The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Rekit Financial Advisors Limited, Ebere Agbogun holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration of Walden University, USA. Her wealth of experience in the financial services sector, banking and non-bank, spans 18 years, during which she has worked in different leadership capacities. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, from where she obtained her first degree in Psychology.
In this interview, she x-rays how inflation rate, interest rate, affect the economy as well as the remedy to lower inflation, among others.
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What is causing the rising inflation rate in Nigeria nowadays?
Depreciation or devaluing of naira, unstable economic policies, insecurities and our present election related spending are some of the factors that contribute to the current high inflation we are experiencing and Nigeria can lower it by implementing sound economic policies that will make her a producer and exporter of varieties of commodities rather than being an importer and a consumer.
Not even commodities, because commodities are the natural things we find under the ground, God-given, but we need the ability to turn these commodities into products and that’s where the real insights are.
By the time we are able to manufacture these things, then our Naira will start getting stronger.”
Now that interest rate is on the rise due to increase in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s Monetary Policy Rate, MPR , what kind of investment portfolio would you recommend for the investors?
Yes, we can blame the CBN for the increase in the MPR. It’s also happening everywhere in the world. Any time there’s inflation, the government will try to increase interest rates so there won’t be too much money supply, people can save more.
But again, of course it affects people because people want to spend and spend, but they need to save more.
Do you think Nigeria is worth investing in, given the economic challenges?
Of course it is worth investing in Nigeria. The questions I will ask you is, do people see it in Nigeria despite what is happening in the economy? Do we still wear clothes? Do we still take transport? Do we still pay for electricity? All these things that make us live; to have well-being, even if it’s costly or not costly, but the fact that we exist even for a day, even for a minute, those factors are represented in the market.
Their values are tied to them and the fact that people still engage in them means you can still make money. Even if you don’t want to make money in naira, the fact remains that there are 26 African currencies that are stronger than naira even despite the fact that they also have their own economic problems.
Do we still engage in economic activities in Nigeria? Yes. The fact that we do that shows that you can still make money even in naira and even in foreign currencies. The question is, do you have a financial advisor to guide you?
We learnt your company intends to create an App for investment purposes, what type investment is your company targeting?
We are licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC of Nigeria as a corporate investment advisor .and yes, that’s what we are trying to do with our web and mobile app to use technology to drive how we advise clients and point them to top, deep, well researched products investment solutions. Yes, we are using technology to do that and of course, as of today, we have eight asset classes and we have 21 asset types.
How do you see Nigeria’s financial market in relation to the developed market in terms of returns on investment?
We might erroneously think that developed market is better than Nigeria in terms of returns on investment, but that might not be true. Everybody is facing the global challenge of high inflation, high interest rate markets even in the developed world.
Recession is being pronounced on US, UK is going through his own, Europe is in deep and is going through her own pressure, Africa is going through our own. So it’s just everywhere.
The right critical question we might be asking is, no matter what the economic condition is, you can still drive if you know the right thing to do. Do you have a professional advisor who understands the market and can tell you how to win whatever the economic conditions?
If for example, this is a high inflationary period in the market, there are things you can do. So even in the equities market, what you should start investing in for example is value stocks, not growth stocks. Growth stocks work when everywhere is sweet, when inflation is low, that’s when you can buy into growth stock. But when inflation is high, you buy into value, value stock, you buy preferred shares. Most people don’t know this, but an advisor knows, a professional knows.