Connect with us


President Buhari Hails CACOVID For Donating 350 Security Vehicles



President Buhari Hails CACOVID For Donating 350 Security Vehicles

says Coalition made him proud over Covid-19 response

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As the private sector-led Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) winds down, President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the initiative of private sector operators, saying the contributions he has received from the Coalition so far have elevated his status among other Presidents of the world.

The President, who spoke in Abuja yesterday while receiving a parting donation of N12 billion for security equipment for the Military and the Nigeria Police from the leadership of CACOVID said his government had received so much support from the private sector in addressing social ills in the country.

Items handed over to the President by the Coalition members included 100 Tata 14-ton Troop carriers, 100 Tata 12-ton Troop carriers, 86 Toyota pick-up trucks, 64 Nissan Navara pick-up trucks with their spare parts, 13,000 helmets as well as 13,000 bulletproof vests.

President Buhari Hails CACOVID For Donating 350 Security Vehicles
Left-Right: Leaders of CACOVID, Governor of Central Bank (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; Group Managing Director of Access Holding, Herbert Wigwe; and the Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, (ADF), Alhaji Aliko Dangote making a symbolic presentation of the 130 security vehicles to President Muhammadu Buhari by CACOVID.

It would be recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also rated CACOVID as the third largest contributor in the world to the fight against COVID-19 virus, the outbreak of which in 2020 brought the world to its knees.

An excited President Buhari while thanking the CACOVID on behalf of the Military and the Police said: “Today is indeed a very happy day for all Nigerians, and I can happily say that I am the envy of many Presidents in the world. I am exceedingly honoured to be the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at this time.

“I am gratified to have the honour of leading a country whose private sector willingly galvanises itself to raise funds to enthusiastically support government in resolving social ills. I am proud to say that there is nowhere in the entire world, except in Nigeria, where the private sector has voluntarily come together to assist government efforts.

“Thank you for supporting our Administration’s efforts to strengthen the Police and Military as we face the security challenges that all modern nations face”, Buhari added, noting that such a patriotic gesture was proof that nationalistic determination is still alive in Nigeria, in the face of enormous challenges pervading the world and the country.

President Buhari Hails CACOVID For Donating 350 Security Vehicles
President Mohammadu Buhari and the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Oshibajo in a group photograph with leaders of CACOVID at the State House during the presentation of the 350 security vehicles to President Muhammadu Buhari by CACOVID.

Speaking while handing over the items, Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Aliko Dangote, a foremost industrialist who initiated the Coalition with the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, explained that the Coalition was winding down with the latest donation.

He listed other business leaders brought together under CACOVID including Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Femi Otedola, Adesola Adedotun, Karl Toriola, Haresh Aswani, Raj Gupta, and John Coumantaros, all of who contributed several billions of Naira each and supported the CACOVID effort with advocacy. In all, according to him, over 100 organisations and private individuals contributed to CACOVID.

Mr. Dangote gave reason for the donation saying that as the worst of the Covid crisis waned in Nigeria, the security situation deteriorated, partly due to economic disruptions caused by the shutdown of the global and national economies.

Therefore, to provide additional response support to the Government, the ADF Chairman said CACOVID embarked on another fundraising effort, which enabled it to purchase the items for the Police and the Military.

Recalling the birth of CACOVID, Dangote explained that the Coalition as timely response to the outbreak of the deadly covid-19 virus was borne out of the previous experience with Ebola elsewhere in West Africa, which made him recognise the fact that the potential crisis looming was very serious

“And so together with Herbert Wigwe, we set up CACOVID and drafted our peers in the private sector to join our efforts. The CBN Governor joined our efforts very early and chaired the group. We knew straight away that we had a responsibility to act and support the efforts of Government as quickly as possible to avert disaster”, Dangote noted.

Dangote continued; “In addition to the leadership team, we set up a technical committee to guide our purchasing decisions, which was critical, given the prevailing confusion around testing and treatment options, and the lack of successful models anywhere in the world. Members of that committee included leading Nigerian scientists and public health professionals, the DG of NCDC, DG of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, and representatives of WHO, BMGF, and the UN.

“In addition, a core team of select staff members from our organisations manned the initiative’s operations Centre 7 days a week for several months planning, coordinating, and delivering on the various activities of the coalition.”

President Buhari Hails CACOVID For Donating 350 Security Vehicles
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha (middle) discussed with leaders of the CACOVID at the state House during the presentation of the 350 security vehicles to the Military and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) (2nd left); National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno (left); Group Managing Director, Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe (2nd right) and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele (right)

While enumerating all the support the Coalition has offered the nation in the last two years, Dangote disclosed that the group mobilised its members and raised N62 billion to provide 39 fully kitted isolation centers in all 36 States and FCT; Testing Supplies for almost 1 million tests; Food for 10 million vulnerable individuals across the country; Oxygen and tanks to the most affected states; Support for vaccines delivery and distribution across the Nation; Support to re-open the economy (Travel Portal, IT, airport scanners/PPE and other support) with communications and advocacy campaigns around prevention and against disinformation.

According to Dangote, the donation marks the end of the CACOVID initiative “as we wind down what has been deemed an example of patriotism, solidarity, and efficiency in terms of partnership between the public and private sectors. This is a lesson in the power of collaboration for a worthy cause.

“Thank you to my partners on this CACOVID journey. I would like to especially thank the Presidential Covid-19 team led by SGF Mr. Boss Mustapha for their excellent collaboration.  My gratitude goes to Mr. President for your unwavering support and that of your entire Government.”

Also speaking on the activities of CACOVID, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank Governor, who led the CACOVID Committee told the President he was proud to be part of the Coalition that supported the government in its fight against insecurity.

“I am immensely gratified by what CACOVID has achieved in its few years of existence. The nationalist and patriotic drive of my colleagues therein is unmatched anywhere in the world and must be applauded. The Coalition is a good example of what Nigeria must become:  a nation of patriotic solidarity of individuals and corporations, and effective collaboration of the public and private sectors,” he said.


IFC, Partners Support BUA With $500M Facility To Boost Industrialization, Create Jobs, In Northern Nigeria, Sahel



IFC, Partners Support BUA With $500 Million Facility To Boost Industrialization, Create Jobs, In Northern Nigeria, Sahel

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

IFC on Monday made its largest-ever investment in northern Nigeria, providing a financing package alongside African and European partners to BUA Cement Plc to help the company part-finance and develop two new, energy-efficient cement production lines that will create up to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.


IFC’s $500 million financing package includes a $160.5 million loan from IFC’s own account, a $94.5 million loan through the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP), and $245 million in parallel loans from syndication partners; the African Development Bank (AfDB) – $100 million, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) – $100 million, and the German Investment Corporation, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) – $45 million.


The financing, announced during the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, will allow BUA, Nigeria’s second-largest cement producer, to develop new production lines in northern Nigeria’s Sokoto State. The plants will run partly on alternative fuels derived from waste and solar power. Each will produce about three million tons of cement annually when complete, serving markets in Nigeria, Niger, and Burkina Faso.


Investing in northern Nigeria is integral to IFC’s strategy to promote sustainable development in underserved regions. This includes areas with limited opportunities and a need for increased private-sector engagement. The new plants will provide local developers with a reliable and affordable source of cement, and bolster the construction of essential infrastructure, fostering economic growth and prosperity for the region.


The project is expected to create about 1,000 direct jobs and 10,800 indirect jobs. Direct jobs include those in manufacturing, engineering, and advanced automation systems. Indirect jobs include those in the cleaning, maintenance, mining, and transportation sectors.


“BUA is delighted to partner with IFC and other esteemed institutions in securing this $500 million facility to develop energy-efficient cement production capacity and strengthen our equipment and logistics capabilities in northern Nigeria. In line with our commitment to sustainability and ESG principles, this investment will create jobs and contribute to economic and infrastructural development within Nigeria and the greater Sahel region. We are particularly pleased to have successfully gone through the rigorous process with IFC, AfDB, AFC, and DEG, which validates our responsible business practices. By focusing on greener fuels and enhancing our equipment and logistics platform, BUA Cement is building a foundation for sustainable infrastructure growth and a more inclusive society,” said Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman and Founder of BUA Group.


“We are pleased to join with our partners to support BUA with an investment that will boost industrialization, create jobs and deliver economic growth in northern Nigeria, a region with significant economic potential,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.


The financing package announced by IFC and its partners will also allow BUA to replace some of its diesel trucks with vehicles that are run partly on natural gas, over time producing fewer emissions. As part of the project, IFC will also advise BUA on developing a gender-inclusive workplace strategy that creates more opportunities for women across its operations.


“Following an initial $200 million investment in BUA Group in 2021, we are proud to play another key role in this landmark manufacturing project set to transform the construction sector in northern Nigeria and the entire country. Investing in this project will sustainably build Nigeria’s local manufacturing capacity, empowering local communities and creating employment opportunities. AFC is committed to working with our partners to accelerate development impact through infrastructure solutions that support value addition, industrialization, and job creation throughout Africa,” said Samaila Zubairu, CEO & President of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).


“The African Development Bank is pleased to be partnering with IFC and BUA on this expansion project as it is aligned with our priority strategies of industrializing Africa and improving the quality of lives of Africans through the increase in cement production which will lead to the development of additional affordable housing and critical infrastructure in Nigeria and neighboring West African countries while supporting the use of cleaner energy at BUA’s Sokoto facility,” said Solomon Quaynor, Vice President – Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization of African Development Bank (AfDB).


“DEG’s mission is to be a reliable partner to private sector enterprises as drivers of development and creators of qualified jobs. We are pleased to contribute to this transaction together with our development finance partner institutions. Together we support BUA in its transformation towards a more sustainable production by implementing innovative technology. The significant reduction of CO2 emissions and the creation of decent jobs in a region with many vulnerable households are key factors for DEG’s financing,” said Gunnar Stork, Senior Director at DEG.


The investment in BUA is part of IFC’s strategy to promote diversified, inclusive growth and job creation in Nigeria, where IFC supports the manufacturing agribusiness, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, and financial services sectors. IFC has an active investment portfolio of $2.3 billion in Nigeria.


Know More About IFC: a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in over 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In the fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit


Know More About BUA Group: BUA Group is one of Africa’s leading manufacturing, mining, foods, and infrastructure conglomerates with diversified interests in a wide range of sectors, including but not limited to Cement, Sugar, Flour Milling, Real Estate, logistics, and Infrastructure. Established in 1988 by Abdul Samad Rabiu, BUA Group has consistently grown over the years, establishing itself as a leading player in the Nigerian and African private sectors. As an organization, BUA Group places a strong emphasis on operational excellence, leveraging innovative technologies, and nurturing a high-performing workforce to stay competitive. Beyond its business operations, the group is dedicated to contributing positively to the socio-economic development of its host communities, signifying its commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices. For more information, visit








Continue Reading


FBN Holdings 2022 Earnings Rises To N805 Billion; Q1 2023 Profit Grows By 55% To N56 Billion



results for the nine months ended September 30, 2022

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

FBN Holdings Plc. (FBNH) announces its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023.


Selected Financial Summary 

Income Statement  
( billion) Q1




Key Ratios % Q1




Gross earnings 259.5 180.5 +43.8% Post-tax return on average equity5 20.1 14.5
Interest income 179.6 109.4 +64.1% Post-tax return on average assets6 1.9 1.4
Net-interest income 111.8 72.8 +53.6% Earnings yield7 10.1 7.6
Non-interest income[1] 72.3 64.7 +11.8% Net-interest margin8 6.3 5.1
Operating income[2] 184.2 137.5 +33.9% Cost of funds9 3.0 2.0
Impairment charges for losses 16.9 8.8 +93.1% Non-interest revenue/operating income 39.3 47.1
Operating expenses 111.2 92.2 +20.6% Cost to income10 60.4 67.0
Profit before tax 56.1 36.5 +53.6% Gross loans to deposits 54.1 51.9
Profit for the period [3] 50.1 32.4 +54.5% Capital adequacy (FirstBank (Nigeria) 15.6 16.0
Basic EPS (kobo)[4] 1.38 0.89 +54.0% Capital adequacy

(FBNQuest Merchant Bank)

17.4 19.7
Statement of Financial Position NPL/Gross Loans 4.0 6.0
( billion) Q1




NPL coverage11 96.7 68.9
Total assets 11,094 10,578 4.9% PPOP12/impairment charge (times) 4.3 5.2
Customer loans & advances (Net) 3,949 3,789 4.2% Cost of risk13 1.7 1.1
Customer deposits 7,591 7,124 6.6% Book value per share 27.9 25.3


Nnamdi Okonkwo, Group Managing Director commented: “FBNHoldings has sustained its positive performance momentum despite the clearly difficult operating environment. This is a testament to our ability to effectively navigate the challenging business terrain and optimise opportunities. It further demonstrates our disciplined risk management and strong execution capabilities resulting in enhanced revenue generation and improved bottom line.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing progress, we remain focused on innovating and deepening our value propositions and delivery model while optimising operational efficiencies, using technology, to drive sustainable earnings and returns for our shareholders. We are confident that the Q1 performance will be maintained for the rest of the year.”

 Commercial Banking

  • Gross earnings of ₦7 billion, up 44.2% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦170.4 billion)
  • Net interest income of ₦110.0 billion, up 50.9% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦72.9 billion)
  • Non-interest income of ₦67.8 billion, up 10.6% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦61.3 billion)
  • Operating expenses of ₦107.6 billion, up 21.0% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦88.9 billion)
  • Profit before tax of ₦55 billion, up 57.0% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦34.1 billion)
  • Profit after tax of ₦48.0 billion, up 54.8% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦0 billion)
  • Total assets of ₦6 trillion, up 5.1% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦10.1 trillion)
  • Customers’ loans and advances (net) of ₦3.9 trillion, up 4.5% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦3.7 trillion)
  • Customers’ deposits of ₦4 trillion, up 6.64% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦6.9 trillion)

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank (Commercial Banking Group) commented: “The FirstBank Group delivered an impressive performance in Q1 2023, with significant growth across key metrics. Gross earnings recorded a substantial increase of 44.2% year-on-year, demonstrating the Bank’s ability to generate substantial revenue from core operations. Net interest income saw a remarkable surge of 50.9% year-on-year on the back of optimal asset pricing and effective management of interest-earning assets. Increasing penetration of digital and transaction banking offerings supported our Q1 performance in non-interest income by 15.3% growth. The increase of 21.0% year-on-year in operating expense reflects the high inflationary environment but within revenue growth. Overall, the Commercial Banking Group delivered substantial growth of 57.0% and 54.8% in profit before tax and profit after tax, respectively, for the quarter.

The growth in our performance metrics underlies the strength in the core fundamentals underpinning our business strategy and the sustainability of our business model. This year marks our 129th anniversary and these results clearly demonstrate the resilience of our business model and proven ability to transform ourselves to meet the demands of changing times and seasons. Our transformative and purpose-driven strategy, alongside our strong value propositions, enables us to continue supporting our customers across our chosen markets. We are optimistic about the rest of FY 2023 and these results are a sign of better things to come.”


 Merchant Banking & Asset Management (MBAM) / FBNQuest

  • Gross earnings of ₦85 billion, down 16.4% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦10.5 billion)
  • Profit before tax of ₦2.2 billion, down 34.4% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦3.4 billion)
  • Total assets of ₦7 billion, up 0.1% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦495.4 billion)



Continue Reading


Nigeria, Best Place To Invest, Says Dabiri-Erewa



Dabiri-Erewa applauds diasporas contributions to the Nigerian economy as diaspora remittances increases

The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to consider investing in Nigeria’s healthcare, agriculture, real estate, and other sectors.

This appeal was made during a courtesy visit on Tuesday at the Commission headquarters,  Abuja, by Labour Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, who expressed her delight at being recognized by her home country.

During the visit, the Secretary to the Commission,  Dr Yakubu Sule Bassi, who represented the NiDCOM Boss emphasized the importance of engaging the Nigerian diaspora in the country’s policies, projects, and overall development.

With over 17 million Nigerians residing abroad, the establishment of the Commission was a strategic move to harness the immense human capital and material resources available within the diaspora community for Nigeria’s socio-economic, cultural, and political advancement.

Bassi further highlighted that the Diaspora’s contribution to the nation is crucial, referring to the “Diaspora Phenomenon” as the new deal.

He outlined three areas through which diaspora Nigerians could make a significant impact. These include resources, talents, and skills.

Bassi also emphasized the need for Diasporans to uphold the  3-point Agenda for Nigerians living abroad. He said Diasporans are to be exemplary ambassadors wherever they are, excel in whatever they do, remain connected to their homeland, and give back to their communities.

Since its inception 4 years ago, the Commission has implemented various programmes to celebrate diasporans, such as the National Diaspora Day, Diaspora Investment Summit, the Badagry Door of Return, and most recently, the Global African Diaspora Symposium.

Little London and Woodhouse Ward Labour Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, a Nigerian-born politician from Kaduna state, expressed her joy in visiting Nigeria and her commitment to collaborating with NiDCOM.

She acknowledged the honor of being recognized by her home country, which she believes gives her an advantage over her colleagues in the UK.

Having left Nigeria over 20 years ago, Councillor Abigail shared her passion for education and her involvement in medical and educational recruitment, particularly in facilitating Nigerian students’ admission into UK institutions.

She highlighted her focus on empowering young women through a mentorship scheme, mentoring 12 individuals each year, with an emphasis on the girl child. She stressed that “mentorship is about imparting skills and not solely about financial gains”.

Abigail Marshall Katung recently made history as the first African and Nigerian to be elected as a member of the Leeds City Council in the UK. With an overwhelming majority of votes (1,749 votes), she emerged as the Councillor for the Little London and Woodhouse Ward, UK.

Continue Reading