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DBN disburses N631b to MSMEs, unfreezes dividend payment



The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has disbursed over N 631 billion in loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

The Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Tony Okpanachi, disclosed this in the bank’s 2022 Financial Report at its Annual General Meeting, in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, the loan disbursement record, as of the end of the Financial Year on December 31, 2022, represented a major growth of 31 per cent from the N482 billion disbursed in the preceding year.

His words, “In five years of DBN’s operations, the bank has been at the forefront of development, playing a focal and catalytic role in alleviating financing constraints for Nigeria’s underserved MSMEs.

“By the end of December 2022, the DBN had disbursed more than N531 billion to slightly over 313, 000 MSMEs across the country, which grew from N482 billion, to more than 208, 000 MSMEs at the end of the previous year.

“This implies a 31, percent growth in financing support and 50 per cent growth in MSMEs impacted.”

Dr. Okpanachi described the performance in the year under review as impressive, despite the harsh environment, locally and across the globe.

By the end of the 2022 Financial Year, the bank achieved earnings of N47.6 billion, a Profit Before Tax of N29.5 billion, as well as, a cost to income ratio of 15.9 percent.

Trade and Commerce accounted for 52. 8 percent of the total loan portfolio by sector, followed by manufacturing (13. 5 percent; agriculture, forestry and fishing, (5.7 percent); Oil & Gas (4.9 percent).

2023 outlook

The bank’s MD said that looking ahead to the 2023 operation year, “the bank remains focused on financial sustainability, while providing critical financing to the MSME sector.

Consequently, the bank declared a dividend of N3. 418 billion which represents 25 percent of retained earnings (Profit After Tax and statutory reserves transfers) in the year ended December 31, 2022.

Shaholders: the federal government and institutional investors received N34.18 per share.

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Money market

Nigeria’s inflation rate rises to 33.69% in April 2024



In April 2024, the headline inflation rate rose to 33.69 percent, up from 33.20 percent in March 2024, marking an increase of 0.49 percent points according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Comparing year-on-year data, the inflation rate in April 2024 was 11.47 percent points higher than in April 2023, where it stood at 22.22 percent. This indicates that the headline inflation rate has risen significantly over the past year.

Additionally, on a month-to-month basis, the inflation rate for April 2024 was 2.29 percent, which is 0.73 percent lower than the 3.02 percent recorded in March 2024. This suggests that the rate at which prices increased in April 2024 was slower than the rate in March 2024.

In April 2024, the food inflation rate reached 40.53 percent on a year-on-year basis, marking a substantial increase of 15.92 percentage points from the 24.61 percent recorded in April 2023. This significant rise in food inflation can be attributed to higher prices for several items including millet flour, garri, bread, prepacked wheat flour, and semovita, all of which belong to the Bread and Cereals class, as well as for yam tuber, water yam, and cocoyam and others.

For the year ending in April 2024, the average annual rate of food inflation stood at 32.74 percent, representing an increase of 9.52 percentage points over the 23.22 percent average annual rate recorded in April 2023.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural products and energy, reached 26.84 percent in April 2024 on a year-on-year basis, an increase of 6.87 percent from the 19.96 percent recorded in April 2023. The most significant price rises were observed in actual and imputed rentals for housing, motorcycle journeys, bus journeys within a city (under Passenger Transport by Road Class), consultation fees for medical doctors, X-ray photography (under Medical Services Class), and accommodation services.

On a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.20 percent in April 2024, down from 2.54 percent in March 2024, representing a decrease of 0.34 percent. The average annual core inflation rate for the twelve months ending in April 2024 was 22.84 percent, which is 5.15 percentage points higher than the 17.70 percent recorded in April 2023.

In April 2024, the urban inflation rate on a year-on-year basis reached 36.00 percent, which is 12.61 percentage points higher than the 23.39 percent recorded in April 2023. On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate for April 2024 was 2.67 percent, showing a decrease of 0.50 percentage points from the 3.17 percent seen in March 2024. The average urban inflation rate over the twelve months ending in April 2024 was 30.02 percent, marking an increase of 8.53 percentage points from the 21.50 percent reported in April 2023.

In April 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.64 percent on a year-on-year basis, which is 10.50 percentage points higher than the 21.14 percent seen in April 2023.

On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate for April 2024 was 1.92 percent, a decrease of 0.95 percentage points from the 2.87 percent recorded in March 2024. The average rural inflation rate over the twelve months ending in April 2024 was 26.38 percent, which represents an increase of 6.20 percentage points from the 20.18 percent reported in April 2023.

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Governor Sule woos investors to invest in Nasarawa, assures of inclusive economy



…Counts gains of previous edition of investment summit

By Matthew Denis, Lafia

The Governor of Nasarawa state, Engr. Abdullahi Sule has taken steps to woo investors to invest in the state  at the ongoing Nasarawa Investment Summit.

Delivering his opening speech, Governor Sule disclosed that the state is expanding the existing industrial, agricultural and mining sectors towards a better economy.

He said, “What we are witnessing today will further expand our existing pathways to leverage on the industrial, agricultural and mining sectors towards enhancing inclusive and sustainable wealth creation and economic prosperity.

“It is with a sense of fulfillment and responsibility that I address you today on the occasion of the Nasarawa Investment Summit, 2024.

“I must acknowledge our most cherished investors and other development partners, who are here to be part of this auspicious occasion. I have no doubt that the coming together of these distinguished and eminent personalities will, no doubt offer us the opportunities to continue to map the future of our State economic landscape in our relentless commitment to explore business opportunities and forge investment partnerships across business endeavour.”

The Governor stressed that it is pertinent to remind you that Nasarawa State organised the first edition of the Nasarawa Investment Summit in 2022 under the theme “Diamond in the Rough: The Making of a New Investment Frontier,” aimed at ushering investment and showcasing our mineral resources to potential investors.

“I am happy to state that the outcome of the Summit informed the influx of investors into the State Who are variously harnessing our God-given endowment.

“Interestingly, the recently commissioned Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited in Nasarawa State performed by Mr. President, the ASGARD Mining and Processing Plant, Karu, the Nasarawa Technology Village Project in Karu, as well as other numerous investments being carried out in the State were all informed by the outcome of the Summit conducted in 2022.

“It is also heartwarming to state that the Federal Government commissioned the spud-in of the Ebenyi-A Oil Well in Obi Local Government Area of the State. The discovery of Oil and Gas and its subsequent exploration and exploitation will further boost the economic prosperity of our dear country and put Nasarawa State among the comity of Oil producing States.

“I, therefore, call on the investors on Oil and Gas to take advantage of the exploration activities to begin to invest in the sector for the benefit of the society.”

“To ensure full utilisation of our potentials, we have pledged to sustain the Investment Summit in order to further showcase other solid mineral resources which are yet to be identified by interested investors. This is why the theme of this year’s Summit is deliberately coined as ‘The Industrial Renaissance,’ having built some of the key fundamentals required to drive our industrial agenda and present other minerals to our potential investors.”

He explained that the staging of the 2024 Nasarawa Investment Summit,which we are witnessing today will further expand our existing pathways to leverage on the industrial, agricultural and mining sectors towards enhancing inclusive and sustainable wealth creation and economic prosperity.

“It is pertinent to point out that, as a State, we have been deliberate in stimulating our economy, building human capacities, creating wealth and generate employment to our people. It is for this reason that we have adopted our policy document christened ‘Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS)’ as a driving force towards the initiation and implementation of various programmes and policies which we have achieved so far.

“I must acknowledge that with the assemblage of the experienced and versatile resource persons to engage the participants on the topics earmarked for discussion, I believe that the outcome of this Summit will go a long way towards actualizing our dream of industrialising Nasarawa State and position it as a leading champion.”

While applauding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his sustained effort in driving the Nigeria economy to prosperity, he said, “I assure Mr. President of our unalloyed loyalty and continued support in order to take our country to greater heights.”

“Let me as always, call on our development partners to continue to invest in Nasarawa State with the view to open the frontiers of economic prosperity for the benefit of all. Indeed, Nasarawa means business.”

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Money market

CBN launches strategy to double remittances, grants AIP to 14 new IMTOs



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).

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