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Blurb

Pension contributions from Nigerians under 30 dwindling at an alarming rate

Pension Fund contributors aged less than 30 years now make up a smaller number of pension contributors, going by the data released by the National Pension Commission.

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Nigerian youth

Pension Fund contributors aged less than 30 years now make up a smaller number of pension contributors, going by the data released by the National Pension Commission. The data reveals only 803, 895 of those less than 30 years and younger or 9.56% now make up total pension fund contributors. It was 9.33% at the end of 2017.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows total Pension Fund Assets closed at about N8.6 trillion at the end of 2018.  Contributions via the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) was about N6.5 trillion or 76% of total assets.

RSA Growth: Under the retirement savings account scheme, employees and their employers by law are mandated to contribute about 8% and 10% respectively of, at least, their basic housing and transport allowances. This requirement has helped increase the size of pension contributions from about N15.6 billion in 2004 to about N5trillion as at December 2018. Total returns less payments and fees is about N1.5 trillion.

One of the reasons for the nearly 326 fold increase in contributions is due to the increase in employees who now contribute to the scheme. For example, active members have risen from 4.7 million people in 2010 to 8.4 million people in 2018. Contributors of 50 years or younger were 4 million with those 30 years and below now 1.3 million.  However, for younger contributors, the trend is reversed.

An alarming trend: A flashback to 2011 data of the pension commission reveals contributors less than 30 years were about 1.3 million, representing 28.4% of total contributions compared to 803, 895 as at the end of the 4th quarter of 2018. Now those who were 22 at the time are now over 30 years but less than 40. Looking at the data again reveals those aged between 30 and 39 years are now slightly over 3 million compared to 1.6 million in the first quarter of 2011.

However, the data is suspect when you dive further into the 2013 and 2014 data. According to data from Pencom, contributors under 30 were 1.9 million as at the end of the third quarter of 2013 only to nosedive to 777,528 contributors by the end of the first quarter of 2014. We did not see the data for the 4th quarter of 2013.

What does this imply?: A cursory analysis of this data suggests that most Nigerians under the age of 30 remain unemployed or are underemployed. Those employed may also be working in organisations that can’t afford to contribute 10% of emoluments as pension. These are those often referred to as Generation Z, the tech generation who are expected to lead Nigeria into the next industrial revolution.

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Unemployment data reveals the same: According to the NBS data, youth unemployment rate (15-34 years) stood at 29.7% as the third quarter of 2018. Underemployment for the same population recorded 25.7% bringing in to a total unemployment and underemployment rate of 55.4% highest of any other age group,

Should we be worried: The way pensions are designed, the younger your contributors the better the pension funds. This is because younger people contribute for longer periods, ensuring that pension fund assets are robust enough for investments. With younger people now comprising much less, the pressure is now on those aged 40 years and above to sustain Nigeria’s pension fund industry.

Where are they now?: Younger Nigerians frustrated out of the job market and facing a bleak future have resorted to fleeing the country for a better life abroad, particularly in Canada. There they find jobs that help them pay their way into better education giving them an opportunity to live a more rewarding life. Those who remain are either seeking a way out of the country, holding on to low paying jobs or unemployed.

The upshots: Nigeria faces a looming crises, with its generation Y and Z and the centre of it. No country can survive without a young workforce. This is why foreign countries with an ageing workforce create incentives to attract younger immigrants from developing economies. The implication for Nigeria is that its best talents will be lost to developed countries, thereby widening the gap between it and countries it aspires to emulate.

Nigeria’s pension fund contribution scheme, on the other hand, could peak in the next 10 years if this trend is sustained. As the baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials approach retirement, there might be little to none contribution from the Generation Z.

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The "Blurb Team" is the official conveyer of the opinions of the Nairametrics Research & Analysis Board on matters of financial reports, macroeconomic data, and economic policies.

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Blurb

Why SEC should support democratization of sale of foreign securities

In the spirit of progressive engagement and dialogue, many voices now suggest that the SEC take a fresh look at its latest position.

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The directive of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued 8th of April 2021, has been met with consternation and a straightforward (but hopefully simplistic) interpretation that; “the government is out to stifle innovators, again.”

These perspectives aren’t unfounded, as innovators of all shades have taken a heavy beating lately due to a number of direct government policies or interpretations of these policies – irrespective of how well-intentioned these policies may be. On the contrary, micro-investment platforms deserve a fair shot within Nigeria’s capital market.

This is especially true considering that the recent regulatory fervour coincides with a period where the innovation ecosystem is recording new milestones and gaining traction, solving problems for users in all walks of life, democratizing wealth creation, and creating high-value jobs, all of which Nigeria desperately needs.

READ: Crypto market surges above $2 trillion, as Bitcoin stages a huge comeback above $60,500

In the last six months alone, Nigerian startups have gained the confidence of some of the best investors locally and globally, leading to never-before-seen innovations, acquisitions, and investments into the economy. This promotes interest in the Nigerian innovation ecosystem from foreign market actors and increases its relevance as a high-value job creator. Some now wonder if our regulators want more or less of this positive momentum.

This latest notice from the SEC warned Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to desist from selling securities not quoted or registered, as only registered securities in Nigeria can be issued, sold, or offered for sale. Ostensibly, the directive requires CMOs registered with the SEC to offer only securities listed on any exchange in Nigeria to the public.

READ: XRP posts a big bang, as legal tussle with SEC lingers

The challenge here is that High Net worth Nigerians (HNIs) have always had access to foreign securities offered or acquired through registered CMOs for the apparent benefit of the upside available in markets such as the United States. This should be democratized to allow Nigerians with smaller incomes to have access to valuable global stocks within fair rules, and this is what the likes of Trove, Chaka, Bamboo, and Risevest have done. In fact, this democratization should be applauded as one of the outputs of a thriving innovation ecosystem that provides practical
palliatives for the stifling inflation and erosion of value we have all experienced as Nigerians.

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After all, what is suitable for Dangote should also be good for Musa, who earns NGN50,000.00, and thanks to any of the apps mentioned above, can today invest in shares of Dangote sugar while also adding a quarter of a Google stock to his portfolio every month. This “magic” of innovation is a poverty alleviator that should be encouraged and nurtured while ensuring that the public is protected from any harmful financial practices.

READ: Flour Mills shares surge by 6.9%, lifting the miller’s capitalization by N8.2 billion

It is important to acknowledge at this point that the SEC has been a positively progressive regulator, generally engaging its public fairly. The issuance of the guidelines for crowdfunding and accommodation of FinTechs within the capital market was encompassing and engaged stakeholders of all hues. This should be commended. The SEC’s position classifying crypto as an asset class is also fair, refreshing, and proactive. We need more of this and not less.

At a time when we are exploring how the Nigerian capital markets can become a viable option for listing tech startups, this latest body language of the SEC, and the Nigerian government as a whole can be further misinterpreted.

In the spirit of progressive engagement and dialogue, many voices now suggest that the SEC take a fresh look at its latest position, as these innovations are widespread, publicly accepted, and valuable. Furthermore, these innovations support some of the registered and regulated CMOs by offering white-label solutions that are accelerating the ability of these legacy CMOs to better serve their HNI customer base, with local and foreign securities. The emergence of these innovative micro-investing platforms has triggered investments into local Nigerian securities in multiple folds. The volumes these innovative platforms channel into Nigerian stocks are arguably the most significant development in Nigeria’s capital market in a decade.

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By virtue of the existence of these innovators, their combined strength has introduced over 150,000 new market participants who are primarily millennials: a majority of whom purchased their first set of stocks through these platforms. Before now, they had no active interaction with the capital market. These new entrants are now trading in excess of NGN10,000,000,000 (Ten Billion Naira) monthly through these apps. Note that a good chunk of the highlighted trade volume is routed through local CMOs to purchase Nigerian securities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE). Long term, these innovations would also serve as a channel to offer Nigerian guarantees to a global audience which would be a massive positive for the economy.

The quest for diversification of portfolios to include foreign securities can only be good overall. It underscores the global trend in cross-border trade in securities as disintermediated by technology and the need to enhance portfolios’ value globally.

Rather than curbing the practice of offering Nigerian and international stocks in a basket, this micro-investing trend should be allowed to flourish within reasonable regulatory frameworks. These platforms make investments attractive, easier, and affordable. Micro investing will curb the menace of pyramid and Ponzi schemes while introducing a new generation into Nigeria’s securities market in parallel with their appetite for global securities. Regardless of what we decide, the world has gotten smaller, and information that enables people to easily seek the best economic outcomes is readily available. While other nations gain from micro-investing, shouldn’t our people do too?

The ultimate beneficiary of increased wealth for Nigerians is the Nigerian economy. Rather than shutting Nigerians off from the rest of the world, we should be accelerating global access for our millions of people; hence this is the time for dialogue, not shutdowns.

 

Kola Aina is the Founding Partner at Ventures Platform and writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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Blurb

Buy what? Dangote vs BUA Cement

Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization, but does size win?

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I want to review the performance of the largest quoted companies in Nigeria.

On the Nigerian Stock Exchange, they don’t come any bigger than Dangote Cement (Dangote) and BUA Cement (BUA). Only MTNN stands with both cement companies in terms of market capitalization. Dangote and BUA are both blue-chip companies, in the same sector and both enjoy federal import protection, they also both serve a local market with huge demand for cement.

Which is a better investment? Let us assume I have N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira,) which should I buy? Let us review both stocks with FY 2020 results they posted. For consistency, I am going to use my trading view terminal numbers.

READ: Dangote Cement joins MTN in the trillion-naira club, as 2020 revenue surpassed N1 trillion

Market Capitalization

First, we talk about capitalization, (Market cap is the number of shares issued x market value of shares ). Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization. Does size win? Dangote is bigger? Not yet!

Market Price

With N100,000 I can buy about 465 shares of Dangote at N215 a share and 1,360 shares of BUA at N73.50 per share. Is BUA cheaper? do we have a winner? Not quite. Let us dig deeper.

Dangote Cement posted a Net Income figure of N276 billion, if we divide this earning by the number of issued shares which is 17 billion, we get an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of N16.14, so every share of Dangote Cement earns (not pays) the investors N16. Similarly, the Earning Per Share of BUA is N2.0

READ: BUA Cement loses N162 billion in market value in a week

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Thus when I buy Dangote Cement N215 per share, I am buying 16 times the earnings of Dangote. We can simplify this by simply comparing the price I pay per share of Dangote to the EPS of Dangote (Price to Earnings Ratio), thus I invest my cash of N215 to buy 16 times the earnings of Dangote, thus the Price to Earnings Ratio of Dangote is 13.31 (P/E). Using the same calculation, the price for each earnings of BUA (the P.E.) is 35.38. This means even though I am paying more cash for each share of Dangote, I am paying less to buy the earnings of Dangote, thus Dangote is cheaper than BUA.

So our first milestone is reached, we have used the Net Income, Market Price, and Number of Issued shared to get the Earnings Per Share, we have then determined what amount of earnings we are buying to determine which stock is at a bargain.

READ: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth over N10 billion

What else?

Let us look at the earnings that will be paid in cash. Remember, Earnings, is just the Net Income of Dangote, we as equity holders have the opportunity to share in any portion of the Net Income.

Dangote in 2020 paid out from earnings N272.69 billion as dividends, this translates to about N16 per share or in terms of returns 7.44%. We get this Dividend Yield return by comparing the dividend paid to the market price per share (D/P). BUA also in 2020 paid out N59.26 billion as dividends from earnings, this translates to a dividend yield of 2.81%.

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So, if I invested N100,000 in shares of Dangote Cement, I would earn a cash return of 7.44%, if I did the same with BUA I would earn a cash return of 2.81%.

READ: Jumia: In search of the elusive break-even sales

Let us go a bit deeper…

When you buy a stock, you are buying into the earnings and cash flow. Dangote Cement in 2020 earned N276 billion and paid N272 billion as dividends meaning they retained about N3 billion for that FY while generating over N248b in Free Cash Flow. Similarly, BUA earned a net N71.52 billion, paid out N59 billion in dividends, retained N19 billion but posted a negative Free Cash Flow of (N95.49 billion). Should BUA cement have simply used that cash to finance working capital rather than paying it as dividends? Perhaps. Let us speak more of Cash flow.

Cash retained is cash not paid to you the investor. You have to ask how well your company is utilizing that cash retained. Should it all be paid out as dividends? Or retained in the company to fund expansion and growth?

READ: Three things Nigerians can learn from Warren Buffet’s latest letter

Look at it this way, if Federal Government Bonds were offering a Yield of 15% and we see that Dangote is offering a yield of 7.44%, then as shareholders you should demand that Dangote pays more cash to you to allow you to invest in FGN bonds because you get a higher return (at lower risk). The point is any company retaining cash or paying cash at a lower yield than the market is hurting the investors, who are missing the opportunity of investing higher elsewhere.

Let us score both company managers by how well they have managed the revenues and capital of the companies

 

 Return on Assets %Return on Equity %Return on Invested Capital %EBITA Margin %Net Margin %Debt to AssetsLong Term Debt to Assets
Dangote Cement14.6231.2126.9244.0424.310.240.08
BUA Cement11.1519.1215.3541.8732.030.360.23
FY 2020

Across the board, the management of Dangote Cement has done a better job when compared to BUA Cement in managing the assets of the company. Dangote Return on invested capital is higher with a much lower recourse to debt and of course a higher FCF number.

Overall, on Earning, Returns and Efficiency, it appears Dangote Cement posts better fundamentals…

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Disclaimer

There is a wealth of information that should help decide whether you should buy a stock or not and how long you can hold on to it. Our recommendation is based on the information we currently have and is wholly the opinion of the writer

This article is an investment guide and as such you should conduct extra analysis before deciding whether to buy, sell or hold a stock. The decision to buy, sell or hold a stock is solely yours.

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