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Expert calls on senate to investigate why cryptocurrency adoption is rising despite restrictions

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An expert on Cryptocurrency and alternative finance has called on the Nigerian Senate to tour the path of their counterparts in other climes to investigate the rising adoption of cryptocurrency in Nigeria despite clampdowns on accounts associated with cryptocurrency transactions by the CBN, instead of allowing things as they currently are.

The expert, Rume Ophi who is an analyst for Channels Television on cryptocurrency matters, as well as the Founder of the fast-growing Cryptopreacher Academy expressed this view recently in a chat with journalists in Lagos.

Recall recently, the United States Congress set up a ‘“Demystifying Crypto: Digital Assets and the Role of Government” committee hearing which held in Nov. 17, chaired by Representative Don Beyer — who has previously proposed legislation expanding the regulatory and legal framework for digital assets in the U.S.

Giving the rationale for the rise in adoption of cryptocurrency in Nigeria, Rume explained, “adoption of cryptocurrencies is much higher in developing countries like Nigeria more than in developed countries, asides the United States. Impressively b ut not surprisingly, Nigeria is leading in worldwide adoption of cryptocurrency.

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“The reason is very simple: inflation is a chief cause of this. This is evident in markets like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania. This is a way people can actually hedge themselves and get into other currencies and enable them offset that,” he revealed.

While reeling out some of the importance of cryptocurrency to any nation and how Nigeria can gain from its vantage position on the global map on its adoption of cryptocurrency, Rume appealed to Nigerian Senate to set up an independent panel to look into investigating crypto and working out a legal framework that will serve as a sort of regulation for the space.

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He said, “Like the US Senate, our lawmakers can hold a hearing on the role of government concerning crypto where stakeholders in this space will have a dialogue with lawmakers on cryptocurrency in Nigeria and how Nigeria and Nigerians can make the best of it.”

Cryptocurrency has provided hope to a new generation of Nigerians and a steady source of income in a country where average incomes have been declining for six years straight and the fiat currency continues to lose value. In 2020, cryptocurrency transactions worth more than $400m were generated in Nigeria, with the country ranking third on the planet in terms of highest bitcoin trading volume. This figure is still on the rise as cryptocurrency transactions saw a year-on-year increase of 25% in June, 2021.

Rume Ophi Alvin is the Founder and Lead of the prestigious CryptoPreacher Blockchain Academy (CPA). He is a Premium Ambassador at Newscrypto and the Head of Mobilization for stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (Siban) Presidential Task Force (PTF).

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Popularly known across circles as the Cryptopreacher, Rume enjoys educating people about technology and has trained and impacted well over five thousand young people across six countries in the world. He is one of the foremost cryptocurrency experts in Africa pushing the frontiers of awareness, knowledge and thought-leadership in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. His audacious public relations-led drive has seen him among the very first persons in the cryptocurrency space to feature on national newspapers, television stations, blogs and radio.

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Real estate firm approves N14.50 dividend

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SFS Real Estate Investment Trust says it will pay N14.50 per share as dividends to its shareholders for 2023.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of SFS Capital Nigeria Limited, Patrick Ilodianya, disclosed this during the company’s general meeting held on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to Ilodianya, the SFS Real Estate Investment Trust, formerly known as Skye Shelter Fund, a subsidiary of SFS Capital Nigeria, witnessed a 70 per cent growth in net income to N317.5m in 2023 from N186.6m in the prior year.

“Concurrently, we observed a growth in dividend payouts of 71.60 per cent, nearly doubling,” he stated.

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The managing director explained that despite encountering challenging market conditions, SFS REIT consistently delivered dividends every year since its inception.

“In 2023, SFS REIT is proposing a dividend of N14.50 per share, marking this the highest dividend ever distributed in the Fund’s 17-year history.

“To contextualise these achievements, consider an investor who acquired SFS REIT shares on January 1, 2023, at a share price of N77.00. This investor would witness a capital appreciation of N24.35 per share (31.62 per cent), with the current share price standing at N101.35 per share.

“The overwhelming demand for shares has rendered them currently unavailable for purchase, as demand far exceeds supply. A dividend payout of N14.50 per share translates to an 18.83 per cent return compared to the share price on January 1, 2023, resulting in an estimated total return of over 50 per cent annually,” Ilodianya enunciated.

He spoke further that SFS REIT had invested in multiple units within organised and efficiently managed residential estates along the expanding Lekki corridor.

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He listed some notable investments, including Milverton Court Estate, Victoria Crest V Estate, Sapphire Gardens Estate, Maben Phase 2 Estate, Bourdillon Court Estate, Victory Park Estate, and Cromwell Court Estate.

He added that real estate returns remain stable while adjusting to inflation and consistently appreciating under skilled fund managers.

“Within SFS REIT, our Average Occupancy rate exceeds 98 per cent, while the average rental default rate remains below 1.5 per cent. Over the years, we have implemented various Proptech initiatives aimed at optimising rent collection, increasing occupancy rates, and reducing default occurrences.

“Leveraging technology, we have streamlined our property acquisition and disposal processes, enhanced tenant sourcing and appraisal procedures, automated entry/access control, and facilitated electricity vending.

“With 17 years of experience under our belt, SFS Capital Nigeria Limited remains exceedingly optimistic about the future. Positioned strategically, we are poised to implement innovative strategies to expand the fund and enhance its yield. While our current dividend payout of N14.50 per share represents the pinnacle in the history of REITs, we anticipate no decline. Instead, we envision SFS REIT continuing to deliver higher dividends in the foreseeable future,” he concluded.

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Cement price 69% higher in Nigeria than India – Reps C’ttee

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The House of Representatives Joint Committee investigating the arbitrary increase in the price of cement in Nigeria has lamented the cost of the commodity, compared to what obtains in other African countries.

Recall that on March 13, 2024, the House resolved to investigate the incessant increase in the price of cement following the adoption of the motion co-sponsored by Gaza Gbefwi (SDP, Nasarawa) and Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos).

On February 13, the Federal Government and cement manufacturers agreed to peg the price of a 50kg bag of cement between N7,000 and N8,000.

At the public hearing on the subject matter on Tuesday organized by the House Joint Committee in Abuja, the Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Gaza Gbefwi said there’s a need to address the situation, noting that in most African countries, the price of cement is lower compared to what obtains in Nigeria.

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He said, “Our findings showed that the price of cement is 69 per cent higher in Nigeria than in India, 39 per cent higher in Nigeria than in Zambia and 29 per cent higher than in Kenya given the official exchange rate.”

Speaking at the event, the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen represented by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, assured the manufacturers that the public hearing was not intended to witch-hunt them but an avenue to prefer solutions to the challenges affecting the housing sector, particularly the high cost of cement across the country.

…Details later

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MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria boosts reading culture, sponsors Uyo book club reading session

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A leading integrated marketing communications network, MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria, has announced its sponsorship of the Uyo Book Club, a vibrant community of book lovers based in Akwa State, Nigeria.

The event, aligned with MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria’s commitment to fostering creativity and knowledge, will be held on Saturday,25th May from 4pm at Shakespeare’sn Hall, Watbridge Hotel and Suites, Opposite Ibom Hall, IBB Way, Uyo.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria, Emeka Chris Okeke, described the sponsorship as another way of supporting initiatives that foster reading culture and promote literacy.

This is coming a few months after the company donated computers to Army Children Senior High School in Ikeja, Nigeria to empower students with the necessary tools for the digital age and improve their chances of success.

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He said, “MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria is excited to partner with the Uyo Book Club and help them continue to provide a platform for people to connect and explore the literary.

“At MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria, we believe in the power of stories to inspire and educate. We are committed to supporting initiatives that foster creativity, education, and community engagement.”

Responding to the sponsorship, the Founder and Father of the Book Club Initiative in Akwa Ibom State, Dr Udeme Nana, commended MediaFuse-Dentsu for sponsoring the book reading session.

He said, “Uyo Book Club, a community service initiative based in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria, seeks to bridge the yawning gap observed in the reading habit of Nigerians. We are delighted to have MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria on board in the mission to re-awaken the culture of reading and also promote it among Nigerians.”

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MediaFuse-Dentsu Nigeria is a leading integrated marketing communications agency, offering a comprehensive range of services including media planning and buying, creative and content development, digital performance, location services, and public relations. The agency is a member of the Dentsu International network, one of the world’s largest marketing communications groups with a presence in over 65 countries around the world.

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The Uyo Book Club is a platform for passionate readers to connect, discuss literature, and share their love of books. The club hosts regular meetings, author events, and other literary activities.

 

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