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AfCFTA: Nigeria is more ready than most African economies – Yewande Sadiku

Discussing on the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar, Yewande Sadiku addressed issues concern Nigeria’s compliance to the agreement.

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AfCFTA: Nigeria is more ready than most African economies - Yewande Sadiku

Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) says Nigeria is more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) due to Nigeria’s domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.

She disclosed this on Thursday at the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar organized by the National Action Committee of the implementation of the agreement.

She addressed challenges facing the continent such as competition for capital flow, which was already under pressure before the pandemic. “Africa accounts for 3% of global FDI, and FDI flow post-COVID will be worse,” she said.

READ: Foreign investors demand for Nigerian stocks increases to N38.98 billion

She said that countries that were the top 5 sources of FDI in 2019 were also part of the highest destinations of FDI in 2019. Citing that Africa is also a source of FDI to others but Southern Africa accounts for 66% of Africa’s outflows compared to just West Africa’s 1%.

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“AfCFTA will help balance intra-African investments,” she said while highlighting that the highest periods of recorded FDI inflows into Nigeria was a result of government policies through reforms that increased FDI.

READ: CBN grants Greenwich Trust Limited operational license for merchant banking

Sadiku said Nigeria only captures less than 10% of investment announcements to Nigeria, citing data on 2017-2018 with investment announcements of $66 billion and $90 billion, but only realized $3.5 billion and $2 billion in actual investments.

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On the implications of AfCFTA for Nigeria, she said Nigeria is more ready than most African nations. She also added that Nigeria’s large domestic market makes Nigeria an ideal gateway economy. She mentioned companies like UBA, Dangote, GTBank, Interswitch and Paga as Nigerian companies with significant presence in other African nations plus Nigeria’s entertainment production which is consumed all over Africa.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

On the Impact of the pandemic on FDI, she said the slowdown of implementation of ongoing projects due to closures of sites was a roadblock as global FDI is expected to drop by 30-40% in 2020/2021, the lowest level in almost 20 years.

“Many countries will be focused on investment-driven recovery, there would be more intense competition for FDI from developed economies,” Sadiku said as she mentions that economies that provide the most comfort to investors will win.

READ: Ghana, South Africa ahead of Nigeria on top FDI inflows in Africa – Fitch 

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On policy recommendations, she urges that Nigeria must become an easier place to do business by aggressively encouraging Domestic Direct investments and aggregate social capital. She added that there must be a coordinated effort by MDAs to manage investor concerns, minimize job losses and restore confidence to investors.

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Corporate Press Releases

LivingTrust Mortgage Bank posts N192 million in Q3 2020

The improved result was driven by an effective mix of revenue optimization and cost minimization strategies by the management and the Board of the company.

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LivingTrust Mortgage Bank has announced its unaudited third-quarter 2020 financial results, which showed an impressive performance, as revenue went from N120 million in Q3 2019 to N192 million Q3 2020.

This information is contained in the LivingTrust Mortgage Bank unaudited third-quarter 2020 financial results.

The company reported an impressive leap in profits in the third quarter of 2020, as profit after tax increased from a meager N3.34 million in the third quarter of 2019 to an impressive N71.43 million in 2020; the company witnessed improvement in its operations, owing to an effective mix of revenue optimization and cost minimization strategies by the management and the board of the company.

What you should know

  • LivingTrust Mortgage Bank’s turnover was N191.72 million, compared to N120.20 million in the third quarter of 2019.
  • The Mortgage Bank’s profit after tax was N71.43 million, compared to N3.34 million in the third quarter of 2019.
  • The increase in profit after tax was largely driven by interest Income From Mortgage Loans And Advances
  • To Customers, which increased from N119 million to 170 million.
  • The total assets of the company increased from N4.6 billion as of the last day of business in 2019 to N5.3 billion as of 30 September 2020.

Operational Review

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Despite prevailing economic headwinds and the tight regulatory framework of the economy, LivingTrust Mortgage Bank continues to show sustained growth in key segments driven by strategic positioning of the business in Osun State.

LivingTrust Mortgage Bank is headquartered in Osun State where it operates from 3 branches with desk offices in Lagos, Akure and Abuja. The new strategies deployed by the management and the board of the company yielded huge gains for the company since the beginning of the year.

This is obvious in the improved performance of the company in Interest Income From Mortgage Loans And Advances To Customers, during the period.

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What they are saying

In a note by the management of the company commenting on the result, it was stated that: “Living Trust Mortgage Bank Plc achieved this result under a new management, led by Adekunle Adewole as the Managing Director, which came on board in May, this year, and Alhaji Adebayo Jimoh-led board of directors.”

The bank which was hitherto known as Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc also rebranded and became known by its present name.

The bank further said, “Our recent achievement are fallouts of the strategies introduced by the new management, to ensure that the bank effectively discharges its commitments to its growing customer base.

“Our recent rebranding also contributed to our feat, as it became necessary for us to adopt an image which correctly reflects our current outlook and strategic focus.”

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The bank’s management was recently overhauled, while its board of directors was also reconstituted, following the acquisition of majority shareholding in it by Cititrust Holdings Plc.

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According to the bank, with the increasing cultural diversity of its fast-growing customer base, it became necessary for it to adopt an image that correctly reflected its current outlook and strategic focus.

The bank added that the name change is also a reflection of its corporate transformation plan, which primarily aims at delivering superior quality products and services to all customers, regardless of their status or location.


About Adewole Adekunle

The new MD, Mr. Adewole Adekunle, is a banking professional with over 2 decades of experience cutting across areas like retail, commercial, corporate banking, corporate strategies, and credit recoveries.

He served in various positions in Omega Bank (now Keystone Bank), Standard Trust Bank (now UBA), Broad bank (now Union bank), and Sterling Bank.

He has 2 MBAs in Marketing and Finance from the University of Ado-Ekiti and the Metropolitan School of Business and Management, UK. He also holds a Masters in Business Law and a certificate in Global Management (CGM). He is an Alumnus of Lagos Business School and INSEAD.

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Energy

Exxon Mobil to cut 14,000 jobs as pandemic hit oil demand, prices

Exxon Mobil announced it will slash its global workforce by 15% over the next two years, as it struggles to preserve dividends.

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ExxonMobil to Divest oil fields in Nigeria, Domestic oil companies

Exxon Mobil Corp on Thursday, October 30, 2020, announced that it will reduce its global workforce by 15% by the end of 2022 – an unprecedented culling by North America’s biggest oil explorer, as the coronavirus pandemic hits energy demand, prices, and struggles to preserve dividends.

The job cuts are expected to include 1,900 U.S. jobs – mostly in Houston, the headquarters for its US oil and gas businesses – as well as layoffs previously announced in Europe and Australia and reductions in the number of contractors, some of which have already taken place.

This was disclosed in a statement that was released by the energy giant on Thursday, October 30, 2020.

The staff reduction is part of the latest effort by the Chief Executive Officer, Darren Woods, to curtail spending and halt the worst string of quarterly losses since Exxon assumed its modern form with the 1999 takeover of Mobil Corp.

What you should know

Exxon and other oil producers have been slashing costs due to a collapse in oil demand and prices, as well as ill-timed bets on new projects. The Big Oil rivals of Exxon are also cutting thousands of jobs in response to the pandemic-induced demand slump. BP Plc plans to slash 10,000 jobs, Royal Dutch Shell Plc will cut as many as 9,000 roles, and Chevron Corp. has announced around 6,000 reductions.

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Norton said that Exxon’s workforce stood at about 88,000 people, including 75,000 in-house employees and about 13,000 contractors as of year-end 2019.

Exxon’s job cut is a sign of its weakened financial position compared to its former status as the S&P 500 Index’s biggest company less than a decade ago, and a profit powerhouse used to ride out oil-price cycles.

This year’s downturn has been particularly damaging because it also affected refining, usually a cushion in times of low oil prices. Also, it came at a time when Exxon was already increasing borrowing to fund a large expansion program. The company was forced to retreat on these plans in April, reducing capital spending by $10 billion and delaying or scaling back most of the major projects.

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The stock has plunged more than 50% this year. Its dividend yield is now more than 10%, indicating that investors are anticipating a cut. Exxon maintained the quarterly payout on Wednesday and is expected to post its third consecutive quarterly loss when it reports earnings tomorrow.

What they are saying

The Company in its statement said, “These actions will improve the company’s long-term cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through the current unprecedented market conditions.’’

Exxon’s spokesman, Casey Norton, through an email said that the total reduction means the company will reduce its workforce by about 14,000 people, split between employees and contractors from year-end 2019 levels. The cuts will come through attrition, targeted redundancy programs in 2021, and scaled-back hiring in some countries.

What this means

Another set of job losses in the oil sector in Nigeria is looming. Nigeria is one of Exxon’s biggest operational bases in oil and gas exploration and production globally. Also, this is another setback after Shell announced 9,000 job cuts globally, which includes Nigeria, and the announcement by Chevron that it plans to reduce its staff strength in Nigeria by 25%.

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Economy & Politics

WTO: US opposing consensus to declare Okonjo-Iweala as DG – Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry announced Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member nations but is being opposed by the US.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that Nigeria’s candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has secured the support of the majority of the member-nations – but is yet to be declared and returned as the winner, as the United States is opposing the consensus.

This was announced in a statement by the Ministry on Thursday evening to inform the nation that the third and final round of the selection process of the WTO DG position was formally announced on Wednesday 28th October 2020.

What you should know

Nairametrics reported this week that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A group of ambassadors also known as “troika” had proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.

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The U.S President, Donald Trump blocked the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the WTO’s next DG on Wednesday, citing support for South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala stated that she is positive despite hiccups in her bid to emerge as the next DG of the organization. She said, “Happy for the success & continued progress of our WTO DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement that, “Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries, but is yet to be declared and returned the winner. This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus. In accordance with the rile of the procedure of the WTO.”

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It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

The Ministry added that a meeting would be held by the General Council of the WTO on the 9th of November 2020 to declare a final decision on the election process.

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