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Essential steps companies and employees must take now to survive COVID-19

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect Nigeria and the rest of the world, albeit negatively, it has become essential for companies and employees to re-strategize in order to survive.

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Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect Nigeria and the rest of the world, albeit negatively, it has become essential for companies and employees to re-strategize in order to survive. This is the advice that was given by Nairametrics’ Founder (Ugodre Obi-Chukwu) who spoke, yesterday, during a live webinar by FCMB Nigeria on the topic “COVID-19 & Economy Downturn Response”.

Unprecedented changes require adjustments

According to Ugodre, the pandemic has completely altered the normal ways of doing things. Therefore, it has become imperative for everyone to adapt by adjusting to the current realities before it becomes too late for them to do so.

To this end, therefore, he recommended some steps that employers and employees may consider right away. Chief among these recommendations is the need to cut down on operating costs; especially the non-essential ones. This is a no-brainer, by the way, bearing in mind that the global economy has taken a serious beat by the pandemic, even as Nigeria is now said to be heading towards what could easily become its worst recession in years.

(READ FURTHER: With $1 million, a delivery startup could acquire Trans-Nationwide Express Plc)

Below are the actions to take now

  • Ugodre advised companies to consider cutting down on non-essential fixed and recurring costs.
  • He also advised on the need for companies to secure their existing assets (property and equipment), in view of the unfavourable economic situation which the oandemic has wrought.
  • Companies should also become cash-flow-positive and desist from purchasing fixed assets and illiquid investments in the meantime.
  • In the same vein, it has become imperative for companies to quickly review their 2020 budget and any multi-budget strategic plans.
  • They should front-load essential costs in order to avoid the impact of devaluation.
  • They should review all variable cost lines and consider reducing unit costs.
  • Now is also the right time for companies to explore e-commerce to increase their sales.
  • Companies should also review existing contract commitments and consider activating force majeure clauses.
  • They should also ensure to actively engage their shareholders, investors, and other critical stakeholders during this difficult period.
  • This is also a good time for companies to renegotiate their loan terms and seek moratorium on principal repayments.
  • Nigerian companies should consider applying for concessionary loans and grants.
  • They should also ensure to buy loyalty by contacting existing customers and offering loyalty programs.
  • A good way to retain customers during this time is by sending frequent messages about new deals.
  • In the same vein, companies should improve on their public perception by channeling CSR activities towards COVID-19. A lot of companies are already doing this, by the way.
  • Companies should encourage virtual workspace and utilize work from home tools. They should also reduce non-essential third-party employee-related contracts.
  • Meanwhile, this is a good time for companies to consider pivoting to newer business ventures in order to diversify.
  • In all, companies must rejig their entire business operational models to conform with the new norm.

(KEEP READING: Nigeria’s cocoa exports to fall by $100m)

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What employees should do to survive

Meanwhile, Ugodre also recommended a number of actionable plans that Nigerian employees should consider doing in order to survive the looming economic disaster that is facing Nigeria. These recommendations range from the need to improve on one’s professional skills, to the importance of imbibing basic financial literacy skills. See below:

  1. Learn new professional and soft skills.
  2. Attend online courses, webinars to broaden knowledge.
  3. Accept unpaid leave if offered and use the opportunity to learn new things.
  4. Cut out non-essential living expenses.
  5. Suspend non-committal travel plans and social obligations.
  6. Support dependent family and friends if possible.
  7. Hold more of cash and invest in liquid assets.
  8. Access existing investing and sell of low yield investments.
  9. Hold cash electronically and avoid sharing personal banking details.
  10. Draw up personal budget and review periodically.
  11. Create joint expense account with spouse/partner.
  12. Be accountable and have a mentor to guide you.
  13. Utilize Financial Mobile Apps to save towards a project.
  14. Refinance existing personal loans. Hold cash.
  15. Explore short term borrowings but payback if debt-free.
  16. Subscribe to mutual funds.
  17. Read up on personal finance and listen to podcasts.
  18. Join investment clubs, online communities, money fellowships.
  19. Have a diverse portfolio – forex, real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds.

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.

1 Comment

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Financial Services

CBN grants Mortgage Refinancing Companies approval to refinance Non-member banks

The CBN has expanded access to mortgage financing by removing restrictions on refinancing mortgages earlier imposed.

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P&ID dispute: UK Court orders $200 million guarantee to FG, Leaked letter by Poultry Farmers Association triggered CBN emergency approval to import maize, nImplications of CBN's latest devaluation and FX unification, current account deficit, IMF, COVID-19, CBN OMO ban could give stocks a much-needed boost , CBN’s N132.56 billion T-bills auction records oversubscription by 327% , Nigeria pays $1.09 billion to service external debt in 9 months , Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals, Digital technology and blockchain altering conventional banking models - Emefiele  , Increasing food prices might erase chances of CBN cutting interest rate   , Customer complaint against excess/unauthorized charges hits 1, 612 - CBN , CBN moves to reduce cassava derivatives import worth $600 million  , Invest in infrastructural development - CBN Governor admonishes investors , Credit to government declines, as Credit to private sector hits N25.8 trillion, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms , Why you should be worried about the latest drop in external reserves, CBN, Alert: CBN issues N847.4 billion treasury bills for Q1 2020 , PMI: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector gains momentum in November, CBN warns high foreign credits could collapse Nigeria’s economy, predicts high poverty, MPC Member, BVN, Fitch, Foreign excchange (Forex), Overnight rates crash after CBN’s N1.4 trillion deduction, Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $36.57 billion; Emefiele keeps his word on defending the naira, CBN to support maize farmers, projects 12.5 million metric tons in 18 months, BREAKING: CBN Upscales Greenwich Trust Limited, grants it's operational license for merchant banking, AGSMEIS: CBN expand beneficiaries to 14,638., CBN expands access to mortgage financing

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has granted approval to Mortgage Refinancing Companies (MRC), to re-finance non-member banks.

This is contained in a circular referenced FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/07/056 and signed by Ibrahim Tukur, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN.

The circular improved on the earlier provisions contained in section 7.3.1.5 which states that “A mortgage refinance company (MRC) shall not, without the prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than twenty times the value of the borrower’s shares with the MRC or 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses.”

(READ MORE: Unity bank wants to be seen, but time is running low)

What this means

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Based on the provisions contained in the latest circular, MRCs are now free and legally permitted to refinance the qualifying mortgages of banks and all other non-members ( that do not hold equity), subject to meeting all other relevant requirements specified in the framework.

In a nutshell, the restriction on non-member mortgage lenders from refinancing their mortgages with MRCs has been removed.

Why this matters

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Prior to the provisions contained in the latest circular, CBN had expressed fears that provisions of section 7.3.1.5 negatively impacts the mortgages sub-sector, as it constrains the MRCS from refinancing the mortgages of non-shareholder banks. Therefore, the new order will help to remove the restrictions already highlighted.

In lieu of this, the latest circular stated that the provision of section 7.3.1 5 is hereby revised to “the MRC shall not, without prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses,” the circular reads.

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Business News

Nascon Allied Industries Plc: Increase in sale of goods boosts revenues

Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from an increase in the sale of goods revenue-generating unit

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Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from an increase in the sale of goods revenue-generating units, as total revenues increased slightly. The company reported revenues of N21.87 billion in 2020 (9months) – 4.01% increase compared to N21.03 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

What you should know

Key highlights from 2020 (9months) results

  • Revenues increased by 4.01% from N21.03 billion to N21.87 billion YoY.
  • Revenues from sale of edible, refined, bulk grade salt; seasoning and vegetable oil, increased to N21.87 billion, +22.53% YoY.
  • Other income increased to N12.81 million, +27.43% YoY.
  • No revenue was recorded for freight income on the deliveries of salt and seasoning income-generating unit.
  • Gross profit increased to N8.96 billion, +74.56% YoY.
  • Operating profit increased to N3.64 billion +18.60% YoY.
  • Pre-tax profits increased to N3.47 billion, +16.63% YoY.
  • Post-tax profits increased to N2.29 billion, +13.27% YoY.
  • Earnings Per Share increased to 115 kobo, +12.75% YoY
  • Total assets increased to N44.36 billion, +45.79% YoY.
  • Total liabilities increased to N32.04 billion, +67.21% YoY.
  • Total equity increased to N12.32 billion, +9.35% YoY.

(READ MORE:Dangote’s NASCON Allied Industries Plc moves operation from Apapa)

Bottomline

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Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from increase in sale of goods revenue-generating unit, but no revenue was recorded for its freight income on the deliveries of salt and seasoning revenue generating-unit.

Though companies have generally recorded decreased revenues in the last three quarters, mostly due to COVID-19; Nascon Allied Industries Plc was able to increase its total revenues and pre-tax profits in the period under consideration.

 

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Tech News

Instagram disables its “Recent” feature

Instagram recently announced it had removed the “recent” tab from hashtag pages on a temporary basis

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COVID-19: Instagram cracks down on coronavirus AR effects, Instagram Tenders apology for fagging #EndSARS fake, Instagram has disabled the “Recent” feature for the forthcoming U.S election,

Instagram disclosed that it would remove the “Recent” tab from its hashtag pages for people in the United States of America.

The social networking and video sharing service stated this on its official Twitter handle. It said it is “doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.”

What you should know

Nairametrics had reported on Instagram’s apology for its algorithm malfunction that led to the flagging of #EndSARS posts as fake.

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Instagram has also taken the following measures to ensure a successful November election.

  • The registration of 4.4 million votes this year through its flagship platform – Instagram and Messenger.
  • Serving as a means of information and tool to people in the US on the electoral process
  • The ban of any content that can thwart the success of the election.

(READ MORE:U.S dollar stable amid U.S holiday)

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said he was perturbed about the high risks for civil unrest in the US due to the upcoming presidential election.

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“I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country.”

Furthermore, he disclosed on a call while discussing Facebook’s Q3 earnings, that “given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before.”

Why this matters

The aim of the short-term decision is to decrease the spread of misinformation in the forthcoming US election.

 

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