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AfDB Pledges $500Mn Support To MSMEs – Osinbajo

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AfDB Pledges $500Mn Support To MSMEs - Osinbajo
Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), especially technology-based ones with 500 million dollars in Nigeria.

Osinbajo disclosed this on Sunday at the 33rd Inaugural Lecture of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun.

The institution’s 33rd Inaugural Lecture was delivered by Oluseyi Oduyoye, Professor of Business Administration.

READ ALSO: AfDB Board Implore New Policy To Prioritize Water Security

The title of the lecture is, “From Small Business to Big Business: A Future with Little Hope”.

The vice president said that one of the things the Federal Government did with small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward was the introduction of the MSMEs Survival Fund.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund gave almost a million businesses support after the pandemic.

“We paid three months salary of several of the MSMEs especially private schools such as-private primary schools, private secondary schools; we paid for teachers and also for several other businesses.

“I think the statistics will be useful, especially as you further research and work; and so much have been done.

“But as I keep saying, it is a large country; a very big country;  in order to deal with all those issues and in order to support more businesses in a way that they ought to be supported, a lot more money is needed.

 “And just one final point on that, the AfDB has agreed to support the government with 500 million dollars for MSMEs in technology in particular; so, we think this is something that will be very helpful in addition to the N75 billion, which the government has set aside for young people in small businesses.”

According to him, support for small businesses must continue as they are the future of the country.

He said that the support given to MSMEs had brought hope, jobs, and opportunities.

Osinbajo commended also the Seventh Day Adventist Church for the investment it had made in education.

The vice president said that the church’s gesture was worthy of emulation for other religious organizations.

“The real work of ministering is a work of ministering to the people, especially those who cannot afford to do many of those things themselves.

“The work that the ministries did was the reason the likes of Oduyoye and I are here.

 “Because our college (Igbobi College) was one that was founded by two Christian missions–the Anglican and Methodist missions–and they gave quality education at a cheap rate so that we were able to afford it and several of us were able to go to school and be the people we are today.

“So, I believe that it is very important that religious organizations see this as primary in all of the tasks and all of the things they choose to do.

“So, I want to commend the church for this and again, to congratulate dear brother and friend, Oduyoye,” he said.

Earlier,  in his lecture, Oduyoye said that small businesses constituted a vibrant part of major economies of the world.

He said that MSMEs were responsible for employing more than 47 percent of workers in the private sector in 2019.

He recommended that government at all levels, especially the Federal Government, should go the extra mile to support small businesses.

Oduyoye said that insurance should be encouraged to mitigate the losses of small businesses.

In his opening remarks, Babcock University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ademola Tayo, said the lecture was in keeping with the tradition of the university in which new professors introduced their research work to the world.

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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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