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Business News

Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill, others

The new finance bill has generated lots of controversies at different fora and among operators in the SMEs as many do not understand the benefit.

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Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill 

The new finance bill has generated lots of controversies at different fora and among operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as many do not understand the benefit and how it affects their businesses.

This is one of the reasons Meristem Group made it one of the key issues discussed at its private breakfast session.

The organisation laid emphasis on understanding tax regime in Nigeria. Partner and West Africa Tax Leader, Deloitte, Yomi Olugbenro, explained that it is important for all operators in the SME sector to understand the benefits of the finance bill and how it affects their businesses.

Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill 

Wole Abegunde

He said, “Prior to the amendment of the finance bill, all entities and companies in Nigeria have been mandated to pay company income tax on their income, but with the new amendment of the bill, micro and small enterprises are no longer automatically required to pay company income tax, where small businesses in this regard are classified as companies with an annual turnover of N25 million or less.”  

He further added that, “While the VAT rate may have been increased, government is also encouraging MSMEs and SMEs to float their business through legal entities and in exchange their businesses can benefit from incentives.” 

[READ MORE: Finance Bill to use banks as agents to tax Nigerians]

Other issues discussed are importance of planning a comfortable retirement and wills & trust.

Group Managing Director, Meristem, Wole Abegunde, who spoke at the private breakfast session hosted by the company in Lagos, explained that several Nigerians need to be enlightened on how to make informed decisions about the management of their wealth and its preservation over the long term.

What it means: Abegunde said that the key to a comfortable retirement lies in the time allotted to putting resources aside, so if you start early, retirement is a lot easier.

He said, “The active retirement which involves the desire to remain active and engaged – travel, take vacations, get involved in community and social causes. While there is also passive retirement, which includes spending time with family, nursing health issues and generally winding down. These retirement phases are not inevitable and should be characterized by financial stability which must be accumulated early in one’s career.” 

Managing Director, Meristem Trustees, Mercy Aminah, tasked Nigerians to seek professional advice on the sensitive issues of Wills and Trusts while planning their Estate.

According to her, Proper planning will ensure that the right tools are deployed, having considered unique individual and family circumstances.

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About Meristem

The Meristem Wealth Management Private Breakfast Session is a quarterly gathering of professionals, industry leaders and entrepreneurs hosted by Meristem; to discuss various topical issues in the financial space, in a bid to demystify all myths and help individuals make better informed financial and investment decisions.

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Meristem Wealth Management is a subsidiary of Meristem Group, the company offers stockbroking, wealth management, financial advisory, trust and probate management services. The company has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space for the past 16 years. The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Tech News

How partnerships with telcos, fintechs and banks can support Nigeria’s cashless economy

Partnerships by stakeholders will accelerate financial inclusion and drive economic growth across multiple sectors.

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Covid-19- Are Nigerians Ready to Go Cashless and Help Flatten The Curve?

The drive towards a cashless society has been a topic of debate in the global financial economy. Cashless societies have slowly gained recognition and application in most developing and underdeveloped countries in the world, largely due to their significant relevance in some advanced countries of the world.

COVID-19 brought a public health challenge to Nigeria, but it also resulted in an economic downturn on the back of a pandemic-induced recession.

The pandemic highlighted the need to diversify the economy to develop a wide range of growth industries and sectors in addition to the more traditional ones such as oil and gas.

The growth of the digital technology sector in Nigeria is an indication that the sector can serve as a catalyst for advancing the digital economy while enabling economic recovery and growth.

According to a report by NBS, the ICT sector played a major role as it was the leading driver in the non-oil sector that led to GDP growth and economic recovery in 2020.

The World Bank’s Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report highlights that Nigeria is uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of the digital economy as the country accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population, and half of the country’s 200 million people are under the age of 30.

This report goes on to acknowledge Nigeria as the largest mobile market in Sub-Saharan Africa, supported by a strong mobile broadband infrastructure.

At the same time, minimal fixed infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas can leave the most marginalized people behind.

Partnerships with government, fintech players, telecom companies, and other strategic partners to provide digital solutions and support the cashless economy, offer the greatest potential to overcome infrastructure barriers to accelerate financial inclusion and drive economic growth across multiple sectors.

Digital innovations are key to advancing financial inclusion. They are the big equalizers, enabling and spearheading financial inclusion for people and small businesses alike. The foundation to enable payment technologies for a robust digital economy is being laid one regulation at a time.

Recent frameworks issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria on Sandbox, QR, Open Banking and others, are expected to galvanize and accelerate the digital economy agenda by allowing more innovation. Creating certainty in other areas such as contactless payments can energize the industry even further.

Some companies have been providing digital payments to foster a cashless economy like Mastercard.

Mastercard, a leader in global payments is driving growth in digital financial services by making it easier for people to accept electronic payments, along with greater access to credit to grow and scale.

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This will be achieved through digital partnerships, solutions, and technology, aimed at connecting 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025, including 50 million micro and small businesses, with a direct focus on 25 million women entrepreneurs.

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Mastercard has already started this process, an example of this is its recent partnership with MTN which enables millions of consumers in 16 countries across Africa to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely, with or without a bank account.

Last year, Mastercard launched a Pay-on-Demand mobile platform in Uganda with Samsung, Airtel, and Asante Financial Services Group which provides end consumers and MSMEs with asset financing to access smart handsets at a low upfront cost while making affordable payments over time.

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In addition, Mastercard and Airtel’s digital partnership will enable access for over 100 million mobile phone users in 14 African countries to virtual card numbers (VCN) and QR Payment capability – even though they don’t have a bank account.

Mastercard also aims to onboard over 40K SMEs as merchants on QR. The partnership has made Airtel one of the largest offline-to-online digital payment networks in Africa.

Why this matters

  • Mastercard solutions have assisted businesses and consumers to thrive in the digital economy by utilizing safe and secure digital payment channels, especially during the pandemic.
  • They have also assisted countries and stakeholders to digitize economies and develop successful, interoperable payment ecosystems that can support sustainable growth and wider financial inclusion.
  • Cashless policy will significantly improve the payment system in Nigeria by reducing the number of cash-based transactions in the economy

The growing reach of mobile technology creates a tremendous opportunity for the payments and technology industries to bring more people and businesses into the formal economy. Through partnerships, we can achieve a digital payments economy that includes everyone, mitigates the costs of cash, and achieves the sustainable economic growth and inclusive well-being that we want for Nigeria.

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Appointments

ValuAlliance Asset Management appoints two new Directors

ValuAlliance Asset Management has announced the appointment of two persons into its Board as Directors.

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ValuAlliance Asset Management, the fund manager of the ValuAlliance Value Fund, has announced the appointment of Messrs Obinnia Abajue and Kofi Kwakwa into its Board as Directors.

This is according to a disclosure sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and seen by Nairametrics. In line with statutory requirements, the appointments are subject to confirmation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and approval by the shareholders at the company’s next Annual General Meeting (AGM).

According to the notice, Mr Obinnia Abajue was appointed as Independent Non-Executive Director while Mr Kofi Kwakwa was appointed as Non-Executive Director. The profile of the aforementioned experts is succinctly captured below;

READ: FBN Holdings appoints ex-CEO of Guinness Nigeria and 2 others as Board Directors

Mr Obinnia Abajue

Mr. Abajue has over two decades of experience in banking and financial services. He is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hygeia HMO Limited, a position he has held since November 2016. He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Imperial College London, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science and an MBA respectively. Mr Abajue is a fellow of numerous professional bodies like; The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK; The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria.

Kofi Kwakwa

Mr. Kwakwa is a Ghanaian and a former CEO of Sagevest Holdings, an investment holding company in Ghana. He has over 25 years of experience in investment banking and consulting, having worked in top firms like Standard Bank, McKinsey & Company among others. He is currently a director at African Capital Alliance Limited (ACA), having joined the Board since 2015. Mr. Kwakwa is an alumnus of Swarthmore College and Harvard Business School, both in the USA, where he obtained a B.A. in Mathematics/Economics and an MBA respectively.

READ: Dangote Sugar yearly revenue surge by 33%, announces a dividend of N1.50

What they are saying

Commenting on the recent development, a part of the press release reads: ‘’The Board of Directors congratulates Mr. Abajue and Mr. Kwakwa on their appointment and is looking forward to tapping into their vast wealth of experience to further accelerate the achievement of its vision, to be the premier investment management fiduciary in the segments we serve.’’

What you should know

  • ValuAlliance had earlier posted a Profit After Tax of N237.96 million in its last reported financial statements-Q3, 2020. The PAT figures indicated a surge by over 1,000% YoY.
  • ValuAlliance Value Fund formerly known as “SIM Capital Alliance Value Fund”, is a closed-end collective investment scheme, registered and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose units are listed on the main board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”).

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