NIGERIAN FINANCIAL REPORT 30/7/20......No Alternative to China for Infrastructure Loan and Morend More




The Minister of Transports says there is no alternative source for infrastructure fund except China.  According to him, probes like the one going on in the House of Representatives could jeopardise ongoing loan application for other rail projects.

The Nigerian Financial News today will focus on the Chinese Loans reaction, payment of N8.6 counterpart funding by the FG, the invitation of the CBN Governor, Pencom boss and some others by the House of Reps and other economic summaries as compiled by Abiahu, Mary-Fidelis.

Enjoy your reading.


1. FG pays N8.6billion counterpart funding for Siemen Project
2. There is no alternative source for infrastructure fund except China
3. Reps summon Emefiele, PenCom boss, others over N300bn funds
2. Power crisis deepens, NBET fails to pay Gencos N181.39bn
3. Naira plunges to N472/$ as forex scarcity worsens
4. NNPC in $1.5bn oil-for-loan deal with traders
5. FG pays N9.2bn premium to 13 insurance firms
6. COVID-19 making access to finance difficult – LCCI
7. Banks squeezed as CBN shores up the naira
8. Equity market lose N70bn, sell-off persists
9. Nigerian banks face the biggest revenue drop since 2016
10.  New trade restrictions worth $423.1 billion, says WTO
11.  Forex, reputation issues bane of capital inflow into Nigerian businesses

Amechi Inaugurates NPA Board, Task Members on Port Management
Minister - Rotimi Amechi

No Alternative to China for Infrastructure Loan:
Give us the option to China -  Amaechi challenges National Assembly

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday, said if the National Assembly was not comfortable with government’s borrowings from China, it should tell where huge infrastructure loans could be accessed.

He expressed worries about probes by the lawmakers on loans collected by Nigeria and stressed that such probes could stall the release of more funds to the country.

Amaechi also stated that the Federal Government would not provide hand sanitisers at train stations following the resumption of rail transportation activities at the Abuja-Kaduna line.

Amaechi said these at the Idu Train Station on Wednesday as passenger volume at the facility was very low when compared to what obtained before the shutdown of activities three months ago.

The minister said efforts were being made to repay the loans, particularly the ones from China, adding that the National Assembly’s investigations should not frustrate the construction of rail projects.

The House of Representatives had resolved on Tuesday to review loan facilities already taken by Nigeria from China and other countries.

The transportation minister had appeared before the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements on the $500m loan taken on the Abuja-Kaduna and other rail line projects.

Reacting to the probes, Amaechi said, “I have told the House of Representatives that first I just got to know that there is a clause in the agreement (with China).

“It is simple; for example, the loan to construct Ibadan to Kano rail is $5.3bn. The implication is that if by the end of the day, you don’t pay back our money, whatever we need to take from you, we will take from you.”

He added, “But what the Chinese normally do is that they go after the same asset to recover their money. So what is wrong with that?”

The minister said if the lawmakers felt that borrowing from China was wrong, they should tell the Federal Government where to get loans from for infrastructure development.
Infrastructure funding: FG needs to borrow N1.6trn –Agusto & Co boss

He said, “Secondly, I have told the National Assembly that there is nothing wrong with investigation.

“It is part of their responsibility, but for now they will jeopardise the ability of government to raise money if we continue to ask questions that will make China to raise an eyebrow and start wondering what is wrong.”

He said Nigeria might lose the loans for the Port Harcourt-Aba, Umuahia-Enugu, Markurdi, Gombe, Jos, Damaturu and Maiduguri projects.

Amaechi said the country could also lose the money it seeks for the Ibadan to Kano rail project, which include Ilorin, Minna and Kano.

He added, “And then the loan for Lagos to Calabar being pursued with the Russians may also be lost, and the areas covered include Ore, Bennin to Asaba, Onitsha, Warri, Uyo, Calabar.”

The minister said the government had mapped out plans to repay the loans, as an escrow account had been opened to pay in the money.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed says Nigeria's VAT collection rate ...
Minister - Zainab Ahmed

2. FG Pays N8.6billion Counterpart Funding for Siemens Project

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the payment of €15.21m (N6,940,081,465.20) offshore and N1.71bn onshore as part of Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the power deal with Siemens AG, signed by the Nigerian and German governments in 2019.  The total amount approved is N8,648,081,465.2.

In July 2019, the Federal Government and Siemens signed a Letter of Agreement on the Nigeria Electrification Road Map after the President and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, met on August 31, 2018, in Abuja.

Ahmed said the project would also support the regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, towards improving metering in the electricity industry in the country.

The minister said, “Mr President and his German counterpart met in Abuja on August 31, 2018 and committed to jointly increase the capacity of the Nigeria’s electricity grid from current capacity of 5,000MW to 25,000MW over a three-phased programme.”

Siemens in a statement on Wednesday said that the Federal Government had approved the pre-engineering contract to enable the firm to commence work on the expansion of the country’s electricity transmission and distribution network as well as generation capacity.

The minister said the facility for the programme would be sourced from the German consortium and it would be guaranteed by the German government through Euler Hermes covering 85 per cent of the project cost, with two to three-year moratorium, and 12-year repayment period.

The minister added, “The Federal Government is taking the loan from the German government with the plan to on-lend this particular loan to the distributing networks.

“So, it’s a convertible loan facility to the DISCOs and we will be working with the DISCOs to restructure an appropriate loan agreement as soon as we are able to close out on this initial phase of the process.

“Council approved and ratified Mr. President’s approval.”

Reps summon Emefiele, PenCom boss, others over N300bn funds

The House of Representatives has summoned Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar; and Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, to explain various expenditure totalling N300bn. Others summoned by the House Committee on Public Accounts on various audit queries issued by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation were Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami; and Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris.

Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, issued the summons in Abuja on Tuesday at an investigative hearing on the audit queries issued by the OAGF to some ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government on the ‘cash withheld’ totalling N182.08bn in 2014. Others include audit query on the N14.06bn issued against FIRS; and another N12.64bn against the Head of Service Pension Office, as well as Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Ministry of Communications, FIRS, Nigerian Board for Incubator Centre and the National Gallery of Arts.

The committee also summoned Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Road Safety Commission, Accident Investigation Bureau, National Sports Commission, among others, over N425.127m loans unaccounted for. The committee also summoned the Accountant General of the Federation over 83 queries in its 2014 annual audit report.

The committee, however, stepped down the queries and directed that CBN should provide the certificate showing the balance of the account as of December 31, 2014, and the bank statement of all the various sub-heads as of December 31, 2014, pursuant to Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution. In the same vein, the committee also summoned the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, over N7.88bn unaccounted fund as contained in an audit query. According to the committee, Ngige is to provide the retirement particulars for the N5bn bailout fund released by the Accountant-General to the ministry for community service scheme as well as retirement particulars for additional sum of N2.880,395,462 disbursed to the ministry for Vocational Training Centre under the SURE-P Programme.

The committee also summoned four officials from the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board, namely, two former Executive Secretaries, Mrs Adefunke Kasali and Mrs Asabe Ahmed; former General Manager (Operations), Aisha Usman; and General Manager (Finance and Accounts), Yusuf Musa, over the 2016 audit query. The committee also summoned the Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officers of United Bank for Africa, Zenith Bank, Ecobank, FCMB and FirstBank over the queries.

2. Power crisis deepens, NBET fails to pay Gencos N181.39bn
The liquidity crisis in the nation’s power sector has taken a turn for the worse as payment to generation companies for the electricity produced and fed into the national grid has slumped to 14.55 per cent. The Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc failed to pay the Egbin and 24 other power stations a total of N181.39bn from January to April this year, data obtained from NBET on Monday showed. The government-owned NBET buys electricity in bulk from Gencos through Power Purchase Agreements and sells through vesting contracts to the distribution companies, which then supply it to the consumers.

NBET received a total invoice of N226.12bn from the Gencos in the four-month period but paid only N44.73bn, representing 14.55 per cent of the invoice. In January, the bulk trader paid 30.11 per cent (N15.61bn) of the N51.85bn invoice from the Gencos but the payment fell to 25.46 per cent (N13.09bn out of N51.42bn) in February. The payment made to the Gencos by NBET slumped to 11.05 per cent (N5.84bn out of N52.82bn) in March but rose to 14..55 per cent (N10.19bn out of N70.03bn) in April.

The total power generation in the country stood at 3,341.2 megawatts as of 6am on Sunday, with 10 of the 27 power plants on the national grid being idle, according to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator. The power plants that didn’t generate electricity as of 6am on Sunday were Geregu II, Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Omotosho II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, AES, ASCO and Omoku. According to NBET, the payment to the Gencos are based on receipts from the Discos. “The absence of a take or pay obligations on Discos for energy supplied combined with direct interference by the Transmission Company of Nigeria in Discos’ despatch combine to cause repeated load rejection by Discos, which creates financial liability for NBET and also compromises grid safety and reliability,” the National Economic Council said in a recent report.

The NEC’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Ownership Review and Analysis of Discos and Electricity Sector Reform noted in the report that the power sector had underperformed due to critical challenges. “Urgent measures needed to turn the sector around include recapitalisation of Discos, firm implementation of industry rules/contracts and the insistence on sound governance principles that improve performance,” the committee said.

3. Naira plunges to N472/$ as forex scarcity worsens

The naira on Tuesday traded at N472 to a dollar at the parallel market as foreign exchange scarcity persisted. The exchange rate was N440/$ in the parallel market in June, and operators have continued to demand for the immediate unification of the multiple exchange rates in the country. The Senior Partner, Regulatory and Technology, Stransact Partners, Eben Joels, said the more worrisome issue was that the gap between the various exchange rates operating in Nigeria created arbitrage opportunities for highly connected individuals.

He worried that some people did not need to work to make billions of naira because they could simply obtain foreign currency at the official rate and sell on the black market. Joels said, “Some people are cleaning out of this situation. The spread between the black market and the official market is back to about N100 on a dollar.

“It is not that rate that is the issue right now. We need to move to a single unified exchange rate. For all you know, the naira may be underpriced artificially because of the quest to defend the naira. “Using purchasing power parity, I believe the naira is underpriced and the so-called need to defend the naira by operating several tiers of official exchange rate is part of the systematic theft of national resources going on as we speak.”

Business organisations in the country had expected the naira to depreciate further in the next few months, according to the CBN’s May 2020 Business Expectation Survey Report. “Respondent firms expect the naira to depreciate in the current month, next month, next two months and appreciate in the next six months,” the CBN had stated in the report.

4. NNPC in $1.5bn oil-for-loan deal with traders

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has signed a $1.5bn prepayment deal led by Standard Chartered and backed by two oil traders, Vitol Group and Matrix Energy, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Quoting sources said to be close to the development, the report said the deal provided Nigeria with much-needed cash after its finances were hit by the oil price crash in April as COVID-19 lockdowns erased nearly one third of global oil demand. The financing package, called Project Eagle, was also backed by the African Export Import Bank and the United Bank for Africa.

Vitol and Matrix will each get 15,000 barrels per day of crude as repayment over five years, starting in August. According to Reuters, Matrix, Nigerian trader, confirmed its participation in the deal. Prepayments with traders are widely used in commodity finance as banks consider them to be one of the more secure forms of lending in countries viewed as risky.

For trading firms such as Vitol, these loans are ideal for securing long-term supplies and boosting razor-thin margins. Sources were quoted as saying that the NNPC would use a large portion of the money to pay taxes owed by one of its subsidiaries, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation. The remainder will go towards operational expenses and capital expenditure. One of the sources said money from the prepayment could fund an upgrade of the Port Harcourt refinery.

The NNPC has been trying to raise cash through prepayments with traders for years.  However, the firm’s opaque finances and costly petrol subsidies have made it tough for it to secure private financing on attractive terms. Nigeria announced the end of subsidies earlier this year.

5. FG pays N9.2bn premium to 13 insurance firms

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government has paid N9.2bn as group life insurance premium spanning between April 17 2020 to April 16, 2021 for federal workers. He said the money was paid to 13 insurance firms, six of which are dedicated to the health sector. But the minister noted that the policy did not cover workers of revenue generating agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service.

A statement on Tuesday by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, also clarified some areas of the agreement reached between the government and the National Association of Resident Doctors during their meeting on Monday. It explained that the N15.88bn spent on COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances to doctors and all health workers in the Federal Teaching Hospitals and Medical Centres was specifically for April/ May 2020.

It pointed out that the amount did not include the regular monthly salaries paid to the health workers, noting that June allowances were outstanding as the Federal Government was struggling with low revenue receipts. The ministry stated, “The sum of N9,248,970,292.97 has been spent on premium for group life insurance for federal civil servants except those in the revenue generating agencies like Customs, FIRS among others.” It added that the that the 13 insurance companies involved in the transactions had appointed underwriters and 173 insurance brokers.

6. COVID-19 making access to finance difficult – LCCI

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks and uncertainties around access to finance for the private sector due to the deteriorating economic outlook. The LCCI president said this at a web conference themed ‘Access to international capital and funding solutions for Nigerian businesses’ on Tuesday.

She said that prior to the outbreak of the novel virus, businesses were finding it difficult to access finance through the domestic financial system due to high borrowing costs. Citing statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mabogunje noted that the total gross credit to the private sector stood at N18.9tn as of June 2020, representing about 13 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. She added that the World Bank statistics showed that Nigeria’s 10.5 per cent domestic credit to the private sector in 2019 was one of the lowest in world.

She, however, commended the CBN for improving access to finance for businesses through policies like increase in Loan-to-Deposit ratio; and several intervention funds for different categories of business, including the MSMEs. The LCCI president called on business owners to explore alternative funding solutions available on global as well as local space.

7. Banks squeezed as CBN shores up naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria has debited about N900bn out of the local banking system since raising the cash reserve ratio by five per cent to 27.5 per cent in January, according to analysts’ calculations. Reuters quoted Nkemdilim Nwadialor at Tellimer Capital on Tuesday as saying that those debits also hampered wider lending, going against the CBN’s measures of lowering banks’ loan to deposit ratios.

“General sentiment in the markets is that CRR debits are carried out quite close to forex auctions to prevent the banks from presenting large ticket FX demands at auctions,” she said. CBN’s data showed credit to the private sector in April dropped by nearly two-thirds from the end of 2019. “Banks are dealing with slow growth, fall in lending, a lack of forex in the market and asset quality issues,” said the Senior Director, EMEA Bank Ratings at Fitch, Mahin Dissanayake.

He expected banks’ revenues to drop at least 20 per cent this year, though he did not expect any to make a loss. The CBN retained the benchmark lending rate at 12.5 per cent after its last Monetary Policy Committee meeting. It also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio and liquidity ratio at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Some banks had already indicated they expected a hit.

In April, a mid-tier lender, Fidelity Bank, warned 2020 profits would drop by 15 per cent. Bankers said lenders were relying on existing customers to weather the storm as new lending looked risky with the economy expected to tip back into recession. Fitch predicted impaired loan ratios would rise sharply in 2020 with Nigerian banks the most exposed to stress in the oil sector compared to their peers in emerging markets elsewhere. Some banks had already announced plans to tackle this.

A mid-tier lender, FCMB, plans to complete a restructuring of half its loan book at the end of April. A CBN policy maker predicted last month that banks would restructure over a third of loans. Moody’s warned in a note that dollar shortages would intensify over the next 12-18 months – a period when 49 per cent of banks’ $7bn foreign-currency borrowing matures, leaving them vulnerable.

8. Equity market lose N70bn, sell-off persists

The Nigerian bourse on Tuesday closed lower to reverse the previous day gain as bears regained their grip following the sell-off that have persisted on the equities market. Market breadth closed negative as Total Oil Nigeria le 16 other losers to close the trading session on the negative. Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 133.45 basis points or 0.54 per cent to close at 24,650.16 index points as against 24.783.61 recorded the previous trading session.

Market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N70bn from N12.93tn the previous day to N12.86tn as market sentiment returned on the negative territory. Meanwhile, a turnover of 150.39 million shares exchanged in 3,780 deals was recorded in the day’s trading. The premium sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 58.69million shares exchanged by investors in 1,482 deals.

The volume in the sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of FBNH Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc. Also, the insurance sub-sector boosted by the activities in the shares of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc followed with a turnover of 31.67 million shares in 137 deals. Further analyses of the day’s trading showed that in percentage terms, Berger Paints Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc topped the day’s gainers’ table with 10 per cent each to close at N6.05 and 22 kobo per share, respectively.

Unity Bank Plc followed with 8.77 per cent to close at 62 kobo per share. Okomu Oil Plc added 6.31 per cent to close at N74.95 per share. On the flip side, Total Oil Plc led the losers’ with a drop of 9.95 per cent to close at N87.80 per share while Seplat Petroleum Plc shed 9.82 per cent to close at N282.00 per share.

9. Nigerian banks face biggest revenue drop since 2016

Nigerian banks could see the biggest yearly decline in revenues since 2016 by the end of this year, according to estimates by Renaissance Capital and Fitch Ratings, which point to at least a 20-percent dip. “Banks are dealing with slow growth, fall in lending, a lack of foreign exchange in the market and asset quality…

10.  56 New trade restrictions worth $423.1 billion implemented, says WTO

The World Trade Organisation (WTO), has declared that new import restrictions covering traded merchandise between October 2019 and May 2020, was worth about $423.1 billion. WTO, in a new report, noted that 56 new trade-restrictive measures not related to the coronavirus pandemic were implemented between mid-October 2019 and mid-May 2020 – mainly tariff increases, import bans, exports duties and stricter exports customs procedures.

It stated that: “The new import restrictions covered traded merchandise worth an estimated $423.1 billion, the third-highest value since October 2012.” WTO estimates indicate that the cumulative trade coverage of import-restrictive measures implemented since 2009, and still in force, amounts to $1.7 trillion or 8.7 per cent of world imports. This figure has grown steadily since 2009, both in value terms and as a percentage of world imports.

Notwithstanding the restrictions, the report revealed that WTO members are moving towards trade-facilitating policies across sectors during the review period, with 51 new trade-facilitating measures not related to COVID-19 implemented. “These measures mainly included the elimination or reduction of import tariffs, the elimination of import taxes, the simplification of customs procedures and the reduction of export duties,” it stated.

It added that the trade coverage of non-COVID-19 related import-facilitating measures was estimated at $739.4 billion, which is significantly higher than the $544.7 billion recorded in the previous report (from mid-May to mid-October 2019) and represents the second-highest figure since October 2012. Director-General, WTO, Roberto Azevêdo, said: “The report makes clear that a substantial share of world trade continues to be affected by new and accumulated import-restrictive measures, which is cause for concern at a time when economies will need trade to rebuild from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Azevêdo, who presented the report to WTO members, said: “On a more positive note, the report shows that members also introduced import-facilitating measures on an impressive scale, and have started to scale back trade restrictions introduced earlier in the pandemic.”

The report also showed that by mid-May 2020, WTO members implemented 256 trade and trade-related measures explicitly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, with export bans accounting for the totality of the pandemic-related export restrictions recorded. It said further that: “The COVID-19 related measures appeared to have come in two clearly identifiable waves. In the early stages of the pandemic, several of the measures introduced restricted the free flow of trade but as of mid-May 2020, 57 per cent of all measures were of a trade-facilitating nature.”

Prepared against the backdrop of COVID-19, the report does not yet reflect the full impact of the pandemic on trade. According to WTO data published on June 22, estimates for the second quarter of 2020 indicate a year-on-year drop in world trade of around 18 per cent. It stated: “World trade was already slowing before the pandemic struck, weighed down by heightened trade tensions and slowing global economic growth. Merchandise trade was down 0.1 per cent in volume terms in 2019, marking the first decline since 2009.

“Trade growth also slowed in nominal terms in 2019, as the dollar value of merchandise exports fell by 3 per cent to $18.89 trillion. Although commercial services exports increased by 2 per cent to $6.03 trillion in 2019, the pace of growth was down sharply from 9 per cent in the previous year. “Overall, WTO members and observers implemented 363 new trade and trade-related measures during the review period, of which 198 were of a trade-facilitating nature and 165 were trade-restrictive. “70 per cent of these measures (256 in total) were linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these 256 measures, 147 facilitated trade and 109 restricted trade,” it stated.

“In the early stages of the pandemic, several of the measures introduced by WTO members and observers restricted the free flow of trade, principally for exports. But as at mid-May 2020, 57 per cent of all COVID-19-related measures were trade-facilitating. Around 28 per cent of the COVID-19-specific trade restrictions implemented by WTO members and observers had been repealed by mid-May,” WTO stated.

11. Forex, reputation issues bane of capital inflow into Nigerian businesses

International investors and stakeholders have attributed businesses’ inability to attract foreign capital needed for growth to Nigeria’s image problem, and challenges in repatriating investments. According to them, while Nigeria should be at the top of the list for investments in Africa, governance issues remain an impediment, making the country look problematic compared to other smaller countries.

Of the $5.85billion received in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, portfolio investment accounted for 73.61% ($4.31billion) of the total capital importation recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Speaking at a webinar on, “Access to international capital and funding solutions for Nigerian businesses”, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Monday, Keynote Speaker, Robert Hersov, said a critical factor limiting many businesses from accessing the needed capital is the country’s image, which has been seriously battered.

He added that Nigerian banks need to be encouraged to lend to businesses, as they are too risk-averse and would rather sit on massive portfolios of government bonds than lend to businesses. Hersov, also the Founder and Chairman, Invest Africa, equally charged many businesses owners to embrace equity rather than resorting to loans to scale up faster and compete effectively. “Funding options available include debit and equity from international investors, as significantly increased interest in Africa from strategic investors is making them take a long term view on the continent.

“Similarly, local entrepreneurs should leverage the partnership to scale up their businesses. They should be less concerned about giving away equity rather than embracing debt alone for business growth, as the right equity can help businesses grow,” he added. LCCI President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, noted that the demand for finance and the challenges to accessing it necessitated the need for the forum.

According to her, with COVID-19 affecting available capital to scale up, businesses need to explore different alternatives that would aid access to funds. Mabogunje, who was represented by the Vice-President, Mrs Mojisola Bakare, identified various intervention programmes unveiled by the Federal Government, urging that issues constituting impediments to growth should be addressed.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were increasingly finding it difficult to access finance through the domestic financial system given the high borrowing costs associated with a credit facility in conventional banking systems. Moreover, the COVID-19 has elevated the risks and uncertainties around capital and finance generally in view of deteriorating business and economic outlook. This scenario, therefore, reinforces the need for businesses to explore alternative funding solutions available on global as well as local space.

“To unlock access to international capital and finance for Nigeria businesses, we need to holistically and very quickly address issues that have constituted impediments over the years in order to align the expectations of investors with the priorities of business owners,” she added. One of the panellists, Senior Counsel, Dentons UK and Middle East, Raj Kulasingam, said there was a need to address timelines for projects to avoid currency fluctuations as well as provide capital for early-stage businesses.

To him, the biggest challenge for many businesses is accessing local capital in Nigeria for projects. Managing Partner, Acuity Ventures, Lexi Novitske, noted that a lot of businesses that attract funding are structured outside the country due to different issues like IP protection, but local structures need to be supported, especially at the start-up phase. This is a barrier we are trying to address. “Currency issue remains a challenge, considering that revenues are generated in a local currency, but capital is sourced in foreign currency. That poses a huge challenge to businesses. Also, IP protection, governance/legal protection for investors, access to capital, and exit opportunities affect investments,” she added.

Director, Middle East and Africa, Jersey Finance, Faizal Bhana, noted that investors want to be able to invest in jurisdictions that make it easy for them to move capital. Similarly, other stakeholders emphasised the need to develop capacity was equally emphasised in order to ensure proper utilisation of capital.


Friends, the King (JESUS CHRIST) is coming.  The question is "Where will you spent eternity - in heaven or hell". This is the time to work out your salvation...Now is the acceptable time.  

If you have not yet received Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, say this short prayer:

Raise your right hand up unto the Lord and say: “Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before you now. I confess that I am a sinner. Lord, forgive me and cleanse me with your blood. Lord Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, in Jesus name.”


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