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Economy

Sovereign Trust Insurance PLC’s GPW hits N10.5 bn

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Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) Plc said its performance in Nigeria insurance industry has been strengthened as it pooled N10.5 billion Gross Written Premium (GPW) in the 2018 financial year.

The Chairman of the the underwriting company, Mr Oluseun Ajayi, stated this at the the company’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on Thursday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the underwriting firm is planning to evolve fresh products targeting the new national minimum wage.

Ajayi said the company’s insurance premium will receive more boost as disposable income improves.

Presenting the company’s 2018 performance, Ajayi said the N10.5 billion GPW represented 23 per cent increase over the N8.5 billion recorded in 2017.

He noted that the Net Premium Income (NPI) grew by 31 per cent to N5.5 billion in 2018 from N3.85 billion achieved in 2017.

The Chairman added that the company recorded a Profit before Tax (PbT) of N540 million in 2018 against N202 million achieved in 2017.

“This represented over 167 per cent increase.

“Profit after Tax (PaT) also stood at N344 million and 118 per cent increase in 2018, compared to N158 million of 2017,” Ajayi said.

The STI chairman explained that the Return on Capital Employed also recorded a positive performance of 2.9 per cent in 2018, compared 1.87 per cent recorded in 2017.

Ajayi further said that the firm’s balance sheet improved, as its total assets rose to N11.3 billion in 2018 from N10.8 billion in 2017.

He told the shareholders that the firm has plans to scale up its capital base.

“The company is planning to issue 4.17 billion ordinary shares to its shareholders.

“However, the conclusion will be reached at the third quarter,” he said.

Economy

CSCS launches Regconnect to enhance capital market’s operational efficiency

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The Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc on Tuesday launched a web-based application tagged “Regconnect” to ensure easier communication with registrars in the Nigerian capital market.

Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, CSCS Managing Director, said Regconnect, powered by CSCS, would transform and improve the user experience of registrars by providing an easy to use platform in information dissemination.

Jalo-Waziri said the application was developed having reviewed CSCS operations and methods of interaction with registrars to conform with global best practices.

He stated that prior to the solution, registrars could only connect with CSCS through a Data Exchange application that did not have the ability to process the data being submitted.

According to him, the application facilitates day-to-day processes regarding the maintenance of registers, with immediate validation of all data being submitted to ensure the accuracy of records and in less time.

“As part of our strategic pillars to automate and improve operational efficiency in the Nigerian capital market, the application will automate our interactions and improve CSCS connection with the registrars’ community.

“Usage of the Regconnect platform comes at no cost to all Registrars.

“It is an advanced replacement for the Data Exchange platform currently in use.

“It allows seamless integration with Registrar’s live data by offering end-to-end and system-to-system data exchange between CSCS and Registrars,” he said.

Mr Bayo Olugbemi, the Chief Executive Officer, First Registrars and Investor Services Ltd., who is also the President & Chairman of Council, Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), commended the initiative.

Olugbemi, said the introduction of the solution to the Nigerian capital market was a welcome development and would ensure efficiency in service delivery.

He stated that the solution would reduce processing time, enable swift communication between registrars and CSCS, as well as enhance seamless data transmission.

“Regconnect will give registrar total control over their use of the solution by offering an entity-based operational structure where each entity manages their access rights and operations,” Olugbemi said.

He added that the solution would grant registrars the ability to validate data right from their offices.

Also speaking, Mr Obong Idiong, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Africa Prudential, commended CSCS for collaborating with registrars to develop the solution.

He said, “We are in the digital era, therefore, it is good to see that there has been an upgrade on the Data Exchange Solution which was in use before now.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Data Exchange application and Regconnect solution are being run on a parallel deployment until December 2019, when total switch over to Regconnect occur.

CSCS is a public limited liability company incorporated on July 29, 1992 under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 and commenced operations on April 14, 1997.

It acts as a depository for equities, corporate bonds, federal government savings bonds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and mutual funds.

CSCS is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa/Salif Atojoko

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Economy

NSE: Market indicators rebound by 0.18%

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Trading activities rebounded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday due to price growth posted in some large and medium capitalised equities.

The All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 48.35 points, representing a growth of 0.18 per cent to close at 26,739.44 compared with 26,691.09 achieved on Monday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation grew by N23 billion or 0.18 per cent to close at N12.905 trillion against N12.882 trillion posted on Monday.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Conoil, MTN Nigeria, Forte Oil, Nigerian Breweries and Ekocorp.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “We expect to see a mixed performance following improved interest in the market.”

Analysts at Cordros Capital said that the market might continue to benefit over the short-term, especially in the face of lower yields in the fixed income market

Market breadth closed positive, with 20 gainers compared with 13 losers.

Ekocorp recorded the highest price gain in percentage terms, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N4.07 per share.

ConOil came second with a gain of 9.74 per cent to close at N16.90, while Learn Africa inched 9.43 per cent to close at N1.16 per share.

Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals inched 9.09 per cent to close at 48k, while Academy Press appreciated by 8.82 per cent to close at 37k per share.

On the other hand, Associated Bus Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 8.89 per cent, to close at 41k per share.

United Capital followed with a decline of 5.22 per cent to close at N2.18, while Aiico Insurance dropped 5.19 per cent to close at 73k per share.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance lost 5.13 per cent to close at 37 kobo, while Livestock Feeds shed 3.85 per cent each to close at 50k per share.

Also, the total volume traded appreciated by 28.05 per cent with an exchange of 394.35 million shares worth N6.54 billion traded in 4,405 deals.

This was in contrast with 307.96 million shares valued at N2.54 billion transacted in 4,609 deals on Monday.

Transactions in the shares of UACN topped the activity chart with 117.68 million shares valued at N826.98 million.

FBN Holdings followed with 47.84 million shares worth N323.88 million, while Access Bank traded 40.33 million shares valued at N391.77 million.

Zenith Bank traded 21.01 million shares valued at N390.72 million, while United Bank for Africa sold 20.20 million shares worth N144.51 million.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Economy

Adoption of new technologies will enhance broiler production — Project Coordinator

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Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the State Project Coordinator, Lagos State Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), a World Bank-assisted project, says adoption of new technologies will enhance broiler production.

Sagoe-Oviebo said this during a Field visit to Creative Farm Solution Limited, six weeks after a demonstration on Nipple Fitted Drinkers and Pelletized Feeds in Deep Litter System for Broiler farmers at the farm.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Creative Farms Solutions Limited, located in Gberigbe, Ikorodu, Lagos, was the pilot site for the demonstration held on Oct. 8.

 Sagoe-Oviebo, during the visit, also applauded the Federal Government policy on land border closure, said that it had exposed the opportunities embedded within poultry sub-sector in the country.

“On Oct. 8, we had a demonstration on nipple fitted drinkers and pelletized feeds for broilers.

”We carried out this demonstration on a farmer’s farm so that others can see that it is not theory but something that is doable; if he does it, then, others can replicate it.

“The project is looking at how we will be able to support you in replicating this new technology, and we will still do needs assessment for our farmers on how the project can support them.

”Beyond that, we expect that in the next few months, we will have lots of locally produced poultry products on the table of Nigerians, as we encourage our own,” she said.

Sagoe-Oviebo said that the core responsibility of the project was to improve the production and productivity of small and medium scale farmers in poultry aquaculture and rice.

She said that the field visit was organised to enable them see the result of the demonstration they did six weeks ago.

According to her, the border closure and its impact in the lives of farmers spurred the project to look at how to enhance the production of broilers.

She said that the farmers must be able to sustain themselves in terms of production.

Sagoe-Oviebo said she believed that using the new technologies would increase growth, reduce mortality and enhance take-home of farmers, in terms of income.

She urged farm representatives at the field-day to go back to their various groups and associations to step-down what had been taught and the results got from the demonstration to members of their groups.

Mr Toyin Akin-Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of the pilot farm,  said that he had been impressed with the level of commitment so far from project officials.

Akin-Johnson said that adoption of the technologies in broiler production would ease the struggles of farmers and improve returns on investment.

“Creative Farm Solution is happy to be part of the project.

”We saw an impressive result using these nipple fitted drinkers and the pelletized feeds after six weeks.

“I want to applaud the Lagos State government and the APPEALS for this laudable innovation exposed to farmers to ease their job and improve their income,’’ he said.

Mr Olusola Johnson, the Facilitator of Poultry, APPEALS project,  said that 50 Day-Old-Chicks weighing 44.6g each were stocked on Oct. 8 and at six weeks old each bird weighed 1.7kg after de-feathering and dressing.

He said that an average cost incurred on each bird during the six weeks was N1,131.34.

Dr Adeyinka Ayedun, one of the facilitators and staff of the farm, said that over 90 per cent of the stock survived because biosafety and other modern technologies were taken seriously.

Mr Kayode Oginni, the Head of Livestock, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA),encouraged farmers to key into the innovation and seize the opportunity of the border closure to improve production.

A broiler producer who had adopted the innovation, Mr Abdulgafar Oshikoya of Mujaz Integrated Farms, said that after the demonstration on Oct. 8, he installed the nipple drinkers.

“I must say it has been very interesting because it is easy and cost effective, I do not worry much about the water for the chicks, I have even reduced manpower and others,’’ Oshikoya said.

NAN reports that poultry farmers from across the state were present at the event.

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Oluwole Sogunle

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Economy

Kaduna Assembly pasess N259.25 billion 2020 budget

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Kaduna Assembly pasess N259.25 billion 2020 budget

Budget

Kaduna, Nov 18,2019 Kaduna Stste House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the state’s 2020 budget of N259.25 billion into law.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the lawmakers approved N75.14 billion for recurrent and N184.10 billion as capital expenditure.

The Chairman, House committee on Appropriation, Alhaji Ahmed Muhammed told newsmen that the budget was passed with an increment of N8 billion.

He explained that the increment was to accommodate requests made by most Ministries, Departments and Agencies such as RUWASSA, Barau Dikko hospital, Teachers Service Board, SUBEB among others.

Ahmed said the increment will enable all the MDAs carry out their activities effectively.

He assured the people of Kaduna state that the House of Assembly would ensure that the funds are spent judiciously.

It would be recalled that the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe presented the 2020 budget of N190.03 billion to the assembly on Oct. 15, for approval.

The sitting which was presided by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Shagali also passed into law a bill to established Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship programme.

The programme is to develop and nature network of high potential young people expected to rise to top leadership positions in the public and private sectors.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Economy

Accreditation: important for training firms to operate in Nigeria

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The Centre for Management Development (CMD), on Tuesday in Abuja said the accreditation of training firms is an important criteria for them to operate in the country.

Mr Bitrus Chinoko, CMD Acting Director-General said this in a statement, adding that the centre had commenced verification of training firms in the country in order to accredit them.

According to him, the verification is to ensure that training firms are credible and had necessary requisites to carry out trainings in the country.

He, therefore, advised that they should take advantage of the centre’s ongoing verification to do the needful.

“We are using this medium to advice other training firms to get accredited as its an important criteria to have a training firm in the country.

“Many accredited firms have gone through the process and ready for business, the accreditation process is done once in a year and it last for five years,’’ Chinoko said.

He added that after the necessary assessment by the centre, qualified firms would be accredited accordingly.

“This accreditation is important because it gives quality training delivery, enhance organisational performance as the sequel to higher level skills and competence,’’ he said.

According to him, the importance of the accreditation cannot be over emphasised.

This, he said was to ensure that the individual carrying out training functions had the necessary qualifications, experience and training to do so.

Chinoko added that the exercise would also help to check the incidence of unqualified persons parading themselves as trainers and ensure a culture of training that was guided by professional ethics and competence.

He said more than 557 firms applied for accreditation, out of which 414 would be visited and screened to ensure that the best was gotten.

He said that the verification which began early November would end in December, adding that 16 states would be visited.

“One of the importance of this verification is that it develops and promotes high national standards of the management education, entrepreneurial development and supervisory training programmes,’’ Chinoko said.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Economy

Don’t succumb to pressure on border closure, VC urges Buhari

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The Vice Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, on Tuesday, lauded the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to maintain closure of the borders to ensure sustainability of domestic industries.

Edoumiekumo, while speaking at the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) 2019 Management Day Lecture in Lagos, urged the president not to succumb to pressure to open the borders.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NIM 2019 had as its theme: “59 years of the Nigerian economy: Matters Arising.”

The vice chancellor, who was the guest lecturer at the event, said that Buhari should remain firm in his resolve to ensure economic growth and the country’s development.

“A policy like this is what we should be firm about, if we are to enjoy the economic development we are craving for.

“The border closure will generate more revenue for the nation and tackle smuggling, as it ensures that goods come into the nation through the right channel and under the right circumstances.

“Nigerians will only feel the pain for a while after which stability will set in and we will be better for it,” he said.

Edoumiekumo also called for clear cut governance structures, long term development and succession planning, proper implementation of economic policies and the strengthening of institutions so as to enjoy national growth and development.

He advised government to show preference for education, research, innovation and development over political expenditure during budget deliberations and processes.

“At independence, Nigeria was regarded as one of the strongest countries amongst the comity of nations. However, the performance indicators from 1960 to 2018 are worrisome.

“To me, the economy is not making progress, because there is no clear-cut national philosophy; so there is no sense of direction. Nigeria should have a clear-cut national philosophy for the citizens to follow.

“For the economy to grow, there must be consistency and continuity of sound economic policies.

“This issue of abandoning sound policies and programmes that would have impacted on the economy positively leads to waste of scarce resources.

“Nigeria needs to fund and improve its educational institutions by reviewing their curricula to include skill acquisition and teaching of entrepreneurship from primary to university levels,” he said.

The vice chancellor proposed a reduction in the interest rate by banks to encourage investors create more businesses to tackle unemployment and shore up the economic indices.

“From the foregoing, credit control systems and policies must be put in place to ensure that monies are used to grow businesses and not for frivolities,” he said.

The outgoing President of the institute, Prof. Olukunle Iyanda, advocated for the adoption of the principle of delegation in management to enable the nation derive optimal benefits from its enormous resource endowment.

Iyanda explained that the principle allowed a manager, while away from an organisation for a while, to transfer responsibility and the enabling authority to discharge those responsibilities to a subordinate.

“We will be derelict in our mission if we turn a blind eye to the strange management concept or doctrine being propagated in Nigeria that a manager can perform his role effectively, even when absent from an organisation for a period of time.

“It is our strong belief that this concept negates the management principle of delegation and can only be justified by those who perceive management position as an exercise of power and authority rather than that of responsibility for effectiveness and corporate wellbeing,” he said.

Iyanda added that efforts were ongoing to make the United Nations recognise and declare Nov. 19 as “World Management Science Day” to honour Prof. Peter Drucker, the globally-recognised father of modern management.

“We also urge the Federal Government to support this laudable initiative by recognising and declaring Nov. 19 as Management Day in Nigeria,” the NIM president said.

NAN reports that the high point of the event was the conferment of the fellowship of the institute on 11 persons.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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