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Q3 2020!  UBA Grows Gross Earnings to N454.4 Billion, Delivers N90.4 billion PBT

 

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced commendable performance in its unaudited 2020 Third Quarter Financial Results, with impressive growth in Gross Earnings, which rose to N454.4 billion, up from N428.7billion recorded in September 2019.

 

According to the report filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday (20 Nov. 2020), UBA reported a Profit Before Tax of N90.4 billion compared to N98.2 billion recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2019. Similarly, the Bank recorded an after-tax net profit of N77.1 billion, thus putting its annualised return on average equity at 16.4%. Operating income also improved by 10.4% year-on-year to close at N293.7 billion, up from N265.9 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.

 

The Bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with Total Assets of N7.1 trillion, a 26% increase over the N5.6 trillion recorded at the end of December 2019. UBA benefitted largely from its technology-led initiatives targeted at improving customer experience over the past few years, as Customer Deposits leaped to N5.2trillion from N3.8 trillion at the end of the last financial year. The shareholders’ funds remained very strong at N655.3 billion rising by 9.6% from N598.0 billion recorded in December 2019, thus reflecting a strong capacity for internal capital generation and growth.

 

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said, “In spite of the current turbulence in the operating environment, occasioned by the global pandemic, we have continued to record significant progress in our business segments. Notably, our innovative financial inclusion propositions have helped us moderate cost-of-funds to 3.2% (4.0% in FY 2019), as low-cost deposits (which accounts for 76.2% of our customer deposits) grew 40.8% by the end of the third quarter. Our Direct Sales Agents, Agency Banking Network, and Digital Banking propositions have positioned us at the forefront of financial inclusion across geographies where we operate,” Uzoka stated.

 

He pointed out that during the period under review, the Bank was able to provide support to customers across its footprint, assisting them to navigate the negative impact that Covid-19 pandemic has had on livelihoods, businesses and social life, adding that “since March 2020, we have provided transaction fee waivers to customers, rescheduled loans where business cashflows have been impacted, and donated generously to governments and communities to help catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

 

Speaking on the expectations for the rest of the year, Uzoka said, “whilst the outlook for the rest of 2020 is expected to remain challenging, our diversified model provides sufficient resilience, enabling us to continue to delight our customers with innovative banking products within our robust risk management framework.”

 

Also throwing more light on the Bank’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said: “we achieved substantial growth in the underlying business, having grown loans by 15.6% (to N2.4trillion) and deposits by 35.7% (to N5.2trillion) within the period as interest and fee income from loans settled at N172.9 billion and N8.9billion respectively. Credit impairment charges increased by N4.8billion YoY (to N11.5billion), providing adequate reserve for impaired loans, which should help moderate the need for further reserves later in the year. NPL ratio and cost-of-risk settled at 5.2% (5.3% in FY 2019) and 0.64% (0.9% in FY 2019) respectively.

 

“As we deploy rigorous balance sheet management strategies to protect our margins, we will sustain cost discipline to push cost-to-income ratio to our desired sub-60% target in the short-term. The Group continues to target 15% loan growth, a NIM of >6.0% and ROE of >16% for the 2020 financial year, but targets remain subject to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on the operating environment”, the GCFO explained.     

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Q3 2020!  UBA Grows Gross Earnings to N454.4 Billion, Delivers N90.4 billion PBT

Dangote emerges Nigeria's Most Valuable brand for 2020

For the third consecutive year, the pan-African and fully integrated Conglomerate, Dangote Group has again emerged as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for the year 2020, the outcome of the 2020 edition of the Annual Brand Evaluation, “TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA” has revealed.

 
Though, still themed Top 50 Brand, however 60 brands were evaluated as being top of the pack in commemoration of Nigeria’s Independence Diamond Jubilee as announced by the organizers earlier in the beginning of the year.
 
The emergence of Dangote brand as the most valuable for the third time in Nigeria is coming a year after the Company was named the most admired African
brand, of African continent origin, by consumers in the Continent ahead of the telecommunication giant, MTN in a survey of 100 Africa best brands which was announced in Johannesburg
 
In a statement by Top 50 Brands, made available to journalists ahead of the formal public presentation of the brands yesterday, Taiwo Oluboyede, Chief Executive Officer said “In this special edition of the annual top brands evaluation, I am glad to inform you again that Nigerian brands have taken the shine by maintaining their leadership positions.  We are particularly delighted that locally made brands doesn’t just top the list, they also record the majority among the top 10, with seven of the 10 brands being Nigerian.”
Commenting on Dangote's emergence as the most valuable brand for the third year running,  Prof. Ehiedu Iweriebor of the
Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies,  Hunter College, City University of New York, said:  "Dangote Group as a brand leader for third year is a richly deserved honor.  
It is an Nigerian industrial powerhouse that making Africans proudly of their endogenous company and  product."

However, the multinationals have more entries overall, with 52 percent, an equivalent of 31 brands out of the 60.
This achievement by Nigerian brands are significant in many ways, having 70 percent of the top 10 being Nigerian. It shows that our locally made brands are constantly evolving and becoming more vibrant by the day. “They have not relented in making attractive value proposition that endear the consumers to them, to the point that many consumers are now contended with Made in Nigeria, over foreign brands across many categories. This is a clear departure from recent pasts.
“This also means that many great things are still happening in Nigeria, regardless of the negative press. Our locally made brands are standing shoulder to shoulder with the multinationals in their industries and they are emerging better in valuation and perception.“, he stated.
 
According to him; Big businesses and widely acceptable brands are being built here, challenging the status quo and taking leadership roles across various industries and areas of operations. “They are not just local champions, many of these Nigerian brands have also become multinationals, expanding aggressively across other African countries and beyond. You can see this in brands like Access Bank, Globacon, UBA, GTBank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, Dangote Group etc.
“This is a huge plus to the  Nigerian business space and a strong point of encouragement to foreign investors that Nigeria still remain a top business frontier where you are almost certain of high return on your investment.”
 
A brief summary of the 2020 report as published on the their website, reveals that Dangote Group topped the list of the Most Valuable Brand 2020. This is followed by MTN which also doubles as the Most Valuable Multinational and Telecom Brand.
 
At the third place is Globacom, another proudly Nigerian brand. Glo made an impressive achievement this year by emerging top in the popularity survey.
The popularity test, which is done though a Top of the Mind (TOM) survey is the first and most important variable in the annual top brands evaluation.
Glo achieved an 89% mention from respondents during the TOM survey. This made Globacom, the Most Popular Brand in Nigeria 2020.
Coca-Cola Nigeria emerged in the fourth place and effectively topped the Beverages category, followed by GTBank on the 5th Place, topping the Banking and Financial Services brands.
 
The Banking and Financial Services had the highest number of brands in the top 10, with five brands. This is followed by the telecoms with three brands.
Seven brands among the top 10 had maintained top 10 positions for the past four years consecutively. Five brands among the top 10 maintained previous year’s positions.
 
In overall, 48 Percent, that is an equivalent of 29 brands are Nigerian while there are 31 multinational.
The banking & Financial Services had 14 brands, equivalent of 23.3 percent, followed by the Consumer Goods Category with 12 brands. This is led by Dufil Prima Foods.
Conglomerates and Oil & Gas categories have six brands each, with Dangote and Oando topping them respectively.
Telecoms and Beverages had four brands each. MTN and Coca-Cola emerged top in these two categories respectively.
Media and Automobile had three brands each, with Channels TV and Toyota Nigeria topping the categories
Construction Services, Electronics, Agriculture and Retail categories had 2 brands each with Julius Berger, Samsung Electronics, FlourMills of Nigeria Plc and Jumia, a first entrant topping these categories respectively.
 
Seven brands made the annual ranking for the first time, these are Sterling Bank Plc, Seplat Petroleum, Daraju Industries, TGI Group, Transsion holding, Jumia Nigeria and AIICO Insurance. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc emerged the higher gainer this year, while 10 brands among the 60 maintained their 2019 positions.
Detailed report with profiles of the top brands and the process, including the full report is available for download on their website
 
It would be recalled that Dangote Group, from Nigeria for the second year emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers in the African continent.
According to the South Africa based Brand Africa in a survey carried out in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the seventh edition which was released at the weekend, of 15,000 brands mentioned, Dangote ranked first brand when consumers are prompted to recall the most admired African brand.
In the top 100 list, the United State sports and fitness mega brand, Nike, a non-African brand retains the overall number one brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. South African telecoms brand MTN is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled brand, while surging Ethiopian brand Anbessa Shoes, at number two, swopped positions with Nigerian conglomerate, Dangote, which is the number three most admired brand of African of origin. 
However, when consumers are prompted to recall the most admired African brand, Dangote retains the number one position. Just last year Dangote brand was named the most valuable brand among the top 50 brands in Nigeria for 2018 by Brand Nigeria.
Further analysis of the ranking indicates that Overall, the 2018/19 Brand Africa 100 list, which is calculated from 15,000 brand mentions illustrates a very diversified range of brands in Africa and shows year on year consistency with 80 per cent of the top 100 brands having been in the top 100 Most Admired Brands in previous years.
Overall, African brands faltered to an all-time low 14 percent share of the top 100 most admired brands in Africa. However, MTN (South Africa), Dangote (Nigeria) and Safaricom (Kenya) are the most admired highest listed brands on sub-Sahara’s leading bourses, the JSE, Nigeria Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange respectively.
Faced with a relentless focus on the African opportunity and investment by non-African brands, Africa’s share of the most admired brands has been rapidly declining over the past three years from a high of 25 percent in 2013/14 to lows of 16 percent in 2015/16, 16 percent in 2016/17 and 17 percent in 2017/18. 
 
Dangote emerges Nigeria's Most Valuable brand for 2020

Fidelity Bank steps up security measures with more features in new Cheque

In compliance with the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to implement the revised Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS), Fidelity Bank has announced the introduction of its new in cheque leaflet.

In a notice to its customers, Fidelity Bank said the newly designed cheque book is embedded with security features as required by the banking sector regulatory agency, the CBN.

The central bank had introduced the revised NCS to increase efficiency and asked all commercial banks in the country to commence implementing the new design from January 2021.

The apex bank had in a statement said it was determined to phase-out the old cheque books, warning that if after 2020, they are presented for clearing, they would not be honoured.

“We would like to remind you that all cheques with bank code 063 are no longer valid for clearing and will not be honoured on [the] presentation for payment [from 2021] ,” a statement from the CBN to the DMBs had stated.

In the emailed message to its customers, Fidelity Bank noted that from next year, the old cheque book will not be accepted, urging customers to visit their nearest branch to request for the new leaflet.

The lender disclosed that the redesigned cheque comes with security features like expiry date, two-digit security code, QR code and standard dating format.

“Following the directive of the CBN for banks to fully implement the revised Nigeria Cheque Standard before December 31, 2020, please be informed that we have redesigned and introduced new security features in our cheque leaflets.

“These features include the addition of expiry date, 2-digits security code, QR code and standard dating format as shown in the sample of the new cheque leaf.

 “Kindly contact your relationship manager or visit the nearest branch for a new cheque book ahead of the deadline of December 31, 2020, as the old cheque leaflets will no longer be accepted from January 1, 2021,” the notice read.

Fidelity Bank steps up security measures with more features in new Cheque

Belgium confers Highest National Honour on African Philantropist Tony Elumelu

 

 

The Kingdom of Belgium has conferred the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, the country’s oldest and most important National Honour, on Africa’s leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, in recognition of his commitment to poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of young Africans.

The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, presented the royal decoration on Sunday, November 15 – the Belgian King’s Day and a symbolic national day of celebration, at the Belgian House in Abuja, with public and private sector leaders witnessing the ceremony.

Mr Elumelu has been responsible for initiatives creating millions of jobs and employment for young Africans across the continent, through his philanthropy, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).  The Foundation’s flagship intervention, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, US$100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries.  Over 9,600 young Africans are current beneficiaries, just six years since its inception.  In addition to its own significant programme, the Foundation partners with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to bring its proven methodology to an even broader universe.  Mr Elumelu believes that youth entrepreneurship has the potential to tackle global challenges such as forced migration, poverty, and hunger.

Mr Elumelu’s concept of Africapitalism is redefining national development, making the case for the critical role that the private sector must play in transforming Africa.  Mr Elumelu’s businesses are present in 20 African countries and key international markets, with over 30,000 people in employment   His investments span power, financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, hospitality, and real estate.

Mr Elumelu chairs family-owned African investment company, Heirs Holdings; pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates across Africa, the United Kingdom, France and the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States, and Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who was at the event, said: “Your Excellency Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, Ambassador of Belgium, let me, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, express our deepest appreciation to the King and Queen of Belgium for recognising the wonderful work of Mr. Tony Elumelu and what he is doing in our nation and on the continent of Africa by prioritising the empowerment of our youth”.

Commenting further, he said: “Mr. Elumelu, I listened to your priorities, which include; eradicating poverty, creating jobs and improving access to electricity and I can assure you that this was the motivation of President Muhammadu Buhari when he spoke about lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.  When we identify somebody in the private sector who believes in that core mandate, the government has no option but to continue to support your endeavours, and I can assure you that on behalf of the President, you will continue to receive it.  Mustapha concluded, “As Nigerians, we stand here today very proud of the excellent work Mr Elumelu has done in Nigeria and on our continent and we ask him to do more”.

Earlier in 2019, Tony Elumelu was conferred with the National Productivity Merit Award in Nigeria and in 2020, he featured in the Time 100 most influential people in the world.

 

Belgium confers Highest National Honour on African Philantropist Tony Elumelu

Ade Bajomo becomes FinTechNGR President…Explains how Technology,Innovation will drive Nigeria’s Banking sector post-COVID

Access Bank’s Executive Director of Technology and Operations, Mr Ade Bajomo, has been appointed the new President of the FinTech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR). This was first announced during FinTechNGR’s virtual Annual General Meeting held recently.

Prior to his appointment as President, FinTech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR), Ade Bajomo served as the Vice President of FinTechNGR for the last two years.

Speaking after his inauguration, Bajomo thanked the outgoing president, Dr Segun Aina and the Governing Committee, “for the remarkable accomplishments during the last two years. This appointment is a responsibility that I take very seriously and I am humbled by your vote of confidence. With your help, I believe we can position Nigeria as a leading market for global FinTech Innovation and Investment.”

“In my capacity as the president, I will ensure FinTech Association of Nigeria works collaboratively as a team to position Nigeria and ultimately, Africa, as a force to be reckoned with in the global community. Nigeria has all the human resources it needs to be competitive in the global marketplace and this administration will strive to accelerate the growth of the industry and help create job opportunities and wealth,” Bajomo said.

In an interview on Arise TV’s ‘Arise Xchange’, he acknowledged that FinTech offerings will be one of the key performance drivers for the Nigerian banking sector post-COVID-19. He also affirmed that “The possibilities are endless for a sector that has been responsible for over N700 trillion worth of transactions over the last 12 months. This trend is expected to continue even in a post-COVID-19 world.”

He further mentioned that an appreciable number of innovative solutions will be introduced in the payment sector. The key drivers of these innovative solutions will include – contactless payments, biometric solutions for financial inclusion and the acceptance of Blockchain technology as a viable payment option.

Mr Bajomo hinted that the CBN, through an inter-agency committee and the FinTech Association of Nigeria is already exploring Blockchain adoption for the financial sector.

In his capacity at Access Bank, Bajomo has led Access Bank’s digital transformation, overseeing the Bank’s use of advanced analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics process automation to sustain banking and improve customer experience.

As Africa’s ‘Gateway to the World’, Access Bank continues to invest in digital innovation to drive trade and accessibility to finance. For its dedication to leading technological disruption in Africa, the Bank was recently recognised by Asian Banker as the ‘Best Digital Bank in Africa’.

Ade Bajomo becomes FinTechNGR President…Explains how Technology,Innovation will drive Nigeria’s Banking sector post-COVID

Bloomberg report on sole export exemption Misleading,Mischievous….Dangote

Contrary to reports by Bloomberg that Dangote Cement was granted sole approval to export cement through the land borders, information has emerged that other companies also got approval to export through the land borders. Nigerian Customs Service has reportedly revealed that BUA Group and a gas company have also received presidential approval to move goods across the land borders.

Joseph Attah, the spokesperson for Nigerian Customs Service, was said to have clarified on phone from Lagos.

Dangote Cement and other companies in July, 2020 got partial special dispensation to export their products with certain sequence of crossing at Ilela land border in Sokoto State and Ohumbe land border in Ogun State, the company clarified.

Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, in his presentation on investor call held this week explained that the company is continuously focused on exporting cement to West and Central Africa by sea through its export terminals. He added that six vessels of clinker were exported in the third quarter of 2020 via the Apapa export terminal, while plans are on track to commission the Port Harcourt export terminal before the end of this year.

For the quarter, Dangote Cement exported only 69 kilotonnes of cement via the land borders, compared to previous volumes of 180 kilotonnes before the border closures, which indicates just 38 per cent of the export volumes. 

Also in a reaction to the Bloomberg publication, the Group Chief, Branding and Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, said the report is misleading and mischievous because it focused only on Dangote Cement as the sole beneficiary of the partial special dispensation.

According to him, “Dangote Cement is a publicly quoted company and complies strictly with the Securities & Exchange Commission(SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) full disclosure clauses and regularly update transparently our transactions to our shareholders and it is disheartening that such honest disclosure is being interpreted negatively.” 

Bloomberg report on sole export exemption Misleading,Mischievous….Dangote

Heritage Bank to engage 774, 000 jobs Special Public Works Programme from November 1st

Heritage Bank Plc, is set to commence the account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for the earmarked 774,000 participants of the SPW Programme in their branches, throughout the 774 Local Government Areas.

The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 (Twenty thousand Naira) only, monthly and the programme is to kick off from 1st November 2020, and a total of 129 LGAs have been assigned to Heritage Bank Plc.

The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement 774,000 Jobs in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, for a period of three (3) months.

As part of the modalities of the programme, the 6 participating banks, Heritage Bank inclusive have been mandated to open accounts for all the beneficiaries and capture BVN. Also, a special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s Bio-data for this exercise.

In a bid to align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo disclosed that Heritage bank has prepared seamless process flow for the commencement of the BVN enrolment/ account opening documentation of the assigned shortlisted beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, he noted, “For locations that the Bank does not have physical presence, the Agency Banking Team has engaged Super Agents to cover these areas and ensure smooth on boarding in such locations.”

He stated that Heritage Bank would definitely adhere strictly to the beneficiary list forwarded to the Bank from the Federal Government for account opening/BVN enrolment to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Ibidapo reiterated the bank’s success stories and legacies in similar exercises sustained through various entrepreneur schemes in the support for economic growth, which had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Recall that 1,000 participants were drawn each from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria for the Special Public Works Programme. In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed the fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, stating that it has gotten assurance from the banks that even in places where they have no physical presence or branch, registration centers would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.

The minister said, ‘‘The banks assured us that even in LGAs where they don’t have branches, temporary registration centers would be opened in such LGAs so that the participants would not have to travel far to open their accounts”.

Explaining the core areas of the SPW programme, Kenyamo said, “Special Public works department is one of the four (4) core focus of the NDE. It seeks to identify and optimize employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organizing the skilled, un-skilled and semi-skilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works.”

Heritage Bank to engage 774, 000 jobs Special Public Works Programme from November 1st

SIFAX commissions new container terminal to decongest Lagos port

 

SIFAX Shipping Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, has commissioned its Container Terminal at Ijora Causeway Jetty, as part of its efforts to decongest Lagos port. Speaking at the Commissioning Ceremony in Lagos, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Mr. Taiwo Afolabi, said the new terminal, which would be a model and sits on 11 acres of land, will leverage on technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience as well as cutting-edge inland container services.

Afolabi, who was represented by Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, said that the Container Terminal is a response to a major concern in the maritime industry, especially at the Lagos ports

He stated: “We are all here today to commission this facility – SIFAX Container Terminal – which is a response to a major concern in the maritime industry, especially at the Lagos ports. The logistics nightmare in Apapa occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users has compelled the company to look for a creative solution to address this problem.” Oyinloye said another key advantage of the terminal is that it will be IT-driven, which is why the company has invested in modern technology to drive the business to the satisfaction of the clients. He said that the terminal located along the Ebute Metta Creek, holds a number of opportunities for shippers, agents and consignees as their consignments can be transferred through barge from any of the ports (Apapa and Tin Can) to the facility without the challenge of traffic congestion. He added that the good road network around Ijora and its easier access to every part of Lagos make the terminal the one to beat in terms of faster and efficient cargo clearance. Oyinloye stated: “From a humble beginning in 1988, SIFAX Group, which started as a modest clearing and forwarding firm, has transformed to a conglomerate with investments in various sectors of the economy. While we pride ourselves as an integrated logistics solutions company, we have expanded the frontiers of our businesses to other critical industries in order to offer more solutions to a wider target market. “From Maritime to Aviation, Haulage & Logistics, Hospitality, Financial Services, Oil & Gas, and many more, SIFAX Group is working relentlessly to fulfil its vision of becoming Africa’s global conglomerate that creates significant value for all economies. “This vision has informed our company’s expansion strategy and philosophy – From Nigeria to Africa and to the world. Sierra Leone, Ghana, Gambia and Guinea are some of the African countries where we have invested over the last few years,” he said.

Also speaking, Managing Director, Ijora Causeway Terminal, Mr. Paul Vd Linden said that the terminal was exceed the expectations of clients through the acquisition of modern cargo handling equipment and deployment of experienced as well as professional workforce.

Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was represented by Onari Brown, executive director, Marine and Operations, commended SIFAX Group for its solution-driven mindset and aggressiveness in pursuing the dream of getting the terminal ready for operations in record time. She promised the support and cooperation of the agency in realizing the vision of the new business.

Vicky Haastrup, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium and Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) lauded SIFAX Group for always being at the forefront of innovations in the country’s maritime sector.

SIFAX commissions new container terminal to decongest Lagos port

Mouka Wins Africa Kaizen Category for Large-Scale Organisation Award

Mouka, Nigeria's leading manufacturer of mattresses and beddings has won the Category for Large-Scale Organisation Award 2020 in the Africa Kaizen Awards during a recent evaluation of its processes.
 

The award which was organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA), was presented to Mouka for its giant stride in manufacturing quality sleep solutions according to world-class best practices.

From clear objectives, effective processes, quality and productivity improvement, positive impact on workers motivation, impressive work environment and spill over effects outside of the organisation, Mouka ticked all the right boxes.

The Chairman of the Examination Committee of the Africa Kaizen Award 2020, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, said the frontline company attained the feat for its outstanding performance in the evaluation exercise.

Mayaki, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the AUDA, eulogised the company for its leading position in the continent and commended the management for its continued effort in promoting quality sleep through its wide range of mattress and pillow brands.

In his remark, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Mouka, Femi Fapohunda, who was highly pleased, said the recognition is a step in an excellent direction, in the pursuit of the company's objective from where it is now to a more enviable height.

According to him, it is a boost from the previous Nigerian recognition in 2018, when Mouka was acknowledged for improvements in Kaizen by the Joint Japanese and Nigerian Productivity Councils.

Fapohunda pronounced that this shows that Mouka's business operations are in line with international best practices, thus placing it as the leader in the sleep industry in Africa, with established standards, continuous improvement plan and exceptional business process.

On what lies ahead for Mouka, its COO said the Africa Kaizen award would spur continued improvement in its operations and innovation of quality products that guarantee the wellbeing of Nigerians.

Mouka has a wide assortment of quality brands such as the Wellbeing Orthopaedic mattresses, Mondeo Plus spring mattress, and range of pillows. The foremost company recently received the award of Consumers First Choice Mattress/Most loved Foam Brand 2020, which was organised by Consumers Choice Nigeria.

Mouka Wins Africa Kaizen Category for Large-Scale Organisation Award

Fidelity Bank appoints Obih and Opara as Directors…..As Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe takes over as MD in December

The Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Engr. Henry Ikem Obih as an Independent Non-Executive Director with effect from September 21, 2020 and Dr. Kenneth Onyewuchi Opara as an Executive Director. The appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Dr. Opara will assume office as the Executive Director in charge of the Lagos & South West Directorate on January 1, 2021, taking over leadership of the Directorate from Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe who was recently appointed Managing Director/CEO - Designate.

Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe will succeed Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo who retires as Managing Director/CEO on December 31, 2020, upon the completion of his contract tenure in line with the internal policies of the Bank.

“Both appointments are in furtherance of our positioning for the next growth phase.  We welcome Henry and Ken to the Board and believe they will make significant contributions that will sustain the performance trajectory of the Bank in line with our strategic intent” said Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman, Board of Directors, Fidelity Bank Plc.

Engr. Obih was the Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer (GED/COO), Downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) until his retirement in 2019 and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) in July 2020.

He joins the Board of Fidelity Bank Plc with significant cross-functional work experience and exposure spanning over three (3) decades, across different climes including Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has extensive experience in project and performance management, manufacturing and operations management, sales and marketing, strategy and business planning/analysis, business development/re-engineering, general management, corporate governance and risk management.

Prior to joining NNPC as GED/COO in 2016, Engr. Obih had a stellar 22-year career at Mobil Oil Nigeria (ExxonMobil Nigeria Downstream) and held several high-profile positions in the company including being Executive Director, Retail and Executive Director, Operations, Customer Service and Logistics. 

His recent leadership roles include board positions at Nigeria Gas Marketing Company Limited, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited, NNPC Retail Limited, NIDAS Marine Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC in joint venture with Daewoo Industries South Korea), NIKORMA Limited (a subsidiary of NNPC in joint venture with Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korea) and Duke Oil Company Inc.

Engr. Obih holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and an MBA in Financial Management from the University of Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

His professional affiliations include membership of the Institute of Directors, Society for Corporate Governance and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN); Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Institute of Credit Administration and Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

He has attended executive programs in leadership, strategy, finance, corporate governance, and business  management at some of the world’s leading institutions including Columbia Business School, New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), IMD Lausanne, Switzerland, London Business School and Lagos Business School, Nigeria.

Dr. Opara who currently serves as General Manager/Regional Bank Head, Ikeja Region, has over 29 years’ experience in banking and worked at various financial institutions including legacy Omega Bank Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Plc and Manny Bank Plc, before joining Fidelity Bank Plc in 2006, following its merger with Manny Bank Plc.

He has core-banking experience in diverse areas of banking including Credit, Treasury, Retail, Consumer and Commercial Banking, International Operations and Corporate Banking and has held senior management positions in the industry including Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Multilateral Agencies & Trade Missions; Division Head, SMEs, Electronic & Consumer Banking; Head, Private & Consumer Banking, Head, Affinity Banking & Corporate Consumer Banking; and Head Consumer &  Commercial Banking.

“The appointment of Ken is well deserved and in line with our succession planning policy. He has made significant contributions to the growth of the Region as well as the various Divisions he has headed in the Bank” said Fidelity Bank’s MD/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo.

Dr. Opara has attended executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Wharton, INSEAD and Lagos Business School amongst others.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and an active member of the Institute’s Governing Council, where he currently serves as 1st Vice President, having previously served as 2nd Vice President and National Treasurer of the Institute.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Finance and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Ph.D. in Credit Management from International University of Panama.

Fidelity Bank appoints Obih and Opara as Directors…..As Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe takes over as MD in December

2020 Half Year! GTBank declares ₦109.7Billion Profit Before Tax

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2020 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges. The half year result reflects GTBank’s leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Bank’s loan book grew by 8.1% from ₦1.502trillion recorded as at December 2019 to ₦1.624trillion in June 2020 and customer deposits increased by 18.5% to ₦3.001trillion from ₦2.533trillion in December 2019. Profit before Tax closed at ₦109.7billion, representing a decrease of 5.2% over ₦115.8billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. The Bank closed the half year ended June 2020 with Total Assets of ₦4.511trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ₦720.9Billion. In terms of Asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk closed at 6.8% and 0.4% in June 2020 from 6.5% and 0.3% in December 2019 respectively. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 118.1%, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 22.9%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 26.8% and 4.6% respectively. The Bank is proposing an interim dividend of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2020. Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “These are undoubtedly tough and trying times for people, businesses and economies the world over. Our financial performance in the first half of the year reflects the quality of our past decisions which have broadened our earnings and strategically positioned us to thrive, thus far, through the current global health and economic crises. Underpinning this financial performance is our commitment to being there for our customers and the communities we serve, and over the past six months we have lent the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods of our staff and customers by leading from the front in the fight to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak and offering grace periods on loans to our small business customers.” He further stated that “Going forward, our focus is not just to survive this pandemic, but to thrive beyond it. That is why we are going ahead with our plans to re-imagine how we create value for all our stakeholders. We know that making financial services work for customers goes beyond banking, and in line with our long-term strategy, we will seek to create and drive innovative financial solutions that go beyond banking.” GTBank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a Return on Equity (ROE) of 26.8% and cost to income ratio of 43.2%. Renowned for its forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement, GTBank was recently ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The Bank was also awarded the Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney Magazine for a record-extending tenth time and the Euromoney Excellence in Leadership Africa Award for its swift reaction in responding to the Covid-19 crisis and for addressing the impact of the pandemic on its customers and communities.

2020 Half Year! GTBank declares ₦109.7Billion Profit Before Tax

"Access Bank remains committed to creating value for shareholders" – Herbert Wigwe

Following the recent announcement of its financial results for the half-year ended June 30 2020, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank PLC, Herbert Wigwe has assured all stakeholders of the Bank’s commitment to offering greater share value. 

“Leveraging investments in digital banking post-merger, we have seen a growth in our retail banking business, as evidenced by the growth in customer sign-on, transaction volume and value, and increased adoption of our digital channels. While the other half of 2020 will remain challenging, digital banking has become more essential than ever in the pursuit of sustainable earnings.

“We are confident that our purposeful strategy, diversified model, and investment in digital solutions will ensure that we remain resilient and continue to support our stakeholders to recover and thrive. I want to thank our employees for their commitment and exceptional work in these uncertain times,” Wigwe said.

The Group recorded gross earnings of ₦396.8bn (+22% y/y), on the back of a 191% y/y growth in non-interest income to ₦150bn, buttressing the efficacy of its strategy and capacity to generate sustainable revenue. Access Bank also continued to grow its trading and transaction banking income through the optimisation of its channels and electronic banking business, notwithstanding the reduction in transaction charges. Despite the high cost of operation and an increase in its net impairment charge, Profit Before Tax stood at ₦74.3bn.

Despite the shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Access Bank maintained a robust capital position, underpinned by resilient and well-diversified business operations. The Bank’s capital and liquidity positions were well above regulatory levels with a Capital Adequacy Ratio of 20.0% and a liquidity ratio of 44.7%. 

In the first half of 2020, Access Bank took several actions to proactively identify and resolve loan performance concerns. This was done in line with its long-term approach to risk management and maintaining resilience and sustainability in its balance sheet. The resultant effect of this approach was its NPL ratio of 4.4%, backed with write-offs.

The lender has gone further to announce that investors will get 25 kobo per share as an interim dividend to be paid on Monday, September 28, 2020. According to the Bank, payments will only be made to those whose names appear on the register of members at the close of business on Thursday, September 17, 2020, and have completed the e-dividend registration per directives given to United Securities Limited.

"Access Bank remains committed to creating value for shareholders" – Herbert Wigwe

'Baba Ijebu',others in trouble over Dollar Fraud

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed banks to place a post-no-debit on the bank accounts of 38 companies.

The affected accounts belong to betting companies, bureau de change companies and some logistics companies.

One of the companies, Premier Lotto, is owned by Adebutu Kessington, a Nigerian businessman popularly known as “Baba Ijebu”.

Accoridng to TheCable, the companies are being accused of forex infractions, moving forex abroad without the required authorisation and “economic sabotage”.

One of the gaming companies moved $420 million abroad under the guise of purchasing software.

But the funds were later traced to the foreign accounts of some of the directors of the company.

“The forex was sourced from the black market, thereby putting pressure on the exchange rate. The gaming companies are awash with naira which sit in their bank accounts, so they devised a way of moving the funds abroad,” a source told TheCable.

The September 4 memo signed by Bello Hassan, director of banking supervision, read: “You are hereby required to place the under listed accounts on post-no-debit with immediate effect and revert with the account names, numbers, currencies and balances of all accounts placed on PND”.

A post-no-debit means that all debit transactions, including ATMs and cheques, on the accounts have been blocked but money can be deposited into the accounts.

Some of the affected companies are Premier Lotto Limited, 3D Scanners Bureau De Change Limited, Blue Wall Nigeria Limited, JNFX International Limited and Northline Limited.

Others are SV Gaming Limited, R&S Lotto Limited, TM Gaming Networks Limited, Escale Oil and Gas Limited, Barkoli Trading Company Limited, Godoni Enterprises Limited.

The apex bank said only the listed companies should be placed on PND adding that all related accounts be excluded.

'Baba Ijebu',others in trouble over Dollar Fraud
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