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Business

How investors can build lasting wealth – Meristem GMD

Meristem boss has urged investors to allocate scarce resources smartly and safeguard their investments.

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Investors in the Nigerian Stock Exchange have been tasked to allocate their scarce resources smartly in order to build lasting wealth.

This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director, Meristem, Oluwole Abegunde, in a statement to launch a corporate campaign ‘Storm’ in partnership with art doyen, Nike Okundaye Davies on Monday.

The GMD of the Financial services provider explained that as the global environment continues to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative for investors to allocate scarce resources smartly and safeguard their investments with organizations who possess the knowledge and investment domain expertise to build lasting wealth.

He said, “The economic and global business environment has been very tough because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had a fair share of the accompanying challenges of the pandemic.

”Investors are now torn on how to allocate scarce resources smartly while pursuing the prospect of healthy financial returns. This can only be possible with the help of tested and trusted partners who have been able to withstand the downsides of the external environment.“

As part of its efforts to encourage investors and businesses to partner with experienced and trusted financial partners who understand the investment terrain, Abegunde added that ‘Storm’ mirrors the resilience that people and businesses all around the world have shown amidst a global pandemic that slowed economic growth.

“The campaign highlights the importance of trusted financial advisors in wealth building, as well as the essence of making smart investment decisions with strong and resilient financial partners.

“With the campaign, Meristem seeks to intensify the essence of building lasting wealth that can withstand stormy days. While imploring existing and prospective clients to adopt a wide range of its diversified product and service offerings, Meristem is also making bold its ability to partner with people and businesses at any stage of their financial journey,” he added.

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At its core, the campaign elaborates that life’s journey requires partners who are resilient, capable and service-oriented to help you get to the desired financial destination. The “Storm” message clearly highlights a connection between Meristem and Nike Okundaye-Davies and the boldness that has elevated both institutions, with partners who have stayed true to their vision.

What you should know

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  • For over 16 years, the financial service provider has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space.
  • In 2018, the Nigerian stock exchange awarded Meristem as the best digital broker of the year. In 2018 also, Meristem became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute.
  • It has operated a client-oriented business which has helped to create tailor-made financial solutions for its clients like Retirement Planning, Mutual Funds, Foreign denominated products like Meristem Dollar Investment Portfolio, Real Estate Advantage Portfolio, and more recently, Probate Management Service.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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    Business

    FG gives completion date for Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki road project

    The government said the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the expressway will be completed within 9 to 10 months.

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    AfDB's Akinwumi Adesina and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, AfDB to support Ekiti State road and airport upgrade

    The Federal Government has given a timeline for the completion of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki expressway project.

    The government said the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the expressway which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2018, to resolve the Apapa traffic gridlock, will be completed within 9 to 10 months.

    This disclosure was made by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, during a joint inspection with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

    He assured that section one of the project would be completed within 3 weeks and thereafter opened for use.

    Popoola said that the rehabilitation works, which had been divided into four sections to ease port congestion and gridlock at the Apapa axis, have section one which spans from Liverpool Round through Creek Road to Beachland near Sunrise and is about 10 km, while section two is 8.4 km and spans from Beachland to Cele Bus Stop.

    Briefing the press after the inspection that also had in attendance the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, and the Hitech Construction Company, the subcontractor handling the project on behalf of the Dangote Group, Popoola said that grey areas such as accessibility due to trucks infringing on construction zone and disagreements on the pace of construction had been resolved.

    What the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos is saying

    Popoola said that the inspection gave the NPA team the opportunity to see for themselves that the contractor had been working progressively.

    He said, “And this section that we are is the end of section one which we have completed. We will complete the remaining portion within the next three weeks, especially the asphalt work.

    So within that three weeks, the outstanding works will be completed fully and then the section one will be made available to the motorists.

    We (FMW) also complained about the trucks that are infiltrating the road while we are working. We have told them (NPA) that we cannot allow trucks to flock onto the section where we are working because they will disturb the contractor.

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    So the trucks will now be monitored and controlled fully. Both the NPA security, the Nigerian Police, LASTMA and then the contractor’s representative will form a synergy to work out how they will be controlling the trucks that enter into the port road henceforth,’’ Popoola said.

    He said the contractor is expected to move to site to start the construction works on section two of the project based on agreement adding that work on sections three and four had reached an advanced stage, with over 70% completion reached cumulatively.

    Popoola said that the entire project would be completed and handed over within the next nine to 10 months, including section two which had just been awarded.

    Stanbic 728 x 90

    The NPA Managing Director said that agreements were reached on timelines for construction works in order not to disrupt port operations with resolutions that the contractor worked during the weekends and on public holidays to ease congestion.

    She said it was resolved that a corridor would be opened for trucks movement in addition to palliative works on some roads and another inspection in three weeks on section one.

    The contract was awarded to AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd at the cost of N73bn under the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government.

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had earlier in the year said that the first phase of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki project, which has faced several delays, would be delivered in April 2021.
    • The government said that sections one, three and four of the project which was awarded to AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd at the cost of N73bn under the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government, were almost ready and would be completed in April.
    • They had also said that section two of the project which spans from Beach Land bus stop area to Cele Bus Stop which was recently awarded would also be completed in December 2021.

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    Business

    USSD N42 billion debt: Telcos insist banks have to pay, seek CBN, NCC intervention

    Telcos in Nigeria have called for the intervention of the CBN and NCC as they insist that banks have to pay the N42 billion debt for the USSD services.

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    Bank CEOs, NCC, CBN to meet over USSD charges

    Telecommunications companies have insisted that the banks have to pay the N42 billion debt for the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and called for the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the dispute.

    This follows the accumulation of the debt to the mobile network operators over a period of about 1 year for services rendered to the deposit money banks.

    According to a report from Punch, this was made known by the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, who said that this has become a moral burden on the banks.

    What the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria is saying

    Adebayo, in his statement, said, “The over N42bn debt remains outstanding and the banks have to pay the telcos. It has become a moral obligation because the banks used the services, debited their customer accounts and now not paying the telcos.

    Who do they expect to pay and what were the deductions made from their customers for USSD services, which you and I were debited for?

    What is the deduction meant to for? It’s a debt and the banks have to pay the operators. It’s a moral obligation.”

    On the association’s next step should the banks refuse to pay, Adebayo stated that the CBN and NCC would have to intervene.

    He said, “We are hoping the regulators, CBN and NCC, having intervened by preventing operators from disconnecting the USSD services, will resolve the lingering debt issues.

     “They (banks) owe the operators and they will pay. Otherwise, where is the money deducted for USSD services from their customers? You and I know we were charged for USSD transactions; what is the deduction meant for?

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    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that telecommunication firms under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), had threatened to withdraw their Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services to financial institutions from March 15 due to the N42 billion accumulated debt.
    • However, following the intervention of the CBN and NCC, the planned action was shelved with both parties (the telcos and the banks), going into a meeting with the Federal Government representatives.
    • As a fallout of the meeting, the CBN and NCC announced the introduction of N6.98 per transaction as new charges for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services with effect from March 16, 2021.
    • Recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, reportedly stated that Nigerian banks were not indebted to telecommunications firms for using telcos platforms to provide payment services.
    • The statement made the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Ikechukwu Nnamani, ask CBN to call the banks to order as regards agreements reached on the settling of the N42bn.

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