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Financial experts task Buhari on nomination of technocrats as ministers

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Financial experts task Buhari on nomination of technocrats as ministers

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Lagos, March 12, 2019 Financial experts on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a new cabinet early and ensure the nomination of technocrats to turnaround the economy.

They stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on post-election expectations from the new government.

Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said the president should not only form his cabinet in time but ensure placement of round pegs in round holes.

Tella said the president should appointment successful technocrats as ministers for the country to achieve the desired growth and development.

“If the current structure of ministers is checked, it should be clear that some square pegs are forced into round holes,” Tella said.

He noted that “each state has required professionals in any ministerial position.”

Tella said budget implementation must not be delayed after passage by the legislature to sustain the gains of economic growth reported in the last quarter of 2018.

He noted that the current National Assembly should work hard to pass the 2019 budget before the end of the legislative year.

According to him, it is the least they can do for the economy to move forward.

“The 2015 budget was passed before they resumed. Budget delays throughout the period of the current NASS seem to have overshadowed the successes they achieved in terms of the unprecedented number of bills passed by the two houses,” he stated.

Tella also called on government to bring back the culture of national planning that would design where the country wishes to be in 2030, 2040 and possibly 2050.

“A nation that fails to plan, as they say, plans to fail. All the states must have long term plans and the same for local governments.

“It is from such plans that each state will be able to generate revenues from its own resources rather than dependent on the centre,” he said.

Tella explained that planning would aid economic development and as well offer foreign partners and the private sector the opportunity to know where to come in or their roles in the development of the nation.

Mr Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said the government should review stakeholders’ engagement policy.

Oni said every stakeholder should be encouraged to articulate its specific needs to the government.

“As for the capital market, the government should implement all the outstanding requests such as deepening the market by using fiscal incentives to encourage listing of multinational companies and indigenous ones.

“The market is a derivative of the economy. The market shall become attractive to investors if the economy is growing optimally because the quoted companies operate in the economy,” Oni said.

He said stockbrokers should henceforth be involved in articulating policies that were geared towards market development.

Oni noted that presently “there appears to be a disconnect between the policies and the operators.”

He said real investors would start taking position in the stock market following the end of the general elections.

“There is relative stability in the polity and we do not expect unguarded utterances from the political class any more.

“We expect real investors to take position while good corporate earnings have potential to create a rally,” Oni added.

Economy

Nigerian, Colombian win the WorldRemit and Arsenal “Future Stars” coaching programme

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Online money transfer company WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) and Arsenal today announce that Chinasa Ukandu from Nigeria and Luis Alejandro Castañeda from Colombia are the winners of the 2019 Future Stars coaching program.

The two youth coaches will now prepare to travel to London for a personalized training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches, and their trip will be sponsored by WorldRemit.

Chinasa and Luis were among eight finalists, four women and four men, who were selected by a panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal for their commitment to using football to empower young people and benefit their communities.

They emerged as the winners following a public vote on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com. Almost 40,000 votes were cast in less than three weeks – Chinasa received the highest number among the female coaches and Luis received the highest number among the male finalists.

About Future Stars

The Future Stars program was developed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate the positive impact that grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children they train to develop life skills both on and off the pitch.

Now in its second edition, the Future Stars program received over 1,400 applications this year from across Africa and the Americas.

The Future Stars winners

Chinasa Ukandu – Chinasa coaches boys and girls aged 5 to 16. Together with her friends, she helps provide young people with an opportunity to develop football and life skills at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos State. She completed phase three of the Premier Skills Coach Educators Course (an initiative by the English Premier League and British Council) in 2015.

Chinasa commented: “I’m so excited to win the training session in London and can’t wait to meet the Arsenal Football Development coaches. I love a challenge and will use this global coaching opportunity to take new skills back to Nigeria and give back to my community.”

Luis Alejandro Castañeda – Luis is a volunteer coach for a blind boys’ football team from Bogotá and the surrounding area. The team was set up by his father, who is blind, 20 years ago to help young people develop their mobility and independence.

Luis said: “I’m so grateful to WorldRemit and Arsenal for this opportunity. I’ve always dreamed of travelling to London and will use the experience of training with Arsenal Football Development to help develop and raise awareness of Paralympic sport in Colombia and even globally.”

Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said: “At WorldRemit, we are inspired every day by our customers, who work hard to send money home to support their communities.

“Through our partnership with Arsenal and the Future Stars program, we are delighted to celebrate the stories of inspiring individuals such as Chinasa and Luis, who use sport to make a difference to the lives of the young people they train. Congratulations to the winners and our team look forward to welcoming you to London!”

Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, said: “Through our programs in London and across the globe, our Football Development coaches are dedicated to helping set young players up for success both on and off the pitch.

“The Future Stars winners’ work within their communities shows just how powerful football can be and the importance of promoting diversity within the sport. We are excited to meet Chinasa and Luis and support them in amplifying their contributions to grassroots football in Nigeria and Colombia even further.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WorldRemit.

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Economy

Experts mentor female entrepreneurs on turning passion to profit

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More than 40 young female entrepreneurs on Friday in Lagos participated in a business seminar which focused on helping women to recognise their potential and turn their passion into profit.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN reports that the “Excelling in Business for Women” seminar,  organised by Holivent Nigeria, attracted established female SMEs who inspired and mentored participants on prospects, challenges and opportunities for women in business.

Mrs Olanibi Olumide-Fusika, who spoke on “Nurturing from Boot to Branches” said she started her business, Fussytech, by selling phones in her car boot at Computer Village in Ikeja.

“Never despise a small beginning, there is money on the street if you are not ashamed, so try as much as possible to convert your time into money,” she said.

The Fussytech CEO also advised prospective entrepreneurs not to venture into business on the basis of emotions because emotions could not overcome the cold dictates of the market.

According to her, women should not be attracted to business by considering only the potential for profit without giving thought to possible pitfalls.

She said: “In a business that survives on regular cash flow, never indulge in sale on credit and ensure you have good relationship with your partners and colleagues in business, as they keep you going during trial times.”

Also speaking, Mrs Ope Tejuoso, Managing Director, Opindos Brasserie and Bakery, told participants that the best time to start a business is now, no matter how small.

Tejuoso, also a trained lawyer, said that ideas are everywhere but they come as disguise in form of a challenges, hardship or lack.

“Opportunities come wrapped as problem, so shine your eyes, start now, be courageous and life will push you beyond your desire.

“Don’t be afraid of a humble beginning almost everybody has a story of starting small, ” she said.

Mrs Tope Olagbegi, Managing Director, Sixth Sense and Publisher, International Living Daily Planner, also urged the participants to recognise what they are good at doing in life, as this would set them apart in the business they venture into.

Mrs Tope Olagbegi, Managing Director, Sixth Sense and Publisher, International Living Daily Planner, urged women to be careful in choosing a life partner and not allow their love relationship to affect their ambition in life.

“No matter how gifted you are, if your love relationship is not working, you cannot give in your best.

“God has endowed you with so much, don’t go down six feet without fulfilling your purpose in life,” she said.

The Convener of the business seminar, Mrs Olaide Orangun, said the event was organised out of her curiosity to help women recognise their potential and turn their passion into profit.

Orangun said that not everything in life was about making money but fulfilling purpose.

“This is why women must not let setback define them, because setbacks are actually a set up in real sense,” Orangun said and called for more support from philanthropists towards empowering more women in business.

NAN reports that the event provided opportunity for young women entrepreneurs to meet and network with established entrepreneurs towards expanding their frontiers.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Economy

Anambra govt, Zik varsity partner to train 300 youths in different skills

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No fewer than 300 Anambra youths are to benefit from the first edition of state government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Start-up (YES) programme, Mr Afam Mbanefo, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, has said.

Mbanefo said this at a news conference to mark the official commencement of the programme on Friday in Awka.

Mbanefo said the YES programme, which is being organised in collaboration with Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School, Awka, was an arm of the Inventor, Investor Tripple ‘I’ project of the Ministry.

He said that it was designed to equip youths in the state with employability skills and also make them employers of labour.

According to him, the youths will be taught how to identify viable businesses, make good plan, nurturing and executing the business, write grant winning proposals and gain exposure to donor agencies and business management by scholars and entrepreneurs.

He said the participants, who would be selected through electronic process, would be trained by experts in NAU Business School, mentored at the end of the programme and given take off grants.

The Commissioner said those who were finally selected and had workable business proposals would be given start-up grants up to N5 million.

“This programme is made to produce 300 youth entrepreneurs annually, who would also become employers of labour.

“These youths must be creative and innovative with good business potentials and prospects.

“At the end of the programme, up to 100 participants with the best business plans, would be selected and funded up to the sum of N5 million,” Mbanefo said.

He said that the grant would be disbursed in tranches upon the satisfactory execution of the agreed business implementation plan.

Mbanefo said the successful ones would also be recognised as friends of NAU, while urging youths to apply by logging on www.anambrayouths.ng.

The Director of the business school, Prof. A. U. Nonyelu, described the high level of youth unemployment in Nigeria as a huge challenge.

Nonyelu said that arming youths with employability skills to create job was a priority for the school.

He said that a lot of business with high potentials closed because of lack of plan, adding that the school would provide the young entrepreneurs with mentorship.

He lauded the state government and the ministry for the partnership, saying that the programme would be rewarding to Anambra youths and the state economy.

(Edited by Saidu Adamu/Sam Oditah)

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Economy

Trust, ethics vital to boost capital market growth — CFA Society

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Mr Banji Fehintola, the President, CFA Society Nigeria, has stressed the need for stakeholders in the capital market to continuously ensure integrity, trust and ethical practice to boost investors ‘confidence.

Fehintola said this during the CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge on Friday in Lagos.

He said that strong ethics and high standards of professional conduct played a vital role in the integrity, competitiveness and ongoing success of the investment industry.

According to him, breach of trust and unethical practices led to the 2008 global financial crisis that affected the financial industry and even plunged some economies into recession.

“In the past years, Nigeria’s capital market was very buoyant till people realised that the market was not operating the way it should with issues of manipulations, personal gains to few people, these made the market to plunge and many people lost money.

“Till today, the market has not fully recovered because some people believe that the market is rigged against them, so they stayed away from the market.

“So the market is suffering today, all the companies that ought to raise capital through the equities market are unable to because people are not investing in the capital market due to lack of trust,” he said.

Fehintola said that players in the industry would have to measure up in terms of professionalism, integrity, trust, ethics, conduct and competence to attract local and foreign investors into the market.

According to him, Nigeria has the potential to be the largest capital market in Africa and can double its current market size easily if integrity of the investment profession and professional practice is upheld.

Fehintola said the Ethics challenge gave university undergraduates the opportunity to learn and apply the principles of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct while competing against their peers.

He said that the competition promotes ethical awareness and equipped students with tools to manage and resolve ethical dilemmas they could face when they entered the financial industry.

Mrs Adeola Asabia, Member, Board of Trustees, Samuel Asabia Chair, Business Ethics, University of Lagos said that ethical breaches and violations were concerns to stakeholders in the financial industry.

She emphasised that entrenching ethics would improve transparency and instil confidence in local and foreign investors on the viability of the capital market.

Asabia said that regulators had decided that it was important to ensure that investors’ confidence was boosted on the assurance of a level playing ground and secured investment environment.

She said that the Samuel Asabia Chair for Business Ethics, was a FirstBank Endowment Programme to promote fair play, honesty, responsible and ethical practice in the financial institution.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that 16 universities are competing for the national championship in the Ethics challenge with the competition being held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja.

Some of the competing universities are Covenant University, Babcock University, University of Lagos, Bayero University, University of Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, among others.

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa/Grace Yussuf

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Economy

NSE crucial market indicators end Friday with 0.03% growth

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) crucial market indicators closed trading on Friday with a marginal growth of 0.03 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N4 billion or 0.03 per cent to N13.071 trillion from N13.067 trillion on Thursday.

Also, the NSE All-Share Index appreciated by 8.57 points or 0.03 per cent to 26, 851.68 against 26,843.11 achieved on Thursday.

Guinness led the gainers’ table during the day, increasing by N2.60 to close at N28.60 per share.

Flour Mills followed with a gain of N1.05 to close at N16.25, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria gained N1 to close at N20 per share.

Nigerian Breweries also added N1 to close at N48.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery increased by 80k to close at N11.70 per share.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ chart, dropping by 90k to close at N29 per share.

MTN also dipped 90k to close at N121.00, while Zenith Bank dropped by 30k to close at N18.85 per share.

Access Bank was down also by 30k to close at N10.50, while NAHCO dipped 23k to close at N2.37 per share.

A breakdown of the activity chart indicates that Access Bank was the most active stock, trading 158.78 million shares valued at N1.69 billion.

Zenith Bank Plc followed with an account of 71.03 million shares worth N1.36 billion, while United Bank for Africa traded 41.49 million shares valued at N317.02 million.

FBN Holdings sold a total of 41.49 million shares worth N282.57 million, while Fidelity Bank exchanged 23.57 million shares valued at N47 million

In all, the turnover volume of shares traded dropped by 24.78 per cent as investors bought and sold 469.99 million shares worth N5.59 billion in 5,594 deals.

This was in contrast with 624.84 million shares valued at N10.02 billion in 6,426 deals posted on Thursday.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Economy

Stockbrokers strategise to ensure capital market rebound

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The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) says it has repackaged the processes and procedures of its annual conference to renew investor confidence in the Nigerian capital market, drive innovation and grow membership base.

Ms Abiola Adekoya, the Chairman, Planning Committe, stated this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos on the high points of 2019 Stockbrokers’ Annual Conference.

Adekoya, also the Managing Director, RMD Nigeria Stockbrokers, said that the conference theme: “Boosting Capital Market Competivetiness in a Challenging Macro Envrionment,” would help in repositioning the market.

She said that the theme was chosen to articulate policy measures that would reposition the capital market to play its pivotal role as a platform for mobilisation of funds for economic growth and development.

Adekoya said that issues such as innovation and growth, fintech, attracting talents to securities industry and nexus between agriculture and the capital market would form the fulcrum of plenary sessions at the conference.

“ With the integrated and digital-driven global economy of today, the barriers to competition are gradually coming down, making it necessary for stockbroking firms with exposure to the domestic market to innovate to retain and attract customers.

“Given the challenging domestic macroeconomic environment and liberal immigration policies in advanced economies with aging populations, retaining talent in the securities industry has been difficult, with negative implications for performance.

“Now more than ever, strategies to attract and develop a solid pipeline of talent fit for the securities industry is important,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunde Amolegbe, CIS First Vice President, said that the significance of discussing Fintech at the conference should be appreciated against the background of the institute’s efforts at ensuring the success of the government’s policy on financial inclusion.

Amolegbe stated that the conference would bring about robust ideas on how to reposition the market in view of the unfolding developments in the global economy.

On implication of Fintech on transaction cost, Amolegbe explained that it would make the cost cheaper and encourage more participation in the market across the board.

Mr Akeem Oyewale, Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Nominees, said that this year’s conference would spring up conversation around the strategies to make the securities industry attractive to the millennials.

Oyewale said that the main purpose of the conference was to review the landscape from macro environment perspective to see how capital market would comtinue to play major role in economic development.

In her contributions, the Managing Director, FBN Quest Securities, Mrs Fiona Ahimie, said the conference would deepen participants’ understanding of investment opportunities in the capital market and how to take advantage.

Corroborating Ahimie, the Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities, Mr Ayodeji Ebo noted that conference would address a wide range of economic and political issues, especially, how stockbrokers can take advantage of the capital market to boost their earnings.

Ebo said that the CIS past conferences had helped market regulators in policy formulation and aided operators to develop and embrace ideas to drive their businesses.

The Managing Director, Morgan Capital, Mr Muyiwa Adeyemi, said that the main objective of this year’s conference was to create a platform where contemporary development issues would be articulated for enhanced competitiveness of the capital market.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the conference is slated for Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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