By Obinna Chima
The Growth and Development Limited (GDL)Â has expressed its preparedness to rebuild the middle-class segment in the country through different asset management offerings.
TheÂ chief executive,Â GDL,Â Mr.Â Kola Ayeye said this during aÂ media briefing in Lagos at the weekend toÂ mark the opening of the asset managementÂ firmâ€™s mainland office in Ilupeju, Lagos.
Ayeye, who recently left the Assets Management Corporation of NigeriaÂ (AMCON) as an Executive Director,Â said it wasÂ illogicalÂ for social infrastructure to collapse, the middle class to remain weak,Â while theÂ banking industry total profitÂ was approaching N1trillion in the country.
He explained:Â â€œOur country Nigeria is really punching below its weight and I think that is something that is obvious and needs no further explanation.
â€œWe have the substantial collapse of social infrastructure. The middle class is very thin and continues to get thinner.
â€œWe think it is a contradiction for social infrastructure to collapse, for the middleclass to remain emasculated and for profits of the financial system to be approaching N1 trillion,â€ he said.
Â According to him, in societies where there is a thriving middle-class, the social infrastructure must be in good conditions
Commenting about his firm,Â he said the company wasÂ set upÂ to deliver strong social impact, but also to make money, stressing that GDLÂ is not a charity organisation.
â€œWe are a financial institution, we are here to make money but we are not only here to make money, we are here to deliver strong social impact.
â€œWe want to be a leading diversified financial institution, creating wealth and transforming society. We want to provide unique financial solutions which strengthen and expand the middleclass,â€ he said.
Ayeye said that over the next few months, specific funds and products to actualise GDLâ€™s mission would be unveiled.
â€œWe have started business. We are doing the things that other financial institutions do, butÂ re-inventing the middle-class is part of theÂ things that will differentiate us. And we are confident that we will succeed,â€ heÂ added.
Continuing, he stressed the need to refocus the operations ofÂ financial institutionsÂ in the country.
â€œTo give you an example, the kinds of things we need to start to think about are how do we redeploy our savings pool to transform society.
â€œI think the savings pool in the country is now approaching N4 trillion. And our own estimate is that that N4 trillion of savings contributes almost N300billion of income annually to banks.
â€œSo, the issue is, is there a way to redeploy those savings to improve living standards?â€
â€œWe have an asset management licence. One of the things we want to do with our asset management licence is to pool savings from both the private and the public sectors under new frameworks such that there can be interventions in areas that have so far defied solutions,â€ he added.