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SEC, UNILAG Hold Confab on Capital Market for Economic Growth, Development

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of its efforts to push frontiers of the Nigerian capital market, has partnered with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) to hold a two-day conference next week.

The programme themed Leveraging the Capital Market for Economic Growth and Development is scheduled for September 11 and 12, 2019 at the Tayo Aderinokun Lecture Theatre, UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos.

The special guest of honour for the event is Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State; while Mr Femi Lijadu, the board Chairman of SEC; and Ms Mary Uduk, the acting SEC Director General, are the guests of honour.

The chief host of the event is the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Toyin Ogundipe, while the host is Prof Owolabi Kuye, the Dean, Faculty of Management Science, UNILAG.

Guest speakers for the conference are Mr Oscar Onyema, the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Mr Bola Onadele Koko, the MD/CEO of FMDQ Securities Exchange; and Mr Adedapo Adekoje, the President of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) Nigeria.

Others are Mr Bola Ajomale, the MD/CEO of NASD Plc; Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, the MD/CEO of Lagos Commodity and Futures Exchange; Mrs Toyin Sanni, the Group CEO of Emerging Africa Capital; and Mr Taiwo Adeniji, the Senior Director Investments Group at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Also expected to address the gathering include Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, MD/CEO of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc; Prof Uche Uwaleke, the Conference Co-Chair, Director, Chief Economist at SEC; Prof Ayo Olowe, the Conference Chair and Head, Department of Finance, UNILAG, amongst other.

Business Post gathered that not less than 500 delegates, 139 speakers drawn from several countries are expected at the conference, which is the first to be co-organised by both parties.

It was further gathered that the speakers would address participants on Capital Market, Innovation, Regulation and Economic Development: Past, Present and Future; Stock Market, Governance, Technology and Business Models: Emerging Trends; Financial Literacy, Digital Finance, Inclusion and the Democratization of Wealth in Africa; Frontiers of Trading in Fixed Income Products and Derivatives in Africa; and Commodity Exchange and Development of ecosystem for agricultural trade, risk management and finance in Africa.

Others are Stock Market Innovativeness for SME Financing in Africa; Stock Markets, Fund Managers and Stockbroking: Rebuilding Investors’ Trust; Securities Clearing, Settlement and Depository in Africa: Issues and Innovations; and Infrastructure Finance and the Capital Market: Role of Multilateral DFIs.

Source: businesspost

FG Concludes 2020 Budget Preparation, Designs 11 Economic Priority Areas

The Federal Government (FG) is concluding the proposed 2020 budget appropriation bill which will be submitted to the National Assembly by the end of September 2019.  

The disclosure was reportedly made by the Finance MinisterMrs Zainab Ahmedin her opening remarks at a high-level roundtable meeting on National Donor Coordination in Abuja on Wednesday which resulted in the decision to create a Donor Coordinating Unit. 

The details: In a statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Finance Minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, the 2020 budget would be concluded and submitted this month, as the ministry is currently capturing the planned and ongoing programmes of donor agencies in the country.  

The statement read: “The 2020 Budget preparation process is well underway and we intend to finalise and submit the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly by the end of this month. 

“The first step is ensuring that your donor programmes are aligned with our strategic priorities and are in turn reflected in our upcoming national budget, we will hold meetings in the next few days to better understand your ongoing and planned programmes. 

“This process will ensure that we consider on-going and planned aid interventions when making our 2020 budgetary allocations, and that said interventions are reflected in the Appropriation Bill.” 

The statement read: “The 2020 Budget preparation process is well underway and we intend to finalise and submit the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly by the end of this month. 

“The first step is ensuring that your donor programmes are aligned with our strategic priorities and are in turn reflected in our upcoming national budget, we will hold meetings in the next few days to better understand your ongoing and planned programmes. 

“This process will ensure that we consider on-going and planned aid interventions when making our 2020 budgetary allocations, and that said interventions are reflected in the Appropriation Bill.” 


11 Economic Priority AreasMeanwhile, the minister disclosed that the present administration had designed 11 Economic Priority Areas. 

According to Ahmed, in the area of economic and governance reforms, the government will focus on macroeconomic stability through coordinated economic, monetary, fiscal and trade policies; a fight against corruption and improving governance. 

Speaking on investments in infrastructure and human capital, Ahmed stated that the government had planned to target “improved health, education and productivity of Nigerians; ensure energy sufficiency with power; ensure energy sufficiency with petroleum products; improve transportation and other infrastructure; and drive industrialisation, focusing on macro, small and medium-sized enterprises.” 

While also outlining the government’s plan to optimise investments in physical and food security to drive inclusive socio-economic development, Ahmed disclosed that the government plans an improved security for all citizens; enhance agriculture self-sufficiency to achieve food security; enhance social inclusion by scaling-up social investments; and improve access to mass housing & consumer credit to enhance financial inclusion. 

In her concluding remarks, Ahmed emphasized the need for a government-driven national donor coordination mechanism, noting that a well-structured approach is important to ensure that external financing is maximised to the benefit of Nigerians. 

We will work together to put in place a National Donor Coordination Mechanism that is aligned to the government’s key strategic priority areas as set out in our national plans, policies and annual budgets. While government-led, this process must be collaborative in order to succeed.” 

Upshots:  While the disclosure may excite many, it came just four months after the government approved the 2019 Budget.

  • Following the latest disclosure by the Finance Minister, there is a possibility that the development will return Nigeria’s budget cycle back to January and December as analysts have constantly called for the reversal.  
  • Meanwhile, the 2020 Budget is expected to be increased, just as the Presidency recently declared that 60% (N5.35 trillion) of the 2019 Budget would be rolled over to the 2020 Budget due to slow implementation. 
  • The slow budget approval and implementation which has characterised the current administration of President Buhari is a recurring decimal which has largely affected the economy. 

Source: nairametrics

World Bank

1,320 Bauchi Schools to Get World Bank Intervention Fund

About 1320 schools in 5 local government areas of Bauchi State will benefit from the World Bank 2019 Schools Improvement Project (SIP) grants.

According to the State Coordinator of the Project, Muhammad Umar, the project was designed to finance minor issues in schools in the areas of renovations, rehabilitation of twin desks and repairs of water points.

Umar who listed the benefiting local government areas as Zaki, Shira, Ganjuwa, Katagum and Toro on Wednesday, said measures have been taken for financing records of grant activities, development of School Improvement Plan and use of ‘Kobo collect software’ and global positioning system to capture School Based Management Committee to ensure proper utilization of the funds released. He added that the programme was also designed to strengthen public schools operation through good governance and accountability for sustainable educational development.

Umar who listed the benefiting local government areas as Zaki, Shira, Ganjuwa, Katagum and Toro on Wednesday, said measures have been taken for financing records of grant activities, development of School Improvement Plan and use of ‘Kobo collect software’ and global positioning system to capture School Based Management Committee to ensure proper utilization of the funds released. He added that the programme was also designed to strengthen public schools operation through good governance and accountability for sustainable educational development.

Speaking shortly after presenting cheque of N500,000 to each of the benefiting schools, Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed pledged to improve the funding of education as part of efforts to tackle the menace of out of school children in the state. He said his administration is focused on restoring the lost glory of basic education in the state, through provision of infrastructure, rehabilitations, training and retraining of teachers.

“The present administration is redirecting the education sector to achieve the desired focus in order to harness the potentials of children in public schools. We assure you of our readiness towards providing equal education opportunity to all citizens of our state. “I urge all benefitting schools to use the disbursed funds to improve their school’s infrastructures in order to ensure a better teaching and learning activities in schools,” the governor said.

Source: vanguardng

CBN to Issue N1,002bn Treasury Bills in Q4

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to issues the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) worth N1,002 billion for various tenor buckets in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Nigerian Treasury Bills programme released by the regulator on Wednesday, show that the same amount will be maturing during the same period. However, the CBN noted that auction amounts are subject to change without notice.

A breakdown of the NTB programme revealed that N9.62 million will be issued for 91 days tenor while the same amount will mature during the same period.

Investors are expected to position for medium term investment as the Apex bank will auction a total of N90.18 million for 182 days tenor. The same amount will also mature over the same period.

For the 364 days tenor, the CBN will auction the sum of N821.84 million to investors, while the same amount will mature in the fourth quarter.

The CBN in the third quarter (Q3) 2019 issued a total of N809.4 billion worth of Treasury Bills for various tenors.

The bearish sentiments in Treasury Bills secondary market ceased last week, following robust system liquidity (about N704.7bn positive as at Friday) that incited local demand across the yield curve. As a result, activities were largely bullish during the five trading sessions of the week as investors rallied for higher yields despite the CBN intervention at the Primary Market auction on Wednesday as well as its Open Market Operations auction on Thursday and Friday according to analysts Afrinvest Securities Limited.

Major buying interests were witnessed at the short and medium end of the curve, particularly the 5-Dec-19 (-231bps), 9-Jan-20 (-228bps) and 24-Oct-19 (-205bps) maturities. Consequently, average yield across all tenors contracted by 140 bps W-o-W to settle at 13.8% from 15.2 percent the previous week.

According to the analysts, at the PMA which held on Wednesday, the CBN offered N208 billion worth of T-Bills as against the N347.8 billion total subscription, translating to a bid to cover ratio of 1.7x vs 4.3x at the previous auction. All tenors were oversubscribed with the 364-day instrument enjoying the most interest. Consequently, the marginal rates across all tenors inched higher by 1.4 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively as the CBN fully allotted to the total amount offered.

In 2018, the total value of NTBs issued and allotted was N3.34 trillion apiece, indicating a decline of N1.15 trillion or 25.65 per cent below the level in 2017.

The decrease was attributable largely to lower NTBs issued coupled with the redemption of treasury bills worth N78.05 billion in December 2018 as the Government indicated its preference for cheaper and longer tenored foreign debt.

Total public subscription stood at N6.71 trillion, compared to N7.17 trillion in 2017. The lower level of public subscription was traceable to the high patronage at Open Market Operation (OMO) auctions.


Source: businessdayng


CBN Issues Guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines to Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) on the establishment and operation of subsidiaries and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) 

This was contained in a letter signed by Tokunbo Martins, the Director, other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the CBN, and addressed to all DFIs

The Details: The CBN disclosed it had noted the spate of request from DFIs for special regulatory approvals to operate Special Purpose Vehicles in a move to expand operational activities. In this regard, the CBN stated that the DFIs are henceforth required to provide comprehensive disclosures on all subsidiaries and SPV operations.

The CBN letter reads: DFIs are required to submit returns on all SPVs including details of ownership, corporate governance structure, statements of assets and liabilities, income and expenditures, project(s) status, possible risk exposure and mitigants, along with own regulatory returns. 

“Report on the financial soundness indicators / prudential ratios of the DFl calculated on a solo and consolidated basis. 

“Present for approval, its audited accounts along with that of the SPVs on a consolidated basis. 

“Meet a consolidated leverage ratio of at least 10% [Common Equity: Total Assets (On and off-Balance Sheet inclusive)] at all times. 

The approval: Meanwhile, the CBN disclosed that while the same regulatory standards that apply to the parent DFI will also apply to the subsidiaries, the approval of new SPVs depends on the successful performance of the earlier approved SPVs.

“Finally, DFls are required to note that approval of new SPVs shall depend on the successful performance of earlier approved ones and the meeting of the consolidated prudential ratios, leverage ratio and business objectives at all times. 

“A consolidated risk-based examination of all subsidiaries and/or SPVs will be conducted on a periodic basis.” 

In the meantime, the CBN noted that failure to comply with these requirements would be viewed as a violation of the provisions of the DFls’ Guidelines, and would be appropriately sanctioned. 

What you should know: A Special Purpose Vehicle is a legal and business entity created to fulfil narrow, limited, specific or normally temporary purpose. SPVs are usually limited liability companies and in rare cases, they can be limited liability partnerships.  

Basically, they are like subsidiaries but are quite narrower in purpose and approach. They can be formed for any narrow lawful purpose. In Nigeria, an SPV is usually registered as a separate business entity (company) under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. 

While they are not illegal entities, they are used to isolate risks from its promoting entity by transferring some of its liabilities and keeping debt from investors making the company look like it has no liability. 

Source: nairametrics

Real Estate Investments Fall Short of Growth Expectations on Crawling Economy

It’s almost six months since the real estate sector exited recession in the first quarter of 2019 but not so much has changed for the lagging industry as investors are yet to see a meeting point between their investments and projected growth.

Industry players have revealed that investments in the sector has failed to respond positively to predicted growth, owing to the slow but positive pace of the Nigerian economy.

“We are nowhere near the place where investments in real estate projects will surpasses or meet our growth projection; this is because the economy is not yet zooming, it is just there,” Chiedu Nweke, CEO of CZAR Project Limited, told BusinessDay.

After contracting for 12 consecutive quarters, Nigerian real estate sector saw the break of dawn in Q1 2019, six quarters after the larger economy exited its 15 month contraction in Q2 of 2017.

In real terms, the property industry expanded by 0.93 percent in the first quarter of 2019, the first positive value reported for the industry since Q1 2016 when National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) started collating the data.

“The economy really improved but real estate lagged behind. But this is understandable. Not much progress can be made in this sector with a large portion of Nigeria’s population outside the housing market and mortgage still remains too expensive for many people to access and afford,” Adeniyi Akinlusi, CEO, Trustbond Mortgage Bank explained.

In the first quarter of 2019,, Nigerian economy grew by 2.01 percent, a slow down by 0.37 percentage points when compared to the 2.38 percent it reported in the previous quarter.

Despite reporting positive figures in Q1 2019, the real estate sector’s contribution to the overall real GDP slowed to 5.58 percent, lower than contribution recorded in the preceding quarter, as well as the corresponding quarters of 2018.

When BusinessDay asked Sa’adiya Aminu, MD/CEO of Urban Shelter on the sidelines of the 2019 edition of the Africa Real Estate Conference & Awards (AFRECA 2019) which held recently in Lagos, if returns on investment were meeting projections, she said “the real estate sector is suffering and money is a major challenge,” adding, “you and l can afford a million dollar house if there is mortgage.”

Nigeria has one of the world’s lowest mortgage-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate at 0.6 percent. This lags Ghana’s 2 percent, South Africa’s 30 percent and crawls after the U.S and UK rates of 60 percent and 70 percent respectively.

Nigeria has more than 17 million housing deficit and more than 90 percent of new homes that are built in the country is funded from personal savings.

According to Femi Akintunde, Group MD, Alpha Mead Group, “if Nigerian real estate sector must play the role of providing Nigerians with the basic need of shelter, there must be that enabling environment and infrastructure that will allow the sector to prosper

“There is a serious constraint around financing because the real estate sector sucks capital and the ability of the economy to support the kind of growth and development we’ll like to see in the real estate sector is not happening yet,” he said.

Bank lending to real estate sector tumbled to its lowest level at 3.92 percent in four years as at March 2019. Sectoral credit allocation to the estate shed 0.2 percentage point quarter-on-quarter and 2.49 percentage point year-on-year.

Of the N15.21 trillion combined credit disbursed to 17 sectors by the Nigerian deposit money banks, real estate got N596 billion in the first quarter of 2019, N26 billion or 4 percent lower than N622 billion received in the preceding quarter.

For real estate investments to deliver expected growth, Akintunde said, there would have to be some actions on the part of the government in terms of regulatory framework and also the discipline to enforce compliance and application of those laws.

“Capital is not a problem, there is money all over the world but they’re not coming to this direction because we’re not treating investment well; the environment in which investment can thrive and make adequate returns is not created and so investments flow in other direction, be it local or foreign,” he noted.

Checks by BusinessDay revealed that since exiting recession in the first quarter of this year, Nigerian property market has been on a growth trajectory and expectation is that it will record an estimated 2.5 percent growth before the end of the year.

‘We are optimistic and believe that by Q1 or Q2 of 2020, the sector will be better and, at that point, I think every businessman will start enjoying because the middle class will start emerging again,” Nweke, told BusinessDay.

Source: BusinessDayng

Bank CEO Reveals What Can Prevent Growth of Telecoms’ Mobile Money

Ever since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved that telecommunication companies should operate mobile money, there have been talks about the future of banks and how the network providers can affect the growth of lenders. It has however been revealed that the growth of telecom’s mobile money service is dependent on the regulation of the Apex bank. 

Speaking on his experience in the mobile money business, the Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank for Nigeria and West Africa, Lamin Manjang, said while telecoms have succeeded in the mobile payment business in Kenya, the network providers have failed in some countries. 

Prior to his career at Standard Chartered Bank, Manjang worked as the Chief Finance Officer at Safaricom in Kenya. He was involved in the establishment of M-Pesa, arguably the most successful mobile money service in Africa. M-Pesa was founded by Safaricom in Kenya.

According to Manjangwhat can stop the growth of mobile money service owned by telecoms is the regulation of the country. He said countries, where telecom-led mobile money didn’t succeed, had tight regulations, and this prevented the service from gaining ground, explaining that the success of M-Pesa was due to the supportive regulation of Kenya’s apex bank. 

“The good thing about the M-Pesa was that at that time, the regulator was very supportive, so the Central Bank of Kenya saw that it was an innovative development and that ‘though it is in the telecom space, let us allow it to flourish and see how it goes … Others have tried it, but their regulations could be too tight and, therefore, the opportunity for the product to gain ground would be lost.  

“So, for now, if you go to Kenya, M-Pesa is a way of life; everything from paying your maid to your driver, shopping, paying for a visa is done through the M-Pesa platform. That has also helped in financial inclusion, so Kenya has a financial inclusion rate of about 75% which is one of the highest across the continent.  

“I know Nigeria is also very keen to increase the financial inclusion matrix, and of course, the Central Bank (of Nigeria) has indicated that it is very supportive of measures to get telco to start in that space, banks to look at agencies banking model to be able to reach out. I think we can learn some lessons on what other markets have done and see how we can improve statistics inclusion in Nigeria.” 

Manjang wants banks to lead: Mobile money service is successful in Kenya because the operation was telecom-led, however, Manjang wants banks to lead the mobile money-drive in Nigeria because banks have taken the initiative compared to what happened in Kenya when the mobile money discussion began in the East African country. 

“That is a debate. Of course, in Kenya, it was telco-driven though banks will like it to be bank-driven… I think the banks in Nigeria have clearly taken the lead as opposed to Kenya where Safaricom took the lead. At the end of the day, what we want is for the customers to get the best value for money. It will be bank-led obviously for me. 

“If you don’t play in the space, then you give a chance for somebody else to come and play in that space. So, this is our space; payment and money are our strengths.” 

Source: nairametrics

Nigeria’s GDP Grows 1.94% in Q2 2019

In the second quarter of 2019, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria recorded a year-on-year growth of 1.94 percent in real terms. This is according to data released on Tuesday morning by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In the GDP figures of the stats office, the Q2 2019 growth was higher than the 1.50 percent rise achieved in the second quarter of 2018, indicating increase of 0.44 percentage points.

According to the NBS, when compared to 2.10 percent (revised from 2.01 percent due to oil output revisions) recorded in the first quarter of 2019, however, the Q2 2019 real growth rate indicates a decline of 0.16 percentage points.

It was further stated that during the quarter, aggregate GDP stood at N34.944 trillion in nominal terms, an increase of 13.83 percent over the performance in the second quarter of 2018 and 9.8 percent over the preceding quarter.

The performance observed in Q2 2019 follows an equally strong first quarter performance, and was likely aided by stability in oil output as well as the successful political transition.

Overall, a total of 15 activities grew faster in Q2 2019 relative to last year, while 13 activities had higher growth rates relative to the preceding quarter.

On a half year basis, real growth in the first half of 2019 stood at 2.02 percent, higher than in 2018 which was 1.69 percent. Quarter on quarter, real GDP increased by 2.85 percent compared with a decline of 13.69 percent in the preceding period.

Business Post reports that in the second quarter of this year, the oil sector posted a real growth rate of 5.15 percent year-on-year in Q2 2019, representing a 9.10 percent points increase relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2018. It also indicates an increase of 6.61 percent points when compared with Q1 2019(revised). Quarter-on-Quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 1.55 percent in Q2 2019. The sector contributed 8.82 percent to total real GDP in Q2 2019, up from levels recorded in the corresponding period of 2018 but down compared to the preceding quarter.

In Q2 2019, Nigeria recorded average daily oil production of 1.98 million barrels per day (mbpd), or 7.6 percent higher than the daily average production of 1.84mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2018 but slightly less than output recorded in Q1 2019 (1.99mbpd (revised from 1.96 mbpd).

On the other hand, the non-oil sector grew by 1.64 percent in real terms during the reference quarter. This was 0.40 percent points lower than recorded in the same quarter of 2018, and 0.83% point lower than the first quarter of 2019.

During the quarter, the sector was driven mainly by information and communication, mining and quarrying, agriculture, transportation and storage, as well as other services.

In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 91.18 percent to the nation’s GDP, lower than the share recorded in the second quarter of 2018 (91.45 percent) but higher than the first quarter of 2019, which stood at 90.78 percent.

Source: businesspostng

Expectations Of N250bn Capital Injection Excite Insurance Industry

…as operators promise good returns

With an estimated N250 billion expected to be injected into the Nigerian insurance industry after the ongoing recapitalisation by underwriters, the sector is hopeful to emerge stronger, contribute reasonably to the economy and also offer good returns to investors.

Industry experts believe that the sector post consolidation will have enough resources to attract quality manpower, acquire necessary skills to underwrite big ticket risks, increase retention in the local market, and be able to take advantage of untapped potentials to create shareholder value.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had in a circular issued on May 20, 2019 announced increase in the paid-up share capital of life companies from N2 billion to N8 billion; general business from N3 billion to N10 billion; composite business from N5 billion to N18 billion; and reinsurance companies from N10 billion to N20 billion.

The minimum paid-up share capital requirement, NAICOM said, takes effect from the commencement date of the circular (May 20, 2019) for new applications, while existing insurance and reinsurance companies are required to fully comply not later than June 30, 2020.

Shareholder groups who have been pessimistic about investing in insurance companies had said there was not much to cheer about from the insurance industry recapitalisation of 2007, having seen a lot of the companies being unable to pay good dividend since then, while a lot of their stocks have also been at par for a long time.

But operators say there is still much to hope for in investing in insurance as the industry holds a lot of untapped potentials that hold long-term prospect for savvy investors.

Daniel Braie, managing director/CEO, Linkage Assurance plc said the Nigerian investment climate is still one of the most attractive in the world in terms of investment returns, so that in itself is an impetus for new investors.

“Look at it from the point of our population demographics, the insurance industry is a huge market waiting to be unlocked. This should be an attraction for any investor to put in money,” Braie said.

“In addition, the compulsory insurances if adequately enforced will also offer opportunities for the insurance industry to grow and contribute to the overall growth of the economy,” he said.
The lack of local capacity for certain classes of risks is still a challenge, Braie said, maintaining that increase in capital base of insurers is expected to make the insurance companies stronger to be able to retain more of the businesses and reduce businesses placed abroad.

“Because of these potentials, companies like Prudential of Britain and Allianz of Germany have recently partnered with local companies in addition to those already operating in the country,” he said.

Mayowa Adeduro of Law Union and Rock Insurance plc said the potential of the industry remains an attraction to any informed investor to put money into insurance business.

“The population of Nigeria is over 200 million people with over 70 percent below 50 years age. The industry is about N400 billion Gross Premium Income (GPI) in 2018 but has the potential to double in five years. The infrastructure deficit means there will be increasing spending on capital projects that attracts insurance,” Adeduro said. “Increasing awareness of risk and insurance means more premiums to the industry. Better regulatory and governance environment creates opportunity for growth.”

Adeduro also noted that the existing six compulsory insurance products have potential to generate N1 trillion gross premium. “The local content law, the Cabotage law, the Pension Reform Act and other state enactments like the Lagos State Safety Control Law will all create opportunity for insurance to thrive,” he said.

“As an operator, I foresee improvement in returns on investment after the recapitalisation exercise because companies will likely acquire efficient distribution of products model leveraging on technology. Management cost and other/overhead cost will go down significantly including reinsurance expense as the companies would have acquired higher underwriting and retention capacity,” he said.

Post recapitalisation, Adeduro said there would be lower participants and higher entry barrier and so expects more collaboration and cooperation among remaining underwriters.

“I see an industry collaborating with banks for facilities, project financing, and investment returns will dramatically improve,” he said.

Tola Adegbayi, executive director, general business at Leadway Assurance Company Limited, believes the potential for insurance is great for country.

“The general banter is about population size and the bulk of this relates to the lower income groups where we have the most vulnerable part of our population, thus speaking to the potential for micro insurance,” Adegbayi said.

According to Adegbayi, the core for insurance is then the middle-income persons, SME business owners who desire financial freedom and security.

“Insurance provides that freedom to aspire and the needed security should anything happen, meaning that any investor needs to look at the market potential of this group,” she said.

While Adegbayi believes the potential is huge, she was honest in her position that investment is choice when all variables have been considered because there also the rough side.

“There are no guarantees in business. An investor must look at potentials being presented and make an informed decision on budgeted outcomes and what things are fundamentally required to achieve a targeted level of success within the medium to long term,” Adegbayi said.

“Insurance is not a business for any investor with a short-term focus, in my opinion. With a long-term-focused investor, the potential, looking at the fundamentals of low penetration and essential needs for financial security, is great,” she said.

Source: businessday

Why Now Is a Fine Time For The African Diaspora to Invest in African States

The African Union (AU) defines the African diaspora as consisting of “people of native African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union”.

It consists of the worldwide collection of communities descended from native sub-Saharan Africans or people from Sub-Saharan Africa, largely from West and Central Africans predominantly in the Americas who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with their largest populations in Brazil, the United States and Haiti.

It is a critical mass whose brainpower and finance cannot be neglected by those on the continent.

The combination of the Atlantic Slave trade and Arab Slave trade dispersed the African diaspora throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

While the trading of African beings depleted the continent of its brightest and strongest, descendants of the enslaved are reaching out to countries on the continent to reconnect, discover their roots and even relocate. This is largely why now is a fine opportune time to invest in African countries to bolster their economies.

Ghana, for instance, has had a stable democratic governance system which has not seen a military takeover since 1992. With an estimated population of 30 million, mostly youthful, the population requires jobs to stimulate it.

With a reported housing deficit of 1.7 million, real estate developers, engineers, surveyors, architects, masons, electricians, others in a related sector, as well as, those with the money bag, stand making good returns when they invest in the sector.

Any new visitor to the country will be pleasantly surprised seeing the condos and apartments raised and occupied. An investor has the choice to invest in luxurious apartments for the rich or invest in decent mass housing units and make returns through the numbers.

Again, unlike in the 1990s, Ghana has electricity extended nearly to all parts of the country with the hustle with registering business mitigated by the online registration portal (rgd.gov.gh) opened to the public by the Registrar General’s Department in a bid to enhance the ease of doing business.

Ghana, being an agrarian economy, has large tracts of uncultivated land that those with the expertise and experience can make a handsome return all other things being equal should they invest.

Be it the cultivation of pineapple for domestic consumption and export, shear nut processing, cocoa cultivation and processing, or venturing into the processing of fruits and vegetables which go waste needlessly, there’s a hole to fill, given malls and supermarkets in the country import a good deal of their fruit juices.

Turning to Nigeria, since 2005, the country has been considered to be among the “Next Eleven”: the countries identified by Goldman Sachs investment bank as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS, the world’s largest economies.

The growth is driven by a population of 193.4 million (2016 National Bureau of Statistics estimate) – growing at over 3% per annum – and by an affluent and an increasing middle class.

The “cosmopolitans” (higher middle class) and the affluent, together 10% of the population or 17 million people, account for 40% of total consumption. Another 21% of the population, or 36 million people, could be considered “rising strivers!” and are, therefore, of interest to multinationals. About 65% of the Nigerian population is younger than 25 years.

Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI) stock reached 98.73 billion in 2016, a 3% increase from 2015 and while its economy is oil and gas sector dominated, FDI flows are diversifying.

Other incentives include a favourable Companies Income Tax, Pioneer Status Grants, Free Trade Zones and tax relief for research and development.

Africa’s larger economic growth prospects are among the world’s brightest. Six of the world’s 12 fastest-growing countries are in Africa (Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Rwanda).

From now till 2023, Africa’s growth prospects will be among the highest in the world, according to the IMF, with banking, telecommunications and infrastructure among the drivers of the current economic growth in Africa.

Africa’s growing, youthful population, amidst an ageing population in most other regions, constitutes a formidable market. The continent’s population is predicted to quadruple from 1.19 billion in 2015 to 4.39 billion by 2100.

In 2015 alone, 200 million Africans entered the consumer goods market. Maximizing this bourgeoning market size calls for actively engaging Africa’s structural economic transformation.

Africa’s large deposits of natural resources promise a bright future for developing value chains. Agriculture and the extractive sectors are linchpins of national, regional and global value chains. The continent hosts 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land.

In 2017, the Democratic Republic of Congo alone accounted for 58% of the world’s cobalt (used in electronics production) while South Africa accounted for 69.6% of the world’s platinum production in 2016 (used for catalytic converters and in other goods).

Actively investing in adding value to these commodities by the African diaspora will shape global economic activities over the next five decades.

Already, the African diaspora accounts for large volumes of remittances to the continent – $38 billion recorded in 2017 – with the volume of remittances outstripping foreign aid to some of the African countries while levelling with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of others.

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