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Nigeria’s foreign debt hits $22bn

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The country’s foreign and domestic debts stood at $22.08bn and N15.63tn, respectively at the end of the second quarter of this year, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Figures from the NBS obtained by our correspondent on Thursday revealed that Lagos State had the largest share of the foreign and local debts among the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NBS stated, “The Nigerian states and federal debt stock data as of 30th of June, 2018 reflected that the country’s foreign and domestic debts stood at $22.08bn and N15.63tn, respectively. Further disaggregation of Nigeria’s foreign debt showed that $10.88bn of the debt was multilateral; $274.98m was bilateral (AFD) and another $2.12bn bilateral from the Exim Bank of China, JICA, India and KFW, while $8.80bn was commercial.

“Lagos State has the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the FCT, accounting for 34.17 per cent, while Edo (6.57 per cent), Kaduna (5.48 per cent), Cross River (4.56 per cent) and Bauchi (3.18 per cent), followed closely.

“Similarly, the total domestic debt was N3.48tn, with Lagos State accounting for 14.88 per cent of the total domestic debt stock, while Anambra State has the least debt in this category with a contribution of 0.08 per cent to the total domestic debt stock.”

On the domestic debt stock of the states and the FCT, the NBS data revealed that Lagos owed N517.367bn; Delta, N222.680bn; Akwa Ibom, N179.714bn; while Kaduna had N75.606bn.

The statistics also revealed that Abia owed N57.467bn; Adamawa, N67.460bn; Anambra, N2.612bn; Bauchi, N78.076bn; and Bayelsa, N123.031bn.

The NBS statistics further revealed that the Federal Government’s domestic debt stock totalled N12.151tn during the period under review.

A breakdown of the figure showed that FGN Bonds amounted to N8.927tn or 73.47 per cent; Nigerian Treasury Bills totalled N2.953tn or 24.31 per cent; Nigerian Treasury Bonds, N150.988bn or 1.24 per cent; while the FGN Savings Bond was N8.521bn or 0.07 per cent.

Others are FGN Sukuk of N100bn or 0.82 per cent and FGN Green Bond of N10.690bn or 0.09 per cent.

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Dangote new cement, best for all seasons – Moulders

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Block Moulders Association of Nigeria last weekend described Dangote Cement’s new product; BlocMaster as the best cement for all seasons.
The new product, according to the Chairman of the Block moulders in Suleja, Niger State, Chief Patrick Markuche dries faster even during the raining season and it has more yields, translating to more profits for his members. He described it as the best, in terms of quality to have come from the company since inception.
Emphatically, he said the new innovative cement from Dangote has helped improved his members’ revenue as he was able to deliver cement to customer with few days of molding them, despite the rain. He said he has personally tested the product, even in the rain and he was happy to highly recommend it to all and sundry. He also revealed that members of his association have passed a vote of confidence on Dangote Cement as a company and on BlockMaster as the best cement for block moulding and other building purposes.
According to him: “This is the best product from Dangote so far. We have tested it and we are very happy with the result gotten so far. Even in the rain, this cement is the best for the purpose.”

Markuche further said the cement has helped improved his revenue as he was able to deliver cement to customer within few days of molding them.

A major cement distributor Alhaji Mukhtar Moriki of Albabelo company said block makers now demand for more as they are able to deliver to their customers few days after moulding.

Dangote’s National Sales and Distribution Director Adeyemi Fajobi said the new cement is the King of cement, and a product of innovation.

“Our customers, and key distributors are happy because of the strength and quality of this product. It is also very affordable and it gives them far more yields than all other cements in the market… it is currently the highest grade of cement in Nigeria. It is by far the strongest cement, bagged in the Nigerian market…this cement is 50 per cent stronger after one day and up to 15 per cent stronger after 28 days when the cement finally sets, so that explains the excitement displayed by our retailers and key distributors across the country.”

Noting that there are other brands of cement, even from the company, the Director, Route to the Market, Funmi Sanni, said the BlocMaster quality has been certified as the best by regulatory agencies in the country including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

She said: “It is the king of cement because it is the best quality cement in Nigeria today, based on the laboratory research which shows it is of high quality in terms of value for money. Enjoining builders and block boulders to patronise the new product, Sanni said the product dries fast after moulding into bricks and also that: “When you mould blocks with BlocMaster and it is raining, you don’t have anything to worry about,” She further explained that the cement can be used to build houses without painting, as it comes out in good dark colour as well as being weather friendly.

Fajobi also said: “BlocMaster is a product of years of research, it is of high quality and it will give users value for money by eliminating loss, it is their response to growing demands by stakeholders, bringing the total products of Dangote Industries Limited to four.

He assured that the new product will not disappoint as it can withstand weather elements including rains, adding, “This BlocMaster cement, which is the best for all block and concrete works, is a product of years of research, as testimony abound of its high quality in parts of the country, where it has been in use”

Retailers and distributors who spoke at the event however commended Dangote for the innovation, but urged the company to maintain an efficient distribution system that will ensure that the product is readily available whenever consumers request for it.

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Afrexim Bank, Heirs Holdings sign $600m facility to increase energy investments

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) and Heirs Holdings have signed a $600 million financing facility to help increase the energy investments made across Africa.

At present, Heirs Holdings has investments across Africa in financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors.

Both entities signed the agreement on Tuesday at the ongoing Intra-Africa Trade Fair holding in Cairo, Egypt.

“The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource-based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer,” a statement by Heirs Holdings read.

Commenting at the ceremony, Benedict Oramah, Afrexim president who signed on behalf of the bank, said that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa.

“A world-class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited.”

Tony Elumelu, Heirs Holdings chairman, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world-class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential.”

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Diamond bank partners Facebook to support young entrepreneurs

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Diamond bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook and Affrinolly is set to project Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to the digital world.

Addressing journalists, Area Manager, Ikeja branch of Diamond Bank Plz, Chigozie Onyecha, said that, Diamond bank believes in small and medium enterprises.

He said that it was the reason, the bank in partnership with the named firms is embarking on digital marketing training for entrepreneurs particularly in the entertainment industry.

According to him, the aim is to help individuals with feasible and viable initiatives to reach out to the global space by providing an online platform for networking, financial aid, advisory, business clinics workshop and technical know-how.

“We are poised to boost talents in young people provided their initiatives are bankable” he stated.
Speaking for Facebook, the creator trainer, Ewonro Amune, for Afrinolly, said facebook America and its partners are working to help small and medium entrepreneurs to do their businesses online.

According to him “we want them to leverage on the social media tools to boost and enhance their performance, build community and make profit”

Ewonro further stressed that facebook is offering business owners knowledge by showing them ways businesses ought to be done in the 21st century, adding that, it’s like showing people how to fish instead of giving them fish.

“It’s up to creators to harness their potential by keying into the Data world because Data is the new oil to explore the world and any entrepreneur who is not in the Data world is playing. So Facebook is offering a lot of incentives for Nigerians, all they need is to show themselves approved” he added.

Meanwhile the Executive Director, Legal & external networks, for Afrinolly, Jane Maduegbuna, said Afrinolly with its partners are helping young people to identify and position their brand identity, saying that the training is geared to make entrepreneurs monetize their products.

“we want to bring at least 300 viable ideas to the fore and we expect them to explore the digital world to market their businesses.

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