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Shippers’ Council hosts 9th African Shippers’ Day

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The nation’s Port Economic Regulator, Nigerian Shippers’ Council in collaboration with Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) will hold the 9th edition of African Shippers’ Day in Lagos from Monday 16th January 2023 to Wednesday 18th January, 2023 at Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The programme, with the theme “African Continental Free Trade Agreement: A Veritable Platform for African Shippers to Mainstream into Global Trade,” will be declared open by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR while  the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’Azu Jaji Sambo,   is the Chief host.

The Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Mr. Wamkele Mene is expected to make a presentation on the topic “AfCFTA: Vehicle for Africa’s Economic Growth & Development.”

Other speakers are the Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN), Mrs. Olubunmi Osuntuyi who will speak on “The Role of INCOTERMS 2020 in the Implementation  of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)” and  Manager, Trade Finance, Mr Nwachukwwu Remigus African Export-Import Bank will make a presentation speak on “Payment Systems in International Trade.”

The African Shippers’ Day is primarily aimed at creating a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences amongst shippers’ organisations in the West and Central African Sub-regions, discussions on issues that will improve maritime trade, and disseminating information on the role of Shippers’ Councils and UASC.

The event will be attended by member countries of the Union of African Shippers’ Councils as well as other countries maintaining associate status with the Union, Shippers and maritime stakeholders.

Recall that Ghana hosted the 8th edition of African Shippers’ Day in 2021.

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FG to provide solar subsidy in Nigeria through $750m World Bank loan

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The federal government plans to provide subsidy to developers and operators of solar mini-grids in unserved and underserved areas in the country.

The subsidy will be provided through a World Bank approved loan of $750 million under the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project.

This was disclosed in the financing agreement for the loan project.

The financing agreement for the loan was signed by the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, on March 31, 2024, and World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, on February 19, 2024.

The loan project is fundamentally aimed at augmenting the supply of electricity to both households and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through a surge in private sector-led distributed renewable energy initiatives.

The document noted that the loan will be partly used to provide “Support to the development and operation of privately owned and operated solar hybrid mini grids in unserved and underserved areas through: 1.1. Minimum Subsidy Tender Carrying out of Minimum Subsidy Tender processes and provision of Minimum Capital Cost Subsidies to selected developers/operators of: (a) Isolated mini grids; (b) Interconnected mini grids; or (c) Solar rooftop solutions in Participating States.”

Asides from providing subsidy, the federal government plans to also provide performance-based grants.

The document noted that there will be “Provision of Performance-Based Grants to eligible mini grid operators based on new customer connections for isolated mini grids and percentage of capital expenditures for interconnected mini grid projects.”

The grant will also cover Standalone Solar (SAS) Systems for Households, MSMEs, and Agribusinesses. This grant will provide “Support to the expansion of SAS systems for households, MSMEs, and agribusinesses in rural areas through: 2.1. Performance Based Grants for Standalone Solar Provision of Performance Based Grants (‘PBGs’) to eligible companies to rapidly deploy SAS solutions in rural and underserved areas, through supply and demand side support and based on independently verified outputs, and to support deployment of solar productive use of electricity (PUE) equipment to MSMEs, agribusinesses and commercial customers.”

There will also be “Catalytic Grants Provision of Catalytic Grants, on a matching basis, to eligible SAS companies that target the poor, remote, or hardest to reach consumers in the country.”

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IMF charges banks to guide against cyber attacks

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…As hackers make off with $12bn

Following reports that cyber thieves stole $12bn from global financial institutions in the last 20 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Central Banks across the globe and financial institutions to strengthen resilience in the financial sector by developing an adequate national cybersecurity strategy accompanied by effective regulation and supervisory capacity.

This was contained in the April 2024 Rising Cyber Threats Pose Serious Concerns for Financial Stability report released by The Bretton Wood institution.

The report noted that greater digitalization and heightened geopolitical tensions imply that the risk of a cyberattack with systemic consequences has risen

The fund expressed concern that the rising incidents of cyberattacks on financial institutions globally could affect confidence in the financial system and destabilise economies while expressing worries that cyberattacks have more than doubled since the pandemic.

“Financial firms have reported significant direct losses, totaling almost $12 billion since 2004 and $2.5 billion since 2020,” the IMF stated.

According to the body, financial firms, given the large amounts of sensitive data and transactions they handle, are often targeted by criminals seeking to steal money or disrupt economic activity.

“Attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed. Incidents in the financial sector could threaten financial and economic stability if they erode confidence in the financial system, disrupt critical services, or cause spillovers to other institutions.

“Cyber incidents that disrupt critical services like payment networks could also severely affect economic activity. For example, a December attack at the Central Bank of Lesotho disrupted the national payment system, preventing transactions by domestic banks,” IMF stated.

As part of measures proposed to guide against the attacks, the fund called for the periodic assessment of the cybersecurity landscape and identifying potential systemic risks from interconnectedness and concentrations, including from third-party service providers.

It further called for the encouragement of cyber “maturity” among financial sector firms, including board-level access to cybersecurity expertise, as supported by the chapter’s analysis which suggests that better cyber-related governance may reduce cyber risk.

Improving cyber hygiene of firms—that is, their online security and system health (such as antimalware and multifactor authentication)—and training and awareness.

Prioritising data reporting and collection of cyber incidents, and sharing information among financial sector participants to enhance their collective preparedness.

Noting that attacks often emanate from outside a financial firm’s home country and proceeds can be routed across borders, the IMF said international cooperation has also become imperative to address cyber risk successfully.

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Keyamo reacts as Gatwick Airport posts Air Peace inaugural London flight

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The Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has reacted to the post made by Gatwick Airport on the inaugural London flight of Nigerian carrier Air Peace.

There had been several reactions since the airport failed to post the inaugural flight of the airline sparking various reactions.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Keyamo said, “Finally! Thank you @Gatwick_Airport. We expected this on the first day of the arrival of one of our most important local airlines @flyairpeace, but better late than never. We look forward to working with you to ensure seamless operations by @flyairpeace from your airport. The Government of Nigeria fully supports our local operators.”

In its congratulatory message, the Airline wrote: “Exciting news! We recently welcomed Nigerian carrier @flyairpeace to the London Gatwick family, flying daily to Lagos.

“Perfect for reconnecting with friends and loved ones or for business travellers, embark on your next journey from London Gatwick to Lagos with Air Peace. Book your flights today: gatwk.uk/3Jb1Slu.

“And doesn’t the livery look great on the aircraft as it came under our Pier 6 bridge on its first arrival?! Big thank you to lgw.luke on Instagram for this fantastic video!”

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