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Business News

AFEX raises funds from Consonance Investment, increases agriculture-fund support 

AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX) has secured funds from Consonance Investment Managers.

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AFEX raises funds from Consonance Investment, to increase agriculture-fund support 

AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX) has secured funds from Consonance Investment Managers to boost the former’s technology development and operations.

The Sub-Saharan Africa investment firm, which focuses on early-stage and growth support, invested in AFEX as it looks to increase its operations.

The partnership is expected to ensure funds are available for AFEX’s product development, technology solutions and training in order to strengthen its operations. The agricultural sector will also benefit from the latest capital infusion as AFEX is planning to increase its funding for the sector to N2 trillion in the next five years.

 

AFEX raises funds from Consonance Investment, to increase agriculture-fund support 

Mobolaji Adeoye

Why Consonance invested in AFEX: The role of AFEX in the agricultural sector in Nigeria was one of the motivating factors for Consonance. The investment firm also pointed out the effort of AFEX in connecting farmers to market.

While reacting to the deal, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner of Consonance Investment Managers said, “We are proud to support Ayodeji and the AFEX team in their mission to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector. AFEX increases trust and transparency in local agricultural supply chains by connecting farmers to market. 

“AFEX has established the infrastructure which will undergird Nigeria’s food security agenda and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s economic diversification programme. It will also be vital in deepening capital markets in line with the mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria.”

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[READ MORE: Saudi Aramco surpasses Alibaba in world’s largest IPO, raises $25.6 billion)

The Chief Executive Officer of AFEX, Ayodeji Balogun is also confident the company can grow in ten-fold in the next five years, the same period it intends to increase its funding to the Agriculture market in Nigeria.

“We are delighted to welcome Consonance Investment Managers as partners on this journey. 

“The future requires AFEX to provide our infrastructure as a service to the market and unlock capital for the agriculture sector in Nigeria. We will grow our operations 10-fold over the next five years; we also aspire to increase funding to agriculture in Nigeria from about N500 billion (US$1.5 billion) to more than N2 trillion (US$ 7.5 billion) by 2025.”

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Business News

Industries to watch for technology innovation in 2021

Agric, health, insurance, and food delivery sectors are taking the center stage in tech innovations.

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How five Nigerian tech-startups are tackling COVID-19 outbreak

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.

Agriculture

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.

Insurance

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.

Health

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.

Food Delivery

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.

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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.

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Business News

Access Bank spends N18.7 billion on digitization in 2020

Access Bank topped its spending on digitalization to enable it compete.

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Access Bank Plc, Nigeria's Creative Industry needs urgent financing from commercial banks to bridge unemployment gaps - Herbert Wigwe

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.”

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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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