The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has emerged the Chairperson, Board of Governors of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun’s emergence came at the end of the 15th Ordinary Meeting of the board of governors of the bank in Abuja.
She succeeds her counterpart from the Republic of Niger, Hassoumi Massoudou.
At the opening session of the meeting, Mrs. Adeosun proffered ways the 15-member countries of ECOWAS could promote regional integration and inclusive development in the sub-region.
These include embracing a new development model that promotes inclusive economic growth; radical economic transformation to better the lives of all citizens in the region, and prioritising industrialisation, especially through labour intensive manufacturing to promote job creation for citizens.
Others include conscious emphasis on agriculture to improve food security; boosting the ocean economy in the region and deliberate effort to promote regional integration among member countries.
The meeting, which was declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was attended by the ministers of finance and members of the board of the banks from Benin, Burkina Faso, Capo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Mrs. Adeosun noted that past economic growth in the region was not inclusive and called for a new model that would ensure opportunities are shared and enjoyed by more citizens.
The minister, who observed that the ECOWAS’ vision for economic development was facing challenges, said the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the various issues and come to a consensus on the way forward.
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun urged her counterparts in the region to endeavour to speak about radical economic transformation of their economies to guarantee better life for all citizens in the region.
Mrs. Adeosun used the occasion to underscore the significance of finance, arguing that for the region to realise its vision, member countries would need to mobilise appropriate domestic and external financial resources to support EBID and strengthen developmental partnerships and collaborations.
The EBID is a financial institution established by member states of the ECOWAS with headquarters in Lome, Togolese Republic.
The Bank was established to promote private sector and development of the public sector and contribute to the economic development of West Africa through the financing of projects and programmes, particularly those related to transport, energy, telecommunications, industry, poverty alleviation, the environment and natural resources.
Brand Finance has named Nigeria’s most valuable companies.
Dangote Group emerged as Nigeria’s most valuable brand with a brand value of US$491 million.
Nigerian Breweries came in as Nigeria’s strongest brand with a brand strength rating of AA+ and a brand value of US$78million.
The ICT sector saw its brand value grow by 63%. Tranzact emerged as the fastest growing brand, up 65% to US$17 million. Glo mobile is the most valuable telecommunications brand, value that US$427 million, up 62% from last year.
The Banking sector made up 48% of the Brand Finance list this year with the sector’s overall brand value growing at six percent year on year. First Bank of Nigeria has consecutively been the most valuable banking brand, valued at US$301 million.
The Oil and Gas brands, which comprise 20% of the overall brand value, experienced a decline in sector brand value this year. Oando was an exception; its brand value did not see a change this year. Despite the waning brand value of the sector as a whole, Seplat’s brand value enjoyed a 10% increase to US$90 million, confirming it as the most valuable Oil and Gas brand. The decline in the sector’s brand value is attributable to the decline in oil output and prices, which has increased discount rates.
According to Babatunde Odumeru, Managing Director, Brand Finance Nigeria,
“The fact that both the strongest and most valuable brands came from the manufacturing sector is re-assuring. This somewhat dispels the notion of how undiversified our economy really is. This is something to build upon. The government’s effort towards diversifying the economy should be complimented with a drive to develop corporate Nigeria’s capability of building strong and global brands. This is absolutely crucial in successfully implementing the policy of wealth creation we seem to have embarked on.”
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand and branded business valuation consultancy, with offices in over 25 countries, providing clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands.
Cellulant and its e-wallet AgriKore has been engaged by the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock, in Afghanistan, to commence the process of establishing a market-based input distribution technology for it.
The collaborative effort is aimed at bolstering Afghanistan’s drive for self-sufficiency in wheat production. Afghanistan will be the first country in Asia to adopt the e-wallet system, following the footsteps of countries like Liberia and Togo.
Beyond its benefits to Afghan, the development is a testimony of Nigerians innovation and creativity in providing IT solutions not only for the Nigerian market but also for export.
Speaking on the partnership with the Afghan Government, the Co- founder, Cellulant Corporation, Bolaji Akinboro, said the technology originating from Nigeria, “is a gift from Cellulant to humanity.”
‘‘Afghanistan is beautiful to us, and we are glad to come all the way from Africa, Nigeria to make life better for the smallholder farmer in Afghanistan,” he stated.
According to him, the AgriKore technology gives smallholder farmers access to agricultural inputs of improved varieties/breeds, fertiliser and agro-chemicals, making it the backbone of increased productivity and profitability.
“This technology allows the best available seeds and fertiliser get into the hands of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers to raise crop yields,” he said.
Bolaji Akinboro appreciated the government and the people of Afghanistan for giving the company the opportunity, and the space to participate in making life better for smallholder farmers. He explained:
“Cellulant is driven to solve difficult problems on use of payment technology. We will work with the government of Afghanistan to get inputs to one million farmers in the next 90 to 120 days.
This e-wallet system, which works on a block chain technology, provides a holistic system to link the farmers to agricultural inputs supply chain, finance and markets through integration with mobile network operators, input markets, extensions services, financial service providers, commodity market, and insurance service providers.
So far, Cellulant’s e-wallet or AgriKore ecosystem, which connects everyone to everything in agriculture all the time, has been of benefits to 17 million farmers, 2500 agri-businesses; 800 e-extension workers and over 2,500 service points in Nigeria. This technology enables more than five million farmers to get access to high quality inputs every year.”
The e-wallet system was conceived in Nigeria, and was first implemented during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration under former Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who is currently the President, African Development Bank (AfDB).