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FG Sets Aside N112.2bn to Empower Micropreneurs

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  • FG Sets Aside N112.2bn to Empower Micropreneurs

The Federal Government has set aside N112.2 billion, under the 2017 budget proposals currently before the National Assembly, for the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). GEEP is designed to provide interest-free loans to market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers.

According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, beneficiaries of GEEP will receive between N10,000 and N100,000 loans with a one-time 5 percent administrative fee. According to him, over 20,000 Nigerians in about 14 states are already benefiting from the programme, under the 2016 budget.

GEEP programme is one of the five Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) targeted at providing microfinance as loans to young men and women from all states of the federation at liberal conditions with no collateral.

At a ceremony to flag-off advocacy and sensitization for the programme in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Jumai Alhassan, said: “The federal government recognises the difficulties in securing business loans from commercial banks, therefore, measures for monitoring and evaluation of disbursements, usage and recovery have been put in place so that beneficiaries can repay the loan in six months and others can benefit from the revolving scheme. ‘‘The repayment schedules are easier and less stringent than those of conventional banking loans, so we are sure that the country will witness increased economic activities with the desired multiple effects and subsequent boost in the economy.

‘‘Out of the GEEP fund, the sum of N1.6 billion has been set- aside exclusively for women only. The women special fund is known as the National Women Empowerment fund popularly called NAWEF. Both the GEEP and NAWEF are financial inclusion and microcredit programmes. Under both programmes, each beneficiary will receive between N10,000 and N100,000, depending on the type of business or trade with no interest, no collateral and repayable in six months with one month grace after disbursement, before repayment commences.”

The Bank of Industry (BoI) is responsible for identifying and disbursing soft loans to beneficiaries of the programme nationwide. The bank has already started collecting the data of market associations, women cooperatives, artisan groups, trade associations and trade cooperatives nationwide for the programme.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year

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Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.

The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.

In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.

Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.

However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.

He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.

Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.

The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.

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South African Billionaire Christo Wiese Predicts Return of Major Players to Nigeria Despite Recent Exodus

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Christo Wiese

South African billionaire Christo Wiese remains optimistic about Nigeria’s economic prospects, predicting the eventual return of major players despite a recent exodus from the West African nation.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Wiese explained that it is impossible to ignore Nigeria’s large and growing population, “how do you ignore an economy like this?”

Wiese, the former chairman of Shoprite Holdings Ltd., acknowledges the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, where recent currency woes and policy missteps have contributed to an exodus of international companies.

Procter & Gamble Co. and Shoprite are among the global conglomerates that have announced their departure from Africa’s most populous nation.

However, Wiese sees the recent exits as temporary setbacks rather than a long-term trend. He believes that the allure of Nigeria’s vast consumer market and its economic potential will eventually draw major players back.

Despite the current uncertainty, Wiese remains confident in Nigeria’s future, emphasizing the need for governments to adopt correct policies and for investors to exercise patience.

While acknowledging Nigeria’s single-commodity economy vulnerabilities, Wiese highlights the resilience of the nation’s economy and its potential for growth and development.

He suggests that foreign investors, including South African ones, are adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating a time when the economy stabilizes and favorable policies are in place.

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Appointments

Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.

In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.

Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.

He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.

Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.

In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.

Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.

In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.

The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.

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