American Airlines To Get $5.5bn Loan From US Treasury

A File Photo of American Aircraft. Credit: @AmericanAir

 

American Airlines has agreed to a $5.5 billion loan from the US Treasury as it aims to ride out the downturn caused by the coronavirus, the carrier announced Friday.

The airline, which has said it could lay off as many as 19,000 employees next month without another relief package from Congress, said the financing will “help us shore up our longer-term liquidity until demand returns,” according to a message to employees.

The loan, authorized as part of the massive CARES Act federal relief package passed this spring, adds to American’s mounting debt level, which is higher than that of other leading US carriers.

The Treasury Department told the carrier that the loan could be boosted to as much as $7.5 billion, “although such amount is subject to final approval by the Treasury,” American said in a securities filing.

The CARES Act also provided $25 billion in Payroll Support Program (PSP) funds for US carriers, including $5.8 billion to American.

US airlines that took PSP funds committed to not undertaking any involuntary job cuts through the end of September. American has said it could lay off 19,000 workers starting in October if there is not a new relief package.

Airline CEOs visited the White House on September 17 to lobby for such legislation, but talks in Congress have stalled amid intensifying partisanship ahead of the November presidential election.

AFP

‘We Just Have To Take Loans’, Buhari Justifies Borrowing To Fund Infrastructure

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday justified government borrowing to finance infrastructure, asserting that his government took loans in the interest of the country to solve the dire shortfall in infrastructure.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) at the State House, in Abuja, President Buhari said the country must fix its roads to save lives from soaring road accidents.

“We have so many challenges with infrastructure. We just have to take loans to do roads, rail and power, so that investors will find us attractive and come here to put their money,” the President said after listening to a presentation by PEAC chaired by Professor Ayo Salami.

He regretted that the failure to provide the infrastructure for effective transportation deprived the country of its well-deserved status as the West African hub for Air cargo transportation and trans-shipment of goods.

On the issue of the economy, President Buhari noted the challenges posed by the “collapse of the oil market” and the decision of government to abide by the reduced oil production quota allocated by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“We have to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable. So we have cooperated with what we get. With oil, we are in a difficult situation. The politics of oil is that the less you produce, the less you earn,” he said.

President Buhari also stressed the position of agriculture in the government’s scheme to reduce joblessness and poverty.

“For us to bounce back to productivity, especially in agriculture, the unemployed with many of them uneducated had to be persuaded to go into agriculture.

“If we hadn’t gone back to the lands we would have been in trouble by now. That is why we virtually stopped the importation of food thereby saving jobs and foreign exchange.”

The President also broached the issue of COVID-19 pandemic and how it necessitated the recent government policies as they relate to energy (electricity) and fuel.

He said the Federal government took such decisions because it places the country above politics.

“COVID has reduced us to the same level as developed countries.

“We are lucky we went back to the land. We eat what we produce. We are doing our best to secure the country and provide infrastructure for investment to be viable in the country,” he said.

Commending the Chairman and the members of the council for their patriotism and service to the nation, President Buhari pledged to continue to draw from their wisdom, knowledge and experiences as the nation deals with challenging economic times.

Earlier, Prof Salami had in his presentation highlighted the Council’s recommendations on poverty reduction and stimulation of non-debt investment inflows, as promised at their last meeting.

The council recommended steps for the effective implementation of government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, as well as measures to curb poverty disparity in Nigeria.

The council promised to set out a full policy paper that would, in the first instance, stop more Nigerians from falling into poverty and thereafter, further plans on reducing the poverty headcount in the country.

The PEAC also outlined a number of measures aimed at aggressively increasing the country’s non-debt investment inflow, including measures to improve investor perception of the country and the proposed establishment of a 5 billion – 10 billion dollars investment and growth fund to invest in.

The PEAC used the opportunity of the meeting to express support and solidarity with the administration on its recent policies.

It listed the implementation of reforms encapsulated in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 recently signed into law, the reforms in the energy sector, bringing electricity and fuel prices in line with the market, and the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to merge the exchange rate of the naira versus other foreign currencies.

Falana-Led Coalition Demands Full Details Of FG Loans

A file photo of Mr Femi Falana.

 

A coalition led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has called on the Federal Government to make full public disclosure of all loans obtained by the country.

It has the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, as co-chairmen.

In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Adewale Adeoye, the Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) said it would challenge the authorities in court if the disclosures were not made.

It also appealed to the National Assembly to reveal the terms and conditions of all external loans.

The coalition, which comprises labour and some 80 civil society groups, added that if the National Assembly fails, the Debt Management Office should publish the terms and conditions of all external loans or face legal fireworks.

It decried that Nigeria’s debt profile which was N12.118 trillion as of May 2015 has leaped to N27.401 trillion in 2019, representing more than 100 per cent debt increase.

The coalition said recent revelation at the National Assembly has confirmed the fact that the loans were taken without proper public scrutiny, claiming that a Committee of the House of Representatives was feigning ignorance of the terms and conditions attached to a particular loan agreement.

It stressed that the huge debt being incurred for Nigeria has the potential of stifling the prospect of economic liberation and political freedom of the people.

 

Apology To Nigerians

ASCAB stated that within one year, the National Assembly has approved a total of $28 billion for President Muhammadu Buhari with no commensurate improvement in the quality of lives of many Nigerians.

“Millions of Nigerians continue to face harsh economic difficulties, lacking access to basic needs, yet the debt profile of the country continues to increase.

“It is even more grievous that the government continues to take loans on behalf of the people without their consent, neither their keen understanding of the terms,” it said.

ASCAB also alleged that the National Assembly appeared desperate to pull the wool over the face of Nigerians by covering up its tracks regarding the clause in the Chinese loan.

A file photo of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

“The opaque nature of the loans is against the principles of the Nigerian Constitution,”  ASCAB said citing  Section 21(1) of the Debt Management Office Establishment (ETC) Act, 2003 (DMO Act) which states that no external loan shall be approved or obtained by the Minister “unless its terms and conditions shall have been laid before the National Assembly and approved by its resolution.”

The group also cited Section 41 (1a) of the FRA which states that “Government at all tiers shall only borrow for capital expenditure and human development, provided that, such borrowing shall be on concessional terms with low interest rate and with a reasonable long amortisation period subject to the approval of the appropriate legislative body where necessary.”

The coalition insisted that the National Assembly has breached the provisions of section 21 (1) of the Debt Management Office Establishment (ETC) Act, 2003.

“Instead of grandstanding over the matter, the members of the National Assembly ought to apologise to the Nigerian people and proceed to scrutinise the terms and conditions of all other external loans,” ASCAB said.

 

Jumbo Loans

The loans taken by Nigeria from China sparked a public outcry last week when a clause that was alleged to have compromised Nigeria’s sovereignty was discovered.

According to the Debt Management Office, the total value of loans taken by Nigeria from China as of March 31, 2020, was $3.121 billion – an indication that the Chinese loan was some 3.94 per cent of Nigeria’s total public debt of $79.303 billion as of March 31, 2020, while external sources of funds, loans from China accounted for 11.28 per cent of the external debt profile of $27.67 billion at the same date.

The loans were obtained with interest rates of 2.5 per cent per annum and to be paid in 20 years with a moratorium of seven years.

The coalition said it was important to ask whether Nigeria really needed the “jumbo loans” when sources of boosting public funds were either yet to be fully explored or completely ignored.

“The most fundamental issue is whether we really need these jumbo loans. In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Nigeria directed the Federal Government to recover royalties that were not paid for 18 years by the multinational oil companies operating in Nigeria. The said royalties have been confirmed to be $62 billion,” the group said.

A file photo of a courtroom at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

ASCAB listed some of the loans collected by the government to include the February 2018 Eurobond worth $2.5 billion loan, the September 2018 loan of $328 million, $5.3 billion from Chinese Export-Import Bank, $2.36 billion to finance aspects of the 2020 budget while another $5.513 billion was sought to finance the 2020 revised budget.

 

Level Of Poverty

The Senate had also approved N850 million and another $22.79 billion for President Buhari currently pending at the parliament.

ASCAB, therefore, warned the National Assembly to desist from approving loans for payment of the unapproved salaries of legislators and pension of former governors.

They insisted that such contravened Section 41 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which has restricted governments at all levels to “borrow for capital expenditure and human development”.

“The country’s level of poverty continues to increase with the skyrocketing loans obtained by the Federal Government.

“Poverty, extreme hunger, frivolous lifestyle of public office holders, continue to fuel violence and public disorder across the country.

“While the government has responded effectively to the needs of public officials including members of the National Assembly, the economic and social needs of the people remain a mirage,” the coalition said.

Compel Buhari To Publish Govt Loan Details Since 2015, SERAP Tells Court

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to order President Muhammadu Buhari to publish the details of loans that have been obtained by his administration since May 29, 2015.

In a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP also sought the details of the interest rate on such loans, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by the government, and details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.

It made the request in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020 filed before the court in the nation’s capital.

Also joined as respondents include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha.

However, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

The National Assembly had approved a loan of N850 billion and another $22.79 billion loan requested by the President for government projects and others.

 

Stolen Loans?

In its reaction, SERAP sought “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 386 More COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Rise To 43,537

It also asked the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015.”

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees
A logo of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

 

The group believes the opacity in the spending of loans will continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens.

It, however, stressed that transparency would ensure that the loans were not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that such loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.

“This suit is permitted under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.

“While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name, but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape, or form,” the group said.

It explained that the suit followed its FoI request dated May 30, 2020 and addressed to the President in which it raised concerns that while governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered, leaving the citizens with the burden of having to repay such loans.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, read,

The massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.

SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.

Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.

SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.

Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took the oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.

The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

SERAP Calls For Audit Of Loans Obtained By Buhari’s Govt

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide the spending details of all loans obtained by his administration since May 29, 2015.

In a letter to the President dated May 30, 2020, the group urged the Nigerian leader to use his leadership position and the opportunity of the fifth year anniversary of his government to grant its request.

It called for an independent audit of all loans to resolve the purported allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

SERAP also urged the President to publish the spending details of loans obtained by successive administrations since 1999, as well as the list of countries and bodies that have given such loans with the specific repayment conditions.

It noted that President Buhari had last week sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513 billion to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states.

In its Freedom of Information request, the group decried that while successive governments have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens since 1999, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered.

According to it, opacity in the spending of loans will continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens.

SERAP, however, believes transparency will ensure the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.

It also advised the President to cut the costs of governance rather than taking more loans and increasing the nation’s debt burden.

Read the Freedom of Information request addressed to the President below:

30 May 2020

His Excellency

Muhammadu Buhari GCFR

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Aso Rock Presidential Villa

Abuja

Your Excellency,

 

Re: Freedom of Information request to publish details of spending of loans and Nigeria’s debts since the return of democracy in 1999

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is writing on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of your government in office and pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to request you to provide details of the spending loans obtained by your government since May 29, 2015, including details of projects on which the loans have been spent.

SERAP is also urging you to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, a list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.

SERAP is a non-profit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy organization devoted to promoting transparency, accountability, and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria. SERAP received the Wole Soyinka Anti-Corruption Defender Award in 2014 and was nominated for the UN Civil Society Award and Ford Foundation’s Jubilee Transparency Award. SERAP serves as one of two Sub-Saharan African civil society representatives on the governing Committee of the UNCAC Coalition, a global anti-corruption network of over 380 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries.

According to our information, your government has recently sought the approval of the National Assembly for a fresh loan of $5.513 billion, reportedly to finance the 2020 budget deficit and critical projects as well as support states in the country. Several such loans have been obtained from China, the World Bank, and other sources, including the N850 billion loan, which the National Assembly speedily approved. Another loan of $22.79bn, which has reportedly been approved by the Senate is now pending before the House of Representatives.

SERAP is seriously concerned that while successive governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen, or squandered, leaving the future generation of Nigerians with the burden to repay these loans.

We are concerned about the massive and growing national debts, and the negative impacts on socio-economic development as well as access of Nigerians to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.

While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape, or form.

Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by your government and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption. It would also help to avoid a morally repugnant result of visiting the sins of corrupt governments and officials on innocent Nigerians.

Opacity in the spending of loans would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens. Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that these loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.

Any unresolved allegations of mismanagement, bribery and corruption in the use of loans would continue to deprive millions of Nigerians access to basic public goods and services including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and would leave your government without the resources to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Rather than taking more loans and increasing Nigeria’s debts burden, we urge you to exercise sufficient political will to urgently promote ground-breaking reforms to cut the costs of governance, including by instructing the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN to immediately enforce the judgment by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo ordering your government to recover pensions collected by former governors and challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting public officials to collect such pensions.

Ensuring the enforcement of the judgment would remove the burden on your government of constantly providing financial support to state governors, and ensure that state governors are not using financial support from the Federal Government to finance the lavish lifestyles of former governors with impunity.

SERAP, therefore, urges you to urgently commission an independent audit on the spending of loans so far obtained by your government and previous administrations with a view to resolving any allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the spending of such loans.

We urge you to ensure that those suspected to be responsible for any mismanagement and corruption are promptly referred to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for further investigation, and where there is relevant admissible evidence, prosecution.

We also urge you to promptly instruct Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since the assumption of office of your government in May 2015.

SERAP also urges you to disclose:

  1. Details of the spending of loans obtained by your government since May 29, 2015, including specific details of projects and locations of the projects as well as the conditions of any such projects;
  2. Total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by your government, including the interest rate, the details of debts inherited from the previous administrations, and details of refinancing of any such loans, as well as any strategy put together on borrowing decisions, and to promote sustainable borrowing;
  3. Whether any public officials solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans

By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of spending of the loans and debts incurred by your government and previous administrations. By Section 4 (a) of the FoI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.

By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FoI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to the details of spending of the loans and debts incurred by your government and previous administrations are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means. The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act.

The information requested for as indicated above, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, the interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency, and accountability.

We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.

Please accept the expression of our highest consideration. Thanking you in advance for your urgent attention to the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Kolawole Oluwadare

Deputy Director

 

CC:

Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN

Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice

Federal Ministry of Justice

Shehu Shagari Way,

Central Area

Abuja

 

Mrs Zainab Ahmed

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning

Ahmadu Bello Way, Central Business District

Abuja

 

Ms Patience Oniha

Director-General of the Debt Management Office

NDIC Building (1st Floor)

Plot 447/448 Constitution Avenue,

Central Business District

P.M.B. 532, Garki Abuja

Germany Guarantees 100% Of Loans To Smaller Firms In COVID-19 Aid Package

File photo/ AFP

 

Berlin will guarantee 100 percent of loans made by banks to small- and medium-sized firms, ministers said Monday, in an extension to the 1.1-trillion-euro coronavirus crisis package in Europe’s top economy.

“These speedy loans should make sure that middle-sized companies have liquidity quickly, without taxpayers losing too much money,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters in the German capital.

The federal government will stand fully behind 500,000 euros ($540,000) of lending to companies with up to 50 employees and 800,000 euros for larger ones up to 250 workers.

Monday’s moves ups the guarantee level from a previous 80 percent for large firms or 90 percent for smaller ones, levels that were still causing banks to think twice about granting loans.

Companies this size “typically have credit needs in small amounts, but that have to be paid very quickly,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.

The government is “very sure that there’s little likelihood of companies failing to repay,” Scholz added.

Berlin’s economic aid so far totals over 1.1 trillion euros, the finance ministry said in an answer to an opposition parliamentary question seen by AFP Monday.

Ministers have agreed a 600-billion-euro “economic stabilisation fund” offering 400 billion euros of guarantees for companies’ debts, 100 billion to lend directly to or buy stakes in troubled firms, and 100 billion euros to fund state investment bank KfW.

Meanwhile the amount of company borrowing KfW can guarantee has been boosted by 357 billion euros, for a total of 822 billion.

To keep their liquidity flowing, companies will also be able to delay tax payments.

Berlin says it will offer 50 billion euros of support for small and one-man-band companies, like photographers, musicians or carers.

Depending on the number of employees, individual companies will receive up to 15,000 euros each to keep the lights on over a period of three months.

Meanwhile freelancers applying for unemployment benefit will not be forced to seek new work.

– 156 billion euros –

Germany has also eased access to a programme that tops up workers’ pay with government cash when their hours are slashed.

The scheme is widely credited with saving large numbers of jobs during the financial crisis of 2008-9.

Berlin expects more than two million people to work shorter hours in the coronavirus crisis, far outstripping the peak seen over a decade ago.

To cover the costs, the federal labour agency (BA) will start eating into its massive cash reserves of 26 billion euros.

With 156 billion euros in new borrowing to fund the largesse and extra health spending, Berlin has been forced to suspend a “debt brake” added to the constitution at the height of the financial crisis in 2009.

A further 82.2 billion euros of measures have been announced by Germany’s federal states and municipal governments, as well as 63.2 billion in guarantees.

AFP

IMF, World Bank Call For Suspending Debt Payments By Poorest Nations

 

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Wednesday called for governments to put a hold on debt payments from the world’s poorest nations so they can battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets,” the Washington-based development lenders said in a joint statement.

The move aims to help countries that are home to two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty — largely in sub-Saharan Africa — and qualify for the most generous, low-cost loans from the International Development Association (IDA) financed by wealthier nations.

“The coronavirus outbreak is likely to have severe economic and social consequences for IDA countries” which will face “immediate liquidity needs to tackle challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak,” the organization said.

The IMF and World Bank called on the Group of 20 nations to support the initiative for “all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance.”

READ ALSO: Spanish Football Federation Offers Clubs Loans To Pay Bills

In addition, the institutions called for an analysis of the financing needs these countries will face, and whether their total debt load is sustainable.

Part of the World Bank, the IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, providing zero or low interest loans spread over 30 years or more, and grants to some distressed nations.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, IDA commitments totaled $22 billion, of which 36 percent was provided on grant terms, according to the World Bank.

AFP

Spanish Football Federation Offers Clubs Loans To Pay Bills

(File) View taken on on September 16, 2017 of the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium before the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Malaga CF in Madrid.  AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO.

 

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales on Wednesday announced lines of credit for lower-level clubs in difficulty because of the coronavirus pandemic and repeated that he hoped the season could be completed.

He also told an online press conference he was willing to talk to La Liga, which runs the top two divisions, about helping its clubs.

Rubiales said that semi-professional and non-professional clubs in men’s and women’s outdoor and indoor football “will have a line of credit that will reach up to four million euros ($4.3 million) depending on their wage bills”.

He said the loans would be interest free and could be repaid over two years.

Some clubs are considering introducing part-time working to compensate for lack of income.

Rubiales said he hoped that this aid would help prevent such drastic action.

“We’re talking about four million for modest levels of football, but there’s also professional football and we want to reach out to it,” said Rubiales.

“If La Liga wants to talk, it’s time to do the maths,” he said. “We have worked on a line of financing of 500 million euros.”

He said the RFEF was ready “to sit down and look for financing for clubs that are going to have a problem”.

READ ALSO: Fury-Wilder Rematch Postponed Over COVID-19

“(If the season) does not end on June 30, which is more probable, there are going to be clubs that do not receive 100 percent of the money from television,” he added.

He said he could make 500 million available “for first and second division clubs, who need 15, 20 million euros now”.

Rubiales reiterated that competition will resume “when it is possible”, but he said he wanted to “give clubs fighting relegation the chance to save themselves, and those in a position to win promotion the chance to earn it”.

AFP

Bank Loans To Private Sector Drop To N15.3tn

NBS

 

Banks reduced lending to the private sector from N15.6 trillion allocated within the first quarter of 2018 to N15.34 trillion in the second quarter.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this in its 2018 Q2 report titled: Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectorial Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength (Q2 2018).

The report also indicated that loans to the power and energy sector dropped to N416.34 billion, while that of the mining and quarry fell to N10.18 billion.

It, however, noted that total lending to the agriculture sector increased to N523.08 billion while the Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sectors got credit allocations of N3.45trn and N2.02trn to record the highest credit allocations within the period under review.

Furthermore, the NBS stated that a total volume of 509,668,433 transactions valued at N32.90 trillion, were recorded in Q2 as data on Electronic Payment Channels in the Nigeria Banking Sector.

Also, it said, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions dominated the volume of transactions recorded, totalling N1,603billion in Q2.

The total number of bank staff increased by 13.67% from 89,608 in Q1 to 101,861.

Cross River partners with UPDC on mass housing scheme

The Cross River State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UACN Property Development Company Plc. for the construction and development of 284 housing units to be known as Golf Estate, in Calabar Cross River State.

Speaking at the ceremony, the States Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham disclosed that, the signing of the MOU is the second of such partnerships between the Cross River State government and the private sector in its bid to provide first-class housing in the state for its workers.

He noted that, the decision to partner the company to develop the Estate is a wise one and will act as gateway for other joint-venture investments between the two partners, he however enjoined them to deliver as at when expected.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive UPDC Plc.,  Hakeem Oguniran, promised the construction of the housing units will be completed and delivered on schedule.

The signing of the MOU is the second of such construction of about 2000 housing units for civil servants through mortgage financing by Aso Savings and Loans.