Agriculture accounts 15% of our loans portfolio-Sterling Bank CEO
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman has said Agriculture accounts for 15% of the bank’s portfolio.
Fidel Info reports that he said the bank is ready and willing to invest more in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, having invested more than N100 billion so far.
The CEO stated this in his closing remarks at the Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2022 themed: “Engineering a Trillion Dollar Agricultural Economy,” which held recently both physically and virtually with more than 10,000 attendees from across the world.
Agriculture is one of the five sectors of the economy that the bank has focused its investments since 2018 as part of her HEART (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation) of Sterling strategy. The others are health, education, transportation, and renewable energy.
Suleiman remarked that apart from the Bank of Agriculture, there was no other financial institution that has committed its resources to agricultural financing like Sterling Bank.
“When we started the journey about five years ago, we were very clear in our minds that we did not just want to make it a talk show and we have been changing the focus of the conversation from moving away from identifying problems to providing solutions and now we are bringing stakeholders together in a bid to effectively move the conversation forward with action.
“We started it because we wanted to focus on agricultural financing where there was a significant gap. Every time we meet a stakeholder or a regulator, we noticed a different perspective of what the problem was and therefore it became clear to us that if we do not bring all the stakeholders together to harmonise their views and understanding, we will continue to remain in the dark” he said.
The CEO mentioned that the summit became imperative as part of the global conversation on food security due to the consequences of global trade which was so obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a global disruption in the supply chain.
“So, this conversation about food security in Africa is one that we will continue to sponsor because of its existential purpose which is about leveraging our competitive advantage” he said.
Mobile subscriptions shrink by three million
Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions shrank by 3.49 million mobile subscriptions in the last three months, leaving a dent in the country’s march toward mobile inclusion for all.
Since mobile subscriptions hit an all-time high of 226.84 million in February of this year, it has been on a steady decline.
It first fell to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million, according to new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. This is also the first time since June 2021 that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.
In 2020 and 2021, a Federal Government policy to link SIMs to National Identification Numbers affected the mobile industry and caused a steep decline in mobile subscriptions. Since then, subscriptions have improved, and risen to record highs.
MTN Nigeria is the only telecommunication firm to have lost mobile subscriptions in the period under review, losing 4.03 million (from 92.71 million to 88.68 million), while retaining its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.
Other telcos had better fortunes, with Globacom marginally growing by 172,867 from 60.76 million to 60.93 million; Airtel added 31,705 new subscriptions and grew from 60.30 million to 60.33 million; and 9mobile witnessed the largest growth, adding 330,003 new subscriptions to hit 13.40 million from 13.07 million in the period under review.
Within the three months, teledensity (the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area) fell to 117.17 per cent in April from 119.01 per cent in February.
In MTN’s first quarter report, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, noted that global macroeconomic factors, inflation, and cash shortages, among others, were affecting its consumers.
He said, “We continued to experience headwinds in our operating environment in the first quarter of 2023. The impacts of the ongoing global macroeconomic and geopolitical developments on energy, food, and general inflation were exacerbated locally by petrol and cash shortages experienced during the period. This placed additional pressure on economic activity, consumers, and businesses.”
Nigeria’s mobile population is the largest in Africa and the prior steady growth in the number of mobile subscriptions had been attributed to increased productivity and efficiency in other sectors
BREAKING: “Fuel Subsidy Is Gone” – Tinubu Declares After Inauguration
President Bola Tinubu has declared that fuel subsidy is now a thing of the past under his administration.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the president made the declaration during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square on Monday.
Furthermore, President Tinubu vowed to address concerns regarding multiple taxations, a move aimed at stimulating the economy and attracting investments.
Setting ambitious targets, the president articulated his administration’s goal of achieving a minimum Gross Domestic Profit growth rate of 6%.
Radiating unwavering confidence in the Nigerian people, Tinubu pledged to embrace the sacred mandate bestowed upon him, underscoring the nation’s exceptionalism and indomitable resolve to fulfil its destined path.
Despite enduring formidable challenges that would have tested the mettle of any nation, Tinubu extolled Nigeria’s resilience and urged the preservation and advancement of the progress made by preceding generations.
“We must never allow the sacrifices of our predecessors to be in vain,” affirmed Tinubu. “Instead, let us nurture their legacy and strive to forge a brighter and more prosperous reality for our beloved nation.”
Shettima reveals two decisions Tinubu will make when he becomes president
The vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima, has said removing petrol subsidy and removing multiple exchange rate systems are two challenges that will pose an initial challenge to the incoming administration.
Shettima stated this while speaking at the public lecture and Juma’at prayer on Friday held at the National Mosque in Abuja.
He warned that the take-off point of Bola Tinubu’s administration might be rough.
“Be rest assured that in the fullness of time, Nigeria will pay glowing tributes to us. The starting point might not be rosy, let me be very honest with you.
“Oil subsidy is an albatross on our neck, the multiple exchange rate system is a drain on the national economy.
“There are certain decisions the president-elect will take, but in the fullness of time, Nigerians will not only appreciate, but also celebrate us,” Shettima said
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