- FG Urged to Boost Domestic Production of Goods
The federal government has been advised to implement policies that would help strengthen domestic production of goods and services.
An economic analyst and Head of Banking and Finance Department at the Nasarawa State University, Dr. Uche Uwaleke, said this while delivering a paper at a seminar organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria for financial journalists in Sokoto tuesday. He pointed out that the import-dependent structure of the Nigerian economy had led to the depletion the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, fuelled inflation, depressed growth and created unemployment.
The present situation of the Nigerian economy, he added, provides an opportunity to look inward in a bid to trigger economic growth and development.
“In order to boost the economy, the current demand management which involves forex access restrictions of items that can be produced locally, should be contained. I am not saying that the policy should be kept forever, but we should sustain it until we get out of recession. If our reserves get to a comfort zone of about $32 billion, then we can begin to think of how to relax the policy,” he added.
He urged the CBN, through its development finance function, to identify certain goods that can be produced locally and provide incentives for SMEs to be able to produce locally.
In addition, Uwaleke charged federal government to ensure that the proceeds of the Eurobond id judiciously utilised as investors are more concerned about the interest they would get on their investments more than what the investments was used for. Uwaleke said the Nigerian Eurobond was oversubscribed despite downgrades by rating agencies because investors saw a better yeild as opposed to what they would get in European markets.
Uwaleke said Nigeria was due to repay the $500 million Eurobond it raised in 2013 next year.
“I looked at the budget implementation report starting from 2013 up till now and the latest budget implementation reports on the website of the budget office is first quarter of 2016, and I cannot place my finger on what was done with the Eurobond that was issued in 2013 which will have to repay next year.
“We can’t trace it. The $500 million we did was just meant to test the world market. But again we need to see what it was used for.”
He also noted that the cost of the latest $1 billion Eurobond issued by the country was high.
“If we didn’t have a reserve, this Eurobond outing wouldn’t have been a success because all those investors are looking at your reserves” he stated, even as he urged the country to focus more on accumulating its reserves before deciding to fully float the currency.
According to him, Nigeria needs a minimum of $32 billion in reserves which will be comfortably enough for seven months of imports before it floats the currency. Querying the school of thought that says the CBN should allow the market determine the value of the naira, he said the supply of forex was yet to be enough to leave the currency to market forces.
He charged the monetary authorities not to succumb to pressure saying Egypt which succumbed to pressure of free-float its currency, has seen its currency depreciate more than envisaged.
“If we don’t have this $32 billion, we shouldn’t be thinking of floating the currency. Nigeria needs a minimum of $32 billion to be regarded as comfortable and that is enough to finance 7 months of funding. So if we don’t have this $32 billion, we shouldn’t be thinking of floating the currency.”
Uwaleke added: “Egypt was advised not to float the currency until they got to $25 billion reserve but because Egypt was pressured and in a hurry to get $12 billion IMF loan they did the currency float much earlier and they have now seen the outcome. So when people say Nigeria should float, why don’t we look at what happened elsewhere.”
Standard Bank Appoints Sanni Chief Executive for Africa
The Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets has appointed Yinka Sanni as its new Chief Executive for Africa Regions and a member of the Group Leadership Council.
Sanni, the group’s Regional Chief Executive for West Africa, takes over from Sola David-Borha, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the banking group.
This was disclosed in a statement.
Sanni holds a B. Agric. (Hons) degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2009, and the Global CEO Programme at the Wharton School in 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector across wholesale, retail and asset management, and joined Standard Bank Group’s Nigerian subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, in December 1990.
In a note to employees, Standard Bank Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala, congratulated Sanni on his appointment and thanked David-Borha for her extraordinary contributions to the group.
“Sola was appointed as the Chief Executive of Africa Regions in January 2017 and is one of the group’s most deeply expert and experienced bankers,” Tshabalala said.
“Under her leadership, the Africa Regions portfolio has grown remarkably in capacity, market share and contribution to the group’s headline earnings.”
David-Borha has been a passionate advocate of culture change and executive leadership development, having sponsored the ‘Last Mile’ programme, which has resulted in the successful promotion of talented people into both Regional Chief Executive and Country Chief Executive positions, including the appointment of two female Chief Executives in the Africa Regions business.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve and contribute to the growth of the Standard Bank Group,” David-Borha said.
“I am delighted to be handing over to Yinka Sanni, an exceptional, authentic and experienced leader who will take the baton forward in driving Africa’s growth.”
David-Borha will remain with the group until the end of June to ensure a successful leadership transition and handover process. Sanni’s appointment is effective from today, 15 April.
Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0
The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.
The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.
MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.
The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.
The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.
According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”
“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.
MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.
Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.
Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria
Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.
Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.
This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.
Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.
Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”
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