THE Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, wants rules on the investment of pension-fund relaxed to attract funds. Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer, NSE, said Nigeria has more than N3.5 trillion in invested retirement savings, according to the National Pension Commission, Pencom.
Onyema said investors in the country should be able to put their money into companies with at least three years of financial statements, less than the five required now. “Most of Pencom’s regulations are designed to protect investors, but investors are becoming more sophisticated. We are working very closely with them, the National Assembly, and other appropriate bodies to highlight areas where we believe there is a need for enhancement,” he said.
He wants reforms to boost stocks, which have led the market’s all-share index move 32 percent higher this year, and bolster an economy set to expand 6.2 percent this year and 7.4 percent in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund, IMF.
South Africa’s pension assets were worth about 3 trillion rand ($307 billion) by the second quarter, according to Bloomberg calculations made using Reserve Bank data, while the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s all-share index gained 15 percent this year.
Dangate Group Among 10 Top African Brands
AS a measure of its growing influence on the African continent, the Dangote Group has emerged among Africa’s top 10 most valuable brands in a survey carried out by the African Business Magazine, a pan-African business publication. In the survey tagged: ‘The Brand Africa 100 table,’ Dangote emerged as the most valuable brand in the consumer goods sector with an African brand value of 216, according to a statement by the group.
The brand emerged the eighth most valuable when placed against brands from other sectors. The Brand Africa 100 table was established in 2011 in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were beginning to challenge global brands on the continent, or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications.
Commenting on the recognition of Dangote brand, the magazine stated, “What is perhaps a little more surprising is that Dangote, the largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa, and Globacom, the Nigeria-based telecommunication provider, are also on the list. Both brands have managed to win the hearts of the communities in which they operate.”
Declaring brands as an asset, the magazine stated that the aim of Brand Africa 100 was to identify, acknowledge and promote African and global brands that were catalysts for the continent’s growth, reputation and value. The publishers of the magazine said, “The study involved a comprehensive research among consumers 18 years and older, living in representative countries in metropolitan sub-Sahara African regions to draw up a list of the most admired African and global brands in Africa. Each respondent was asked to mention the five local and global brands they admired.”
MAN on National Dialogue
THE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Apapa branch, has called for an all embracing discourse in the National Dialogue that will take the plights of manufacturers in the nation into account. John Aluya, out-going chairman of the branch, made this call at the association’s 42nd Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
He said the discourse should be focused on ways to reduce trade malpractices with a view to giving local manufacturers enough support to develop local capacity. “With the planned national dialogue, our political structure should not only be the fulcrum for discussion. The promotion of better and conducive business operating environment should form part of the discourse. This is because as an open economy that depends heavily on imports, stability of the polity and the economy is crucial for manufacturers. With our level of economic development, such discourse must take concrete actions against trade malpractices such as dumping, smuggling, under invoicing among others with a view to give local manufacturers adequate support to develop local capacity,” he said.
He regretted that despite the fact that Nigeria is a resource-based economy over 80 percent of its industrial raw materials are still imported. This, according to him, is because of the dearth of raw material extraction and local processing. “Official statistics says most of the locally-produced raw materials in the country are in unusable state and therefore, require value addition before they can be used by industries. Experts say that the mix of climate, vegetation and geological factors make Nigeria a natural zone for diverse agricultural, mineral and renewable resources. These resources had, for a long time, not been optimally exploited because of the dominance of petroleum as the main source of national revenue.”
Aluya also called for more integrated programmes from research institutions to open up more collaboration for product research and development. He further stated that in addressing some of the challenges militating against the manufacturing sector in the country, efforts should be made to increase the level of contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP through policies and programmes that would aid the completion of investments in core industries such as the proposed Integrated Refinery in Olokola Free Zone, Ondo State, saying that it would provide another source of raw material for petro-chemical based industries.
He said that such investment commitments must have intra-industrial linkages for value addition to enhance the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises through the utilisation of abundant local raw materials in the country. “In creating these intra-industrial linkages, other sub-sectors of the manufacturing sector will look at ways to enhance their backward integration programme with primary production sources yielding positive results. This is with a view to increase the percentage utilisation of local raw materials from 48 percent to 55 to 60 percent by the year 2015,” he said.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Nov. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT