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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.




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)

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.

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Consumer Goods

Sell-off of shares by investors extend Flourmillers loss on NSE to N25 billion

Nigerian Flour millers on NSE suffer a decline as wary investors offload shares.



Bloody February: Sell off of shares by investors extend Flourmillers loss on NSE to N25 billion

The sell-off of shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has triggered an N24.9 billion loss in the market capitalization of Flour Millers since the beginning of February, as wary investors offload.

It is important to note that the Nigerian Equity Market has been on the downward trend since the beginning of February, as wary investors sell off stakes in companies as the yields in the money market become attractive.

The results of this move led to a decline in the shares of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, including a decline in the shares of Flour millers listed on the bourse.

A review of the performance of the stocks of these Flour millers on NSE revealed that the market capitalization of FLOUR MILLS, HONYFLOUR, and Northern Nigeria Flour Mills from the open of trade on February 1 till the close of trading activities on February 24 has declined from N154 billion to N129 billion.

How they have all performed

FlourMills has declined from N142.3 billion to N118.3 billion. However, the market cap of Honeywell Flour Mills has also declined, albeit marginally from N10.31 billion to N9.91 billion, while that of NNFM has declined from N1.72 billion to N1.25 billion. When added up, the three millers have lost N24.85 billion in market capitalization.

However, Flour Mills, the largest miller on NSE lost the most with N23.98 billion, as a percentage of market capitalization. Flour Mills is down by 16.85%.

Market activity

At the end of trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the shares of Flour Mills declined by 6.9% to close at N28.85 per share, as investors sell off 5,029,161 ordinary shares of the company worth N143,009,264.10.

Shares of Honeywell at the close of trading activities today declined by 1.6%, while shares of Northern Nigeria Flour Mills remained unchanged at N7.02 per share.

The Consumer good index to which the Flour millers belong has fallen by 6.1% year since the beginning of February, compared to the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index -5.17%.

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Business News

FG says Finance Bill 2020 will check inflation

The Finance Minister has stated that the reduction of import duties on vehicles will subsequently reduce transport fares and food prices.



Power: Mambilla Power Project not prioritised by Ministry of Power for 2021 Budget - Finance Minister

The Federal Government has said that the Finance Bill 2020 was designed to reduce import duties on some commodities, including vehicles, thereby checking inflation.

This is as the Bill was part of measures to make transportation affordable, thereby reducing the cost of foodstuff across the country.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while answering questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ahmed explained that her Ministry advocated and got approval for a reduction in the import duties charged on vehicles precisely to check inflation trends.

READ: FG to withdraw $150 million from sovereign wealth fund, to borrow $6.9 billion

What the Minister for Finance is saying

The Minister expressed concerns over the inflation rate in the country, saying inflation was high at 16.7% and still inching up gradually over the last couple of months.

Ahmed said, “When you look at the components that constitute inflation in our country, the largest contributor is food inflation and … if you decouple it, the largest contributor to food inflation is the cost of transport.

“We now look at how do we reduce the cost of transport because we can’t give every Nigerian money to pay for their transportation fares. We figured that one of the good ways to do it is to increase the acquisition of mass transit vehicles and to reduce the acquisition cost of vehicles and tractors that are used for productive purposes like agriculture.”

READ: Nigeria to receive first tranche of World Bank’s $3 billion loan soon

She expressed optimism that the reduction of the import duties on vehicles, when fully operational, would boost mass transit activities and subsequently reduce transport fares and food prices.

She said, “So the reason why we reduce those duties is to reduce the cost of transportation.

”So, once this implementation takes full effect, we are hoping that we’ll be able to see more tractors coming into the country, more mass transit buses coming to the country, reducing the cost of transportation as a result, and also having an impact on food prices.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that as part of its bid to introduce tax incentives in the face of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government in November 2020, through the signed Finance Bill 2020, proposed the slash of import duties for tractors, buses and other motor vehicles from 35% to 10% and 0% to further help cushion the socio-economic conditions in the country.
  • The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning had explained that the need to reduce food inflation figures through one of the causative factors of high production cost, which is transportation, inspired the bill.

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