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Chief Rasaki Akanni Okoya @84: Industrialization Can Make Nigerian Youth Productive

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Chief Rasaki Akanni Okoya @84: Industrialization Can Make Nigerian Youth Productive

Chief Rasaki Akanni Okoya @84: Industrialization Can Make Nigerian Youth Productive

…My Hope is that the Current Administration Makes the Industrialization of Nigeria a Cardinal Goal:

…Nigerian Youths have Potential and Can be Stronger with Greater Empowerment.

…Wealth Creation in Nigeria’s Rural Communities will Prevent Urban Migration

Born on January 12, 1940, Chief Rasaki Okoya is a billionaire industrialist with a Midas touch. The Aare of Lagos is the owner and founder of Eleganza group of companies and RAO Investment Properties whose tentacles have spread across Nigeria and the West African countries. With his experience as an industrial magnate spanning over 6 decades, he knows it all and he has seen it all. Chief Okoya’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a billionaire is a testament to his unwavering vision, strategic insight, relentless and perseverance. As he turns 84, Okoya talks about the secret of his success, and how government can make the youth productive using industrialization.

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Life Lesson at 84 and secret of his success
Consistency, perseverance, hard work commitment, passion and integrity are the only vehicles that can drive you to success and not by cutting corners. Also, it is by being true to oneself in what one is doing. I am passionate about my business. I am committed to it and I have been consistent over the years by getting involved all the way by not playing the boss. At Eleganza, we try to work within our means particularly by working with the local market. It has helped the business to grow this far.

His advice, proposal and recommendation for job creation for the youth:
I have decided to use this opportunity to propose a recurring vision that has plagued me. My warmest regards and Congratulations! to our President His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice President His Excellency Kashim Shettima for their steady management of the economy. We pray for peaceful and successful terms ahead. From working and monitoring the manufacturing industry for over 60 years. My hope is that the current administration makes the industrialisation of Nigeria a cardinal goal: utilising our youths and empowering increased incorporation of manufacturing through the establishment of many cottage industries and factories during their term. Did you know, a significant percentage of the country’s GDP is derived from MSMEs and it can be approximated that majority of these enterprises are youth-owned?
Making the Youth Productive Via Industrialisation
Our youth have potential and can be stronger with greater empowerment. If you open the eyes of a blind man, he will never want to go back to the darkness. I think to myself regularly on how do we utilise our dominant working population. The picture in my mind places all 36 states and the federal capital territory as industrial hubs, varying in speciality where the average Nigerian citizen should be able to live, work, shop, have access to healthcare and other conveniences (e.g., recreational, worship facilities etc.); all without leaving their state of origin, within their industrial hubs. Bringing this into realisation could be initiated through investment in incubation centres, in each state (dispersed based on the requirements and geographical advantages of the state). Preparing one-unit warehouses of approximately 5,000 sq m per cluster, having 10,000 of each unit/micro industry in each state including the federal capital territory, Abuja. Similarly, provision can be made to private estate developers to create infrastructural extensions in areas with existing low- income housing to include warehouses. This will enhance the appeal of opportunities in our rural states, transforming them into vibrant economic zones and serving as significant Industrial infrastructure for each state.
Leveraging on international connections:
In addition to the above, Nigerian Government can invite specialists and international machine manufacturers (e.g. China/India etc.)to train our graduates in vocational skills and provide crucial technology transfer through the sale of machinery, and equipment for daily need products in exchange for local minerals via the use of a barter trading system. By opting to further facilitate local manufacturing of products, the government can consider onward sales of the above mentioned machines to the youth on a long-term basis.The government should protect our industries by imposing strict prohibitions of imports and policing the markets to enforce the ban on importation. With these, I believe we can conserve our precious foreign exchange, increase GDP, and strengthen our local markets/producers.
Making electricity available will turn the economy around, the youths and existing industries:
Power supply should be made available to our youths and other existing industries. If small-scale factories could work without generators, it would solve majority of the country’s crippling problems. Requiring each unit to adhere to contemporary demands of sustainability, preservation of natural capital and utilisation of renewable energy will ensure longevity and create backups to the national grid power supply. Incorporating training to pre-empt and prevent environmental degradation, learning from the case of China. This will provide practical experience that would give our youth a strong sense of belonging, and a promise of hope. It is our duty as Nigerian seniors, to help our youth the truth to know.
His thoughts on wealth creation and urban migration
Ultimately, promoting urbanisation in the rural areas of the country, and stemming rural-to- urban migration by wealth creation in our rural communities will prevent overcrowding in urban areas; keeping our youths off the streets, by encouraging them to get a house and job opportunities. We need to instil a sense of pride and dignity through respectable labour in our youth. The creation of varied and sustainable industrial cities will be pivotal in the national stimulation of progress. All this could be financed in the government budget with the aid of private sector investment schemes and the youth could be required to pay back within 10 to 25 years, and/or enjoy grants to support them. This will unleash and enable patient capital required to catalyse economic growth, jobs and entrepreneurship for our youths. Better to light the candle than curse the darkness. Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself. This vision enacted would enable us to manufacture a better Nigeria. To ensure the success of this proposed economic remedy, Nigeria, the economic powerhouse of Africa should entirely and unitedly embrace a propensity of population utilisation, to supercharge the entire African continent. I believe more technical details and possibilities have to be discussed on the above ideas.
His praise to the current administration:
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a visionary leader who is passionate about Nigeria. I am sure this administration will promote commerce and industry. I pray for the President and Vice President, with the aid of Allah SWT, to consider this and include it in their good programme as a blueprint for the rebirth of our great nation.
Why Eleganza is still standing six decades after:
We believe in Nigeria and we have promoted Made in Nigeria Products over the years. The Eleganza Industrial City Limited is a testament to our vision as an established. It is place where you find various products under one roof. Under the new industry, the company produces luggage/bag that can be branded for companies, pilgrimage, government parastatals and family trip. It also manufactures over 68 different designs of standard chairs for churches, parties, eateries, hotels etc. It also has sets of coolers and food warmers in different shapes and design. This attests to the fact that consistency, not compromise on standard and quality have been the guiding principles that have kept the company going in the past four decades
On his humanitarian gesture:

Many of my activities revolve around religion and service to humanity through various philanthropy. This cut across the various sectors of the society. At various times, I have supported medical establishments and hospital homes by donating lifesaving equipment. With modesty, ELeganza is one of the biggest employers of labour by giving employment to thousands of Nigerians. I also believe in quality education and the foundation under my name in recent years has thrown its weight in support of the Nigerian educational sector. Several undergraduate students have benefited from his Alhaji Akanni Okoya Scholarship Awards.

His advice for the youths:
As said in my previous interviews, it took me 60 years to build the Eleganza conglomerate through dint of hard work. Nigerian youths are hard working and resilence If they can embrace hard work more and more, they will be successful because they have what it takes with enabling environment.

 

 

Chief Rasaki Akanni Okoya @84: Industrialization Can Make Nigerian Youth Productive

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Nestlé’s Nutritionist, Cissoko, Provides Insights On Harmonious Transition To A Balanced Diet After Ramadan

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Nestlé’s Nutritionist, Cissoko, Provides Insights On Harmonious Transition To A Balanced Diet After Ramadan

Nestlé’s Nutritionist, Cissoko, Provides Insights On Harmonious Transition To A Balanced Diet After Ramadan

The sacred month of Ramadan came to an end about 24 hours ago with Eid al-Fitr celebrations which mark the end of the fasting period.

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Nestlé’s Nutritionist, Cissoko, Provides Insights On Harmonious Transition To A Balanced Diet After Ramadan

This technically raises the issue of how to smoothly return to daily eating habits after the sunrise to sunset, no water or food long hours.

Then, breaking the fast at sunset, followed by one to two more meals before dawn. Meals during Ramadan are often more abundant and richer than usual, consumed at unusual hours of the night.

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As the sacred month of Ramadan comes to an end with Eid al-Fitr, the celebration marking the end of the fasting period, many people wonder how to smoothly return to their daily eating habits. How can one make this transition without any hiccups and adopt behaviors that promote a healthy diet while avoiding post-Ramadan nutritional pitfalls?

To guide you in this process, Dr. Cissoko, Nutritionist at Nestlé, provides some insights for a harmonious transition to a balanced diet after Ramadan.

Readjusting Your Digestive System without Rushing:

To avoid potential stomach discomfort, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, it is recommended to opt for easily digestible foods. Fish is preferable to meat as it is lighter and easier to digest. Cooked vegetables with low fat content are also gentler on the digestive system compared to raw vegetables. Whole or semi-whole grains are rich in fiber and promote a healthy intestinal transit. Fully ripe fruits are also easier to digest than unripe ones.

Water, on the other hand, is your best ally for a smooth transition before returning to a normal diet. In addition to maintaining the body’s water balance, it plays an essential role in digestion by facilitating the process and helping eliminate toxins. Water remains the best beverage.

Lastly, prioritize small portions and take the time to chew your food well, which allows for better digestion and optimal nutrient absorption.

Opt for Gradual Changes, the Key to Dietary Rebalancing:

For a smooth transition after Ramadan, it is recommended to adopt a measured and thoughtful approach, whether in introducing different food groups or in the frequency and intensity of physical activities. Take the time to gradually introduce foods in a balanced manner, ensuring to include all necessary food groups for a healthy diet. It is important to note that physical exercise is of paramount importance in the context of a balanced diet. Light activities such as walking are particularly recommended at the beginning. They stimulate the body without subjecting it to excessive efforts. Over time, you can gradually increase the intensity of these physical activities according to your abilities. This gradual approach is the key to regaining dietary balance after Ramadan.

Avoiding Post-Ramadan Nutritional Pitfalls:

It is important to remain aware of potential nutritional pitfalls that could hinder a balanced diet.

Excessive Sugar Intake: After a period of fasting, it can be tempting to indulge in excessive sweets and desserts. It is essential to limit the consumption of added sugar and prioritize natural sources of sugar, such as fruits.

Excessive Portions: After fasting, it is common to want to compensate by eating larger portions. However, this can lead to overeating and calorie imbalance. It is important to maintain moderate portions and eat slowly to better feel satiety.

Ensuring a Good Variety of Foods: After Ramadan, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet by ensuring the inclusion of a variety of foods to guarantee an adequate intake of essential nutrients. Make sure to include a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and sources of healthy fats in your meals.

Maintaining Proper Hydration: After a period of fasting, it is important to ensure adequate hydration. Make sure to drink enough water throughout the day to maintain good hydration. It is recommended to consume at least 2 liters of water per day.

Being Mindful of Snacking: Prioritizing structured meals over snacking helps maintain a healthy weight and avoid unnecessary calorie intake.

Listening to Your Body: Relearning to listen to hunger and satiety signals is a valuable skill to adjust your diet to your true needs.

Planning to Avoid Slip-Ups: Anticipating and preparing meals is an effective strategy to stick to a balanced diet and avoid impulsive food choices.
The period following Ramadan is an opportune time to establish or reinforce healthy and sustainable eating habits. By taking conscious steps, each individual can make the most of this transition to nourish their body and mind.

At Nestlé, we encourage and support this journey by offering a variety of products and tips to accompany you in your quest for a balanced diet.

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ZENITH BANK ACHIEVES HISTORIC MILESTONES IN 2023 WITH STELLAR TRIPLE-DIGIT TOPLINE AND BOTTOM-LINE GROWTH 

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ZENITH BANK ACHIEVES HISTORIC MILESTONES IN 2023 WITH STELLAR TRIPLE-DIGIT TOPLINE AND BOTTOM-LINE GROWTH 

ZENITH BANK ACHIEVES HISTORIC MILESTONES IN 2023 WITH STELLAR TRIPLE-DIGIT TOPLINE AND BOTTOM-LINE GROWTH 

 

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Zenith Bank Plc has announced its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2023, achieving a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125% in gross earnings from NGN945.6 billion reported in 2022 to NGN2.132 trillion in 2023. According to the audited financial results for the 2023 financial year presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), this impressive triple-digit growth in gross earnings resulted in a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 180% in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from NGN284.7 billion in 2022 to NGN796 billion in 2023. Profit After Tax (PAT) also recorded triple-digit growth of 202% from NGN223.9 billion to NGN676.9 billion in the period ended December 31, 2023.

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The increase in gross earnings is primarily due to growth in interest and non-interest income. Interest income increased by 112% from NGN540 billion in 2022 to NGN1.1 trillion in 2023. Non-interest income grew by 141% from NGN381 billion to NGN918.9 billion in the same period. The increase in interest income is attributed to the growth in the size of risk assets and their effective repricing, alongside the rise in the yield of other interest-bearing instruments over the year. Growth in non-interest income was driven by significant trading gains and an increase in gains from the revaluation of foreign currencies.

The cost of funds grew from 1.9% in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023 due to the high interest rate environment while interest expense increased by 135% from NGN173.5 billion in 2022 to NGN408.5 billion in 2023. Notwithstanding the 32% growth in operating expenses in 2023, the Group’s cost-to-income ratio improved significantly from 54.4% in 2022 to 36.1% in 2023 due to improved top-line performance. Return on Average Equity (ROAE) increased by 118% from 16.8% in 2022 to 36.6% in 2023, underpinned by improved gross earnings, as the Group sought to deliver better shareholder returns. Return on Average Assets (ROAA) also grew by 95% from 2.1% to 4.1% in the same period.

The Group has continued to deepen its market leadership in key corporate and retail deposit segments as customer deposits increased by 69% from NGN9.0 trillion to NGN15.2 trillion in 2023. Its retail drive continues to yield dividends as retail deposits now constitute 46% of total deposits (compared to 44% in 2022) and grew by 77% from NGN3.97 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.04 trillion in 2023, also reinforcing increased customer confidence in the Zenith brand.

Total assets increased by 66% from NGN12.3 trillion in 2022 to NGN20.4 trillion in 2023, largely due to growth in total deposits and the revaluation of foreign currency deposits. Gross loans grew by 71% from NGN4.1 trillion in 2022 to NGN7.1 trillion in 2023 due to the revaluation of foreign currency loans and the growth in local currency risk assets. As a result of the disciplined and diligent approach to risk assets creation and management, the loan growth did not significantly impact the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio, which increased marginally from 4.3% to 4.4% despite the heightened risk environment and challenging operating environment, an attestation to the Group’s resilience despite headwinds and a challenging macroeconomic environment. Also, the prudential ratios remain within regulatory thresholds, with the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and liquidity ratio at 21.7% and 71.0%, respectively, at the close of 2023.

As a demonstration of its commitment to shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of NGN3.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to NGN4.00 per share.

In 2024, the Group will complete the transition to a holding company structure, which is anticipated to position it advantageously for exploring emerging opportunities in the Fintech space while bolstering its digital and retail banking initiatives. Furthermore, the Group is undertaking urgent necessary actions to meet the new minimum NGN500 billion equity capital requirement to maintain its international authorisation within the timeframe stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This will strengthen its presence in key markets to continue positioning for sustainable growth and value addition for stakeholders.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, including being recognised as Best Bank in Nigeria, for the fourth time in five years, from 2020 to 2022 and in 2024, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; the Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Nigeria in the Euromoney Awards 2023, being listed in the World Finance Top 100 Global Companies in 2023; being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 14th consecutive year, in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022 and 2023; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for four successive years from 2020 to 2023, by the Ethical Boardroom; Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021; Bank of the Year 2023 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.

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Wema records 196 percent profit before tax in 2023 financial report

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HACKAHOLICS DIGITAL SUMMIT 2023: WEMA BANK LAUNCHES AFRICA’S LARGEST GATHERING OF INNOVATORS, DISRUPTORS, REGULATORS, POLICYMAKERS, INVESTORS & CUSTOMERS IN THE DIGITAL SPACE

Wema records 196 percent profit before tax in 2023 financial report

Wema Bank has announced its full Year 2023 Audited financial statement, recording profit before tax growth of 196 per cent from ₦14.75bn to N43.59 billion.

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The bank also proposed a dividend per share of 50kobo; up from 30 kobo in 2022 and deposit growth of 60 per cent to ₦1,860.57bn from ₦1,165.93bn reported in FY 2022.

“Return on Equity (ROAE) of 39.28%, NPL of 4.31% and N40billion 1st tranche of Capital raise awaiting final regulatory approvals,” a statement from the bank said.

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Commenting on the results, the MD/CEO, Mr. Moruf Oseni said, “2023 showcased a revitalised Wema Bank as evidenced by the considerable improvements in our numbers. The performance is headlined by impressive improvements in Profit before Tax which grew strongly by 196%.”

He noted that the growth of Gross Earnings by 72%, Total Assets by 56% and earnings per share at 279.5 kobo shows the core improvements to the bank’s balance sheet.

“In addition, our cost to income ratio at 64.37% has witnessed significant improvement from the previous period.

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“We also completed our N40bn Capital raise exercise (results awaiting final verification by regulators). This exercise actively positioned us for the new capital licensing requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Wema Bank will accelerate its capital management plans and ensure we embark on the journey to raise the required capital as quickly as possible.

“The Bank will be proposing a dividend per share of 50 kobo to its shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting; this is in line with the Bank’s capital conservation strategy and to ensure that it continues to provide returns to its shareholders in anticipation of additional capital raises scheduled for later this year.

“We are satisfied with the bank’s performance in the first year of the new leadership team, as we move in a strong growth trajectory. Our target remains clear, we want to become a Top-Tier Bank in the industry powered by Digital excellence, we have carved a niche for ourselves with ALAT as a Retail platform, but we are now positioning the enterprise as the Intelligent platform for all financial services.

“We have partnered with the Federal Government on upskilling Two Million MSMEs, provided engagement platforms for all NYSC members and are now implementing partnerships in Health, Education, Women empowerment and in the green economy.

“In the months ahead, we would be developing platforms and supporting initiatives that prioritise the needs of our customers, leveraging technology in solving problems across all sectors.”

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