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Business News

GTBank’s CEO gives outlook for 2020, talks changing competitive market landscape 

The Group CEO of GTB, Segun Agbaje, does not see the potential of Nigeria’s GDP growth figure going beyond 2% in the next twelve months.

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GTB releases FY result for 2019, grows PBT by 7.5%, GT bank obtains approval-in-principle from CBN to operate as Holding Company

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Segun Agbaje, said he does not see the potential of Nigeria’s GDP growth figure going beyond 2% in the next twelve months of 2020.

According to him, events such as the US-China trade tensions and the lingering Brexit deal could all result in stunted growth for the global economy.

“Growth is coming down. England’s still struggling with Brexit. Europe has its problems. You still have China–U.S. trade tensions. So, I’m just not sure that things are very upbeat; you are looking at stunted growth from a global perspective.”

It is important to note that Agbaje gave this interview days before the United States reached a tentative trade deal with China. As such, there is a possibility that the tension between the two countries will reduce, although some analysts are of the opinion that the so-called “phase one” deal could eventually fall apart.

[READ MORE: GTBank crashes ‘Quick credit’ to 1.33% monthly]

Addressing the “threat” of technology

When asked to comment on the threats facing businesses today, Agbaje said the biggest threat is “the changing competitive landscape” which technology has enabled. Of course, he admitted that policy uncertainty, over-regulation by the government (increased tax burden), and exchange rate volatility are all threats. However, none of these bothers him as much as the growing competitive landscape.

He explained why: According to him, the competition is happening too fast and it is “scary”. He also spoke about how digital technologies are disrupting businesses, even as companies like GTBank now have no choice but to compete with FinTechs and share profits with them. FinTechs and share profits with them.

“The one that bothers me the most today is the changing competitive landscape. You will always worry about regulation. You will always worry about tax. You will worry about losing staff to countries such as Canada and Australia. However, I think that you will be able to deal with these threats better than you will with the changing competitive landscape.

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“The process of change, the acceleration of change and the threats — it is actually quite scary how quickly it’s happening. Three years ago, we were talking about this like it was way, way in the future. It’s here today. And we’re living it very quickly. So, while I hear all of the other threats, I actually think they’re easier to navigate than the threat of the changing competitive landscape.

“Everyone is doing digital technologies. They’re disrupting your business. It’s not like banks won’t be around, but will you be as relevant? Will you be as profitable? Because you’re sharing a lot of your profit with these new entrants and you’re sharing a lot of your customer base.

“I think these are bigger threats. If we have to pay a bit more tax, it’s no problem, as long as we make the money. Other threats, we can find ways around them, but this one is more difficult to handle.”

Agbaje disclosed all these and more during an exclusive interview with PwC Nigeria Partners. To read more of his thoughts on the economy and the changes happening in the banking sector, click here.

In the meantime, it should be noted that this is probably the first time a top Nigerian bank CEO is openly admitting that FinTech companies are posing real threats to banks. Prior to this time, the general rhetoric has always been that FinTechs are not a threat. In November 2019, another CEO of a major bank in the country went short of dismissing mobile money operators as irrelevant in the larger banking scheme.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

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Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

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In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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Corporate Press Releases

The facts on news reports about Facebook data

Since there’s still confusion about this data and what we’ve done, we wanted to provide more details here.

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On April 3, Business Insider published a story saying that information from more than 530 million Facebook users had been made publicly available in an unsecured database. We have teams dedicated to addressing these kinds of issues and understand the impact they can have on the people who use our services. It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019.

Scraping is a common tactic that often relies on automated software to lift public information from the internet that can end up being distributed in online forums like this. The methods used to obtain this data set were previously reported in 2019. This is another example of the ongoing, adversarial relationship technology companies have with fraudsters who intentionally break platform policies to scrape internet services. As a result of the action we took, we are confident that the specific issue that allowed them to scrape this data in 2019 no longer exists. But since there’s still confusion about this data and what we’ve done, we wanted to provide more details here.

What Happened?

We believe the data in question was scraped from people’s Facebook profiles by malicious actors using our contact importer prior to September 2019. This feature was designed to help people easily find their friends to connect with on our services using their contact lists.

When we became aware of how malicious actors were using this feature in 2019, we made changes to the contact importer. In this case, we updated it to prevent malicious actors from using software to imitate our app and upload a large set of phone numbers to see which ones matched Facebook users. Through the previous functionality, they were able to query a set of user profiles and obtain a limited set of information about those users included in their public profiles. The information did not include financial information, health information or passwords.

Keeping Your Account Safe

Scraping data using features meant to help people violates our terms. We have teams across the company working to detect and stop these behaviours.

We’re focused on protecting people’s data by working to get this data set taken down and will continue to aggressively go after malicious actors who misuse our tools wherever possible. While we can’t always prevent data sets like these from recirculating or new ones from appearing, we have a dedicated team focused on this work.

While we addressed the issue identified in 2019, it’s always good for everyone to make sure that their settings align with what they want to be sharing publicly. In this case, updating the “How People Find and Contact You” control could be helpful. We also recommend people do regular privacy checkups to make sure that their settings are in the right place, including who can see certain information on their profile and enabling two-factor authentication.

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