*945# ALAT EASTER PROMO 

We are giving out airtime to forty lucky customers this Easter, read the terms and conditions carefully before you participate. Also do not engage with any account that is not an official Wema or ALAT account. We would never request any funds or personal details. 

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

  • Forty customers will be rewarded on each platform N80,000 will be spent to reward customers on each platform customers can only win a max of N1000.  

 

  • Winners will be selected based on the following.  
  1. Counts of transactions carried on within that period.  
  2. The volume of transactions carried out within that period.  

  

FAQs   

  

  1. How do I qualify for the promo?    

Answer: Carry out any airtime or bills transactions between 9 am and 4pm during the Easter period   

    

  1. How can I increase my chance of winning? ​

Answer: Simply increase the number of transactions done within that period.​

    

  1. What kind of transactions count? ​

Answer: Purchase airtime, data or pay for power using our USSD channels or on ALAT  

  

  1. How much do I stand to win?    

Answer: You stand a chance to be rewarded up to 1000 Naira airtime. 

 

WEMA BANK Announces 108.3% Growth In Profit Before Tax and Total Assets Now Above ₦1Trillion

LAGOS, NIGERIA – 4th April  2022 – Wema Bank PLC (Bloomberg: WemaBank: NL) (“Wema” or “the Bank”) announces its unaudited FY 2021 financial results. 

Wema Bank Plc’s resilience was on display as the digitally driven financial institution announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2021. The performance which capped a remarkable year showed strong growth in key financial indices especially as the bank crossed the ₦1trillion mark in total assets.

In a statement made to the public by the bank, the Managing Director. Mr. Ademola Adebise said, “I am delighted to announce our performance for the year ended 31st December 2021. The Bank’s FY 2021 results shows robust growth in all key financial metrics despite the challenging macro-economic environment.”

 

“Our year end numbers highlight the strong growth trajectory of the financial institution. We comfortably crossed the 1trillion mark in total assets, with a share of approximately 3% of industry deposits.” 

 

Wema Bank recorded an increase of 108.3% in profit before tax (PBT) to close the year at N12.38 billion. This was driven by a Year-on-Year growth of 15.35% in gross earnings to 92.14billion in FY 2021 from 79.88billion in FY 2020.

 

The Chief Finance Officer of the Bank, Mr. Tunde Mabawonku noted that “a key measure of success for us is a consistent growth in our balance sheet and customer base – and we are glad that we are reporting healthy growth in all these areas.”

 

Deposit Liabilities grew by 15.23% to 927.47billion in FY 2021 from 804.87billion in FY 2020 while Total Asset increased by 20.23% to 1.164.52billion in FY 2021 from 968.58billion in FY 2020.

 

Mr Mabawonku also added that, ” Looking forward, we expect that the strong growth will be sustained despite the tough business climate as we execute our customer experience improvement initiatives built around a digital first banking strategy and become first in class in that sphere. The bank will also continue to focus on our digital business, which is a key boost for customer acquisition, consumer lending and transaction volumes while not neglecting our corporate and commercial play. On our commercial business, we will continue our aggressive strategy to improve our lending business alongside trade and other revenue lines. We have also unveiled our new Mission and Vision statements which underpins our corporate strategy. We want to be the dominant digital platform in Africa delivering seamless financial services.

Income Statement

  • Gross earnings increased by 15.35% (Y-o-Y) to 92.14billion in FY 2021 from 79.88billion in FY 2020.
  • Profit Before Tax (PBT) of 12.3billion in FY’21, an increase of 108.26% YoY from N5.95billion in FY’20 while Profit After Tax (PAT) of 8.93billion in FY’21, an increase of 94.53% YoY from N4.59billion in FY’20.
  • Net-Interest Income grew to 39.87billion in FY 2021from 30.86billion in FY 2020; growth of 29.22%.
  • Non-Interest Income also increased from 16.83billion in FY 2021 to 18.83billion; a growth of 11.91%.

 

Statement of Financial Position

  • Deposit Liabilities up by 15.23% to 927.47billion in FY 2021 from 804.87billion in FY 2020.
  • Loans and Advances to Customers rose by 16.33% to 418.86billion in FY 2021 from 360.08billion in FY 2020.
  • Total Asset increased by 20.23% to 1.164.52billion in FY 2021 from 968.58billion in FY 2020.

 

Key Ratios

  • Return on average equity of 17.26% in FY 2021 (FY 2020; 14.31%)
  • Return on average assets of 1.16% in FY 2021 (FY 2020; 0.85%)
  • Non-performing loan ratio of 4.88% in FY’21 from 4.45% in FY’20
  • Capital adequacy ratio of 15.46% in FY’21 from 12.35% in FY’20

 

Operational Achievements

  • Fitch re-affirms Wema Bank’s National Long-term rating at (BBB)
  • GCR and Agusto re-affirm Wema’s National Long-term rating at (BBB-)

 

Financial Performance Highlights

 

Below is the performance summary of the Bank.

 

Income statement (’bn)

FY 2021

FY 2020

(∆)

(∆%)

Gross Earnings

92.14

79.88

12.26

15.35%

Interest Income

73.30

63.04

10.26

16.27%

Net Interest Income

39.87

30.86

9.01

29.19%

Non-interest income

18.83

16.83

2

11.88%

Operating expense

44.22

36.00

8.22

22.83%

Profit before Tax

12.38

5.94

6.44

108.3%

Profit after Tax

8.93

4.59

4.34

94.53%

Earnings Per Share

23.2kobo

11.9kobo

11.3

95 %

 

Balance Sheet ()

FY 2021

  FY 2020

(∆)

(∆%)

Total Assets

1,164.52bn

968.58bn

195.95bn

20.23%

Loans and Advances

418.86bn

360.08bn

58.79bn

16.33%

Deposits

927.47bn

804.87bn

122.60bn

15.23%

Shareholders’ Funds

70.36bn

59.14bn

11.22bn

18.97%

Key Ratios (in %)

FY 2021

FY 2020

(∆)

Return on Average Equity

17.26

14.31

2.95

Return on Average Asset

1.16

0.85

0.31

Yield on Asset

14.29

14.49

-0.20

Net Interest Margin

6.18

         5.74

0.44

Capital Adequacy Ratio

15.46

12.35

3.11

Loan-to-Deposit Ratio

46.96

43.86

3.10

Non-Performing Loans Ratio

4.88

4.45

0.43

Cost to Income Ratio

78.12

83.79

5.67

 

The proposed dividend of 8kobo per share is based on the total number of shares that existed as of 31st December 2021. Subsequently, the Bank obtained all regulatory approvals relating to the share capital reconstruction. The implication of this is that the proposed dividend of 8kobo per share would now translate to 24kobo per share as the number of shares would have reduced from 38,574,466,082 units as of 31 December 2021 to 12,858,155,360 units while the amount of dividend declared remains the same.

 

 

Conference Call Invitation

Wema Bank Plc. (Bloomberg: WemaBank:NL) will hold a teleconference call for investors and analysts on Wednesday, April 06, 2022 at 1pm Lagos Time with its senior management, to announce the audited financial results for the year ended December 31st, 2021. There will be an opportunity at the end of the call for management to take questions from investors and analysts.

Kindly send email to pre-register for conference call: Investor.relations@wemabank.com

 

For further information, please contact:

Tunde Mabawonku

Chief Finance &Strategy Officer

Tunde.Mabawonku@wemabank.com

+234 1 4622632

 

Funmilayo Falola

Marketing Communications and Investor Relations

Funmilayo.Falola@Wemabank.com

+234 1 2778627

 

Wema Bank Investor Relations

Investor.relations@wemabank.com

+234 (01) 2778600

 

About Wema Bank Plc

Wema Bank Plc (NGX: WEMABANK) is the pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, and one of Nigeria’s most resilient banks. With decades of experience in the business of banking, the Bank has remained innovative in delivering value to its stakeholders. Wema Bank operates a network of over 150 branches and service stations backed by a robust ICT platform. The publicly quoted Nigerian company has successfully built a legacy of trust and resilience that has won it the loyalty of its customers. The Bank is constantly introducing products and services tailored to the needs of its customers at every stage of their lives. It is a proud partner to more than one million individuals, families and businesses across Nigeria, helping them achieve their personal and financial goals.

 

More information can be found at https://www.wemabank.com/about-us/

  

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Any forward-looking statement contained in this presentation, based on past or current trends and/or activities of Wema Bank should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. No statement in this presentation is intended to be a profit forecast or to imply that the earnings of the Bank for the current year or future years will necessarily match or exceed the historical or published earnings of the Bank. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the statement. Wema Bank expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Wema Bank’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

 

How To Grow Your Business With The Power Of Branding

Branding is a unique art that is essential for all companies, especially in a crowded competitive marketplace. Creating a brand enables a company to set itself apart from every other competitor by creating a perception of its goods or services beforehand. 

The branding journal defines branding as the process of giving meaning to a specific organization, company, product, or service by creating and shaping a brand in consumers' minds.The objective is to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises. 

Branding is a very powerful tool that can make the most mundane things outstanding. Water, for instance, is one of the most consumed items in the world. It is also one of the most accessible things in the world. However, through branding, we have seen water bottlers differentiate themselves and charge a premium price for a readily available resource. 

Despite its uncanny ability to make the existence of a company stick in the heart of the audience, there have been questions regarding the importance of branding to SMEs. People often ask, "Is having a good brand important for an SME business?"  

  The answer is yes! Branding matters regardless of the size of the business.  Why does branding matter to SMEs?  As earlier stated, a strong brand allows a company to be differentiated from its competitors in the market. Here are more reasons for you to invest in branding: Strong brands enhance business performance primarily through their influence on current and prospective customers, employees, and investors· Branding has been a part of the marketing strategies that have affected an amazing push and growth on the performance of businesses around the world· 

It provides an opportunity for businesses to build trust by delivering on the promises of their brand. With branding, SMEs can attract top-quality talents by demonstrating what their company offers which a larger corporation might not offer. Note however that branding is one thing, maintaining a strong brand that will keep your company glued to the heart of your customers is another.  

Building your brand when a business is set up, it builds a reputation, whether good or bad. It is at this point that the initiation of branding should come in, to control what the reputation will look like. Hence, it is recommended for businesses, especially SMEs to start branding the moment a business is being set up.   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download ALAT For Business

Here are some key considerations for building the right brand for your business: 

Embarking in the branding process is impossible without a branding strategy. This should form part of your overall business strategy.

The purpose and mission of the business must be clear. When this is well defined, the core values to be communicated to the entire world will be well structured and stated. It is necessary to choose a suitable voice that is understood by the audience to register the brand in their minds, thus making yours the preferred brand for your target market.   When a company is set to build its brand, some inevitable questions must be asked to carry on. Questions like; who am I? How do I want my customers to feel? How am I different? How do I come across? What do I want to achieve?  

Who am I?  

This is the kind of impression and picture created in the heart of the customers about the  company.

What do I want to achieve?  

The question of what to achieve can be derived from your vision, mission, purpose, and values. 


These three things must therefore be well defined.

How do I come across?  The techniques to be adopted while communicating your values need to be defined as well. As a business owner, you must be able to pinpoint words and terminologies to be used to describe your industry, products, and services to your customers.

How am I different?  Here, any entrepreneur or business owner should know what uniquely stands the business out. This is where a conclusion on how the customer sees the business distinctively is made. It's essential to identify and develop the key differentiators. These differentiators become a robust set of unique features and benefits that will form the basis for establishing and maintaining the business’ competitive advantage.  

How do I want my customers to feel?  This is also a vital aspect of branding; knowing the feeling your company will evoke while customers interact with you. Right now your brand is making the people important to its success feel one thing or another. The question is, are those feelings helpful or a hindrance? Actions need to be taken to make sure that these feelings are positive.  

What makes a strong brand?  In deploying your brand strategy, below are some of the factors with which to measure its strength: An ability to condense the peak performances of your company, thereby making them tangible over a long period.

Clear brand core values, an unambiguous positioning, and a long-term brand strategy, a  consistent voice creates a memory in the heart of your audience. This voice can be professional, informal, sophisticated, simple, conservative, a bit sketchy, etc., and must be consistent on blogs, sites, social media platforms, emails and even ads.

 

 
 

Conclusion

Branding is a critical success tool for all businesses. If well deployed, it can be the difference between a struggling business and a successful business. Business owners must therefore dedicate resources to building and maintaining a strong brand.

Beyond just building the brand, Business owners must believe in their brand and what it represents regardless of what competition is doing. The company culture must also reflect the brand as staff are the company’s biggest brand ambassadors.  

Do these, and your company just might take over the market!  

  

 

  
  
 

Author- Gbolahan Owoeye

Wema Bank Affirms Commitment to SMEs Growth 

 
 
Lagos, Nigeria. Friday, February 25, 2022: Nigeria’s leading innovative financial institution, Wema 
Bank Plc, has once again reaffirmed its commitment to empowering and educating Small and 
Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with skills and knowledge on current business trends. 
 
The Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank Plc., Dotun Ifebogun, said this on Friday, February 
25th at the bank’s first-quarter SME webinar series themed ‘From Talent to Wealth: Building your 
Talent into a Successful Business.’ 
 
The webinar, one of the banks’ avenues to bridge the enterprise knowledge gap and grow Nigeria’s 
SME space was moderated by Creative consultant and experiential communication coach, Chioma 
‘BBB’ Okpala. Featured as panellists were the Chief Digital Officer of Wema Bank, Olusegun Adeniyi; 
the Deputy General Manager, Creative Industries, Bank of Industry, Uche Cynthia Nwuka and 
Director, Siren and Suave Entertainment Limited, Oluwole Idowu. 
 
In his opening remarks, Ifebogun stressed the significance of SMEs to the economic growth of any 
country, and highlighted Wema Bank’s strides in the SME segment and the importance of 
participating in such knowledge sharing sessions. 
 
“We understand the need to focus on this segment of the economy, and we will continue to support 
SMEs with funds, help them harness their skills and equip them with knowledge on current business 
trends to help them upscale. This is our first SME webinar of the year 2022, but the 5th edition we’ve 
done since we started the SME webinar series”, he said.  
 
Speaking on ‘Developing talent and building it into a successful business, Director, Siren and Suave 
Entertainment Limited, Oluwole Idowu, said innovators and serious-minded entrepreneurs need 
first to identify their talents, then market and make revenue from them. 
 
According to Idowu, entrepreneurs and creative artists must market themselves with the channels 
and tools available and slowly build an online presence. 
 
“As a creative person, you need to put yourself out there continuously; have an Electronic Press Kit 
(EPK) to showcase your talent and update it frequently. You must make sure that your brand image 
and perception align with your message. It is easy to get to the top but staying at the top isn’t easy. 
Build and grow slowly,” he advised the participants.  
 
Idowu further counselled creative artists to see themselves as a product and sell themselves as one. 
He also told them to be intentional when choosing a manager because it is crucial to harnessing 
their talent and building a brand.  
 
Reiterating the importance of identifying talent and applying creativity in building a business, the 
Deputy General Manager, Creative Industries, Bank of Industry, Uche Cynthia Nwuka, said 
individuals need to identify their talent and conduct market research in the industry they are 
interested in, as well as develop their character.  
 
“As an SME business, you need to be skilled in your area of interest, understand the key elements of 
business growth, conduct extensive market research, understand your financial needs, have 
knowledge of growing a customer base and learn to update yourself. Your talent will drive your 
business idea, and a good business idea will generate revenue, she said. 
 
Nwuka further noted that character is a decisive game-changer that can make or mar a business if 
not well guided. “Talent gets you to the room, while the character will keep you in the room,” she 
concluded. 
 
The Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, Olusegun Adeniyi, wrapped up the session, speaking on 
leveraging technology to build your talent into a successful business. 
 
“Technology is the biggest enabler in today’s world, around which businesses revolve. We have 
experienced digital disruptions, leading to success stories and improved services across all sectors. 
In this digital age, building your talent into a successful business requires a high level of creativity 
and innovation, he said.  
 
Adeniyi highlighted some of the opportunities for creatives in the entertainment, hospitality, digital 
marketing, fintech and health care sectors, and also took participants through current industry 
trends and how the internet has created a broad playing field for business competition.  
 
He urged young innovators and SMEs to focus on building in-demand skills, creating channels to 
market themselves, protecting themselves through legal guidance, and giving back to society. 
 
The SME-centric Wema Bank has a rich history of supporting SMEs and has, over the years, 
introduced several initiatives in the SME segment like ALAT for Business platform, funding unique 
start-ups and creatives through its Hackaholics program, SME Business School, SME loan offerings 
and many more. 
=Ends= 
 

WEMA Bank MD Shares Insight On Data Protection and Cyber-Security With Accountants

 

In Lagos, Nigeria. Tuesday, February 15, 2022: The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank Plc, Mr Ademola Adebise, has advised accountants to store data safely and protect them against cybersecurity threats and other criminal breaches. Adebise said this on Tuesday at the 16th Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) 

Western Accountants Conference themed ‘Digital Economy: Whither the Professional Accountant’ held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. 

The MD/CEO who stressed the importance of data storage and security said that accountants in the digital age must be flexible and knowledgeable to save data on storage devices on-premises or in the cloud.   He also noted that in case of loss or data corruption, the 21st-century accountant needs to be conversant with the Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) to mitigate loss. 

Mr Adebise explained that “a large amount of data is sitting on storage. As accountants, we need to safeguard our storage and be versed in data recovery and business continuity planning should there be a loss or corruption of data. 

“The accountant must be aware of contemporary issues on cybersecurity – ensuring that digital information is safe and secure, at all times. Going digital exposes you to risk from hackers. So, as an accountant, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity and must be aware of the various data and information security standards to audit the environment.” 

Apart from being security conscious and storing data securely, the MD/CEO further noted that modern accountants should understand the changes taking place in the profession, including the evolution from traditional data collection methods. 

 

He said, “these include using Enterprise Resource Planning systems that are interconnected to process data from production, distribution, marketing and sales. The accountant, therefore, needs to be skilled to understand the complexities, transaction flows of the new ways of doing things and understand what data is saying.” 

In Nigeria, the most popular forms of cybercrimes that accountants and other professionals in the financial services sector are susceptible to include fraudulent electronic mails, identity theft, hacking, cyber harassment, spamming and Automated Teller Machine spoofing. 

The biggest, however, is still fraud emails. The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) revealed that bank customers lost a total of N3.6 billion to cyber-fraud in two years (2017 and 2018). 

Data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) also showed attempted fraud in 2018 alone was about N9 billion. 

–Ends– 

 

 

 

Wema Bank Fosters Talent Development Employs Over 60 Young Nigerians.

 

In yet another demonstration of its unalloyed support for the growth and advancement of the careers of Nigeria’s teeming youths, leading innovative financial institution, Wema Bank, has employed 69 new graduates who recently completed its Bankers-in-Training Scheme. 

The Bankers-in-Training scheme is an intensive 14-week programme to help develop well-rounded bankers who are taken through the rudiments of the profession before being employed by the bank. With an average age of 27, this latest cohort was trained at the financial institution’s Purple Academy in Lagos. They underwent a general assessment to test for knowledge, comprehension and numeracy skills. 

They also underwent technical assessment as the bank sought to refine their skills for modern and innovative banking requirements before integrating them into the system to put their knowledge into practice in Wema Bank and ALAT departments. 

Commenting on the exercise, Chief Human Resource Officer, Ololade Ogungbenro, expressed delight with the quality of trainees, describing them as bright with an aptitude for banking. 

She also added that Wema Bank would not relent in developing and enlarging Nigeria’s talent pool of bankers with adequately trained people who will further develop the sector. 

“We have taken it as a duty at Wema Bank to upskill talents and set them on a comfortable pathway as they join us. Apart from our core banking business, we are also about talent development and management; hence we are delighted to have trained this new set of recruits and integrated them into the system,” she said.  

Wema Bank, the creator of Nigeria’s first fully digital bank, ALAT By Wema, has an impressive track record of talent development and management. Apart from the Bankers-in-Training Scheme, it launched an SME Business School last year to equip SMEs with the essential management knowledge required to effectively run their businesses and respond to challenges in a demanding business environment.  

 

 

 

 

=Ends= 

 

 

ALAT BY WEMA Begins First Round Of Pitch Session For Hackaholics

 

Following calls by tech enthusiasts, Nigeria’s leading digital bank ALAT by  Wema has extended the registration deadline for the 2022 edition of its Hackathon programme tagged #Hackaholics 3.0 – Building the Future. Applications for the tech competition, originally set to close on February 5, 2022, has been extended to the 5th of March 2022.  The 2022 edition of the Hackathon programme is also targeted at young Nigerians who will put their coding, product curation, and pitching skills to work, by solving interesting problems. According to ALAT, the programme aims to discover and nurture at least 50 hirable tech talents across Solutions Engineering, Data Science, Product Management, Product Design across identified University communities. 

Speaking on the initiative, the Head of Innovation, Wema Bank, Solomon Ayodele, said: “tech space is filled with emerging technological advances that hold so many possibilities and we want to key into that by raising the next generation of tech giants who will use their creativity and talent to change the course of society. We truly believe our aspirations as an 

organisation aligns with the desires of a lot of young Nigerians in creating and implementing a disruptive technology solution.” While registration is ongoing, the first round of live pitches should begin on Tuesday, February 15th at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. 

Selected candidates will pitch their ground-breaking ideas to a panel of judges who will select the best of the ideas and proceed to the next round. 

Interested applicants can apply here or on the Wema Bank website. 

 

 

 

 

The 2022 Budget: What You Need To Know

Dear Business Owner,

Welcome to the year 2022. We believe that you will have a fruitful and rewarding run this year.

The new year often presents us with an opportunity to review and re-evaluate. We hope you have taken the time to reflect upon your business in the past year and to make viable plans for this year. Your plans should include the goals you will attain as a business, your strategy for attaining those goals, and of course your budget.

Speaking of budget, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2022 Appropriation bill on the 31st of December 2021. The budget tagged “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability” is designed to achieve the following:

  • Diversification of the economy with robust growth of MSMEs
  • Investment in critical infrastructure
  • Strengthening security and ensuring good governance
  • Enabling a vibrant educated and healthy populace
  • Reducing poverty and minimizing regional, economic, and social disparities

In this month’s Newsletter, we will analyze the 2022 national budget, highlighting the portions we consider most vital to you and your business

Why You Should Care About the National Budget

The budget impacts the economy, and the state of the economy impacts your business. Every serious entrepreneur looking to draw up budgets for his business (which we highly recommend) and put in place pragmatic plans for business growth must not do so in isolation of the national budget.

Below are a few of the ways that the national budget might affect your business

  1. How money is spent and invested by the ministry of finance impacts fiscal deficit

  2. The extent of the deficit and how the deficit is being financed impacts money supply and interest rates in the economy

  3. High-interest rates imply a higher cost of capital, lower profits, and lower stock prices

  4. Higher taxes reduce disposable income

  5. Reduced disposable income, in turn, reduces the ability to pay for goods and services

  6. A decrease in demand for goods may translate to a decrease in your profit margin as a business

Now that we have convinced you to care, let’s dive right into analyzing the budget

 

 

 

The deficit of N6.39tn is expected to be financed by new borrowings, privatization proceeds and drawdown on loans secured for specific projects.

Key Assumptions

  • Benchmark Oil price – US$62 per barrel
  • Oil production volume – 1.88 million barrels per day
  • Inflation rate – 13%
  • Average exchange rate – N410.15 / US$1
  • GDP growth rate – 4.2%

Below are some of the ways the government plans to raise money for funding the budget

  • Enhancing tax and excise revenues. 
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of policies for tax waivers and concessions
  • Increasing customs revenue through technology 
  • Preserving the revenue derived from the oil and gas sector.

 

Implications for the Business Owner

  • The budget has a deficit of N6.39trn to be funded largely via borrowing. To put things in perspective, this deficit is 35% higher than the total amount budgeted for in 2015. Increasing government debt has consequences on the economy that could trickle down to your business, such as an increase in taxation, interest rates etc.

 

  • There is no provision in the budget for fuel subsidy from the 2nd half of the year. You should be prepared to pay higher amounts for PMS once this subsidy is removed. This will impact your cost of doing business directly through increased power and transportation costs, and indirectly through the expected inflationary impact of the subsidy removal. We recommend that you make adjustments to this. However, it is not a certainty that the subsidy will be removed by the government.

 

  • The government has imposed a 6% tax on the turnover of Offshore companies providing digital services to individuals in Nigeria. This includes services such as electronic data storage, high-frequency trading, online advertising etc. In addition, the companies are obliged to charge, collect, and remit VAT. This will cause a marginal hike in your cost of consuming digital products/services. For example, your social media advertising cost will be affected by this.

 

  • The government has also imposed an N10 per litre excise duty on all non-alcoholic, carbonated, and sweetened beverages in the country. Whether you are trading in these beverages or consuming them, you should expect a marginal increase in their prices

 

 On the bright side, monies have been set aside in the budget for conducting the national population and housing census. The last time Nigeria had a national census was 15 years ago. Data from the census will better position the government to strategize and make decisions that affect national development

 Also, there has been an expansion in the country’s revenue base. This year, 65% of projected income will come from non-oil sources. This will better stabilize the economy, cushioning it from shocks that may arise due to movements in international oil prices.

2021 FINANCE ACT: SOME NOTABLE CHANGES

Recall that we shared major highlights of the 2020 finance act with you last year. On the 31st of December 2021, the 2021 finance bill was signed into law. Below are some of the changes introduced by the new act:

  • Increase in Education tax payable by Nigerian companies from 2% to 2.5%
  • 10% Capital gains tax chargeable on disposal of shares worth N100m or above in any 12 consecutive months, except the proceeds of such disposal is re-invested in the shares of a Nigerian company.
  • FIRS has been mandated to enforce the payment of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund levy. Rate is 0.005% of the net profit of companies operating in Nigeria
  • Companies engaged in educational activities are now expected to pay Corporate Income Tax, including those whose activities are of public character

Companies operating in select sectors with a turnover of N100m and above are subject to a science and engineering levy of 0.25% of their profit before tax. The sectors include banking, mobile telecommunication, ICT, aviation, maritime, and oil and gas.

Ndianabasi Udondian
RETAIL AND SME

Wema Bank Affrims Its Adherence To Best-In-Class Governance Processes

Nigeria’s leading digital bank, Wema Bank Plc, has reassured its stakeholders that it continues to operate with best-in-class governance processes.

The bank also faulted the premise on which a non-governmental organisation, Transparency Nigeria Group, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to remove its Managing Director/CEO, describing the call as baseless.

The bank reassured its customers and stakeholders that it has and would continue to operate with the highest level of corporate governance, following all rules, policies, and procedures.

“We have no links to any political party and neither are we agents, allies or proxies of any politicians in the country. We are a financial institution solely committed to financial intermediation to enable and fast track the socio-economic development of the country,” the bank said.

The statement further explains that Wema Bank’s observance and strict adherence to due diligence and extant rules and regulations is why it is the oldest surviving indigenous bank in Nigeria.

 

For more information visit www.wemabank.com

 

The Impending New Covid-19 Variant: How SMEs Should Prepare To Safeguard Their Business

Small and Medium-Sized- Enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in national economies around the world both in developed and developing countries: generating employment and contributing to GDP growth. Small businesses act as important tools to achieve environmental sustainability and more inclusive growth.

Over the last few decades, globalization, rapid technological advances and dizzying products development have propelled small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) toward sustainable innovation to gain competitive advantage. The growth of this space is now threatened by the devastating impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has mutated (changed), resulting in new variants of the virus (Delta variant and omicron variant are examples of notable variants). The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic affected every industry as it disrupted supply chains and forced the shutdown of various businesses. The period of closure and movement prevention policies adopted by governments in many countries have greatly affected SMEs, paralysing their operations, weakening their financial positions, and exposing them to financial risk

Unfortunately, after months of steady decline, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are creeping back up which is of great concern globally.  As the world is adjusting gradually to the new normal, it is very necessary for SMEs to take advantage of leveraging on sustainable innovation and strategies in growing their business beyond.

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Various strategies have been identified as potential drive which SMEs can use to improve their competitiveness in global markets amidst developing covid-19 variant:

  1. Networking and Flexible production strategies: SME’s can exploit the networking space to identify new markets and promote their products through various online sales platform. These online channels offers enormous opportunities such as e-commerce sales and lower operating cost.
  2. Continuous Entrepreneurial Skills Development: entrepreneurial capabilities are also important in increasing the development and survival rates of start-ups. There is need to keep growing new skills and ideas in maintaining sustainable business growth.
  3. Improve on product branding: SMEs should make branding an integral part of their business plan rather than an afterthought. Branding helps in creating demand for products and services, resulting in faster sales. Even for B2B business, branding creates recognition, reputation and trust resulting in better conversions.
  4. Adapting to current market trends: market trend keeps changing and unpredictable because of these newly discovered variant cases. SMEs need to be monitoring trends in their product/service markets continuously to ensure customers satisfaction requirements are met and changes in customer preferences are caught early.
  5. Preplanning and learning from experience: Preplanning has always been considered a strategic management process that helps to fight against uncertainties. Outbreak of Covid-19 created a wake-up call regarding external uncertainty and degradation in the social and economic development. SMEs should identify substitutes for product ingredients ahead of disruptions or be able to pivot to new products in case of problems with some products.

Behind every crisis is an opportunity, as the saying goes but opportunity favours only those who are prepared. The 2008 global financial meltdown hit so hard and created disruption that will remain fresh in the minds of many people for years to come. To those who were prepared, the economic recession was the best of times and to those who weren’t prepared; it was the worst of times. The global economic recession came like a tsunami and swept away lots of businesses; both big and small.

The business environment is continually changing all over the world, SMEs are central to the collective goal of increasing productivity turnover and ensuring that the benefits from increased globalisation are sustained. SMEs entrepreneurial opportunities represent an important vector for economic and social participation.

Greater flexibility and capacity to plan can give SMEs a competitive advantage in global markets relative to the current new normal economy challenges, as they are able to respond rapidly to changing market conditions.

Conclusion

The Covid-19 pandemic is the new normal and it seems it will be with us for a while. The introduction of new virus variants will keep changing the dynamics of doing business worldwide. While the prospects for many SMEs may look discouraging, the pandemic still presents opportunities for businesses that are proactive. A good example are the companies that pivoted from making gels or other FMCG products to manufacturing hand sanitizers. It is advisable now for SMEs to assess the damages their companies may face and strategically create protection measures that will assist in mitigating the impact of the pandemic while maximizing the opportunities that will most certainly present themselves once the pandemic is contained.

Author- Gbolahan Owoeye