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Cititrust Financial Services to Join Nigerian Stock Exchange

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Cititrust Financial Services Ikechukwu Peter

By Dipo Olowookere

The number of companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will soon expand if plans by Cititrust Financial Services to list its shares scale through.

The organisation is planning to join the nation’s stock exchange to make it more robust and the listing would be done by introduction, according to the Country Chief Executive Officer of Cititrust Financial Services, Mr Ikechukwu Peter.

In a chat with financial journalists in Lagos recently, Mr Peter disclosed that the process should be completed before the end of the second quarter of 2021.

If this happens, Cititrust Financial Services would be the second company to join the exchange this year after Briclinks Africa Plc, which listed its shares on the NSE in January by introduction.

However, it is not certain if the shares would be listed on the mainboard or on the growth board like Briclinks Africa.

Cititrust explained that the listing will enable it to raise fresh capital from the capital market to deliver quality services to its customers like supporting the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), which are the bedrock of the nation’s economy because of their significant contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).

According to Mr Peter, SMEs “represent about 90 per cent of businesses and more than 50 per cent of employment worldwide. It is equally on record that formal SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of GDP in emerging economies.”

He noted that the listing of the company will provide a platform to unlocked several opportunities for SMEs to thrive, including granting credit facilities to operators in the sector.

While commenting on the company’s loan exposure, he said it was minimal and within the threshold of regulatory requirement of five per cent, attributing the reason for a high non-performing loan (NPL) to lack of effective monitoring from the point of disbursement.

“If you don’t monitor these loans properly, you will discover that even the customer that has the capacity to pay, will not pay.

“When proper structures are on the ground, the monies will come back. When the monitoring is there, things will not go bad. The structure of the loan is another thing that should be looked at. Once all these dynamics are properly understood, the exposure will be minimal,” he explained.

In terms of the firm’s business, he said efforts would be made to improve the balance sheet size of N36 billion by 50 per cent before the end of 2021.

“We are also looking at growing our lending powers, we have a risk asset portfolio of about N12 billion, we are also looking at growing that by another 50 per cent incrementally by the end of this year,” he said.

He said that the company was also making plans to migrate Living Trust Mortgage Bank from a state licenced mortgage bank to a national mortgage bank.

“We are coming up with a programme through our Cititrust Academy on April 15, where people can learn the basics of business and be able to impact their operational lives as they move on.

“We expect that by mid next year, all our subsidiaries will be top industry players in the space where they play because we believe that money is made at the top,” Mr Peter stated.

As for the financial technology (fintech) sector, the investment expert submitted that the government and financial institutions must begin to realise that it has come to stay, noting that the company was positioned to excel in the space.

“The truth of the matter is that fintech is the way, any business that is not positioned for that right now will experience a dramatic nosedive. We are not there yet, we are putting the virtual processes in place.

“The platforms are being built as we speak, the engagement with vendors is actually in top gear. So, between now and the end of the year, we should be playing actively in that space because the truth is, it is an investment that cannot go wrong. Plans are seriously in motion and before the end of the year, we will be active in that space,” he said.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

The Value of a Savings Culture

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Savings Culture

By FBNQuest

If you are just starting your career, then you must be excited to be earning money. You probably feel liberated by your ability to make choices like going on a vacation, buying a car, or renting a flat in the part of town you prefer to live. Earning a living certainly has its perks.

It is not unusual for young people to indulge themselves when they begin to earn money. However, it is also important to consider the power the income from a job or business provides; an opportunity to create your financial future.

The choices you make early in your career about your money may determine your options in the future. Retirement may seem so far off that you see no reason to pay attention to it now. What you do not realise is that building a sizable nest egg becomes more difficult later in your career. Likewise, acquiring a house or having a family is often easier if you are proactive in gathering resources to achieve your goal.

A savings culture or investing is a sure way to build momentum towards achieving your short and long-term financial obligations. The funds that you save for short-term goals should be kept in cash and cash equivalents because your objective should be to preserve their value in a liquid asset. The resources that you save towards your long-term goals should be invested in assets that may be less liquid but offer higher returns.

The types of assets you invest in your savings will significantly impact your return and consequently, the amount available to finance your plans for a family or other financial goals. A major reason for this is the concept of compound interest. This is the process by which a sum of money grows exponentially due to interest building upon itself over time.

The key is to start saving and investing as early in your career as possible. The sooner you start putting money away, the sooner it begins to earn interest. If invested properly, the money can grow substantially over time. But putting off investments could mean you miss an opportunity to grow your wealth easily and automatically.

Having a plan helps you to build the discipline that is required to invest successfully. You are more responsible for your financial success when a plan is executed in a systematic way. This should also give you the confidence that while you are building a career, you are also making steady progress towards your financial goal.

It is advised that you make wise investments decisions. Explore options that allow you to automate your savings and investment in the form of automatic withdrawals from your bank account. After making this arrangement, stay the course. Consider that by starting early, you are positioned to benefit from the well-established trend that investments in riskier assets such as stocks potentially outperform less risky short-term assets such as cash equivalents over time. Especially when diversification is appropriately adopted in investing.

All this is easier said than done. A savings and investment plan is more than just a list of goals and deadlines. Practically, it can be more complicated than that, as you consider the fine details and peculiarities of your status and responsibilities. To help you achieve the outcomes you want, relationship managers at FBNQuest are available to work with you to craft a plan that offers a range of products that suit your specific investment and financial goals. We look forward to helping you achieve your financial goals. Contact us today and stay ahead of the curve to indulge yourself early in your career at the expense of a great financial future.

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Economy

Akwa Ibom Requests Relocation of NNPC Subsidiaries to Dakkada Towers

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Dakkada Towers

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Akwa Ibom State Government has appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to relocate some of its subsidiaries to the 21-storey smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers in the state.

Governor Udom Emmanuel made this request when he hosted the management of NNPC Upstream, led by the Group Executive Director, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, who are in the state for a 3-day retreat on the restructuring of NNPC from its Corporation status to a Limited Liability Company.

Governor Udom particularly asked for the relocation of the headquarters of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to relocate to the state.

He decried that the state despite having the largest crude oil and gas reserve in the country does not have any oil and gas presence and called for the decentralization of NNPC operations from Abuja.

“So, we are appealing to NNPC to relocate the headquarters of some of its subsidiaries to occupy the smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers. Four floors are there for the entire group, NUPRC, NAPIMS, NNPC.”

The governor also applauded NNPC Upstream for choosing his State as venue for the retreat, applauded their initiative towards making the Corporation a Limited Liability Company, urging them to brace up for the task ahead of the new responsibilities.

He commended NNPC for their transparency in publishing financial reports of the Corporation, which he said has been unprecedented in recent times, urging them not to relent in their commitment to bridge existing gaps thereby restoring the confidence of the people.

“Congratulations on the restructuring of NNPC, the boldness to do this will give you opportunities.

“Some of you that are group heads have written your names in plaque because once you restructure and put the structure, strategy, the system there will enable that structure to run, history will never forget any of you, but unfortunately, something about restructuring, if you get it wrong, history will crucify you.

“So it is something that no matter how you are pushed by government or politicians you have to get focused on it as a professional because of responsibilities and the expectations from the people.

“This is the first badge of management in NNPC that we have seen a financial report and it’s to your credit and it is timely too. I think the first audit of NNPC is done by your regime. So if you began a good work, take it to the end.”

On his part, the Group Executive Director, NNPC Upstream, Mr Tombomieye, disclosed that NNPC was transiting from a Corporation into a Limited Liability Company, as one of the steps of restructuring the corporation for efficient and effective service to Nigerians.

Mr Tombomieye, said the essence of holding a retreat in the state was to review the performance of the Corporation in the last three quarters, adding that the exercise has been successful.

“As you are aware NNPC is going through a transition, we are transiting from a Corporation to a Limited Liability Company, by the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act and incorporation of NNPC Limited, the former corporation called NNPC will now transit into a Limited Liability Company.

“The Upstream Directorate has come to review our performance in the last three quarters to see the level of performance and how to serve the nation better,” he added.

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Economy

NCDC Confirms Three Cases of Omicron Variant in Nigeria

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Register for COVID-19 Vaccination

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that Nigeria has recorded three cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This was confirmed on Wednesday by the NCDC Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in a statement, explaining that the agency had conducted case and genomic surveillance for inbound international travellers arriving in the country at its National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja, and a network of other testing laboratories.

He stated that sequencing of samples from COVID-19 positive inbound travellers was conducted in laboratories with sequencing capacity in the country while all the sequencing data were shared in publicly accessible databases.

“This genomic surveillance has now identified and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant,” the NCDC boss said.

“Samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa. These cases were recent arrivals in the country in the past week.

“Follow up to ensure isolation, linkage to clinical care, contact tracing and other relevant response activities have commenced. Arrangements are also being made to notify country where travel originated according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations,” he added.

According to him, the NCDC assumes Omicron is widespread globally given the increasing number of countries reporting the variant.

Dr Adetifa gave an assurance that the NCDC would continue to expand its sequencing capacity in-country through a network of public health laboratories and other partners.

The focus for the agency, he stated, was to complete sequencing of recently accrued samples of SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the Omicron variant already.

The NCDC chief revealed that since reports of the emergence of the Omicron variant, the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC, has intensified public health response measures to COVID-19.

He added that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has revised the national travel advisory, which included a negative COVID-19 test result done not more than 48 hours before departure by all inbound travellers to Nigeria.

“Pre-booking and payment for all-day 2 and day 7 COVID-19 PCR tests are prerequisites for travel. In addition, all outbound passengers regardless of the requirements of destination countries are expected to present evidence of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not later than 48 hours before departure.

“We appeal to Nigerians to adhere strictly to these travel protocols and other public safety measures to protect themselves, families, friends, the community at large and to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country as we combat the pandemic and these emerging variants, including the Delta variant,” Dr Adetifa pleaded.

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