The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), says it has received a set of strong credit rating affirmations and “Positive” outlooks from Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Global Credit Ratings (GCR).
A statement issued in Cairo on Monday by Amadou Sall, Afreximbank’s media contact and made available to Nigerian NewsDirect, said the ratings underlined the bank’s resilient financial position and performance.
According to the statement, the ratings reinforce the bank’s access to capital at a competitive cost, ensuring the continued success of key strategic initiatives to stimulate African trade.
It said that Fitch revised the outlook on its Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to positive from stable, highlighting that the upgrade “reflects the bank’s growing importance as the main multilateral development bank (MDB) providing funding to non-sovereign borrowers in Africa.”
It added that the agency further affirmed the bank’s IDR at ‘BBB-,’ its Short-Term IDR at ‘F3’ and its senior unsecured debt at ‘BBB-.’
Fitch observed that “the significant capital increase ($6.5 billion , of which $2.6 billion paid-in) approved by the board of directors in June highlights the increased strategic relevance of the bank for its African shareholders.”
Furthermore, Moody’s affirmed the bank’s ‘Baa1’ rating with a stable outlook, while GCR affirmed Afreximbank’s international scale long-term and short-term issuer ratings of ‘A-’ and ‘A2’, respectively, with the outlook revised to positive from stable.
It said that the agency notes that the positive outlook factors in its expectation “for the status of the bank as one of the most influential Africa focused Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs) to strengthen, cemented by its development impact on the African continent (measured by the loan book) now closing in on the 20 billion dollars mark.”
The bank said that GCR similarly affirmed the international scale long term issuer rating of ‘A-’ on the bank’s five billion dollars Global Medium-Term Note (GMTN) programme, with a positive outlook.
According to it, the strong credit ratings achieved by the bank are vital to its ongoing mandate, enabling access to global financial markets and allowing Afreximbank to access funding at a reasonable cost.
It added that the affirmation of Afreximbank’s investment grade status and the upgraded outlook from Fitch demonstrates the systemic relevance of the bank.
This according to him is demonstrated by its robust resilience through the recent pandemic which resulted in unprecedented economic turbulence.
The bank said that the credit rating agencies also underline the continued confidence in the bank’s ability to deliver attractive financial returns while fulfilling its core mandate of expanding, diversifying and developing African trade.
The President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah said the bank believes in harnessing the power of trade to create jobs, grow prosperity and help Africa reach its full economic potential.
However, to support the vision, the bank must have access to diverse sources of capital at a competitive cost.
“The strong ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and GCR help ensure this access remains open, enabling us to continue driving our mandate at a time when African nations most need our support.
“Management of the bank has ensured it is resilient to challenges and ready to capitalise on the rich potential offered by our continent.
“The ratings demonstrate confidence in this approach and will help energise our plans as we work to support a new era for African trade.”
NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers
…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event
By Seun Ibiyemi
It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.
With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”
Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”
On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.
In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.
LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.
Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.
Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.
She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.
She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.
“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.
Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.
According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.
Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.
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