COVID-19: IMF disburses $22bn to 60 countries

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has so far disbursed $22 billion in emergency financing to nearly 60 countries to enable them tackle the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak. IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, disclosed this yesterday at the United Nations event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19. The IMF boss, who described the scourge as, “an exceptional crisis, more complex, more uncertain and more severe than anything we have seen in living memory,” said the Fund was also tripling its capacity for concessional lending and providing…

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COVID-19: ‘We can’t defer plans on AfCFTA’

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has underscored the need for African countries to work towards the operationalisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Presenting a statement on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, May 26 to mark the occasion of Africa Day, she maintained that: “We must move ahead with the most ambitious steps toward pan-African integration with the creation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area ensuring it is operationalised as soon as possible”…

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Nigerian tomato firm secures €3.9m financing

Tomato Jos, an agro-processing company focused on the local production of high-quality tomato paste for the African market, has completed a €3.9 million Series A round. Tomato Jos was founded by Mira Mehta in 2014 with the vision to create and retain local value-add to the tomato value chain, reduce post-harvest losses, and improve the lives of smallholder farmers. Africa Business Community reports that since its inception, Tomato Jos has focused on securing its supply chain through primary production. The combined €3.9 million Series A funding boosts the transition to…

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Manufacturers lament declining loan to real sector

Following the negative impacts of the COVID-19 on the nation’s economy, local manufacturers under the auspices of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have raised the alarm that the size of commercial bank loan available to the real sector of the economy has reduced greatly and consistently discouraging manufacturing in the country. Statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicated that banks’ credit to the private sector rose by 15 per cent (N3.47 trillion), from N22.94 trillion in January 2019 to N26.41 trillion as of November 2019 following the apex…

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Post-COVID-19: ‘Transport sector could create 15m jobs’

Investment in transforming the transport sector could create millions of new jobs and help countries move to greener, healthier economies, says report from the International Labour Organisation and the UN Economic Commission for Europe. The recovery from the COVID-19  pandemic cannot be a return to business as usual. It must be an opportunity to push the advancement of the sustainable development agenda. ILO reports that a structural transformation of the transport sector will be needed if environmentally sustainable, green economies are to become a reality. This could lead to the…

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Unemployment: CSO seeks fast-track of stimulus bill

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has called on the National Assembly to fast-track the passage and transmission of Emergency Stimulus Bill, 2020. In a memorandum forwarded to the lawmakers, the CSO noted that  the draft law was passed by the members of the House of Representatives as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide aid to businesses and individuals in Nigeria. The Bill forms part of the Nigerian Federal Government’s concerted effort to stimulate the economy and cushion the effects of travel restrictions and business disruptions from…

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Labour tackles FG over loans, recovered loot

As the Federal Government takes delight in piling up loans for generations yet unborn, organised labour, under the aegis of Trade Union Congress [TUC], has challenged it to show what had been done with loans taken in the past as well as recovered loot. In a statement by TUC President and General Secretary, Quadri Olaleye, and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, respectively, to mark the Eid-El-Fitr, the union advised the government to be circumspect, even as it noted some African countries had rejected China’s loan offers because of the conditionality attached. TUC cautioned…

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COVID-19: Sustaining food supply via smallholder farmers

With the lockdown still in force in many countries of the world including Nigeria, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has listed six ways by which countries could efficiently support smallholder farmers to prevent breakdown of food supply chain and global food scarcity. Taiwo Hassan reports     No doubt, the emergence of the novel coronavirus portend hindrance to global economy, especially the food supply chain amidst the economic meltdown now being unleashed on the world by this scourge. The role of agriculture in alleviating hunger and poverty…

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Farmers donate catfish to states as COVID-19 palliative

The Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN), has distributed smoked catfish to some states across the country as COVID-19 palliatives in support of fight against the scourge. The beneficiary states are Lagos, Oyo and Rivers, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Speaking at the flag-off of the exercise at Oyo State Secretariat, the National President of CAFFAN, Oloye Rotimi, said that the gesture was to support government in the provision of palliatives to Nigerians in order to cushion the effect of COVID-19. Oloye said: “We…

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NSE halts gains with N29bn loss

The Nigerian Stock Exchange performance indices, the NSE All Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation, yesterday fell by 0.22 per cent to halt its gaining streak as profit taking hits the equities market following investors crave to increase capital gains. Driven by decline in value of blue chip companies, the equities market closed the trading day negative. Consequently, the All-Share Index dropped by 53.22 basis points or 0.22 per cent to close at 25,166.01 basis points as against 25,221.23 recorded the previous day while the market capitalisation of equities depreciated…

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