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Economy

Digital Financial Inclusion, Poverty, Hawkers, Daddy Freeze & Tithe

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Digital Financial Inclusion, Poverty, Hawkers, Daddy Freeze & Tithe

By Nneka Okumazie

If an individual hawks stuff around, who is responsible for that situation, and whose responsibility is it to lift that individual out of poverty?

Factors responsible for poverty may include income, purchasing power, conditions of living, trade and monetary policies. There are some who are impoverished but aren’t hawking. What drives people to hawk and how much has Africa done to find solutions to hawking?

Poverty in Africa is super complicated. The whole thing may be onerous to extricate, but fragments of it could find solutions if massive studies and efforts are thrown at it.

There are telecom companies who branded poor retailers of their products, with umbrellas, clothes, chairs, tables, etc. There are beverage and fast moving consumer goods companies who have also given branded boards, posters, merchandises to poor retailers as well. There are often promos, offers, credit services, microfinance, etc. for many of these retailers. Sometimes, it doubles as marketing or for social optics.

However, most of these are palliatives for poverty, not structures for economic elevation. Financial inclusion, can also – simply – be described as a way of providing banking services for the poorest. It is helpful and necessary.

But where does financial inclusion fit for majority of poor people: palliative or elevator? Some may argue that most poor traders have found a way around saving from time, while others may argue that there has been no other time in Africa, where direct financial services are provided to the poor.

Africa is buzzing with new stuff especially platforms that technology enabled. But where are the solutions? Where are the studies? Where is the activism, or rage against hawking? How many University centers are there to study and prevent hawking? How many corporations are making efforts to reduce the amount of hawkers of their product, to have more shop-based or stationary retailers?

Hawkers are ignored, seen as normal and forsaken, except when there is something to benefit from them. Hawking is abnormal, horrific and should be discouraged enough that it should be the impossible option. But, nothing is done, by those who have knowledge, or by those whose products they sell – directly or indirectly, or by those who can make the policies to help them collectively.

Often people give one answer to poverty, or hawking, saying do this, then that, etc. But NO, the complexities of Africa’s hardship require multiple studies, tests, models and experimentation – consistently – towards solution.

Christianity, Poverty and Taxes

Sometimes, the necessity of reviewing issues of poverty is because of the growing amount of people who blame Christianity for poverty in Nigeria, or in Africa.

Christianity is hated more than hawking, by those who have no value to improve the society except vague to-dos.

They have said people are brainwashed by Christianity. Meaning that for them all their opinions and views of everything they do is a hundred percent original, nothing from anywhere was ever accepted, so whoever accepts anything they didn’t create, or invent is brainwashed. No interest in genuine Christianity or in the Way does not mean those who have are brainwashed.

They also said Christianity is false hopes. But if there is no hope in hawking, where someone hawking had seen folks who hawked through life, or stayed poor through life, is it not better to have hope that may mean joy or that may mean endurance and ability to be strong, or have a sound mind?

True Churches are not the problem of the country, or the continent, no matter what statement is brandished by enemies of the Church.

Giving in a true Church is also not a scam, no matter the giving. It is optional, voluntary and in accordance with faith. No need to give if there is doubt of its use, or if feeling cheated.

Also, if there are questions about Christianity and the Power of GOD that aren’t satisfactorily answered, it does not invalidate the Truthfulness of the Word. Christianity is not the only thing that has unanswered questions. There are tons of unanswered question – in spite of all the advances – in psychology, neuroscience, oncology, astronomy, atmospheric science, etc.

Christ said, “Pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar, and pay to God the things that are due to God.” This means that if you believe you – may – give, as part of your faith, to GOD. The Scriptures did not tell us how the Churches in the Epistles gave during their services, or their general order of service but it is possible, they gave collectively for Church projects, for the welfare of the poor, for gospel witnessing, etc.

Taxes are important for any economy. There are all kinds of taxes for all categories of income and expenditures. Taxes well spent are like a great pillar for building and maintaining a society.

Poverty

The poverty in Africa is painful. Yes, it is not an excuse for laziness or for vices or for risky desperations, or for harm, or for lawlessness. But there are many, trying much to be lawful and good, but the failures of the society has precipitated them. It is so unfortunate and it doesn’t seem there are massive active efforts for poverty solutions in Africa, but who knows?

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

FG Pledges Single-Digit Loans for Small Businesses

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external loan

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has pledged to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with single-digit loans so as to boost their businesses.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Maryam Katagum, on Friday when members of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) visited her in Abuja.

According to her, there is a lot of commendation at the recent retreat President Muhammadu Buhari had with the ministers for the MSMEs.

“In his closing speech, Mr President specifically said that every support will be given to ensure that MSMEs have access to credits.

“That is what we always preach and we will give every support to the MSMEs as the engine of economic growth to have access to credits at single digits,” Mrs Katagum said.

The Minister, who pointed out the critical role MSMEs play in growing the economy, said this role was further heightened during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Even the woman selling groundnut or `akara’ couldn’t come out to practice her passion. Everybody felt the effect of the lockdown.

“We have to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for interventions that were provided for MSMEs during the lockdown.

“And once it was identified to put in some mechanism to stop the economy from going under, our ministry is one of the ministries asked to make submissions to see how to keep the economy going and ensure free flow of goods and services across the country.

“Our proposal was very easily accepted and the sum of N75 billion was allocated and we made a lot of progress.

“Average Nigerians appreciated the efforts and we have seen them giving their testimonies and right now we are on the last track which is the guaranteed off-take scheme,” the Minister said.

She appealed to the association to identify innovative ways that the Federal Government can assist MSMEs.

“As partners, your association has to start thinking of new innovative ways that we can assist MSMEs, it’s not just the finance.

“So, when you give them the money, they don’t know what to do with the money so you need to intensify the capacity building and sharing of information to know what is happening and where,” she said.

On his part, the President and Chairman of the governing council of NASME, Mr Abdulrashid Yerima, expressed the association’s commitment to deepening the relationship with the ministry.

Mr Yerima appreciated the ministry for including NASME in various committees set up by the government to support the development of MSMEs in Nigeria.

He, however, sought the appointment of members of the association to the boards of parastatals under the ministry and solicited the ministry’s support for inputs into human capital development for the association.

“Our association serving in the board of revenant agencies under the ministry will help us to make informed inputs into the policies of the agencies that impact MSME growth and development in Nigeria.

“Also support for capital development for our association is crucial for the development of skills and manpower to upscale MSMEs especially NASME,” Mr Yerima said.

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Economy

IGR: Osinbajo Expresses Worry Over Governors’ ‘Laziness’

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yemi osinbajo RCCG Pastor

By Adedapo Adesanya

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo seems to be worried about the inability of state governors to be innovative in boosting their respective Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The number 2 man, speaking at the maiden edition of Ekiti State’s investment forum in Ado-Ekiti, has, therefore, tasked them to think out of the box and act like a sovereign state so as to make them challenge countries of the world.

“Thinking differently, there is a need for a sub-national to think like a sovereign state. You have a bigger GDP (gross domestic product) and even more revenues than many nations.

“There is a different mindset when you are sure of a monthly allocation of cash at least enough to pay salaries, whether you generate income or not. This is the challenge. The so-called Dutch disease, one becomes complacent,” he said.

“But what if you had to take responsibility for all those who reside within your borders, pay all salaries, from internally generated revenue?” he queried.

Drawing a parallel, he said that Lagos State improved its IGR from N600 million monthly in 1999/2000 to about N45 billion today, adding that the illegal seizure of the allocations to the state by the then federal government was the shock that forced the state to rethink.

Speaking further, Mr Osinbajo noted that although a state within a federation is not a nation, it must behave like one, to further boost its economic development.

“The economy of the sub-national is a peculiar animal. The state within the federation is not a nation, but it must behave like one, it derives some resources from the federal pool, and generates some income, the overall sum will provide infrastructure and services to the community.

“The size of the sum and the quantum of opportunity available to provide livelihoods for the populace will depend on how the state enables local and external investors, small and large to put their resources into business and commercial activity business in the State.

“The funded portion of the state’s budget is after all a mere fraction of the sum total of economic activity or income-generating activity, formal or informal within the state. So, the attractiveness of a state to commerce is a radical issue,” Mr Osinbajo said.

He asserted that “the very lives and livelihoods of the people within the borders of the State, whether the people will live prosperous and happy lives, be educated, have access to affordable medical care, depends on it.”

He then encouraged them to key into the benefit from a private-sector led economy, noting that the model is the right way to go, as the business is the standpoint of the private sector, while governments should as much as possible facilitate, or at best, collaborate.

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Economy

NGX Group Finally Lists 1.964 billion Shares, Trades at N17.75

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NGX Group lists 1.964 billion Shares

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A total of 1,964,115,918 shares, representing the issued share capital of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, were successfully listed on the trading platform of NGX Limited on Friday, October 15, 2021.

Business Post reports that the stocks were listed on the exchange today by introduction at a unit price of N17.75, higher than the N14.68 per unit it last traded on the NASD Securities Exchange on Friday, October 8, 2021, it the shares used to be traded.

This newspaper gathered that at the exchange today, investors traded about 3.6 million units of the company’s equities worth N63.2 million in 31 deals and closed flat at N17.75.

It was listed on the main board of the NGX having satisfied the listing requirements of the exchange and obtained relevant regulatory approvals.

The company is on the bourse in the financial services and capital market infrastructure sector, with the ticker NGXGROUP.

The top members of staff of the company were honoured today with the closing gong ceremony and the Chairman, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, in his speech, stated that, “Today’s listing of NGX Group on NGX is another milestone attained pursuant to the group’s 2018 – 2021 corporate strategy.

“Our shareholder base has more than doubled since our demutualisation in March 2021 and our valued shareholders will benefit from the enhanced liquidity that listing on the exchange will facilitate.

“This listing will also enable a much wider universe of potential investors and market participants to share in our growth journey.

“As a board, we embrace the letter and spirit of the listing requirements and we are committed to transparent disclosure, proactive stakeholder engagement and exemplary corporate governance.”

Also speaking, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NGX Group, Mr Oscar Onyema, disclosed that, “Today’s listing of NGX Group on the nation’s premier exchange will enable institutional investors globally as well as the Nigerian public to invest in Nigerian Exchange Group Plc.

“With strengthening market dynamics, serving the largest economy in Africa, NGX Group’s listing allows us to expand in key capital market infrastructure verticals and look beyond Nigeria’s borders, as we deliver on our growth plans to become Africa’s leading capital market infrastructure group.”

As for the CEO of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, he described the listing as a milestone, expressing his excitement about the development.

“We congratulate the board and management first on a successful demutualisation and on its subsequent listing. This move is particularly exciting, as it will position NGX Group to provide liquidity to members while stimulating the capital market ecosystem to grow at the same pace as the economy.

“Today, we reiterate our commitment to being a trusted partner to NGX Group and other listed companies as we continue to build a platform that allows our listed companies, investors and other stakeholders to maximise value in our market,” he said.

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