vice-President. “The Bank continues to strengthen its effectiveness as an organization, while scaling up its operations.”

This year’s ADER has a special focus on industrializing Africa. “There are good reasons to be optimistic that industrialization is achievable in the coming years. Africa is open for business, with stable economies and supportive business environments,” said Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina. “It has a young and growing workforce that is increasingly global in outlook. Urbanization and the rise of the African middle class are opening up new consumer markets, which act as a magnet for investors.”

In 2017, companies had improved access to transport, energy, and skills, which expanded their ability to do business across the continent. The Bank contributed to these improvement: it provided 14 million people with access to transport – well above its target – while building or rehabilitating 2,500 km of roads in 2017 and also helped 210,000 small and micro businesses access finance, which benefitted 2.6 million people.

“This level of performance is promising, but we must continue driving operational delivery and impact,” said Simon Mizrahi, Bank Director for Delivery, Performance Management and Results.

The Bank is scaling up its efforts to accelerate the pace of industrialization, supported by its presence in 38 countries and by timely and quality operations. This backbone and experience position the Bank well to mobilize more resources from institutional investors around the world for industrial development.

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EMVCo Creates Royalty-free Mark to Promote Use of QR codes

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EMVCo, the global technical body that manages EMV specifications, has introduced a QR payment trademark designed to promote the global interoperability and use of EMV QR code payments.

EMVCo has released reproduction requirements for the mark and a licensing structure that allows any organization that uses an EMV QR code solution to also use the mark at no cost, a press release said.

According to EMVCo, QR codes are increasingly being used to facilitate mobile payments at the point of sale. Last year, the organization published specifications to address two QR code payment use-cases:

–  Consumer-presented — consumers display the QR code on their mobile device and the merchant uses an optical scanner to read the code.

–  Merchant-presented — the merchant displays the QR code and consumers use their mobile device to scan the code.

The QR payment mark can be used to inform consumers that a merchant accepts these types of payment solutions.

The QR payment mark can also be used as an application indicator on a consumer mobile device when initiating a consumer-presented transaction.

A royalty-free trademark license agreement and reproduction requirements are available in EMVCo’s Trademark Centre.

“The development of a uniform, recognizable QR payment mark that can be used on a royalty-free basis is an important step towards providing a universally consistent experience for both merchants and consumers,” EMVCo executive Committee Chair Jack Pan said in the release.

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