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Stanbic IBTC Tasks Nigerian Investors to Tap into AfCFTA to Boost Intra-Africa Trade

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, has urged Nigerian investors and business owners to harness and maximise the business opportunities that are inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. This will help boost intra-Africa trade beyond the current level of 17 per cent as well as promote industrialisation and the economic growth of the continent. 

Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, made the call at the African Continental Free Trade Area webinar organised by Stanbic IBTC themed: “AfCFTA State of Play: Understanding Potential and Maximising Opportunities for the Customer”.

Wole stated that multiple studies have shown that the increase in trade has a direct impact on reducing unemployment and poverty in societies, he noted that the AfCFTA agreement presents numerous trade opportunities that are both exciting and promising not just for the continent but for the Nigerian market. The Chief Executive emphasised Stanbic IBTC’s readiness to leverage the trade opportunities of the AfCFTA agreement to unlock business opportunities for its clients in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector as well as its corporate clients.

While delivering his keynote address on the theme of the event, the guest speaker, Bamidele Ayemibo, lead consultant at 3T Impex Trade Academy, pointed out that with the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, Africa has the opportunity of becoming the largest market in the world with a population of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. Ayemibo emphasised that the goal of AfCFTA is to create a single market for Africa and encourage the free movement of goods and services thereby facilitating trade transactions.

He pointed out that Nigerian customers can take advantage of the non-sensitive list, the sensitive list and the exclusive list in the agreement while engaging in various trade transactions with other African countries. According to him, out of about 5,000 AfCFTA codes or products in the world that fall under the non-sensitive list, 90 per cent are duty-free and Nigeria customers can take advantage of this. He added that countries can liberalise their products under the sensitive list within a period of 10 years while the exclusive list enables countries not to liberalise their products in order to protect that sector of their economy.

Ayemibo stressed that the Federal Government is currently developing a portal where Nigerian customers and investors can trade with other countries under the AfCFTA agreement. He explained that AfCFTA presents a huge potential for Nigerian manufactured products on the African continent because Nigeria produces about 90 per cent of such products that are imported by other African countries.

While appreciating Stanbic IBTC for the bold step it has taken to educate its clients and investors about the benefits of AfCFTA, Ayemibo added that information enables agreement such as the AfCFTA to thrive, lamenting that previous agreements like the Ecowas Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) collapsed due to lack of adequate information. He added that with its vast footprint across Africa through Standard Bank, Stanbic IBTC can reach out to its numerous customers and educate them on the benefits of the AfCTFA agreement.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is a free trade area founded in 2018, with trade commencing in January 2021. It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations. Nigeria signed the AfCFTA in 2019, after a year’s delay, and is considered as the most recent country to ratify the agreement.

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Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Others Top 2022 Fortune 500 List

Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time

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Fortune Magazine has released the 68th edition of their annual list of the top 500 US companies with Walmart, Amazon, and Apple topping the list.

Fortune 500 list is an annual list of the top 500 largest companies in the United States, ranked based on the total revenue each of the companies generated in their respective fiscal years. It is compiled by Fortune Magazine.

A check by Investors King shows 2022 top 500 largest companies in the United States earned a combined $16.1 trillion in revenue and realised $1.8 trillion in profits. Indicating that the 2021 revenue grew by $6.4 billion, or 19% when compared to 2021 numbers.

Breaking down this year’s list, Walmart took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, generating $5.1 trillion cumulative revenue over that time.  Amazon.com came second with a 22% increase in revenue in 2021 to cross the $450 billion threshold.

Apple, perhaps the most profitable company on the list for the eighth time in eight years, generated profits of $95 billion to sit in the number three position.

CVS Health and CEO Karen Lynch strive to produce Fortune 500 history as the highest-ranking firm ever led by a female CEO, at number 4.

UnitedHealth Group maintained its position as USA’s largest health insurance provider, with considerable growth in 2021. The corporation served 2.2 million more individuals this year than the previous year, and revenue increased by 12% to $287 billion, making it claim the 5th spot.

Exxon Mobil has risen from 10th to 6th place on the Fortune 500 after a difficult, pandemic-affected 2020. After COVID-related limitations drove energy consumption and oil and gas prices to plunge, Exxon Mobil trimmed costs to shore up its balance sheet, laying off 9,000 employees. These measures, combined with a resurgence in oil prices, let the business earn more than $23 billion in 2021, its highest annual profit in seven years.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway generated the second-largest profits among Fortune 500 firms last year, with $90 billion in net income. Its stock also soared, returning 23.2 percent in 2021, putting it in the 7th position.

Alphabet had a spectacular record, reaching $200 billion in sales for the first time. Alphabet was the best-performing Big Tech stock in 2021, with shares up nearly three times the Nasdaq’s 22 percent gain. It also put aside $50 billion for share repurchases and announced a 20-to-1 stock split to stimulate more investment. With steady growth in revenue and profit from 2006, Alphabet took the 8th spot.

Mckesson, one of the largest drug distributors in the country ranked 9th with a clear revenue of $238,228 million in the 2021 fiscal year despite a $4.5 billion loss.

Despite a fall in this year’s ranking, AmerisourceBergen increased its revenue by 12.7%, to $214 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. The company ranked 10th, following its counterpart, Mckesson.

2022 Top 10 Fortune 500 List

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • CVS Health
  • United Health Group
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Alphabet
  • Mckesson
  • AmerisourceBergen

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Kaduna Airport Finally Resumes Operation, Azman Air Becomes First Airline to Reopen 

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Kaduna International Airport

After it suspended all flight operations for almost two months, the Kaduna Airport has finally resumed its flight operations, starting with Azman Air. 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced that the Kaduna airport has commenced full flight operations after it was shut down due to an attack by gunmen. 

The acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, confirmed to newsmen on Monday that “Flight operations to Kaduna airport have commenced today with Azman Air.”

Investors King gathered that Azman Air, via its official Twitter account, announced the resumption of flights to the Kaduna airport, making it the first airline to resume operations.

The tweet reads: “Azman Air landed at Kaduna Airport today 23rd May 2022, to the elation and cheers of passengers, stakeholders, and staff. 

“Azman Air is the first Airline to resume operations in the Kaduna Airport after it has been closed for almost two months. 

“It was a defining moment for the aviation community as the airport is reopened after being closed for two months. It’s so exciting to be back!”

The airport manager, Aminat Salami, said: “As you can see, I have all my management staff here. We have been closed from the 26th of March, close to two months and I’m very sure and you can see we are all excited and happy and I’m praying that Azman will continue their operations successfully and they should not be discouraged by the first flight because people are not really aware”. 

“We will try to do more of the video advert so that the passengers would improve as time goes on,” she added. 

Recall that in March, it was reported that gunmen attacked the airport and killed a security guard while the Kaduna-Abuja train was also attacked on the same day. 

The airline had stopped its flight operations into Kaduna following the attack at the airport eight weeks ago. 

The attack was however repelled by the airport security operatives.

 

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Senior Advertising Execs Expect Dramatic Growth in Budgets

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Pedestrians walk past a shop displaying advertising for a sale in central Sydney, Australia

New research from Alfi, an AI enterprise SaaS advertising platform, shows senior advertising executives are forecasting strong growth in advertising budgets over the next 12 months with 24% predicting dramatic growth.

The global study among senior executives including CEOs found 61% are more modest and are predicting slight growth while just 15% believe advertising budgets will remain at around the same level as today.

Growing budgets for advertising mean the executives questioned in the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada, Australia are increasingly looking for better ways to measure the reach and effectiveness of campaigns.

Alfi’s study shows executives are generally happy with the campaign data available but just 21% rate it as ‘excellent’ while 65% describe it as ‘good’. However, 14% say it is average or poor.

That is driving increased interest in the use of QR codes in Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising, which enables advertisers to measure exactly how impactful their campaigns are through first-party data which is accessible instantly.

More than a third (34%) of senior executives believe the importance of QR codes in advertising will increase dramatically over the next two years while 56% believe it will increase slightly.

“The global advertising industry is going from strength to strength after recovering strongly in 2021 to hit a new record high** and the indications are that it will continue in 2022 and beyond,” said Peter Bordes, Interim CEO, Alfi. “Increased spending should mean increasing the focus on measurement and data, which explains the growing use of technology and QR codes in particular.”

The study found all the senior executives questioned agree that the use of QR codes in advertising will increase dramatically over the next two years with 50% strongly agreeing with the view.

Bordes concluded: “Throughout the industry we can expect a higher focus on data-driven insights by expanding advertising capabilities, analytical sophistication and delivering it all seamlessly over multiple devices – thus leading to not only confident purchase behaviours but greater one-to-one connections with consumers.”

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