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Don Advocates Govt. Support for SMEs Affected by COVID-19

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A Professor of Business Administration, Prof. Oluseyi Oduyoye from Babcock University, has called on the Federal Government to support small businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oduyoye stated this at Ilishan-Remo, Ogun while delivering the Babcock University’s 33rd inaugural lecture at the university’s Business School main auditorium on Sunday night.

This is contained in a press release on Monday made available to rporters signed by Dr.

Joshua Suleiman, Babcock’s Director of Marketing and Communication.

Delivering his lecture titled, “From the Small Business to Big Business: A Future with Little Hope”, Oduyoye noted that many small businesses were unlikely to recover from losses from COVID-19 lockdown if government did not come to their aid.

He called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to assist the small businesses from the much publicized N50 billion support fund set aside for distribution to businesses in need of lifelines for sustainability and growth.

Oduyoye also urged deposit banks and insurance companies to strengthen SMEs through renegotiation of contract terms and affordable minimal premiums following economic setbacks occasioned caused by COVID-19.

He noted that small businesses could become big companies if they were fortified with values of integrity, customer focus, openness and the fear of God.

“Starting small but having the eyes on the big picture should always be the focus of the typical small business owner,” Oduyoye stated.

He also recommended networking with more experienced individuals in the industry to gain the needed leverage for growth.

Oduyoye thanked the leadership of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, his family and the Ilishan Development Association for his achievements.

He attributed the collapse of many businesses to lack of integrity and absence of the fear of God.

“Anything done without integrity cannot stand.

“The lack of integrity and the love for quick money and shady deals is the bane of long-term growth of these small businesses,” Oduyoye said.

He lamented the fact that internet fraud popularly known as Yahoo-yahoo had taken over while integrity had been relegated to the background causing the nation to “bleed.”

“For aspiring small business owners who have the ambition of becoming big players in the future, the qualities of integrity and customer satisfaction are key attributes of success,” Oduyoye said. (NAN)

Economy

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN, others Push Equity own by 1.23%

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Selloffs in the shares of Dangote Cement, Conoil, MTN Nigeria, among others, on Friday, dragged the equity market’s performance indices down by 1.23 per cent to close the week’s trading sessions.

Specifically, investors lost N672 billion or 1.24 per cent, as the market capitalisation, which opened at N54.

707 trillion, closed at N54.035 trillion.

The All-Share Index also lost 1.

24 per cent or 1.228.32 point, to settle at 98,751.98, as against 99,980.3 recorded on Thursday.

Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return on the index dropped to 32.07per cent.

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria,  Fidelity Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Nestle made the market performance to be on a negative terrain.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover drop when compared to the previous session, with the value of transactions down 22.01 per cent.

A total of 367.62 million shares valued at N6.78 billion were exchanged in 9,168 deals, compared to 542.95 million shares valued at N8.70 billion exchanged in 9,650 deals posted previously.

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement and Conoil led the losers table by percentage terms of 10 each to close at N135, N90.90 per share respectively.

MTN trailed by 9.96 per cent to close at N200.70, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria lost 9.78 per cent to close at N2.03, while Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 6.52 per cent to close at 43k per share.

On the gainers table, The Initiative Plc and FTN Cocoa Processors led by 10 per cent each to close at N1.98 and N1.65 per share respectively.

Juli Plc followed closely by 9.97 per cent to close at N3.75, Champion Breweries Plc gained 9.94 per cent to close at N3.76 and PZ Nigeria rose by 9.93 per cent to close at N33.75 per share.

On the activity table, Transcorp led in volume with trade of 57.00 million shares valued at N792.05 million, while Access Corporation sold 31.77 million shares worth N667.8 million.

United Bank of Africa (UBA) traded 28.50 million shares valued at N674.07 million and Fidelity Bank transacted 28.07 million shares worth N297.65.

Also, First City Monumental Bank(FCMB) sold 27.92 million shares worth N227.22 million.

However, market breadth closed positive with 43 gainers and eight losers on the trading floor.(NAN)

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Economy

We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.

Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.

According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.

She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.

“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.

“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.

And I can tell you that they are not leaving.

“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.

Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said  it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.

She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)

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Economy

Nigerian Breweries Records N106bn Loss in 2023

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Nigerian Breweries Plc has recorded a net loss of N106 billion for the year ended 2023, as against N13.93 billion posted in its 2022 financials, indicating 860 per cent loss.

Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries stated this in the audited financial result of the company for the year ended 2023 sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.

(NGX)

Agbebaku said the gross profit of the company for the year under review also fell by 0.

3 percent to N212.5 billion, compared to N213.20 billion posted in the previous year.

He stated that the operating profit of the company declined by 15.

3 per cent to 45 billion, as against N53 billion recorded in the corresponding year.

The company secretary said that the firm recorded loss in its operating profit due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation cost despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures.

According to him, the company however was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent to N599 billion, compared to N551 billion posted in the previous year, which was aided by positive price mix.

Agbebaku stated that the Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023, with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide.

He explained that the Naira notes redesign which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.

Agbebaku said: “High double-digit inflation rates with food inflation at more than 30 per cent and removal of subsidy on fuel.

“Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.

“In a difficult operating environment, the Board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years’ experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities.

He said the company would continue to be resilient and forward-thinking, leveraging on its broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.(NAN)

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