How Export Financing and Trading Houses Can Save Nigeria from another FX Crisis

I am so grateful I am exporting tons of goods from Canada

We know that financing exports can be extremely difficult for financial institutions in Nigeria particularly because of the prevalence of commodity price risk and the dearth of knowledge around using appropriate tools to hedge trades. And there are other problems like sub-par produce, poor storage infrastructure and a disjointed export promotion strategy.

Solving these problems, however, could move the needle on the dial towards a much-needed liberation of our national economy that has been tethered to oil since the 70s.

In succinct language,  if we do not look for a way to get our exports up and running, then we had better prepare for a plethora of dire consequences because the fifty-year oil music ended in 2014, even though the country continues to dance, five years on.

What happens if the political economy shifts into more peaceful times or technological advancements disrupt the global demand for oil is a thought left to dystopian imagination. The country will continue to service its debts but there will be too little to fund raw material imports, businesses will close, unemployment will rise and social problems, anticipated and unanticipated, will seize the country’s attention from different fronts.

The cause of the problem would not matter as much as the solution at that time because we would be forced to change.

However, prevention is better than cure and finding a solution could spell better fortunes for Nigeria if we accepted the demise of oil and simply put structures in place to facilitate the production, processing and export of cashew, sesame seeds, cocoa, groundnuts, hibiscus, ginger and the likes through public-private partnerships.

We have always had a way of championing our economy through monetary policy at the detriment of fiscal tools which is why proposing a National Commodity Trading House Act which will provide the legal framework for commodity trading houses to be set as public-private partnerships and financed by banks may just be Nigeria’s way out an impending foreign exchange crisis.

These trading houses will not only address the problems of substandard produce but they would also be able to take advantage of economies of scale through aggregation to bargain better deals locally and internationally, creating the groundwork for a commodity exchange that has been so needed in West Africa. Imagine that groundnuts grown in Auchi, midwestern Nigeria, could easily be pre-finance, aggregated and shipped to Suneor in Senegal based on a forward contract arrangement. Imagine the job prospects such an arrangement could also portend across the agricultural value chain for farmers, warehousing companies, warrant financiers, shipping companies, insurance and the industrial end-users.

Think about it, the possibilities are just endless.


Focus On Jesus

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

What you focus on expands in influence in your life. If you focus on money, you’ll increase in wealth. If you focus on your body, you’ll be in shape. But why not just focus focus on one thing or person who could bring everything that’s important into your life?

You know the translation from the original Greek of Hebrew 12:2 can be rendered thus:

Looking away…unto Jesus…

‘Looking away from what…?’ you might ask.

From everything dearly beloved. Look away from getting by. Look away from your personal advantage, look away from the news on TV and just look at Jesus.

He can give you everything you’ll ever need in this life because he owns everything.

The Bible says by Jesus everything consists. (Colossians 1:17)

Focus on Jesus by studying the Bible and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. Listen to teaching from the Bible.

Little wonder he said that things like seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.(Matthew 6:33)

We were always One

Everything in God finds its fullest expression in unity. We were always One. God ordained marriage for full expression, made Jesus die so that man could have full expression and even sent the Holy Spirit to provide us with the opportunity for full expression.

Full expression means God’s design. It is what you were made to do and be.

We were created to be interdependent and your fullest expression no matter where you are in life can only happen when you are connected to the other parts that God designed for destiny.

Your full expression was designed for fruitfulness and if you have been experiencing any sort of barrenness, it’s because you are disconnected from someone that should be in your life right now. It may be the Holy Spirit or a friend or your spouse.

Connecting starts in your heart and until it happens, there can be no going forward. Think about this and ask the Lord to show you the connections you need to make.

God bless you!

No Matter How Bad It Gets, Meditate

Christ–the Anointed One and His Anointing–is not constrained by how bad a situation gets. 

Look at Jesus. Four days Lazarus was dead but yet He asked that the lid of the grave where Lazarus laid be rolled away.  You know the story. Lazarus lived again.

If Jesus is God’s Word manifested, imagine the possibilities you can experience just interacting with the Word of God. And that’s exactly what meditating on the Word is. 

If you can meditate on God’s Word about the solution to whatever challenge you are faced with long enough, and let it impregnate your heart with a ‘knowing’ that you are healed of that cancer, or free of that debt, you can bring that unseen into the seen; the divine into the earthy. 
It doesn’t get bad enough for the Word of God not to work. Even a dead marriage, dead ministry, dead nation can be raised if you can meditate long enough. 

Just put the relevant scriptures together and meditate!

4 Classes of Assets Revisited

Assets are things that put money in your pocket while liabilities take money out. A typical example would be a car purchase. If you bought the  car for your personal use, it is a liability. It would take money out of your pocket for gas and maintenance from time to time. But if you converted the same car into a taxi, it would immediately become an asset. Why? Because your taxi would put money in your pocket from time to time. Simple…!

Now the money game that gets you to the place called financial freedom is played by owning more assets than liabilities.

Owning assets is therefore a strategy of the rich and here’s the four different classes of assets, that if properly harnessed, can make you financially free.

  1. Business: Owning a business is route to financial freedom in the sense that your business pulls in a certain income from it activities.  Facebook, Google and PayPal are businesses that started from scratch and have made its owners financial free. You might consider  starting a business.
  2. Investments: Owning an investment like shares in a company can be a lucrative way to financial freedom in that over time you can grow your return applying the concept of compounding interest. Compounding interest has been called the 8th wonder of the world and if you keenly devote yourself to learning about it, it will certainly make you rich.
  3. Real Estate: Owning commercial property is another major way out of financial bondage. For this, I would refer you to the game of Monopoly. As long as there are people, there will always be renters and cash flow from this asset class. Owning a house or more that you can let out to others has been an age long way to freedom. Though capital intensive in certain parts of the world, property owners have for over centuries been known among the world’s rich.
  4. Commodities: Owning commodities in form of oil, metals or agricultural produce is another avenue to financial freedom. Because of the value the world has come to place on commodities, owning them has simply become a must-have for people looking to make it out of the rat-race.

These asset classes require in depth personal study. Look at one or two that resonate with you and make a plan of action.


The Four Classes of Assets

If you’ve ever read a Robert T. Kiyosaki book, you’d have found that he pretty much shares the acquisition of assets rather than liabilities as the secret to financial freedom.

Assets, in a nut shell, are things that cause money to flow into your bank account. Your trading business, intellectual properties or treasury bill investments are assets because they earn you more money.

Liabilities, on the other hand, are things that cause money to flow away from your bank account. Expenses like rent, cutting your hair or monthly groceries are liabilities.

Financial freedom is therefore having more assets than liabilities without having to put in any extra effort.

Today, I broach the four classes of assets that can help become financially free.

1. Businesses: Facebook, Amazon, Google and Uber were businesses started by young people that eventually made their founders financially free. Starting the right business could do the same for you.

2. Investments: Stocks and bonds offer an avenue to compound returns and become financially free. If you have ever come across Tony Robbins’ story about a man named, Theodore Johnson, it is easy to grasp this idea. Mr. Johnson worked as a driver at UPS on a salary of $14,000 a year, yet when he retired, he was worth nearly $70 million. How? Compounding interest. According to the story, Mr. Johnson through the help of a friend began to apply a 20 percent tax on his income and then use it to buy inveatments. This worked for him and it can for you.

3. Real Estate: A long as there are people on earth. They are going to need affordable accomodation. Owning commercial property simply means that you get to earn an income when you let it out to renters. 

4. Commodities: Commodities in today’s world are a store of intrinsic value. You can look at my post where I disntiguish between money and currency. Gold, silver, oil, soy bean and so on, are in great need in their raw or semi-processed states due to their industrial use. As long as companies need these commodities, there’ll always be a market.

Using any or more of these asset vehicles can take you to financial freedom. You just have to make up your mind to start small.