Federal Executive Council on Wednesday gave a nod for Nigeria to rejoin the African Trade Insurance Agency.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun disclosed in Abuja while briefing journalists on the outcomes of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adeosun said the council approved a memo she presented which harped on the necessity of Nigeria to join African Trade Insurance Agency to provide risk guarantee for investment coming into Nigeria as well as export from the country.
African Trade Insurance Agency was established to provide risk guarantee for private investors coming into Nigeria as well as exporters from the country.
The multilateral agency which was set up with the support of the World Bank, is owned by African government and is registered under the United Nations treaty to provide insurance and promote economic growth in member countries
Adeosun said joining the agency would provide risk guarantees, sovereign guarantee and risk mitigation, disclosing that many African countries are already members of the agency.
Although it was not immediately clear why Nigeria exited its membership, but she joins other member African countries such as Benin Republic, Burundi, Congo Dr, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda amongst others.
” So, of projects asking for sovereign guarantees, we will be able to provide that risk mitigation through the African Trade Insurance Agency. Many other countries are already members so Nigeria will be also joining,” she said.
According to her” This agency has an A rating international and is able to guarantee long term projects. So what we see as a result of this is that there will be increased level of investments particularly, public private partnership PPP where every often the investors want some guarantee from the government, instead the government issuing sovereign guarantee directly, this agency will step in and issue it. It is very similar to MIGA which Multi-lateral Insurance Guarantee Agency that is owned by the International Finance Corporation, IFC.
Meanwhile, the federal government has issued fresh warning to residents along the River Niger, of fresh threats of flooding following the over flowing of the river in Niamey, Niger Republic.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suliaman Adamu, said there was no cause for alarm on the issue of flooding, adding that why rainfall leading to flooding could not be stopped, the government would take preventive measures.
“I briefed council on the incident of flood. Niamey the capital of Niger Republic has put the country on alert. The levels of the River in Niamey has increased considerably and the country is at alert at the moment.
“That is an indication that there will be more flood into the river Niger downstream towards Kanji, Jabba and of course by the time you come down on confluence at Lokoja the situation will be compounding because you are already aware of the flood situation in Benue.
“The good thing is that we have an observatory in Niamey and another one in Lokoja to give us that real time, per second updates on the water level.
“So we are monitoring the situation and I briefed council on our efforts to monitor the situation which we are doing. Our consultation with NEMA, which is working closely with Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency which is an agency under the Ministry of Water Resources and if there is any indication that there is going to be a significant rise or is going to get to an emergency situation, we will be able to give an early warning to NEMA which is poise to to inform affected states along River Niger particularly Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Beulah and Rivers.
“For now there is no cause for alarm but like I said we are monitoring the situation and it could very well become more drastic with more rains. I believe the most important thing is that we cannot stop the flooding but we can provide early warning and we ensure that we take safety measures to reduce lost of property and lost of life.”
The Minister urged the states along the river to commence emergency preparations saying that the water was threatening to overflow along its banks any moment
He however assured that all agencies of the federal government has been put on red alert and warned those residing along the banks of the river to look for temporary shelter to avoid damages.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja