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Nigeria Listed Among top 20 Reformers in Ease of Doing Business

The World Bank has listed Nigeria as one of the top 20 countries that improved and carried out reforms in the Ease of Doing Business.

The Bretton Wood institution made this known in a report released on Friday.

“Economies are selected based on the number of reforms and on how much their ease of doing business score improved,” the World Bank said.

“Nigeria made starting a business easier by operationalizing a new electronic platform that integrates the tax authority and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The CAC also upgraded its name reservation platform and, in Kano, there is now an electronic platform for registering business premises online, eliminating the need to appear in person.

“In Lagos, land administration was made more transparent following the digitization of cadastral plans in a geographic information system; digital copies of cadastral plans are now easily obtainable.”

Other reforms that counted in Nigeria’s favour include the clearance given to certified engineers to conduct inspections for new electricity connections

“Initiatives also made commercial litigation of smaller cases more efficient. The Chief Judges in Lagos and Kano issued practice directions for small claims courts introducing pre-trial conferences and limit adjournments.

“Finally, customs integrated more agencies into its electronic data interchange system, and port authorities launched an e-payment system, speeding up both exports and imports.”

Other countries listed alongside Nigeria are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Djibouti, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, The Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Togo, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

Source: thecableng

Why You Need Property, Business Insurance

On the last floor of a three-storey building at the popular Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, Amobi Okereafor, who sells phones and other technological gadgets was seen in his office transacting in the shop filled with devices worth over N10 million imported from Asia.

The building plays host to several other businesses such as; restaurant, pharmacy, bookshop, travel and tour agency, as well as other related businesses. As Okereafor shuts down his business at 7pm, his usual retiring time for the day, he meticulously makes the effort to ensure that all his electrical appliances are switched off and his office is securely locked against burglars.

“I do this everyday so that once I am home, I can sleep soundly knowing that there is no possibility of a fire outbreak and thieves breaking into my shop. I have goods worth over N10million in this little flat and it is a warehouse where other people in this market buy from,” he told Daily sun.

“Do you have an insurance cover for your business?” this reporter inquired.

“I do not have, it is not necessary and I cannot spend my money on insurance,” he retorted. He goes on to list a number of reasons why he and his co-tenants oppose the idea of insuring their property, and among the reasons is the agelong notion among Nigerians that insurance fails to indemnify when the need arises.

Just like Okereafor, many Nigerians, especially business men and women still hang on to such unreliable measures to safeguard their properties. Why such unorthodox method way still holds sway among Nigerians, especially given the benefits available in insuring their properties remain a concern to stakeholders.

With increasing rate of insecurity in the country, the need for business owners to embrace insurance cannot be overlooked. Almost on daily basis, the media are replete with news of properties being vandalised, burgled, looted, burnt with the owners losing their life savings, assets, goods and investment without any hope of security.

Daily Sun investigation revealed that the acceptance of property and business insurance policies particularly, among the small and medium enterprises is abysmally low as most of them do not see the need to obtain any form of insurance cover to protect their ventures against risks.

The reason at the forefront of this low uptake of insurance policies for properties and businesses, is the lack of importance Nigerians attach to insurance as most business owners stated that, insurance do not benefit them in a short term, they get compensated only when eventualities occur and the settlements do not happen immediately it is needed and since they cannot be refunded when no danger occurs within the estimated period, they prefer to invest such funds into their business to garner profits while taking personal security measures to safeguard their business.

Others rely on religious grounds and are optimistic due to their belief that disasters will not befall them. This perception of Nigerians towards insurance mostly due to the ignorance of the advantages inherent, has become a culture, sometimes exported abroad by Nigerians to host countries with strict regulations governing insurance of property and goods.

A good instance is the recent case of the xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa where majority lost their properties and businesses thereby returning home empty and frustrated.

As hard as the Nigerian government is trying to get compensation for its citizens in South Africa, the effort is been rebuffed by the South Africa government with the reference to the existence of a statutory law that mandates businesses to be insured and get indemnity in crisis periods.

Why take property insurance?

Property insurance according to the Unit Manager, Retail Division, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, Omolola Adefuye, basically refers to insurance policies that offers security to buildings and the assets or contents in that building. Property insurance covers majorly natural disasters such as flood and fire for the physical building while for the assets in the building it protects it against theft or burglary for both residential and businesses purposes.

Adefuye further explained that property insurance encompasses business insurance policies which are mostly determinative of the nature of businesses. For instance, some business insurance policies entail fire insurance, marine insurance, goods in transit among others.

Speaking on the need for Nigerians to get property and business insurance policies she said, “it is wise for Nigerians especially business owners to obtain such policies because in Nigeria,  it takes a lot to set up ventures, 80 per cent of Nigerians go through uncountable challenges, struggles to establish themselves so you can imagine after such stress and not having any form of security in check in case of any mishap.

“Going back to square one when a danger occurs can be really frustrating. We all want things to go right but it this is usually not the reality in most cases thus, the need to be protected with insurance.

“The amount to acquire these policies are affordable, with a little amount as low as N5,000 one can secure the present and the future of his or her business and properties,” she said.

 

For the sales team of AIICO insurance plc, the merits of property insurance are numerous. The Fire and Special Perils (FSP) insurance policy for businesses which falls under the property insurance, protects the insured and/or their business from damages or loss from fire incidents, losses caused by natural disasters such as, explosions, floods, storm and lightings, as well as loss to the insured following a civil commotion or riot just like the case of the xenophobic attack.

According to AIICO, Nigerians need to insure their businesses because risks can crystallise at any point in time and the premium to get these policies is practically small.

“The price of insurance policies is usually a function of the value of the insured’s property however, we have designed our solution to fit policyholders pocket whether for  a start-up, a small or medium enterprise or a multinational companies,” the insurance firm said.

Also speaking, an insurance agent, Malachy Maduako, observed that the acceptance level of property and business insurance policies especially, among the informal sector is still very low when compared to individual insurance covers because Nigerians are ignorant of the benefits embedded in such covers.

Commenting on what can be done to improve the level of uptake, he said “the regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and insurance firms still have much work to do. Insurance companies are not living up to expectation in the delivery of specific insurance products that will suit the various needs of the populace as well as effective management of claims settlement.

NAICOM need to ensure that insurance firms keep to their words as regards the settlement of benefits and claims as this is the major reason Nigerians shun insurance policies. If it requires that just 10 companies are in operation but can deliver on prompt claims settlement then, NAICOM should allow just the 10 firms to be in existence. The regulator should also be strict in the implementation and enforcement of the insurance laws,” he stated.

Source: sunnewsonline

NDIC Lists Risks Facing Islamic Banks

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has identified emerging risks facing Islamic banks in the country.

The risks, according to the NDIC Managing Director and CEO, Umaru Ibrahim, include underlying structural economic weaknesses, inflationary trends and depreciating currencies.

Umaru said all these could potentially destabilise liquidity, raise non-performing financing and erode capital.

He disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a conference on sustainable Islamic finance in Nigeria.

He, however, noted that non-interest banking was gaining traction as the total assets of non-interest banks stood at N186.46bn as at the end of June 30, 2019 from N66.96bn in 2015.

The assets represent 0.49 percent the total banking assets in Nigeria. The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Hassan Usman, appealed to regulators, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, to create Sharia Compliance Liquidity Management Instrument for non-interest banks to invest in.

Source: Dailytrust

Pat Utomi: Nigerian Regulators More Likely To Kill Businesses Than Any Market Risk

Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy and former presidential candidate, says the biggest risk to any business operating in Nigeria.

Utomi made this claim on Tuesday while speaking at the Regulatory Conversations 4.0 themed ‘Foreign Exchange Restrictions on Food Imports and Implications for Regulating and Growing the Nigerian Economy’.

Utomi said many companies had collapsed in Nigeria due to regulatory risk and lack of national strategy.

“We should have a clear national strategy that we want to become global leaders in this one, two, three areas,” he said.

“We can do isolated industrial policy to those areas of which our endowments allow us to become competitive globally and dominate that value chain.

“The biggest risk in doing business in Nigeria is a regulatory risk. The regulator is more likely to kill a company than any market risk.”

Utomi said certain sectors of the economy had been wiped out by an unthinking regulator’s actions

He said the government needs to think through the consequences of its policies before implementation, noting that restrictions would not take the country anywhere.

Utomi explained that players in the industry should educate each other on the consequences because the economy belonged to everyone.

“Part of our duty as players in this, is to say to ourselves, look this economy belongs to all of us; can we begin to educate ourselves on the consequences,” he said.

In his comments, Muda Yusuf, the director-general of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that the regulatory environment is one of the biggest challenges being faced currently in business in the country.

Yusuf said that regulators meant well for the country but the problem was in strategy and how to achieve it.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have regulators who are in government, who actually listens or engages so that you can have the right kind of strategy to achieve the desired result,” he said.

“There are too many regulations in the country and the damage it is doing to the economy is enormous.

“To do business with integrity in Nigeria today is a tall order.”

He said that many businesses had gone under because of challenges of regulatory compliance adding that many have transited to become informal sector players.

The LCCI boss said that smugglers had taken over businesses in Nigeria, adding that the country was losing because smugglers don’t pay taxes.

He explained that the emphasis should be on building domestic capacity for the development of the country.

Source: Cableng

Dangote Boasts of Creating Over 25,000 Jobs With Cement Business

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has boasted of creating not less than 25,000 jobs with Dangote Cement Plc alone. While speaking at the official commissioning of the N85 million Chemical and Non-Metallic Employers Federation House (CANMPEF House) built by CANMPEF, Dangote said the operations of the cement company has spread to 14 other African countries. 

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dangote Group, the cement company has 29 million tons installed capacity for cement production and expected to increase to 35 million by 2020 in the country. 

Why you should know: Despite the job opportunities the Dangote Group has created, data proves that many Nigerians are still unemployed. The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had released the country’s unemployment report which puts the number of unemployed Nigerians at 20,927,648. 

Year on year, the unemployment rate increased from 18.8% during the third quarter of 2017, to 23.1% in the same period this year. A closer examination of the report shows that this is the highest unemployment rate in Nigeria since Q3 2014 when the number of unemployed Nigerians was 7.27 million.  

Since 2014, the unemployment rate in the country has significantly increased from 9.7% to 23.1%. Key extracts from the NBS reports are as follows: 

  • The total number of completely unemployed Nigerians increased from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018. 
  • Out of the 20.9 million unemployed persons as at Q3 2018, 11.1 million did some form of work but for too few hours a week (under 20 hours) while 9.7 million people did absolutely nothing.
  • Out of the 9.7 million unemployed Nigerians, who did absolutely nothing as at Q3 2018,  8.77million were unable to work because they were first-time job seekers.
  • Out of the 9.7 million that were unemployed and did nothing at all, 35.0% or 3.4 million have been unemployed and did nothing at all for less than a year, 17.2% or 1.6 million for a year, 15.7% or 1.5 million had been unemployed and did nothing for 2 years, and the remaining 32.1% or 3.1 million unemployed persons had been unemployed doing nothing for 3 years and above.
  • The economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 111.1 million in Q3, 2017 to 115.5million in Q3, 2018.
  • The number of persons in the labour force also increased from 75.94 million in Q3 2015 to 80.66 million in Q3 2016 to 85.1 million in Q3,2017 to 90.5million in Q3, 2018. 
  • The total number of people in employment (with jobs) increased from 68.4 million in Q3 2015 to 68.72 million in Q3 2016 and from 69.09 million in Q3 2017 to 69.54 million in Q3 2018. 

Source: Nairametrics

CBN Advise Government To Adopt “Big Bang Approach” to Fixing Economy

The Central Bank of Nigeria held its monetary policy committee meeting last week ending it with a decision to hold on all rates. Excerpts of the Monetary Policy Communique issued by the CBN indicates its members chose to retain MPR at 13.5% as well as CRR and liquidity ratios at 22.5% and 30% respectively. 

However, a cursory review of the communique reveals a somewhat aggressive tone from the CBN in terms of the direction of the economy and its expected reaction of the government. Of particular interest to us were its comments on the planned 50% increase in Value Added Tax from 5% to 7.5%.  

The Good; The CBN revealed its support for the planned increase stating the obvious that it will increase government revenue.  “The MPC also noted the Government’s current drive to increase Value Added Tax (VAT), adding that this will improve fiscal revenue to support expenditure and reduce the budget deficit as well as Government borrowing when implemented.” Emefiele  

The bad: The Apex bank mentioned that an increase in VAT rates won’t salvage the government’s tight shoestring budget as it needed to do more to drive up revenues.  

“The Committee, however, noted that this was too little to close the gap in Government finances.” Emefiele 

BIG BANG: If an increase in VAT is not enough to shore up government revenues then what should it do?  

“Consequently, the MPC called on the Government to, as a matter of urgency, adopt what it termed a BIG BANG approach towards building fiscal buffers by purposefully freeing-up redundant public assets through an efficient, effective and transparent privatization process. This would raise significant revenue for Government and resuscitate the redundant assets to generate employment and contribute effectively to national economic growth.” 

What this means: The BIG BANG approach is basically the CBN telling the government point blank that it needs to sell off more government assets to raise money as well as cut increased cost of running government business.  This issue was a hot topic for debate in the run-up the elections where the government announced it was considering selling some of its assets to raise finance.  

But what assets are there for the government to sell? NNPC, Nigeria’s State Oil company behemoth is perhaps the juiciest of them all. However, political considerations, as well as vested interest, may not allow for the sale of the company as recommended in the PIG bill yet to be signed by the president. 

A review of ongoing companies slated for privatisations the BPE shows only NIPOST is currently being considered by the Bureau.

Source: nairametrics  

Dangote Cement Targets 35 million tons Capacity by 2020

Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Mr Aliko Dangote, has disclosed that the cement giant plans to increase its production capacity in Nigeria by six million tons by next year.

Mr Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, said at a function in Lagos on Thursday that the firm was working to raise the installed capacity for cement production from the present 29 million tons to 35 million by 2020.

“In Nigeria alone, we have 29 million tons installed capacity for cement production and we will be at 35 million by 2020,” Mr Dangote said while speaking at the commissioning of the N85 million Chemical and Non-Metallic Employers Federation (CANMPEF) House.

He described Dangote Cement, which controls a larger market share in the country, as one of the most employer of labour. According to him, “Dangote Cement Plc alone provides employment to over 25,000 people across the nation.”

He said this was made possible as a result of its determination of being importer of cement into the country to an exporter of the product to other nations.

“We have contributed hugely to the nation’s successful transition from being at one time the world’s largest importer of cement to the position we are today where we not only are self-sufficient in cement, but indeed are net exporters of cement,” he said.

Mr Dangote commended CANMPEF for contributing to the development of Nigeria, saying at the event that, “I am aware that CANMPEF is Nigeria’s largest employer’s federation, with your members spread in various locations across Nigeria and fully engaged in various value-added activities that are creating wealth and employment for millions of Nigerians.”

He further applauded the organization for the successful completion of the house, noting that, “I am told that CANMPEF House was built at a cost of about N85 million and that it is a multipurpose facility that will cater for a wide range of developmental work.”

Source: businesspostng

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors With These Tips

The old adage, “If you’re not first, you’re last,” couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to business success. Being first-to-market may have its advantages, but long-term success is not a race – it’s how you make a product or service better than that of your competitors. And “Better” can mean anything from the product or service itself to customer service, pricing, or marketing strategy.

“Without a robust and resilient innovation strategy, no company can survive,” says Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. In just about every industry and just about every career, the creator of the Purple Cow enjoys the profits, the accolades, and the feeling of omniscience that comes with a success. So how do you stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that you are successful?

Stop trying to copy the business model of your rivals

You will only achieve success if you run your business on your own terms, and not fall prey to chasing after rivals in your industry. As soon as you stop following your own path and start copying your competitors, you could find yourself even further behind than when you started. You have your own unique strategies, resources, and capabilities so you need to stay true to your business model that optimizes them in the best possible way.

Stay ahead of your competitors with these tips

Make innovation your best friend

Being a small business owner means always finding novel ways to enhance your business. The companies that fail are the ones that become stagnant, relying on methods that can become outdated. Eventually, as their competition becomes more efficient, they leave these businesses behind. Don’t let that happen to you. Use the tips in this article to ensure that you remain ahead of your competitors.

Expand your offers – a market that’s already crowded has less scope for expansion. It is essential to offer something unique to your customers in order to build your own niche and minimize the existing competition.

Be the best employer

Skilled, motivated employees underpin vibrant, growing businesses. Attracting them means more than paying a competitive wage. People are often more impressed by a good working atmosphere, and benefits such as flexible working and structured career development.

Identify and solve the pain points of your customers

Ask open-ended questions to find exactly what your customers want while using your products or services. The key here is to provide solutions to the prospects and supply them what they need as opposed to selling them what you want to sell. You only need to fulfil the need, not "sell" anything. Your product or service will automatically start to sell more the moment you fill the void that your competitors are lacking.

Get the pricing correct

Perfect pricing strategy revolves around marketing psychology. Before you set your own pricing strategy, it is essential to know the competition. You must identify who is offering the best value for money. The price you set should be standard and must have a competitive advantage. A great pricing strategy does not always mean lowering the prices of existing products in order to win more customers. Every market is divided into three segments – the lower, middle and upper class. The first step is to identify the class you are targeting. Once you get an answer to that, it will be much easier to set a price that your audiences will love to pay.

 

Improve your customer service

People love businesses that provide exceptional customer service. If you delight your customers with great service, you will make loyal customers who will refer your business to their family and friends. Hire staff who have a good understanding of your products or services. Ensure that they remain patient and provide satisfying answers to every customer query. Your staff should greet customers with a pleasing smile and must show gratitude. Your customer care team should always remain courteous and respectful.

They must always be responsive to customer queries. They should have a problem-solving approach and always ask for customer feedback. Customer-centric companies are powered by dependable staff who raise the level of customer satisfaction. You can also consider offering freebies that competitors don’t.

Target new customers

Retaining your customer will help you build a loyal consumer base. However, if you want to grow your business, you’ll need to attract new customers. In this rapidly changing economy, you may wake up one day only to find that your so-called loyal consumer base is busy shopping elsewhere. There is no guarantee that they will keep coming back for more forever. A steady flow of customers will keep your business healthy.

More favourable opening hours

Whether you go 24/7 or just open Saturdays when your rivals are shut, making a customer’s life more convenient and shaping your business around their lifestyle is guaranteed to bring them through the doors, and this is a vital part of building competitive strategy.

Show your personality

There is true value that comes from turning the customer experience into a personal one. When people are able to put a face to the business, it naturally leads them to form an emotional connection that simply doesn’t happen when they walk into a big retail store. Share your business story. Discuss why you got into the business in the first place. Talk about why your service is unique. In short, reinforce the emotional side of things and you’ll see how your customers will begin to feel a real connection to your business.

Stay ahead of your competitors with these tips

Conclusion

Healthy competition is always good as it keeps pushing you to do better. Therefore, you should not shy away from competing. Nevertheless, you should arm yourself with the best of tools that can help you in staying ahead. Business is a never-ending battle that makes you learn new things each day. You must be ready to face any challenges or situations

Source: nairametrics

CBN Retains Benchmark Interest Rate at 13.5%

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday announced the retention of its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 percent.

This announcement was made by Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on outcome of the two-day meeting of the MPC, which started yesterday.

According to the apex bank chief, the committee decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged in order to monitor developments in both the global and local spaces.

The central bank further said the MPC agreed to leave the asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 around MPR, liquidity ratio at 30 percent and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN Explains How Banks Will Deduct New Deposit Charges

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced the imposition of 2% charges on bank deposits above N500,000 in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals.
The development is part of the central bank’s plan for nationwide implementation of the cashless policy which will begin by March 31, 2020.

The apex bank made this known in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country on Tuesday, September 17. The new policy has, however, been condemned by many Nigerians who believe it is obnoxious.
Also, the policy has generated some confusion as many seek to know how Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) will be deducting the charges. This prompted the central bank to provide further explanation regarding the new charges.

According to the apex bank, the charges on deposit and withdrawal on the savings account will be carried out on the excess of the limit it has set.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced the imposition of 2% charges on bank deposits above N500,000 in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals.
The development is part of the central bank’s plan for nationwide implementation of the cashless policy which will begin by March 31, 2020.

The apex bank made this known in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country on Tuesday, September 17. The new policy has, however, been condemned by many Nigerians who believe it is obnoxious.
Also, the policy has generated some confusion as many seek to know how Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) will be deducting the charges. This prompted the central bank to provide further explanation regarding the new charges.

According to the apex bank, the charges on deposit and withdrawal on the savings account will be carried out on the excess of the limit it has set.

Source: legitng

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