The House of Representative has ratified the suspension of the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Munir Gwarzo, by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. The House took this decision, after assenting to the recommendations of its Committee on Capital Market and Institutions.
Two other staff Mrs. Anastacia O. Braimoh, Head of Legal Department, and Mr. Naif Abdulsalam, Head of Media in SEC, also suspended were however directed to be recalled from suspension immediately.
“That based on the constitutional provisions and other extant laws, as well as relevant provisions of the Public Service Rules cited and referred to, the suspension of Mr. MOunir Gwarzo, the former director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission by the Minister of Finance should stand.”
While making his submission before the committee the suspended DG noted that his suspension was as a result of his refusal to halt the forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc, a claim which the Minister denied.
The Minister, in her testimony, said her action was based on the need to protect sanctity in the capital market and maintain investors confidence.
She revealed that documents obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission show Gwarzo was a director in two private companies, which was a violation of the Civil Service Act. this she noted is also a breach of the Investment and Securities Act.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is the apex regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Industries to watch for technology innovation in 2021
Agric, health, insurance, and food delivery sectors are taking the center stage in tech innovations.
Every year, the innovations unlocked by technology grows at a rapid rate. Major disruptions like a pandemic, always reveal opportunities for technology to advance a society. In Nigeria, the pandemic forced many industries to adopt technology in nearly every facet of their operations.
Taking a closer look at the technology trends that are likely to bring significant innovation and growth this year, we see companies in the Agric, health, insurance, and food delivery sectors taking the center stage. These industries appear to have a promising future in 2021 and beyond.
Agric-tech platforms have become the new face of modern-day Agriculture. These platforms offer promising benefits ranging from good dividends to high return on investments to promising investors. The funds are then invested in agricultural projects that will yield the required returns to pay all the stakeholders (farmers, investors, and Agric-tech platform owners) at the end of a production cycle.
According to statistics, Agriculture accounts for over 20 percent of Nigeria’s GDP with an arable land area of 34 million hectares: 6.5 million hectares for permanent crops, and 30.3 million hectares on meadows and pastures. Farmers need a productivity boost and technology is providing that with the rise of Agric tech companies like Thrive Agric, Farm crowdy, etc.
The insurance industry started experiencing a revolution with the adoption of InsurTech.
InsurTech became the major growth driver for industrial innovation throughout the insurance industry. With the diverse range of wealth management products, everyone can live without the worries of the future. There are innovative insurance products for protection, savings, and reward systems. Insurtechs like Casava, Curacel, Tangerinelife are rising to build products that cater and provide insurance to individuals and corporate entities.
Nigeria’s health care system has gone from being comparable to the rest of the world in the 70s and early 80s, to one of the world’s most underfunded sectors. As the sector struggles to cater to the health needs of nearly 200 million people, an innovative technology scene has created a new wave of startups focused on combating challenges in Nigeria’s health sector. An example is helium health which helps medical institutions document and record their patients’ medical history. Medplus has a platform in which a patient can upload his prescription and also have it delivered to his location. Healthplus runs one of West Africa’s largest integrated pharmacy chains and also provides a platform where loyal customers are rewarded via a scoring system.
The demand for food delivery was at an all-time high during the pandemic. This gave rise to FoodTech. FoodTech startups combine food science and technology to enhance the service delivery of the industry by using Internet-based technologies for the preparation and distribution of food. Foodtech like Jumia food, Chopnownow, ourEdenlife, and boltfood have made food delivery easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone.
What this means
Many innovative technologies will continue to be introduced as the world evolves, although some industries may take longer to adapt and integrate new technologies into their products and services. This year we expect massive results and innovations across different sectors and industries.
Access Bank spends N18.7 billion on digitization in 2020
Access Bank topped its spending on digitalization to enable it compete.
Nigeria’s largest bank by assets, Access Bank revealed it spent a whopping N18.7 billion in IT and E-Business related initiatives in 2020. The figure is nearly double (92% higher) the N9.7 billion spent in 2019. The same expense line cost it N11.39 billion in 2018.
The bank claims the expenses is in line with its “investments in IT capability with the focus of improving customer experience and to support digitization,” a strategy the bank believes will help it to compete better.
Access Bank reported a spike in revenue from its digital channels posting a revenue of N56.1 billion, a 58% increase from a year earlier. Income from digital channels were N36 billion and N14.2 billion in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
This year, the bank also invested about N10.2 billion on intangible assets out of which N8.49 billion went into purchasing software. Banks also rely heavily on software applications to service their customers and drive operations.
Commercial banks in Nigeria have invested heavily in expanding their digital products amidst an onslaught of competition from FinTechs who are innovating faster and cutting into market share. However, big banks like Access Bank have the financial muscle to compete in this space as buttressed by Access Bank’s spending.
For banks like Access Bank, the focus is to drive financial inclusion and retail customer acquisition through channels such as USSD, Mobile Banking, TelCos and other forms of digital platforms. Access Bank claims these moves have yielded benefits as it recorded improvement across its financial inclusion initiatives.
Access Bank claims its total digital transaction value rose to N33.89 trillion in 2020 made up of 1.6 trillion transaction counts. It also opened 3.6 million new accounts via its Telco partnerships and that it now has 40 million customers out of which 17 million are mobile users (USSD & Mobile).
As the bank explains “our Retail Banking business has grown consistently across all income lines, driven by strong focus on consumer lending, payments and remittances, digitization of customer journeys, and customer acquisition at scale.”
The bank also claims it created 4 million digital loans in the year and it disbursed N105 billion in loans via its digital lending platform generating a 48% year on year growth. It generated N5 billion in revenue from digital lending a 49% growth year on year.
Access Bank is included in our Stock Select Recommendation Portfolio. Find out what our preferred entry and exit price is and what to look out for should you decide to own this stock.
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