The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) are calling on other regulating bodies to strengthen collaboration in the financial industry in Nigeria.
According to the SEC, the move is in a bid to ensure that Nigerians both in the urban and rural areas, are effectively sensitised on the benefits of financial literacy which will in turn lead to an improvement in the economy.
This was stated by Director, Market Development Department, SEC, Mr. Edward Okolo during an advocacy visit by the Financial Literacy Technical Committee, a market wide committee of the capital market to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in Abuja weekend.
Okolo said visit is in an effort to further strengthen collaboration between the Committee and NAICOM and expressed appreciation to NAICOM for being a member of the committee in helping to pursue financial literacy awareness in the market.
He described the insurance industry as one of the veritable tools of raising money in the market, stressing the need to explore avenues of enlightening the states on insurance during the SEC’s regular enlightenment campaigns.
“As we market the capital market, NAICOM can also market insurance products during such campaigns. This collaboration will further strengthen our base and strengthen the financial side of the economy. Our sustenance is going to be based on how we can strengthen the market and introduce new products,” he said.
Also commenting, member of the Committee, Mr. Omagbitse Barrow said the story in the financial sector needs to be told more holistically by all agencies involved.
According to him, “we need to be in agreement as well as understand what we do to be able to forge a united front. Already, we are making use of various channels like social media, training students on Over the Counter and other financial products to enlighten Nigerians.
“Our focal area is to get people to understand more about the things we are doing and explore areas where we can collaborate as fellow regulators.
“We need to pay more attention to financial literacy and use it as a fulcrum to deepen the quality of participation and create more value for the industries. We want to continue to have more co-operation with a unified front to drive financial literacy. When that happens, the market will respond appropriately” Barrow said.
In his remarks, Director, Inspection, NAICOM, Mr. Barineka Thompson commended the committee on its work which he said would deepen the financial industry and empower the citizens.
Thompson said the work of the committee will lead to improvement in products in the insurance sector and further deepen the market, which will in turn improve the financial sector and the economy.
“We are glad that you are collaborating with NAICOM. We will mobilise our representation from the industry and this will further enhance the scope of interaction.
“As we plan ahead, we will find areas to work with the committee. We are interested in the work of the committee and can assure you of our support, we support the on-going implementation of the masterplan and will continue to support it” he added.
The Financial Literacy Technical Committee is a Market wide committee of the capital market set up by the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of the Implementation of the 10- year Capital Market Master-Plan.
NIMASA, MWUN dialogue on fate of disengaged NNSL seafarers
By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN have begun discussions on how to resolve the lingering issue of terminal benefits of Seafarers whose appointments were terminated due to the liquidation of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir JamohOFR, and the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress who is also the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, jointly announced an agreement for physical verification of the affected seafarers/next of kin as the case may apply; the nature of appointment of all affected seafarers, and the exact amount due each beneficiary.
The NIMASA DG also assured the Union that their position will be communicated to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to ensure the Government takes all necessary actions to bring to a conclusion the issue of NNSL.
“The issue of industrial harmony in the maritime sector is of uttermost interest to our administration at NIMASA. We have been at this for a while. NIMASA had offered N100 million as settlement, which the Union declined.
“We have also discovered that some of those demanding settlement did not even have any employment letter. We will follow the lead from our supervising Ministry and ensure the physical verification exercise is brought to a logical conclusion. Our Honourable Minister will be duly updated by the Agency. I look forward to closing this issue in months to come,” the DG said.
On his part, the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adeyanju restated the commitment of the Union to peaceful resolution of disputes; to ensure the rights and privileges of workers are well protected, without disrupting productivity in the Maritime Sector. He commended the Jamoh led Management at NIMASA,urging others to follow suit.
“I would like to commend NIMASA under Dr Jamoh, for the unflinching commitment to industrial harmony. He is always a phone call away to resolve any issue. Yes, NIMASA offered N100 million to offset the terminal benefits.
“However, if others like Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council and the rest also add funds, there will be enough to go round the expected beneficiaries. As we did for dockworkers when a flat rate of two hundred thousand was paid during port concession; that is what we want, putting into consideration the realities on ground now.”
COP28: Airtel Africa calls for enabling policy environment, collaboration for climate action in Africa
The Group CEO of Airtel Africa plc, Segun Ogunsanya, has reiterated the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector at COP28.
Mr. Ogunsanya, a member of the United Nations Global Compact’s African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), addressed a distinguished audience at a COP28 side event co-hosted by Airtel Africa and the ABLC.
Guests included the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweetsi Masisi; the Finance Minister of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Edun; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nigeria, Mr. Nyesom Wike; Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); Chairman of BUA Group Nigeria limited, Abdul Samad Rabiu and several business leaders from across Africa.
The Group CEO of Airtel Africa urged African business leaders and governments to join forces to advance sustainable growth, development, and prosperity across the continent.
He said, “We stress the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector. Livelihood and living must go together.”
He also shared details of Airtel Africa’s environmental stewardship initiatives. These include ‘Project Green,’ launched in 2022, and focused on circular economy practices, especially in the responsible replacement of end-of-life equipment to minimise potential adverse environmental impacts.
Furthermore, in March 2023, Airtel Africa joined the multi-stakeholder partnership to eliminate open waste burning from Africa. This collaborative effort with local authorities, private companies, community groups, civil society and development partners targets a 60 percent reduction by 2030 and complete elimination of open waste burning by 2040.
Mr. Ogunsanya declared, “Airtel Africa’s corporate purpose, our driving force, is to ‘transform lives.’ This is not simply a slogan but a genuine passion that informs every aspect of our operations and every decision we take.”
He concluded, “It is our firm belief that African businesses, including Airtel Africa, stand ready to leverage global markets to accelerate the transition to a future-fit economy. We must deliver economic development, inclusive growth and GHG emissions reduction at the same time to enjoy the fruits of sustainability.”
The United Nations African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) is a collaborative initiative comprising African business CEOs committed to fostering sustainable growth, prosperity, and development throughout the African continent.
Members in the coalition, including Airtel Africa, committed to escalating the adoption of renewable energy, investing in climate-adaptation solutions, and ensuring an equitable transition. During COP28, the ABLC released a policy recommendation urging governments to establish conducive regulatory frameworks that facilitate collective climate action.
The recommendation further advocates for the setting of decarbonization targets and the acceleration of initiatives such as green minerals and climate adaptation programs and calls for increased access to climate financing to support these endeavors.
Non-Interest Financing critical to funding amidst high debt service levels — Wale Edun
By Matthew Denis
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has stated that the country needs Non-Interest Financing as a critical sector towards funding as the country is faced with high levels of debt servicing.
The Minister’s disclosure at the SEC Nigeria-Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB) International Forum held in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “Non-interest financing is a critical part of funding and that is because as we all know, we are faced with three crises right now which are the climate, and biodiversity but there is also a debt crisis in major countries and of course, the available solution is non-debt, equity and financing mechanisms that will eliminate the pains of paying interest on loans. Rather, it is better to have a participatory opportunity that equity and non-interest finance gives.
“And so what we are saying here is a critical piece of the solution to the crises of the world currently, including the fact that for the rapid and inclusive growth this administration desires, we need to have green projects so we don’t only need to have projects funded by equity.
“As we all know, our debt service levels and revenue to debt service ratio are so high and currently constrained.”
The Minister stressed that there is fiscal exhaustion in many parts of the world and there is also a need to finance green projects.
“So the only way to grow our economy is not just relying on foreign direct investments, and domestic investments but tap into the world of non-interest financing.”
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