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Nigeria’s seeds deficit hits N130bn annually-Survey

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A new study by Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation has rated Nigeria’s value seeds as the leading hub in Western and Central Africa, accounting for majority of seeds production on the African continent.

In its latest Access to Seed Index 2019, the study reported that Nigeria’s valued seed has the highest quality seed variety in the region, beating others to the top position.

Ranked second was Technisem from France, which has the widest presence in the region, covering 17 countries.

Recently, the international seed rating agency also revealed that the country has around $450 million (N130billion) in terms of seed production shortfall. It said that the Nigerian government and the private sector have to intensify seed production efforts to meet the national seed demand

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, in Lagos, leader of the delegation of private sector investors on a visit to Nigeria, Ido Verhagen, Executive Director, Access to Seed Index, explained that Nigeria’s seed production capacity stood at 800,000 metric tonnes.

He added that the study showed the continent represents two per cent of the global seed production, even as the global seed business is valued at $50 billion (N17.9billion).

He said: “Nigeria-based value seeds top our rankings in new research on seed companies operating in Western and Central Africa. However, we discovered that the overall picture is one of international and African seed companies falling short in delivering quality seed and new varieties to smallholder farmers. This limits the potential to address food security, nutrition and climate resilience.”

On the seed deficit in Nigeria, Mr. Verhagen said: “The deficit in Nigeria is around $450 million or N130 billion annually in terms of seed business. This is the difference in the demand that could be met if Nigerian companies step up their seed production.

“There is a research we released couples of days ago showing that Africa represents two per cent of the global seed value chain. As you know this is just two per cent of the global population, so we have big gap in the seed sector in Nigeria and the continent. I think the global seed business is valued at $50 billion (N17.9billion). So you can see that there is a huge potential in seed business globally.”

Speaking further, he said following its meeting with the Federal Government in Abuja, last week, there is a lot to be done in the Nigerian seed value chain in terms of rectifying the seed deficit gap despite the country producing the highest seed needed in the whole of Africa.

He explained that there is growing number of seed companies active in the region, both homegrown and international, with less than half of the 23 companies researched carrying out plant breeding in Western and Central Africa.

According to him, this limits the release of new varieties adapted by the region, and explains the high number of varieties that are older than five years offered in company portfolios.

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Trump dismisses US recession fears

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Trump dismisses US recession fears

U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

“We’re doing tremendously well, our consumers are rich, I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they’re loaded up with money,” Trump said on Sunday.

But he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, “I’m not ready to make a deal yet.”

He hinted that the White House would like to see Beijing resolve ongoing protests in Hong Kong first.

“I would like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion,” Trump said. “I think it would be very good for the trade deal.”

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said trade deputies from the two countries would speak within 10 days and “if those deputies’ meetings pan out… we are planning to have China come to the USA” to advance negotiations over ending a trade battle that has emerged as a potential risk to global economic growth.

Even with the talks stalled for now and the threat of greater tariffs and other trade restrictions hanging over the world economy, Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” the United States remained “in pretty good shape.”

“There is no recession in sight,” Kudlow said. “Consumers are working. Their wages are rising. They are spending and they are saving.”

Their comments follow a week in which concerns about a possible U.S. recession weighed on financial markets and seemed to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign. Democrats on Sunday argued Trump’s trade policies were posing an acute, short-term risk.

U.S. stock markets tanked last week on recession fears with all three major U.S. indexes closing down about 3% on Wednesday, paring their losses by Friday due to expectations the European Central Bank might cut rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and 19 other central banks have already loosened monetary policy in what Fitch Ratings last week described as the largest shift since the 2009 recession.

Markets are expecting more cuts to come. For a brief time last week, bond investors demanded a higher interest rate on 2-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, a potential signal of lost faith in near-term economic growth.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday dismissed the idea that last week’s market volatility was a warning sign, saying “good” economic dynamics were encouraging investors to move money to the United States.

“We have the strongest economy in the world and money is coming here for our stock market. It’s also coming here to chase yield in our bond markets,” Navarro told ABC’s “This Week.”

For bond markets, the sort of movement Navarro described is often driven by trouble – in this case the possibility that the trade battle with China is lasting far longer than expected and becoming disruptive to business investment and growth, reports Reuters.

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Trump dismisses US recession fears

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Trump dismisses US recession fears

U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

“We’re doing tremendously well, our consumers are rich, I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they’re loaded up with money,” Trump said on Sunday.

But he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, “I’m not ready to make a deal yet.”

He hinted that the White House would like to see Beijing resolve ongoing protests in Hong Kong first.

“I would like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion,” Trump said. “I think it would be very good for the trade deal.”

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said trade deputies from the two countries would speak within 10 days and “if those deputies’ meetings pan out… we are planning to have China come to the USA” to advance negotiations over ending a trade battle that has emerged as a potential risk to global economic growth.

Even with the talks stalled for now and the threat of greater tariffs and other trade restrictions hanging over the world economy, Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” the United States remained “in pretty good shape.”

“There is no recession in sight,” Kudlow said. “Consumers are working. Their wages are rising. They are spending and they are saving.”

Their comments follow a week in which concerns about a possible U.S. recession weighed on financial markets and seemed to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign. Democrats on Sunday argued Trump’s trade policies were posing an acute, short-term risk.

U.S. stock markets tanked last week on recession fears with all three major U.S. indexes closing down about 3% on Wednesday, paring their losses by Friday due to expectations the European Central Bank might cut rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and 19 other central banks have already loosened monetary policy in what Fitch Ratings last week described as the largest shift since the 2009 recession.

Markets are expecting more cuts to come. For a brief time last week, bond investors demanded a higher interest rate on 2-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, a potential signal of lost faith in near-term economic growth.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday dismissed the idea that last week’s market volatility was a warning sign, saying “good” economic dynamics were encouraging investors to move money to the United States.

“We have the strongest economy in the world and money is coming here for our stock market. It’s also coming here to chase yield in our bond markets,” Navarro told ABC’s “This Week.”

For bond markets, the sort of movement Navarro described is often driven by trouble – in this case the possibility that the trade battle with China is lasting far longer than expected and becoming disruptive to business investment and growth, reports Reuters.

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Conoil assures shareholders of improved returns

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Conoil assures shareholders of improved returns

…as profit rises by 13.8%

 

 

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onoil Plc has promised its shareholders improved returns on investment that will see the company delivering increased dividend.

 

 

In his address to shareholders at the 49th Annual General Meeting of the company at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, stated that despite the challenges of a tough operating environment in the downstream petroleum sector, Conoil continued to record progress towards delivering superior shareholder value.

 

 

“Every segment of our business will continue to receive the desired attention with a view to maintaining world class levels of operating and capital discipline. We believe that the future holds a lot of promise for our shareholders, the company will surely reward them for their steadfastness and unwavering faith in its prospects,” Adenuga said.

 

 

For the financial period ended December 31, 2018, Conoil profit before tax rose by 11.4 per cent to N2,566,765 from N2,304,627 posted in 2017, while profit after tax soared to N1,796,042 from N1,578,507 or 13.8 per cent increase.  Turnover rose by 5.8 per cent to N122,213,014 from N115,513,246.

 

 

At the meeting, shareholders ratified a total dividend cash payment of N1.4 billion, which translates to 200kobo for every 50kobo share held.

 

 

Adenuga attributed Conoil’s achievement in the financial year under review to the commitment of the Board and management of the company to deliver solid financial results, in spite of the enormous challenges that confronted operators in the downstream oil sector, including the prohibitive cost of procuring petroleum products.

 

 

He said: “We managed the challenges properly and ended the year creditably. We embarked on strategic cost reduction, while ensuring that the future growth potential of our business was not sacrificed.”

 

 

He assured that the company would not relent in its efforts to maintain its leading position in the downstream petroleum sector “through new initiatives in product development, service delivery and best practices, while delivering value to all our stakeholders.”

 

 

Commenting on the company’s performance, the shareholders expressed satisfaction with the overall performance and the growth path which the Board and management have charted for sustained profitability. They were pleased that the company sustained its tradition of paying dividends even in the face of daunting industry challenges

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PoS deals hit N1.4trn in six months

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PoS deals hit N1.4trn in six months

 

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alue of Point of Sales (PoS) transactions rose to N1.4 trillion in the first six months of the year, New Telegraph has learnt. This represented 38 per cent growth over N1.01 trillion recorded in the same period last year.

 

 

According to data released by the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the growth was driven largely by retailers across the country. Volume of transactions also rose from 120.8 million in half year 2018 to 187.7 million in same period this year.

 

 

The NIBSS statistics revealed that 52.8 million, representing 28 per cent of the total transactions volume, were consummated in the retail sector. This, it said, was a result of the increased number of retail merchant registration on PoS. Fuel stations came second in terms of volume as 28 million deals, representing 15 per cent of the total, were sealed through their PoS terminals.

 

 

Wholesale market accounted for 14 per cent with 27.2 million deals, while fast food outlets accounted for 10 per cent with 19.6 million consummated transactions. Hotels across the country were in the sixth position in terms of PoS usage as they accounted for three per cent of the transactions at six million.

 

 

In terms of location of users, NIBSS said PoS usage in the country remained concentrated in urban areas. State by state analysis of the half year data showed that 91.5 million, representing 49 per cent of the total deals were from Lagos. Residents of FCT, Abuja, accounted for 14.4 million (8 per cent), while Rivers State recorded 13.4 million (seven per cent). Ogun and Delta states recorded 9.8 million and 7.6 million PoS transactions respectively.

Analysis of monthly statistics showed that transactions worth N222.9 billion were carried out over the electronic platform in January, while N193.4 billion was recorded in February. In March and April, N217.4 billion and N246 billion were recorded respectively. The highest transaction value in the six months was recorded in May as Nigerians spent N257.7 billion over PoS terminals while N245.9 billion was recorded in June.

 

 

The transactions were carried out over 238,801 active terminals deployed by merchants across the country. This showed that additional 21,563 terminals have been deployed this year when compared with 217,283 in active use as at December last year.

 

 

Meanwhile, as daily volume of  PoS transactions increase, there have also been concerns over increasing rate of transaction failures.

According to NIBSS Deputy Managing Director, Mr Niyi Ajao, failure rate of card transactions on PoS terminals in Nigeria ranges between 13 per cent and 15 per cent, that is, in every 100 attempts to process card payment on PoS terminals, 13 to 15 would fail, compared with 0.7 per cent failure rate of the NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) service.

 

He noted that studies have, however, revealed that while about half of the card payment failures are attributable to system glitches and GPRS signal problems in the POS processing system, the other half is largely caused by the account selection feature which is peculiar to PoS terminal operation in Nigeria.

 

 

“Studies have shown that often times the cardholder will choose current account but the salesperson would go ahead and select savings account option in error or vice versa, so where the cardholder does not have funds in the savings account, the transaction would be declined. Also two to three seconds are wasted in every POS payment process to confirm cardholders’ preferred account. This amounts to up to 800 hours cumulative time wasted daily given the current 1,000,000 average daily POS transaction volume,” he said.

 

 

However, to address the challenge, he said all banks had resolved that  from beginning of this year, salespersons should desist from asking cardholders about current/savings account.

 

 

“Rather, the salesperson should just select the default account option on the POS terminal during card payment processing. In like manner, cardholders are required to tell the salesperson to use the default account whenever they are confronted with current/savings account question.

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Neimeth: Cost pressure dwarfs earnings

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Neimeth: Cost pressure dwarfs earnings

The health care industry has continued to struggle with cost pressure as the harsh operating milieu also hurts Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc. Chris Ugwu reports

 

 

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harmaceutical industry like other sectors of the nation’s economy is not insulated from the negative effect of harsh operating environment as it is still seen as a weaker competitor, when compared with international firms in spite of the sector’s potential in Nigeria.

 

 

However, in spite of the harsh milieu, some health care companies in Nigeria have been rated by some market watchers as doing well, according to their capacity, and contributing to the economic development of the country.

 

 

Some of these companies are making strong strides on the back of Federal Government’s commitment towards making the sector self-sufficient as well as improving the overall standard and quality of its products and service delivery.

 

 

However, the overall economic and business climate has been a mixed fortune for manufacturing companies due to mounting economic challenges, hence; Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc like its peers has continued to struggle with cost challenges.

 

 

The company, which recovered from a loss position in 2017, also ended the year 2018 in a loss position just as it began 2019 in an unimpressive note, witnessing losses and significant declines in most quarters of the year.

 

 

Market watchers mainly attributed it to weak consumer demands, stiffer competition and lack of accessibility to key markets in the northern part of the country, coupled with increased financing cost resulting in slow growth of many fast moving consumer goods companies.

 

 

Market sentiments for the shares of Neimeth, one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous companies in the pharmaceutical industry listed on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, has also dwindled relatively due to challenging environment, just like other quoted firms in Nigeria facing depression in share prices.

 

 

The share price, which closed at 66 kobo per share in September, 2018, recorded a dip in growth that when the closing bell rang on Friday, the company’s share price stood at 51 kobo, a decline of 15 kobo or 22.7 per cent year to date.

 

 

Financials

 

 

The pharmaceutical firm recovered from loss in 2017 to a profit in 2018. Specifically, Neimeth posted a revenue of N2.269 billion for the year ended September 30, 2018, up from N1.534 billion in 2017.Cost of sale jumped from N604.670 million to N1.107 billion, while gross profit stood at N1.161 billion in 2018, as against N929 million in 2017.

 

 

Finance cost fell from N84 million to N76 million. The company ended the year with a profit before tax of N202 million compared with a loss before tax of N404 million and profit after tax of N184 million in 2018, which is a recovery from a loss of N411 million in 2017.

 

 

Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc, however, slipped into a loss position with a loss after tax of N139.161 million for the first quarter ended December 31, 2019.

 

 

In a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company posted loss in profit as against a profit after tax of N13.553 million recorded during the comparable period of 2018.

 

 

The company’s revenue dropped from N394.298 million posted the previous year to N227.068 million during the year under review, representing a decrease of 42.41 per cent.

 

 

The company also saw an increase in its marketing and distribution expenses, which dragged the gross profit 72.65 per cent lower to N53.5 million from the N195.6 million recorded in 2017.

 

 

The financial statement also showed that the company recorded a loss of N119.3 million from diminution of investment, compared with the N30 million that was gained in 2017. The cost of financing increased to N19.9 million in the period under review.

 

 

Neimeth recorded a profit after tax of N31.691 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2018.

 

 

In a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company posted the profit as against a loss after tax of N63.410 million recorded during the comparable period of 2017.

 

 

The company’s revenue grew from N314.975 million posted the previous year to N457.387 million during the year under review, representing an increase of 45.21 per cent.

 

 

Neimeth Pharmaceuticals recorded a loss after tax of N139.161 million for the first quarter ended December 31, 2019.

 

 

In a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company posted loss in profit as against a profit after tax of N13.553 million recorded during the comparable period of 2018.

 

 

The company’s revenue dropped from N394.298 million posted the previous year to N227.068 million during the year under review, representing a decrease of 42.41 per cent.

 

 

It recorded a 81.6 per cent drop in profit after tax for the second quarter ended March 2019 to N5.447 million from N29.541 million in 2018.

 

 

Revenue stood at N975.982 million in contrast to N877.315 million reported in 2018, representing a drop of 11.2 per cent.

 

 

Net Assets also declined by 0.1 per cent to N984.18 million from N985.506 million as at 31st December, 2018.

 

 

According analysts report in H’19, the woeful performance was a result of the contraction in gross profit by 5.61 per cent and an increase in net exchange loss to N9.85 million, from N0.27 million in H1:2018. The firm recorded a loss amounting to N139 billion in Q1’19, after four consecutive quarters of profits. The loss position was an aggregation of several shortcomings such as low demand, heightened cost-to-sales, increased distribution and marketing costs amongst others.

 

 

Neimeth Pharmaceutical reported 49.25 per cent drop in profit after tax for the third quarter ended June 2019.

 

 

In a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company posted a profit after tax of N31.074 million for the nine months ended June 2019 as against a profit of N61.232 million recorded during the comparable period of 2018.

 

 

The company’s revenue dropped from N1.334 billion posted the previous year to N1.410 billion during the year under review, representing a decrease of 5.69 per cent.

 

 

Cost of sales increased by 26.40 per cent to N764.524 million in 2019 from N604.799 million in 2018.

 

 

Operational challenges

 

 

The Chairman of the company, Dr. ABC Orjiako, speaking at the 2018 annual general meeting, said:  “At our AGM last year, I had good reason to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria for the multiple access channels for foreign exchange which I said “contributed to easing external trade especially in importing critical production inputs.

 

 

“Regrettably, the street channel was the dominant source of foreign exchange in 2018 with the huge third party risk in acquisition of FX hanging over manufacturers as the Sword of Damocles. The banks that should be the assured sources of FX were primarily sources of commission costs taken for perpetual biddings that yield little or no allocations. Why the system that came successful as an experiment in 2017 could not be made more perfect in 2018 is part of our nation’s proficiency in deconstruction.

 

 

“2018 being penultimate election year it would have been a miracle to expect any betterment in our energy and other infrastructural deficiencies. Manufacturing had to live with those endemic impediments. Inflation continued to moderate; at a time coming below 10.5 per cent before creeping back to 11.10 per cent by the end of September 2018.

 

 

“Research is the work done today that secures the future. In pharmaceutical manufacturing this is an axiom. But research is a painful and time consuming exercise often with outcomes as uncertain as sea voyage on a sail. Yet this is effort that neither excites our policy makers nor the regulators as demonstrated, not by what is said, but by what is done. No subsidies on research expenditures or tax exemptions on such costs. Non-the-less Neimeth continues to be an active participant in this arduous field of pharmaceutical endeavour especially in the orphan diseases afflicting our people.”

 

 

Outlook

 

 

Orjiako noted that in 2016/17 financial year, the company was challenged by adversity when fire gutted its raw materials warehouse on  March 7, 2017.

 

 

“In one single year, 2017/18, we were able to overcome the crippling incident and are ready to resume our march forward.

 

 

 

“The Board has restarted implementation of its management reset that commenced with the hiring of our former Managing Director three years ago. Her departure and the fire incident put a temporary halt to the execution of the comprehensive reset that would presage our growth strategy.

 

 

“We have completed the process leading to the engagement of a new MD/CEO who would join the company in the second quarter of this 2018/19 financial year. Other changes at the senior management level are in the works and would be completed soonest. These changes are meant to drive the vigorous expansion program and growth your board has harboured for a while now. Our vision encompass increased import circumference as well as enhanced domestic manufacturing of our flagship brands.”

 

 

 

 

Last line 

 

 

The operating environment for Neimeth like any other health care company has remained challenging due to intense competition and naira pressure. It is hoped that the company would continue to adopt business strategies to fit the dynamic business operating environment.

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Toluwalope: Nigeria’ll always remain investment destination

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Toluwalope: Nigeria’ll always remain investment destination

The Managing Director/CEO, eTranzact International Plc, an e-payment solution provider, in this interview with Chris Ugwu, speaks on challenges and prospects of financial technology (fintech) and other issues affecting Nigeria’s economy

 

 

What is your take on the Nigerian economy?

 

 

The Nigerian economy has the potential to be the biggest economy in Africa and also a source to reckon with globally. We have about 200 million people, which make us the biggest black nation in the world population wise, what that translate to is an immense opportunities. We have people in country that will drive the economy but unfortunately if you look at the nation, we have a huge poverty situation,  we have huge infrastructure and education deficits, we have job creation deficit, so why is all of this happening? If you scale it down, it is all about infrastructure we do not have, lack of infrastructure does not enable industry growth and if there is no industry growth, it affects job creation . If there is no job creation, nothing to recycle into education growth and if there is no education, it leads to insecurity, which  we have consistently seen in the country.  The people that have been denied to be trained over time are now getting arms, ganging up and causing havoc at all spheres within the nation. Now all of them unfortunately is affecting the economy with a great potential. Currently there is a World Bank release that showed that we are the biggest or the second biggest economy in the Africa with all the insecurity, infrastructure deficit, poverty situation and education deficit, we are still number one or two, imagine if everything is tinkered right and is working, Nigeria will be a better place to be.

 

 

What is your take on investment landscape in the country?

 

 

Last year alone I think there were several billions of dollar into Fintech industry across the world and Nigeria got her piece because the fundamentals are there, savvy investors that understand developing market and how to manage investment return expectations in developing markets will also return regardless. But the issue of insecurity and instability will always mar border line investors that are not risk averse in terms of making necessary investment in the country. However,  Nigeria will always be an investment destination because businesses are coming up every day that need funding. With 200 million people that need services, we are looking up to the government to help manage and balance the security,  I believe if that one is sorted out, with the new aspiration of the coming ministers, particularly the one on power that has talked about the N10 trillion investment that must happen to balance out the infrastructure.  Just the fact that those ideas are coming and the action in place, it is already generating a lot of investments because people want to build businesses that will be available before the infrastructure comes out so that everything will be aligned and the country moves forward.

 

 

Do you think that Nigeria is ready for the new digital economy with the dearth of infrastructure?

 

 

I believe that Nigeria does not have a choice, the global economy is completely going digital, that is the destination, it is either we align now or we suffer for it in future when we want to align, a lot of businesses, transactions are being digitalized as we speak, so we have to fall on the line, the global economy is fast becoming digital and have to be digital in order to operate there. I think Nigeria has already taken the digital stance.  It is just a matter of having a right infrastructure, the right mind set and the right regulation to ensure that this is done.

 

 

What are the challenges facing Fintech industry in the country?

 

 

Fintech industry in Nigeria is fast growing and there is a lot of innovation coming into it. What we need is proper guidance for smaller Fintechs, which e-transact is doing by providing the platform for them to connect and raise funding. Funding is a challenge, and regulation is also a challenge, we need proper regulation to ensure that Fintech are properly regulated to promote them and not hinder them. We have to take transactions of banking services to the individuals. It is no longer going to work for  banks to be waiting for you to come, no, new technology is changing  as everything is becoming digitalized now, I should be able to push banking services directly to you  because as far as we are concern you have a bank on the go. It is changing and regulation has to support Fintech. It is one of the key challenges we have to surmount.

 

 

 

 

In an emerging economy like Nigeria , what are also the prospect of Fintech?

 

 

The biggest opportunity we see in Nigeria for Fintech is that the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the regulators, every

 

 

body is moving into digital platform,  as of today just about 30 per cent of transaction activities we do is digital, almost everything is still based on cash, which is about 70 per cent.

This 70 per cent that need to come into digital platform has not come yet and that’s the opportunity for Fintech industry. Now rather than just crating payments solutions people need to also understand how they can make money from the process, how can they be entrepreneur or merchants on the emerging technology? The agency banking model is a good prospect and the more people  plug into the that kind of services, the more they increase the awareness and the more they increase transaction activities and bring in a lot of under banked and unbanked people into the financial ecosystem, that will grow the transaction activities and help the country realize digital payment strategy, that’s a huge opportunity.

 

 

What is your take on the resumption of Value Added Tax (VAT) on transaction activities in the nation’s capital market?

 

 

It is not unique to Nigeria, you find this kind of taxes across the globe, the government needs money, somebody has to fund it, we can’t keep taking loans, the government can’t continue to take Paris Club and World Bank loans  to finance our growth and development, Nigerians have to finance their growth and development. I guess the problem has been if I am paying that five per cent in every transaction I undertake, is it going to the actual use? If am paying that 5 per cent and I know that tomorrow government is going to reduce my diesel cost because the government has improved on power infrastructure, it is worthwhile activities  and I will be happy to drop that. The problem in Nigeria is not about paying taxes , the problem is what are the taxes used for because as a private individual, you  have a diesel to provide electricity for yourself, you have a borehole to provide water for yourself, you have  security outfit to provide security for yourself and so on, you are already a mini company and you are paying taxes, these are things the taxes supposed to help you achieve, the  government supposed to provide security , water and electricity, you pay taxes but you still provide these infrastructures for yourself, that is one of the challenges the country is facing that the current government need to address.

 

 

Don’t you think with the current situation – where there’s insecurity, won’t scare away investors?

 

 

At some time we have to see beyond the immediate and think about the long term effect of this, some of the investors pulling back are only thinking about the immediate impact of this. What is the long term effect of creating a Nigeria that leverages on growth opportunities and create more investment opportunities should be our thinking.

 

 

I don’t support taking loans to develop the country, if the people  that generate businesses in Nigeria are able to pay a portion of their returns  as taxes and government judiciously  use this to fix the infrastructural deficit we have, am all for it and I think any investor that think long term  will support that because we want a Nigeria that is built to be able to extract the opportunities that is therein, that’s not going to happen today, and for us to extract that a few years to come, we need to develop the Nigeria today, no pain no gain, the higher  the risk the higher the gain. Investors need to take a step to properly evaluate their risk appetite and think long term.

 

 

What do you think the government should do differently to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria?

 

 

They have already done it, if you look at the returning CBN governors’ aspirations on digital payments and financial inclusion, the shared agents network enhancement facility programme they have done, already they have seen how it worked for the six institutions they appointed initially, they have put more funding  and regulatory frame work behind it and have been supporting it by pushing specific payments  through those channels. I believe that the strategies of the regulator are very clear over the next five years, they have already made it public on how they are going to drive financial inclusion through the share agent network enhancement programme, they have already set an agency that is going to manage 500,000 agents that was created, that agency is managed by a very experienced banker, so all the signs are there that this is going to be successful.

 

 

How is eTranzact positioning to advance the new digital economy?

 

 

We have gone through a significant management restructuring, we are completely a new management, driving the strategy of the company going forward, we have just concluded a restructuring and board reorganisation exercise that would enable it to focus on improved governance and proper structure.

 

 

We have done a lot since the last one year, we have invested in our people, our infrastructure and our products , we have reviewed and streamlined our strategy so that it aligned properly with our future focus in the role we want to place in financial technology space and electronic payment generally in the future. Some of which are new focus on developing block chain technology and developing new big data strategy, as you see and some us already know, data now rules the world. As financial technology institution, switching and payment processing infrastructure by the apps we see a lot of transactions. Last bbyear we did over N30 trillion in transaction value  process  and that was processed by over 400 million specific transactions.

 

 

The company would create a platform to empower and position upcoming Financial Technology (Fintech) institutions and other smaller players in the industry that did not have the capital structure to establish a platform.

We have built an infrastructure that would enable these start-ups to plug into eTransact platform and consummate their transactions seamlessly at any given time.

 

 

We are already positioning ourselves in the centre so that any fintech that raises money to build a product can use our platform to consummate their transactions.

 

 

As a licensed CBN switching company, we have the ability to move money from any bank account and that is what financial transaction is all about.

 

 

Also, a critical part of our strategy is to continue to empower the unbanked and the under banked under our financial inclusion strategy, as you know we are one of the licensed  mobile money operators in the country.

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Nigeria deepens debts to World Bank, AfDB by $1.66bn

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Nigeria deepens debts to World Bank, AfDB by $1.66bn

λFund raised for power transmission investment

 

 

MODUS

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, joins 14 other countries that have already signed up to ATI membership

 

 

T

he Federal Government has deepened its debts profile with the World Bank and Africa Development Bank AfDB with fresh $1.66 billion loan.

 

 

The Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed, who disclosed this in Abeokuta at the weekend, maintained that the funds were raised for power transmission investment.

 

 

Federal Government had, on Friday, November 1, 2013, privatised the generation and distribution strata of power industry. It, however, still has the grip of transmission that is yet to be privatised.

 

 

Noting that a part of the $1.6 billion was sourced from a Japanese lender, the TCN boss maintained that the money had been invested in the establishment of transmission equipment and upgrade of other obsolete power transmission assets.

 

 

This, he said, had helped to boost the transmission capacity from 5000mega watt to 8,100mega watt.

 

 

“As at last audit certified by international consultants in December 2018, we have raised $1.661bn for transmission investment,” he said.

 

 

Giving part of the breakdown for the loan, Mohammed said that $461million of the fund was secured from the World Bank; $500 million from Africa Development Bank (AfDB) while $238 million cane from Japanese lenders.

 

 

“As you are aware, the transmission was once referred to as the weakest link in the power supply chain. This is not the case anymore.

 

He had earlier said that about $4.3 billion investment deficit was also noticed among the power distribution companies (Discos).

 

“And until we secure this investment, the power supply need of the country and all these efforts cannot achieve their desired goals. We have to recapitalised the Discos and it is something we must do,” he said.

 

 

The African Development Bank Group, through its trade finance operations, had also approved a $14.12 million facility to support the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). This is a critical and mandatory step to enable ATI commence its operations in Nigeria.

 

 

Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, joins 14 other African countries that have already signed up to ATI membership.

 

 

Once membership formalities in ATI are finalised, Nigeria could benefit from gross political and commercial risk insurance cover on total investments and trade amounting to over $5 billion by 2020.

 

 

The catalytic effect of using limited financial resources in this way is undoubtedly massive.

 

 

The approved facility complements ongoing and planned interventions geared at building institutional capacity and improving the resilience of the Nigerian economy.

 

 

Joining ATI will enable Nigeria leverage its position to mobilise additional resources to finance trade, especially importation of essential goods such as medicines and communications equipment, to rehabilitate basic infrastructure   and strengthen the country’s productive sector.

 

ATI’s mandate is to provide medium to long term credit and political risk insurance, as well as other risk mitigation products to its member countries and related public and private sector actors.

 

 

These products directly encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as well as local private sector investment in regional member countries and intra- and extra-African trade. ATI catalyzes private sector investments in infrastructure projects, thereby promoting economic integration of participating countries into regional markets.

 

 

This financing aligns with four of the bank’s High 5 priorities, namely, Light Up and Power Africa, Industrialise Africa, Feed Africa and Integrate Africa.

 

 

As a trade finance facilitation initiative, this financing will support operations that are crosscutting and multi-sectoral in nature and will have an impact on agribusiness, infrastructure development, electricity generation, telecommunications and manufacturing.

 

 

According to the Director of the Financial Sector Department, Stefan Nalletamby, “the bank seeks to achieve its ambitious development mandate by working with and through other strategic partners, and where possible, by supporting the development of strong and viable African institutions such as ATI. This financing scales up the work of ATI by supporting the beneficiary RMCs to become members.”

 

 

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Firm hires COO, head of finance

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Lori Systems has appointed Uche Ogboi as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Also, the company appointed Efayomi Carr as its head of strategic finance.

 

A statement from the company noted that both appointments take effect immediately. Ogboi served as the principal, investments at Echo VC Partners, a Pan-Africa and tech-enabled venture capital firm where she helped grow the firm’s portfolio both across the region and globally.

 

She has invested in companies across various sectors including logistics, healthcare, fintech, telecoms and agriculture. Ogboi also worked at Citi for eight years as an Investment Banker where she managed the bank’s SME fund and was involved in structuring the bank’s agriculture lending initiative.

 

Also, Carr joined the company from Quona Capital, where he served as senior associate supporting investments across Africa.

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Akin-Olugbade joins World Trade Board

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Akin-Olugbade joins World Trade Board

The World Trade Board (WTB) has appointed a Nigerian, Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as the first Af- rican member.

 

A statement by its Chairman, Simon Paris, said in Lagos that Akin-Olugbade, an international counsel at AÉLEX Law Firm, joins 20 other global trade and finance leaders on the board. Paris explained that the appointment of the first African into the body came at a most auspicious time, with the formal inauguration of the operational phase of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

 

He noted that Akin-Olugbade was combining the highest academic qualifications and professional distinctions with excellent legal skills, extensive transactional experience and corporate governance expertise.

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U.S. hospital hires Nigerian as surgeon-in-chief

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U.S. hospital hires Nigerian as surgeon-in-chief

 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio, United States has appointed a Nigerian, Oluyinka Olutoye as its Surgeon-In-Chief (SIC). In his role as the Surgeon- In-Chief, Olutoye will lead one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States.

 

A statement from the hospital said that he would also be appointed professor and the E. Thomas Boles chair of pediatric surgery at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. Olutoye, obtained a medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife.

 

He obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Virginia Hospi tals, Virginia Commonwealth University, and his fellowships in pediatric and fetal surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia. Olutoye will serve as the primary surgical liaison between Nationw i d e C h i l – d ren’s and the O S U College of Medi cine.

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ABUJA MAN REVEALS (FREE) SECRET FRUITS THAT INCREASED MANHOOD AND LASTING POWER IN 7DAYS

 

… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

 

 

 

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