ALIKO Dangote, chairman of Dangote group, is to endow his foundation, the Dangote Foundation, with N200 billion to enable it to carry out its mission. He made the announcement a day after Forbes magazine named him the 23rd richest man in the world and the richest in Africa. “The Dangote Foundation is now 20 years old. This initial endowment will ensure that the Dangote Foundation has a secure and steady funding to carry out its mission as we significantly scale up our work.
“The reconstituted board of trustees includes Aliko Dangote, Sani Dangote, Halima Aliko Dangote, Olakunle Alake, A. B. Mahmoud, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Angela Adebayo, Hajara Adeola and Yvonne Ike. And last year, we appointed Adhiambo Odaga as the managing director to grow the Dangote Foundation team. The stage is set now for the next stage of our institutional growth. Going forward, from the second quarter of this year, we will lay greater emphasis on youth and women empowerment through large scale efforts that cultivate meaningful change in their lives,” he said.
Dangote established the foundation in 1994 to extend the impact of his growing business operations. Current interventions that focus on youth and women include a national cash transfer programme designed to complement state governments’ poverty alleviation programmes by providing N10,000 grants to at least 1,000 women and youths in each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
No Cause to Worry over National Debt Profile
CONTRARY to fears being expressed in some quarters about country’s mounting debts, the federal government on Tuesday, March 4, said the economy was not in any way threatened by the development. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, gave the assurance in her speech at the inauguration of “Budget 2014 Jam” in Abuja
Okonjo-Iweala, who put the country’s debt to the Goss Domestic Product, GDP, ratio at 21 percent, noted that the figure was still low when compared to other developed economies such as the United Kingdom (89 percent); the United States (90 percent) and Japan (200 percent). “Nigeria does not have a debt problem overall, but has to watch its domestic debt. There is something called debt to GDP ratio. This is what is used in the whole world to measure the state of indebtedness of a country; and in Nigeria, in whichever way you look at it, our debt to GDP ratio is 21 percent. This is one of the lowest for a country of our profile worldwide,” she said.
The minister said the federal government had put in place an effective debt management strategy, adding that there was no way the situation would get to the point where the government would seek for debt relief as was done in 2004. Okonjo-Iweala put the nation’s external debt to GDP ratio at just two per cent; while the balance of 19 per cent was for domestic debt.
The Budget 2014 Jam is an online programme designed for youths in the country to engage the minister on issues relating to the 2014 budget. It is expected to run throughout the year. The programme was initiated by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the IBM Technology.
NSE Slashes Trade Alert Service Cost
THE Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has concluded arrangement to reduce the cost of its trade alert service by about N 1.24 billion from March 2014. The NSE will achieve this through the scrapping of the current charge of 0.06 percent of every trade on the exchange and the introduction of an enhanced notification system, X-Alert, which will be charged at a flat fee of N4 per transaction.
Ade Bajomo, executive director, market operations and technology, NSE, said the enhanced X-Alert is a service that will allow investors to know when transactions have been made on their accounts. “Each time investors buy or sell a security, an alert is sent to them via a text message to the recipient’s mobile phone or via an e-mail to the recipient’s mailbox. So what that does is to bring real time notification plus transparency to the market at market rates while safeguarding against unauthorised sale or purchase of securities. The big difference for the investing community is that rather than pay 0.12 percent of every trade roundtrip, investors will now pay a flat fee of N4.00. Based on 2013 figures, the trade alert charges with the old system was some N1.25 billion; with the improved notification system however, the annual cost of the alerts would be some N5.52 million based on a N4 flat fee that is a reduction of N1.24 billion per annum in the cost incurred by investors transacting in the market,” he said.
Kyari Bukar, managing director, CSCS, said the enhanced service was delivered in real time to customers. He urged that all customers should ensure that their brokers are provided with up to date mobile phone numbers and email accounts to enable the notification system to work effectively and provide timely update on all account transactions. There are also the added benefits of effective fraud alert in cases of unauthorised transactions on accounts, reduction in time spent confirming trades and an enhancement of transparency between the trader and its clients.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Mar. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT