Stories by Omodele Adigun
An online portal,Essence.com, once asked 10 successful business women in diverse fields on what they think is needed to achieve financial success and stability. This is the advice they doled out on how to best secure your financial future.
“Set up a brokerage account and become familiar with its capabilities. Then, begin making tax-free contributions to your account via your employer payroll, just as you would a savings account.” Don’t play it safe
“Not being risk averse is what propels you into a different realm of wealth acquisition. While others are scared to make deals, you have to be ready to close on it. Financial peace comes from knowing that success is limitless. The sky is no longer the limit. There is something beyond it.”
Package your passion
“You first have to have a dream that consists of meeting a real demand that is unique, creative and void in the marketplace. Know your craft frontwards and backwards. Be steadfast in your conviction. Believe in yourself – even when you feel no one else does.”
Rev up revenues
“Creating new streams of income is vital. Relying on one source of income, such as a job or business, is more risky than we realize. Offer to work overtime, consult based on your expertise, tutor youth or seniors, invest in real estate or become a freelancer or blogger.”
Have circle of influence
“Surround yourself with a network of friends and colleagues who subscribe to the same values. Continue to seek knowledge and acknowledge that your future is yours to own.”
Face the facts
“Make an honest assessment of where your finances are in order to gain an understanding of what you have, what you need to save and how you can handle your debt and bills. If you cheat or neglect to consider all outstanding challenges, you will never have a complete understanding of all your finances.”
Leverage the great equalizer
“Take advantage of all educational opportunities. Have a game plan to translate higher education into money. Education, plus goals, plus determination, should equal financial success.”
Stick to the plan
“Have a projected budget and stay true to that budget. This will require self-discipline and self-control. Purchase only what is needed and not wanted. Don’t exhaust all of your resources. Pay off your debts, remain debt free and make a habit of saving and investing money for your future.”
Raise the roof
“Be fearless while practising common sense. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take charge of your current income. Practise the art of negotiation to earn more.”
Believe you can achieve
“You must have faith and realize there is always a harvest after good seed has been planted. Stay focused on the outcome and compliment yourself after you complete each phase of getting closer to your destination.”
Forex: Experts disagree on CBN interventions
As the Naira is quoted at different exchange rates for different purposes, experts are at loggerheads on why offshore forex investor sare still shying away from Nigeria.
At the FX seminar organized by Access Bank in Lagos last week, discussants could not agree on whether the actions of the central bank help in bringing confidence into the forex market.
In his welcome address, the CEO of the bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, praised the CBN for restoring confidence at the forex market with several policy directives:
“I will like to thank the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and his team for the bold and laudable policy directives given in recent times to jump start the Nigerian Economy and reactivate liquidity in the FX market. This not only provides hope for businesses incapacitated by the constrained liquidity of the FX market, but also shows clearly a road map to bringing the country back as an investment hub of the financial world”, he said.
But Mr. Temi Popoola, the Managing Director of Rencap Nigeria, punched holes in the directives , saying lack of confidence was the reason many portfolio investors still shun Nigeriaß.
Hear him: “If you look at the Naira, the same commodity can be traded at plus or minus ranges of 40 per cent,70 per cent even at some point 100 per cent.When the parallel market was N520, Futures market was N211.These foreign investors represent people’s money. One of them was invited to Abuja, he changed his Dollars at N520. The same Dollar, you ask him to bring to Nigeria at the official rate of N300. The question they are asking is, when I am coming in, am I coming at a price that is at par with everybody else? Show me the level where I could come in and go out freely. You can’t take money to a place where it is clear you can go in , but you can not come out, or you come out at a huge loss”.
On his part, Mr Dapo Olagunju, Group Head, Global Markets of Access Bank, reminded his co-discussants on CBN policy actions that is changing the market:
“Today, for the foreign investors, CBN has made it easy for you to buy and sell, come in and go out at any rate that you think is the best.However, for people who are able to wait and buy money from the central bank, you can actually get orders from CBN now with minimal force.
“This time last year, we were talking about backlogs. And at that time, various estimates put between $4million and $10 million as the backlogs of trade transactions that have been opened by the CBN, either by customers or even airlines in Nigeria that had Naira and couldn’t repatriate, or companies that declared dividends and could not repatriate or companies that had the Naira but could not buy Dollars; and many people who could not buy PTAs; who could not pay for school fees. People couldn’t get access to Dollars.But things have changed now. The question now is, do you have Naira to pay for the Dollars that are being allocated to you? Things are changing a little bit. We are at the end of Dollar scarcity period.The demand for Dollar itself has come down;the backlog has almost been eliminated.So I would say do not panic.
“For the people who are importing for raw materials for manufacturing plants, for drugs etc, you can easily get dollars now from the CBN than was the case even two months ago. But the most critical thing is that you need to bring your Naira.So the availability of Naira may be the defining factor on the going forward basis.”