David Greene, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. The envoy spoke while fielding questions in view of the growing moves by countries to form global alliance towards introduction of new economic trade separate from the western systems.
According to him, every country has right to choose who it has relations with and what other organisations, multilateral groups it associates with, saying each state has sovereign rights to do that.
“We believe that any multilateral gathering should be advancing the clearly articulated principle of the UN chatter with regard to territorial integrity and respect for sovereignty.
“Any multilateral group should take seriously the obligation to try and advance the principles and articulated universal declaration of human rights to improve the functioning of individual state or lead to greater success of any country, any multilateral group, in terms of meeting the aspirations of its people.
“So, the U.S. truly believes in multilateralism and whether Nigeria does not join the BRICS, that is a decision for Nigeria.”
He said the U.S. President, Joe Biden, had at several public functions reiterated his administration’s resolve to deepen its alliance with Africa. He explained that the U.S. would do more to advance U.S.-Africa ties, U.S. Nigeria ties and global ties.
Greene further described global alliance as “the ability of countries that want to partner to advance their development and success in line with their aspirations.
“We believe that it is true that alliances and coalitions are international relations that can really help move the world forward in a better direction with regards to our engagement in Africa.
“The BRICS are not a factor in that regard, we have established a strong strategic people-to-people ties across the continent.
“We have strongly been good since then and our commitment to deepen economic engagement are in particular, to advance and promote African voices on a global stage.
“We rallied the G-20 to include the African Union, the most recent G-20 meeting in India; we are working with partners to unlock the $200 billion in World Bank and IMF resources to address the kind of challenges that we all face.
“We are working to unlock the $600 million, hopefully in private investments and infrastructure in the next couple of years, as part of our global partnership for infrastructure global investment.,” he said.
The Government of Saudi Arabia has pledged to invest in the revamp of Nigeria’s refineries, as well as provide financial support to sustain the government’s foreign exchange reforms.
A statement released by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, today November 11, says Saudi Crown Prince, HRH Mohammed bin Salman made these pledges at a bilateral meeting with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh.
‘’To support the Central Bank’s ongoing reforms of Nigeria’s foreign exchange regime, the Saudi Government will make available a substantial deposit of foreign exchange to boost Nigeria’s forex liquidity.
Prince bin Salman commended the economic reforms being implemented by President Tinubu, and expressed the commitment of the Saudi Government to supporting these reforms, and enabling Nigeria to reap the full benefits. According to him, Saudi Arabia is very eager to see Nigeria thrive under President Bola Tinubu, and realize its full potential as the economic giant of Africa.” Mohammed said
The Minister added that Prince bin Salman also highlighted Agriculture and Renewable Energy as areas of investment interest for Saudi Arabia, in Nigeria, to help the country attain food and energy security, respectively.
‘’The Crown Prince hinted that the refinery investments in Nigeria will be led by the Saudi state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, with the revamp to be completed within a two- to three-year timeframe. The Crown Prince also expressed appreciation to Nigeria for its active participation in, and support for OPEC+.
President Tinubu thanked the Saudi leader for the proposed investments, and pledged that Nigeria would ensure judicious management and oversight. The two leaders vowed to work together over the next six months to develop a comprehensive road-map and blueprint to deliver on the agreed investments and outcomes.
Also, President Tinubu and Crown Prince bin Salman spoke on the need to strengthen security cooperation to mitigate terrorism, illegal migration and other crises, not just in Nigeria, but across West Africa and the Sahel region.”
The Minister mentioned that the two leaders further discussed existing economic and socio-cultural cooperation between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, and agreed to open new vistas in bilateral relations.
The bilateral meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Yahaya Lawal and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Adekunle Adeleke.
Twenty years ago, the idea that you might go into finance to make the world a better place would have felt like the start of a comedy routine. As a mainstream proposition, the notion of financiers saving the world would have seemed absurd given that they were widely viewed as part of the problem.
Plus ça change. Over the past decade, investing as a force for good has gained some very serious backers. Finance is seen as something that can make a positive impact in areas ranging from tackling the climate crisis to improving diversity and equality. The global transition to clean energy and a low carbon economy requires a massive reallocation of resources, while the widespread embrace of so-called ESG (environment, social, and governance) factors has proved to be a genuine paradigm shift – giving investors and businesses new tools and mechanisms for reallocating capital to tackle pressing problems, while still seeking to generate profits.
In 2017, BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, came out as an enthusiastic advocate of ESG and, in 2020, Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, wrote in The Economist that financial markets must change: “The traditional drivers of value have been shaken, new ones will gain prominence, and there’s a possibility that the gulf between what markets value and what people value will close.”
But what does all this mean in practice for those considering whether or not a qualification and career in finance will help them make a positive impact on the world?
Firstly, it’s now about more than just making money for shareholders. “For many investors, investing is no longer just about maximising shareholder value. There is a clear recognition that other stakeholders are equally important,” says Chris Wiese, managing director for education at CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that provides the CFA charter – widely recognised as the gold standard for finance professionals. For instance, these other stakeholders could include the local communities affected by a business’s supply chain, a company’s employees and contractors, and also future generations who will be affected by pollution and the climate crisis.
Rhodri Preece, senior head, research at CFA Institute, adds that another key aspect of this shift in the role of finance is the way that investors and businesses have become part of a wider concerted global effort. “If you look at initiatives such as the net zero transition, I think there will be greater focus towards collective action to solve these issues. These are systemic issues and firms are realising that acting alone in terms of managing risks and returns is not going to solve the broader climate and sustainability challenges.”
Wiese notes that the evolving role of finance and the complex nature of the urgent problems faced by humanity has made expertise all the more important – hence the growing demand for people who properly understand ESG investing and have the necessary skills to work in this area. Climate finance and carbon accounting, for instance, are relatively new fields and the world is still working out best practice when it comes to methodologies, disclosure standards and regulatory frameworks. “It’s a dynamic and complicated area that is changing rapidly,” says Wiese.
As these new roles for finance have grown, people have become more aware of the many complex ethical trade-offs it can entail. For instance, companies that are celebrated for their positive impact on the environment might have issues in other areas – such as employee welfare. There is also the danger of misstating or misrepresenting sustainability claims, and the reputational damage and regulatory penalties that can result from greenwashing. Wiese points out that well-trained professionals are more likely to spot these potential problems that arise from trade-offs and grey areas. Moreover, he adds that “it’s not an area where everyone agrees – and navigating this environment requires people who understand it”.
Working in finance to improve the world is not just about straightforward investment roles either. “Another key issue is the continued focus on better data and reporting frameworks,” says Preece. This is particularly pertinent given that best practice in these fields is still a work in progress. “If you look back at how corporate governance has evolved, once the frameworks were established, we saw successive improvements in the quality of reporting. That has led to a maturity in how governance is incorporated into the investment process.”
There are also opportunities for those who work in tech. AI and machine learning are particularly good at taking huge quantities of what is sometimes referred to as “unstructured data” and making sense of it. These approaches can be invaluable when it comes to monitoring the full impact of complex supply chains on the environment and societies. “The machine learning techniques that we see being used in the investment industry are likely to play a big role in ESG reporting,” says Preece.
However, he adds: “as with all AI applications, there are a number of ethical considerations that need to be taken into account. Even in the case of ESG reporting, sufficient human oversight, governance, and accountability must be in place to ensure accurate and appropriate outcomes and to manage risk.”
Ultimately, there is a sort of virtuous circle at work here. Financial companies that do good in the world are likely to have the pick of job candidates. Today’s graduates increasingly want to work in companies whose values align with their own. Unsurprisingly these values tend to centre around areas such as the climate crisis and social justice. If people who want to change the world are joining investment firms, they will change the firms too.
The CFA Program provides expertise and real-world skills in ESG investment analysis, preparing candidates for successful careers as investment professionals. If you’re interested in a career in finance visit cfainstitute.org/en/programs
The Agriculture Department said on Wednesday that it would establish a monitoring and data collection network to measure greenhouse gas emissions and determine how much carbon can be captured using certain farming practices.
“It’s not just simply about promoting climate-smart agriculture, not simply about promoting proper science,” Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, said in a news conference on Tuesday ahead of the announcement. “It’s also about expanding income sources for small and mid-size producers.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, an expansive climate, tax and health measure Mr. Biden signed into law last year, provided some $20 billion to shore up existing agricultural conservation programs that encouraged practices like sowing cover crops and not tilling the land. The department has also provided billions in additional funding to farming projects that reduce emissions, in part by capturing carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, from the atmosphere and storing it as carbon in the soil.
The $300 million investment seeks to address the scientific uncertainty around these practices. It will establish a network to examine how carbon is captured from soil across the country, create another focused on greenhouse gas emissions, and improve models to better measure agricultural conservation programs.
Building the networks will occur over the next eight years, and the Agriculture Department will make the data public a year after collection, a spokesman said.
Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, welcomed the move, calling the investment “a really important foundation that we should have laid 20 years ago.”
“We’re making terrible use of the tens of billions of conservation dollars that we are spending because we simply don’t know enough about which practices reduce emissions,” he added. “That is a gigantic, existential, putting-the-planet-at-risk problem that the U.S.D.A. is beginning to address.”
Currently, the agricultural sector is responsible for about 10 percent of emissions nationwide, according to government data. But the existing data collection systems contain gaps, can be out of date, or do not provide granular details on individual farming practices, said William Hohenstein, director of the Agriculture Department’s office of energy and environmental policy.
Mr. Vilsack warned that rolling back such funding would be a “major mistake” because the ensuing initiatives, like the data collection networks, could encourage investment or growth in certain agricultural practices. More accurate measurements of their effects could lead to more market opportunities for farmers from the government and private sector alike, he said. Those could take the form of higher prices for carbon credits or conservation easements, for example.
“We’re going to collect a substantial amount of information, which in turn is going to allow us in a uniform way to reinforce the credibility of the information being provided, which in turn creates greater confidence, which in turn allows markets to develop, in turn results in greater adoption and income opportunities for farmers, ranchers and producers, all of which also helps to create jobs in rural places,” Mr. Vilsack said.
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Billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote has urged African countries to give visa on entry for Nigerians and citizens of other African countries in order to boost trade and business on the continent.
The Dangote Group CEO, who spoke at the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meetings held in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, June 18 stated that if the continent was committed to boosting inter- and intra-African trade and investment opportunities, they should support visa on arrival.
“I think what, maybe, African countries need to do is that, why don’t you give Africans visas on arrival that will facilitate trade?” he suggested, sharing a scenario where one has to get a visa to get into “country A” as an African.
Recounting an experience he faces personally, the businessman decried a situation where “we go with a British guy or maybe a Nigerian holding a British passport (and) he is allowed in”.
“We were arguing, debating about my visa and I am the one with the money. If you are making life difficult for me, there is no way I will go and invest.” he added
Also present at the event were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, and former industry, trade and investment minister Niyi Adebayo.
This comes after the UFC top-dog had invested in a Power Slap League, so it would make sense for White to invest in this particular league too. The Power Slap League is a competition where those competing slap each other in the face.
It gained interest on social media earlier on in the year when the UFC president invested in it. The league has soon become a hugely popular attraction. Thousands have been viewing the slapping matches each time they air live on TV.
One MMA fan on Twitter hilariously claimed it was better than Power Slap.
Arsenal are set to invest handsomely in their playing squad this summer to keep up with rivals, despite leading the table for much of the season.
With the Gunners top of the league at the midway point of the season with a whopping 50 points – on course for a centurion season – and enjoying a stronger campaign than the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, there may have been a sense that Arsenal only needed minor tweaks to their squad in comparison to teams around them.
The table-toppers have had the fewest changes in the Premier League this season but still sit three points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand. Despite their young and settled team, however, one report states that Arsenal could yet be busy in the summer transfer window – and invest well.
Football.london (opens in new tab) reports that “further midfield reinforcements as well as extra quality in attack may be targeted with the Gunners having to stay fresh in order to compete at the top level of Europe.”
The outlet says that a move for Declan Rice could cost around £120 million – but that the spending might not be limited beyond that.
James Maddison is on the list of potential targets, too, as is Jude Bellingham. While the Gunners previously had Granit Xhaka firing on all cylinders and Fabio Vieira impressing in limited minutes, neither have been quite as impressive in Arsenal’s recent slump – and though unlikely, a move for two big-name midfielders could be on the cards.
The Athletic (opens in new tab) has reported that both Real Madrid and Liverpool have put in more groundwork than Arsenal to sign Bellingham though the Reds failing to get Champions League football could give the Gunners to swoop for the Borussia Dortmund star in theory – given that they “admire him” (opens in new tab). More likely, however, is Mikel Arteta revisiting a player on his winter window shortlist.
Moises Caicedo was a target towards the end of the season, with the player openly asking for a move from Brighton & Hove Albion. Able to operate as a No.6 and a No.8, it has been reported (opens in new tab) that the Ecuadorian could be signed alongside Rice – and not instead of.
Should Arsenal complete both transfers, they could spend between £160m and £200m on the top players – and that’s before a back-up for Bukayo Saka and a potential right-back, with Ivan Fresneda targeted in January (opens in new tab).
Manchester United are going to rebuild with huge investments from their new Qatari owners – with Erik ten Hag able to spend millions to compete with the best.
That’s according to one exciting report for United fans that says that the club are on the brink of a takeover that would reassert the Red Devils as the richest club on Earth once more.
As well as spending huge in the transfer market, however, the new owners are apparently interested in helping the community, too. Qatar’s monarch Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is apparently a big United fan and following the excitement of the World Cup last year, the nation wants to extend its involvement in the sport.
According to the Mail’s (opens in new tab)source, “These people are serious. They want to make sure that United are where they should be and they are confident theirs will be the strongest bid.
“They want to strengthen the squad to put them back at the top but they also want this to be for the good of the community.”
The report also states that the investors linked with the Old Trafford outfit are a different group from those who own Paris Saint-German, Qatari Sports Investments.
According to Transfermarkt (opens in new tab), United spent close to €250 million in the transfer market this season, with Antony and Casemiro the two headline-makers. With the Red Devils limited to loans in January, however, their spending power would not be in question under Qatari ownership.
Should the bid be successful, both sides of the city would be owned by Middle Eastern groups, with Manchester City in the control of UAE-based City Football Group.