• Friday, July 19, 2024
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News Roundup: Reps okay $5.803bn loans, $10m grants for Buhari, We have 2bn litres of petrol, avoid panic buying –NNPC, Twitter founder….

Reps okay $5.803bn loans, $10m grants for Buhari
The House of Representatives has approved external borrowings totaling $5.803 billion and a total grant of $10 million for the Federal Government as part of the proposed 2018–2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan No.3 recently requested by President Muhamadu Buhari. The approval followed the adoption of the report of the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management at plenary on Tuesday after consideration by the Committee of Supply. The report of the committee recommended that the House “approve the underlisted ongoing negotiation of external borrowing of $5,803,364,553.50 and a grant component of $10,000,000 under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) plan.” According to the report presented before the House, the World Bank is granting $2,300,000,000; German Consortium, $2,300,000,000 and $10,000,000 loan and grant, respectively; Islamic Development Bank, $90,000,000; China Eximbank, $786,382,967; Bank of China, $276,981,586:50; and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, $50,000,000. Approving the loan, the House asked that the terms and conditions of the loan from the funding agencies be forwarded to the National Assembly before the execution of the same for approval and proper documentation. In another development, the House passed through second reading of the Finance Bill 2021 after holding a public hearing on the proposed legislation on Monday. This is against the Nigerian parliamentary rules and procedures in which the presiding officers (speaker and deputy) preside over the second reading of a bill and referred such to the relevant committee, which will in turn organise a public hearing and report back to the House.

Nigeria, 73 other countries to benefit from $93bn IDA package – World Bank
Nigeria is among the 74 countries that would benefit from a $93 billion replenishment package of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) for low-income countries (LIC), a new report by the World Bank indicated. The World Bank Thursday announced a $93 billion replenishment package of the International Development Association (IDA) to help low-income countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis and build a greener, more resilient, and inclusive future. The financing brings together $23.5 billion of contributions from 48 high- and middle-income countries with financing raised in the capital markets, repayments, and the World Bank’s contributions. Due to the urgent development needs of IDA countries, the World Bank said the replenishment was advanced by one year. IDA20 will cover the period of July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025. The IDA20 policy architecture builds on the strong foundation of IDA19, with enhancements to make IDA20 even more ambitious and fit for today’s challenges, the World Bank said. The World Bank’s IDA, which was established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.

We have 2bn litres of petrol, avoid panic buying –NNPC
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that its petrol stock has increased from 1.7 billion litres recorded initially to over 2 billion litres, assuring adequate supply during the holidays. The NNPC said: “As a result, we once again urge Nigerians not to panic buy and instead to fully enjoy the spirit of the holiday season, even as we continue to work tirelessly to ensure a sufficient supply of petrol in every part of the country,” the statement said. Mele Kyari, the group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), during this year’s edition of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) had affirmed that Nigerians need not panic as there is a provision for over 1.7 billion litres and the corporation was expecting an additional 2.4 billion litres during the festive period. “The general public is hereby advised not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, more commonly known as petrol. The NNPC has over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more products are expected to arrive into the country daily over the coming weeks and months.”
“Given these assurances, therefore, the NNPC is advising motorists and other consumers of petrol to maintain their regular pattern of the purchase of petrol without getting into a panic situation that may send the wrong signals around the country,” he said.

Read also: South Africa hospitalization rate plunges in Omicron wave

Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey appoints 3 Nigerians as board of Bitcoin Trust fund
Three Nigerians have been appointed by Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, to serve in the capacity of the board of his Bitcoin Trust (BTrust) fund that will aid the development of Bitcoin in India and Africa. Selected from a pool of 7,000 applicants who showed interest in the role of board members, the three Nigerians that made jack’s list include Obi Nwosu, Ojoma Ochai and Abubakar Nur Khalil. Announcing the BTrust board, Jack said he was grateful and inspired by the new appointees. “They will now work towards the operating principles as they think about how to best distribute 500 bitcoin towards development efforts,” Jack said in a Twitter post. The three Nigerians that made Jack’s list have been active in the technology and blockchain ecosystem. Obi Nwosu is the Co-founder of Coinfloor, a seed-level cryptocurrency startup, Ojoma Ochai is the Managing Partner at CcHUBCreative (Co-Creation Hub), a technology innovation workspace, accelerating startup growth in Nigeria and selected part in Africa and Abubakar Nur Khalil is a bitcoin core contributor. Kirk-Cohen on the other hand is a software engineer at Lightning Labs. She previously worked for Luno, a South African cryptocurrency Exchange and Wallet firm, working on the crypto-ops team. Nwosu’s Coinfloor has raised $300,000 in funding round. CcHUB where Ochai is a Managing Partner has raised $5.5 million to aid its operation. Khalil received $50,000 in BTC for his work on Bitcoin wallet software from Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in May 2021.

Flutterwave announces Wizkid as Global Ambassador to push new remittance service
Flutterwave, an African payment technology company has announced Nigerian artist, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known as Wizkid as its global brand Ambassador following the company’s plans to launch ‘Send’, a remittance solution that aims to increase remittance flow and uptake to Africa. Send is a quick, reliable, and secure cross-border person-to-person payments service that allows its users to send money to local bank accounts, cash pickups, and mobile wallets regardless of their geographical location using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The payment company noted that Send will offer customers the easiest way to send money to all parts of Africa from within the continent and the globe while providing Africans easy access to fund overseas bank accounts. According to the company, the collaboration with the music star will enable Send to reach the African diaspora to create more awareness of the affordable and seamless payment service available to them through the Flutterwave platform. GB Agboola, founder and CEO of Flutterwave while commenting on the partnership explained that Wizkid’s story is that of hard work, resilience, and excellence. He noted that the company cherishes the way the Ambassador represents Africa constantly in the global entertainment stage while he shows delight in their collaboration as they share the same value.

Firm launches platform to upscale skills, reduce youth unemployment
In a bid to reduce rising youth unemployment in Africa’s biggest economy, FUZU Ltd has developed a platform that will upscale Nigerian youths with requisite skills, and make them employable. With the website www.fuzu.com, the platform provides users and job seekers with personalised job recommendations, application feedback, access to career coaches, hundreds of online courses, career forums/ communities and peer-to-peer learning that will help improve their career goals. At its launch in Nigeria’s biggest commercial city, Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FUZU, Jussi Hinkkanen, said the company was established with the mandate to unleash human potentials by providing them a fully personalised user experience based on a 360° assessment of skills, personality and interest. According to him, FUZU is working with employers of labour across various sectors to open up opportunities with a promise to instill and impact the requisite skills into prospective employees, making them fit and proper for the future of work challenges. Hinkkanen affirmed that the groups add value to career builders by Job matching, Curriculum vitae (CV) creation, Instant feedback for every application, e- Learning and forum creation, aimed at supporting the career Journey of millions of users. He noted that FUZU also adds value to businesses by outsourcing talents, candidates assessment, automated candidates ranking & shortlisting, hiring management & collaboration as well as headhunting. “We will provide your business with infrastructure and knowledge support,” he added.