The owner of Timberland, Vans and several other shoe and clothing brands says it has stopped buying leather from Brazil as fires continue to destroy the Amazon rainforest in that country.
VF Corp. says it won't purchase leather and hide from Brazilian suppliers until it's assured that the materials "do not contribute to environmental harm in the country."
The current fires in the Amazon were set by those who are clearing the forest for cattle ranching and crops. About 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil.
VF, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, says a small amount of the leather it buys comes from Brazil, but didn't provide specific numbers. Besides Timberland boots and Vans sneakers, VF also makes The North Face jackets, Eastpak backpacks and Dickies clothing.
Credit: Associated Press
Nigeria lost about N8.93 billion to cyber criminals representing 59 percent of funds stolen through internet and technology based crimes in 2018 alone.
This was revealed by the Chairman, Global Banking Education Standards Board, Dr. Segun Aina, who said banks’ losses to fraud in Nigeria jumped to N15.15bn in 2018, an increase of 539 per cent compared to N2.37bn in 2017.
Aina who is also the president, Fintech Association of Nigeria President stated this at the 2019 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Lagos State Branch, Bankers & Stakeholders nite in Lagos.
He maintained that internet & technology based sources of fraud accounted for 59 per cent of the fraud cases and 43 per cent of actual loss.
He stressed that governments of different countries might also not be able to provide bailouts to banks like they did previously in 2008.
He also warned, that a global financial crisis induced by cybercrime May be imminent unless this is checked.
Citing the NDIC report that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, he said, this rose upward from $3 trillion in 2015.
“Global spending on security awareness training for employees is predicted to reach $10 billion by 2027, up from around $1 billion in 2014. Training employees how to recognise and defend against cyber-attacks is the most under spent sector of the cyber security industry.”
He noted that the UN E-Government Survey 2018 showed Denmark coming first place while Nigeria ranked 143 out of the193 member countries surveyed.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Nigerians to deposit overused or mutilated Naira notes in any bank branch closer to them, on or before September 2, 2019.
The apex bank said this was part of its efforts to improve the overall quality of the Naira notes in circulation.
According to a mail from GTBank to its customers on Friday, this was in line with the CBN’s Clean Note Policy which was announced earlier in April this year.
The email entitled, “Important CBN Notice on Naira Notes,” read: “As part of its efforts to improve the overall quality of the Naira notes in circulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the Clean Note Policy and Banknotes Fitness Guidelines.
“What does this mean for you?
“If you have in your possession, overused or mutilated Naira notes, you are required by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Clean Note Policy to deposit such notes at any (bank) branch near you on or before Monday, September 2, 2019.
“Please note that overused notes include any Naira note that is now weak to such an extent that it could easily tear at further handling or processing.
“Mutilated notes include any Naira note that has been partially or permanently damaged, but which clearly still has more than half of its original size together.
“As Nigerians, it is our patriotic and collective responsibility to handle the Naira with care; and as your Bank, we urge you to comply with this directive in order to improve the quality of our national currency.”
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has announced its mid-year audited results for the period ended June 30, 2019.
The Group also announced an interim dividend of 100 kobo per share.
According to the audited report released on Thursday, the group’s profit before tax stood at N44.7 billion, while profit after tax was N36.2 billion. Other results reflect an increase in non-interest revenue which stood at N54.9 billion while net-interest income was N39.3 billion.
The group also recorded an increase in gross earnings to N117.4 billion, representing a 3% growth while the total operating income was maintained at N94 billion.
The report further stated, that “Stanbic IBTC’s balance sheet reflect that the Group’s total asset’s was N1,619.3 billion while the gross loans and advances was N479.7 billion, an increase in 5%, compared to last year’s figures.
“While customer deposits was N693.5 billion, there was an improvement in current-and-savings-accounts deposits mix which went up to 68.9%.”
The report also quoted the company’s Chief Executive, Yinka Sanni, saying that the Group’s business segments were profitable, despite the challenging business and regulatory environment.
He said: “Our financial results in the first half of 2019 reflected similar trends encountered in the first quarter. The operating environment remained muted, regulatory changes coupled with the highly competitive landscape continued to impact overall returns. Still, our diversified business model continues to set us apart. Our business segments remained profitable and resilient although at a slower pace when compared to prior year.”
Sanni disclosed that there has been a return to growth in the second quarter, mainly from the communication and oil and gas sectors. He further added that the gross non-performing loan to total loan ratio which was 3.91%, was within acceptable regulatory limits.
Speaking on other areas of the mid-year results in which the Group experienced growth, he noted that assets under custody rose to N7 trillion (representing a 42% growth) while assets under management grew by 8% to N3.5 trillion.
China has been a latecomer to African aviation. Even though Ethiopian Airlines started flying to China in November 1973, there were few other air links between Africa and China for 30 years.
The involvement of former colonial powers such as the British, Dutch and French goes back to the 1920s; former Soviet bloc countries began to show interest during the height of the Cold War. And in the last 20 years, Persian Gulf petro-states and their airlines – Emirates, Qatar and Etihad – have become major offshore hubs for a huge range of commercial flights serving Africa.
In my recently published paper I track how China’s involvement has been different.
Official data about the scale and pace of China’s airport projects in Africa are hard to find. In the absence of primary sources, journalistic reporting on current affairs and public projects is the main source of information. These sources can be at variance. And keeping up with developments is evidently difficult.
Despite the absence of accurate, clear and consistent information, the picture that emerged during my research shows considerable Chinese activity directed at modernising, extending and building new airports in Africa. The grandest projects are in resource-rich countries.
None of China’s biggest three airlines (Air China, China Southern, China Eastern) are prominent in African skies.
It is on the ground that China has been flexing its aviation muscles in Africa. This is consistent with China’s 50-or-so years of infrastructure funding and construction on the continent. Energy, water, road and rail infrastructure projects have been the major spheres of Chinese offshore investment in Africa.
Civil airports there have been a recent addition. China’s experience of planning, funding, constructing and managing airports at home stands it in good stead.
Two 2017 reports noted between US$27 billion and US$38 billion currently being spent on or earmarked for spending on 77 construction and associated hardware projects at airports in Africa. China was named in relation to Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia. The average price for all projects was US$440 million.
At a rough estimate, China accounted for between a quarter and a third of this total airport spending. Excluding unknown expenditure in Ghana, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it spent some US$5.7 billion on these airport projects: US$3.8 billion on a new airport outside Luanda (Angola), US$615 million in Maputo, US$360 million in Zambia, US$345 million at Addis Ababa, US$260 million in Mauritius, US$190 million in Sierra Leone, and US$136 million in Mauritania.
The Chinese investment model involves loans and grants, but also, it would seem, part-exchange deals over oil and minerals. These arrangements have more of a resources-for-infrastructure or barter quality.
At the same time Turkish, French, Italian and British contractors have been bidding for airport improvement projects in Africa, and for terminal or runway new-build schemes. These, it would appear, are at a lesser scale, and have greater transparency.
China’s approach may change in the future. That’s if it can neutralise the pivot of Persian Gulf airports at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. And if it can out-manoeuvre their airlines in global long-haul markets.
It may be more likely that China’s penetration of African civil aviation will occur via partnerships with African airlines, and taking equity shares.
Some of this has already happened. For example, the Hainan corporation in China has reportedly made forays into airlines in Ghana and South Africa, and into a Kenyan all-freight carrier.
Sales to Africa of Chinese-manufactured aircraft have also started. Attendant spare parts stocks are being pre-positioned. In addition, there are plans for Chinese-led aviation technical and managerial training schools in Africa. These will reduce risk of wasted physical infrastructure and of any associated reputational damage.
Some African countries are gearing airport capacity planning to a predicted 5% annual growth in continental passenger numbers by 2035. By that time Africa is expected to be home to eight of the world’s 10 fastest-growing aviation markets. Most African countries don’t have the capacity to prepare for this and will need overseas funds and engineering expertise.
But there are concerns. Any arguments against rampant airport investment in Africa could begin with familiar worries about cost overruns in mega-infrastructure projects, the long-term burden of loan repayments (or default loss of control to foreign owners), the unaffordability of unanticipated maintenance charges, and the inappropriateness of prestige and political vanity projects.
Concerns about corruption, due diligence, accountability, social and environmental disruption plague transport projects wherever they occur.
Another argument against airport mania in Africa – including one that may be levelled against the seductively shiny steel-and-glass ‘aerotropolises’ touted in Nigeria and South Africa – is that these opportunist projects are firmly nation- or city-led (indeed, even regime-led). As such, they don’t necessarily fit into any long-term regional or pan-African programme of integrated infrastructure development.
At a time of chronic resource shortages and stress this is irresponsible. What can be accomplished technically is not always what should be done. There have always been white elephants and rogue elephants in Africa.
The economic and political geography of China’s airport consulting, financing, construction, and management programme in Africa is only now beginning to surface. In future, better statistical information, and richer local information will make for better analysis.