The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has stated that Nigeria and a few African countries have current account surpluses, indicating that their economies have lesser risk of suffering when imports become more expensive in the face of a stronger dollar.
ICAEW made this known in its latest Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2015, which examined the impact of key economic events of 2015 on the future outlook of African development.
ICAEW in the report determined the risk levels of various economies within the continent in relation to the rise in United States Federal Reserve rate.
“In order to do so, a ‘vulnerability index’ was constructed which focuses on three measures, namely; a country’s current account balance, its growth in private sector credit, as well as its ratio of foreign debt to reserves. These indicators are scaled, harmonised and added together to provide an overall vulnerability score for each economy. The higher the score, the more vulnerable an economy to the rise in the US Federal Reserve rate, ”it stated.
According to the report, Ghana emerges as the weakest economy with a score of 273 out of 300, explaining that is due to a very high current account deficit as well as a history of rapid credit growth.
“Seychelles came in at a close second place followed by Guinea, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Kenya ranked 6th in terms of vulnerability scoring just under 250 points out of 300.
“This can be attributed to the nation’s current account deficit which stands at 10.4 per cent,” ICAEW added.
Countries according to the report were assessed on three variables: the current account/GDP ratio, the growth of private sector credit and the foreign debt/reserves ratio.
Nigeria’s weak point among the variables is credit growth, which expanded by 24.8 per cent year/year in June 2015 according the CBN data.
The series covers the lending by deposit money banks, and includes loans to state and local governments, which represent a little over five per cent of the total.
Growth in private sector credit, it added, also presents a risk, as it indicates a dependence on debt to drive growth.
“Within the major African economies, Ghana tops the list, with a private sector credit growth rate of 18.4 per cent followed closely by Kenya with a rate of 17.8 per cent since 2013. Botswana and Mauritius have seen a growth of under 10 per cent while other economies such as Zimbabwe have seen credit decline by 24 per cent over the same period. While the index provides insights into the vulnerability of emerging markets in relation to a US Federal Reserve rate hike, it is not exhaustive.”
Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Michael Armstrong, said: “Of course, there are many factors to consider, like financial openness and the level of integration into the world economy, which all affect the level of vulnerability to global economic shocks. Clearly, if policy conclusions are going to be drawn, they should be done following a country-by-country analysis. However, this index does show a snapshot of how resilient the various African economies are on some important metrics. All countries would be well placed to anticipate the possible effects of US monetary policy when planning for economic growth.”
Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government
Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.
The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.
Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.
Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.
According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.
Airtel Partners AXA Mansard, Unveils Mobile Health Insurance via USSD
Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard, have entered a strategic partnership to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.
The partnership by Airtel and AXA Mansard is in response to the Federal Government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.
By dialing the shortcode, *987*7#, Airtel customers can now conveniently enroll for affordable and robust health insurance plans from AXA Mansard, with access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.
Commenting on Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard on the Mobile Health Insurance, the Head Mobile Financial Services, Airtel Nigeria, Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said the mobile health insurance initiative demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to providing innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings.
“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians. With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector.”
Speaking about the Mobile Health Insurance initiative, the Head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr. Alfred Egbai, stated that “our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low”.
He continued, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.”
Malaria Cover, Inpatient, Outpatient, Specialist medical consultations, Immunizations, Family planning, Ambulance services, Dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.
“The challenges to the implementation of health insurance schemes hitherto include a low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models.
“The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable Health Insurance Scheme,” he said
Airtel Nigeria, as a socially responsible organization, will continue to partner with industry leaders to bring products and services that will touch the lives of its subscribers in very positive ways.
AXA Mansard Launches MyAXA Plus – A Better, Faster, and More Convenient Mobile App
AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, a member of the AXA Group and global leader in insurance and asset management, today announced the launch of its new “MyAXA Plus” mobile application.
This follows the launch of the company’s first mobile app in 2017 and further underscores the company’s desire to deliver delightful and relevant, cutting-edge financial solutions to its customers and the larger society.
“MyAXA Plus” has been very well received because it provides a much improved, seamless, and satisfying experience that puts users at the heart of every feature and action on the app.
The features available at launch include:
- Make Claims: Customers can make claims on their insurance policy, enabling fast reporting of incidents and payment of claims by the company.
- Book Hospital Visits: HMO customers of AXA Mansard can receive care at over 1,700+ hospitals, and with MyAXA Plus, they can also pre-book hospital visits, reducing their wait time while also getting faster access to specialist consultations.
- Renew Insurance Policy: Customers, by providing their car plate number on the app, can also renew their motor insurance policy within a few minutes.
- Invest & liquidate funds: Investors, whether with a high or low-risk appetite can find the right investment options on the app. Also, liquidation of funds and crediting of the customer account is completed within 5 minutes via the app.
- Data-driven advice: App users can make informed decisions by checking the market rates and trends before investing funds, reading articles by experts, and interacting with a robot-advisor that uses information provided by the customers to suggest the right products and insurance cover in seconds.
In addition, MyAXA Plus allows registered and unregistered users to generate instant quotes of any product; use the BMI calculator; read blog articles; check investment trends & rates; calculate returns on investment; calculate the market value of any car; and contact sales agents for more information.
“After launching the first of its kind MyAXA mobile app which gave customers a consolidated, single point of access to their general and life insurance; health insurance; assets and savings accounts in 2017, our team set out to build a more advanced solution to further empower customers to achieve their financial goals and access quality healthcare, wherever and however they choose,” said Mr. Bayo Adesanya, the Chief Digital Innovation Officer at AXA Mansard.
“We are committed to achieving the singular goal of putting our customers first, in this instance, by building an app that incorporates their feedback on desired features and improvements, as well as including other market-leading innovations. We urge our existing and future customers to start using MyAXA Plus today.”
To download MyAXA Plus by AXA Mansard Insurance, visit App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android users respectively.
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