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Commitment to Customer Service Translates to Financial Gains – UBA GMD Kennedy Uzoka

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, has said that the bank recorded significant improvement in its operational and financial performance as a result of its unending commitment towards delivering products and services aimed at meeting customers’ demands.

Uzoka said this during the Investors/Analysts Conference Call at the bank’s head office in Lagos, days back, following the release of its results for the half year ended June 30, 2021.

UBA delivered a 33.4% appreciation in its profit before tax which rose to N76.2bn as at June 2021, up from N57.1bn recorded in the same period of 2020, translating to an annualised Return on Average Equity of 17.5% as against 14.4% a year earlier. Profit after tax grew to N60.6bn representing a significant rise by 36.3% compared to N44.4bn recorded in 2020, while gross earnings grew to N316bn from N300.6bn as at June 2020; a 5.1% growth

This feat was recorded despite the challenging business and economic environment that emerged from the slow pace of activities following the global lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The GMD expressed optimism that the bank is on the trajectory of achieving and even surpassing its targets for the financial year, adding that its focus on delighting its customers remains at the forefront of all its activities.

He said, “We are very committed to prudent and responsible growth of our risk assets, quality of our balance sheet and the overall health of the bank. We will continue to balance our growth appetite with the need to maintain very good healthy portfolio of our assets.

“Our customer first philosophy remains our guiding strategy. We want to assure you of positive customer experience for all our customers. In addition, we would like to deliver our banking services only from the standpoint of our customers. And indeed, as we say at UBA, our customers are our ultimate employers,” Uzoka explained.

Whilst expressing optimism that the Nigerian economy and the broader economy will continue to recover and rebound from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the remaining quarter of 2021 and all the way into 2022, the GMD assured the investors and participants of the bank’s commitment to maintain professionalism and continue to ensure strict compliance with the rules and regulations guiding our operations in all our presence countries. “With the trusted commitment of all our great and wonderful employees, board and management, we will continue to match towards actualising our enterprise goals,” he noted.

UBA’s Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, who spoke on the bank’s significant geographical diversification across key economies in Africa and beyond, noted that UBA recorded impressive growth in interest incomes and net incomes, with steady growth in funding and deposits from customers.

He pointed out that even as the operating environment remains largely uncertain and volatile, despite marked improvement from Covid-19 induced macroeconomic stress, UBA will continue to build resilience through its geographically diversified business model to support headline earnings growth for the Group.

“We remain committed to our 18% and 15% respective RoAE and deposit growth guidance for FY 2021, as we continue to invest in growth opportunities across our geographies of operation, whilst managing capital and balance sheet prudently,” Nwaghodoh said.

Commitment to Customer Service Translates to Financial Gains – UBA GMD Kennedy Uzoka

UBA’s Half-year Profit Grows By 33% to N76.2 Billion…Declares 20k per share interim dividend

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced its audited half year financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2021, showing impressive growth across all major income lines and performance indicators.

The pan African financial institution delivered a 33.4 per cent appreciation in its profit before tax which rose to N76.2 billion as at June 2021, up from the N57.1 billion recorded in the same period of 2020. This translated to an annualised Return on Average Equity (RoAE) of 17.5 per cent as against 14.4 per cent a year earlier. This feat was recorded despite the challenging business and economic environment that emerged from the slow pace of activities following the global lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, showed that the group’s profit after tax stood at N60.6 billion, representing a significant rise by 36.3 per cent, compared with the N44.4 billion recorded in the half year of 2020.

Similarly, gross earnings grew to N316 billion, which was a five per cent increase, from the N300.6 billion recorded as at June 2020.
According to the results, at June 30, 2021, the group’s total assets crossed the N8 trillion mark as it increased to N8.3 trillion, up from N7.7 trillion at the end of the 2020 financial year. Its customer deposit also crossed the N6 trillion mark, growing by 7.4 per cent to N6.1 trillion in the period under review, compared with N5.7 trillion as at December 2020.
Furthermore, the group’s Shareholders’ Funds remained robust at N752.5 billion, up from N724.1 billion in December 2020, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.

In line with the bank’s culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA declared an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each, held by its shareholders.
Commenting on the results, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, expressed delight over the bank’s performance in the first half of the year.

He added: “This has been a strong first half for us, as global economic recovery exceeded expectations, creating a positive rub-off on consumer and corporate confidence, savings and investment activities.
“We saw this positively impact our business, as we continued to leverage our key strategic levers – People, Process and Technology, and our Customer first philosophy, to revolutionise customer experience at UBA.”

He added that the bank’s investment in the Rest of Africa (excluding Nigeria) continues to yield good results for the group.
Uzoka added: “The benefits of pan-African business diversification accruing to the Group is once again evident, with gross earnings and interest income growth of 5.1 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively, despite the low yield environment in our largest market, Nigeria.
“We are making remarkable progress on our strategy that is progressively positioning UBA as the bank of choice on the continent, driven by our emphasis on tech-led innovation and best customer experience.”

Continuing, the GMD pointed out that the bank recognises the far-reaching effects of the pandemic on businesses globally, and remains focused on its promise to always provide our customers with the best banking experiences possible.

“Our first half 2021 (H1 2021) performance reflects our progressive efforts in building on the strong momentum that we started the year with. As a purpose-driven organisation, we remain resolute in our drive for sustained growth in customer acquisition, transaction volumes and balance sheet, as we consolidate our ‘Africa’s Global Bank’ market position in the years ahead, uplifting livelihoods across the continent,” Uzoka explained.
UBA’s Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh, on his part, noted that the bank’s goal was to achieve marked improvement in earnings quality whilst maintaining positive operating leverage as well as top-notch asset quality.

“The Group recorded RoAE of 17.5 per cent (from 15.1% in 2020H1) and a Net-Interest-Margin of 5.8 per cent (from 5.4% in H12020) as we played the volatile yield environment diligently for best return on our interest earning assets.

“Capital position remained strong, with a capital adequacy and liquidity ratios of 23.9 per cent (22.4% in 2020H1) and 58.3 per cent (58.2% in 2020H1) respectively. This is robust enough to support our growth ambitions,” he said.
The GCFO pointed out that even while the operating environment remains largely uncertain and volatile, despite marked improvement from Covid-19 induced macroeconomic stress, UBA will continue to build resilience through its geographically diversified business model to support headline earnings growth for the Group.

“We remain committed to our 18 per cent and 15 per cent respective RoAE and deposit growth guidance for FY 2021, as we continue to invest in growth opportunities across our geographies of operation, whilst managing capital and balance sheet prudently,” Nwaghodoh stated.

UBA’s Half-year Profit Grows By 33% to N76.2 Billion…Declares 20k per share interim dividend

Dangote Refinery partners Content Board on Oil Sector Research, Development

Dangote Oil Refinery has thrown its weight behind the efforts by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to promote the critical issue of Research and Development (R&D) in the oil and gas sector of the country.

To underscore its’ readiness to join hands with the Board, Dangote Petroleum Refinery said it decided to sponsor the 2nd Edition of the NCDMB Research & Development Fair and Conference 2021, which took place in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State recently and would be willing to partner to ensure the Board succeeds.

Already, Dangote Oil Refinery management disclosed that it had selected six graduates across the six geopolitical zones in conjunction with NCDMB to take the MSc and/or PhD programmes at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for Research & Development in Zeolites ZM5in.

With the theme: ‘Creating Sustainable Collaboration in Research and Development for the Energy Sector, Dangote Refinery said the conference created a convergence of researchers, industry players, investors, finance enterprises and manufacturing companies to identify patentable or commercially viable products resulting from R&D activities.

The R&D fair also afforded Dangote Oil Refinery the opportunity to showcase its 650,000 barrels-per-day single largest train refinery project and what the company has done in terms of Research and Development during the construction of the refinery.

Speaking during his visit to the Dangote Oil Refinery exhibition booth at the fair and conference, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote, commended the company for showing support to the board by participating in the fair.

He expressed the need for companies in the Nigeria oil and gas sector to start nurturing the growth of the country’s home-grown technology rather just being wholesome consumers of other people’s innovations.

In his opening remarks, he stated, “Analysis of global practices of Research and Development revealed that the combined R&D spend of just five countries makes up 63.5% of the entire global R&D spend. These five countries, namely USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India were also observed to have accounted for over 50% of the global Gross Domestic Products.

“Africa, on the other hand, accounted for less than one per cent (1%) of the global R&D spend while its GDP is only 3% of the global GDP. You will agree with me that there is a nexus between the spend on Research and Development and economic prosperity,” the Executive Secretary added.

Wabote said from time immemorial to the current age of global connectivity, R&D always played a crucial role in opening up new chapters of modern life.

He listed some of the accomplishments of the board to include the establishment of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council to advise the Board on matters relating to research and development in the oil and gas industry and the Development of R&D 10 Year Strategic Roadmap.

The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, also called on industry stakeholders and youths across the country to take advantage of the NCDMB R&D center to bolster adaptation of existing solutions and also come up with new ones to address major challenges in the industry.

The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the theme for the fair captures stakeholders’ collective commitment to aggressively drive innovation and position the oil industry on the path of an integrated energy sector, where field development and production solutions are sourced through local capabilities.

He emphasized the need for private sector operators to invest in research and development. “It is important, however, to clear up a certain misconception: The funding of research is not the sole responsibility of National Governments; rather, big spenders on research and development globally come from the private sector,” he added.

Beyond financial intervention, he urged the oil and gas industry players to challenge the local academia with its research problems, to ensure the development of homegrown technology and the retention of oil and gas spend in the economy.

 

 

Dangote Refinery partners Content Board on Oil Sector Research, Development

Zenith Bank Launches Intelligent Chatbot,Ziva

Zenith Bank Plc, has introduced an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered Chatbot on WhatsApp named ZIVA (Zenith Intelligent Virtual Assistant), which enables customers to perform financial transactions and enjoy real-time customer service from their mobile phones.

Customers can enrol by simply adding the bank's verified WhatsApp mobile number 07040004422 on their mobile devices, agree to the legal terms of use and then initiate a conversation. This product provides the convenience for the bank’s customers to interact and transact on a 24 hours basis on the encrypted WhatsApp platform.

With this capability to respond to chats/queries anchored on the existing WhatsApp platform, customers will be able to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfer funds and top up airtime. They will also be able to confirm cheques, pay bills, apply for loans, block their accounts, and request mini statements, amongst other banking services.

Commenting on the new banking solution, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said: "The launch of ZIVA is driven by the need for additional secured channels of communication with our customers as we deepen our retail penetration".

Speaking further on the WhatsApp chatbot, Onyeagwu noted that "since the behavioural pattern of the modern customer dictates that they want to engage with brands over the channel of their choice, it was really important for us as a leading financial services institution and a pioneer of several technological innovations in the financial services industry to implement this solution in order to continue to create value for our teeming customers who incidentally were already using WhatsApp as a primary channel of communication".

Zenith Bank has continued to distinguish itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service offerings, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. The bank has remained a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

The bank's commitment to world-class service standards has led to several product innovations, including the "Zenith Timeless Account", which allows Nigerians aged 60 years and above bank for free, the "Zenith Save4me", a high-interest target savings account and the deployment of contactless payments and QR on ATM points, amongst others.

Zenith Bank places a premium on its core business strategy anchored on People, Technology and Service, to create value for its numerous clientele. With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/digital channels.

Zenith Bank Launches Intelligent Chatbot,Ziva

FirstBank's FirstMobile:Banking At Your Fingertips

As the world is evolving digitally, Nigerian banks are currently looking for ways to make the banking experience better and FirstBank is not an exception to this aggressive drive. The efforts in this regard include building and constantly improving on its product offerings like the FirstMobile, its industry-leading mobile banking app; FirstOnline, the internet banking portal and many other platforms provided by the Bank to ensure banking operations are performed with ease and convenience without having to be physically present at the bank.

In line with its commitment to offer these value-added products and services that suit the lifestyles of its customers, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand, has one of the best bank Apps anywhere. FirstMobile is the official mobile banking application from FirstBank and it provides convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions by FirstBank account holders via their mobile devices. It is sleek and convenient to use - evident in its easy enrolment process as all FirstBank customers with Verve and Naira MasterCards can begin using the App without having cause to visit a FirstBank branch. It is also poised to offer a more reliable and more convenient overall digital banking experience.

With FirstMobile, customers can enjoy real-time mobile banking services such as domestic funds transfer from self-owned accounts to other FirstBank accounts and other external bank accounts; QR payments, as well as make quick airtime purchases for self and others on all mobile networks (which can be done directly by selecting phone numbers from their phone contacts); bills payments; cheque services including confirm cheque and stop cheque, flight and cinema booking; and quick account services such as account balance inquiry, statement view, Virtual Card, Limit enhancement up to 10M & Airtime top-up limit up to 50,000. FirstMobile also offers Debit card enablement for usage abroad.

In addition, the lifestyle banking app offers FirstBank customers unique access to the latest articles and videos across a wide variety of categories, including technology and gadgets, life and travel, the economy, local news, luxury goods, business, health, sports, entertainment, shopping and more. The application is free and available for download to customers of FirstBank.

FirstMobile remains yet another obvious step towards leveraging evolving technologies to bring fast and convenient financial services closer to Nigerians, in line with the bank’s digital banking strategy.

With its efficiency, the Bank has delivered an app that has, over the years, consistently shown to support the consumer lifestyle by providing users with an instant suite of financial options on their mobile devices in a convenient and highly secure way.

As of June 2021, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the most renowned Bank in Nigeria boasts 4,596,203 users on the FirstMobile App which is a 9% growth of the total users in the previous year and an average of 27,730,830 transactions every month. With such large patronage from its over 30 million customer base, the need to always create an easy way for customers to conduct financial transactions comes into play and impressively, a dedicated platform that allows FirstBank customers to conveniently make transactions with their mobile phones, Tablets and Pc is always within customers’ fingertips.

FirstMobile is also embedded with a card protection service for customers to enable and disable cards on channels, account switch off as well as second-factor authentication and device registration. Customers can remotely initiate the request for a new debit card as well as the replacement of a lost or damaged one, whilst managing activities on their card and account.

FirstMobile takes into cognizance the security of customers and their funds. The biometric for transactions is an innovative security upgrade on the application to validate transactions. This feature includes fingerprint for transactions, allowing the customer to use his or her fingerprint to consummate all transactions. Other features of the FirstMobile App include frequent transactions; dashboard flexibility and personalisation.

Customers can also take a photo or select from the Avatar (available icons) to personalize their dashboard and beneficiaries for Transfers, Bills payment & Airtime transactions by uploading a picture to associate with their beneficiary, especially the more frequent ones. The dashboard has been designed to reflect the lifestyle and social pattern of the user as it can be customized by adding any profile picture of choice. The dashboard also enables users to monitor their spending patterns over a period. It shows the inflow and outflow of funds on their account. With FirstMobile, you can book movie tickets ahead of time, thereby averting the risk of being told the movie is sold-out upon getting to the movie theatre.

In need of a loan to meet that pressing need, FirstMobile also has you covered and puts you at an advantage with the FirstAdvance, a product designed to offer convenient and easy access to cash for payroll customers awaiting payment of their salaries and also Nano Loan features. It is indeed an overall exciting App that ensures financial happiness.

To set up the FirstMobile App, customers with android phones should visit the Google Play store to download and install the FirstMobile app. Customers with Apple devices can download it from the Apple Store. Once installed, customers are required to open the app, tap the REGISTER button and use their FirstBank issued Naira MasterCard or Verve card to activate the app. After details have been inputted, an OTP code will be sent via an SMS to your phone number that is linked to your bank account and you are then required to Input a 5 digits code that will be your login password, Select two security questions and answer them, Create a personalised 4 digits transaction pin that will help your confirm transactions. Click Done and start enjoying the app.

FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of payment systems, whilst putting customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are.

Culled from Nairametrics

FirstBank's FirstMobile:Banking At Your Fingertips

Unity Bank Unveils New Code on USSD Platform to Combat E-Banking Fraud

 

In a bid to safeguard its e-banking platforms with enhanced safety and security features, Unity Bank Plc has unveiled a new code on its USSD platform that completely puts the customer in control of his Bank Account against any e-Banking fraud.

The new code which is *7799*9*Phone Number # allows customers to block access to their Bank Accounts, hence without recourse to the Bank, a customer is able to prevent and protect his Bank Account from unauthorised access using any mobile device if fraud is suspected.

As part of the robust feature of the Bank’s USSD platform, Bank customers can directly initiate the new Code and successfully block the account from a third-party mobile device.   

To unblock the Bank account, customers can walk into any branch of Unity Bank closest to them and request reactivation.

As a result, customers are thus able to exercise unlimited control with the new code as the Account Blockade can be initiated from any phone to prevent any unauthorised transaction or access to the Bank Account. The blockade can also be initiated to stem risks arising from the loss of debit card or incidences of unauthorized transactions.

This feature now offers full control to Unity Bank customers to protect themselves from scams, secure all banking transactions, and puts the customers well ahead in control of their banking transactions.

The new anti-fraud code enhances the Bank’s robust security system to safeguard customers’ bank accounts against any form of cyber threat or incurring financial losses from fraud attempts.

According to the latest banking industry fraud report by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, cyber fraud rose by 534% as Nigerian banks lost a total of N3.5 billion in the past year alone. The unveiling of the new USSD code is, therefore, part of Unity Bank’s strategic move to protect their customers by reducing to zero, losses from electronic banking frauds.

The *7799# code which was introduced three years ago and enhanced with a multi-language capability has remained a critical component of the Bank’s robust e-banking channels facilitating seamless and secure banking transactions.

Speaking on the new anti-fraud code, the Directorate Head, E-Business, Retail & SME Banking, Mr. Funwa Akinmade said that leveraging necessary technology to protect the bank’s assets including customer’s Bank account remains a top priority for the Bank in the face of rising cyber-security threats.

He said: “With fraud concerns on major payment channels across Nigeria, every player in the financial services industry in Nigeria must think of a way to stay ahead of its game”.

“With the added USSD feature that allows customers to block their accounts using *7799*9*Phone Number# code, even from a third party device, we have given greater empowerment to customers to transact freely on our USSD platform. With the USSD feature, being available to both smartphone and feature phone users, it means even the least digital-savvy customers of Unity Bank can effectively use the new anti-fraud code”.

“More so, since the USSD is available in the three major local languages, it, therefore, has the potential to reach the greatest number of people who are looking for convenient and secure banking services.”

The unveiling of the new anti-fraud code on the USSD platform is also accompanied by the rollout of a nationwide radio campaign to educate the banking public on the options available to them to bank safely and securely. 

 

Unity Bank Unveils New Code on USSD Platform to Combat E-Banking Fraud

Why IJEBUCCIMA hosted Trade fiesta during Ojude Oba.....Rafiu Oshiyemi

 

Ijebu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (IJEBUCCIMA), which is the voice of business in Ijebuland made history during the sallah celebration as the organization successfully hosted the maiden edition of IJEBUCCIMA-OJUDE OBA TRADE FIESTA with the theme: Harmonizing Commerce and Culture for the economic development of Ijebuland.

The trade fiesta which took place at the IJEBUCCIMA complex Igbeba,Ijebu ode, was being used to essentially add commerce and business spice to the annual Ojude Oba celebration. Businesses from every sector of the economy in Ijebu land showcased their products and brand for purchase and exposure, at discounted rates.

The Ojude Oba has been a cultural heritage of the Ijebu people during which different age and social group pay homages to the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, as well as display of horse parade.

According to the President IJEBUCCIMA,Rafiu Oshiyemi,the Trade fiesta,was borne out of the fact that a symbiotic relationship between commerce and culture would boost socio-economic development of the ancient town.

The IJEBUCCIMA president said it was important to take the Ojude Oba cultural festival to a level that it would impact the economic lives of the people, adding that understanding the culture of an area would allow businesses to thrive.

He stated that the chamber wanted to use the Ojude Oba celebration as a means of creating awareness on the economic opportunities available in Ijebuland.

Oshiyemi added that the fiesta was also aimed at discovering businesses and entrepreneurship capacities within the economic environment of Ijebuland, while not neglecting the cultural aspect of the festival.

“Though the festival was suspended for this year, people are still around to celebrate with their families and friends.

“We are hopeful that in the nearest future, we will be able to initiate the development of a one-stop-shop event place to be tagged “Ojude Oba Village” where we will have a parade group and shopping mall.

“We will also have a guest house, event house and trade incubation centre, among others, that will attract tourists and enable them undertake several activities during their visit to the festival,” he said.

The trade fiesta was formally opened on Ojude Oba day,which was 22nd July, 2021.

It has in attendance, Government agencies, development organisations, political,business and community leaders within and outside Ijebuland.

Why IJEBUCCIMA hosted Trade fiesta during Ojude Oba.....Rafiu Oshiyemi

Miriam Olusanya emerges GTBank's First Female Managing Director

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) has appointed Mrs Miriam Olusanya as its first female Managing Director.

She takes over from the former Managing Director, Segun Agbaje.

A statement from the bank on Wednesday said aiming to strengthen its long-term competitiveness and growth prospects, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has completed its re-organisation to a Holding Company Structure.

It said under the terms of the re-organisation, a new operating company has been established and amendments made to the articles of incorporation for a corporate name change.

“The corporate name of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and GTCO Plc will be used by the newly established operating company.

“The newly established Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc is also pleased to announce its new Board of Directors as well as changes to the Board of its banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited. All the appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Exchange Group.

“Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (“GTCO Plc”) will be governed by a Board of Directors comprising, Mr. Sola Oyinlola as Chairman of the Board and Mr Segun Agbaje as the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adebanji Adeniyi as Executive Director, Mrs Cathy Echeozo as Non-Executive Director, Mr. Suleiman Barau and Mrs. Helen Bouygues as Independent Non-Executive Directors,” the statement said.

“We are very excited to get started on the next phase of our incredible journey to driving Africa’s growth by making end-to-end financial services easily accessible to every African and African Businesses by leveraging Technology and Strategic Partnerships.

“As a bank, we were always looking to meet every customer need; with our corporate reorganization, we will be able to do more to help our customers thrive in this new world of digital technologies and unprecedented possibilities”.

He further stated that, “Whilst we are evolving as an organization, we remain committed to our founding values which have endeared our brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond, and which continues to drive our financial success.

“As a Proudly African and Truly International band, we will continue to live by these values—of excellence, hard work and integrity, even as we create faster, cheaper, safer and more diverse products for people and businesses of varied types and sizes.”

Prior to its corporate reorganization to Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has been at the forefront of delivering innovative banking products and services to customers and best-in-class Return-on-Equity to shareholders.

It is widely regarded as the best managed financial institution in Nigeria and has, over the past decade, embarked on a period of unparalleled growth, growing its customer base from less than 3 million customers in 2011 to over 24 million customers in 2020, and profit before tax from ₦45.5 billion at the end of the 2010 financial year to ₦238.1billion at the end of the 2020 financial year.

It added that “The Banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited will be governed by a Board of Directors comprising, Mr Ibrahim Hassan as Chairman of the Board, Mrs Miriam Olusanya as Managing Director, Mr Jide Okuntola as Deputy Managing Director, Mr Haruna Musa as Executive Director, Mr Olabode Agusto as Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms Imoni Akpofure and Mrs Victoria Adefala as Independent Non-Executive Directors.”

Commenting on the completion of the Corporate Reorganization, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, said: “We believe that a Holding Company Structure will allow us take advantage of new business opportunities in the emerging competitive landscape and strengthen our earnings base.

Miriam Olusanya emerges GTBank's First Female Managing Director

Access Bank CEO,Herbert Wigwe is African Banker of the Year for the Second Time

The Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank PLC Herbert Wigwe has been recognised as the African Banker of the Year at the 2021 edition of the African Banker Awards.

A winner of one of the most prized categories at the Awards ceremony for the second consecutive year, Wigwe was recognised for his stellar leadership in the market expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest bank despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 12 months, Access Bank has established a presence in South Africa following its acquisition of Grobank.

Accepting the award, Wigwe said Access Bank is focused on promoting corporate discipline, adding that the Bank wants to be in key markets on the continent, building a payment gateway and providing trade finance support.

“We want to be seen as the best bank supporting the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA). In terms of diaspora remittances, we are present in key areas in the continent,” he said.

The African Banker Awards have become the most respected and recognised industry event celebrating African banking achievements. The organisers this year, put emphasis on recognising and rewarding institutions that contributed to the real economy which has suffered from the impact of Covid-19 as well as contributed to women empowerment on the continent.

Commenting on the award, Group Publisher of African Banker and Chair of the Awards Committee, Omar Ben Yedder said, “Herbert is one of the most respected bankers on the continent, without a shadow of a doubt. The Bank has gone from a lower ranked Nigerian bank when he joined the group as Deputy CEO to become one of Africa’s leading financial services groups. He has shown a relentless pursuit for growth, but has done so in a measured and calculated manner. What he and his team have done at Access Bank is nothing short of remarkable.”

The Awards ceremony held virtually during the Annual meetings of the African Development Bank.

Access Bank CEO,Herbert Wigwe is African Banker of the Year for the Second Time

Zenith Bank maintains Position as Africa’s Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ 2021

For the second consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance 'Financial Services' Africa 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. The award, which was published in the June 2021 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, is in recognition of the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalization of corporate governance, setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.

Commenting on the award, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said that: “this recognition is a testament to our commitment to quality, accountability, fairness and transparency in our engagement with all stakeholders. It is also an affirmation of the bank’s professionalism, ethical conduct and sustenance of global best practices and standards which is attributable to the joint collaboration of the management and staff".

This award comes on the heels of several awards and recognitions that have come the way of bank in recent times for its track record of excellent performance and commitment to global best practices. Zenith Bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker's Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World's Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best Corporate Governance 'Financial Services' Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the "2020 Top 1000 World Banks" Ranking by The Banker Magazine. Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People's Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.

Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a Corporate Governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange. The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.

The bank places a premium on its core business strategy anchored on People, Technology and Service, to create value for its numerous clientele. With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/digital channels.

 

Zenith Bank maintains Position as Africa’s Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ 2021

Tony Elumelu Foundation trains over 200,000 Entrepreneurs across 54 African Countries

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has successfully trained over 200,000 entrepreneurs in core business management skills as part of its 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Business Management training was conducted exclusively on TEFConnect,  the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform that provides capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages to over 1 Million Africans and counting.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Business Management Training equips entrepreneurs with critical skills required to launch and run their businesses at the early growth stage. With a unique curriculum that encompasses topics on Starting Your Business, Business Management & Fundamentals, Leadership & Business Growth, Selecting and Building a Team, amongst others, entrepreneurs are effectively armed to achieve business growth, profitability, and sustained success.

Entrepreneurs were hosted to weekly information sessions, as part of the training, to address relevant concerns and share vital programme updates. All entrepreneurs received active support from coaches and mentors who provided technical guidance, counsel and one-one interaction throughout the duration of the training programme.

The training, which is one element of the 7 pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, was carried out in the official African languages including English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, and over 40 percent of trained participants were women.

Commenting on this milestone, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said “Every year, our commitment to transform Africa is further strengthened with the passion, resilience and talent of the high-calibre entrepreneurs who onboard our flagship programme. Our curricular provides a holistic opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn, grow and contribute to the development of their communities.”

The Chief Executive Officer added: “Furthermore, it is a testament to the eagerness and readiness of African entrepreneurs across all of Africa to make themselves available to transform the continent for good. I would like to commend these entrepreneurs for their discipline, dedication and hard work throughout the training and look forward to the immense impact of their businesses across diverse sectors in Africa. We remain committed to empowering African entrepreneurs with the required resources and support that will ensure that their businesses can scale and drive sustainable change on the continent”.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Training is immediately followed by a Business Plan review process for each entrepreneur. The top-performing entrepreneurs subsequently participate in the Pitching phase of the Programme after which successful entrepreneurs receive a non-returnable seed capital of US$5000 each.

The leading African philanthropy also hopes to train and empower thousands more across the African continent as part of its commitment to catalyze economic growth, drive poverty eradication and ensure job creation.

In 2020, the Tony Elumelu Foundation marked ten years of impact, having empowered and funded nearly 10,000 African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries as part of its US$100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the long-term social and economic development of the African continent.

Tony Elumelu Foundation trains over 200,000  Entrepreneurs across 54 African Countries

Dangote's $2 billion Urea Fertilizer Plant pushes out 120 trucks every day

After months of speculations, Dangote Urea fertilizer is now finally on sales nationwide and it currently pushes out a minimum of 120 trucks per day across the country

Group Executive Director, (Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development) · Dangote Industries Limited,  Devakumar  Edwin, revealed to the press over the weekend that the Plant which has the capacity to turn out more than 4,500 tonnes of urea per day will conveniently meet the local demand and even produce for exports.

According to him: “…We have the capacity to turn out 4,500 tonnes of Urea everyday…this is a bulk application fertilizer…each crop in Nigeria or globally will require Nitrogen and this is a rich fertilizer, having 46 per cent nitrogen…The company has the capacity to meet local demand and also export to African countries… Currently the demand is less than 1 million tonnes and we alone can  produce 3 million tonnes, so we can easily meet local demand and also produce for export to other west African countries.”

Aside fertilizer production, the company, according to Edwin is already working to support the farmers with training on application of the fertilizer and even establish laboratories across the country for proper soil examination.

“The uniqueness of this plant, apart from the fact that we are producing is the focus on farmers’ support, on training, education, development as we are now establishing laboratories across the country and even mobile laboratories where we can go drive around and take soil samples for proper examination to effectively grow the agricultural outputs across the country”

The Urea Fertilizer plant was built to tap into Nigeria’s demand for fertilizer, a critical component of achieving food sufficiency for Africa’s most populous country.

The Fertilizer plant is expected to manufacture 3 million metric tonnes of urea per annum, with a view to reducing the nation’s fertilizer imports, and generating $400m annual foreign exchange from export to Africa countries.

 

Meanwhile, marketers and farmers in Kano have described the newly introduced Dangote Fertilizer as a game-changer and a forecast for the expected agricultural revolution in the country. 

Marketers and farmers who were apparently excited, over the weekend welcomed the more than ten trucks that entered Kano markets at the weekend. 

Speaking at the event organized by Dan Hydro Company in Kano to mark the introduction of the fertilizer into the northern market, chairman of the Kano state Agro Dealers Association Alhaji Shuaibu Akarami said agro-dealers have confidence in Dangote fertilizer as they have in all his products, adding that as a dealer who spent decades in the business he has discovered that Dangote fertilizer will have no problem penetrating the market in the North. 

"I have checked the product and have found out that it will have no problem penetrating the market. With my experience in agro products, I can authoritatively say the product has met our expectations and that has confirmed the confidence we have in Dangote fertilizer and other sister products of the Dangote Group,” he said. 

The Dan-Hydro fertilizer Company in Kano which took delivery of the first batch of trucks in Kano said the timing and strategy for the introduction are rife.  

Head of operations, Dan- Hydro operations Mr. Hamadi Sekou Drammeh said the Dangote fertilizer conforms to all set standard required by the regulatory agencies. 

He said the phenomenon of perennial shortage of the fertilizer product will be over in the country. 

He said as part of its public enlightenment plan, the company was going to work with all stakeholders in the agricultural sectors.  

In the same vein, Sales Manager of Dan Hydro Mr. Sulaiman Tanko assured that the product will be sold at a reasonable price that will enable fair competition in the market.  

Dangote's $2 billion Urea Fertilizer Plant pushes out 120 trucks every day

Heirs Holdings Enters Insurance Market - Promises Simple, Quick, Accessible and Reliable Insurance to Nigeria

Managing Director/CEO, Heirs Insurance Limited, Dr. Adaobi Nwakuche;  Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM),  Mr. Sunday Thomas; Executive Governor, Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Heirs Insurance Limited, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Managing Director/CEO, Heirs Life Assurance Limited, Mr. Niyi Onifade; and Executive Director, Heirs Holdings and Chairman, Heirs Life Assurance Limited; at the official launch of Heirs Insurance Limited and Heirs Life Assurance Limited and the commissioning of Heirs Towers in Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday.

Heirs Holdings (HH) announced the Group’s transformative insurance industry play, with the launch of Heirs Insurance Limited (HIL) and Heirs Life Assurance (HLA), on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the companies’ Victoria Island headquarters in Lagos.  Heirs Holdings will bring a dynamic, digitally driven offering to the general and life insurance sectors, providing clients with a real choice of products, pricing, channel, and claims handing.

Heirs Insurance Limited (HIL) provides general insurance, offering policies covering vehicles, homes, SMEs, business risks, and other properties.  Heirs Life Assurance (HLA) offers insurance-backed savings plans and life insurance security for individuals, families, children’s education, debtors, creditors, entrepreneurs, and employees. All plans offer customers comprehensive protection, creating financial certainty for loved ones, cherished assets, and properties.

Both companies leverage the business track record of Heirs Holdings, the pan-African investment group, chaired by leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.  Heirs Holdings’ portfolio includes companies transforming financial services, power, oil and gas, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, and technology.

At the launch, the companies announced a series of product innovations, including a web portal enabling customers to get an insurance quote in minutes and receive claims settlement in less than 24 hours, from their mobile devices.  The highly intuitive and easy to use portal assists the total customer journey, from comparing products to finding the right cover.  They also unveiled a suite of customer friendly, affordable products, that are simple to understand, featuring flat pricing and tailored directly to the Nigerian market and the needs of Nigerians.

Heirs Insurance, the general insurer, with its mandate to enable Nigerians to protect their valuables and property, unveiled flexible low-cost comprehensive motor insurance and new insurance products targeting users including bikers, tenants, and SMEs. Heirs Life unveiled affordable savings, term life and inheritance plans, that provide financial security throughout customers’ life journey.

Dr. Adaobi Nwakuche, Ag. MD/CEO, Heirs Insurance, said: “We are delivering insurance that is easy to understand, quick and reliable, simplifying our customers’ lives.  Our mission is simple: make insurance accessible.  Our goal is to transform customer service: cutting waiting time in claims processing and purchase to bare minutes — across all touchpoints, including mobile devices.  At Heirs Insurance, we want to give our customers what they have so often lacked – high quality insurance, at an affordable price – and with an insurer that is on their side”.

Niyi Onifade, MD/CEO, Heirs Life, said: “Our goal is to integrate life insurance products into people’s daily lives to create financial inclusion and bring quality financial services to the many, not just the few.  This way, we empower people to live more confidently and achieve their dreams, whilst securing the future of their loved ones.  Heirs is all about giving our clients financial security.  As people build wealth, we want them to know that they have a partner in Heirs Life, providing financial support throughout their life”.

Heirs Holdings Enters Insurance Market - Promises Simple, Quick, Accessible and Reliable Insurance to Nigeria
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