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CIBN Conference: Ajibola Highlights Importance of MSMEs in Economy Recovery

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The President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Prof. Segun Ajibola, says the financial services sector must redirect the economy to the path of recovery by channeling a major part of their loan portfolio to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises financing.

He spoke in Abuja at the 10th edition of the Annual Banking and Finance Conference, tagged, ‘Innovation in the financial services sector: Driving Nigeria’s new economy.’
Ajibola noted that the economic recession in the country could be traced to years of “skewed economic structure” as manifested in the monolithic nature of the source of Federal Government foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “Our economy has been overstretched with the level of foreign exchange reserves hovering around $25bn, perhaps the lowest in recent decades and barely able to support six months import bills.
I believe this is the time the financial services sector needs to play some catalystic roles to redirect the economy path of recovery, growth and development.”
In a bit to recover the economy, Ajibola stressed the need to give MSMEs necessary support through a lasting initiative modelled after countries like Malaysia and South Korea.
The CIBN President said, “Nigeria has experimented with multitude of policies and programmes aimed at supporting this lower end of the economy with minimal results.
“Perhaps, one way of entrenching a lasting initiative is to benchmark the models already successfully implemented in countries such as India, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia where the contribution of micro businesses to the GDP hovers around 75 percent. He added, “South Korea, for example, recovered from the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 through the SMEs. In 1999, the SMEs accounted for 81.9 percent of industrial employments and 74.3 percent of total manufacturing in the country.
“We should also be prepared to accept the truism that the promotion of this segment of the economy can succeed if only the various institutions and agencies provide their complementary roles of providing the enabling environment, infrastructural base and funding support.”
Earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in his Keynote address, had emphasized the importance of an improved payment system to sustainable economic growth.
He noted that the successes recorded in the e-payment space in the country were made possible through programmes aimed at migrating transactions from cash to electronic payments.
Emefiele said, “In order to sustain this progress, the CBN launched the second the second phase of the National Strategy in September 2013, aimed at ensuring safety, improving efficiency and integrating effectively into the global payments system through compliance with international standards.
The CBN governor stated that Nigeria’s transaction-to-fraud rate had dropped significantly in 2015 to 0.01 percent, representing a 63 percent reduction.

Below are pictures from the event

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Nigerians ‘spent N3 billion in cinemas for first half of 2019’

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Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

The year opened with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and ‘Up North’ sitting on the top three of the chart, with estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.

The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when ‘Glass’ debuted at number one with ‘Aquaman’ taking second place and ‘Chief Daddy’, third booting ‘Up North’ to fourth place.

This led to combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to N77.2 million as January closed with Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ kicking ‘Chief Daddy’ to fourth place.

NAN reports that earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of N291.8 million.

Top spots were alternated between ‘Alita’, ‘Cold Pursuit’, ‘What Men Want’, ‘Escape Room’ and ‘The UpSide’.

By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.

‘What Men Want’, ‘Alita’, ‘Hire A Woman’, ‘She Is’, ‘Us’ and ‘Babymamas’ enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvel’s flick ‘Captain Marvel’.

At the beginning of April, ‘HellBoy’, ‘Shazam’, ‘Little’ and ‘Us’ continued to share the top spot with ‘Captain Marvel’ until the release of the much anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

NAN also reports that with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.’

The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to (a) major boost from Disney’s ‘Endgame’.

In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With ‘Endgame’, ‘The Intruder’ and ‘Longshot’, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.

The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.

The numbers picked up in June with ‘John Wick’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Aladdin’ leading the numbers. They were supported by ‘Anna’, ‘Men In Black’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Bling Lagosians’.

June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.

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Go Cashless This Summer With FirstBank Visa Multi Currency Card

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has introduced the Visa Multi Currency Card, an All-in One-Card and first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in Nigeria. This card can be linked to all of four currencies namely: NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts.

With the Visa Multi-Currency card, FirstBank customers – within and outside Nigeria – can now enjoy the luxury of having their local and foreign denominated accounts in any currency, linked to a single Debit card. The Visa Multi-Currency Card is designed to ease the daily cashless transactional needs of customers regardless of where they are across the world. 

Amongst the many benefits of the Visa Multi-Currency card are Point of Sale and Online purchases, access to and use of ATMs worldwide. There is no cash collateral requirement prior to its issuance.

Speaking on the card launch, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Product said “FirstBank takes pride in pioneering the Visa Multi Currency Card in the country, as we remain committed to providing products and services that are designed to ensure the banking convenience of our customers regardless of their location.”

“This card is designed to make traveling fun for our customers and ensure they have a seamless transaction experience during their vacation, tourism and other business-related trips around the globe”, he concluded. 

Traveling abroad for summer, walk into any FirstBank branch today for your Visa Multi Currency Card.

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NSE Suspends Airtel Africa Listing

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The planned listing of Airtel Africa Plc on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been postponed.

The exercise was suspended as a result of the failure of the telecommunications company to meet pre-listing requirements.

Yesterday, Business Post reported that Airtel Africa failed to attract at least 300 institutional and high-net worth individual investors, one of the major requirements needed for joining the stock exchange.

The NSE, which confirmed suspension of the listing today, however, did not make it clear when the company would be admitted. It only promised to provide further communication on the issue when all the conditions for the listing in its market had been met.

“The cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc has been postponed from the scheduled date of Friday, July 5, 2019.

“This postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the company meets all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on the NSE.

“However, the facts before the listing event will hold as planned at 11.00 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2019,” the statement said.

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