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CBN appoints KPMG as adviser for infrastructure fund

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By Kayode Tokede

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly appointed KPMG LLP as transaction adviser for its newly set up infrastructure fund, according to an insider familiar with the matter who wants to remain anonymous.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the person who did not want to be mentioned because the information is still under wrap said the apex bank appointed KPMG after the consideration of bids by other firms which include PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Co.

The CBN had in August 2020, secured the approval of the Federal Government to set up a $39.4 billion infrastructure development company in collaboration with the Sovereign Wealth fund and African Finance Corporation to invest in the country’s critical infrastructure and transport network.

The company which is to be exclusively managed by an Independent Infrastructure Fund Manager is expected to leverage local and international funds, is projected to cover an initial 5-year period.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last month approved N1 trillion of seed capital for the Infrastructure Corp. of Nigeria Ltd., which the CBN and its partners initiated last year. The fund has been established to raise as much as N15 trillion naira for power, road and railway projects in Africa’s largest economy.

The Federal Government, last month began the process of engaging an asset manager for its newly set up Infrastructure Company of Nigeria Ltd. (Infra-Co), to raise funds for projects and accelerate growth in the country.

This was further extended on Monday by 2 weeks to March 30, according to a notice published on CBN’s website.

The federal government is trying to boost investment in infrastructure to stimulate economic growth after exiting its second recession in 4 years in the fourth quarter. The country needs at least $3 trillion over 30 years to close its infrastructure gap, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

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MoneyMaster to promote mobile wallet at Ojude Oba

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Nigeria’s leading payment service bank, MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank Limited (MMPSB) will be at this year’s Ojude Oba Festival to be held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

The Ojude Oba festival is an annual event that typically holds on the third day of the Eid-al-Kabir whereby different cultural age groups put up a spectacular parade to pay homage to the Royal Majesty, the Awujale of Ijebualand.

As a precursor to the Ojude Oba festival, Moneymaster, has embarked on a month-long market activation, engaging indigenes of Ijebuland to onboard them on to one of its digital banking platforms – mobile wallet. With the Moneymaster mobile wallet, customers can transfer, withdraw from an agent, buy airtime and pay utility bills.

During this month-long activation, customers in Ijebuland who open an account stand a chance of winning free airtime amongst other gift items.

According to a statement by the company, the move towards a cashless economy can become a reality when the bulk of Nigerians embrace mobile wallets so as to help them cultivate a more convenient savings habit and also enable them make payment with ease.

“While we rejoice with the people of Ijebuland at this time, we also want to showcase what we have in Moneymaster’s mobile wallet that can help various people to enjoy seamless banking from their phones,” the statement noted.

Moneymaster Payment Service bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and insured by NDIC to promote financial inclusion in furtherance of the Nigerian financial literacy initiative driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

With Moneymaster, Nigerians can open mobile wallets, savings account, individual and business accounts to make payments, buy airtime, and pay utility bills to over 4,000 companies.

MoneyMaster was recently appointed a payment partner to the Ounje Eko initiative by the Lagos State government in its bid to provide discounted food items to residents of the state amidst rising cost of food items. Moneymaster is positioned to support individuals and businesses in their journeys towards financial prosperity by offering bespoke financial services that meet their aspirations.

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Union Bank Nigeria urges global habitat restoration on World Environment Day

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Union Bank Nigeria Limited has stressed the importance of preserving and restoring the global environment through sustainable practices.

This message was conveyed during an event co-hosted with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in observance of World Environment Day.

A key highlight of the event was a tree-planting exercise involving participants and stakeholders representatives. This activity aligned with this year’s theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” emphasising the need to rejuvenate and restore areas affected by deforestation, erosion, and desertification, both globally and in Nigeria.

During the program, the Head of Citizenship and Sustainability at Union Bank, Patricia Iwhewhe, highlighted the need to protect our environment.

In her words: “Land degradation and erosion are not things stakeholders and policymakers can afford to ignore or gloss over. We all must get involved in helping restore and reclaim parts of our environment badly impacted by deforestation and desertification. Union Bank, as a sustainability champion committed to the preservation of our dear planet, appreciates and recognises the responsibility we have as humanity to look after our environment. We will continue to support and participate in programs dedicated to protecting and enriching our precious habitat.”

The event gathered diverse stakeholders, including environmental rights activists, international partners agencies, corporate bodies, government agencies, and students from selected secondary schools, to discuss and engage in World Environment Day activities.

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Naira depreciates by 0.17% against dollar at official market

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The Naira on Thursday slightly depreciated at the official market trading at N1,476.24 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, revealed that the Naira lost N2.58.

This represents a 0.17 percent loss when compared to the previous trading date on Tuesday when it traded at N1,473.66 to the dollar.

Also, the volume of currency traded reduced to $92.68 million on Thursday down from $385.91 million recorded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between 1,500 and N1,400 against the dollar.

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