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RICHARD NYONG: BUILDING A LEGACY FROM OBSCURITY TO RELEVANCE

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Sometimes, life starts out in a way that makes it seem like being born without a silver spoon isn’t enough setback. While some seemingly have a head-start by being born into an already laid out plan, others have to wander, thread the thorny path, and figure things out on their own through the wilderness of life. However, in the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” Inspiring stories aren’t fun for the subjects to live through, but coming out on top is what makes them motivational. This can be said of the inspiring story of Lagos-based billionaire CEO – Richard Nyong, who is the founder of the fastest-growing real estate company in Nigeria – Lekki Gardens Estates. The man who came from practically ground zero, to helping average investors build legacies in form of homes, while also building a timeless legacy for himself.

 

Richard’s entire world came to a quick halt when he lost his father at the tender age of 13 for several reasons. It was not only humiliating, but also inexplicable that they couldn’t get their hands on any of the properties his father had invested in before passing. He had started out life, squatting in a distant relative’s house and that had formed the foundation of his ideology – “No parent should die without leaving a home for their children to either live in or profit from.

 

Allanah Hunt once said “It is only when you take responsibility for your own life that you realize how strong you really are”. Richard had to take responsibility at a young age and despite his early life challenges, he was self-assured. He acquired a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt for nearly nothing by demonstrating his ability via hard work and rigor. The foundation had been laid, even though the stage had not yet been prepared. He was adamant about finding his way.

 

A decade ago, the young and audacious real estate giant was still in total oblivion in the Nigerian real estate sector, but little did the sector know that a gamechanger would burst into the scene like a meteorite, and totally rewrite the narrative of the country’s multi-billion Naira property sector. Not only that, but also like a phoenix, pass through the flames to test his rite of passage and emerge on the other side to the adulation of many.

 

Richard Nyong’s story would easily remind any conversant real estate enthusiast of Sam Zell (Chairman, Equity International), the 79-year-old American real estate billionaire worth well over $4 billion. As a son of immigrant parents, Sam started out helping students secure accommodation, coming from the fact he had experienced homelessness himself, as a child. His Jewish immigrant parents hardly had anywhere to stay when they initially moved into the US.

 

When Richard started, even though he had nothing, all he wanted to do was to help people secure the best-landed property deals that afforded them the opportunity to maximize their profit. He raised N7 million in 2011 to this effect and was defrauded. He tried again and once more; he was defrauded. This experience was painful but as someone who had rewired his mind to see the opportunity in every problem, he saw a prevalent problem in the sector and decided to be the answer to an age-long question.

 

The constant increase in Nigeria’s population makes housing a very dicey conversation and has resulted in a surge in property demand and a corresponding rise in price. As a result, developers and agents were swiping the pockets of investors, and some were getting outrightly defrauded. The priority for Richard then became how to provide investors a fair chance to invest in real estate without palpitations and with almost any available budget, for their own and their children’s benefit – especially their children. This gave rise to the payout line – “luxury you can afford.” This is the backstory to the birth of Lekki Gardens Estates.

 

Richard’s brainchild, Lekki Gardens Estates, sold over 350 housing units in the first year which was way above the projections, and 2000 in the second, helping real estate investors save hundreds of millions of Naira on their investments. He opened the eyes of several investors to the hacks and tricks that had been labelled as “trade secrets” and pushed the option of a flexible payment plan to help investors own homes without going broke.

 

From setting up several affordable estates like Meridian Park in Ajah where one could become a homeowner with less than 9 million naira, to penetrating the billionaires’ hub – Banana Island with outfits like Foreshore Waters, where a property can be acquired for less than 100 million naira, bringing about a 30% drop in the prices that were previously labelled to the location. Little wonder his 28-Storey IME Heights is aptly described as “The Pride of Banana Island”.

 

Quite a number of things that Richard Nyong did as signs of goodwill, and in the best interest of investors, surely did not go down well with several selfish frontrunners in the sector. However, as someone working with a mindset of service to humanity and posterity, all the oppositions, challenges and hate didn’t only leave him unperturbed but became additional building blocks to the legacy he was building. In his words, “…with every new project, we ask ourselves – What will God like us to do? What is the best way to serve people and provide relevant solutions?”

 

Thousands of housing units and hundreds of happy investors later, Lekki Gardens Estates has successfully established itself as a major player in the Nigerian real estate sector. There is no such thing as a smooth entrepreneurial journey without its setbacks, and adversity would always be the true test of character. Richard understood this better than anyone, and handled it with grace and dexterity when they came. This solidified Lekki Gardens as a fantastic humane business, at the top of investor’s minds.

 

Across several locations like Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, and so on, Lekki Gardens Estates has supplied over 14,000 affordable housing units to date and is still going strong, assisting real estate investors in the management of over 9 billion Naira in assets, while delivering happiness and financial security to over 3,000 families from around the world. Richard’s Lekki Gardens Estates has also created employment opportunities for thousands of young people, flattening the country’s unemployment curve.

 

For Richard, it’s not only about building residences for clients; it’s about allowing them to leave a legacy for their children. The purpose of resolving the real estate crisis has always been for parents to be able to leave their children a concrete legacy – literarily. It’s to give kids a leg up on one of life’s most pressing issues: housing.

 

Richard Nyong, with zeal and laser focus, did take up the housing challenge in Nigeria and did tackle it to magnificent revolutionary standards.

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Business

Half-Year Performance: Transcorp Plc Shows Powerful Growth as Profit Leaps by 713%

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Transcorp Hotels

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has released its unaudited results for the half-year ended June 2021, recording significant improvement across its major income lines.

The Conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality, and Energy sectors, recorded a profit after tax of N6.5bn, rising by 713% up from N0.8bn recorded in June of the previous year. Other key highlights of the result include the following:

  • Revenue rose by 53%, from N35.0bn in June 2020 to N53.3bn in the period under consideration.
  • Gross profit grew by 60%, from N14.7bn in June 2020 to N23.5bn in June 2021.
  • Profit before tax rose by 689% from N0.9bn in June 2020 to N7.1b in June 2021.

Commenting on the performance, Transcorp’s President/Group CEO, Mrs. Owen Omogiafo, reiterated the Conglomerate’s commitment towards producing long-term value and sustainable impact. “We are pleased to see the sustained growth in our group performance, which was achieved as a result of the improved performance across all the sectors we operate in. The revenue achieved in our power business grew by 48%, as a result of improved gas supply and increased generation capacity”, she stated.

Commenting on the hospitality sector, Omogiafo stated that the company’s strategic actions have resulted in a growth in revenue of up to 84%, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the Nigerian and global hospitality industries. She expressed confidence in the company’s recovery strategies, citing the recent official launch of Aura, the company’s digital hospitality platform, as a testament to that confidence.

On the Group’s capacity to sustain its performance, Omogiafo said, “We do not plan to rest on our oars. We will continue to sweat our existing assets and explore new frontiers, as we continue to deliver on our purpose of Improving Lives and Transforming Nigeria.”

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Rethinking safe-haven assets and building resilient portfolios with Xend Finance

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As with most things in life, feeling overwhelmed as a newbie is simple, and this is especially true in such a volatile market as the world of cryptocurrencies. Regardless of the uncertainty and worries, the world of cryptocurrency has the potential to have a unique and substantial impact on anyone’s financial stability.

Government Bonds, treasury bills, and other forms of fixed income investments are undeniably considered as safe haven investments due to their low risk, but with inflation on the increase, the question arises how safe is money locked up for a specific period of time?

It is therefore important to build a resilient portfolio able to minimize risks and mitigate volatility, diversity into multiple unrelated investments, deliver steady returns and also able to recognize changing market conditions, new opportunities and respond accordingly.
Enter the world of Stablecoins. A less volatile cryptocurrency asset pegged to a cryptocurrency, fiat money, or to exchange-traded commodities (such as precious metals or industrial metals).

Compare to other forms of cryptocurrency assets like bitcoin, or altcoins the advantages of stablecoins are stabilized by assets that fluctuate outside of the cryptocurrency space that is prices are pinned to real-world assets.
Most stablecoins are pegged to the US Dollar as they are an easy way to get exposure to the crypto space without having to worry about volatility.

You can build a resilient portfolio with stable coins by having a good foundation on which you can build and protect your investment portfolio. This is necessary to provide a buffer when the markets are volatile or things go south.

These stablecoins also provide diversification as Investor Phillips Hodges mentioned in an interview emphasized the importance of balancing factors affecting the returns you can get across the different than the classes themselves. Stable coins also provide the extra diversification a portfolio needs to stay afloat in a stormy market, minimize losses due to their low volatility.

Be rest assured as an investor that your portfolio can only said to be strong when you have investments that can stand the test of time. Inflations and rickety market conditions.
If you’re a fund manager looking to get exposure to the crypto space through stable coins, send an email to [email protected] and someone would be in touch with you.

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Market formation framework, driver to optimally develop solid mineral sector- Ifie Sekibo 

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Ifie Sekibo

MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has said that the market formation framework is the key to optimally exploit Nigeria’s precious metal and solid minerals endowments. He disclosed this during a webinar organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the theme, “Financing the Solid Minerals Sector through the Capital Market and the Critical Role of Commodity Exchanges.”  

Sekibo explained that a fully established market formation process that would lead to having a Corporation as an integrated solid mineral institution like NNPC which allows the collateralization of assets those banks can rely on for alternative funding options.

According to him, this will guarantee other creative ways of raising funds for financing commercial activities relating to solid minerals and viable projects along its value chain.

Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, of the Bank, Olusegun Akanji, said for the sector to be viable, it requires lots of converged government interventions because for any development focused sector to kick-off around the world, it needs government intervention to lay the foundation for the private sector and funders to step-in and pool their resources.

“Once, we can collateralize these assets, whether they are under the ground or being determined, you use different instruments to bring liquidity into them. Then investors will follow up once we have established there is enough they can explore.” the MD stated.

He further suggested that finance sector regulators need to expand their Prudential Guidelines to accommodate the instruments such that precious metal-backed or solid minerals-backed assets could qualify as part of the computation of liquidity ratios.

“Once banks start injecting their resources, customers would certainly follow that trend. You can start arranging for sophisticated solutions like bonds, bullion-backed assets and pension notes. Again, banks will have to be poised to hold the funding that comes from this sector; that way, they can open new transactional frontiers either locally or internationally.

“At the base of this, are the issues of pricing and integrity of the market. Once banks play in that sector and we have a government institution like the NNPC type to hold all this documentation, it would be very easy to establish price discovery on an ongoing basis. This will in turn attract international funders, hedge funds and retail investors. Today, we have retail bonds in the same way; we can have gold-backed or any of the solid mineral assets where retail investors can put in the funds,” Sekibo explained.

Meanwhile, it would be recalled that Heritage Bank Plc has said its involvement in the private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Limited is set to unlock the over N344 trillion market worth of gold investible instruments in the solid minerals sector.

However, he reiterated that a consistent packaged framework, which could only be held by an established government institution, as part of the layers of the framework, would help to tackle major challenges in trying to support Dukia Gold’s clients.

“With a consistent packaged framework, it will be easier for Dukia Gold and help in less spending. If Dukia Gold should speak of their challenges, they will speak about tonnes of documents they have to produce. But with a unified source of documentation, it makes the process easier and improves cost management. These are some of the challenges we have experienced in trying to support a few clients we worked with,” Sekibo stated.

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