World Bank loan portfolio in Nigeria now stands at $8.67bn, an investigation has shown.
Loans from the International Development Association, one of the three arms of the World Bank, make up $8.55bn of the portfolio.
Loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, another arm of the Breton Woods institution, make up $124.18m of the portfolio.
IDA is the concessional arm of the bank through which it grants low interest loans to developing countries while the IBRD is the commercial arm that lends at commercial interest rates.
Statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office showed that the bank’s portfolio in Nigeria rose from $6.67bn as of December 31, 2016, to $8.67bn as of December 31, 2018.
This means that the World Bank portfolio in the country rose by $2bn within a period of two years. This shows an increase of 29.98 per cent within the two-year period under review.
Nigeria’s external debt as of December 31, 2018, stood at $25.27bn. With a portfolio of $8.67bn, the World Bank is the country’s single largest creditor as the bank holds 34.32 per cent of the nation’s external debt commitment.
Although some experts may see the 29.98 per cent growth in bank’s portfolio in Nigeria within a period of two years as high, there was actually more growth in the country’s commitment to Eurobonds within the same period.
In 2016, the nation’s Eurobonds loans stood at $1.5bn. However, by December 2018, the Eurobonds portfolio had reached $10.87bn. This shows that within the period, the country’s Eurobonds debt rose by $9.37bn or 624.67 per cent.
Drying concessional sources of external borrowing had driven the nation to commercial loans which included Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds issued to Nigerians abroad.
The country also had to take commercial loans from abroad in a bid to retire some domestic debts that were considered to come with very high interest rates.
Speaking at a recent press briefing, the Director-General of DMO, Patience Oniha, said the government had borrowed to fund projects, to finance the budget deficit and to refinance maturing obligations.
Particularly, she said, some foreign debts were used to refinance treasury bills because of the short tenor of the bills, adding that borrowing from abroad had also helped to stabilise the local currency in the last two years.
Oniha said that borrowing for 2019 would be 50-50 split between domestic and external in striving to be consistent with the Debt Management Strategy 2013-2019 aimed at achieving a 60:40 ratio between domestic debt and external debt.
She said, “Relatively low interest rates mean the government can issue longer-dated bonds to continue to fund infrastructure projects.
“Revenue generating initiatives are expected to improve revenues and reduce the debt service to revenue ratio.”
Nigeria Joins League of Nations with Professional Association for CSR and Sustainability
The Association of Sustainability Professionals of Nigeria (ASPN) will host an industry conversation to discuss the urgent need for attaining an inclusive economy in Nigeria and the roles that Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) professionals can play in this regard on Thursday, November 26, 2020.
The dialogue, which doubles as the formal launch of the professional group, will explore the need for synergy among sustainability experts, subject-matter specialists, and advocates to support the efforts of government and drive private sector leadership for social inclusion as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) in line with the beginning of the Decade of Action. After many years of mainstreaming CSR and Sustainability through various initiatives, milestones, and adoption of all major international conventions on Business Sustainability, Climate Change, Environmental Standards, and other development agendas; Nigeria formally joins the league of nations with professional associations specially set up for the practice of CSR and Sustainability.
ASPN is a non-profit organisation founded in August 2019 to redefine and improve the practice and profession of Sustainability and CSR in Nigeria. Through various strategic partnerships, policy formulation & advocacy activities, ASPN seeks to set standards for professional ethics, best practices and long-term systems thinking amongst individuals and businesses to foster the sustainable development of Nigeria.
To formally unveil the ASPN, the event will feature discussions on the theme: Professionalising Sustainability for an Inclusive Development and has been slated to hold on Thursday, November 26, 2020. Professor Wayne Visser, Founder, CSR International will participate as the Guest Speaker whilst other speakers will include: Professor Chris Ogbeche, Deputy Dean, Lagos Business School; Solape Hammond, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on SDGs; and Dr. Aisha Mamood, Sustainability Director, Central Bank of Nigeria. Also, in attendance at the event will be government and regulatory agencies, sustainability experts, corporate organisations, and industry experts, non-governmental organisations and the public.
Nigeria, like most present-day societies, has adopted various measures to minimize pollution and promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability as a fundamental component of socio-economic development. For example, the last decades of the century witnessed increased concerns – with the private sector at the forefront, about climate change. Therefore, the need to develop, implement and drive cohesive policy, that would go a long way in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future to meet its needs is paramount. Consequently, a need to have a body that drives cohesive policies seeking sustainable development and growth in the country in a more coordinated manner is essential.
According to the ASPN President, Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi, “We are excited about the formal launch of the ASPN because we have existed for so many years as a community of passionate and committed advocates. We look forward to strengthening our alliances and contributing significantly to Nigeria’s active role in the Decade of Action”. The ASPN is led by passionate and renowned professionals with many years of experience committed to practicing advocating teaching and mentoring on sustainability-related issues within Nigeria and internationally. These professionals are Ini Abimbola, Founder, ThistlePraxis Consulting. Ismail Omamegbe, Head, Media & External Relations; Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, FirstBank; Bekeme-Masade Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action; Ken Egbas, CEO, TruContact CSR Nigeria; Eunice Sampson, Head, Sustainability, Dangote Cement Plc; Ibrahim Salau, Managing Director, Environmental Accord; Bolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability, Access Bank and Kenneth Amaeshi who serves as Chair in Business and Sustainable Development and Director of the Sustainable Business Initiative at the University of Edinburgh.
To join the conversation and participate in this event, please visit: https://bit.ly/ASPNUnveiling or follow ASPN on social media on @ASPNigeria on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For more information, please visit the ASPN Website: https://aspn.org.ng or email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0706 752 3702.
Nigeria Slides into Recession, the Worst Since 1987
Nigeria has officially slid into its worst economic recession in over three decades, TheCable can report.
According to gross domestic product numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday, the nation recorded a contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
This is the second consecutive quarterly GDP decline since the recession of 2016. The cumulative GDP for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48 percent.
The last time Nigeria recorded such cummulative GDP was in 1987, when GDP declined by 10.8 percent.
Unity Bank Posts N33.9bn Gross Earnings in Nine Months, Grows Assets Base by 44%
Unity Bank Plc has declared gross earnings of N33.906 billion for the nine months’ period ended September 30, 2020 and also recorded a 44% asset growth during the period.
A review of the unaudited results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that the gross earnings of N33.906 billion represents an 8 per cent growth from N31.256 billion recorded in the same period in 2019.
The lender’s total assets rose significantly to N420.870 billion in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020, from N293.052 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a whopping 44% growth.
This is even as the Bank grew its bottom-line by 6% as Profit Before Tax, PBT moved up to close at N1.710 billion from N1.611 billion in 2019.
Profit After Tax, PAT equally grew by 6% to N1.573 billion compared to the N1.482 billion recorded in the same period in 2019.
Specifically, in the Q3, the lender declared a N590 million Profit Before Tax, PBT, representing another 6% increase from the N559.381 million recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
This performance comes on the heels of the unmitigated impact of the global pandemic on the economy, which lingered throughout the quarter with its attendant headwinds that slowed down economic activities.
The lender also substantially grew its customers’ deposit portfolio to N332.362 billion from N257.691 billion for the same period in 2019, creating a 29 per cent increase, affirming the confidence reposed by its wide spectrum of the banking public. The lender, it was gathered, rolled out massive customer-centric products to the public especially in the retail space which accelerated the banking patronage during the period.
Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun welcomed the steady growth of the balance sheet especially from both assets and liability side of the business and across key performance indices.
She said that this has had sustained impact on the bottom-line, even as the Bank continues to innovate in its e-business product bouquet to target and support value chain business with robust technology and thus diversify its earnings base’’.
Looking ahead, Mrs. Somefun stated that “One of the areas that will define our strategic direction going forward is investment in alternative channels leveraging further deployment of resources in technology. COVID-19 gave us a chance to test the integrity and scalability of our technology, the IT infrastructure, and the electronic banking channels, and provided us an opportunity to see where we needed to improve and strengthen, knowing that the future of sustainable banking business is in alternative channels”.
The results can also be attributable to the Bank’s growing brand profile and leadership in agribusiness, especially having provided loans and financing to over one million smallholder farmers especially those in primary production and other value chain businesses in the agricultural sector.
During the period under review, the Bank enhanced and deepened its collaboration and partnership with major commodity associations including the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria and the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) to finance over 400 smallholder farmers’ crop production with its overall strategic intent of fostering food security, employment generation and aggregate economic welfare of citizens across the value chains.
The Bank also worked with processors and members of Millers’ Association of Nigeria to provide working capital through the CBN’s various intervention funds, while providing credit facilities to large number of input suppliers and vendors through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme.
In recognition of the above, Mrs Somefun added that the Bank will continue to focus on agriculture, while deepening business in various new markets that have been developed alongside to pull more resources and enhance multiple streams of income.
In the view of analysts, the consistent upward trajectory in the performance of the Bank as shown in Q1, H1 and Q3, 2020 results continue to reinforce growing market confidence as well as demonstrates the commitment and drive of the management to enhance shareholder’s value.