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Economy

Global Money Week: SEC Highlights Savings, Personal Finance 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

As the world celebrates the Global Money Week from March 20-26 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission has again emphasized the need for children and young people to develop sound financial habits, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours from a young age.

According to the Commission, this will help them to know how to manage their personal finances throughout their lives and be empowered to make better financial decisions for their future.

Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda commenting on the weeklong commemoration of the event, stated that the earlier children & youth learn about money, saving, investment and budgeting the better they will manage their personal finances throughout their lives.

The GMW is an event organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)International Network on Financial Education with the Central Bank of Nigeria responsible for coordinating the event in Nigeria. It is an annual global awareness-raising campaign on the importance of ensuring that young people, from an early age, are financially aware, and are gradually acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviors necessary to make sound financial decisions.

The DG said, “Plan your money, plant your future” is the official theme of GMW2023. This theme aims at raising awareness about the importance of adopting a responsible, informed and forward-looking approach in making financial decisions. It also recognises that future individual financial well-being is strictly linked to the health of the planet and of the society as a whole.

“This year’s Global MoneyWeek2023 GMW2023 is a great opportunity for everyone to engage children, youth & young people in activities around the theme. 

Yuguda stated that the celebration of the weeklong event by the Commission will include visits to schools in Nassarawa and Gwagwalada, a visit to the NGX by 150 students and ringing of the bell at the NGX among other activities.

Global Money Week (GMW) promotes efforts aimed at improving the financial literacy of young people. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to ensure that all children and young people have access to high-quality financial education, they learn about money matters and are able to take smart financial decisions that can improve their future financial resilience and financial well-being.

The week is the world’s largest money awareness campaign for children youth to learn about money managing skills through fun events and activities in over 100 countries worldwide adding that the earlier children & youth learn about money, saving, investment and budgeting the better they will manage their personal finances throughout their lives.

“We are proud to be part of this annual financial awareness campaign highlighting the importance of teaching children & youth about financial education & financial literacy. These sensitisations to Gwagwalada and Nasarrawa to directly speak to the children and youths is another way of highlighting how important this is to the SEC.” he stated.

Yuguda emphasised that the Commission is encouraging capital market operators to develop technology so that the market will become more attractive to youths adding, “That is why we are improving our Know Your Customers; we are improving so many things to make it easier for them. That is why we are introducing these fintechs. We are allowing these fintechs to come because we see the fintech as an important gateway for youths to enter the market. We are conscious of that and we are working towards it.”

According to him, the commission is implementing various initiatives to ensure that products and offerings in the market are accessible to both the young and old which will further deepen the market.

He furthernoted that, “The average age of that account holder was over 50, and that made us realise that the young people were not participating in this market and when young people are not participating in any market, that market is doomed to fail.

“And young people today prefer to do things on their phones; if you have to fill a stack of forms manually young people won’t do it. We want to make investing in the capital market a fun experience.”

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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Economy

NDLEA Tincan Command Intercepted 876.453kg Illicit Drugs, others in 2023-Commander

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 The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Tincan Special Area Command,  says 876.453 kilograms of various illicit drugs and controlled substances were intercepted in 2023.

Commander Mohammed Abubakar of the command said this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

He listed the drugs as cocaine worth 24kg; Canabis – 852.

45KG; and Tramadol – 0.
003KG, all totalling 876.
453KG.

According to Abubakar, a total of 15 individuals were arrested and prosecuted during the period, out of which 10  were convicted.

He added that the feat was achieved through relentless efforts and meticulous investigation, which led to the dismantling of several drug trafficking networks and the subsequent prosecution of individuals involved.

“The Tincan special area command has been at the forefront of strategic operations in the area, targeting illicit drug smuggling activities and apprehending those responsible.

“In recent months, the efforts have culminated in multiple successful seizures and arrests, emphasising the agency’s commitment to eradicating drug-related crimes within our society.

“In one operation carried out at the Tincan port, a notable seizure of illicit drugs (Cannabis Indica also called Colorado) totalling 161.5kg was made, along with sum of 22,900 dollars offered as bribe to officers.

“The intercepted drugs, were concealed within cargo shipments of used vehicles from Montreal Canada, indicating the ingenuity of the involved drug traffickers,” he said.

Abubakar said that several investigations were conducted in collaboration with national and international law enforcement agencies, leading to the identification and apprehension of some of the key players in these drug networks.

The NDLEA boss noted that the combined efforts proved fruitful, resulting in the arrest of some of the persons directly involved in the importation, distribution, and sales of illicit drugs.

He said that throughout 2023, the command embarked on various sensitisation and enlightenment activities within and around the Tincan island port.

He listed them to include advocacy visit to all stakeholders in and around the port, public enlightenment and lectures, rallies and engagement of traditional rulers and non-governmental organisations around the port environment.

“All the activities were carried out under aegis of ‘War Against Drug Abuse’ (WADA) and  was designed to reduce demand and abuse of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria.

The NDLEA Tincan special area commander appreciated stakeholders in the maritime industry, and other relevant government agencies for their unwavering support and collaborative effort in these operations.

He added that their dedication and joint action had played a crucial role in the successes achieved thus far.

He also urged all licensed Customs clearing agents to stop the practice of authorising third party individuals to clear cargo under their company stamp.

He pointed out that the practice, automatically made the company liable to any cargo cleared,  using its name and stamp.

“This may become a real problem when illicit drugs are discovered and the company cannot provide any tangible information or whereabout of the owners of the cargo.

“Clearing agents have the responsibilities to not only adhere to laws but to cooperate with law enforcement agents undertaking an investigation.

“The NDLEA Tincan special area command sends a strong message to all those involved in drug trafficking and other illicit activities, we intend to use every available resource to bring them to justice and put an end to their illegal operations,” he said.

He said the command would continue to enhance their intelligence capabilities, invest in modern equipment, and provide training for its officers to combat drug trafficking effectively.

“The agency urges the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to drug trafficking to the NDLEA or relevant law enforcement agencies. Together, we can create a safer and drug-free environment for all Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)

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