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CBN Expects 1m Tonnes Of Rice From Niger State  

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One million tonnes of rice are being expected from the cluster of rice farms from Niger State courtesy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiated Anchor Borrowers’ Programme across Niger State.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Thursday, October 27, 2016 during the inspection of rice farms in Doko in Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State.

Mr. Emefiele also disclosed that over 14,000 farmers in Niger State have benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, with about N2 billion already disbursed from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).

Speaking further, he said that the enhanced funding for agriculture, through the ABP, was in line with the Bank’s resolve to achieve a strong and sustainable agriculture with integrated value chains.

The CBN Governor, alongside the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, thereafter inspected the 7 hectares of the Batch A1 rice plantation in Santi Village in Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State.

In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Ogbeh expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s satisfaction and commended the farmers for contributing to efforts aimed at ensuring food security for the country.

Ogbeh also assured the farmers of mechanized system of production, as Government plans to provide them with harvesters and millers, even as he expressed optimism that the planned installation of state-of-the-art harvesters and millers would lead to increased production of rice in the country.

Continuing, the Minister added that, given the increased rice production across the country, Government would soon stop the importation of rice into Nigeria. He also promised a solar-powered irrigation system to ensure an all-year-round farming activity, urging the farmers to embrace shifting cultivation to ensure the restoration of depleted soil nutrients.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Development Finance, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, said the topography in the state was conducive for the cultivation of other grains or seeds such as Millet, guinea-corn, Sorghum and cotton, noting that Niger State would soon be competing with Kebbi State in view of the volume of metric tonnes of rice being expected from the harvest.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Farmers’ Cooperative in Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the State Government and the CBN, for assisting the teeming farmers in the state.

While citing lack of mechanization and irrigation for dry season farming, as some of the challenges faced by the farmers, he urged the farmers to remain focused and committed to rice production, as Government, through the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, was poised to address the issue of local agriculture production in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 launched the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Kebbi State.  The flag-off of the ABP programme had since been replicated in 14 States of Adamawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara for rice and wheat farmers.

The ABP is aimed at advancing the status of small holders to commercial farmers, thereby achieving the trio objective of stimulating the needed capacity to meet the nation’s increasing food needs, creating millions of jobs and lifting thousands of small holder farmers out of poverty as well as easing the excessive pressure on scarce foreign exchange for food importation.

 

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Flux Panda Brings Live Stream Shopping to MENA Region

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Flux Panda Founder, Alexander Rauser

In response to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Flux Panda was created to encourage businesses in the Middle East and North African region to utilize live streaming platforms to sell their products. The App combines the functionalities of an eCommerce website and live streaming app. Merchants upload the products they want to sell during the live stream, connect Flux Panda to multiple social media platforms with live streaming like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, and their customers can buy the products by clicking the buy button and entering their payment details.

“Our goal is to make the selling and buying process on live streams much easier and enable any business to own the experience. While many small and large businesses are already selling live on social networks, our solution fixes some key problems such as order management, real-time inventory, and customization capabilities. You could say we are similar to a platform like Shopify, but focused on live commerce.” says Alexander Rauser, Founder and CEO of Flux Panda.

The App offers a flexible pricing model to cater to small businesses, eCommerce companies, and even large retail brands. Currently, the Flux Panda partner network covers South East Asia, Central America, Africa and the Middle East with further expansion plans in 2021.

According to research by Coresight, live selling generated $60 billion in global sales in 2019 and expectedly doubled in 2020 to $129 billion. Live selling has been popular in Asia for many years, even before the pandemic hit. The largest western fashion brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton have already tried live stream eCommerce through China’s biggest marketplaces like Tmall and Little Red Book.

About Flux Panda

Flux Panda is a live selling solution established in 2020. It combines the functionalities of a multi-platform live streaming tool and an eCommerce website so viewers can view the details, add to cart, and pay for the items being demonstrated. It is the only solution where merchants can sign up and go live without any assistance or setup fees. It can be used by merchants with or without their own eCommerce site.

 

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aYo Uganda delivers value through pandemic

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Microinsurer aYo Uganda has underlined its commitment to the economic wellbeing of its customers in the country by paying out more than UGX 760 Million Shillings in 2020, through the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company offers Hospitalisation and Life Insurance Cover through its two insurance products, ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’. Commenting on the company’s performance, the CEO of aYo Uganda, Allan Lwanga, said consumer anxieties around Covid and its related economic challenges had heightened awareness of the need for protection and help in the event of either loss of life or hospitalisation.

“Despite the challenges brought about by the containment measures and an uncertain pathway of the pandemic including over three months of lockdown, the company was able to onboard up to 1 million new customers for the Recharge with Care product, and over 200 000 new customers for Send with Care products,” said Mr Lwanga.

Microinsurance is seen as a powerful enabler of financial inclusion in African markets, providing a much-needed social safety net that helps vulnerable people and particularly people with low incomes to stay afloat when the unexpected happens. This is particularly important in a developing country such as Uganda, where lower income households and informal traders have been hard-hit by the pandemic, as it has reduced their ability to generate an income.

aYo Uganda’s ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’ products cater for all MTN subscribers. aYo Recharge with Care offers life and hospital insurance cover every time customers recharge their MTN airtime. Subscribers can sign up by dialling *296# on their mobile phones, and use the same process for filing claims. Valid claims are paid directly to the claimant’s mobile money wallet without any hassle. With Send with Care, aYo provides up to triple the amounts that customers have sent via MTN Mobile Money over the previous four months. Life cover pays out to their family in the event of their passing, and hospital cover pays straight into their MTN Mobile Money account if they spend one night or more in hospital due to an accident or illness. When customers send money, they simply select aYo Send with Care when prompted*, or dial *165*1*4#.

 

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CEO Corner

African Bank Appoints Kennedy Bungane, CEO

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African Bank New CEO, Kennedy Bungane (Press Release & Image: African Bank)

African Bank (“Board”) announces the appointment of Mr. Kennedy Bungane as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and as an executive director of the Bank and its holding company, African Bank Holdings Limited (“ABH”) effective 14 April 2021. The Bank confirms that the appointment of Kennedy was done in accordance with African Bank’s policy on the selection and nomination of executive directors, and in order to fill a vacancy as well as add to the skillset on the Board.

Kennedy brings over 20 years of banking experience with him, having started his career at Standard Bank in 1991, holding a number of senior positions, including Head of Global Markets Sales, Head of Institutional and Corporate Banking, CEO Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank South Africa, and a member of the Standard Bank Group Executive Committee. After joining Barclays Africa in 2012 as Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Limited and Head of Absa Group strategy, Kennedy led the sale of Barclays Africa Limited to the ABSA Group. More recently, Kennedy headed up the Phembani Group as its CEO. He also brings investment and strategic experience gained as the founder and chairman of Nokeng Telecoms and chairman of Idwala Capital.

Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Master of Business Administration, and completed the advanced management program at the Harvard Business School (USA).

Commenting on Kennedy’s appointment, the Chairman of the Board, Thabo Dloti, stated, “We welcome the appointment of Kennedy as the new permanent CEO. Kennedy has a keen sense for managing complex stakeholder issues. He has a proven track record in identifying and nurturing leadership, which promotes strong teams to deliver successful results. His passion for the role that banking can play in transforming society resonated strongly with the Board.

As an experienced banker, he also critically has a good grasp of the strategic challenges facing the Bank, within a muted South African economy and competitive landscape, as well as the required regulatory and governance framework.

 

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