Eko Atlantic Investment

Here’s why investment-interest in Eko Atlantic is high despite economic slowdown, land price

At a time when many developments are struggling to get off ground as a result of Covid-19 impact and general slowdown in economy, investment interest in Eko Atlantic City in Lagos remains high.

READ ALSO: Union Bank Customers Deposit Hits

This interest is not affected either by the high land price in the city which is way ahead of what obtains in adjoining highbrow neighbourhoods such as Old Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki Phase 1, meaning that the city has values and attractions that investors find too hard to resist.

Sitting on 10 million square meters of land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, Eko Atlantic is Nigeria’s most ambitious new city located adjacent to Victoria Island in Lagos. It is planned to be a self-sustaining city that will be home to 300,000 residents with 250,000 others expected to work in the city.

The city is protected from ocean surge or other adverse environmental issues by a sea wall known as Great Wall of Lagos, measuring nine metres above sea level, 85 kilometres long and 46 kilometres wide.

Right from inception, investors have shown interest in the project and confidence in the developers, South Energyx Nigeria, and their ability to deliver a world class city.

“More people are beginning to recognise that the project is for the future and would become one of the major cities in the world,” David Frame, managing director of South Energyx, noted during a tour of the project recently.

This, more than anything else, explains why investors have continued to flock to the city.

Though the price of land in the city is a guarded secret, a source close to the firm’s marketing department says a square metre of land in the city goes for well above $1,000 mark, depending on location.

This contrasts with prices in Old Ikoyi which, according to a Northcourt market report, sold for N436,667 and N415,000 per square metre in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

In Victoria Island, the report says land sold for N351, 912 and N330,000 per square metre in 2019 and 2020 respectively, while Lekki land sold for N184,361 and N198,000 per square metre in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

In spite of this price differential, about 70 per cent of land in phases one and two of Eko Atlantic has been sold out, according to Frame.

Also, 50 per cent of the reclaimed areas in phases 1, II and II1 have infrastructure such as road, bridges, streetlights, wastewater treatment plants, sewage, and canals.

This shows the unimaginable level to which good infrastructure can drive demand in real estate.

It draws yield-hungry investors like the sweet-smelling nectar draws insects to a flower. Infrastructure is key.

“90 percent of the needed infrastructure in phase 1 has been completed, 70 percent in phase 2 and about 20 percent in phase 3,” the managing director disclosed, adding that phases 4, 5 and 6 of the city were on the way while they were considering starting sand-filling for phase 4 soon.


Union bank

Union Bank Customers Deposit Hits

The customer deposits of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc rose to N1.131 trillion from N886.3 billion, representing a growth of 27.1 percent, according to its 2020 Audited report.

READ ALSO: Inflation: Relief as inflation to moderate around May

The bank’s digital adoption also appreciated by 38 percent year on year, with UnionMobile channel with total active users now at 2.9 million.
These figures are contained in the Union bank’s financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2020.
The bank’s results for the period show sustained growth in key income lines and significantly improved fundamentals, notwithstanding a constrained operating environment largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Union Bank’s investments in technology and building a progressive work culture over the past eight years enabled a swift response to the pandemic that allowed our workforce to transition to remote working while maintaining the productivity required to deliver this strong set of results in 2020.
Speaking on the results, Emeka Emuwa, CEO said: “The Bank has delivered a strong set of results notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19 on our operations and the wider economy, enabling the Board of Directors to continue to return value to shareholders with a proposed dividend payment for the second year in a row.

This demonstrates the strong foundations we have built, as we continue to deliver against our target of becoming a leading financial institution in Nigeria.
“For the full year, we grew across key income lines. Net income after impairments grew 8.3 percent from N95.5bn to N103.4bn and translated into 2.8 percent growth in Profit Before Tax to N25.4bn from N24.7bn.
The core of this performance is driven by the growth in our loan book, with 23.8 percent increase in gross loans, to N736.7bn from N595.3bn in 2019.

“The pandemic accelerated trends in customer behaviour and we have seen rapid increase in digital adoption with a 38 percent YOY increase in active users on our UnionMobile channel with total active users now at 2.9 million.

Our UnionOne and Union360 platforms for businesses grew by 11 percent from 25,000 users to 27,700 users. 94 percent of transactions in the Bank are now done digitally, up from 89 percent in 2019.
“We also aggressively grew UnionDirect (our agent network) by 6 times from 3,100 to 18,100 in line with our focus on our retail business.

With our investments yielding positive results, we are well-positioned as a strong leader in the retail and digital space.”



Inflation: Relief as inflation to moderate around May

Nigeria’s economy may likely heave a sigh of relief should the inflation rate moderate in May as optimistically stated by Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), after announcing a hold on its benchmark interest rate and other parameters on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Fuel Marketers Raise Diesel Price To N265 Per litre

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which concluded its two-day meeting on Tuesday, has been confronted with a policy dilemma, with inflation rising for 18 consecutive months to 17.33 percent in February 2021.

The dilemma that confronted the MPC relates to whether to focus on efforts to stimulate output growth or focus on the raging inflation, which at 17.33 percent is almost attaining the January 2017 inflation rate of 18.72 percent.

“The country just crawled out of recession in Q4 2020, if the MPC tightens, it would constrain liquidity, the interest rate would be high and it would make it difficult to access credit needed that investment need to drive growth and the economy could slip back into recession,” Emefiele said.

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11 percent (year-on-year) in real terms in the Q4 2020, representing the first positive quarterly growth in the last three quarters.

Though weak, the positive growth reflects the gradual return of economic activities following the easing of restricted movements and limited local and international commercial activities in the preceding quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

“We would not lose sight on inflation. Inflation may move up in April, but we expect inflation to begin to moderate from May. By that time we should have our Q1 GDP numbers and we hope it shows significant growth and then we begin to attack inflation,” Emefiele said.

But analysts in the financial services sector disagree with the CBN governor’s optimism, citing a high level of insecurity, which has obstructed productivity in the agriculture sector.

Uche Uwaleke, professor of capital market and president, Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, said that would be too optimistic since inflationary pressure was more on food.

“I don’t see inflation rate moderating significantly till the end of the third quarter that is by September, about the time harvest season sets in. Besides, insecurity and likely flooding between now and May remain downside risks,” Uwaleke noted.

However, the committee decided by a vote of three members to increase the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 50, 75 and 50 basis points, respectively, and six members voted to hold all parameters constant.

The MPC noted the overarching need of taming the rising inflation and sustaining growth recovery in the economy while focusing on downside risks associated with the injections.


Diesel Price

Fuel Marketers Raise Diesel Price To N265 Per litre

Against the backdrop of the recent rise in global oil prices, some fuel marketers have increased the price of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, to a new high of N265 per litre.

READ ALSO: FG to support MSMEs with $1bn syndicated loan

Reported on February 24 that diesel price rose to a high of N250 per litre, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed on Sunday that some filling stations in Lagos State were selling the product for between N248 and N265 per litre while some put the price at between N220 and N245 per litre.

Mobil filling station along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Nipco at Fadeyi axis of Ikorodu Road increased the pump price of diesel to N265 per litre; while Forte Oil at Onipanu sold it for N255 per litre.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its latest AGO price watch report, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 1.29 percent to N227.76 in February from to N224.86 in January.

“States with the highest average price of diesel were Zamfara (N268.78), Adamawa (N263.33) and Kebbi (N257.50). States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N206.50), Ekiti (N207.86) and Plateau (N208.57),” it said.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, had risen above the $70 per barrel mark on March 8 for the first time in over 14 months from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It stood at $64.43 per barrel as of 7:03pm Nigerian time on Monday.

The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said the prices of diesel and kerosene had been increased because of the rise in crude oil prices.

Business“Marketers are importing diesel because it has been deregulated and the pump price is based on the current crude oil prices. We get foreign exchange from the black market to import the product,” he told our correspondent on Monday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, had in a recent interview with our correspondent lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw materials is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in manufacturers,” he said at the time.



FG to support MSMEs with $1bn syndicated loan

As part of efforts to boost Nigeria’s economic recovery and sustainable growth, the Bank of Industry (BoI) under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has concluded a $1billion syndicated term loan in conjunction with international partners to further support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) in the country.

READ ALSO: BusinessDay with NetPlusDotCom Set to Host March Edition of Monthly Digital Webinar Series for SMEs

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said the loan is aimed at “further improving the capacity of the bank to effectively support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) – across key sectors of the Nigerian economy – with affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.”

Adebayo who disclosed this on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSME Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja, also said discussion were ongoing with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN), to provide empirical basis  for analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

The Minister who spoke on efforts of the Federal Government at supporting MSMEs in the country said, “I will like to reiterate that our Ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Federal Government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP); aimed at protecting MSME businesses from shocks the pandemic. The Fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme which aims to support MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees in each MSME for three months; the Artisan and Transport Grant which supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals; the General MSME Grant which will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50,000 each; and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme which will engage approximately 100,000 businesses across the country to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries, including free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”

He explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country…


Digital Webinar SMEs

BusinessDay with NetPlusDotCom Set to Host March Edition of Monthly Digital Webinar Series for SMEs

In honor of the International women’s month, all the speakers are leading women in their various industries – Akinola Ibukun, Head-Customer Finance, PiggyVest; Ommo Clark, CEO, iBez; Simi Afolabi-Jombo Product Specialist, PayStack and Temitope Williams, Founder, CEO Martwayne will be speaking at the March edition of BusinessDay and NetPlus’s free monthly SME Digital Transformation Webinar Series.

READ ALSO: ‘Batch C’ on an 8 months Auto-Revamp Training Program

Themed “Partnering with Technology to Supercharge Your Business,” this month’s digital webinar edition will hold on Thursday March 25, 2021 from 10:00am – 11:30am.

“The importance of technology can be seen in the drastic difference it has made in many lives around the world especially since the pandemic hit, Adopting tech in business in no longer a question of when in the future but a necessity for right now, today.

This month, we have a lineup of experts in tech who will give insight on how entrepreneurs can boost their businesses using technology,” says Wole Faroun, founder of NetPlusDotCom.

This monthly series is organized by BusinessDay Media, West Africa’s leading provider of business intelligence and information and NetPlusDotCom, a leading technology and digital payment company in Nigeria.

The aim is to create an avenue for SME’s in search for expert information on navigating the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic to learn the modalities of the new age of doing business. It also offers a connecting platform for participants to meet with organizations that can facilitate access to market, finance and digital skills.

To register for this event, please visit:


Auto Revamp Training Program

‘Batch C’ on an 8 months Auto-Revamp Training Program

REGISTER NOW to join ‘Batch C’ on an 8 months Auto-Revamp Training Program under the ZERO interest Human Capital Development Loan (HCDL)…

Imagine for a moment that your name is ranked amongst top Automobile Experts in the next 3 years.

READ ALSO: ESME Money BootCamp

Yes, it is very possible, and that is why we want you to REGISTER NOW at www.enugusmeautojobs.com to join ‘Batch C’ on an 8 months Auto-Revamp Training Program under the ZERO interest Human Capital Development Loan (HCDL),

Or Come to the Enugu SME Center at No. 2 Market Garden by SME roundabout, Opposite Ebeano Tunnel, for manual registration.

Please, read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and self guaranteeing process on the ZERO interest Human Capital Development Loan option here:

www.enugusmeautojobs.com/faq.html before you register.

And ensure you provide the necessary requirements during your application. Put your best foot forward during the course of training, so that you will be offered a job by Autoease and its partners.

GburuGburuIsSME #Enugusme #AITP #Gburusyouth #AutoEase #Enugujobs

Enugu Skillers Associates (ESAs)

The Enugu Skill Up Project exercise.

The Enugu Skillers Associates (ESAs) were on the streets around Enugu Metropolis on Friday, 19th March 2021 to inform Master Crafts Persons (MCPs) about the Enugu Skill Up Project and also carried out manual registration for interested persons. This exercise will continue for 14 days.

READ ALSO: Demutualization of NSE: Innovative Products Key to Deepening Capital Market

Are you a Master Craft Person in any of these fields below?

Tiling, Carpentry, Welding, Plumbing,
Electrical Installation, Drywall and Painting, Solar –Inverter, Installation & Maintenance, Wallpaper Installation; POP Installation and Wall Screeding, Concrete Construction Work, etc.

We want you to get paid for training our apprentices

Register here: www.enuguskillers.com

Or visit ENUGU SME CENTER at No. 2a Market Garden Avenue by SME Roundabout, opposite Ebeano Tunnel, GRA Enugu for manual registration.

You can also call (insert number(s))


Tag someone who needs this under this post🙏



Demutualization of NSE: Innovative Products Key to Deepening Capital Market

With the Demutualization of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) concluded, innovative products that appeal to millennials and attract retail investors will go a long way in deepening the capital market.

READ ALSO: FG Set To Give N30,000 Loan To 330,000 Artisans

Mr. Patrick Ezeagu the Chairman of the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) made this point in a conversation on the “Post-Demutualization of NSE: Opportunities for the Capital Market”.

Ezeagu noted that the process for demutualization took over 7 years before actualization and commended all the stakeholders involved for their resilience.

He said Nigeria now joins the ranks of South Africa with demutualized exchanges and opens opportunities for the growth of a more integrated African capital market.

According to him demutualized exchanges especially in Africa, could collaborate and operate as a single hub to attract capital and investments.

Speaking further he said brokers have to be innovative and strategic in developing products that appeal to all classes of investors and can improve the capitalization of the exchange.

The Chairman of ASHON agreed that the “Demutualization of the NSE” will improve the market in areas like technology, human capital, and processes.

“The three subsidiaries formed as a result of the demutualization of the Exchange are the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), NGX Regulation Limited (NGX REGCO), and NGX Real Estate Limited  (RELCO), would bring efficiency to the market and make the exchange focus on its core mandate,” he said.

He added that Africa needs a connected capital market that can compete globally with the dispensation of the AFCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement).

Looking at the sub-region he pointed out that there has been an existing model of the West Africa Market Integration, WAMI which can be expanded to the entire continent.

The capital market trade group leader said with the demutualization of the Exchange it was possible to achieve a market capitalization of about $200bn by 2022.

He advised the Federal Government to leverage the capital market to raise funds, liberalize state assets and corporations to be profitable ventures.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (Formerly Lagos Stock Exchange) was founded on 15 September 1960 and began operations on 25 August 1961.

In a bid to catch up with the needed efficiency to take its place as the leading Exchange on the African continent, members had agreed at an Extraordinary General Meeting in 2017 to demutualize the Exchange. A decision that became more pronounced as the demutualization bill became law in August 2018. Demutualizing the Exchange changed it from its earlier status as a non-profit organization limited by guarantee into a public company.



FG Set To Give N30,000 Loan To 330,000 Artisans

FG Set To Give N30,000 Loan To 330,000 Self employed Artisans

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja that the Bank of Industry has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), self employed artisans.

READ ALSO: BOI $1bn loan will improve capacity of MSMEs

Mr. Adebayo, in a statement by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, said the loan would improve the bank’s capacity to support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“There is an ongoing discussion with Dunn and Bradstreet to establish an SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analyzing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

The minister, who spoke on efforts of the federal government to support MSMEs in the country, also reiterated the ministry’s support to MSMEs development as demonstrated by the MSMEs Survival Fund Initiative, launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government as part of its Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.

“The fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme, which aims at supporting MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees for three months.

“The Artisan and Transport Grant supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals,” Mr. Adebayo explained.

He stated further, “The General MSMEs Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50, 000 each, and the Guaranteed Off take Scheme aims at engaging approximately 100,000 businesses nationwide to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries.

“The scheme supports free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”