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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, has accepted $42.5 million loan for a multi housing development scheme, HELIU residences in Enugu. This is said to be the biggest bank in china.

The loan was secured under the guarantee of the Chinese Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, for the construction of duplexes, provision of electricity, roads, water and other facilities by the China Shenyang International Economic and Technical Corporation Limited, CSYIC.

Making the disclosure to newsmen in Enugu, Managing Partner of F.I.T. Consult, the Nigerian Developer building the HELIU Project, in partnership with the Enugu State Government, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, said, the deal was sealed after signing Commercial Contract with CSYIC, in Enugu.

Aniagolu said the Chinese team led by the CSYIC President, Madam Tang Lezhen signed the documents with F.I.T. Consult, for financing of the contract.

She said:

“We wanted to bring the project with our own funds to a certain level before the Chinese come in, so that they don’t start from scratch and for them to know that we are very serious. We have finally tied up everything on this visit.”

“The bank funding for the project is from China, through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, which is the biggest bank in the world, with its 2016 turnover at about $2.3 trillion. The entire transaction of $42.5 million is being guaranteed locally by Access Bank Plc.”

According to her, the interest rate is four per cent, while the period for repayment of the loan is eight years. She added that two years moratorium is for construction of the projects while 6 years is for the repayment.

 “So it is a fantastic arrangement,” she said.

Aniagolu expressed optimistism of the loan repayment, noting that they were quite sure of the market in the South-East zone, particularly with the country gradually coming out of recession and having already received deposits on over 50 percent of the serviced plots.

She said,

 

“Secondly, we are also working with the Imperial Mortgages Limited that is providing mortgages for home buyers, making it easier for them to pay for the houses.”

“Presently, of the 60 bungalows we’ve done so far, most have actually been sold on a cash basis, while Imperial Mortgages is providing mortgages for the rest. So, we have an arrangement where we are sure that in those eight years or less, we should be able to repay funds.”

She further disclosed that over N2billion has been spent on various aspects of the project, such as earth works, 20 kilometers drainage, culverts, buildings, etc. She further remarked that they were excavating for a Dam for independent water supply in the residence, adding that electricity would also be generated using Low Poor Fuel Oil, LPFO.

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Zenith Bank has been entitled ‘Best Company in Sustainability Reporting in Africa” at the 2017 Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards (SERAS) CSR Awards.

The bank said in Lagos on Monday that with the new award held at the weekend, Zenith Bank had blazed a trail as the winner of the award for the second consecutive year.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank also won the 2016 Sustainability Report titled “Creating Wealth Sustainably” being the first Sustainability report in Nigeria and Africa financial services sector.

The award was introduced in October 2016 by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

The bank said it had raised the bar in sustainability reporting within and outside the financial services sector, while setting the pace in the adoption of global best standards in reporting.

The bank said that new standards was designed to replace the older GRI G4 reporting guidelines which was the reporting standard Zenith Bank adopted in its 2015 Sustainability Report.

It said:

“The bank has not only supported the global climate action and has prioritized investment in green and sustainable business projects, but has fully integrated environmental and social considerations into its business and credit administration processes.”

“As part of its green earth policy, Zenith Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to have carried out an external audit on its greenhouse gas footprints, using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standards, a globally certified GHG audit procedure.”

It said that the award had been widely acknowledged in the global Sustainability arena with the GRI featuring it on the homepage of its official website: https://www.globalreporting.org.

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Chairman of Rice Farmers in Daura, Katsina State, Alhaji Jamilu Ibrahim, has urged the Federal Government not to lift the ban on the importation of rice.

The Federal Government banned the importation of rice to protect local rice farmers and promote local rice consumption in the country.

Ibrahim said after a meeting of Local Rice Farmers of Daura on Monday that there was the need for the government to maintain its stand on rice importation to boost local production. The ban on importation will assist the local rice farmers to produce more at affordable prices for local consumption as well as assist the government to conserve foreign exchange.

“In Nigeria, we have fertile land in no fewer than 25 states where rice can be produced in large quantities for local consumption,” he said.

The chairman called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set aside more funds that could be used to grant loan to local rice farmers in the country.

“The CBN should continue with the Anchor Borrower Programme that was introduced to assist local rice farmers with loans. The programme has assisted farmers in producing rice in large quantities during the 2017 farming season. We are now set to go back to our farms for the production of rice during the dry season farming,” he said.

Ibrahim urged the rice farmers to use the loan given to them judiciously in order to shore up rice production. He lauded the Federal and State Governments for giving a deserved attention to the agriculture sector, which, according to him, has the capacity to guarantee food security in the country.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had introduced Anchor Borrowers Programme to boost cotton and rice production in the country.

 

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Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos may be the richest men in the world, but they aren't the only billionaires.

There are 2,043 people across the globe with three commas in their net worth, according to the 2017 Forbes Billionaires list. The 23 wealthiest have $1 trillion collectively.

In 2017, 10 of the world's billionaires — fewer than 1% — are black, down from 12 last year, reports Forbes contributor Mfonobong Nsehe. Three of the 10 are women. All but one, Isabel Dos Santos, is billed by Forbes as self-made.

To compile the full list, Forbes uses stock prices and exchange rates to estimate the net worth of the world's richest people, and then ranks them based on their wealth. This year's list was created using data from February 17, 2017, but Forbes also maintains a current snapshot of the world's billionaires, updated daily.

Here’s the richest 10 black billionaires in the world, according to the 2017 Forbes Billionaires list:

 

Mohammed Ibrahim: $1.14 billion

Self-made billionaire, 71 years-old Mohammed Ibrahim, was born in Sudan and now lives in the United Kingdom, where he is the 11th wealthiest citizen. Ibrahim became a billionaire after selling his telecommunications company, Celtel International, in 2005, according to Forbes. Now he spends much of his time focusing on improving the lives of African citizens through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

 

Aliko Dangote: $12.2 billion

The wealthiest man in Africa is Nigerian Aliko Dangote, 60, who has been CEO and president of Dangote Group for 35 years. The majority of his fortune comes from more than 90% stake in Dangote Cement, Africa's largest producer of cement, which is traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He is also an active philanthropist, serving as chairman of The Dangote Foundation, which focuses on education, agriculture and health-related initiatives.

 

Mike Adenuga: $6.1 billion

Nigerian Mike Adenuga, 64, is chairman of telecommunications company Globacom, which has 36 million subscribers, as well as the majority owner of Lagos-based oil company Conoil, according to Bloomberg. While earning an MBA from Pace University in New York, he drove a taxi to pay the bills. Today, Adenuga, who has seven children, is the second-wealthiest man in Nigeria, according to Forbes.

 

Michael Jordan: $1.31 billion

One of the most successful athletes of all time, Michael Jordan, 54, made a total of $90 million as a basketball player, according to Forbes. Since retiring from the NBA, he has amassed the majority of his wealth through his relationship with Nike and other corporate partnerships. Jordan, who also owns a stake in the Charlotte Hornets, now makes more in one year than he did during his entire professional basketball career, as Business Insider's Cork Gaines reported.

 

Folorunsho Alakija: $1.61 billion

Folorunso Alakija, vice chair of Nigerian oil company Famfa Oil, got her start in business as the founder of an elite Nigerian fashion label, according to Forbes. The 66 years old, self-made billionaire lives in Lagos, Nigeria and has four children. Her son, Folarin Alakija, recently married Iranian model Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar, in a lavish, multi-million dollar wedding, which took place in England.

 

Patrice Motsepe: $1.81 billion

South-African Patrice Motsepe, 55, founder of the mining company African Rainbow Minerals, was Africa's first black billionaire. The father of three was also the first African to sign Bill Gates' Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of his wealth to charity. Motsepe and his wife Precious created the Motsepe Foundation in 1999 to help create new jobs, support education, and improve the lives of children, the unemployed, and the disabled, among others.


Robert Smith: $2.5 billion

When Robert Smith, 54, left Goldman Sachs in 2000 to start his own private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, his coworkers thought he was crazy. But since then, his success and wealth has sky-rocketed, landing him on the Forbes Billionaire list for the first time in 2016. In 2015, Smith wed Hope Dworaczyk, a former Playboy playmate and mother of his young son in an incredible villa on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The private-equity titan, who resides in Austin, Texas, added his name to the Giving Pledge earlier this year.

 

Oprah Winfrey: $3 billion

Oprah Winfrey, 63, is the only African-American woman to make the Forbes billionaire list. Winfrey overcame a tough childhood to become the well-known and beloved media mogul she is today. While generous with her wealth, Winfrey still maintains an enviable lifestyle. Earlier this year, Winfrey delivered the commencement address at Smith College, telling graduates the secret to success is serving others.

 

Isabel Dos Santos: $3.1 billion

The wealthiest of the three women to make this list, and the youngest black billionaire in the world, 44 year-old Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been president of Angola since 1979. Her fortune comes from multiple investments, many of which are controversial and linked to her father, according to Forbes, although Dos Santos maintains her investments are private and independent.

 

Mohammed Al Amoudi: $8.4 billion

Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, 71, moved from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia when he was 19, and began amassing his fortune from government-contracts in real estate and construction, according to Bloomberg. Now, the father of eight owns businesses across multiple industries, including oil, mining and agriculture, in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Sweden.

 

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A group of four West African presidents said on Tuesday they planned steps to accelerate the creation of a shared currency for the 15-country ECOWAS bloc by 2020, according to a joint statement.

The future currency whose name is yet to be determined, would replace the dominant CFA Franc introduced by former colonial power France in 1945 and whose treasury still backs it.  “Our region needs this unifying instrument, symbol of our shared destiny, to consolidate our customs union,” ECOWAS chairman and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe said on Twitter. The statement was from the presidents of Togo, Ghana, Niger and Ivory Coast who form part of a task force on the envisaged currency. A committee is planned to lead the efforts, it said. But the president of the biggest economy in the region, Nigeria, urged caution, citing difficulties in the euro zone. “Nigeria will caution against any position that pushes for a fast-track approach to monetary union, while neglecting fundamentals and other pertinent issues,” said Muhamadu Buhari. West African leaders have for decades held meetings on creating their own currency in order to promote regional trade and investment, but little progress has been made. Popular anger over the CFA franc, which stands for African Financial Cooperation in French and is seen by many in the region as a symbol of unwelcome French paternalism, dates back to at least 1994 when Paris suddenly devalued the currency. Establishing a new currency would involve dissolving the Dakar-based West African Central Bank BCEAO for the eight countries within the zone that use it and creating another one. The remaining seven countries in the ECOWAS bloc include English-speaking countries like Gambia and Sierra Leone as well as Portuguese-speaking Guinea Bissau.

Each has its own currency. ($1 = 553.0000 CFA francs)


 

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Nigerian Energy Company NNPC is relying heavily on swapping its crude for products such as gasoline as its refineries struggle to run, but an official at the state firm said its access to oil is limited.

While other importers also supply the nation with fuel, Nigeria caps its gasoline prices, preventing private importers from bringing the product in when international prices exceed local ones. The swap programme has accounted for as much as 90 percent of gasoline imports, industry sources told Reuters.

Henry Ikem-Obih, Group Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for downstream operations with NNPC said that the entire NNPC organisation is focused on ensuring that there are no queues and that the country stays wet. He added that it was the key objective, all the way from the president to the minister.

Ikem-Obih also said only the Port Harcourt refinery is currently running. The Warri refinery is expected to come back from maintenance within a few weeks, but the Kaduna plant will be down for a few more months.

He said the so-called direct sale, direct purchase deals that enable NNPC to exchange crude for imported fuels were keeping the country running, but that it was a “very painful task”, made more difficult by limited access to oil.

 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it has been mandated by the Federal Government to make meaningful efforts in stimulating the country’s economic growth and development yesterday.

This is even as stakeholders in the gas sector charged the Federal Government to develop its gas reserves to achieve efficiency in power supply across Nigeria.

Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this during a Gas Roundtable organised by Nigerian Gas Association, NGA, for Chief Executives and Directors of oil and gas companies, where he was named the Pioneer Advisory Board Chairman of the association.

He disclosed that the directive was to ensure that gas infrastructure development was enhanced for gas supply, stressing that this was a critical focus area in the Federal Government’s 2016-2019 ‘Big Wins’ for the oil and gas industry as well as in the NNPC’s 12 Key Business Focus Areas to grow the industry.

He noted that the Nigerian gas sector remained the largest and most vibrant in sub-Saharan Africa with lots of potentials, especially in the deep water and untapped gas resources.

He asserted that the gas reform was anchored on a robust strategic framework that is focused on maximum economic impact through gas, saying that it aims to drive linkages with agriculture, manufacturing and dispersed small enterprise through power.

Also speaking, President of NGA, Dada Thomas, said for the Nigerian economy to achieve its full potential, there must be power anchored on gas development through active private sector participation.

In his welcome address, he noted that gas development was the key to unlocking a better future for Nigeria.

He explained that “we believe that gas equals power. Economy diversification is a simple equation, and it means ‘No gas, No power.’ Gas remains the basis to diversify our economy.”

 

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Former US president Barack Obama has selected New-York based artist, Kehinde Wiley, to paint his official portrait. 

Kehinde Wiley is known for lush, larger-than-life portraits that overlay black street culture with European classical motifs. He is believed to be an exciting choice for the presidential portrait. Throughout his career, Kehinde has become renowned for creating portraits of African American men, including the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Grand master Flash and the Furious Five, Michael Jackson, and more.

Kehinde was born to a Nigerian dad and an African-American mom. He did not grow up with his father, so at the age of 20, he traveled to Nigeria to explore his roots and meet him.




Kehinde's mother supported his interest in art and enrolled him in after-school art classes when he was a child. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and his MFA from Yale University, School of Art in 2001.

Following a tradition that started with George H. Bush, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery commissions an artist to create a portrait of the president and the first lady after their tenure. Obama’s predecessors have preferred to sit for 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has painted eight US presidents, but Obama chose to go with Kehinde. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery made the announcement yesterday.

Former first lady Michelle Obama has chosen Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald to paint her portrait. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald will be the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian.

 

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Coca-Cola Company’s Nigerian operation will invest $600m by 2020 to boost sales, in line with a global strategy to extend the product range beyond its soft drinks.

The unit of the Atlanta-based beverage maker plans to expand its offering of drinks to include flavoured and condensed milk, iced tea and bottled water to meet demand in Africa’s most populous country, the President of the West Africa operation, Peter Njonjo, said in an interview with Bloomberg, adding, “Our objective is to provide whatever beverages you need across your life stages.”

The money is part of a pledge by Coca-Cola to invest $17bn in Africa by 2020. The Global Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Company, James Quincey, has said the company needs to grow beyond its biggest brand and has called for the soda giant to become a “total beverage company,” being less reliant on carbonated soft drinks.

Last year, Coca-Cola bought a 40 per cent stake in Nigerian juice and dairy company, Chi Limited, for $240m and said at the time that it intended to take total control within three years.

Coca-Cola has felt the pinch of an economic slump in Nigeria caused by a decline in output and prices of oil, the nation’s main foreign exchange earner, and dollar shortages. The economy expanded by 0.6 per cent in the three months through June, ending five straight quarters of contractions that saw gross domestic product shrink by 1.6 per cent in 2016, the first time since 1991.High inflation increased production costs, while the price of imported goods rose due to the dollar scarcity, just as consumers had less money to spend, Njonjo said.

Coca-Cola Nigeria, which has 3,600 direct employees, 11 bottling plants and 30 distribution depots across the country, is not listed in the West African nation and Njonjo declined to share details on production capacity or earnings.

After peaking at 18.7 per cent in January, the inflation rate fell to 16 per cent in August, while food prices have continued to surge.

This is “a big issue,” for Coca-Cola, present in Nigeria since 1951, Njonjo said. “As disposable incomes start getting under pressure, expenditure in products like ours start becoming inaccessible to most consumers,” he added.

In response to the challenges in Nigeria, Coca-Cola increased prices, introduced new product sizes and sought more inputs locally. To reduce its foreign exchange exposure, the company plans to raise to 75 per cent the share of raw materials produced locally by 2020, from 70 per cent currently, Njonjo said.

Recent moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria to improve dollar availability have had a “positive impact” and the company is able again to import before it runs out of stock, he said.

“The only way that you can ensure that the business is sustainable is by taking prices up. Some of it we have passed to the consumers,” Njonjo stated. The soda maker has also increased investment in distribution and innovation. “It’s all about looking at how much money consumers have and how do I become relevant to the consumers,” he added.

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Nigeria took a step to unify its multiple exchange rates by allowing banks to use a currency window for investors when quoting the naira rather than the official rate. The naira weakened on the interbank market.

FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the Lagos-based platform that oversees interbank trading, asked lenders this week to publish quotes reflecting trades in the Investors’ and Exporters’ FX Window, according to Ecobank Transnational Inc. and Access Bank Plc. The window was opened in late April in a bid to attract inflows to the dollar-starved nation.

The interbank rate weakened 14 percent to 366.04 per dollar as of 5:42 p.m. in Lagos, close to 367.08 for the so-called Nafex rate, the daily fixing published by FMDQ for the Investors’ & Exporters’ FX window. Naira three-month forward contracts based on the official rate rose as much as 1.3 percent to 342 against the greenback, the highest level on a closing basis since June 6.

“FMDQ and traders reached agreement to try to move toward a single exchange rate,” Kunle Ezun, an analyst at Ecobank in Lagos, said by phone. The idea is “to show the true reflection of the naira in the market. The I&E window in terms of transparency and price discovery seems to reflect where the naira should trade. All banks are now putting quotes at that rate.”

Nigeria has faced dollar shortages since the price of oil, its main export, crashed in 2014 and the central bank responded by tightening capital controls. As the squeeze worsened, Nigeria opted for a system of multiple exchange rates rather than floating its currency like other crude producers such as Russia and Kazakhstan.

The change this week was made because banks have been trading with each other mainly via the Nafex market since its introduction, according to Bola Onadele, FMDQ’s chief executive.

Banks “should quote where naira is trading with integrity and transparency,” he said in a text message.

While the move will be welcomed by investors, who have long criticized the existence of several exchange rates, a full unification may still be some way off, according to Standard Chartered Plc. The central bank maintains an official rate as strong as 305 per dollar, which is uses to ensure fuel importers get cheap dollars.

“It is probably a positive step toward greater transparency in the FX market,” said Samir Gadio, head of Africa strategy at Standard Chartered in London. But “exchange rate unification across the board could imply higher fuel prices, or larger implicit subsidies, which will require national consensus. So it is not a straightforward step.”

 

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