- Financially Excluded a Minus to Our GDP, Says SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has lamented the non-participation of the grassroots in the financial sector, saying this has affected the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
SEC’s Acting Director-General, Ms. Mary Uduk, stated this during its financial inclusion sensitisation programme in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, yesterday.
Ms. Uduk, who was represented by Head of Investor Education, SEC, Francis Okafor, said the sensitisation programme hopes to enlighten those at the grassroots, and educate them on how to invest in the Capital Market and the financial industry.
She said the target of the Commission is to ensure that by the end of this year, every area council in Abuja hss been reached.
“The last sensitisation programme for this year will be held in Abaji Area Council. We want to ensure that by the end of this year, every area council in Abuja is reached.
“If you buy shares, you are sure to get it back (dividends). Pension is not only for civil servants, but also for business people through the Micro Pension Scheme; that is why we have partnered PenCom.
“In Kano we talked about commodity ecosystem and non-interest finance. It was quite successful in Kano.
“Commodity Ecosystem is all about commodities – agricultural products. In the hay days of this country, we had things like the groundnut pyramids etc., today, those thing have died down. Beyond oil, Agriculture is a sector that can bring this country into limelight.
“We hope to establish and increase commodity exchange that will compete, if not better than what we have today in the stock exchange.
“A committee has submitted a report on the Commodity Ecosystem; we are currently at the implementation stage.
“We have partners and collaborators under financial inclusion. We have the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), National Pension Commission (PenCom), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) etc.”
The apex regulator of the capital market encouraged participants to embrace collective investment schemes like the Esusu and others that are regulated by SEC. Explaining that the Sukuk which is a non-interest finance scheme, is not a purely religious arrangement that excludes everyone else, urging participants to engage it.
Head of Awareness Unit of Micro Pensions Department of PenCom, Mr. Emeka Onuora, said: “Micro pension is part of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). It is a coverage extension of the CPS.
“We have always placed emphasis on those that are working in government offices under the CPS; this time around, we want to include individuals working on their own. We want to educate them on the need to make provisions for their retirement regardless of whether they are working on their own.
“For the Micro Pension Scheme (MPS), you have to be registered to get started just like you get registered under the CPS with Pension Fund Administrator (PFA).
“When it comes to making payments (contributions), you can use your phones, ATM cards, USSD, banks, etc.
“For the Micro Pension Scheme, you are not compelled on the amount you have to pay or the frequency of payment. You can pay in daily, weekly or monthly.
“The MPS has incentives such that you have access to a certain percentage of your contributions for everyday expenses; this amounts to 40%. The other 60% is kept for your pension and is being invested by the Pension Fund Administrator so that when you retire, you are guaranteed your pension.”
Falcon Corporation Secures N19.41bn Debt Facility for State-of-the-Art LPG Facility in Port Harcourt
Falcon Corporation Limited, a prominent player in Nigeria’s energy sector, has successfully secured a N19.41 billion debt facility from the Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria-managed Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF).
The financing will be used for the development of a cutting-edge 15,000 metric ton Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility and a dedicated jetty in Rumuolumeni, Saipem/Aker Base Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Managing Director of Falcon Corporation, Prof. Joe Ezigbo, emphasized the company’s commitment to national service through investments in the gas industry.
He highlighted the strategic positioning of the LPG facility in proximity to major gas sources and navigable water routes, anticipating economic gains, job creation, income growth, health improvements, and environmental sustainability.
“We positioned our LPG facility strategically in proximity to major Gas sources and navigable water routes. The Project is set to facilitate and enhance more direct procurement and distribution of LPG, which will dramatically lower conventional delivery and storage costs,” said Prof. Joe Ezigbo.
The project has achieved significant milestones, reaching a completion rate of 65% as of October 2023. Various phases of development, including the completion of the jetty, shoreline protection, and engineering activities, have contributed to this progress.
The entire project is expected to be completed and commissioned by Q4 2024.
Falcon’s General Manager, Finance, Nelson Walter, expressed satisfaction with the partnership with NIDF, highlighting their reputation for providing reasonable terms for impactful infrastructure projects.
The flexible long-term loan repayment structure aligns with Falcon’s goals, making the collaboration instrumental in realizing this groundbreaking project.
Financial advisers Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Chapel Hill Denham Advisory, along with legal counsel Detail Commercial Solicitors, played crucial roles in facilitating this strategic debt facility for Falcon Corporation’s ambitious LPG infrastructure development in Rivers State.
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Zenith Bank Signs MOU With CFA Institute to Develop Finance and Investment Professionals
Zenith Bank Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute to promote efforts and activities that support the formation, training, and updating of human capital in finance and investment for the overall development of the Nigerian financial services sector.
The MoU, was signed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu; the President/CEO of the CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin; and the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the CFA Institute and the CFA Society, Nigeria for their laudable programmes in developing finance and investment professionals in Nigeria.
According to him, your Women in Investment Management Initiative, CFA Institute Research Challenge, CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge and University Affiliation Program are very laudable, and Zenith Bank will continue to partner with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria to ensure that young finance and investment professionals get the needed support for their career development.
In his words, “As a good corporate citizen, Zenith Bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of the society. As such, we continue to support projects and initiatives that have long-term social and economic benefits for our various publics and stakeholders. Partnering with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria is therefore a demonstration of our commitment to building professional excellence in the finance services industry in Nigeria”.
At the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference, during the ‘Journey to the Top: A Discourse with CEOs’ segment, Dr. Onyeagwu inspired future finance and investment professionals to uphold the highest standards of integrity.
He stressed the importance of making difficult yet high-quality decisions, building robust networks, and dedicating themselves to hard work for career success.
In his words, “as upcoming professionals, the opportunities are immense for you. Africa doesn’t get bigger than Nigeria. There is scarcity of the right kind of people that have the talent, that have the character and the leadership to provide leadership in organizations. Make a decision to be one of those, make a decision to be different. You must be driven by your passion; you must delay gratification. In Zenith what is driving us is the strive for excellence. It is not about who you are and where you come from. We have the best class of talents you can think of anywhere in the world.”
He assured the young finance and investment professionals that Zenith Bank will offer immediate employment opportunity to CFA Charter Holders and those who qualify as Chartered Accountants.
Also speaking on the MoU, the President/CEO, CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin reiterated the Institute’s commitment to the professional development of students and upcoming professionals.
In her words, “there are many things that we do for students, we invest heavily in students and why is that? Because they are our future. The mission of the CFA Institute is to lead the investment industry with the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society and that starts with our CFA programme”.
She commended Zenith Bank for its continued support to the CFA Society Nigeria and sponsorship of the CFA Institute Research Challenge over the years.
She also commended the bank for being one of the top employers of CFA members in the country. She expressed her admiration of the culture of excellence in Zenith Bank.
Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji commended Zenith Bank for its partnership with CFA Society Nigeria and its commitment to the development of young finance professionals in the country.
The the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference is being hosted by the CFA Institute and CFA Societies from Ghana, East Africa, South Africa and Mauritius. The conference has representatives from over 20 universities in Nigeria (members of their investment clubs being supported by CFA Society).
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