Lagos, Sept. 20, 2019 An insurance expert, Mr Tope Smart, on Friday called for digitalisation to form part of Nigeria’ s development strategy.
Smart, also Group Managing Director, NEM Insurance Plc, and Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association, made the call at the Business Journal 2nd Annual Lecture and Awards in Lagos.
Theme of the event was: “Digital Nigeria: The Path To Sustainable Economic Growth.”
The Nigeria News Agency reports that lecture series is a platform to examine and discuss emerging issues in the Nigerian economy and generate workable solutions going forward.
It brings stakeholders across the sectors together to review the state-of-affairs in the economy through robust conversation.
Smart said Nigeria needed a very robust Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure to be able to move forward.
He said it was unfortunate that the country has yet to attain that level of digital advancement.
According to him, because digitalisation encompasses transparency, Nigeria needs this level of advancement to solve the issue of corruption and others.
“The Federal Government should ensure that digitalisation forms part of our national discourse so that we can use it to boost our economy.
“Digitalisation is something that citizens and the government of any country should embrace to solve issues of unemployment, among others,” he said.
Also, Mr Prince Cookey, Publisher of Business Journal, said that the event was an opportunity for stakeholders to critically evaluate opportunities and challenges of digital disruption on the various segments of Nigerian economy.
Cookey said that the main focus was to offer a roadmap on how Nigeria could reap bountifully from the digital transformation era to achieve sustainable economic growth.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Olagoke Olatoye
NEM Insurance Plc Shareholders on Tuesday lauded the board and management for the total dividend of N686.47 million paid for the financial year ended Dec.31, 2018.
The shareholders spoke at the company’s 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the dividend translated to 13k per share.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the company for the dividend, in spite of challenging operating environment.
Nwosu said the company’s dividend policy was encouraging despite challenges in the economy.
The shareholder activist urged the company to sustain the trend in the years ahead.
He, however urged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to review its stance on recapitalisation by extending the deadline between two to five years.
Mrs Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the recapitalisation should not be done in a haste.
Bakare said that shareholders lost most of their investments during the banking consolidation and could not afford to suffer again.
Responding, Mr Tope Smart, the Group Managing Director, assured the shareholders that they were currently engaging NAICOM on recapitalisation modalities.
Smart, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association, said they were engaging the commission to ensure that all members met the deadline.
He said that the company was set for new heights and enhanced dividend payment to shareholders.
“With a strong reputation built over the years, coupled with a very strong brand in the insurance industry and robust financials, the future of the company looks very exciting.
“We are determined to take advantage of the opportunities we have in order to take our company to the next level,” Smart stated.
He noted that the company had maintained its focus in the industry and would continue to increase market share despite the difficult operating environment.
“From about five per cent market share, we now control close to seven per cent market share of non life business. We are determined to improve on this figure.
“Our associate in Ghana Regency Nem Insurance is expanding its operations into major areas in Ghana.
“This will lead to more income for the company and ultimately impact its bottom line in the nearest future,” Smart said.
He said that the company recorded gross premium of N15.04 billion during the period under review.
Dr Fidelis Ayebae, the company’s Chairman, said that gross claims incurred during the period was N6.01 billion, an increase of 20 per cent compared with N5.01 billion in 2017.
“The gross claims ratio for 2018 stood at 40.0 per cent whereas that of 2017 was 37.4 per cent, an increase of 2.6 per cent.
“Net Claims paid for the year was N2.6 billion, while that of the previous year was N1.8 billion; resulting in an increase of 43.2 per cent,” Ayebae said.
The chairman said that over 90 per cent of the staff were sent on training during the period.
He said this was in line with the company’s policy of ensuring enhancement of knowledge of members of staff and improving their skills on the job.
NSE: Capitalisation gains N229 bn, fueled by 2018 earnings
By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, Feb.7, 2019 (NNN) The indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) maintained a positive trend on Thursday with the market capitalisation gaining N229 billion in one day, ahead of 2018 earnings season.
Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N11.493 trillion increased by N229 billion or 1.98 per cent to close at N11.722 trillion, amid gains by blue chips.
Also, the All-Share Index rose by 616.69 points or 1.98 per cent to close at 31,433.49 compared with 30,821.80 achieved on Wednesday.
Nestle led the gainers’ table for the second consecutive days, growing by N10 to close at N1,470 per share.
Guaranty Trust Bank followed with a gain of N3.30 to close N38, while Forte Oil gained N2.70 to close at N29.70 per share.
Dangote Cement appreciated by N2 to close at N190, while Zenith Bank added N1.65 to close at N24.45 per share.
Conversely, Conoil recorded the highest loss during the day, shedding 25k to close N23 per share.
NEM Insurance trailed with a loss of 15l to close N2.30, while Learn Africa lost by 10k to close at N1.40 per share.
Trans Express was down by 6k to close at 60k, while Cutix dropped by 5k to close at N1.90 per share.
An analysis of the activity chart shows that United Bank for Africa was investors’ delight exchanging 136.50 million shares worth N987.08 million.
Zenith Bank followed with an account of 63.43 million shares valued at N1.49 billion, while Access Bank traded 44.43 million shares worth N277.87 million.
FBN Holdings sold 31.49 million shares valued at N236.26 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank exchanged 31.45 million shares worth N1.15 billion.
In all , the volume of shares traded inched by 21.63 per cent with an exchange of 436.75 million shares valued at N5.88 billion in 4,047 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 359.09 million shares worth N4.83 billion traded in 3,319 deals on Wednesday. (NNN)
Edited by Salif Atojoko
Tanzanian authorities on Friday closed four liquor making factories on the first day of the crackdown against the outlawed sachet-packed liquors
The crackdown was conducted by officials from the Vice President’s Office, National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Tanzania Revenue Authority and the police.
Heche Suguta, the NEMC Senior Legal Officer, said in a statement that most of the closed factories were operating illegally and most were based in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Suguta explained that soon after the government announced the ban, most of the manufacturers opted to produce and hide the liquor.
According to the NEMC official, some of the factories were also found producing goods which were not in their licenses.
For instance, the official said that some of the factories were licensed to produce liquor but they were found producing drinking water without permits from the responsible authorities such as TBS and TFDA.
Suguta insisted that legal measures will be taken against importers and manufacturers of the products who do not comply with the government order.
Tanzania’s major crackdown on producers, importers, distributors and consumers of alcoholic beverages packed in plastic sachets started on Thursday and is meant to enforce the ban on the sachet-packed liquor.