By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, Jan. 18, 2021 VFD Group, a financial service-focused proprietary investment company in Lagos, is perfecting arrangements for a national banking licence to be a major player in the Nigerian economy in the next five years.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, VFD Group Plc, Mr Nonso Okpala, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Lagos.
Okpala told newsmen that the company was making plans for a banking licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria and would undertake a capital raise exercise in February.
He said the board and management of VFD Group had approved the capital raise of N13.5 billion.
According to him, the capital raise will be a combination of rights, special placement and issuance of debt.
He said the funds would be geared toward obtaining a banking license, driving the adoption of its virtual bank and making strategic investments that would add up to its ecosystem strategy.
“In the next five years, VFD Group will be a major player in the Nigerian economy and will start to expand to key African locations and take its poise for a leadership position in Africa in the next 10 years.
“For our stakeholders, I will say, take advantage of the opportunity of the capital raise that the VFD Group is offering in February to be a part of its success story.
“If you have invested in the company, enhance your investment and if you do not have any, make an investment.
“I will say unequivocally, that the VFD Group represents the most compelling investment opportunity in Nigeria today.
“So, everybody should take advantage of it and be part of this remarkable growth because beyond growth and profitability, we want to be able to provide the pace for African economic resurgence,” he said.
Speaking on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the company, Okpala said the company performed beyond expectations in spite of the pandemic.
“We have been in existence for 11 years and we have seen and experienced different challenges within the Nigerian economy and the world’s at large.
“This has been our key and compelling strategy in the last 11 years: flexibility, the ability to understand social and economic trends and the readiness to take proper advantage,” Okpala said.
He said in spite of the coronavirus pandemic and extended lockdown, the company remained profitable.
Okpala noted that VFD Group deployed innovation to ensure continuity of its businesses.
“We have deployed as much innovation as possible to ensure that the business thrives.
“I will say that COVID brought a great deal of threat and challenges to everybody but we have found a way to grow and be profitable despite it all,” he added.
Okpala said the VFD Group would likely close 2020 with a profit before tax of between N3.5 billion and N4 billion
“This is relative to our 2019 performance of N1.9 billion and our 2018 performance of less than a billion naira.
“The growth trend was not altered by the pandemic. Perhaps we could have made more without COVID, but the point remains that we keep a very innovative mindset that keeps us on the path of growth and profitability despite the challenges,” Okpala said.
VFD Group is a financial service-focused proprietary investment company that creates value by working within Nigeria’s informal financial sector to create innovative products and solutions that are accessible to the everyday Nigerian citizen and entrepreneur.
By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma