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Freight Forwarders, UNILAG sign pact on manpower training



The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)  has signed an pact with the University of Lagos to train practising and potential freight forwarders.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU brings plans by CRFFN and the university to train and certify practitioners to a climax.

The arrangement to facilitate the training to get certification of the International Association of Freight Forwarders (FIATA) has been on since the past two years.

The Registrar of the council, Mr Sam Nwakaohu, atr a ceremony in Lagos on Tuesday, said that the aim to train and certify freight forwarders was to enable them to  be able to practise anywhere in the world.

According to him, the reform of the sector will be amplified in no distance time when only those certified will be permitted to carry out the trade in Nigeria.

“The business is no longer going to be an all-comers affair. Diploma certificates will be awarded to trainees at the end of the course to enable people and the regulatory body differentiate professionals from quacks.

“The CRFFN Act is apt on professional conduct and training of practitioners and the present administration is bent on proactive reforms that will ensure positive change in the sector.

“We want a situation where freight forwarders like other professionals will be respected and reckoned with.”

He said the certification which would elapse after three years, was renewable after the person had undergone a refresher course to be in line with FIATA.

Dr Ohisegun Adeaga, Deputy Director of the Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Lagos, who represented the university, said that the programme was a policy whose time had come.

The maritime administrator, said that the university would play the role of resource provider to ensure that the reforms met with international standards at all times.

He said the institution was known for excellence and would chart an ideal study work to put the students in good stead.

“We are talking of professionalism here for the council to mute the idea and consider the university as a partner in this regard means that the council is inclined to professionalism.”



Experts mentor female entrepreneurs on turning passion to profit



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



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

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



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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NSE crucial market indicators end Friday with 0.03% growth



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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Stockbrokers strategise to ensure capital market rebound



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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UTL boss seeks speedy passage of Investment Trustees Bill



UTL Trust Management Services Limited on Friday urged the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the Investment Trustees Bill into law, to enhance adoption of trusteeship in Nigeria.

Mrs Olufunke Aiyepola, UTL Trust Managing Director, made the appeal at a news conference in Lagos.

Aiyepola said that passage of the all-embracing proposed Trustees legislation to be made applicable across the federation would cure the anomalies of the subsisting Trustee Investment Act.

She also called for a more trust-friendly tax ecosystem that would reduce stamp duties for the transfer of assets, to encourage increased utilisation of trust solutions.

Aiyepola said that an allowance for nominal stamping in security trusteeship transactions would ease the burden of borrowing costs for corporate entities.

She, however, urged government to ensure re-inclusion of trust arrangements in Pension Reform Act 2004.

Speaking on apathy to Will writing, Aiyepola said that the company had demystified the practice with its WillPower product.

She said that the company, in February, launched WillPower to discredit the myths surrounding Will writing in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

According to her, WillPower, an online solution, is seamless and can be accessed from the privacy of the home and the business space.

She said that any adult could access the service, emphasising that the company disrupted the provision of the services by providing it at a very nominal cost of N50,000.

The managing director said that the service was aimed at encouraging the populace to tidy their affairs and protect their loved ones.

“Nigerians in the Diaspora can now write their will from any part of the world and file same in Nigeria,” Aiyepola said.

She said that the company would continue to embrace advocacy to inform the public of the need to write a Will.

Aiyepola said that the campaign was aimed at effecting a change of perspective to estate planning.

She said that WillPower recently won the BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) award as the Best Non-Bank Financial Product/Service of the year 2019.

According to her, UTL, in her 53 years of existence, has been offering superior trusteeship services to both local and foreign clients at affordable rates.

“Aside from being licensed to provide trust services, UTL is also duly licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as funds and portfolio managers,” she said.

On its future outlook, Aiyepola said that the company would continue to provide unique trust services to its clients, rendered with integrity on the platforms of expertise and technology.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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