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President Muhammadu Buhari Headlines NGX Group’s The Stock Africa Is Made Of

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President Muhammadu Buhari Headlines NGX Group’s The Stock Africa Is Made Of

Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) Plc hosted the number one citizen, His Excellency, Muhammdu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the launch of its campaign, The Stock Africa Is Made Of.

The virtual event which took place on Tuesday, 18 May 2021 was held to amplify NGX Group’s positioning and commitment to the African financial markets as a leading capital market infrastructure provider, connecting Nigeria, Africa and the world, as well as spotlight the growth potential of the African continent.

READ ALSO: NSE Completes Demutualisation – SEC and CAC Approve

In delivering his remarks prior to sounding the closing gong and bringing the day’s trading to a close, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR stated, “It is my pleasure to join you all at this important event organised to amplify the positive narrative about Africa and its great potentials. Let me start by congratulating Nigerian Exchange Group Plc on its recently concluded demutualisation, which is the first in the country. I recall signing the Demutualisation Bill in August 2018, paving the way for the long awaited demutualisation of the then Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

“It is also important for me to highlight that the history of NGX Group is tied to that of the Nation itself founded 61 years ago at a pivotal time when Nigeria gained her independence.  The Exchange continues to play its part in nation building by stimulating economic growth and providing a platform for businesses and individual to save and raise capital through innovation, diversified products and services, enabling regulatory environment and much more. The occasion of the demutualisation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange is yet a proud moment for all of us, and indeed all Nigerians deserve congratulations for this feat as it is the beginning of a new era for the capital market,” President Buhari added.

READ ALSO: NGX Group launches new brand identity and website

Speaking at the event, the Group Chairman, NGX Group Plc, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo stated, “The Exchange has come a long way, through different leadership regimes – civilian and military – that have overseen multiple boom and bust economic dispensations within the Nigerian economy, to emerge as a leading integrated market infrastructure in Africa and the engine of growth for Africa’s largest economy. Our story is one birthed from resilience, collaboration, determination and continued focus on our vision. A true Africa story. With demutualisation, NGX Group is well positioned to enable strong economic growth and contribute its quota to the development of the Nigerian capital market, and the African Continent.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group Plc, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON noted that, “At Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, we have a vision to be the premier Exchange hub for Nigerian businesses and for the wider African economy building on the strong reputation and corporate governance the NSE has established over the years. As we march bravely into the NGX era, we look forward to impact creating partnerships that will unlock value for our stakeholders, whilst improving the state of the Nigerian economy. It is a period to reinforce on the global stage, our great African pedigree and the Stock Africa Is Made of.”

The unveiling event culminated in a Closing Gong Ceremony where the CEO, Nigerian Exchange Limited, Mr. Temi Popoola, CFA, stated, “I am delighted to have hosted His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, our special guest of honour. Today’s epochal Closing Gong Ceremony could not have been possible without Mr President’s support. The NGX era is indeed very exciting for us and we will continue to champion the growth of the African capital market through trade and investments that will facilitate Africa’s economic recovery and reposition the continent for sustainable economic development. Partnerships are a critical element of our strategy and we will continue to engage our stakeholders whose support is essential to the achievement of our aspirations in this NGX era.”

In her closing remarks, the CEO, NGX Regulation Limited, Ms. Tinuade Awe stated, “My deepest gratitude goes to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for gracing us with his presence and honouring our invitation to close the market on the official launch day of the NGX era. This has truly been an inspiring event and we have our amazing line-up of speakers to thank for that. I must also thank our regulators, the entire capital market ecosystem and the Management and staff of Nigerian Exchange Group for the hard work and diligence that has set us firmly on the path of success. It has been an exciting journey to date, and I am confident that we will all work well together to achieve even greater heights in the NGX era.”

READ ALSO: NGX Group’s Launch: 2Face, Chike To Perform

The event featured several key speeches and goodwill messages from industry veterans across the public and private sectors including Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, Honourable Minister of Trade and Investment, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mr. Lamido Yuguda, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, Chairman, Dangote Group; Mr. Jim Ovia, CON, Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc; Mr. Masai Ujiri, President, Toronto Raptors; Mr. Tony Elumelu, CON, Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) & Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF); Mr. David Swchimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange; Ms. Julie Becker, CEO, Luxembourg Stock Exchange; Mr. Eric Hespenheide, Board Chairman, Global Reporting Initiative; and Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones, Deputy British High Commission Lagos.

Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia alongside the ‘boo of the booless’, Chike, provided first-class entertainment at the virtual event which was moderated by veteran Master of Ceremonies, Ik Osakioduwa.

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First Bank Appoints Nnamdi Okonkwo As New GMD

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First Bank Appoints Nnamdi Okonkwo As New GMD

First Bank Holdings, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, disclosed the appointment of Nnamdi Okonkwo as its new Group Managing Director (GMD).

Newsrand understands that this development marks the return of the award-winning banker barely ten months after he successfully served out his term at Fidelity Bank.

Okonkwo was immediately past Managing Director and CEO of Fidelity Bank of Nigeria PLC.

His appointment followed the retirement of U.K. Eke, who has completed his two-term tenure.

Uke, according to the board, tendered his Notice of Retirement on August 10, 2021

The board further announced the renewal of the appointments of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and Gbenga Shobo as the managing director and deputy managing director of FirstBank respectively, for another term.

In the same vein, the Board announced the renewal of appointments of Kayode Akinkugbe and Taiwo Okeowo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited respectively, for another term.

“Uke’s retirement takes effect at the end of the current Financial Year on December 31, 2021. Mr. Eke’s retirement follows from a 35 years career in financial services, strategy, auditing, consulting, taxation, process reengineering, and capital market operations.

“FBNHoldings Board has also announced that Eke will be succeeded by Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, a focused and result-oriented top banker, who will assume office as Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc effective January 1, 2022,” Seye Kosoko, the Company Secretary said

Okonkwo, the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, brings to bear on the Board of FBNHoldings more than 30 years of unbroken banking career spanning local and international experience. He has a wealth of experience in transformational leadership, business strategy development and visioning, innovative corporate governance, and risk management.

He has led the transformation of banks, with the most recent being Fidelity Bank, where he led the management team in seven years to achieve remarkable results culminating in tripling profit and shareholder value.

Okonkwo previously served as the Executive Director for Southern Nigeria in Fidelity Bank. He has worked meritoriously on an international level in his capacity as the Managing Director of UBA Ghana; Director, UBA Liberia, and a Director of the Ghana National Banking College.

He has served in various leadership positions across other financial institutions including Broad Bank of Nigeria Ltd; Citizens International Bank, Nigeria; FSB International Bank Plc, Nigeria; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria; and Merchant Bank of Africa, Nigeria.

Okonkwo made remarkable feats as a Director in various organizations including UBA Ghana, UBA Liberia, Nigeria e-government Strategy (Negst), Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc, Unified Payment System Ltd and as Chairman, Shareholders Audit Committee FMDQ, amongst others. His appointment is subject to the approval of regulatory authorities.

The board also approved the appointment of Tope Orhionsefe Omage as a Non-Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited by the Board of FirstBank, subject to the approval of the CBN.

The Board also announced the appointment of Meristem Registrars Limited as the new Registrars to take over the Register of Members of FBN Holdings Plc in replacement of First Registrars and Investors Services Limited, with effect from December 1, 2021.

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First Bank: Otedola Is Not Our Largest Shareholder

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First Bank: Otedola Is Not Our Largest Shareholder

First Bank has made a u-turn against its statement that confirmed the emergence of billionaire Femi Otedola, as its largest shareholder.

Newsrand had exclusively gathered that Otedola was buying a lot of shares to become First Bank’s chief.

Responding to the report, First Bank released a statement, saying it was unaware of the development, and promised to inform the investing public after being briefed by involved parties.

“The attention of FBNH has been drawn to media reports of today, Oct. 22, purporting that a certain individual has acquired a significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings, making him the majority shareholder in the company.

“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings are publicly traded, and sale and acquisition of shares are expected in the normal course of business,” the statement read.

In less than 24 hours after releasing the statement, First Bank released another, confirming Otedola as its largest shareholder with a 5.07% stake.

But in a surprise turn of events, First Bank has now come out to say Tunde Hassan-Odukale is his largest shareholder, and not Otedola as previously claimed.

According to the financial institution, while Otedola has a 5.07% stake, Hassan-Odukale has a 5.36% stake, which made the former the second-largest shareholder in the company.

First Bank’s explanation

While acknowledging that Otedola and Hassan-Odukale individually have more than a 5% controlling stake, First Bank noted that Odukale has a 5.36% stake through his 0.07% direct shares and 5.29% indirect stake through Leadway Holdings Limited subsidiaries.

Newsrand understands that this is higher than Otedola’s 5.07% stake which he holds through his direct 0.03 stake and 5.04 percent through his indirect stake at Calvados Global Services Limited.

In its explanation as to the confusion, First Bank said it didn’t list Odukale as a 5% holder, but instead recorded it as 4.16% (Direct) and 1.20% (Leadway).

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How I-invest Is Creating Investors from Everyday Nigerians

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I-invest

In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion target as well as to promote an efficient savings culture among Nigerians, I-invest, a first-of-its-kind mobile application has provided a secure and safe platform for millions of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to invest in and secure their future.

Developed by Parthian Partners, an organisation regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FMDQ, I-invest allows retail investors to conveniently buy and manage Eurobonds, Treasury Bills, Commercial Papers, Equities, and many more without the help of a broker on a secure platform.

Through the I-invest app, Nigerians are able to access a plethora of investments based on their risk appetite. Potential investors do not need banking officials, fill lengthy documents or spend valuable time in banking halls.

A major objective of the app is to enable Nigerians secure their future through investment, an objective that very much aligns with this year’s edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (#NES27) themed, “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.” The summit is holding at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja from 25th to 26th October 2021.

Speaking at the Summit, Oluseye Olusoga, Founder of I-invest and Group Managing Director, Parthian Partners, said I-invest is leveraging technology for Nigerians to invest and build a savings culture. Olusoga said the unique advantage of the App is the safety, ease-of-use and convenience, in addition to being regulated.

“The #NES27 theme, ‘Securing our Future’ can be realised through saving and investing for tomorrow hence I-invest has been designed to allow users do this in the most seamless and convenient way, for not only the user but for dependants as well. The application is built by Nigerians to help Nigerians invest in Nigeria.

He added that, “The impact of the application on the Nigerian economy is to create an environment where Nigerians are involved in the development of the country through their investments, instead of taking their money out of the country.”

Olusoga explained that the app allows Nigerians to invest in different sectors of the capital market in both Dollar and Naira instruments; ranging from mutual funds to fixed deposits with different banks.

“I-invest is an App for everything financial services in Nigeria, it even allows you to buy insurance. With the advent of BVN, we are taking the advantage of technology to be able to invest directly. Users can buy equities straight from the stock exchange, and Treasury Bills from any of the accredited banks, all from the mobile App,” he enthused.

Speaking on his expectations from the #NES27, Olusoga said he wants Nigerians to be more aware and involved in tackling challenges facing the nation in turn changing the country’s narrative.

The I-invest App is available for download on Google Play or Apple store.

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