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I Put In 18 Hours Into My Business Everyday —Dangote

In the recently released 2017 KPMG CEO Outlook, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, provides insight into his business success.

Dangote Group, one of the leading diversified business conglomerates in Africa, generates revenues in excess of US$3 billion and employs more than 26,000 people, with business interests as diverse as cement, sugar, pasta, natural gas, and telecommunications.

“I think really, the future is looking very, very bright,” the business mogul said.

Dangote said rather than entering a new market via acquisition, he prefers to builda business from scratch and then “start competing with a lot of existing players.”

“Areas where some of our competitors have been, for 50 years before us, we’ve gone there, we’ve struggled with them, we’ve taken more market share…with no advertisements, nothing,” he added.

“What we’re doing is making sure the quality is unquestionable,” he said, adding that when “you’re providing the highest quality product in the market, you’re able to attach a very good price to that product.”

Dangote recalled that when he entered the cement business, he realized the burning question was whether his company would be able to produce cement that rivaled the quality of the established and only other cement producer operating in Nigeria at that time.

He said: “We concentrated on quality. We knew customers would not trust our brand because they’d been used to one brand for over 50 years. That’s how we came out to have the best quality ever.”

Dangote revealed that he rises before 5:30 a.m. every day and after prayers and run 10 kilometres.

He is at the office by 8:30 a.m. putting in 18-hour days on a regular basis.

“I don’t really take my job as something I have to do, it is my hobby. Twenty-four hours in a day really is not enough,” he added.

On the topic of leadership, for any company to be successful, Dangote said: “The main objective for any CEO is to make sure there’s ownership.

“Some of our competitors are not doing well because there’s nothing like ownership in their businesses.

“What we try to train our people on is that they must be committed and they must have ownership of the business.

“Don’t take it as something that you’re doing just to earn a salary. I think that kind of outlook can bring a major change in any business that you operate.”

Source: tribuneonlineng

World Bank: Total Commitment to Nigeria is now $11 billion

The World Bank’s net commitment to Nigeria currently stands at $11 billion. This was disclosed by the Country Director of World Bank Group, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, at the maiden ceremony of the Nigeria Portfolio Performance Award, organised by the bank and the Ministry of Finance.

The award ceremony was put together to recognise the outstanding performance from the implementation of World Bank-supported projects at states and federal levels.

According to Benmessaoud, the World Bank is committed to fighting poverty and 60% of its programmes will be implemented at the state level and another 40% by the Federal Government.

The projects cut across health, education, agriculture, social protection, energy, infrastructure, and governance among others in the 36 states of Nigeria, including the FCT.

Benmessaoud stated that the World Bank was working on a new framework that could reform the challenges faced by the government.

“The country’s partnership strategy is always anchored on the economic reform plan of the government and in this case, we have used the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“This is the medium-term programme of the government on which we are anchoring our country partnership framework.”

He also said the award ceremony was introduced to recognise various entities that would drive the World Bank’s programmes in terms of finance.

We have different criteria with which we have evaluated these entities and we felt that bringing all of these entities together into an award ceremony would help us to recognise all of the good works they are doing and recognise those that have done something special that others can replicate.

“There is a lot of learning that we are emphasising in our engagements, states have to learn from each other.’’

 

Criteria for the awards: Benmessaoud said the criteria include the investments of various states, quality of briefings prepared and quality of mechanisms that exists at the state level.

He added that the awards would henceforth be an annual event and that Nigeria is the biggest beneficiary with more than 30 operational projects.

Reacting to the development, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, commended the idea which he stated would make the states to compete at the level of governance. He promised Rachid that his state would assist the bank to implement its projects.

“One of the things I found upon taking office about four years ago was that most governors do not know what is going on as far as World Bank-financed projects are concerned.

“Often you find large amounts of money sitting idle that can be used for the benefit of the states that the governors are not aware of.

“The more the states carry out their projects, the more impact they will have on social sectors because most of the projects financed by the World Bank are targeted at social sectors like education, health care, nutrition and so on.’’

El-Rufai pleaded for more interventions like this and prayed for a frequency of lush funds as one single intervention cannot alleviate poverty at once.

Source: nairametrics

World Bank

We’ve spent $11bn in Nigeria- World Bank

The World Bank has declared that it has so far spent around $11billion over the years on projects across the country.

Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria Mr Rachid Benmessaoudade made this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Portfolio Performance Award.

He said the projects which this huge sum of money was spent on over the years are targeted at alleviating poverty and improving the lives of Nigerians.

He described the World Bank’s financial commitment in Nigeria as being among the largest in the entire Africa continent with over 30 operational projects.

The projects he said are spread across health, education, agriculture, social protection, energy, infrastructure, governance among others, in all 36 states of Nigeria, and the FCT.

He said that 60 percent of the bank’s programmes were implemented at the state level and another 40 percent at the Federal level

Benmessaoudade also revealed that the bank was working on a new country partnership framework “that would outline the new reform challenges that the government faces and how it could support it in implementing solutions to the challenges.”

According to him, “the country partnership strategy is always anchored on the economic reform plan of the government and in this case we have used the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is the medium-term programme of the government on which we are anchoring our country partnership framework.”

He said the bank feels that “the world bank can play a catalytic role in creating a conducive environment for private sector to finance infrastructure so that we can create the fiscal space for the government to put more money in human capital and in social spending.”

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmud Isa-Dutse, assured the World Bank of the ministry’s commitment to build an enabling environment to manage its portfolio in Nigeria and assist the bank deliver on all its projects implementation.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said “one of the things I found upon taking office about four years ago was that most governors do not know what is going on as far as world bank-financed projects are concerned. Often you find large amounts of money sitting idle that can be used for the benefit of the state that the governors are not aware of. The more the states carry out their projects, the more impact they will have on social sectors because most of the projects financed by the world bank are targeted at social sectors like education, health care, nutrition and so on.”

El-Rufai said that the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF) was currently more aware of the bank’s projects because of the bank’s constant briefings, but that some governors engaged more than others as some were hands-on while some were a bit disconnected.

Source: thenationonlineng

Is For-Profit Investment in Social Housing a good or a bad thing?

The two-bedroom brick house in the village of Dunchurch in central England looks much like any other freshly built home in the UK: newly turfed garden, mullioned windows, magnolia-painted walls waiting for pictures to be hung.

But the buyer of the semi-detached house, a short stroll from the Dun Cow pub, will share ownership of their home with an unlikely partner: one of the world’s largest private equity firms, headquartered on New York’s Park Avenue. The home is among those recently made available, in this case under a shared ownership deal, by Sage Housing, a fast-growing provider of affordable homes that is majority-owned by the US real estate giant Blackstone. Similar deals are quietly being conducted worldwide.

Blackstone is among hundreds of companies — including private equity groups, fund managers, institutions, listed real estate groups and others — that see big business in affordable housing. Public-sector housing providers in the UK, as in many countries, have struggled to keep pace with demand for homes for middle and lower-income workers in areas where employment growth is strong.

Increasingly, heavyweight profit making groups are seeking to fill the gap, pledging to generate commercial returns for investors while fulfilling housing need. But opponents of the trend, including social housing groups and the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to housing, see trouble ahead.

The National Housing Federation, a group for UK social housing providers, has fought back against for-profit groups seeking to call themselves “housing associations”. “If you are a for-profit organisation, are you there for the long term?” asks Kate Henderson, NHF chief executive. “The question of accountability is a key one . . . will they add value in a sector that desperately needs investment, rather than being there to extract value? Housing associations are known for being not-for-profit and they exist to deliver long-term value to their communities.

They can do this because they don’t have to return value to shareholders.” Leilani Farha, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, goes further. In March, she wrote an open letter to the chief executive of Blackstone attacking the company’s housing investments as “inconsistent with international human rights law and norms”.

Recommended UK social housing Blackstone under fire over push into UK social housing “Unprecedented amounts of global capital are being invested in housing as security for financial instruments and traded on global markets, which is having devastating consequences for people,” she said. Farha cited evictions, charges to tenants and rent increases among the problems she had found; she also attacked Blackstone for lobbying to defeat a rent control proposal in California. Blackstone fought back. In a reply to Farha, the group’s co-heads of real estate said they were “bringing significant capital and expertise” to a sector that badly needed it.

“We share your concern about the chronic undersupply of housing in major metropolitan centres around the world,” they added. The company pointed to examples such as Hembla in Sweden, a listed rental landlord which it says has reinvested all its income in the properties it owns since Blackstone acquired a controlling stake. It also has a development pipeline of 5,000 new homes and says evictions cannot be a problem, since Swedish tenancies are indefinite by law.

A development in Sweden owned by Hembla The company’s UK housing business, Sage, has its roots in buying up affordable homes that developers are obliged to build as a condition of planning permission, a strategy that has irked non-profit groups, which say it has encroached on their turf.

The private equity giant is keen to show it is also adding to the stock of homes being built: it has begun partnering with developers to fund new sites, contributing to a goal of 20,000 new homes in five years. The homes are designated “affordable” under UK planning law, meaning they operate with rent controls or under shared-ownership deals. Blackstone owns its housing assets within a series of different funds, ranging from “permanent capital” vehicles to private equity-type funds with shorter time horizons.

Sage is owned within its Real Estate Partners Europe V fund, an opportunistic fund, and could ultimately be sold or listed. Others are joining the fray: CBRE Global Investors, the fund management arm of the world’s largest property services group, this year launched a UK affordable housing fund, seeking annual returns of 6 per cent from investing in a range of homes, from homeless accommodation to rented homes for “key workers” such as nurses or teachers.

An open-ended fund with an indefinite lifespan and social impact aims, the product aims to generate its returns by working in partnership with non-profit providers and without significant borrowing; it will fund developments as well as buying existing homes.

Hannah Marshall, head of UK funds at CBRE GI, says it will share the risk attached to changes in regulated rents with its partners, including the impact of a series of rent cuts currently under way. Legal & General, the UK insurance company, registered a social housing provider late last year as part of a broader push into housing, investing from its own balance sheet.

The insurer says it expects to hold assets for the long term, adding that the sector needs to move away from its reliance on debt funding: “An equity model where institutional investors are the long-term holders of assets represents a much-needed shift away from the current debt-only funding model that [cannot] scale up at the speed that is needed to address the affordable housing shortfall.”

 

Recommended Property sector Housing associations call for £42bn to build social homes For all residential landlords, failures in services to tenants can result in a public outcry, tarnishing a property owner’s image and forcing changes in strategy. Non-profit UK housing associations have had to contend with blots on their own reputation.

This year, L&Q, one of the largest, apologised for maintenance problems on one of its London estates, including serious damage from water and sewage leaks. “We got it wrong, we didn’t fix things when we should have, and as a result we let down our residents,” the group’s chief executive wrote in an industry magazine, Inside Housing.

The NHF’s Henderson acknowledges that housing associations need to improve to maintain their reputation. “This is about differentiating ourselves from other sectors,” she says. Private investors moving into affordable housing can look to Germany as a cautionary tale. Indebted states and municipalities sold off swaths of housing in the early 2000s to private equity groups, which quickly became known as “locusts”.

Will [for-profits] add value, rather than being there to extract value? Kate Henderson, NHF chief executive According to an account by Vonovia, a listed housing group, the private equity owners “came under financial pressure, with the effect that maintenance and investment in the housing stock had to be largely cut back.

This was at the expense of serious housing defects.” Many of those portfolios have now found stability as listed housing groups, including Vonovia itself, but suspicion still hangs over private equity’s role in housing in Germany. Jan Crosby, UK head of housing at business advisers KPMG, says prospective investors need to “get under the skin of the economic model” when considering an investment in affordable housing.

“It is important that there is enough disclosure when people are making investment decisions,” he adds. “Is it building new housing or is it taking existing housing? Who are the tenants going to be? Who is paying the rents, in a rental model? Is it regulated or unregulated? How long will the property be targeted at affordable or social tenants? They should understand how the returns are driven. “From that, people can make a judgment as to whether it is a social impact investment or just an investment in residential.”

Source: ft

Cost vs Access: SMEs Worry Over Structure of Bank Funding

Esther Menua needed N15 million to expand her small grocery store in Lagos. She went to a tier-two commercial bank but was asked to provide a plot of land valued at N25 million. The bank worker who attended to her also informed her that the cost of the loan was 23 percent per annum, and she must pay back in 12 months.

Menua chose to borrow the money to meet the expansion plans, but she was unable to pay back the money, which now amounted to N18.45 million plus interest. Her landed property was eventually sold by the bank after several threats.

“For me, access to funds is tough, but cost of funds is tougher,” Menua said, downcast.
Like Menua, many micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) are going through funding challenges at different levels.

BusinessDay sampled the opinions of entrepreneurs to determine between cost and access, what was the bigger problem for MSMEs attempting to get funding for business expansion. The opinions were divided, with the majority thinking that both access and cost of funds have equal weight.

“Interest rate is very high,” said Adepeju Jaiyeoba, lawyer and chief executive of Mothers Delivery Kit, which reduces maternal mortality in rural communities.

“I have experience in issues around debt recovery due to my capacity as a lawyer and I know that the problem is the seen and unseen costs borne by entrepreneurs like us,” she said, adding that access is also a big issue.

Ibrahim Maigari Ahmadu, chief executive of Liverstock247.com, Nigeria’s first livestock online marketing and listing platform, said interest rate is high just as there are many gridlocks to access to funds.

“Nigerian commercial banks are risk-averse. They put so many bottlenecks on the way when you want to access funds,” Ahmadu said.

“Interest rates are very high, which is a major inhibiting factor. Collaterisation is structured to knock you out,” he said.

He explained that the risk-averse nature of banks prevents them from funding the agriculture sector.

Nigeria’s benchmark interest rate is among the highest in Africa at 13.5 percent. Ethiopia’s is 7 percent; Kenya’s 9 percent; South Africa 6.75 percent; Zambia 10.25 percent, and Cameroon 4.25 percent.

Similarly, Rwanda is 5 percent; Mauritius 3.5 percent; Algeria is 8 percent, and Senegal is 4.5 percent.

Interestingly, the National Bureau of Statistics’ recent MSME report shows that 85 percent of businesses could not have access to external financing between 2013 and 2017.

In fact, only 5.3 percent of SMEs had access to bank credit, even with 40 percent of them having relationships with banks.

“Both access to funds and costs are big issues for me,” said Attah Anzaku, CEO of AgroEknor, exporter to Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“Even if you have the access, cost is crippling,” he added.

Oladapo Abiodun, chairman, Small and Medium Enterprises Group (SMEG) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said cost and access to funds are intertwined, adding that tenor of funds is an often ignored but important issue.

“The funds we have are not suitable for the kind of economic environment we have. The economy requires long-term funds, which are unfortunately not available,” Abiodun, who is also the CEO of an export-oriented firm, Comtrade Foods Limited, said.

He explained that most SMEs can hardly afford to provide collateral required by commercials banks.

“In many climes, government intervenes to guarantee such funds and even provide the needed mentorship,” he said.

Attempting to bridge the gaps are Financial Technology firms or Fintechs, which are growing in Nigeria but also have lending rates that are in double-digits per annum just like deposit money banks scattered across the country.

But the Bank of Industry (BoI) intervenes by providing funds at 9 percent per annum. Businesses told BusinessDay that banks like the BoI and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) need recapitalisation to enable them to fund more businesses.
Muda Yusuf, director-general of LCCI, said access to funding is much more difficult for MSMEs but cost of funding is a much bigger challenge for medium and large enterprises.

“For micro and small businesses, because they are perceived as high risk, collateral is tougher and many of them cannot provide such,” Yusuf said.

“For them, the big issue is not just the cost but access. If you ask them to pay 30 percent per annum, they will pay, after all some micro and small businesses borrow from microfinance banks at 5 percent per month or more, which amounts to 60 percent per year or more,” he added.

He explained that bigger firms can provide collateral due to their size but worry about high funding costs.

Source: businessdayng

US Stocks Suffer Worst Day of 2019 as Trade Tensions Mount

A sharp escalation in the trade war between Washington and Beijing and mounting concerns over the global economic outlook have put US equities on track for their biggest one-day drop of the year, with declines exceeding 3 per cent, and prompted a further rally in bonds.

A global sell-off on Monday after China allowed its currency to weaken below a key threshold also resulted in hefty declines for Asian and European stocks.

Declines for US stocks accelerated around midday in New York after it was reported that Chinese companies had suspended purchases of agricultural products, and Donald Trump took to Twitter to accuse Beijing of currency manipulation. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were each down 3.1 per cent in afternoon trade in New York, putting both gauges on track for their biggest one-day drops since December.

The S&P 500 is facing a sixth consecutive day of declines, which would be its longest losing streak in 10 months. The Nasdaq Composite was down 3.7 per cent.

The Cboe’s Vix, a measure of volatility nicknamed Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, jumped above 23 points for the first time since mid-May. Chinese state media reported that companies had suspended purchases of US agricultural products and that Beijing had not ruled out the possibility of imposing tariffs on US agricultural products purchased after August 3.

Mr Trump said in a series of tweets on Monday that China had “used currency manipulation to steal our businesses and factories, hurt our jobs, depress our workers’ wages and harm our farmers’ prices. Not anymore!” The headlines saw government bonds extend a recent rally that took place against a backdrop of confusion about the Federal Reserve’s outlook for interest rates and the Trump administration’s announcement last Thursday that new tariffs will be placed on $300bn of Chinese goods next month. US government debt climbed sharply in price, leaving the 10-year Treasury yield down 11.4 basis points at 1.741 per cent on Monday. It has fallen about 80 bps since the start of May as concerns over trade and signs of a slowdown in the global economy have built. The moves in the bond market, with longer-term borrowing costs dropping even further below short-term ones, resulted in the difference between the yields on 3-month and 10-year Treasuries falling to its most negative since April 2007. The inversion of this yield curve has preceded every US recession of the past 50 years.

“If the trade war escalates we may end up talking ourselves into a recession — that is the concern we’re seeing in the markets today,” said Anik Sen, global head of equities for PineBridge Investments. “There is very little visibility in any of this and that is the frustration because it keeps changing from day to day.”

The drop for stocks, which mirrored those across European and Asian stock bourses, came after last week’s 3.2 per cent fall in MSCI’s All-World stock index — the heaviest retreat since the market ructions of late 2018. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 2.5 per cent, France’s CAC 40 shed 2.2 per cent and Germany’s Dax declined 1.8 per cent. MSCI’s broad index of Asian stocks outside Japan fell 2.9 per cent, with Japan’s Topix sliding 1.8 per cent. Traders priced in further stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve, with futures trade suggesting the central bank’s main rate will be 1.14 per cent at the end of 2020, 10 bps lower than expected on Friday.

 

That means market participants are now forecasting 100 bps of rate cuts by December next year, after the Fed last week cut rates by 25 bps in the first such reduction since the financial crisis. Across the Atlantic, the yield on Britain’s benchmark 10-year government bond struck a historic low, breaching a trough it hit in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum. It fell as much as 5.9bp to 0.49 per cent. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield struck a new record low, falling as much as 4.7bp to minus 0.53 per cent.

The drop in China’s renminbi to under 7 per US dollar also cascaded into other major emerging market currencies. South Korea’s won was among the worst hit, sliding 1.4 per cent against the US dollar, while other actively traded currencies like South Africa’s rand were also under pressure. Robert Carnell, head of Asia-Pacific research at ING, said China allowing its currency to fall below Rmb7 was probably a “deliberate decision, and part of what we imagine will be a concerted series of steps aimed at pushing back at the latest US tariffs”. Echoing that sentiment, Chiara Silvestre, economist at UniCredit, said the fall in China’s currency was a “clear escalation of the trade war”.

It comes after Mr Trump last week unnerved investors by announcing plans to hit $300bn in Chinese goods with a 10 per cent tariff. The threat marked the latest escalation in a trade skirmish that has rattled investor sentiment globally and affected major exporters such as Germany. Mr Trump said on Monday that the move amounted to “currency manipulation”. “This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time,” he said.

In currency markets, Japan’s yen, which tends to rise during times of strife as domestic investors pull money back from global markets, strengthened 0.5 per cent against the dollar to ¥106.08. In commodities, gold rose 1.6 per cent to $1,463.97 an ounce as traders sought havens while global oil marker Brent crude was down 3 per cent at $60.04 a barrel.

Source: ft

Union Homes REITs Posts N561m Gross Income on Higher Rental Income

… To pay N1.75 per share dividend

Fund holders of the Union Homes Real Estate Investment Trust will receive N1.75 dividend per share for the financial year ended December 31,2018, an increase of 133 percent over 75 kobo per share dividend that was to fund holders in 2017. The fund managers realised N561 million as gross income last year in spite of the negative sentiment that pervaded the market.

That was 5.81 percent higher than the gross income the fund made in 2017. The major component of the gross income for the period was the rental income which added up to N263 million during the reference period, representing 47 percent of the total incomes made by the UH REITs and an increase of 29.18 percent when compared with the rental income generated in 2017.

The manager of the fund also cut down its cost of operations, especially its management fees to N177 million which was lower by 13.70 percent when compared with what was charged in 2017. Net income made by the firm rose by 23 percent to N363,650 in 2018 from N294,706 that was realised in 2017.

However, the fund’s net asset value (NAV) fell from N12.72 billion in 2017 to N9.78 billion in 2018 due to swap of properties during the year.

“Basically, properties were sold in exchange for shares. The shares subsequently cancelled and a book profit of N600 million resulted’, Patrick Illodianya, manager of the fund said.

 

“Compliance with the asset allocation requirement of the fund (90% in real estate related investment and 10% in liquid asset investments) as at 31st December, 2018 was 85.9% in real estate investments and 4.7% in real estate related, while 9.41% was invested in the liquid asset. The REIT improved in the portfolio mix for the year 2018”, according to a statement issued by the fund manager.

The fund manager optimised the market dynamics in the real estate segment going by a higher demand enjoyed by 1 bed and 2 bed flats near the city. This is in addition to the retail trends that support the development of mid-sized shopping centres.

Source: businessday

DBN has $1.3bn for MSMEs: Here is how you can access it

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is a wholesale development financial institution (DFI) set up to alleviate the financing need of micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

As a development bank, it was established to fulfil three mandates which are all targeted towards scaling up SMEs. The first, being the core of its mandates, is providing wholesale lending funds to financial institutions to on-lend to MSMEs.

The second is to provide a partial guarantee to financial institutions so as to encourage them to be able to provide accessible credit facilities to MSMEs, while the third is on capacity building, by rendering technical assistance to financial institutions to empower MSMEs.

Since inception in 2017, the bank through other financial institutions has so far extended N70 billion to about 50,000 MSMEs, according to a statement by Shehu Yahaya, chairman, board of directors for the bank.

The amount according to him, would go a long way in solving the biggest challenge for the over 41.5 million MSMEs in the country that have been starved of funds in time past.

Even though the development bank has been pushing out funds into the sector, many MSMEs are still left in the dark on how the bank operates and possible ways of accessing loans from the development banking institution.

How DBN operates

Unlike other financial institutions like the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI), and NEXIM, the Development Bank of Nigeria does not lend directly to borrowers. Instead, it works with other financial institutions including Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and micro finance banks to disburse to end borrowers.

Furthermore, unlike other financial institutions that focus on a particular sector of the economy, the DBN loans cut across all sectors of the economy.

What this implies in that MSMEs, irrespective of the sectors they play, can have access to DBN loans through its indirect financial institutions. You can access it in many of the banks in the country. Ask your bank about DBN loans and they may be helpful. The processes are usually clear.

The DBN collaborates with other financial institutions registered under its network to provide funding to MSMEs.

According to Tony Okpanachi, managing director of the bank, the DBN is currently working with 29 participatory financial institutions, cutting across commercial banks and microfinance institutions. Of these, 10 are commercial banks while the rest are micro finance banks.

Okpanachi noted that the bank plans to on-board as many financial institutions as long as they meet its eligibility criteria.

What does it take to be a financial institution?

According to the DBN, before a financial institution can be on-boarded, it must have been profitable in the last two years of applying.

After that, the prudential ratios of these banks are looked into. By prudential ratio, the bank means looking at the non-performing loans of these banks and by appraising how strong they are in the area of lending to the MSMEs. “We do not want to take a financial institution that is not interested in loaning to the MSMEs,” Okpanachi told BusinessDay.

He explained that the bank, from time to time, carries out monitoring and evaluation to ensure that these loans that the financial institutions have taken are used for the right purpose and the impact is felt.

What is the maximum amount DBN can lend?

According to the bank, the maximum amount of money it can lend to players in the micro segment is N10 million, while those in the small category is N150 million. Those in the medium corporates business can get as much as N600 million.

Okpanachi explained that by the time these businesses are growing to the point that the bank sees they can stand on their own and can get access to bigger funding, they move out from that circle.

What is the loan size of DBN?

In terms of the size of funds available to the bank in dollar terms, the bank has about $1.3 billion, made up of debt and equity. The shareholders of the bank who have provided equity include the federal government of Nigeria, who is the majority shareholder, the African Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), including the Nigerian Soviet Investment Authority (NISA).

In terms of regulatory capital, the bank has about N100 billion. In terms of debt capital, it has the World Bank, African Development Bank, KSW of Germany and the French Development Agency (FDA) as debt providers.

Source: businessdayng

Dubai launches new initiative to open up property investment market

Real Estate Investment Opportunities initiative aims to attract ‘a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE’

Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Tuesday announced the launch of a new initiative which aims to attract a wider range of real estate investors to the emirate.

Under the Real Estate Investment Opportunities (REIOs) initiative, several investment products will be launched including collective real estate investment funds, partial title deeds procedures to register units owned by a number of partners, a lease-to-own system and investment portfolio applications.

A law is currently being drafted for real estate investment portfolios that is still under accreditation and review by the concerned parties, DLD said in a statement.

The launch comes as Dubai witnessed an 8 percent increase in real estate transactions during the first quarter of 2019 to AED119 billion compared to the year-earlier period.

DLD added that the number of active investors reached 2,800 during the quarter with a “large number of new investors” entering the Dubai real estate market for the first time.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD, said: “We are proud to launch a new investment package that enhances the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate environment, reaching a wider horizon of global leadership through which we will formulate new visions, especially with Expo 2020 around the corner.

“Unveiling REIOs reflects the positive impact of innovative ideas in the real estate sector.”

A special office has been approved at DLD to facilitate and unify all registration and follow-up procedures for this initiative, he added in a statement.

DLD said it will also approve a set of special privileges relating to real estate registration and its terms, and a special electronic contact website will be established.

Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), said: “This initiative will help us emerge from the traditional patterns of property buying, selling, and registration. These processes require us to embrace technology and change, both of which paved the path to launching real estate products with the participation of developers to attract new investors.

“Previously, the real estate market targeted a certain class of investors – the wealthy. Today, however, through these four products, we seek to cover a larger segment of investors, both inside and outside the UAE, and allow them to own properties in Dubai and benefit from high returns on investments.”

Source: arabianbusiness

Cash-strapped Nigeria spends 10 times more than UK on Past leaders

Nigeria has one of the poorest people in the world, yet its cost of maintaining past leaders has been named one of the highest in the world.

With over 90 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty and about six citizens falling into the poverty trap every minute, the country spends as much as N2.3 billion (£5.75m) annually in sustaining past presidents, according to data compiled by BudgIT, a non-governmental body that analyses budgetary allocations for citizens’ engagement. This figure is about 10 times as much as the United Kingdom spends on past prime ministers, despite the latter raking in annual revenue that is 37 times higher than Nigeria’s.

The Economist, a London-based financial and intelligence newspaper, in a recent online article ‘The rising cost of former prime ministers’, put the annual entitlement of former leaders in the UK at £570,000($693,960) as at 2018.

This amount, the article explained, covers for five past leaders from 1991 after the Public Duty Cost Allowance (PDCA) was introduced, including Theresa May, who recently resigned from office following the Brexit chaos.

According to the Economist, there has been a great concern on the increasing cost of servicing past leaders in the UK. The amount, it noted, jumped by 280 percent, from £150,000 which it paid for over 10 years to £570,000 (N251m) last year.

While the figure appears to be huge, it is only a meagre sum when placed side by side with what Africa’s largest economy spends annually to service its past leaders.

The amount the UK spends to maintain its past prime ministers is over £5.18 million (N2.2bn) lower than the amount Africa’s largest economy spends on past leaders, despite being the poverty capital of the world.

“Cost of governance in Nigeria is prohibitive, excessive, and not related to the level of development of the country,” said Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, president of Chairman-in-Council, Association of Corporate Governance Professionals of Nigeria (ACGPN).

Just like in the UK, the annual salary of ex-presidents of the United States stood at £207,800 (N91m), the Economist noted.

Since Nigeria returned to civil rule, it has run an expansionary budgetary policy with the bulk of the expense going into settling recurrent expenditures, overheads and servicing of backlogs of debt. On the other hand, the revenue derived has continually shrunk. This has made Africa’s largest economy cut down spending into critical sectors like education and health so as to cater for the ballooning cost of running its government.

The situation got worse with the 2014 crash in global prices of oil on which the nation relies for 85 percent of its revenue.

In 2018 as a whole, Nigeria raked in a total of N9.44 trillion (£21.3bn) as gross revenue from both oil and non-oil sources, according to data obtained from the CBN, whereas the UK government made £792 billion as public revenue in 2018 fiscal year. This shows Nigeria made 37 times less revenue than the UK in 2018.

“In the UK, a prime minister could afford to drive himself but in Nigeria, a president would want to move in convoy and this adds to making the expenditure bloated,” Ohuabunwa noted.

Nigeria has failing education and health systems that have been confronted with low funding and inadequate infrastructure, a situation that is making its youthful population seek better healthcare and educational services abroad and has worsened the brain drain in the system.

A total of 6,601 Nigerian medical doctors are currently practicing full time in the United Kingdom, the highest in Africa, according to data from the General Medical Council (GMC), a UK-based medical education centre. Of this number, 4,272 are male while 2,329 are female.

Source: businessdayng

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