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Nigeria’s apex bank to offer seven-year loans to youth corps members1 minute read

The country’s youth corp members will be expected to attend the bank’s entrepreneurship training centres to acquire vocational skills

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Nigeria’s apex bank to offer seven-year loans to youth corps members
Headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Abuja, Nigeria. (Photo by Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP)

The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to offer loans to National Youth Service Corps members to start small and medium scale enterprises, which they will repay in seven years.

The country’s unemployment rate leapt to 23.10% in the third quarter of 2018 from 22.70% in the second quarter, an average of 12.31% from 2006 until 2018 and reaching an all-time high of 23.10% and a record low of 5.10% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The country’s youth corp members will be expected to attend the bank’s entrepreneurship training centres to acquire vocational skills.

Upon completion of their training, the loans will provide support for acquiring working tools and rent of business offices or workshops.

Beneficiaries will receive the cumulative value which represents a loan that will be repaid within seven years with a two-year moratorium.

In 2016, the apex bank launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme which served as a springboard for the empowerment of corps members and other youths for self-employment and wealth creation.

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Heavy rains threaten Uganda’s coffee crop quality

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Uganda’s coffee crop quality could see a decline in the coming months as heavy rains across the country have reduced the amount of sunshine necessary for bean drying.

Uganda is Africa’s largest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia and grows mostly robusta variety.

The country has been pounded by unusually heavy rains that started in August resulting in deaths, displacement and extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Western Uganda, including the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains , some of the biggest coffee growing areas, has received some of the most intense rains.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the state-run regulator, forecasts Uganda’s bean exports will climb 16 percent to 5.1 million 60-kg (132-pound) bags in the current crop year ending September.

The country’s coffee output has surged in recent years, the fruition of a government programme that has been distributing free seedlings to farmers to expand acreage and replace aging trees.

Authorities say their target is to help boost annual production to 20 million bags by 2025.

The beans have traditionally been Uganda’s biggest commodity export but were recently overtaken by gold which now annually earns the country over $1 billion.

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Business rescue team rule out mid-June return for SAA flights

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South African Airways business rescue practitioners have rejected an “unvetted” statement released by the state-owned airline indicating plans to resume domestic flights from mid-June.

The national carrier had on Tuesday, announced that its planes will be back in the skies between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

But Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, the business rescue administrators, say the airline had breached communications protocol by issuing a statement which “created an unfair expectation on our relevant stakeholders, including SAA’s customers, as well as employees who are on unpaid absence as a result of the travel ban which led to the halting of the company’s operations, compounding its financial distress.”

SAA’s media statement had gone out without the approval of the practitioners as demanded by the business rescue procedure.

With the government of South Africa announcing that the country will enter into lockdown alert level 3 from June 1, domestic air travel will be permitted but only for business purposes.

The business rescue practitioners said SAA planes will remain grounded until a better understanding of what the level 3 regulations entail.

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Tanzania, France sign water supply loan agreement

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Tanzania has signed a loan agreement with France to finance water supply projects that will benefit about 770,000 people in the country’s Morogoro municipality.

The French government will extend the loan worth about $76 million to Tanzania through its French Development Agency (AFD), according to Dotto James, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania.

“Upon completion, the water supply in the Morogoro municipality will increase from the current 37,000 cubic meters a day to 108,000 cubic meters a day,” James told a press conference following a signing ceremony in Morogoro.

AFD Country Representative for Tanzania, Stephanie Mouen says the project will improve the well-being of the people in the municipality and it will also improve the environment.

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