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Experts, Stakeholders to Discuss Climate Finance at CAAF24 Webinar

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Climate Action Africa (CAA) announces the launch of the CAAF24 pre-event Webinar focusing on Climate Finance in Africa. Open for registration, the webinar will convene a diverse group of experts and stakeholders on February 29.

The virtual event hosted on LinkedIn from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM WAT (UTC+1) will explore the successes and challenges of climate finance in Africa, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Moderators bringing diverse perspectives include Collins Otieno, Climate Change Policy & Development Practitioner and Lead, Climate Finance and Innovations (VCA), Hivos; Sandra Guzmán Luna, Low Carbon Development & Climate Finance Specialist and Founder, GFLAC; Otito Nwaigwe-Chukwu, ESG Consultant & Climate Finance Specialist, Senior Consultant, EarnMore Consultants and Luke Moore, Climate Finance, Adaptation, and Programme Design Specialist, Associate, Zest Associates.

Africa faces a crucial turning point. Despite abundant renewable energy resources and a vibrant young population, climate ambitions are hampered by a funding gap. To achieve the 1.5°C global warming target, Africa requires USD 2.8 trillion in climate finance by 2030. Current flows fall short, hindering progress towards development goals.

Grace Oluchi Mbah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CAA, states: “Africa stands at the crossroads of climate action and development. While rich in renewable energy resources and youthful population, it grapples with climate change and socio-economic challenges.”

The CAAF24 Pre-Event Webinar fosters critical dialogue and collaboration. Attendees will gain valuable insights from data-driven presentations offering a comprehensive overview of the African climate finance landscape, expert panel discussions featuring project leaders, policymakers, and finance specialists sharing real-world case studies and practical recommendations. Finally, there will be an engaging Q&A session that will provide an opportunity to interact with the esteemed panelists and delve deeper into key issues.

With the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) due in 2025, this webinar arrives at a critical moment. By fostering knowledge sharing, collaboration, and action, it aims to equip stakeholders with the tools and strategies needed to mobilize resources and bridge the climate finance gap, build capacity and expertise across the continent and secure a climate-smart future for Africa and its people.


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Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the distribution of seized food items across the country, following a mandate from the federal government, in a bid to alleviate the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Customs Says No NIN, No Food as FG Begins Distribution of Seized Food Items

Beneficiaries would be required to provide a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to access the assistance.

Wale Adeniyi, customs comptroller-general, announced the initiative during a flag-off event in Lagos, highlighting the collaboration with other agencies to ensure direct distribution to those in need.

The distribution targets various segments of the population, including artisans, teachers, and religious organizations, with an emphasis on reducing food prices.

Adeniyi assured the public of the safety of the distributed rice, certified by NAFDAC, and outlined measures to prevent misuse or diversion.

The operation addresses food hoarding and smuggling, contributing to the government’s broader strategy to stabilize food prices and enhance national food security.

 

 

 


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Access Bank, FG Partner to Provide N50bn Funding for MSMEs

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Access Bank has said that it will be working with the Office of the Vice President to provide N50 billion as soft loans and grants to four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country.

Chioma Ogwo, Head, Emerging Businesses at Access Bank Plc, disclosed this at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogwo said the initiative was aimed at empowering businesses in Nigeria, by building their capacities and providing them with financial support.

According to her, 4 million MSMEs are expected to be empowered every year for four years, with 70,000 having access to finance while 300,000 will receive training.

She also mentioned that as part of the initiative, selected SMEs will have the chance to travel overseas and observe how businesses operate in other nations through its Business Exchange Programme.

Ogwo said: “So, this initiative, called the Youth Thrive by Access, is focused on MSMEs and we are looking at empowering them. There are different ways in which we are going to empower them. We are going to empower them by building their capacity and giving them access to affordable finance.

“We are going to build their capacities in different ways. There is going to be digital, technical, and also, skill acquisition training. With regards to finance, we are going to be giving them loans, and we are also going to be giving them grants.

“The grants are free. They are not paying us back. But, we are only giving grants to deserving SMEs who have done very well and there are price ranges for different categories.

“So, we have earmarked 50 billion for this intervention. For the first year, we will look at it and then will would review it”

While praising Access Bank for the initiative, Mr. Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, stated that the objective was to remove obstacles to MSMEs’ loan access and to secure lower interest rates for them.

Johnson added that after evaluating the initiative’s effectiveness, the federal government would then consider whether to expand the funding.

According to him, “What we are trying to achieve is to be able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for the SMEs. We want businesses to be able to apply for funding and be sure that in the worst case, in 14 days, you have the funds that you need for your business.

“We do not want businesses to apply for loans and be waiting for disbursement in six weeks. Some of these businesses can fold up within those months. So, what we want, and what they have promised us, which we know they have the capacity to deliver on, is that this disbursements will be quick after the loan assessments are processed, so that we will help reduce the bottlenecks of MSMEs running from pillar to looking for funding.”


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MoneyMaster PSB Records Increase in Customer Base

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank, promoted and backed by digital services company Globacom has continued to witness tremendous increase in its customer base since it commenced operations.

The PSB which launched commercial operations in May 2022 in order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria is focused on the unbanked and under-banked in the country.

The number of customers has been on increase with majority of them attracted by the bank’s digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking which allow them to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and perform other services hitch free.

The PSB has also embarked several innovations, with new services introduced in recent times for the benefit of its customers across the country.

These developments, industry sources said propelled Nigerians to join the bank in order to enjoy series of top – notch financial services and also conduct their banking transactions assurance promptly.

The sources disclosed further that “There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and that the number is growing on a daily basis.

“Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc”.

The PSB is also retooling and reengineering its operation with several new initiatives to be unveiled soon for better customer experience, thus assuring them of exciting times ahead.


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