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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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AfDB Supports Gabon’s Optic Fiber Backbone Project

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The African Development Bank and the Gabonese National Agency for Numerical Infrastructure and Frequency (ANINF) have signed agreements a feasibility study for the country’s component of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project.

The project is an integrated, innovative and transformative infrastructure which consists of completing the 901.8 km fiber optic connectivity to cover 14 missing links on the Gabonese national backbone.

The project will enhance regional integration in the Central Africa region through fiber optic infrastructure enabling cross-border interconnection exchange with neighboring countries –  Congo, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. It will open up opportunities that will integrate Gabon in the information and communications community, among other initiatives poised to close the digital divide especially in rural areas and empower marginal communities.

The total project preparation cost is US$ 900,000 provided by the Bank through the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility Special Fund (NEPAD-IPPF) which enables African countries to prepare bankable regional infrastructure projects to promote integration to support socio-economic transformation. The Bank will coordinate the preparation, structuring, and packaging of the project as lead arranger to ensure subsequent funding and implementation.

The CAB-Gabon project is considered to be among the most innovative digital projects that the Bank plans to implement.  Sponsors will be identified to participate in the project under a win-win collaborative partnership with global players to invest in the best ICT technologies.

The envisaged large internet broadband will boost regional integration with Gabon endowed with the largest ICT hub in Central Africa and able to attract international companies within the central free trade zone with innovations in various sectors. Digital innovations that that can be derived from the project will include services such as the duty-free money transfers.

The financing of fiber optics and e-government infrastructures (datacenters) in Central Africa will significantly lower the cost of internet fees considered to be the highest on the global scale and will add competitiveness to regional exchanges and provide an important demonstration effect for new public and private sector infrastructure projects in the region.

The Agreement was signed on 20th February 2018 by the Director General of ANINF, Bernard Bongo Odimba and Mr. the Bank’s Director-General for Central Africa,  Ousmane Dore.

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CBN Mandates Banks to Settle Customers’ Complaints within Two Weeks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks and other financial institutions to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.

The CBN Head of Complaints Management Division, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the CBN would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawals.

Ahmed reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to eradicating excess and arbitrary charges.

According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular which could be found on its website, showing all legitimate bank charges.

He said that any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed.

“The consumer protection department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt.

“Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint.

“If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to the complaint,” he said.

Ahmed advised customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department or send an email to cbd@cbn.gov.ng.

He also advised dissatisfied bank customers to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to make their complaints.

“The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conduct and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system.

“Non-adherence to that normally results to regulatory sanctions, as the case may be,” he said.

Ahmed also faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals.

“I have also observed and noted this. Don’t forget that at the beginning, it wasn’t like this. Over time, we started having this problem.

“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination.

“When we approached the banks about these problems, they said the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30,000 to N40,000 units.

“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed.

“This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it,” he said.

Also, the Head of Consumer Protection Division, Mrs. Hadija Kasim, said bank customers could also avoid some of these issues by inculcating the habit of cashless policy.

She reminded the public that there were various methods to make payments rather than carrying cash.

“Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

“We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash.

“Cashless transactions are more convenient, safer and you will avoid the problem of overcharges,” she said.

Kasim also advised bank consumers to use bank transfer channels for transactions in cases where sellers do not have POS.

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Nigerian Bank Investors Lose N100Bn in 2 Days

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Investors with shares in the banking sector on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have lost over N100.8 billion in two trading days of the week, a report this morning by Vanguard said.

 

It said that while 11 out of the 16 banks in the NSE began losing prices in the market on Monday, the remaining joined by Tuesday, except United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).

 

The report listed banks that appreciated to include: Access Bank (5 kobo) per share to close at N12.56 per share from N12.60 per share, GTBank gained N1.00 per share to close at N47.50 per share, from N46.50 per share, Fidelity Bank gained (8kobo) per share to close at N3.28 per share from N3.20 per share and Jaiz Bank gained 4 kobo per share to close at N1.04 per share from N1.00 per share.

 

However, during Tuesday trading session, all the banks’ share prices dropped except UBA which gained 20 kobo per share to close at N12.20 from N12.00 per share it closed on Monday.

 

The report blamed the trend on the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that restricted dividend payments by banks with high Non Performing Loans (NPLs) and low Capital Adequacy Ratio, CAR from paying dividend to their shareholders.

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