Insurtech startup Pula raises US$6m Series A funding round led by TLcom Capital

KENYA – Pula, an insurtech service that works to re-risk African smallholder farmers, has raised a US$6 million Series A funding round to scale up operations across its 13 markets on the continent and expand into Asia. Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices, and bolster their incomes over time.  Through its Area Yield Index Insurance product, the startup leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating…

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Nigeria’s Central Bank issues new forex exchange directives to tame abuse by dealers

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued new directives aimed at eliminating foreign exchange abuse and other practices by dealers which affect goods purchased by the average Nigerian consumers. In a circular addressed to foreign exchange dealers, the Central Bank of Nigeria directed authorized dealers to desist from opening of Form M whose payments are routed through a buying company/agent or any other third parties. CBN further directed that all authorised dealers to only open Form M for Letters of Credit, bills for collection and other forms of…

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May & Baker receives US$2.5m loan from Nigeria’s Central Bank to support business operations

NIGERIA – May & Baker, one of Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies, has received a US$2.58 million (N 1 billion) from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention fund to support business operations. The central bank also announced an N50 billion Covid-19 health care fund for the healthcare sector giving the company another unique opportunity to increase its financial muscle. The loan from CBN follows an aggressive campaign by May & Baker to expand its range of pharmaceutical offering to the Nigerian market. Last year, May & Baker reported that it had…

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Nigeria’s central bank launches healthcare scheme to boost local manufacturing of drugs

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled a grant Scheme to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The Scheme, called the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) is intended “to boost domestic manufacturing of critical drugs and vaccines” within the country, as the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the country continues to grow, showcasing the need for…

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Nigeria’s Edo state partners with CBN, farmers to revive non-performing oil palm belt

NIGERIA – The Edo State Government has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria and farmers in  in the revival of the Urhonigbe oil palm belt at a cost of N91.3 billion ( about US$253.04 million). A statement from the Edo state government revealed that the amount for the palm project was jointly made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria and private investors. The funds according to the statement will be used to for the cultivation of oil palm on 51.8 hectares in Urhonigbe, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of…

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Nigeria Government to buy locally produced gold to protect artisans from exploitation

NIGERIA – The Federal Government has begun the process of buying up gold produced by Nigerian miners at international prices, in a bid to stop smuggling and exploitation of local miners by foreign merchants. To kick start the process, the government of Nigeria has embarked on the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative Biometric Exercise which seeks to register all artisanal miners in the country. The registration exercise is being implemented on a pilot basis and is supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It has already been flagged off…

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Central Bank of Nigeria cautions against rising debt, urges government to focus on revenue diversification

NIGERIA – The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the highest policy making committee of the Bank, has cautioned the Federal Government against the rising debt level in the country. The committee further urged the Federal Government to build fiscal buffers to cushion the impact of oil price decline on the economy. Based on statistics released by the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s debt profile as of September 30, 2019 was N26.22tn (about US$72.38 billion). These levels are higher compared to those in 2005 when Nigeria and the…

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