In a recent report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), less than a third of MSMEs have successfully obtained loans from financial institutions, and that is not for a lack of trying.
Nigeria currently has over 35 million MSMEs and if approximately only 10 million MSMEs have been able to get loans from financial institutions, hence, a credit gap of about 25 million in the country.
Fint, an online peer to peer lending platform intends to simplify access to credit for genuine borrowers while also providing returns to lenders.
Nairametrics was at FINT’s new office in Ikoyi during the week where we had a chat with the CEO, Mr. Chiwete John-Njokanma. Excerpt:
What exactly is FINT?
FINT is an online lending marketplace, basically we connect verifiable income borrowers looking for access to affordable credit with lenders who are looking to fund the loans for attractive returns. We have consumer loans i.e. loans between N60,000 and N2 million at rates as low as 8% for 3 – 12 months, with retail and institutional lenders (banks and asset managers).
For lenders, they can lend in the multiples of N20,000 grows at 26-39% for one-year loan tenures, for 6 months 15-22% for 3 months it is 8-14%.
What is the success story so far?
Our first story is the fact that we launch and became an acceptable product to the public (Lagos) and the most interesting thing is that there is a huge demand for this product for two reasons, one is because investors are looking for good returns for their money while borrowers are looking for ease and quick access to borrow money and that is the problem we are solving.
This offering has made our platform interesting. We currently have 26,000 customer base and average borrowings is like N333,000.
How do you get these lenders?
On the retail side, our strategy is the social media platforms, (twitter, facebook and Instagram) while on institution and HNIs they are mostly offline activities meeting clients and try to access their funds.
Does FINT have footprint outside Lagos?
Currently we are only in Lagos, however, we are pursuing a new licensee that will allow us to expand and move our operations to other states. But importantly, Lagos is a big market, with an estimated population of 22 million and about 60% of this population falls into our target market.
How can borrower access your platform?
So for a borrower simply sign on to our website www.fint.ng and risk assessed by our arithmetic algorithm if you pass the risk assessment test, you will get a score, that score is tied to a particular interest rate and you agree to borrow for certain period of time, risk and interest rate provided, upload proof of ID, statement of accounts at least 6 months.
Once this is done, your loan is made visible on the platform for lenders to invest. Lenders would have selected their risk criteria already, based on their risk appetite as little N20,000.
How do you handle loan defaulters knowing fully that some might want to run away after collecting the loan?
We have not experienced any default on our platform so everyone has paid back. We had people who have paid late, but they ended up paying back. The truth is that the average Nigerian is not trying to scam or cheat the system, that’s a view we hold in this business. Also, loans on FINT are insured against loss of work, permanent disability or death. So if you lend to someone who passes away, you don’t need to follow them to the great beyond to get your money back.
More importantly for us, is to create a system for genuine borrowers willing to pay back, hence, we partnered with the credit bureaus, we also carry out verification services through our third-party partners so that they can verify that if the residential address given is correct also the introduction of BVN into the system has enabled us to know our customers directly.
How secure is your platform?
Our platform is as secured as any mobile banking application and we have the necessary securities certifications and encryption system.
There has been an upsurge in the number of fintech startups in the country, what is the edge for your platform?
We presently don’t have any direct competition, however, there are a lot of strong startups out there. At FINT, our value proposition is the ability to merge value for both sides of the food chain.
A lot of lenders in the ecosystem presently lend to borrowers on their own balance sheet, hence they charge high-interest rate and get high returns but there is another side that is missing that is the investors, there are many people looking to earn income passively rather than take a second job to earn more money. Lenders willing to lend and earn strong returns.
How do you determine returns?
Our pricing model changes and is based on Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), inflation rate and based on how these two mechanism work we can work out beneficial returns for lenders.
Have you raised any funding?
Yes, we have locally from strong financial institutions.
Are you happy with the rate genuine borrowers get access to loans in Nigeria?
No, and it is unfortunate, in 2014 it was about 5%, in 2017 it dropped to 3%, it means only 3% of them have had access to credit facility from financial institutions. But why is this so? It is because the way the current system is set up will not encourage a retail investor to borrow.
What is your latest product on the market?
We have the employment model product where we allow companies to partner with us for staff loans while we directly deduct from their salary and give the loans at a lower rate
Thank you for time.
You are welcome
Lagos revisits Ehingbeti Economic Summit, to hold first virtual edition
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the State will again host the Ehingbeti Summit.
Lagos State government has decided to resuscitate its annual Ehingbeti Summit after it held the last one in 2014.
The 2020 edition, which is to hold virtually between November 10-12, is themed ‘For greater Lagos: Setting the tone for the next decade.’
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists, which was attended by Nairametrics.
Egube explained that most of the developments recorded in the states over the years were from ideas and recommendations gathered from the previous editions of the summit.
According to him, the summit, which is a collaboration between the state and private sector operators, has seen the government implement 109 out of 119 resolutions suggested to the state government in past editions.
He said, “The rail line projects, the Lekki toll gate, among others are ideas generated from the economic summit. The summit has a rich history and is firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth for Lagos state. It is our belief that you cannot lead a place like Lagos with one mind you have to bring together all the minds. The first one was hosted in 2000 making this the 20th year since the first summit was held. The first three editions were deliberately diagnostic but by the fourth one, we had started to create a blueprint and have started to implement it from the early decisions that had been made.”
He added that the good thing about the summit is that the government is responsible for the decisions taken and that they are obliged to report back to the next Ehingbeti what it has done with the decision taken and if there are challenges.
“We highlight what those challenges were and take other decisions on how to repair those challenges. To some it appears the ambitions are too high, because how do you put the private sector in the lead and collaborate in that manner. They have wondered whether the government can be trusted to follow through with this idea of collaboration, but the performance shows that yes, we follow through,” he stated.
According to him, with the summit, what the Lagos state government is trying to do is stimulate contribution from the private sector, get them interested in the governance of the state and lead the way in terms of the outcomes.
What BBNaija winner, Laycon can do with N30 million
Nairametrics has come up with possible investments that Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase.
After 71 days of intense competition, the season 5 of BBNaija tagged, Big Brother Naija Lockdown, came to an intriguing end yesterday, as one person walked away with the N85 million total grand prize.
After 10 weeks of staying cooped in one house, executing several tasks from sponsors, partying every Saturday, and watching their competitors leave one after the other; 5 finalists emerged from the 20 that started the show – Vee, Neo, Nengi, Dorathy, and Laycon.
Of the 5, just 1 emerged winner – Olamilekan Agbeleshe, popularly known as ‘Laycon’.
As earlier announced by Multichoice, N30 million was awarded to him as cash prize, with the supplementary 55 million covering;
- A two-bedroom apartment courtesy of Revolution Plus
- A top of the range SUV from Nigerian automaker, Innoson Motors
- A trip to Dublin courtesy of Guinness
- Home appliances courtesy of Scanfrost, and a branded Chiller
- A trip to Dubai packaged by Travelbeta
- 1-year supply of Indomie noodles, Munch it, and Colgate toothpaste
- 1-year supply of Pepsi
- A trip to watch the UEFA Champions League finale
- A brand new Oppo Reno 3 smartphone.
Not many are surprised with the outcome, as Laycon was a strong contender from the first day in the house. Despite his vivid intelligence and calm nature; his victory can be attributed to a strong social media strategy by his campaign team. His acceptance was easier, being a lightweight Twitter influencer himself prior to the show.
Also, from the diary session in the final week, two of the finalists projected Laycon as the most likely winner. Nengi, particularly said she had always considered Laycon a strong competition, and she views him as someone viewers would love. Neo saw Nengi as a possible winner, while Laycon thought Dorathy to be his biggest competition. Vee said that Laycon had strong plans of what to do with the money, and believes he is deserving of the grand prize.
Speaking of strong plans, Nairametrics research team has come up with possible investments that Mr. Agbeleshebioba Massoud Al Khalifah aka Laycon should consider, as he begins his millionaire phase.
Already, the finalists have won some prizes via tasks from sponsors of the show; in fact, all of the finalists have won at least N3million prize each, and Laycon in particular has about N7 million in excess winnings. Assuming that this N7 million and other gifts would take care of his living expenses for the next few months, while he channels the N30 million into worthwhile investments.
The 26-year-old singer and rapper has over the last couple of years built a music profile that could benefit massively from his new-found fame. Already, front-line artistes like Davido are hinting a possible collabo with the University of Lagos graduate.
In April 2019, Fierce Nation signed on Laycon, alongside Runnjozzy. His singing career dates back to the 2014 Coke Studio University of Lagos event, where he was one of the 10 artistes who performed. Later in 2017, he was one of the top 10 finalists at the MTV Base LSB challenge.
After struggling through his music career for years, without recognition, Laycon will discover that N30 million is a lot of money if invested wisely. It is also a sum that could evaporate in a matter of weeks, if misused.
Mercy Eke, winner of last year’s ‘Pepper Dem’ edition, invested her cash winnings in expanding her luxury clothing line, and launching her real estate company “Lambo Homes” which she founded in partnership with a seasoned real estate Consultant/luxury property developer, and an experienced lawyer.
Now, Laycon does not have a luxury clothing line which he might want to expand, but Research Analyst Samuel Oyekanmi avers that he could consider real estate investments just like last year’s winner. He may not have to start a real estate company, if he has no interest in it, and some landed property could make a good addition to his portfolio, given that the value rarely depreciates. “Such property could become hoteling centres or rented apartments, and bring impressive returns over time,” he said.
Founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu ‘Ugodre’ Obi-Chukwu, suggests Laycon should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments, where some decent profits can be made.
According to him, “This will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.”
Another investment worth considering is Food production. Food is a necessity, and the border closure has done wonders for investments along the food value chain, from farming to processing, and so on.
The transportation sector can also be considered. With proper management, an investment in a couple of vehicles in the transport line, could also yield good returns for Laycon.
Nairametrics’ Investment Analyst, Olumide Adesina, thinks that Crypto-currencies are a good bet at this time, as they are now being used to facilitate payments. He said, “Cryptos offer the highest yield across financial assets, and investing in them can only turn out great. It has recently been attracting institutional funds, and is properly regulated through a legal framework. Laycon could also consider Agro-allied stocks, as many of them have performed quite well. In spite of the insecurity problems disrupting farming in Northern Nigeria, agro stocks such as Okomu Oil have enriched investors, through dividend pay-outs and appreciation of share price. A lot of investors are looking at U.S stocks, but among the log, the tech market remains the most attractive, after the impressive performance tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon put on this year. A lot of people have been spending more time on their phones, working remotely, moving their businesses to the digital space, and providing services down the value chain; all of these has improved the performance of tech stocks.”
Laycon might need to keep all these in mind, while drawing up the budget allocation for his N30 million cash prize.
These industries drove business activities in September
The development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.
Despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared last Wednesday that the nation’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted at 46.9 index points, some industries still drove business activities in September.
The industries are Electrical equipment, up from 33.3 index points in August to 66.7 index points; Transportation equipment from 53.8 to 58.1; and Paper products from 44.4 to 50 within the same period.
Though, the Cement industry and non-metalic mineral products dropped from 64.4 to 58.1 and 66.0 to 50.6 index points respectively, the sub-sectors still contributed to the business activities recorded in September.
This was disclosed by the apex bank in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.
Nairametrics had earlier reported that manufacturing PMI for August stood at 48.5 index points, indicating contraction in the sector for the fourth consecutive month.
Also, out of the 14 surveyed subsectors, 5 sub-sectors reported expansion (above 50 index points thresholds), while the others contracted.
Meanwhile, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September 2020 for the fifth consecutive month, as well as Employment level and Raw material inventories.
However, the manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in September 2020, indicating faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.
Is the nation coming out of the woods?
Though CBN revealed that only 4 sub-sectors reported expansion in September, contrary to the 6 sub-sectors recorded in August, it is imperative to note that this is an improvement when compared to manufacturing activities in May and June, or the performance in July which saw 12 sub-sectors decline, with one reporting no change, while one expanded.
The impressive performance of cement and other sub-sectors, according to the manufacturing PMI report, is attributable to the expansion in production, new orders, employment, and raw materials’ inventories.
A cursory look at the financials of key players in the industrial goods sector showed that despite the increased cost of higher energy pricing and adverse COVID-19 impacts on transport and naira devaluation, key cement manufacturers still recorded increased topline, driven by demand surge from domestic cement sales.
Back story: Nairametrics had reported on Wednesday that 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the reviewed month in the following order:
- Petroleum & coal products
- Primary metal
- Furniture & related products
- Printing & related support activities
- Food, beverage & tobacco products
- Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
- Chemical & pharmaceutical products
- Fabricated metal products and
- Plastics & rubber products
The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.
In all, the development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.
However, conditions within the domestic economy remain relatively tight, reflecting continued uncertainties as investors remain cautious of the lingering risk of the pandemic.