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Editors Pick

Meet billionaires seeking to change Nigerian politics

Nigeria’s political season is almost upon us. Already, we know most of those who will be running for different political posts and those whose political ambitions have lost momentum prematurely.

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Chima Anyaso

Nigeria’s political season is almost upon us. Already, we know most of those who will be running for different political posts and those whose political ambitions have lost momentum prematurely. Now, while the focus is on the two major contenders in the race (i.e., incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar), there are other aspirants who have caught our attention here at Nairametrics.

These are successful businessmen who have excelled in the boardroom and are now hoping to bring their corporate experiences to public service. We are talking about the likes of Tonye Cole, Abdullahi Sule, Chima Anyaso, etc.

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For this week’s corporate personality profile on Nairametrics, we are focusing on the above-mentioned businessmen and others. Let us get to know more about their backgrounds and their chances of winning the positions which they are vying for.

Meet the candidates 

Chimaobi Desmond Anyaso: Dr Anyaso is a young Nigerian businessman, serial entrepreneur and an aspiring politician who has recently been selected by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to run for the House of Representatives. He wants to represent the people of Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State.

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Though he is an Abia State indigene and was born there, he has lived most of his life in Lagos where he studied (at the University of Lagos) and currently works. He achieved most of his wealth and fame through his position as the Chief Executive Officer of Ceecon Energy Oil and Gas Limited, a company he founded and grew to success. He is also one of the youngest naira billionaires in Nigeria, thanks to the success of his many ventures, including his hotel business.

 

Since making his interest in politics known in late 2016, Dr Chima has been courting the political elite whilst romancing the grassroots all at once. He seems to understand how to navigate the dynamic Nigerian political terrain. However, his success at the polls come early 2019 will be dependent on his ability to defeat his opponents. Nairametrics believes that he stands a fair chance, all things being equal.

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Tonye Cole: Mr. Cole is vying for the position of Rivers State Governor. But does he have what it takes defeat incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike? This is a question that has boggled our minds here at Nairametrics ever since news about his political ambition broke.

Without a doubt, Mr Tonye Cole is an accomplished businessman who has both the years of experience, a business concern, and an impressive net worth to show for it. He co-founded Sahara Group in 1996, an oil and gas company which has since grown to become one of the biggest companies in the country; with a diversified operation in more the thirty other countries.

Note that many people do believe that it is the same experience with which he ran Sahara Group as CEO that he will use to transform Rivers State if he gets the chance to win the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state. He is running on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.

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Tonye Cole

Mr Cole was born in Port Harcourt, although he has lived in many places including the United Kingdom. He studied at the University of Lagos and has been involved in business since 1993.

He recently announced his resignation from the Board of Sahara Group to enable him to concentrate on electioneering campaign, as well as distance his political career from the business. We will be watching to see how he fares.

Akin Alabi: When Mr Akin Alabi founded Nigeria’s first online sports betting platform (Nairabet) in 2009, he probably had no plans to one day run for any political post in Nigeria. Even he, himself admitted that he was just focused on succeeding as a business, no thanks to having tried and failed several times prior in his entrepreneurial quest.

Now fast forward to 2018, Mr Alabi has been selected by his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to run for the House of Representatives. He will be representing his constituency, the Egbeda Ona-Ara Federal Constituency.

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Mr Alabi was born in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where he lived throughout most of his childhood. He later studied at the Polytechnic Ibadan, before proceeding to the University of Liverpool where he obtained a master’s degree in Marketing. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University.

Akin Alabi

This past June, Akin Alabi stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of Nairabet to enable him to concentrate on his political ambition. Last week, he announced via Twitter that all of his opponents during his party’s primaries stepped down for him to run as sole candidate; facing off with the main opponents come next year. However, it remains to be seen if he can defeat these opponents to emerge the winner.

Meanwhile, one thing is clear, and that is the fact that Mr Alabi is a successful businessman. He has managed to build one of the most successful Nigerian companies in less than a decade. Many are now hopeful that he will be able to bring the same experience (with which he has ran the company) to the Nigerian political scene.

Abdullahi Sule: Earlier this month, Mr Sule won the All Progressive Congress’ governorship primaries in Nasarawa State. He will be vying to become the State Governor come early 2019.

Mr Sule’s foray into politics took many people by surprise seeing as he, until recently, ran the affairs of Dangote Sugar Refineries as General Manager. Currently, it is unclear whether or not he has fully resigned from his position at Dangote Group in order for him to focus on his new-found political career.

Meanwhile, Abdullahi Sule is an accomplished business executive with years of professional experience to his credit.  He is a graduate of the Indiana State University in the United States of America where he studied Mechanical Engineering (Bsc.) and Technology (Msc.) respectively.

He is expected to bear his many years of professional experience to bear towards transforming Nasarawa State come 2019. However, this is all but dependent on his ability to win the gubernatorial poll.

Abdullahi Sule

In the countdown to the general elections, Nairametrics will be observing these candidates and others who have not be included in this article due to editorial constraints. We wish them all the best, even as we anticipate positive representation from them in the nearest future.

Patricia

Emmanuel covers the financial services sector for Nairametrics. Do you have a scoop for him? Well then, contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RWM

    October 12, 2018 at 6:55 am

    How young are they? Can you help with their ages.

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Currencies

DEVALUATION: CBN updates website to official rate of N360/$1

The central bank of Nigeria has devalued its official exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1.

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CBN website states oil price is still $61, Naira under pressure as Nigeria records poor export earnings, 4 key sectors the CBN plans to pump money into

Just as Nairametrics reported, the Central Bank of Nigeria has devalued its official exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1. The apex bank has now reflected this change on its website signaling a confirmation. The bank is yet to issue a press release to this effect.

The CBN has now officially devalued by 15% moving from N307/$1 to N360/$1. Depreciation at the “market-determined” I&E window is 5% having moved from N360/$1 to N380/$1

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Devaluation: Nairametrics reported yesterday that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold dollars to banks at N380/$1 in a move signifying a devaluation of the currency. Banks trading at the Investor and Exporter (I&E) window bought dollars at N360/$1 from the CBN on Friday, March 20, 2020. The I&E window is the official market where forex is traded between banks, the CBN, foreign investors, and businesses. The central bank typically buys or sells in the market as part of its intervention program.

The CBN has updated its website with the official exchange rate.

Nairametrics also got hold of a letter from the CBN to banks informing them of the new exchange rate for dollars flowing from the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs). According to the CBN, IMTOs will sell to banks at N376/$1 while banks will sell to the CBN at N377/$1. The CBN will sell to BDC’s at N378/$1 while the BDC’s will sell to end-users at “no more than” N380/$1.

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Single Exchange Rate: A report yesterday also suggested that the CBN also planned to move to a single exchange rate policy for determining the price of the dollar. A senior central bank official who does not want to be identified, said, ‘Today we allowed the rate at the importer and exporters (I&E) window to adjust in response to market developments.’

The central bank has now made an apparent u-turn after it had initially that the “market fundamentals do not support naira devaluation at this time” detailing reasons why it did not need to devalue.

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Falling oil price: Oil prices fell to under $20 on Friday before climbing back up to settle at $23 per barrel. Nigeria’s Bonny light trades at $26 while the benchmark Brent crude trades at $29 per barrel. In response to the crash in oil price, Nigeria’s announced a cut to its 2020 budget by N1.5 trillion as it faced the reality of a potential drop in its revenues. Nairametrics also has information that state governments are getting jittery about their ability to sustain salary payments as a reduction in their federal allocation “FAAC” is anticipated.

Patricia
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Career tips

Investment options for salary earners

Investment options for the salary earners
#Investing #Entrepreneurs #Investment #Salary #Wages

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Investment options for salary earners - bank loan

Recently, one of the readers of my articles asked to know what investment options are open to salary earners. A salaried individual is like everyone else except that he or she has a fixed monthly income. This implies that their investments and expenses have to be managed strictly according to their fixed monthly income.

Since salary is assumed to be the only source of income for the salaried, it is advisable that such an individual fortify himself financially before investing so that adverse investment performance will not have untold effect on him and his family. Therefore, if you are a salaried prospective investor, you need to:

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Get life insurance

Most families in Nigeria are single income families so much such that if anything bad happens to the income earner, the family gets shattered, at least financially. Again, given the risks inherent in capital market investments, it is only prudent to have a life insurance as a first step in one’s investment journey. It is very baffling to see many investors very deep into the market, yet they do not have life insurance.

[Read Also: Understanding the risks in bond investing]

Life insurance is and should be a basic part of any financial plan. Life insurance is a protection for loved ones against financial hardship arising from the death of a breadwinner. This is even more important today than ever before with high cost of funeral expenses, college education and medical bills. So, the first investment option for a salaried individual is to get a life insurance.

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Prepare for financial emergencies

Life is full of surprises, emergencies do happen, jobs are lost without notices, and even good investment opportunities emerge sometimes suddenly. There is, therefore, the need for a cash reserve to help weather the financial storms and emergencies when they come calling.

Cash reserves do not only provide for emergencies, they also help to ensure that investments are not liquidated prematurely or at inopportune times to cover unexpected expenses. There are no hard and fast rules on what the exact amount of the required cash reserve should be, but most financial experts and planners will advise that an amount that equals about six months of living expenses be set aside.

So, as a salaried person, your next investment should be to have a cash reserve. A cash reserve should not necessarily be in a savings account or under the mattress; it could be in an interest-bearing money market account, money market mutual funds with low to zero luck-up period or another form of very liquid investment that is readily convertible to cash without loss of value.

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[Read Also: Understanding the risks in bond investing]

Know your risk appetite

As a salaried and fixed income individual, your risk appetite is most likely going to be low as well as your risk tolerance, although your extended family profile could change all that. You need to know or understand your risk tolerance before you engage in any capital market investment.

Your risk tolerance will and should drive the type of investments you go into. Your risk tolerance depends on your psychological makeup, your current insurance coverage, presence or absence of cash reserve, family situation, and your age among others.

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Talking about family situation, it is reasonable to think that a married individual whose children are still in school will be more risk averse than an unmarried person. On the other hand, older people have shorter investment time horizon within which to make up for any losses. the reason for this is because the older you get the less time you have to work to recoup on losses.

In that case the risk tolerance of an older man will be less than those for younger folks. Again, the more cash reserve and insurance coverage you have, the more your propensity to take risk. Now having known your risk tolerance based on the underlying factors, you can then define your investment objectives

[Read Also: Important tips on how to profit in a bearish market]

Set your Investment objectives/goals

Having met those essentials above, you are now ready for a serious investment plan or program. A good investment plan starts with investment objectives. Investment objectives are the force that determines what you invest in. Investment objectives range from capital preservation, to capital appreciation and constant income generation.

Capital preservation as an investment objective implies that you, the investor, aim at minimising the risk of loss by maintaining the purchasing power of your investment. So, if you are risk averse or you will need money from your investment soon for children’s education or for building a house or you are nearing retirement, this should be your objective.

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Investors whose aims are to see their investment portfolios increase in real terms over a period of time are better suited for capital appreciation as an objective. This is better for investors that are more risk tolerant and those with more potential to recoup on losses along the way.

If you are already retired or nearing retirement, and therefore depend on your retirement plan supplemented by investment income, you need an investment that generates income rather than capital gains. In that case, your investment objective should be current income generation. It is always good to have investment goals stated in terms of risk and returns.

[Read Also: I-Invest generates over N2 billion transaction in less than 6 months]

Decide on asset allocation

Armed with the knowledge of your risk appetite and investment objective, you are now ready to decide on what to invest in, and how much to invest in any asset class. This takes you to asset allocation decisions. Asset allocation involves dividing an investment portfolio among different asset classes based on an investor’s financial requirements, investment objectives and risk tolerance.

A right mix of asset classes in a portfolio provides an investor with the highest probability of meeting his/her investment objectives. Asset allocation is the most important investment decision an investor can make in a portfolio because it demonstrates an investor’s understanding of his or her risk preferences and return expectations.

It is good to strive for a diversified portfolio. Unfortunately, the Nigerian market does not provide a lot of asset classes for optimal diversification, but diversification can be achieved across sectors or industries within the few asset classes in the Nigerian stock market.

Decide on how to invest

There are different ways to invest in the capital market. You can invest directly by making the stock selections by yourself, thanks to the online stock trading platforms that abound the world over. This implies that you have what it takes to conduct the required research and analysis of the companies whose shares or stocks you wish to buy.

[Read Also: How I Would Invest My Mother’s Retirement Funds]

It also implies that you have what it takes to know when to sell or add to existing positions. Another method is to have someone “do the heavy lifting” for you. In this case, that someone, often times called fund manager or portfolio manager, does the research and analysis and selects shares that suit your investment preferences, investment objectives, risk tolerance and appetite as well as your investment time horizon.

This route is most suitable for investors that lack the knowledge and time for the required research and analysis. If you decide to go this route, mutual funds are the best bet for you.

Patricia
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Business News

Atiku kicks as Buhari spends $3.7 billion in foreign debt service since 2015

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Budget: FG completes just 31.7% of constituency projects, Nigerians react to President Buhari's signing of Finance Bill 

The Buhari led government has spent about $3.7 billion in foreign debt service since 2015, one of the highest from any democratically elected government. The highest single-year foreign debt service was in 2006 at $1.79 billion.

About 68% of Nigeria’s foreign-denominated debt servicing is in commercial Eurobonds issues over the last two years. The loans range between 5.1% and 9.2% per annum. Nigeria’s external debt stock stood at $27 billion in June 2019.

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Rising debt service: The Buhari administration has so far spent about $1.1 billion in foreign debt service this year. In 2018, the government spent about $1.4 billion in debt service, more than 3 times the $444 million it spent servicing foreign debts in 2017. The rising cost of debt service is a direct attribute of the government’s reliance on foreign loans as a means of funding government expenditure.

Debt service since 2003. Source: CBN. Nairametrics Research (C)

Foreign Loans: Nigeria’s fallen revenue following the crash in oil price has allowed President Buhari to rely mainly on foreign loans to fund government expenditure. As of June 2015, Nigeria’s foreign loans were about $10.5 billion mostly made up of multilateral and bilateral loans.

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However, by June 2019, total foreign-denominated loans were $27 billion with $10.8 billion made up of Eurobonds. Commercial loans which include Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds make now make up about 42% of total foreign borrowings.

[READ ALSO: Babatunde Fowler attributes FIRS success to technological innovation (Opens in a new browser tab)]

Critics of the government have complained about the government penchant for debts believing that it could put the future of younger Nigerians in jeopardy. Supporters of the government, however, believe the borrowing was necessary to invest in critical sectors of the economy particularly infrastructure.

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Recently, Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir expressed worry about Nigeria’s rising debt.

“….the rising debt profile of Nigeria continues to be a cause for concern, especially the capacity of government to effectively service it and, at the same time, meet the bursting needs and aspiration of the citizenry going forward.” 

“Already, our budget projections for 2020 anticipates a debt service sum of 2.45trillion, an amount higher than the 2.14 trillion earmarked for capital expenditure. 

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“And even though our debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, which currently stands at 28 percent, is still below the average in Africa, our revenue-to-GDP ratio remains low.”

The Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed however, believes the current debt profile is sustainable, comparing it to our GDP.

“Currently, Nigeria’s debt is at N25 trillion; that is about $83 billion. And at $83 billion, we are just at 18.99%…so 19% debt to GDP. I hear people say Nigeria has a debt problem. We don’t have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue challenge and the whole of this government is currently working on how to enhance our revenues, to ensure that we meet our obligation to service government as well as to service debt.”

[READ ALSO: Babatunde Fowler attributes FIRS success to technological innovation (Opens in a new browser tab)]

Former Vice President and defeated PDP Presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar during the week piled criticism on the government’s borrowing.

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“I have said it time and again. The business of government is too serious to be left in the hands of politicians. We must all ask questions because if they throw away the future, it is not going to be their future they are throwing away, it will be all our futures.

“The fact that Nigeria currently budgets more money for debt servicing (N2.7 trillion), than we do on capital expenditure (N2.4 trillion) is already an indicator that we have borrowed more money than we can afford to borrow. And the thing is that debt servicing is not debt repayment. Debt servicing just means that we are paying the barest minimum allowable by our creditors.

What this means: Nigeria’s rising foreign debt profile should be a worry to investors and businesses and must be watched closely. The country’s ability to repay these loans will continue to be harder as it increases especially now that it is costing about 9%. The immediate risk for investors is the exchange rate which could be the first to suffer should the government struggle to repay its loans.

Patricia
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