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BoI, FCMB Partner to Support Local Content Policy

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The Bank of Industry, in partnership with the First City Monument Bank, yesterday unveiled an 80-tonne vessel jointly financed on behalf of C&I Leasing Ltd.

Kayode Pitan, Managing Director, BOI, said at the inauguration of the vessel tagged: “MV Bello’’ in Lagos, that the joint financing demonstrated their supports for deepening the country’s local content policy.

Pitan, who was represented by Mr Joseph Babatunde, General Manager, Large Enterprises, BoI, said that the financing was to generate employment and grow the country’s economy.

“The vessel is the first vessel supported by BoI. The aim is not to leave the oil and gas industry to all comers; we need more indigenous companies to be able to take our destiny in our hands.

“For us at BoI, we like ventures that will create employment and add value to the economy of the country.

“We will do more to support many industries that need long term financing.

“The loan will be paid over a period of six to nine years with reasonable moratorium period that allows the company to stabilise and take the benefits to expand its operations,” he said.

Pitan said that financing of the vessel had created 220 jobs and would gradually attract all other services rendered in the value chain.

“Today, BoI is also signing a MoU of $200m local content development fund in Abuja for the oil and gas sector; I see a bright future for the industry,” he said.

Also, Mr. Adam Nunu, Managing Director, FCMB, said that the bank would continue to provide solutions and financial support to different sectors of the economy.

“We have demonstrated how local players can help to support the larger marine industry which is hugely dominated by foreign companies,” Nunu said.

He said that FCMB would continue to invest in various specialised industries to boost economic growth.

In his remarks, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi, Managing Director, C & I Leasing Ltd., said that the vessel was the biggest addition to its fleet of vessels.

Otike-Odibi said that the financing revealed Federal Government’s commitment to boosting its local content policy in the oil and gas sector.

He said that the acquisition of the vessel would reduce foreign exchange demand, increase human capacity development and the number of vessels in the company’s fleet.

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E-Financial

CBN, NDIC Push Banks to Return to Northeast

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There are ongoing moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to get commercial banks and microfinance banks return to the troubled North-East region, Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director, NDIC, has said.

Speaking at the ongoing NDIC Annual Workshop for financial journalists in Kano, Ibrahim, called on the CBN to provide incentives for commercial banks and microfinance banks to come back to the North-east after they closed shops because of the impact of the Boko Haram on their operations.

He said the Northeast has potentials to support economic growth and should be supported by banks to achieve the desired result. He spoke on the theme: “The Nigerian banking sector: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward.”

He said: “Many bank CEOs have forgotten the economic potentials that exist in the Northeast. We need to awaken the banks to see the economic potentials in the Northeast. During the next special Bankers’ Committee meeting, the Northeast infrastructural revival will be discussed. The CBN already has planned to rebuild the Northeast,” he said.

He called on the CBN and other major stakeholders in the financial system to rebuild the financial infrastructure in the troubled North-East region.

He said the activities of insurgents in the region in the last few years have led to huge damage of financial infrastructure in the region.

The NDIC boss disclosed that given the crisis in the North-East region, so many businesses have been adversely affected while some investors have moved their investments out of that region.

He said the rate at which people are being financially excluded in the region has increased due to lack of adequate provision of financial services which was caused by insurgents.

The NDIC boss said he would personally table the issue to the Bankers’ Committee during their next meeting so that concrete steps could be taken to address the problem.

To encourage Deposit Money Banks to open more branches in the North-East, he said there was need for the CBN to provide more incentives to banks. He said, “We need to have the government of the North-East on board, they need to be sensitised on this issue.

“We need more collaboration with the CBN and government of the North-East because without this, not much can be done.

“It is necessary for the CBN to provide incentives for various banks in order to come back to the North-East because many bank CEOs have forgotten the potentials that exist in this region.”

In his presentation titled “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North East”, Mudashiru Olaitan, Director Development Finance, CBN, lamented the low level of access to the bank’s interventions in the region.

Olaitan, who was represented by Sani Mohammed, Deputy Director in the Department, said out of the N82 billion that was spent between 2001-2008, no state in the region accessed the apex bank’s interventions.

“In the commercial agricultural scheme intervention by the CBN, no state in the North-East accessed this intervention except in Taraba and Gombe which have only one each.”So there is need for the region to tap into the interventions,” he added.

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IFC Invests to aid Better Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare in Nigeria

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International Finance Corporation (IFC) the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets has announced that it recently committed an equity investment of USD 8.5 million in Santa Clara Africa Limited, to support the development of a 150-bed hospital and two 10-bed clinics in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The project is promoted by AXA Mansard Plc, the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, who provided equity to the project alongside IFC, the CAPE IV Fund, managed by African Capital Alliance and the hospital operator, Healthshare Ltd, through its parent company EOH Holding Ltd.

The two clinics will create a strong referral system of patients to the hospital.

 

These three facilities together will provide the necessary economies of scale to deliver better value for money in healthcare services.

 

The project is expected to provide healthcare at a price point that is below that of comparable hospitals and clinics in the market.

Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, Nigeria, said “with this investment, IFC wants to contribute to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s healthcare system to offer quality and affordable services.

 

“We will look to scale up this efficient and integrated model nationwide” She added.

Nigeria’s healthcare sector remains underserved as demand – driven by population growth, higher income levels, rapid urbanization, and a rise of non-communicable diseases – continues to outstrip supply of quality healthcare infrastructure.

 

Diagnostic and primary care services are also limited, and at varying qualities. As a result, Nigerians spend an estimated US$1 billion annually on health services abroad.

The lack of secure access to affordable and good quality healthcare with an appropriate service mix has also hampered the growth of health insurance in Nigeria.

 

The low levels of health insurance penetration, which currently constitutes less than 10 percent of the population, contributes to the high cost of healthcare in Nigeria.

 

An increased availability of health insurance schemes would not only provide sustainable access to health services but also motivate the service providers to adopt cost-effective models.

This is IFC’s second investment with the AXA Group in the health sector. Earlier this year, IFC supported AXA’s insurance business in Egypt which includes health insurance, also through an equity investment.

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Linkifin to provide Supply Chain Financial Solution in West Africa

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Linkifin, a leading financial technology company in Nigeria, announces a new partnership with the South African company Propell.

 

This partnership is part of Linkifin’s International Development plan. Linkifin, based in Lagos Nigeria, provides end to end Supply Chain Finance (SCF) solutions across West Africa.

 

Both companies recently signed an agreement to provide Prime Revenue’s award-winning supply chain finance platform in South Africa..

 

Ms. Omolade Fadase, business development and Ibukun Ekujumi, technical lead both at Linkifin spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek on the challenges in the supply chain ecosystem, stating that one of the biggest headaches in the supply chain link was cash flow challenges and delays in payments due by buyers to suppliers and this is what Linkifin SCF platform is about to change.

 

Obinna Mejeh, head of Business Development, added, “Our platform is basically one for invoice trading, adding flexibility and visibility in a supply chain ,unlike the legacy systems used by banks , discount houses and factoring companies. One of the beautiful things about this platform is that it is a win-win situation for all – buyers, suppliers and funders.

 

Hussaini Yakubu, MD/CEO of Linkifin, further commented, “Nigeria is the second strongest economy in Africa and the largest in West Africa. In order to gear the region towards a robust supply chain finance solution for the future we have to act now. The potential is huge and untapped amongst our target of small and medium sized businesses. We have already met with several major local companies and are going to announce new customers in the coming month”.

 

He ended by expressing his optimism that Linkifin will be able to bridge the gap in the supply chain ecosystem and ended the interview by saying the future for supply chain finance in Nigeria was bright.

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