- Naira Appreciates After DSS and EFCC Raid Traders
The Nigerian Naira gained against the U.S dollar on Friday in all segments of the foreign exchange market.
The Naira improved N5 at the parallel market to exchange at N455, from the N460 recorded on Thursday, while both the Pound Sterling and the Euro were exchanged at N555 and N505, respectively.
On the interbank market, the Naira climbed N1.45 to close at N304.75 from N306.50 recorded on Thursday.
While, the local currency remains N385 to a dollar at the Bureau De Change Segment — in line with the CBN directive. Both the pound and the Euro were exchanged at N555 and N500, respectively.
But Bureau de change operators said activities at the segment were low as Thursday’s raid by the Department of State Service and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on market traders has weakened business sentiment.
Some experts have said the raid was a temporary measure, and not the solution to the illiquidity of the foreign exchange market.
“Until, the Central Bank of Nigeria increase its foreign exchange earnings, usually through diversification or on a short-term basis surge in global oil prices, which is currently tied to OPEC decision, the liquidity issue will persist,” said Samed Olukoya, a foreign exchange research analyst at Investors King Ltd.
However, in an effort to improve the Naira value, the CBN has licensed additional 21 international money transfer operators to augment current market liquidity. But on Friday, the apex bank alerted the public to the resurgence of illegal money transfer operators in the country.
In a statement signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, the CBN explained that “this unscrupulous operators, lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate and use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries, while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.”
He further stated that “This practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.
Stanbic IBTC Reiterates Strategic Youth Agenda
Determined to further strengthen the strategic position young Nigerians occupy in the country, Stanbic IBTC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has continued to promote various programmes to get Nigerian youths engaged and empowered for better productivity and participation in the development of the nation.
The Group aimed one of its initiatives, the ‘Youth Leadership Series’ (YLS), at deepening financial and entrepreneurial knowledge among Nigeria’s younger generations. The initiative, which was launched in 2018, is held in institutions of higher learning across the nation and brings together mentors from across various sectors of the economy to encourage and inspire the next generation.
Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, spoke of the initiative. He stated that through one of the organisation’s CSI pillars, ‘economic empowerment’, the YLS was birthed as an avenue to get young Nigerians engaged and empowered to become future business leaders.
He said that Nigerian youths required support, guidance, and empowerment to propel them to the pinnacle of their various fields, and added that innovative projects and tech disruptions championed by youths in virtually every sector have proved their ingenuity, skill, brilliance, and resourcefulness.
Sogunle further stated that since youths easily get distracted by different challenges, the organisation wanted to ensure that they were aptly and constantly guided, mentored, inspired, and motivated, not just to attain their goals but to actualise their full potentials.
This year’s event which held virtually attracted youths from across Nigeria and various parts of the world including the UK, USA and UAE. It featured an array of speakers – Debo Adebayo, better known as Mr. Macaroni and Ms. Ifedayo Agoro, the founder of Diary of a Naija Girl (DANG), an online lifestyle website, who spoke on ‘Winning with Social Media’; the duo of Olumide Soyombo, co-Founder, Bluechip Technologies and Tracy Batta, co-Founder, Smoothie Express who spoke on ‘Winning with Entrepreneurship’; while Akin Bamidele Akintola, Head of Equity Sales, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers and Yanmo Omorogbe, co-founder of Bamboo Invest, an investment platform that allows Nigerians to invest in United States stocks, both spoke on ‘Winning with Investments’.
All speakers shared their entrepreneurial experiences, challenges, and success stories in these areas.
Speakers at previous editions of the YLS included Kechi Okwuchi, a survivor of the ill-fated Sosoliso plane crash of December 2005, who later went on to bag a First Class Degree from the University of Thomas Houston, Texas and emerged a finalist at America’s Got Talent; Member Feese, survivor of the United Nations Building bomb blast in Abuja and Cobhams Asuquo, renowned music producer, who was born blind.
Also, Stanbic IBTC Bank, in collaboration with Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI), and Covenant University, Ota and in alignment with the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, engaged Nigerian youths on better understanding of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role in its attainment.
The organisation also said that some needs of youths have been catered to with the Stanbic IBTC BluEdge Youth Account, targeted to help students and youths cultivate a savings culture very early in life.
United Capital Launches 150 Billion Naira Infrastructure Fund
United Capital Plc today announced the launch of its 150 Billion Naira Infrastructure Fund.
The United Capital Infrastructure Fund (UCIF) is a Naira-denominated fund that aims to provide long-term financing for the delivery of critical infrastructure in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The statement further said that the fund has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a close-ended fund.
The infrastructure deficit in Nigeria is growing at an alarming rate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) estimating that the Federal Government would need about US$100 billion annually to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit.
This infrastructural deficit is a major constraint to the economic development of Nigeria and the United Capital fund is set to address this deficit by financing infrastructure assets that cut across sectors such as power and renewable energy, transportation, agribusiness and industrial infrastructure, healthcare, technology, mass housing, urban and social infrastructure.
Stanbic IBTC also launched a N100 Billion infrastructure fund earlier in the year in an attempt to close the infrastructural gap in the country.
According to United Capital, the Infrastructure Fund would be managed by United Capital Asset Management Limited (“UCAML”), its only sponsor. The Fund has retained Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the independent Financial Advisor, to provide additional layers of best practice of corporate governance which enhances the project appraisal and due diligence activities of the Fund Management team.
Speaking at the launching, Mr. Peter Ashade, the Group Chief Executive Officer of United Capital Plc stated that “the journey to launch the Fund has taken almost two years, during which period extensive preparatory studies and appraisals were carried out to establish the business case for the Fund, as well as to define a model and governance framework that would provide investors that have an appetite for long-term financing products (such as pension funds and insurance companies), with sufficient confidence of the attractiveness of UCIF, as an investment opportunity.”
United Capital Plc is a financial services group with activities that include Investment Banking, Asset Management, Trustees, Securities Trading, Wealth Management and Consumer Finance. The Group is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with operations and presence in West Africa.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Sustains Profitability in Q3, 2021, Grows Profit by 34.59 Percent
United Bank for Africa Plc, one of the leading financial services providers in Nigeria, sustained profitability in the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2021, according to the bank’s latest unaudited financial report released on Monday.
The lender’s interest income grew by 8.54 percent from N111.556 billion achieved in the third quarter of 2020 to N121.078 billion in the third quarter of 2021.
Interest expense moderated to N39.881 billion in the quarter under review despite the increase recorded in interest income. This represents an improvement of 12.47 percent when compared to the N44.858 billion filed in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
United Bank for Africa’s net interest income stood at N81.197 billion in Q3 2021, up by 21.73 percent from N66.698 billion recorded in Q3 2020.
The bank grew net fee and commission income by 25.40 percent from N17.663 billion in Q3 2020 to N22.150 billion in Q3 2021.
Similarly, the lender grew total non-interest income by 25.22 percent to N38.041 billion in the period under review, up from N30.377 billion achieved in the corresponding quarter.
Net operating income after impairment loss on loans and receivables jumped 22.8 percent to N119.970 billion, while the total operating expenses inched higher to N73.182 billion, an increase of 20.89 percent when compared to N60.533 billion filed in Q3 2020.
Profit before tax rose by 41.87 percent from N33.244 billion in Q3 2020 to N47.166 billion in Q3 2021. United Bank for Africa paid N3.152 billion in income tax in the third quarter of 2021.
Therefore, the bank’s profit after tax grew by an impressive 34.59 percent to N44.014 billion from N32.702 billion in Q3 2020. Earnings per share expanded from N0.70 in Q3 2020 to N1.25 in Q3 2021.
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