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Ogunsanya, Airtel MD Advices SMEs to Invest in Technology @ UBA Business Series

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In adjusting to the new normal, business owners and operators of Small and Medium Scale businesses have been advised to invest massively in technology and find ways to source their raw materials or supplies locally, as this is expected to boost their activities and help them stay afloat especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ogunsanya, Airtel MD Advices SMEs to Invest in Technology @ UBA Business Series

Segun Ogunsanya, managing director/chief executive officer, Airtel Nigeria,  who gave these tips at the UBA Quarterly Business Series on Tuesday, said that it is important that businesses redefine their activities to adapt to the new normal which most economies have found themselves as a result of the raging virus.

The UBA Business Series, organised by Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is a capacity building initiative held every quarter, where leading business leaders share insights on best business practices and how entrepreneurs can build a sustainable business empire especially in the challenging business environment in Africa.

This edition was moderated by Bankole Williams, chief executive officer, Lyd Consulting.

Ogunsanya spoke on the topic: ‘Strategies and competencies for adjusting to a Post COVID-19 Business Environment’, where he sought to equip business owners with the important and essential strategies on how to recover and rebuild their business concerns following losses incurred due to the pandemic which took the world by storm, forcing many businesses to re-examine their models and strategies in line with the new normal.

Giving essential strategies to business owners to help their businesses thrive and stay afloat, he said, “I must stress the need for business owners to invest in technology as it is very key in the new normal to ensure that our employees are able to deliver the goods and services to customers while remaining safe and keeping the customers safe also. Remember that the customer is still the king, so it is important to ensure that you configure all your operations to make sure that they are still able to transact their businesses and also encourage online payment for services because handling cash can also be dangerous. More importantly, look for ways to configure your businesses to what your customers actually need especially in this era of physical and social distancing.”

While giving examples of companies that have changed the direction of their businesses due to the limitations occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic, Ogunsanya told the over 2,000 participants at the webinar, that this period called for critical evaluation of businesses where SMEs should think of creative ways to ensure that they meet the needs of customers and provide services that customers are actually willing to pay for.

“If as a business you find out that a huge part of your key services are not in high demand as a result of lockdown rules, then it is important to reconfigure your services; find other needs that you can meet for customers; look for various things you can do differently, completely cut out wastes and costs that are irrelevant as well as areas where value is not being added to the customers and ensure that you have a digital roadmap” he said in response to a participant who wanted to know how to increase productivity.

Jude Anele, UBA’s group head, Consumer and Retail Banking, who spoke ahead of the webinar, said that far beyond banking services, UBA is interested in ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time, adding that the Business Series seeks to arm business leaders with all the knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level. “it is always an opportunity to learn something new from the people who have the experience,” Anele said.

United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally.

With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

 

 

 


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E-Financial

SEC, NITDA Collaborate on Data Protection in Capital Market

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its preparedness to collaborate with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in a bid to foster safe conduct of transactions and usage of personal data in the Nigerian capital market.

SEC, NITDA Collaborate on Data Protection in Capital Market

Mr. Lamido Yuguda, director general of the SEC, stated this during a webinar on Nigerian Data Protection Regulation and how it affects the Capital Market.

According to a statement by Efe Ebelo, SEC’s Head, Corporate Communication, the event had as its theme: Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR): Implications on the Nigerian Capital Market.

Mr. Yuguda stated that the Commission is very serious on the issue of data protection in the capital market assuring that going forward, the SEC would continue to create necessary awareness.

According to him, “You may all recall that in 2019, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) issued the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) with the objectives to safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy; foster safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; prevent manipulation of Personal Data; and ensure that Nigerian businesses remain competitive internationally

“By this regulation therefore, all private and public organizations that collect, process, store, archive and destroy data of natural persons in Nigeria or of Nigerians resident abroad are required to comply with the provisions of the Regulation.

“Since the Commission and indeed all Capital Market Operators perform these activities on data as covered by the NITDA NDPR, we are also subject to the new regulation, in one way or the other. That explains the reason behind organizing today’s webinar to enlighten the capital market community on the provisions of the NDPR”.


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FBN Insurance Pays N4.4Bn In Claims In Q1 2020

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FBN Insurance has displayed resilience in its business strategy despite the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nigerian economy.

The company recently paid the sum of N4.4 billion in claims to its customers in the first half of the year 2020.

This represents a 26.7 per cent increase year-on-year when compared to N3.4 billion paid during the same period in 2019.

While briefing news men at the company’s Lagos head office, Mr. Val Ojumah, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FBN Insurance, disclosed that prompt settlement of customers claims is one of the underpinning business successes of the insurer as it strives to continually boost customers’ confidence and trust during the 10 years of the company’s existence.

According to Ojumah, “As a responsive and reliable insurer, we have during this turbulent time- kept our promise to our customers by paying claims promptly. Our focus remains to provide financial security and relief to our esteemed customers especially at this trying time.”

On a related note, the company has unswervingly delivered on its promise to its shareholders by paying dividends promptly. At the recently held virtual AGM, the company announced a full year dividend of 97k per share for 2019 which represents a 49 per cent increase over the 65k per share that was paid in 2018. The company has consistently paid dividend to its shareholders since 2013.

As at year end, the total assets base of the company grew from N70.5billion in 2018 to N109bilion in 2019. This represents a 55 per cent growth year-on-year of which over 90 per cent are in liquid assets.

In a bid to continue to deliver seamless service to its customers, the company has invested and upgraded its digital platforms.

FBN Insurance Limited, was incorporated in 2010 to transact life insurance business in Nigeria and currently operates in over 60 sales outlets and two branches in addition to its head office located in Lagos


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Naira Weakens, Oil Slips, Stocks Flat

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

As the coronavirus menace dug its vicious talons deeper into Africa’s largest economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria wasted no time in depreciating the official Naira rate by 5.5% to 381 per Dollar.

In the face of Dollar shortages, depressed Oil prices and mounting pressures from external lenders the CBN remains pressured to unify the multiple exchange rates to improve transparency.

A single exchange may eliminate an element of confusion and even attract foreign exchange investment, but such may come at the expense of rising inflation.

The exchange rate at the black market has already tumbled to a three-year low, trading around N463 per Dollar following the official devaluation.

With consumer prices hitting 12.4% in May, signs of rising inflationary pressure fueled by a weaker Naira is the last thing Africa’s largest economy needs.

Local stocks trading flat this week with the Nigerian All-Share Index down -0.24% since Monday.

Oil prices were mostly depressed this week thanks to rising coronavirus cases across the globe.

Fears around another round of lockdowns hitting demand for Oil continues to haunt attraction towards the commodity and this may remain a key theme ahead of the OPEC decision next week.

If the cartel decides to extend the historic production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day beyond July, Oil prices have the potential to edge higher. However, a disappointing outcome to the meeting with the cartel reverting to previous supply cut of 7.6 million barrels per day could send Oil prices tumbling.

Overall, this was another week defined by COVID-19, volatile global equity markets and sharp changes in risk sentiment. Gold is likely to remain the talk of the town after appreciating to levels not seen in 9 years. With coronavirus related developments, trade uncertainty and global growth fears among many negative themes straining sentiment, the precious metal has the potential to shine this quarter.

 


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