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Gombe Signs N120bn 2021 Budget into Law



Gombe 2021 Budget

By Ahmed Rahma

The 2021 appropriation bill of N120 billion passed by the Gombe State House of Assembly has been signed into law by the state governor, Mr Muhammadu Yahaya.

The budget, signed on Wednesday, has a total of N120,346,536,626.00, which reflected an increase of N682,680,000.00 over the initial sum of N119,663,856,626.00 proposed by the executive.

According to Mr Yahaya, while signing the budget titled Budget of Resilience into law, his administration will improve the lots of Gombe state people next year.

“Around this time last year, we assented 2020 budget, around 27th, we signed the appropriation budget. This year, we are some days ahead, which means we are improving on efficiency, processes, and procedures in order to improve the lots of the people of Gombe State.

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Speaking at the Council Chamber of the Government House, he attributed the expeditious passage of the bill into law to the harmonious relationship amongst the arms of government in the state.

He appreciated his people for their support to his present administration and the House of Assembly for the effective and efficient way they handled the appropriation bill and other bills sent to it by the executive arm, saying “this shows the level of synergy existing among the three arms of government.”

He said, “We must ensure that the greatest chunk of the people’s money goes back to the people especially with the intent of the party, which is to give service to humanity.

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“The fact that we christened this budget, Budget of Resilience means we must be more resilient, more cooperative, and hardworking.

“Everybody knows the effect of the covid-19 Pandemic and what it has created not only within the Nigerian society but indeed the entire world and if we work hard enough to overcome the challenges we shall come out stronger more than ever before”.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Mr Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo, said the budget was given expeditious passage because of its contents which he noted have given priority to the economic development and welfare of the people.

Mr Mohammed said the 52 per cent for capital expenditure and 48 per cent for recurrent expenditure indicated a clear departure from what was obtained in the past where expenditure on governance outweighed service to the people.

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The speaker lauded Governor Yahaya for concentrating on people-oriented projects, policies and programmes which he termed as the hallmark of inclusive governance that prioritizes accountability and transparency.

The budget signing ceremony was witnessed by senior government officials, including the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau, and members of the state House of Assembly, Secretary to the State Government, Head of Service, Commissioner of Finance, Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Planning and Development Partners Coordination among others.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs




By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting



GTBank Branch

By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa



DLM Capital

A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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