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FCMB Nigeria’s evening of investment talks with Ugodre

First City Monument Bank Nigeria (FCMB) organised an evening of investment talks with Ugodre on Thursday, February 27th, 2020.



FCMB Nigeria’s evening of investment talks with Ugodre

Imagine a beautiful Thursday evening spent by the poolside, in the midst of vibrant Nigerian professionals, rubbing minds together on how to invest right. That is exactly what happened on Thursday, February 27th, 2020, thanks to First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Nigeria.

The evening began with the arrival of guests at the Protea Hotel by Marriot in Lagos Island. A time to meet and greet allowed the guests to mingle and network, long before the main event began. And then at about 7 pm, FCMB Nigeria’s Executive Director in charge of Retail Banking, Mr Olu Akanmu, took the microphone and officially welcomed everybody. He said:

“One thing that is on every relatively affluent person’s mind is how to legitimately preserve their wealth. And that is what we are all gathered here to talk about.”

To help dissect that subject matter, the bank had invited Nairametrics’ very own Founder, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” Obichukwu as a guest speaker. Following his introduction to the audience, Ugodre delved right into the topic, albeit in the most interactive way.

Mr Olu Akanmu, FCMB Director in charge of Retail Banking

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What troubles you the most about the Nigerian economy?

That is the question Ugodre posed to members of the audience. As expected, there were varying responses to this question. Some people said they worried most about inflation. Others mentioned devaluation, unstable electricity, unpredictable government policies, and policy somersault. Of course, there were also concerns about how to multiply one’s income and guarantee returns on investment.

Inflation rate could rise above 14% by year-end

These are all legitimate concerns by the way, and each of them was addressed. Beginning with Nigeria’s inflation rate which recently climbed to 12.13%, Ugodre alarmed the audience by predicting that there could even be a further increase in the coming quarters. This is due to a number of factors which include:

  • Nigeria’s land border closure;
  • the recent increase in VAT which is continuing to push prices of goods up;
  • the high possibility that the government will stop providing subsidy for electricity, thereby causing NERC to increase electricity tariff. If this happens, the inflation rate will rise further because people’s cost of living will increase;
  • there is also a possibility that fuel subsidy may eventually be removed. If this happens, it has the potential to exacerbate inflation;
  • something else that could trigger inflation is taxes. As you may well know, the government has recently been very aggressive in that regard; and
  • he concluded by predicting again that 2020 might end with Nigeria’s inflation rate well above 14%.

Don’t panic over inflation, unless…

On whether the Central Bank of Nigeria is going to devalue the naira, Ugodre stated that this is most unlikely. However, there are some caveats. He said that Nigerians should keep their eyes focused on Nigeria’s external reserves. If the external reserves drop below $30 billion, then there is no gainsaying the fact that devaluation will become inevitable.

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[READ: CBN issues N847.4 billion treasury bills for Q1 202 ]

More so, if oil prices drop below $40 per barrel, then there is a serious problem and the CBN may have no choice but to devalue. Last week, Brent Crude traded below $50 per barrel as Nairametrics reported. And this is no thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic which has wrought both health and economic hazards across the world.

Moving on to the concerns about government policies, Ugodre stated that Nigerians should expect more regulatory onslaught. This prediction was based on recent happenings in the regulatory environment.

Meanwhile, as far as returns on investment are concerned, Ugodre told the audience that it depends mostly on the industry one is investing in. He said:

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“Some people believe that the banking sector is good. But the CBN has been squeezing them recently. So, they too may soon be having issues with returns on investment. The breweries industry is already suffering, with all the top three brewers reporting negative performances in their annual financials. Maybe the telecoms sector may be able to guarantee returns on investment.”

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Where else should you invest your money?

Real Estate: Ugodre also mentioned the real estate sector as a potential area that can guarantee investment returns. This he said with much optimism because the real estate sector is one of the best places to invest in when the economy is shaky. This is in spite of the fact that the Nigerian real sector is often overlooked by investors, a situation that has led to it not being quite as developed/organised as what obtains in most advanced countries. This has, unfortunately, resulted in “so much value being locked in” he said.

Note that yields in the Nigerian real estate are typically within the rates of 6-8%, he said. Interestingly, the value on a piece of real estate only keeps going up over time. He also advised potential investors to be strategic in choosing real estate in areas with significant commercial value.

Treasury Bills versus FGN Bonds: Return on investment in the Nigerian Treasury Bills market is not quite as high and lucrative as it was a couple of years ago. Ugodre explained why. According to him, CBN’s decision to restrict individuals from participating in OMO sales forced many people into the treasury bills market. Consequently, rates dropped, thereby making treasury bills a less interesting investment option. On the other hand, FGN Bonds is a good investment option in that it currently guarantees higher returns than treasury bills.

The stock market: This is also another relatively good investment option, although it can also be disappointingly risky. Regardless of the associates associated with it, Ugodre advised the audience to invest in stock because this is probably the best time to do so. However, he clarified that investors should not invest all of their money in stock as there is always the need to diversify one’s portfolio. Moreover, it is also important to ensure that investors avoid what he called “danfo stocks”.

Cryptocurrency is also another investment option that can guarantee high returns as much as 60%. The only downside is that it is not regulated in Nigeria, mainly because government regulators such as the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission do not support it.

Investors can also carefully consider agrotech schemes that are claiming to offer high returns, Ugodre stated that Mutual funds also make for good investments, mainly because it is good for passive investors who do not have the time or the technical know-how to constantly keep a tab on their investments. He also encouraged everyone to not only continue to invest in themselves but to always recognise opportunities around them and invest in those opportunities, including investing in people and startups. He said:

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“One thing that I’ve learned from what the government is doing is that the government is basically telling us to invest in businesses instead of pursuing treasury bills. So, if you are somebody who has a deep pocket, look around you for relatives who may be needing someone to invest in their business ideas.”

Meanwhile, FCMB Group can help Nigerians to actualise their investment potentials

At the end of Ugodre’s keynote address, the Chief Marketing Officer of FCMB Pensions, Osarhieme Osaghae, took the stage to talk about how he and his team can help Nigerians to better manage their pension contributions in order to ensure a good retirement.


He, therefore, urged all FCMB customers whose pension accounts are not currently being managed by FCMB Pensions, to plan towards transferring their pensions to FCMB Pensions. According to him, the Pension Commission will, by July 1st, 2020, make it possible for pension fund contributors to be able to transfer their accounts from one Pension Funds Administrator to the other. Nigerians should take advantage of that and move to FCMB Pensions, the only PFA that is bank-backed, he said.

Some of the guests at the event

Moving on, the Managing Director of FCMB Assets Management, James Ilori, also took the stage to share some important tips on how to invest well in order to retire comfortably. Some of these tips can be seen in Steven R. Covey’s book “Five Habits of Highly Effective People”, as well as George .S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon”. See the tips below:

  • Always have your investment end goal figured out from the onset. This enables you to determine whether your investment should be short-term, medium-term, or long-term.
  • Always set aside small amounts on a regular basis. This is important to do because at the end of the day, the small amounts that have been set aside compounds to form a lot of money in the future.
  • In line with the second tip, Ilori spoke about INEST, an FCMB Asset Management product that enables Nigerians to invest as little as N500 on a regular basis. Over time, the compounding effect along with the interest guarantees investors some level of financial security in the future.

Note that FCMB Assets Management also offers mutual fund services, portfolio management for both local and foreign currencies, credit-linked investment plans, and more.

The evening of investment talks ended on a pleasant note, with light meals served and more networking among the invited guests.

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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Exchange rate falls again at NAFEX window as #EndSARS protests escalates

The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window closing at N386/$1.



Naira, Exchange rate falls across forex markets as dollar liquidity remains low

Nigeria’s exchange rate at the NAFEX window depreciated against the dollar to close at N386/$1 during intraday trading on Monday, October 19.

Also, the naira remained stable against the dollar, closing at N462/$1 at the parallel market on Monday, October 19, 2020, as the protest against the special anti-robbery unit (SARS) and police brutality by the Nigerian youth escalates with its impact on business activities across the country

Parallel market: According to information from Abokifx, a prominent FX tracking website, at the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the Naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N462/$1 on Monday. This was the same rate that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.

Current developments

  • The local currency had strengthened by about 7.8% within the one week in September at the black market, as the CBN introduced some measures targeted at exporters and importers, in order to try to boost the supply of dollars in the foreign exchange market, and reduce the high demand for forex by traders. The measure
  • The CBN has sold over $500 million to BDCs since they resumed forex sales on Monday, September 7, 2020. This was expected to inject more liquidity to the retail end of the foreign exchange market and discourage hoarding and speculation.
  • However, the exchange rate against the dollar has remained volatile after the initial gains made, following the CBN’s resumption of sales of dollars to the BDCs.
  • The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadebe, said he expects the impact of the extra liquidity in the market to be gradual.
  • Despite the drop in speculative buying of foreign exchange, the huge demand backlog by manufacturers and foreign investors still puts pressure and creates a volatile situation in the foreign exchange market.


NAFEX: The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Monday, closing at N386/$1.

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  • This represents a 17 kobo drop when compared with the N385.83/$1 that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.
  • The opening indicative rate was N386 to a dollar on Monday. This represents a 38 kobo gain when compared to the N386.38 that was recorded on Friday.
  • The N392.30 to a dollar is the highest rate during intraday trading before closing at N386. It also sold for as low as N380/$1 during intraday trading.

Forex turnover: Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window declined by 3.6% on Monday, October 16, 2020.

  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover dropped from $125.40 million on Friday, October 16, 2020, to $120.93 million on Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • The CBN is still struggling to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand, especially by foreign investors wishing to repatriate back their funds.
  • The drop in forex supply after the huge increase 2 trading days ago reinforces the volatility of the foreign exchange market. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.
  • As part of the measure to check forex abuse and check illegal transactions, the CBN last month directed the freezing of accounts of about 38 companies.
  • The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.
  • Total forex trading at the NAFEX window in the month of August was about $857 million, compared to $937 million in July.
  • The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • According to Reuters, currency traders said that the naira is expected to be stable this week as banks limit foreign exchange transactions by both firms and individual buyers on the unofficial black market to curb speculation.

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#EndSARS: FG expects increase in Covid-19 cases in the next 2 weeks

FG has warned that the ongoing #EndSARS protest may spark up a second wave of coronavirus.



FG approves reopening of NYSC camps, extends tenure of PTF on COVID-19, FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks, COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries

The Federal Government has warned that Nigerians should expect an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.

This is due to the total disregard of the preventive measures against the virus during the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been witnessing huge gatherings.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday, October 20, 2020.

He said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

Mustapha said, “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

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“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain the social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with the second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

He said any mass gathering that does not adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been put in place, like wearing of face masks, social distancing, and keeping personal hygiene, becomes a super spreader event.

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What it means: With the expected spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to these protests across the country, Nigeria runs the risk of having a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak which had before now been on a decline. This could lead to the resumption of lockdown measures by the government, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria



The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,558 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 11,794 samples across the country.

To date, 61,558 cases have been confirmed, 56,697 cases have been discharged and 1125 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 590,635 tests have been carried out as of October 19th, 2020 compared to 578,841 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 61,558
  • Total Number Discharged – 56,697
  • Total Deaths – 1,1125
  • Total Tests Carried out – 590,635

According to the NCDC, The 118 new cases are reported from 10 states – Lagos (51), Rivers (26), Imo (12), Osun (8), Plateau (6), FCT (5), Kaduna (4), Ogun (3), Edo (2), Niger (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,696, followed by Abuja (5,923), Plateau (3,587), Oyo (3,415), Rivers (2,735), Edo (2,645), Kaduna (2,532), Ogun (1,983), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,657), Enugu (1,313),  Kwara (1,050), Ebonyi (1,049), Osun (916), Katsina (904), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 610 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (275), Niger (274), Adamawa (248), Sokoto (162), Taraba (117), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara and Yobe (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous


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