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MTN signs N200bn medium term loan facility with 12 banks

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MTN Nigeria yesterday, signed a seven-year N200 billion medium term loan facility with a consortium of 12 banks.
The loan agreement, which was formally signed in Lagos, will enable MTN to fund its capital expenditure and working capital along with evolving business opportunities.
Speaking at the signing, the Chairman of MTN, Pascal Dozie, said the company has been in the country for 17 years and the experience has been great with different innovations from the company.
Dozie, who was represented by Gbenga Oyebode, stated that MTN would not have been what it is today without the support of the banks, adding that despite pressures the banks face in terms of credit, the company still enjoys their support and “this is commendable”, he said.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, expressed enthusiasm at the completion of the agreement, saying it signposts the firm’s commitment to and confidence in Nigeria and the strength of the strategic collaboration between it and local financial institutions that will help deepen and broaden the provision of ICT services in Nigeria.
“The signing of this loan facility is a major landmark in our expansion programme in which we are making significant investments. The facility will enable us evolve the network to deliver convergent and superior quality, drive voice capacity expansion and data service penetration, maintain optimal capital structure and funding level that support growth and expansion.
“This would make it possible for people to connect to each other across the world, find and share information and ideas, create and access new digital services and reinvent old services. This partnership puts in place infrastructure that empowers commerce, industry and provision of public services,” Moolman said.
He lauded the participating financial institutions for staying committed to MTN, stressing that the loan syndication showcases the strength of the Nigerian financial institutions and their confidence in MTN’s visions, as well as both parties’ ability to stimulate significant economic growth.
The facility is structured with a two-year moratorium and a repayment plan of five years and is denominated in naira. It is provided by a syndicate of banks including Citibank Nigeria, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank Plc and First Bank.
Others are FCMB, FSDH Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA Plc and Union Bank.

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COP28: We are taking action to slash methane emission — World Bank

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The World Bank President, Ajay Banga, says the Bank is taking action to decisively slash methane emissions to help increase agricultural yields and improve health outcomes.

Banga said this in his address at a High-Level Segment Summit on Methane at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, a copy of which was obtained on Sunday.

He said Methane was 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet, making it a major driver of climate change.

“Yet, it is often subjugated to carbon dioxide, receiving less than two per cent of global climate financing. We do this at our peril.

“The good news is not all solutions require a herculean effort or a trillion-dollar price tag. Sometimes, the most impactful changes stem from our willingness to embrace the solutions that are well within our grasp.

“The frontier of methane reduction is one such area where the World Bank believes there are answers at our fingertips.

“That is why the World Bank is taking action, scaling proven and urgently needed strategies that can decisively bend the methane emission curve.”

The president said over the next 18 months, as part of a blueprint for methane reduction, the bank would help inaugurate15 national programmes that aim to slash methane emissions.

Banga said these programmes were built upon successful pilots that delivered transformative results for rice production, livestock operations, and waste management.

He said in Vietnam, rice farmers were embracing new techniques that slash methane emissions, while increasing incomes.

Banga said animal nutrition and breed management in India cut methane emissions and dramatically increased milk production.

“Simply separating organic waste in landfills in Brazil cuts nearly all the methane emissions by diverting it to provide electricity to 200,000 households.

“By deploying proven reduction methods from our blueprint, methane emissions from rice production can be reduced by up to 40 per cent, from livestock by 30 per cent, and waste by 80 per cent. The potential is huge.

“Taken together, this methane reduction blueprint could slash up to 10 million tons of methane.”

He said while these efforts would make considerable progress toward the methane goal, it would not be enough if simple and effective solutions for the emissions from the power sector were not embraced.

“That is why the World Bank has been working with Germany, Norway, the United States, and the UAE alongside the private sector to expand our long-standing efforts to significantly cut methane emissions across the whole energy value chain.”

Banga said in the fight against climate change, too often genuine impact was impeded by intractable challenges, considerable expenses, political challenges, and underdeveloped technologies.

“Methane is one rare, clear area where we know there are low-cost remedies, effective and simple solutions that can be replicated and scaled.

“But hope is not a strategy. We must act, and in doing so we can reduce emissions, enhance agricultural yields, and improve health outcomes all in one go.

“This is one shot that we should not miss,” he said.

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AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.

AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.

N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank,  European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.

The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.

”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.

”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.

”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.

“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.

N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.

“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.

”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.

N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.

“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.

Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.

Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.

”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.” 

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NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu

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The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.

Adepoju gave the assurance while  inaugurating  a new passport office in Igbogbo community in  Ikorodu, Lagos State .

Adepoju said  passports  would now be processed and  issued speedily  provided applicants submit all the required  details in their applications.

She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months  before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.

Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for  providing all that was needed to start  operation in the area.

“I thank the traditional ruler  and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for  ensuring the realisation of this project.

“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive  Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.

“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport  six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by  some countries,” she said.

Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu  said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the  people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of  traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..

Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode,  Commussioner for Home Affairs,  said the role of Immigration in any country could  not be over- emphasised.

He said that the establishment of the  passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration  services in line with global standard.

Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations  at the new   passport front office .

Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was  maintained.

“We will also improve our  security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.

He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents  would no longer have to travel far  to obtain or renew their passports.

“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.

“The council will also improve its  security architecture to provide adequate security  in the area,” he said.

Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of  all the  traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in  his domain.

He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.

Adeboruwa commended  all those who facilitated the establishment of  the passport office in  the community.

“I cannot say  how happy I am today, infact ,this office will  put Igbogbo community in world map.

” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this  a success,especially  the family that donated the land .

“I am glad that Igbogbo  passport office has come to  stay,” he said.

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