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The minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite has launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) in a bid to position Nigeria as a talent export hub designed to create not less than one million jobs in the next five years.

 

The Minister performed the launching on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, United States of America.

 

In her opening remarks at the launch of the initiative at the Microsoft office in NewYork, the minister highlighted the need to ensure Nigeria takes the lead in exporting global talents that are doing well across the world which will also drive a huge investment in training and also attracting more investment in talent exportation.

 

According to her, the initiative is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda to diversify the Nigerian economy, create sustainability opportunities and generate about 50 million jobs for the youths over time.

 

“NATEP is an initiative that will serve as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export.

 

“As part of our strategy towards achieving this, President Bola Tinubu whose agenda is job creation, we have initiated a National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) for Nigeria, which targets the creation of one million jobs across Nigeria with a target of five years in line with the theme of this year’s UNGA, which is rebuilding trust and igniting global solidarity, accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”, the minister said.

 

Uzoka-Anite further informed the large gathering comprising of world leaders and other giant tech companies across the globe like; Amazon, World Economic Forum, Microsoft group, Flour Mills Nigeria, Meta, Google and a host of others, that the global talent sourcing industry is valued at $620 billion as at 2020 and industry pundit have forecasted it will be valued at about $904 billion by 2027.

 

“Nigeria can supply top talents for the global service export and outsourcing business. With over 1.7 million graduates from higher education institutions entering the workforce annually, this will reduce the burden of unemployment and over-dependence on the government for jobs”, she explained.

 

The Minister further noted that NATEP was specially created to arrest the bottleneck facing the talent and service sector export industry, which will enhance competitiveness, and innovation, and drive sustainable development growth, empowerment and training through trade and value chain exchange.

 

She added: “Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent export, as the government is ready to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) to penetrate the huge continental market and target job opportunities.

 

“As a country, we have a significant value proposition for regional and global markets for the export of services. We will actively target Greenfield and brownfield job opportunities in the United Kingdom, Europe, China, Canada, the United States of America and a host of other countries”.

 

The Minister For Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, while addressing participants at the launch disclosed that launching NATEP was timely, adding that to drive the mandate for Nigeria to be positioned as one of the global talent export hubs in Africa and the world will see Nigeria benefit more in terms of generating huge revenue, digitalization of the economy, more robust data protection opportunities and also avert the massive brain drain within the youth demography.

 

According to him, Nigerians in the diaspora are doing great things in the tech world, adding that it’s time for Nigeria to benefit by making more money and develop other youths to maximize their potentials.

 

“With a youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates from higher educational institutions joining the workforce each year, Nigeria has the potential to provide high-quality talent for the Global Service export and outsourcing industry. We must first identify them, train them and make the world see the stuff they are made of. We will not only create jobs but also empower them with the basic skills of survival and pass them on to the next generation” Dr Tijani said.

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Business

ZENITH BANK ENDS 2023 ON A HIGH WITH REMARKABLE 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.

 

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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GTCO Plc Releases 2023 Full year Audited Result …….. Reports Profit Before Tax of ₦609.3billionLagos, Nigeria – April 2024

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (“GTCO” or the “Group”) has released its Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2023, to the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) and London Stock Exchange (LSE). The Group reported profit before tax of ₦609.3billion, representing an increase of 184.5% over ₦214.2billion recorded in the corresponding year ended December 2023. The Group’s loan book (net) Increased by 31.5% from ₦1.89trillion recorded as at December 2022 to ₦2.48trillion in December 2023, while deposit liabilities grew by 63.7% from ₦4.61trillion in December 2022 to ₦7.55trillion in December 2023.

 

The Group’s balance sheet remained well structured, diversified, and resilient with total assets and shareholders’ funds closing at ₦9.7trillion and ₦1.5 trillion, respectively. Full Impact Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained very strong, closing at 21.9%, while asset quality was sustained as IFRS 9 Stage 3 Loans improved to 4.2% in December 2023 from 5.2% December 2022. However, Cost of Risk (COR) closed at 4.5% from 0.6% in December 2022 owing to worsening macros which caused significant increase in ECL variables.Commenting on the results, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said: “The challenging operating environment of 2023 truly tested the business model we put in place for the Holding Company, for both our banking and non-banking business verticals.

 

Harnessing the Group’s synergies yielded a strong performance, allowing us to strengthen our foothold in banking whilst also building viable and resilient businesses of HabariPay, Guaranty Trust Fund Managers, and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers. Also important to our success is our relentless obsession with innovation and offering great customer experiences as demonstrated by the successful redesign and upgrade of our mobile banking application, GTWorld.”Mr. Agbaje added: “In a landscape characterised by evolving regulatory reforms, global uncertainties, and heightened competition, we have continued to leverage our inherent strengths and capabilities to unlock significant value, creating more opportunities for the businesses and individuals we serve.

 

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, we are confident that our robust underpinnings and focus on flawless execution will continue to drive sustainable growth across all our operations and deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”Overall, the Group continues to post one of the best metrics in the Nigerian Financial Services industry in terms of key financial ratios i.e., Pre-Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) of 50.6%, Pre-Tax Return on Assets (ROAA) of 7.6%, Full Impact Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 21.9% and Cost to Income ratio of 29.1%.GTCO is a leading financial services group with banking operations in Nigeria, West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom alongside non-banking verticals in HabariPay, Guaranty Trust Fund Managers, and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers. Its leadership in the banking industry and efforts at empowering people and communities has earned it many prestigious awards over the years. Recently, Guaranty Trust Bank was recognized as Nigeria’s Best Bank and Best Bank in CSR at the 2023 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, Best Banking Group in Nigeria by World Finance, and Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance. GTCO’s Guaranty Trust Bank is featured in the Top 1000 Banks in the World and Top 100 Banks in Africa rankings by The Banker.

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