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News flash: Ecobank Opens Up Agric Financing Scheme; Sets To Host Nigeria’s Biggest Agric-Business And Food Summit

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Ecobank Opens Up Agric Financing Scheme; Sets To Host Nigeria’s Biggest Agric-Business And Food Summit

Lagos, January 07, 2020 –  Ecobank Nigeria has announced an Agriculture Businesses Finance Scheme where it plans to disburse additional loan of N70 Billion for practitioners in different value chains of Agriculture within the next two years. This announcement is coming just as the bank is set to organise Nigeria’s Biggest Agribusiness And Food Summit in February 2020. The Agribusiness summit is part of its determination to further showcase the potentials in the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy in partnership with Vanguard newspapers, The Economic Forum Series and Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG).

The summit with the theme: Unlocking productivity and investment opportunities across the Agribusiness value chain is scheduled for February 13, 2020 at the Grand Banquet Hall, Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos. 

Head, Agribusiness, Ecobank Nigeria, Mojisola Oguntoyinbo, said the summit is part of the bank’s continuous contribution to the growth and development of the agriculture sector of the nation’s economy. According to  her, a pool of notable thought leaders and industry experts have been assembled to address key and current issues in the agricultural space as it relates to current economic developments and participants will also be given the opportunity to exhibit their products and services within the agriculture value chain.

“This maiden edition of the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit is to stimulate discussions, examine critically the opportunities with the intent of unlocking the growth potentials in the entire value chain of the agric sector. The full day event will include keynote speakers, panel discussion sessions and exhibition of Agro and Agro-allied products where marketplace experience will be created for buyers and sellers to interact and make sales. Between 400 to 450 companies, regulators and other stake holders in Agric-business are expected to attend and participate at the event. This will create opportunity for networking among the industry players.” She noted.

Further, Mrs Oguntoyibo noted that the Summit would amongst other things examine the potential impact of agriculture technology investment in fixing low productivity in Nigeria’s food production; how government policy, laws and regulatory framework can drive effective public private partnership; evaluate existing traditional agriculture finance models in Nigeria and the role and impact of technology enabled commodity exchange trading across the agriculture value chain, and the role of developmental partners and international agencies in driving funding and investments across the agriculture value chain.

Jude Ndu Co-Founder, the Economic Forum Series and Director, Vanguard Conferences says ‘we are delighted to be partnering with Ecobank Nigeria on the conceptualisation, strategy and execution of this high profile event in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agriculture policy and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal Government. As a media organisation, this is our own way of contributing to the growth prospect of the sector through audience engagement by bringing together critical stakeholders to discuss solutions to the issues of low productivity and investment opportunities across Nigeria’s agricultural value chain’. 

Notable participants at the summit include the Honourable Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Sabo Nanono as Special Guest of Honour, Dr Andrew S Nevin, Chief Economist and Partner, Financial Services Sector, PwC as Keynote Speaker. Other speakers and Panelists are Patrick Akinwuntan MD/CEO Ecobank Nigeria, Abdulhameed Aliyu MD/CEO NIRSAL, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere Vice President Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Ayodeji Balogun, Country CEO AFEX Commodities Exchange amongst others.

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About Ecobank Nigeria
Ecobank Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 15,000 people and serves about 20 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking licence in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.
 About The Economic Forum Series by Vanguard

A conceptual, thought leadership, strategic media and brand communications business platform of vanguard Media publishers of vanguard newspapers with the primary objective of broadening and deepening conversations, proffering and offering intelligent solutions through audience and stakeholder engagements of senior level decision makers around thematic areas, issues and trends affecting the growth, development and transformation across industry segments and different economic sectors.

For further information, please visit www.ecobank.com

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Eid-el- Fitr: Obasa congratulates Muslims, calls for more patriotism

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– Speaker says Nigeria’s current challenges should further unite the citizens

– Advises President Buhari to act on requests by Southern governors

– Expresses belief in a better Nigeria and calls for prayers for the country

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has appealed to Nigerians to see the country’s current challenges as an opportunity to further unite them saying this is a sure way to national progress.

Speaker Obasa made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrated by Muslims across the world.

Obasa expressed belief that the security and economic challenges Nigeria is faced with at the moment are a face from which the country would come out stronger.

He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently act on the requests recently made by the Southern Governors Forum as a way to curb rising insecurity in the country.

According to the former chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, “President Buhari should not only give a thought to the requests made by the governors, he should also implement them for the country to move forward.

Appealing to the citizens of the country not to lose faith and hope, the Speaker said: “This year’s Ramadan afforded many of us the opportunity to pray for the country. It is obvious that the country has some challenges.

“However, the challenges should not be left to the government alone. Every citizen of Nigeria is important and must play that positive role that would ultimately move the country from where it is now to where we want it to be.

“We are a religious set of people and the religions practised in the country teach us to live in love and peace with one another as well as be our neighbours’ brothers and sisters.

“More than ever, we have the responsibility to make the country habitable, devoid of criminal elements, and we must be resolute on this.”

The Speaker congratulated Muslims in Nigeria for witnessing the end of the Ramadan.

“Beyond the celebration, let us all endlessly practise the virtues of love, obey the commandments of Allah, ensure a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nigeria and continue to pray to God for more grace,” Obasa urged.

Eromosele Ebhomele,
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker,
Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Transport Ministry Defends Amaechi Against Hadiaza Bala Usman’s Claim Over N1.5B Fraud Allegations

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The Federal Ministry of Transportation says its minister, Rotimi Amaechi never asked the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman to award $1.5 billion channel management to two Chinese companies.

A national daily had on Tuesday claimed Amaechi requested that the two companies be selected to manage Bonny and Warri Channels, a request the NPA rejected because it violated due process.

Magdalene Ajani, permanent secretary of the ministry in a statement described the report as false.

“This is due to the fact that it is apparent that the intention of the story is to attempt to pre-empt the outcome of the panel’s work, unduly seek to personalise a serious national issue bordering on transparency and accountability in the handling of public finances and attempt to drag the HMT into the arena of brick-bats and mud-slinging in order to force a distraction from the assignment now being undertaken by the panel.

“It is however necessary to quickly clear the air on the weighty allegation contained in the article.

“It is to the above specific malicious and unfounded comments that this rebuttal strictly responds, as it borders on a deliberate attempt by the newspaper to drag the reputation and integrity of the HMT in the mud by an unfounded and malicious allegation, which is designed to hoodwink the Nigerian public, call into serious question the processes and standard operating protocols of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, and denigrate the person and standing of the Honourable Minister in the process.

“It is necessary to place on record that while ‘Channel Management’ contracts have been routinely awarded over the years by the Nigerian Ports Authority at a cost of between 50 and 60 billion naira on an annual basis, the Honourable Minister has adopted a firm position that the NPA should undertake the job of channel management on an in-house basis through the acquisition of the necessary machinery and professional capacity given the humongous annual sums paid out to dredging contractors by the authority.

“Indeed, following the expiration of the Channel Management contracts for the Lagos, Bonny and Port Harcourt Channels in 2020 and the initiation of the contractual process for the renewal of the said contracts early in 2021, the HMT on 22nd January, 2021, while responding to a request for the NPA to provide requisite details related to the proposed transactions directed in the following words:

“Para. 10 approved. There is the need for NPA to know that they should purchase their own equipment and not award any contract.

​“In light of the above, it is indeed difficult to reconcile the newspaper’s wild, malicious and unsupportable claim that the Honourable Minister insisted on the contracts being awarded to ‘two Chinese companies’ with the documented evidence of his position that the NPA was engaged in obvious profligacy and wastage of public funds to be spending over fifty billion naira (N50 billion) on an annual basis on contracts for which it could purchase machinery and build in-house capacity for greater long-term benefits. It is a mark of unprofessionalism and manifest unfairness, in our opinion, that in publishing this obviously sensational and targeted story, the newspaper did not consider it necessary to contact this Ministry for its side of the story before rushing to press to satisfy its sponsors.”

 

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Police Suspend Escorts For South East, Rivers Governors, Senators, VIPs (Photo)

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The Nigeria Police Force has ordered immediate withdrawal of personnel attached to governors, senators, public office holders and high profile persons in the South East.

This was decision reached following the incessant attacks on police formations and officers and in the region.

The directive was contained in a police wireless message shared by The Whistler.

The signal containing the information was dated “101054/05/2021” and with reference number 0900/DTS/DOPS/VOL47/812 and issued by the Commissioner of Police (DOPS), Asaba, Delta State.

It said, “Sequel to the incessant attacks on policemen/ snatching of arms and ammunition by the proscribed IPOB/ESN elements in the eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States and Rivers State, COMPOL DOPS directs you warn personnel that escorts of their principals to the six (6) eastern states is suspended forthwith until security situation improves. Ensure strict compliance please.”

According to the publication, the acting spokesperson of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed validity of the wireless message, but noted that it was not meant for the press.

“Firstly, the message that was sent out is not for press, so I don’t know how it got to you. Secondly, it is for policemen attached to VIPS not to escort their men to any part of the eastern state. That is the directive,” said Bright.

The South east and some parts of the South South regions have recently witnessed series of attacks on police stations, prison facilities and killing of police and other security personnel.

Last weekend, a total of 10 police officers were killed in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States while vehicles and police buildings were burnt.

The police are insisting that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and their security unit, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, are responsible for the attacks even though the secessionist group led by Nnamdi Kanu, are persistent in their denial.

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