As the world continues to adapt to the ‘new normal’ inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s leading financial services provider, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has outlined strategies for businesses and individuals to safeguard their financial future in these uncertain times.
Obinna Lewis-Asonye, Zonal Head, Micro Pension & Agency, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, stated this during the session tagged: “Safeguarding Your Financial Future in Uncertain Times” at the ongoing Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) Masterclass series, sponsored by StanbicIBTC.
Lewis-Asonye said that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in global inflation index and higher cost of living.
He noted that the fiscal and monetary policy measures taken by most developed nations affect global liquidity and financial markets by increasing appetite for stocks and the need for a recovery of equity markets across the globe.
“In Nigeria, inflation and the cost of living have skyrocketed, especially during the pandemic, as people were forced to hold on to what they had. Despite the easing of the lockdown, the cost of living remains on a high side, necessitating concrete and deliberate measures to scale through these tough times”, he said.
Speaking on how businesses and individuals can safeguard their financial future amid these uncertain times, Lewis-Asonye advised Nigerians to have a pension and insurance plan, ensure financial discipline and frugality to boost savings, have a mental and health wellbeing plan and ensure diversification of investments.
According to Lewis-Asonye, it is important to digitize activities, invest in foreign-denominated securities, especially the Stanbic IBTC Dollar mutual fund (SIDF) and seek professional investment advice, when needed.
Furthermore, he advised Nigerians to follow robust business models, have emergency/adequate back-up plans, imbibe digital skills to remain relevant and always prepare for the future by having a valid will, which secures their estates for their beneficiaries albeit loved ones, in the event of uncertainties.
Lewis-Asonye also noted that Stanbic IBTC provides comprehensive financial services to its customers in a bid to help them thrive during these tough times. “Aside from offering a full range of financial solutions which include banking, stocks, insurance brokerage, pension, asset management, trusteeship, amongst others; we have also made life easier for our esteemed customers by upgrading our mobile App to bring all these services to their fingertips and enhance their financial capabilities,” he added.