By Jane Osamor
Salary earners, individuals, self-employed and small businesses have been advised to make deliberate efforts to save and diversify their income stream in the light of the current state of the nation’s economy. This was the submission of panelists at the webinar titled: Maximising your income: the power of diversification, organized by Ecobank Nigeria as part of its commemoration of this year’s Workers’ Day. This is just as Ecobank has reiterated that it has wide array of product offerings and financial services to meet the needs of the people and support businesses across the country.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Yemi Kale in his presentation titled: State of the Nigerian Macroeconomy: Implications for Consumers and Workers, pointed out that the nation’s economy has potentials for growth, based on its huge youth population, large market, abundant natural and human resources and significant developments in the tourism, telecommunications, manufacturing, and technology industries. He regretted that such potentials are being hindered by macroeconomic dysfunctions which includes external contagion, political instability, improper planning and poor plan implementation and outright wrong decisions, policies, and strategies.
“Our GDP growth has been steady, slow, and fragile, high inflation risks, rising public debt indicative of shrinking fiscal space and declining reserves and slowdown in capital inflow. Households and workers must therefore explore multiple sources of income, invest to hedge inflation, buy food items in bulk to evade immediate upward price adjustment and avoid loan accumulation.”. He stated.
He identified Ecobank as one of the financial institutions that parades diversified products and services, noting the bank’s decision to organize the webinar was quite laudable because of the attendant benefits.
Further, the former statistician General of the nation noted that “Nigeria has potentials for strong economic growth. It is the biggest economy in Africa and largest African market. Nigeria has abundant human resources as Africa’s most populous nation with growing youthful population and low-cost labour. It is the 6th largest gas deposit in the world, 8th highest producer of petroleum in the world and oil reserves are estimated to be 36 billion barrels. We are blessed with 34 solid minerals, over 44 exportable commodities and significant growth potentials in the tourism, telecommunications, manufacturing, and technology industries.”
Also speaking, Daberechi Effiong, who heads Consumer Products at Ecobank Nigeria highlighted the benefits of saving with the bank and how to diversify income to maximize returns. She advised customers to spread their portfolios for multiple sources of income and also imbibe the habit of financial planning. According to her, “Ecobank has bouquet of high yielding products with attractive interest rates which customers can invest in. They can take advantage of our savings and current accounts, local and foreign accounts, super savers and so many others. We also have mortgage financing, either re-financing or outright purchase. They can access our services through our digital channels and Xpress points, our agency banking outlets, which is available all over the country. We also offer financial advice and grant loans with low interest rates to customers.”
Oluyemisi Ogunmola, Managing Director, EDC Fund Management Limited stated the need for participants to invest in Money Market, Mutual Fund as part of income diversification. “You should have goals for diversification, either short, medium, or long term. We are also available for financial advice on where and how to invest. It is also important to know that you can start small with the fund you have.” She stated.
Earlier In her welcome address, Mrs. Korede Demola-Adeniyi, Head, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, said the webinar focuses on practical financial planning insights on maximizing income and how customers and members of the public can key in as they go through their financial lifecycle. She added that the webinar is a further proof of the bank’s commitment to the financial well-being of its customers, and so, urged the bank’s customers as well as non-customers to make Ecobank their bank of choice.
Ecobank Nigeria Ltd is an affiliate of the Ecobank Group, the leading private pan-African banking group. Ecobank Nigeria offers a comprehensive suite of financial services and solutions to its Consumer, Commercial, Corporate and Investment Banking clients at over 200 branches and 50,000 Xpress Point agency locations in Nigeria. The Ecobank Group was established in 1985 to drive financial integration and socio-economic development in Africa. With a presence in 35 sub-Saharan African countries as well as in France, the UK, UAE and China, we have unrivalled expertise and experience across Africa. The Ecobank pan-African platform provides a single gateway for payments, cash management, trade and investment across Africa and beyond