Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has assured local and international investors of high returns on investment when they tap into the rich business opportunities in the state.
The governor spoke in Lagos while delivering a lecture titled ‘Public policy and governance in Delta State: Opportunities and challenges’.
The programme was organised by the Lagos Business School in collaboration with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
In a statement by the press unit of the state government, Okowa, who was accompanied by top government officials, was quoted as saying, “With what we are doing in partnership with the Federal Government and community leaders, peace is gradually returning to the troubled Niger Delta region, and I can assure our prospective investors that we are going to have a lasting and sustainable peace in the region and that a conducive atmosphere awaits prospective investors. There are a lot of business opportunities for investors.”
According to him, the private sector has a lot to offer and is pivotal to the state’s investment drive, which seeks to significantly develop the non-oil sectors of the economy such that they will overtake oil and gas as growth drivers.
The governor stated that his administration’s vision was to make the state a pacesetter in the country by building an enduring legacy of wealth and prosperity for all through public policy imperatives geared at maximising comparative advantages of the state.
He said, “Delta state has an economy size of $24.6bn based on the Gross Domestic Product rebase of 2013, making us the fourth largest economy in the country with multiple urban centres numbering as many as 12.
“Average poverty rate based on head count is 56 per cent, lower than the national average of 62 per cent; the per capita income is calculated at about N302 or less than $2 per day while unemployment/underemployment rate stood at 27.2 per cent in 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.”
In a bid to address the challenges posed by the drop in statutory allocation, Okowa said the state government developed the Delta State Medium Term Development Plan (2016-2019), a policy document that provides the road map to drive rapid infrastructural development, sustain inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, and reduce the worrisome high level of youth unemployment.
Earlier, the Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Enase Okonedo, who was represented by Dr. Chris Ogbechie, said the school in partnership with the NESG had a proven track record of engagement with public sector policy makers in proffering solutions to developmental challenges in Nigeria.
In a related development, Okowa attended a business dinner hosted by Prof. Pat Utomi in Lagos on Saturday.
Okowa told participants at the forum that his administration would support investments in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors in the state.
According to him, as the state moves to reduce its dependence on crude oil, his administration will strengthen the enabling environment for investments to thrive in agriculture and other sectors.
He said Asaba Airport upgrade would be ready in December to accommodate bigger airplanes and also attract more airlines into the state.
In his remark, Utomi said there were lots of untapped business opportunities in Delta State, describing the state as the next business destination.
United Kingdom Signals West African Expansion at Africa Investment Conference
UK exporters gain foothold in West African region, which accounts for over one-quarter of Africa’s GDP; Demand for UK products and services expands in West Africa, with deals to build hospitals, roads and bridges; UK government export finance support at its highest in decades in the region, including a record deal worth more than £200 million in Cote D’ Ivoire.
UK Export Finance has released new data today showing it provided over £500 million worth of support for projects in West Africa throughout 2021, the most in over two decades.
At last week’s Africa Investment Conference (20 January), the Prime Minister said the UK is already one of Africa’s biggest commercial partners but we are “determined to do much more – our shared task must be to ensure that Africa prospers from the green industrial revolution.”
The Conference is an annual showcase event, designed to partner investment projects in Africa with British investors. Over 3000 delegates took part this year, boosting trade and investment ties between the UK and the continent.
The government is also mobilising support from its export credit agency, UKEF, to boost exports to Africa – it provided support worth £2.3 billion in the past year, more than trebling the amount provided in 2018-19.
In West Africa this has been deployed to a range of vital infrastructure projects, helping to build major roads and bridges as well as providing medical and IT equipment, design services and environmental and social work.
The region provides a unique opportunity for UK exporters as West Africa has experienced a surge in economic growth since the early 1990s. Research shows that since 2000 its collective GDP has risen from $105 billion to more than $659 billion in 2020.
UKEF has capacity to provide further support for UK trade in West Africa, with up to £3 billion available in Senegal, £2 billion in Cote D’Ivoire, and up to £2 billion in Nigeria.
Minister for Investment, Gerry Grimstone, said: “We want more British firms to sell to the world, taking advantage of new opportunities that present themselves in growing markets like this. The potential is huge. This government has the finance available to back British firms going global in West Africa, supporting growth and development in the region and helping communities and local economies to thrive.”
Examples of successful investments include an over £40 million UKEF guarantee for Gloucestershire firm Mabey Bridge to build 87 emergency bridges used to strengthen flood defences in Ghana, supporting countries suffering from the effects of climate change.
In 2021, UKEF also signed its largest-ever deal in the region worth over £200 million to support the construction of six hospitals, with support from UK suppliers, creating jobs in the UK and improving health outcomes in the Côte d’Ivoire.
Debt Management Office Releases Q1, 2022 Calendar
The Debt Management Office (DMO) will, on January 16, 2022 issue N70 billion to N80 billion, four years and 20 years Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond, with an interest rate of 12.50 percent.
In its recently released calendar for the issuance of bonds for the first quarter of 2022 (Q1-2022), the DMO noted that this bond has an original tenor of 10 years and 20 years and will re-open in January 2026 and January 2042.
The DMO also revealed that it will issue three years, 11 months and 19 years, 11 months FGN bond of N70 billion to N80 billion on 16th of February.
This bond, according to the DMO, will carry an interest rate of 12.50 percent, to be re-opened in January 2026 and January 2042, and with original tenor of 10 years and 20 years.
Also on March 23, the DMO will issue three years, 10 months, and 19 years, 10 months, 70 billion to N80 billion FGN bond which would last for a period of 10 years and 2 years.
The bond has an interest rate of 12.50 percent, and will be re-opened in January 2026 and January 2042.
FGN Bonds are debt securities (liabilities) of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) issued by the Debt Management Office (DMO) for and on behalf of the Federal Government.
The FGN has an obligation to pay the bondholder the principal and agreed interest as and when due. When you buy FGN Bonds, you are lending to the FGN for a specified period of time.
The FGN Bonds are considered as the safest of all investments in domestic debt market because it is backed by the ‘full faith and credit’ of the Federal Government, and as such it is classified as a risk free debt instrument.
Prior to the establishment of the Debt Management Office (DMO) in 2000, Nigeria’s public debt was managed by a myriad of Government Agencies in an uncoordinated manner.
This diffusion created systemic and structural problems that brought about serious strain on the country’s debt portfolio and economic growth.
Hence, the establishment of the DMO marked the beginning of the institutionalization and professionalization of public debt management in Nigeria.
Stanbic IBTC Enlightens Nigerians on Stockbroking
Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, recently hosted a virtual session to enlighten Nigerians on the potentials of investing in the stock market.
The virtual event themed: “You Don’t Know About Stocks? Come On Now,” featured stockbroking experts: Afolabi Gbenro, Head, Sales Trading and Benjamin Jesumuyiwa, Head, Mandate and Settlements, both of Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers with Tosin Olaseinde, founder of Money Africa, Jennifer Awirigwe, Certified Financial Educator and Solafunmi Oyeneye of Wealth Motley, a Personal Finance Educator as panelists.
The goal of the session was to acquaint individuals new to the stock market with basic stockbroking terms, useful tips for stock trading and how to use the Stanbic IBTC stockbroking app.
Afolabi stated the importance of diversifying investments in stocks. He listed factors that affect the prices of stocks which include supply, demand, news, and investor sentiments. The benefits of investing include dividend yield, capital appreciation, equity share holder privileges and utilising investments as collateral. He stressed the importance of research and advised Nigerians to conduct their own research and evaluate companies before investing.
On considerations before entering the stock market, he said, “You would need capital, investment objective, and risk profile assessment to determine the kind of investment you should venture into. You would also need to stay abreast of market updates.”
Benjamin Jesumuyiwa, Head, Mandate and Settlements, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, urged Nigerians to invest in stocks to reap long term rewards. He said: “The stock market makes it easy to buy shares of companies and they can be purchased through a broker or via online platforms. Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers offers a discounted rate of 0.7% on brokerage fees. Once you have set up an account, stocks can be purchased in minutes.”
Benjamin talked about the ease of using the Stanbic IBTC web and mobile applications platforms, stating that the platforms have been designed to allow customers sign up themselves, with direct access to the market.
Tosin Olaseinde commended Stanbic IBTC for making stock trading accessible and affordable for Nigerians, as individuals can open a stockbroking account with zero naira. She advised beginners to invest while gaining knowledge about the stock market and recommended Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as an entry point especially for people who have an aversion to high-risk investments. She said: “As a beginner, the best place to start is the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). It is a mixture of different equities in one stock. It offers you the opportunity to participate in a couple of stocks without buying everything individually.”
Solafunmi Oyeneye mentioned liquidity and dividends over a long period of time as advantages of trading stocks, encouraging beginners to access the Stanbic IBTC stockbroking app through their smartphones for convenience and less paperwork.
Jennifer opined that the stock market is a good place to invest because it is highly regulated, and the risks can be easily assessed. She also recommended the Stanbic IBTC Stockbroking app for trading stocks for ease of use and speed.
The stockbroking investment series by Stanbic IBTC further reaffirms the commitment of the financial institution to equip individuals with essential information required to make informed investment decisions.
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