By Eric Elezuo
The prestigious ambiance of the Raddison Blu Anchorage Hotel, located in the highbrow Victoria Island, Lagos, played host to the launch of exquisite financial products from number one financial house, UT Financial Services Limited.
The event, which tends to educate Nigerians on the need to inculcate the culture of savings as a first step to profitable investment, presented diverse areas where investors can advantage of, and secure their financial future.
Tagged Investing to Secure the Future, the occasion showcased speakers from notable financial institutions, who took quality time to dissect the problems associated with savings and investing as well as proffered solutions to the savings and investment scourge.
Kick starting the avalanche of seasoned lectures was the Chief Executive Officer of the host company, Mr. Ade Adebajo. In his address, he noted that it is become worrisome that most Nigerians have not imbibed the culture investing their extra cash, which automatically guarantees future financial security.
“How can you reap when you have not invested? Most people who had done well in the past are poor today because they were not exposed to the culture of investing. Either nobody told them why they must invest, or they felt it doesn’t matter. Today, regret has become the middle name. This is an opportunity as we are faced with the stark reality. UT provides all the opportunities as regards where and how to invest,” he said.
Following his speech, the President of the organization, Mr. Kofi Amoabeng, who operates from the Ghana head office, went down memory lane and brought to the present the story of how the organization started many years ago, and how nine years ago, they decided to take entrepreneurial risk and established a branch in Nigeria. He noted that the biggest problem of an investor is the decision to start, and that is why many people have remained ‘would-be investor’. He further stressed that UT has all it takes to make any entrepreneur that investor he wishes to be.
“Saving reduces the stress of going to bank for loan” Amoabeng said, adding that the SMEs are the livewire of any economy as it improves the economy of any country.
In his lecture, Mr. Segun Akintunde of Skye Bank, speaking on ‘The Need to Save’ noted that Nigerians ranked among countries with the least saving culture, which in effect is affecting the growth of the SMEs.
“Nigerians have been ranked among people that have the lowest saving culture. It is the amount of saving that you have that will form the amount of investment you will have. This is the reason the SMEs are suffering because Nigerians are not saving enough for them to have an investment,” he lamented.
He continued: “There is need to improve saving culture among Nigerians. We need to save for security purpose, to enhance our standard of living, to acquire assets, raise more capital and invest.”
According to him some of the challenges preventing people from saving are procrastination, lack of budget, impatience, discipline and goals.
Mrs. Genevieve Alatise, who came in from Ghana, echoed the voices of the previous speakers as she presented the financial products available at UT, stressing that the company is even empowered to plan school fees payment for its customers.
The occasion was also an opportunity present a subsidiary of the UT Group, which is UT Homes. The honour of the presentation was given to the Head of Projects, Mr. Michael Olaiya.
Lending credence to the authenticity of UT Homes, the CEO, Ade Adebajo added:
“UT Homes is another associate company of UT Financials. It is the arm that deals with property. We sell property to low medium income owners. We manage property for people who engage us. That’s basically what UT Homes is all about. The reach for now is that we want to help meet the housing demand of people, especially in Lagos state and others. We are involved in building affordable homes anybody can buy.”
With the Strategic Alliances skills presented by the Managing Director, First Ally Investment Limited, Mr. Felix Johnson, a prolific finance guru, Mr. Abraham Amkpa took centre stage for the proper launch of the UT products. This was a task he handled with the professionalism of one who had spent time in the industry.
Rounding off, Mr. Gary Whitehill, a financial and investment motivational speaker, made the audience understand that the time for making excuses was in the past. ‘The time for action is now, contact UT Financial Services for that specialized investment needs of yours’, he advised.