Financial services firm, the VFD Group, has sold its stake in NEM Insurance after talks with the board of the insurance firm about its vision broke down. The tradeoff saw VFD selling a combined block of 1.6 billion ordinary shares of the insurance firm, representing 30 percent of the issued capitals of NEM to new shareholders. Meanwhile, VFD has raised ₦2.78 billion from rights issuance and private placements in December 2018. The company initially planned to raise ₦2 billion. With the new fund, VFD said it will be able to establish its presence in every sector of the financial services industry, including banking.

Moody’s projects a slow recovery for Nigeria and South Africa’s economies in 2019, and says that both countries will remain well below levels seen in the first half of the decade. In its report released Monday, the ratings agency said that this low growth stems from credit challenges from fiscal and external vulnerabilities amid tightening global liquidity conditions and rising global trade tension. The agency projects that real GDP growth in Nigeria at 2.3% in 2019 from an estimated 1.9% in 2018, and South Africa’s at 1.3% in 2019 from an estimated 0.5% in 2018. The gradual economic recovery of 2018 will continue this year as the economy of the sub-Saharan region will probably accelerate by 3.5 percent this year from an estimated 2.8 percent in 2018.

An analysis of recently released data of Pension Fund Assets for October 2018 indicates that 138,276 new members registered to participate in different forms of the contributory pension schemes available in Nigeria. This represents an increase of over 150% compared to previous monthly additions. Before October, the average monthly additional registrations has always been in the neighbourhood of 55,000. Though there was a surge in the number of new members, the age-related trend remains the same as most of those new members came from the age grade of 40-65. While those in the age bracket of 40-49 added 53,294 new members, those between 50 and 59 added 26,989 new members, while those in the age bracket of 60-69 added 18,054 new members. The gender analysis shows that there were as usual, more men than women, while the private sector added more people than the public sector. The new additions brings the total number of people participating in various contributory pension schemes in Nigeria to 8,410,184.

The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, is making efforts to raise $3.15 billion (₦967.1 billion) through third party financing to develop the country’s oil and gas reserves from Oil Mining Lease 13. The fund would enable the NPDC to develop 416 million barrels of oil reserves and increase production by 94,000 barrels of oil per day, and develop 542 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas from the same OML 13, according to a document obtained by the Punch newspaper. The name of the financiers was not available at the time of the report. Officials at the NPDC revealed that NPDC’s target was to increase its oil and gas production to 500,000bopd and 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day by 2020 as production from the NPDC increased from a constrained 15,000 barrels of crude oil per day to 240,000bopd due to the return of the Forcados Oil Terminal.