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Privatisation, Avenue for Raising Productivity Bar—Onyema

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Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE Oscar Onyema

By Ahmed Rahma

The chief executive of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, has said “privatisation occupies a unique position in global economic liberalization and provides an avenue for raising the bar of productivity towards greater economic development.”

He made this disclosure during a webinar hosted by the exchange on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, in conjunction with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

At the event themed Privatisation in Nigeria and the Outlook for Subnational Economic Development, the NSE boss stated that “in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2008, total proceeds of privatisation were valued at $12.6 billion.”

“This contributed to the growth of the sub-region during the period. We are, therefore, excited to lay emphasis on the positive outcomes of the National Privatisation Programme in 1987, which includes the deepening and broadening of the capital market by a large body of shareholders.

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“The outcomes of the programme which includes success in relieving the government of the burden of financing public enterprises, creating liquidity for the government to pay off debts and finance new expenditures, thus raising the level of investments in infrastructures,” he mentioned.

Delivering his keynote address, the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Kayode Fayemi, stated that the sale of public assets has become very important at this period because both the “federal and state governments are experiencing fiscal and economic consequences occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has culminated in significant vulnerabilities in our capacity to increase investment and protect business and livelihood.”

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“We believe that if the private sector takes over critical segments of the economy, State Governors can focus on social investment initiatives such as health care and education.

“The discussion must, however, involve regulators and financial institutions who are central in providing a conducive environment for privatisation to work,” he concluded.

In his contribution, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, who was represented by Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Mr Reginald Karawusa, noted that, “Privatisation is one of such avenues governments need to explore in order to unlock economic potentials inherent in government-owned enterprises.”

The webinar several personalities contributing to the topic including the Chairman of Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Professor Doyin Salami; the Executive Secretary, NIPC, Ms Yewande Sadiku; the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Governor of Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun; Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai; and Governor of Bauchi State, Mr Bala Mohammed.

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Others were the Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh; CEO, Financial Derivatives and Member, Presidential Advisory Council, Mr Bismarck Rewane; CEO, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun; MD/CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji; the Partner & Chief Economist of PwC Nigeria, Dr Andrew Nevin; Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria, Ms Ibukun Awosika; and CEO, InfraCredit Chinua Azubike.

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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Economy

Stanbic IBTC Enlightens Investors on Available Safe Investment Options

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Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Safe Investment Options

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Following the strokes of economic uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, recently organised a webinar to proffer guidance on investing in uncertain times.

The webinar via Instagram was themed Investing in Uncertain Times and experts at the Stanbic IBTC enlightened the investing public about the available transparent and safe investment options.

Some of the in-house were Ms Fadekemi Obasanya, Head Investment Management and Ekene Nwaokoro, Fund Analyst.

In her presentation, Ms Obasanya emphasised the importance of gaining needful knowledge from investment professionals about the best investment options per time.

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She also pointed out the various investment options offered by Stanbic IBTC which both current and prospective investors can take advantage of, leveraging on the well-informed financial guidelines provided by the organisation.

She said some of the investment options include Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund, Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, Stanbic IBTC Enhanced Fixed Income Fund, Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund, among many others under the mutual funds.

Ms Obasanya further stated that many people become victims of fake investment platforms due to misinformation and indiscipline, urging investors to do due diligence before parting with their funds.

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“A lot of people fell prey to fake investment platforms in the previous year. It is wise to stay disciplined and informed about credible investment outlets to avoid losing money, as the main objective of the investment is to generate regular income and capital appreciation.

“People need to be mindful of the type of investment they put their money in. This is why we designed a tool called ‘InvestBeta’ for intending investors to identify their risk appetite, which simply means the amount of risk they are willing and able to take, as well as the available investment options that can help them achieve their investment objective.

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“There are also well-experienced financial advisors on standby to help investors decide on the most suitable options for them,” she said.

Also discussed at the session was the advantage of investing in the Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, a dollar-denominated mutual fund, which was a response to how investors can hedge against Naira devaluation.

Individuals were educated on the fundamentals of investing and viable investment options, especially amid an unstable economic terrain.

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Economy

Capital Importation into Nigeria Falls to $875.6m in Q2 2021

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capital importation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Nigeria has recorded a quarter-on-quarter decline of 54.06 per cent in the total value of capital importation into the country in the second quarter of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.

In a report released by the agency, it was disclosed that the FX inflows from April to June 2021 stood at $875.6 million in contrast to $1.9 billion recorded in the first quarter of this year.

On a year-on-year basis, the capital importation went down by 32.38 per cent as the inflows in the same period of last year was $1.3 billion.

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Business Post observed that the decline in the period under review was because of lower inflows from foreign direct investments (FDIs), foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) and other investments.

However, in the report, the stats office said the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97 per cent ($551.4 million) of total capital importation, followed by other investment, which accounted for 28.13 per cent ($246.3 million) of total capital imported, with FDIs accounting for 8.90 per cent ($78.0 million) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.

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By sector, capital importation by banking dominated in Q2 2021, reaching $296.5 million of the total capital

importation in Q2 2021, followed by financing with $205.9 million and shares with $194.6 million.

By source of the capital investment, the United Kingdom was on top with $310.3 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

It was trailed by South Africa with $212.4 million and the United States with $83.4 million and by destination, Lagos State emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $780.1 million, contributing 89.09 per cent to the total capital inflow in Q2 2021 and by bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc emerged at the top of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $310.2 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

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Standard Chartered Bank followed by attracting $282.4 million, while Citi Bank attracted $94.2 million in the second quarter of this year.

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Economy

PenCom Drags 120 Firms to Court for Pension Act Violation

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pension assets

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that it was in court with about 120 companies that have refused to comply with the dictates of the 2014 Pension Reform Act (PRA).

The Director, Corporate Communications of the commission, Mr Peter Aghahowa, stated this in Lagos at the 2021 PenCom workshop for journalists in Lagos.

According to him, the organisation was working assiduously to ensure all pension laws as they affect various policies are totally complied with.

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He noted that compliance varies according to the sector, adding that recovery agents have been engaged to ensure that funds that ought to be remitted to PenCom are not diverted under any guise.

“For the private sector, we engaged recovery agents. By the PRA, any company with more than three workers must key into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

“So, the recovery agents have been empowered. Once they check the books of companies, they will determine their liabilities.

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“We have the employee and employer portion remittances. For those not remitting at all, there is a penalty.

“We have 120 cases in court and these are organisations we tried to work with and they were just recalcitrant.

“Going to court is the last resort because the goal is for the money to the RSAs. We always try to engage.

“In states, they have to enact and implement the CPS. We work with them in coming up with a bill and setting up a pension bureau.

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“Most states have not implemented this well. In enforcing compliance here, you should tread softly. Accrued rights have been paid up”, he said.

The agency has, therefore, called for compliance on contributory pension remittances by employers across the country.

On her part, the PenCom DG, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed that the commission has deepened technological innovation as it seeks to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

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