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Wema Bank, MOD announce Education Advisory Service for International Students

Wema Bank has launched an advisory and loan scheme, the Education Advisory Service, in partnership with MOD Education for young Nigerians wishing to study abroad.

Following foreign exchange control measures introduced by the government, parents and guardians have experienced difficulties paying tuition fees for their children and wards studying abroad. Some who have the money don't know the requirements for foreign admission and waste lots of time and resources in fruitless searches.

But to help them surmount these challenges, Wema Bank has partnered with MOD Education, a professional student advisory, marketing, recruitment, and placement company for the advisory services and school fees advance facility.

The partnership, which was launched on Friday, April 9 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, will see both organizations providing innovative education advisory services and funds for international students. 

Speaking about the partnership, Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank, Dotun Ifebogun explained that the initiative would aid hundreds of thousands of Nigerians requiring advisory and financial support to pay for their wards in foreign schools.

He explained that as a caring and innovative bank, Wema Bank does not want the aspirations of Nigerians desirous of foreign education truncated, hence the support.

"We are interested in everything that concerns our customers, and education is one of them. Some parents and guardians desire a certain quality of education for their wards outside the shores of Nigeria, and we would be able to assist them with this product. Our school fees advance loan results from the requests of parents and guardians who need to get short-term financial support to meet the tuition obligation of their wards irrespective of the constant increase in fees," Ifebogun said.

He added that with the school fees advance loan in partnership with MOD, parents, and guardians don't have to withdraw their wards already in foreign universities because of the forex crunch while they would also get necessary counseling regularly.

"There's nothing as heartbreaking as withdrawing a child already in a foreign university or being unable to raise the requisite forex for a child offered admission in a top-rated foreign institution of higher learning. But our school fees advance loan will take care of this problem and help secure the futures of such students - both undergraduates and postgraduates. The fact that you get counsel from the right sources at any particular time is another benefit of this product," Ifebogun said.

He added that Wema Bank found a worthy partner in MOD Education, with a 15-year track record of helping Nigerians secure admission in reputable partner universities to earn undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. 

Also speaking, the Managing Director, MOD Education, Michael Dosunmu, said that the partnership would open up frontiers of international education to Nigerians whose parents might be able to afford to send them abroad but not stumping up the money once.

He also expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the partnership, disclosing that "Wema Bank has been supportive to us as a business and it was just a natural marriage. We trust the bank enough to bank with them, and our trust is enough to recommend it to others."

Wema Bank, the creators of Nigeria's best digital bank, ALAT, has a positive track record of educational interventions in Nigerians' aid. It partners the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board for the Project Zero Initiative encouraging out-of-school children to return to schools.

Wema Bank has launched an advisory and loan scheme, the Education Advisory Service, in partnership with MOD Education for young Nigerians wishing to study abroad.

Following foreign exchange control measures introduced by the government, parents and guardians have experienced difficulties paying tuition fees for their children and wards studying abroad. Some who have the money don't know the requirements for foreign admission and waste lots of time and resources in fruitless searches.

But to help them surmount these challenges, Wema Bank has partnered with MOD Education, a professional student advisory, marketing, recruitment, and placement company for the advisory services and school fees advance facility.

The partnership, which was launched on Friday, April 9 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, will see both organizations providing innovative education advisory services and funds for international students. 

Speaking about the partnership, Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank, Dotun Ifebogun explained that the initiative would aid hundreds of thousands of Nigerians requiring advisory and financial support to pay for their wards in foreign schools.

He explained that as a caring and innovative bank, Wema Bank does not want the aspirations of Nigerians desirous of foreign education truncated, hence the support.

"We are interested in everything that concerns our customers, and education is one of them. Some parents and guardians desire a certain quality of education for their wards outside the shores of Nigeria, and we would be able to assist them with this product. Our school fees advance loan results from the requests of parents and guardians who need to get short-term financial support to meet the tuition obligation of their wards irrespective of the constant increase in fees," Ifebogun said.

He added that with the school fees advance loan in partnership with MOD, parents, and guardians don't have to withdraw their wards already in foreign universities because of the forex crunch while they would also get necessary counseling regularly.

"There's nothing as heartbreaking as withdrawing a child already in a foreign university or being unable to raise the requisite forex for a child offered admission in a top-rated foreign institution of higher learning. But our school fees advance loan will take care of this problem and help secure the futures of such students - both undergraduates and postgraduates. The fact that you get counsel from the right sources at any particular time is another benefit of this product," Ifebogun said.

He added that Wema Bank found a worthy partner in MOD Education, with a 15-year track record of helping Nigerians secure admission in reputable partner universities to earn undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. 

Also speaking, the Managing Director, MOD Education, Michael Dosunmu, said that the partnership would open up frontiers of international education to Nigerians whose parents might be able to afford to send them abroad but not stumping up the money once.

He also expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the partnership, disclosing that "Wema Bank has been supportive to us as a business and it was just a natural marriage. We trust the bank enough to bank with them, and our trust is enough to recommend it to others."

Wema Bank, the creators of Nigeria's best digital bank, ALAT, has a positive track record of educational interventions in Nigerians' aid. It partners the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board for the Project Zero Initiative encouraging out-of-school children to return to schools.

Wema Bank, MOD announce Education Advisory Service for International Students

First Bank hosts webinar to sensitise Individuals and Businesses on staying protected in Information Age

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced a webinar to sensitise individuals and businesses with useful information on being protected in today’s digital age. 

 

The virtual event is scheduled to hold by noon on Friday, 16 April 2021 with “Staying Protected Amidst the Pandemic Chaos” being the topic to be discussed at the event. Registration is ongoing for the event via the link https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PUnqA7enTMG8o0OfOaWxlg 

 

Today’s world, largely referred to as the digital age has been influenced by information technology which has optimised the way we carry out our individual and business activities. 

 

However, the current age has been marred by illicit activities like identity theft, internet fraud amongst many others which poses a risk to the safety of individuals and businesses. Attending the webinar will have participants knowledgeably equipped with vital information that will ensure they make informed decisions, thereby promoting their safety whilst staying protected against possible risks and malicious attacks.

 

Tope Aladenusi, Chief Strategy Officer & Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte West Africa; Confidence Staveley, Cyber Security Evangelist/ Founder, Cybersafe Foundation and Harrison Nnaji, Chief Information Security Officer, FirstBank will lead the discussion at the event.

 

Speaking on the planned Webinar, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group noted that “the world as a global village is associated with not just benefits but also risks of cyberattack and for individuals, businesses and governments to make the best out of the digital and online opportunities, they need to be deliberate in protecting themselves against cybersecurity threats”.

He further noted that, “in today’s digital age, which the pandemic has accelerated the embrace, cyberattacks are occurring at an alarming rate across the world. As such, no individual, business or government entity with digital and online presence is immune to cyberattacks; and the financial, physical and legal implications of an attack can be significantly upsetting.’’

In concluding, he enjoined everyone to participate in the forthcoming webinar as it is a viable opportunity to stay informed whilst being abreast with current trends that are pivotal to promoting safety in today’s world that is driven by information technology”.

First Bank hosts webinar to sensitise Individuals and Businesses on staying protected in Information Age

UBA Business Series to support SMEs With Performance Management Strategies for Growth

As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) in the continent, Pan African financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organize the next edition of its UBA Business Series. The UBA Business Series, which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop, as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank, where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape. Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving. The topic for the next edition of the series is ‘Managing Performance for Business Growth,’ and it will be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 via Microsoft Teams. At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth. Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company. She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, - a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond. The capacity building event is a virtual session which is open to all - including business owners and leaders - and will be held on Wednesday, April 14 th, 2021, at 2pm WAT. Interested participants can register via  http://bit.ly/UBASMEWorkshopMarch2021. UBA's Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, ‘with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth.’ He emphasized UBA’s commitment and deep passion for small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy adding, “We know small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2% of all businesses. This no doubt captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”

UBA Business Series to support SMEs With Performance Management Strategies for Growth

Tension In Unity Bank…MD, Oluwatomi Somefun Faces Sack As Bank Sinks

As the fortunes of the Unity Bank Plc continues to sink, reports swirling around indicate that the board of the financial institution is said to have perfected plans to sack the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Oluwatomi Somefun.

Inside sources disclosed that board is said to have lost confidence in the leadership of Somefun as she has failed to turn around the fortunes of the bank.

The bank’s board is also said to be in talks with a director in one of the first-tier banks in Nigeria to replace Somefun who has allegedly led the bank into many troubles.

Recall, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria recently commenced committal proceedings against the bank’s chief to commit her to prison for flouting orders made by the court in a motion filed by 25 ex-staff of the bank, in whose favour the Lagos division of the court had given a monetary judgment on July 3, 2019.

Also, as part of its many troubles is the personal data breach suit filed by the Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative against the lender following the unauthorized exposure of over 53,000 job seekers on the bank’s job portal.

In Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/85/2020, filed few months ago, the applicant sought: “A declaration that the Respondent’s privacy policy on its website – “https://www.unitybankng.com/privacy” violates the provision of regulation 2.5 of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.

Also, an online financial newspaper had reported in late 2020 that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is considering revoking the operating license of Unity Bank Plc over its failure to meet regulatory benchmarks.

The website quoting inside sources said the regulator has been so worried about the poor performance of the bank for some years now which has made it unable to meet key regulatory requirements.

The CBN, it was gathered, may be left with no option than to withdraw the bank’s license and nationalize it to safeguard depositors’ funds as its share capital has continued to run into the negative territory.

In April 2020, Unity Bank’s auditors, KPMG, raised a red flag over its ability to continue operations because its liabilities exceeded its assets, resulting in a negative capital.

Agusto & Co. had also assigned a “Bb-” rating to the bank, meaning that it is junk, which is below investment grade.

Tension In Unity Bank…MD, Oluwatomi Somefun Faces Sack As Bank Sinks

Figures Don’t Lie! Wema Bank standing on strong Financial fundamentals…..Ademola Adebise

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s leading innovative and digital-driven financial institution has reassured its esteemed customers and shareholders that it remains standing on strong financial fundamentals and reliable performance metrics, riding on the back of seasoned and astute leadership.

The bank gave this reassurance, through its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ademola Adebise, while reacting to a recent publication in the media purportedly alleging a dip in its liquidity status following the unaudited report for 2020 with the MD/CEO saying the report is only a deliberate campaign to create panic among its stakeholders using false news, and therefore should be discountenanced,

He said, “The strength and viability of financial institutions are not measured on the isolated performance of one outlier year. The said report based a lot of its false allegations on the unaudited 2020 financial year. But that was a year when COVID-19 induced a lockdown and a disruption of such magnitude that negatively impacted businesses, industries and economies the world over.

“Wema Bank has continually exhibited not just resilience, but admirable viability over the years with a 30.95% increase in earnings recorded in just 2019. Then came 2020, and in spite of the difficulties, we succeeded in achieving impressive results in key areas such as net earnings from fees and commissions, while growing the Bank’s asset base significantly.

“That’s not all, customer credibility in the bank was also accentuated with a massive increase in customer deposits over the previous year. This is an audacious show of confidence from the customers of Wema Bank

“These performance metrics amongst others, are testament to our smart balance sheet optimization approach which will be affirmed by the time the audited and official 2020 Financial Report is released in the coming weeks “

The CEO also referenced how well the Bank’s performance in the said 2020 makes it one of the best performing financial institutions in the land.

“We won the BusinessDay award for the Best SME Bank of the Year for 2020. A recognition of our unrivalled support for small and medium scale businesses through loans, business advisory, and ease of payments and transactions.

“Also, the recently published 2020 KPMG Customer Experience Survey, showed Wema Bank making significant growth in the retail category, climbing up ten (10) places from the previous year to 2nd position, with an above industry average of 74.6% Customer Experience score. This achievement is a mark of dedication to excellent customer service and refreshing support for all our customer categories.”

The KPMG Customer Experience Survey grades banks over six universal pillars of Personalization, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time & Effort and Empathy, and Wema Bank has showed a mastery of these pillars and have been outstanding at all of them.

Furthermore, in line with the bank’s sustainability goal of developing digital solutions for societal impact, it successfully organized the second edition of Hackaholics, a radical gathering of developers, web designers and creative thinkers to develop solutions around key themes of Education, Health, Agriculture, Fintech, Gaming & Betting.

These are intentional measures put in place to sustain an institution’s legacy of economic evolution and social inclusion.

“We are a responsible corporate citizen with empathy as a core pillar of our personality. Thus, we stood by the nation in the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic with significant support for governments at both the federal and state levels.

“Particularly to prevent severe food shortages and align with the SDG of Zero Hunger, we supported State Governments with food palliatives donation which alleviated the conditions of over 80,000 households of the most vulnerable segments of the population.”

With all these financial and non-financial performance metrics, it is not in doubt that Wema Bank is not only standing strong, it is also among the best performing financial institutions in Nigeria, in 2020.

“I’ll take this opportunity to commend our customers for their sustained trust in us. A support that has remained a critical pillar of our stability and growth over the years, especially as we celebrate our 76th anniversary.

For us as a responsible and visionary organization, we are staying committed to our corporate purpose of making life easier and better through innovation and digital-driven lifestyle solutions for Nigerians and their businesses.” Adebise concluded

Figures Don’t Lie! Wema Bank standing on strong Financial fundamentals…..Ademola Adebise

Access Bank guarantees 1 Business Day Reversal Window or 5 times Refund in Fees for Delayed Reversals

Driven by its commitment to deliver best-in-class service to all its customers, Africa’s largest retail bank, Access Bank PLC, has upgraded its service platforms to allow for resolution of failed transactions within one business day.

The Bank has guaranteed that all failed transactions will be reversed within one business day. It has also affirmed that in the event that reversal time exceeds one business day, customers will be entitled to a refund of up to five times the bank transfer fees for that transaction.

Speaking on this development, Ogor Chukudebelu, Access Bank’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, said that Access Bank is committed to “offering more banking convenience for all customers.”

“Access Bank understands the financial and economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have put various social impact projects in place, we have also upgraded our banking platforms to ensure that customers can transact without experiencing delays. To reiterate our commitment to providing an excellent service, Access Bank will be refunding customers up to five times the bank transfer fees when a failed transaction is not reversed within one business day.

As we continue to make great strides as a financial institution, we will not relent in delivering superior value and bespoke financial services that suit the banking needs of our customers” Chukudebelu said.

Without compromising on its promise to deliver services with speed and maximum security, through the implementation of sustainable banking practices, Access Bank continues to lead the revolution for financial institutions around the globe; effectively merging technology and people to deliver stellar client service to customers across all its countries of operation.

Access Bank guarantees 1 Business Day Reversal Window or 5 times Refund in Fees for Delayed Reversals

GTBank Releases 2020 Full Year Audited Results ..Declares Profit before Tax of ₦238.1 Billion

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its Audited Financial Results for the year ended December 31, 2020 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.

A review of the result shows improved performance across all key financial metrics in the face of the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting the quality of past decisions and reaffirming its position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Group reported Profit before tax of ₦238.1billion, representing a growth of 2.8% over ₦231.7billion recorded in the corresponding year ended December 2019. The Group’s Loan book (Net) grew by 10.7% from ₦1.502trillion recorded as at December 2019 to ₦1.663trillion in December 2020, while Customers’ deposits increased by 38.6% from ₦2.533trillion in December 2019 to ₦3.509trillion in December 2020.

Guaranty Trust Bank’s Balance sheet remained well structured, diversified and resilient with Total assets and Shareholders’ Funds closing at ₦4.945trillion and ₦814.4billion respectively. Full Impact Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) remained very strong, closing at 21.9%, while Asset quality was sustained as NPL ratio and Cost of Risk (COR) closed at 6.4% (Bank: 5.9%) and 1.2% (Bank: 1.0%) in December 2020 from 6.5% (Bank: 6.2%) and 0.3% (Bank: 0.2%) in December 2019 respectively.

Commenting on the financial results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said; “2020 was arguably the most challenging year that the world has faced in decades. In such unprecedented times, we sought to live out the full extent of our values; safeguarding lives and livelihoods for our people, our customers and across the communities where we operate. We were on solid footing going into 2020; the strength, scale and liquidity of our balance sheet, coupled with the quality of our past decisions and the efficacy of our digital-first customer-centric strategy gave us the resilience and flexibility to navigate the economic shocks and market volatility that dominated the year.”

He further stated that; “Amidst the many challenges that persist, we remain ardent believers in Africa’s growth potential. Our world is increasingly digital, and we see it opening new and exciting opportunities for empowering people and uplifting our communities. With our commitment to deepening customer relationships and intense focus on delivering innovative financial solutions, we enter 2021 well-positioned to lead this new world.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc continues to post the best metrics in the Nigerian Banking industry in terms of all Financial Ratios i.e. Post-Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) of 26.8%, Post-Tax Return on Assets (ROAA) of 4.6%, Full Impact Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 21.9% and Cost to Income ratio of 38.2%.

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.

GTBank Releases 2020 Full Year Audited Results ..Declares Profit before Tax of ₦238.1 Billion

Zenith Bank delights Shareholders with N3 per Share Dividend

Zenith Bank’s shareholders, on Tuesday at the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Bank held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, unanimously approved the proposed final dividend of N2.70 per share, bringing the total dividend payment for the 2020 financial year to N3.00 per share with a total value of N94.19 billion. This followed the recent release of the Bank’s audited financial results for the 2020 financial year.

From the audited financial results, the Group recorded a year-on-year growth of 10% in profit after tax (PAT) from N208.8 billion recorded in 2019 to N230.7 billion. This is despite a challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic.  

The Group also recorded a growth in gross earnings of 5% from N662.3 billion in the previous year to N696.5 billion. The Group also recorded 8% growth in non-interest income from NGN232.1 billion in 2019 to NGN251.7 billion in 2020 and a 1% increase in interest income from NGN415.6 billion in 2019 to NGN420.8 billion in 2020.

Profit before tax (PBT) equally increased by 5%, growing from N243.3 billion in 2019 to N255.9 billion in the current year. The increase arose from a combination of growth in the topline and a significant reduction in interest expense. Interest expense reduced from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020, significantly increasing the net interest income from NGN267.0 billion in 2019 to NGN299.7 billion in 2020.

The Group's increased retail activities translated to a corresponding increase in retail deposits and loans. Thus, retail deposits grew by NGN612.7 billion from NGN1.11 trillion to NGN1.72 trillion year-on-year (YoY), while savings balances significantly grew by 88% YoY and closed at NGN1.16 trillion. This retail drive, coupled with the low-interest yield environment, helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.0% to 2.1% and reduced interest expense. However, the low-interest environment also affected the net interest margin, which declined from 8.2% to 7.9% in the current year due to the re-pricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating costs grew by 10% YoY but are still tracking well below inflation which at the end of the year stood at 15.75%. Although returns on equity and assets also reduced from 23.8% to 22.4% and from 3.4% to 3.1%, respectively, the Group still delivered improved Earnings per Share (EPS), which grew 10% from NGN6.65 to NGN7.34 in the current year.

The Group also increased corporate customer deposits, which alongside the growth in retail deposits, delivered total deposit growth of 25%, to close at N5.34 trillion, driving growth in market share. Total assets also increased significantly by 34%, from N6.35 trillion to N8.48 trillion. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, the Group created new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 19%, from N2.46 trillion to N2.92 trillion. This was achieved while maintaining a stable and low overall NPL ratio of 4.29% (2019: 4.3%) across the entire portfolio and an increase in the cost of risk from 1.1% to 1.5%, reflecting the elevated risk environment in 2020. The Group recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 66.2% and 23.0% and remained above regulatory thresholds of 30% and 15%, respectively.

As a testament to this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, 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 Best Corporate Governance 'Financial Services' Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine "Top 500 Banking Brands 2021" and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the "2020 Top 1000 World Banks" Ranking published 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 delights Shareholders with N3 per Share Dividend

First Bank promotes cross border payments in Sub Sahara Africa with First Global Transfer

First Bank of Nigeria Limited,has announced the launch of First Global Transfer (FGT) to promote international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank’s subsidiaries in Africa include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.

The First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative is specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa. The FGT is not restricted to FirstBank and FBNBank Customers alone but it is also open to every individual resident in the country the funds transfer is originating from. 

Intending users of the initiative are to visit any of the Bank’s branches in Nigeria or subsidiaries in Africa, which are: FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, or FBNBank Senegal to enjoy the service. For example, with First Global Transfer, individuals and customers in Sierra-Leone can walk into any FBNBank branch to send money to FirstBank customers in Nigeria as well as FBNBank customers in Gambia, Ghana, DR Congo, Senegal or Guinea.

Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “today’s customer is influenced by the technological advancement shaping businesses across various industries and our First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative is one of those advancement created to impact every individual in our host community in Africa, whilst promoting the ease and swift transfer of money from one country to another for business or personal activities.”

“With the launch of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 1 January 2021, the First Global Transfer (FGT) is indeed very timely as it will play an essential role in stimulating business activities across borders, thereby impacting the growth and development of the continent. I enjoin everyone to visit any one of our branches nearest to you in Nigeria or our subsidiaries in Africa and send money to your loved ones or business partners with FirstBank or FBNBank account(s),” he concluded.

 First Bank promotes cross border payments in Sub Sahara Africa with First Global Transfer

Wema Bank hosts Webinar to mark International Women's Day 2021

Wema Bank Plc., through its female proposition, Sara by Wema will also mark this year’s International Women's Day (IWD) with a webinar on Friday, March 12 by 10.00 am. 

 

The 90 minutes’ event themed 'Challenge Today for an Equal Tomorrow' will have key industry experts and leading female corporate policy influencers in the Nigerian financial, investment, talent development and management ecosystem as panellists.

 

The webinar aims at speaking to women on challenging societal norms to reach their full potential in entrepreneurship, the workplace, or personal lives. The Executive Director, Business Support, Wema Bank, Folake Sanu will host the webinar, while Team Lead, Business Process Re-Engineering, Wema Bank, Chika Adun, will moderate.

 

Other panellists include Founder, Green Investment Club and certified financial education instructor, Tomie Balogun; global leadership development expert, Dupe Akinsiun, and Chief Knowledge Officer, Wofin Tech Limited, Omilola Oshikoya. 

 

Commenting on the importance of the webinar, Head, Brands and Marketing Communications, Wema Bank Plc. Funmilayo Falola, reiterated the institution's belief in female empowerment and equity.  

 

"At Wema Bank, gender sensitivity and diversity are second to none - it is at the heart of our operations," she said.

 

"With the 2021 IWD celebration, we are poised to entrench the importance of equity across the board as a sustainable voice for women to rise above every known challenge to the pinnacle of career excellence.

 

Our proposition, SARA, is a testimony that affirms Wema Bank's commitment to towards the development of women and girls says Abiola Nejo, Head, Gender Banking  

 

This year's webinar is part of a week-long social media and online engagement with Wema Bank's customers to share contemporary knowledge, deepening technology and financial inclusion for their business growth whilst growing the nation's GDP. The bank also plans to use the webinar platform to launch its new gender loan offering for female business owners.

 

Interested participants can register for the webinar through https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HlLY84P7RfeqBZBo8RNg6A   

Wema Bank hosts Webinar to mark International Women's Day 2021

First Bank unveils FirstSME account, reiterates its commitment to the continued growth of SMEs

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria, has announced its SME specific accounts designed to reinforce the Bank’s role in putting SME’s at an advantage whilst contributing to national growth and development.

The SME accounts – which are in two variants – FirstSME Classic and FirstSME Deluxe – are offered to SMEs, irrespective of industry, and tailored to have SMEs exposed to a wide range of services and opportunities that are essential for their continued growth and role in contributing to national development. The advantages and features of these accounts include; access to Temporary OverDrafts (TODs) and other facilities subject to meeting Risk Adjustment Capital (RAC) of each product; immediate enrollment on all digital platform; free access to FirstBank SME events; free access to extensive business promotional and networking opportunities on the SMEConnect portal; access to a wide range of discounted and promotional offers.

Amongst the many opportunities available to holders of FirstSME account is the SMEConnect initiative of FirstBank which is a platform through which SMEs access the Bank’s unique propositions that will equip them with the essential tools needed for the growth of their business. The SMEConnect portal is also designed to help SMEs identify various gaps that hinder their business growth. With FirstBank’s over 126 years of impacting the economy, the Bank’s SME innovative Business Diagnostics Tool will also help proffer tailored solutions, whilst creating avenues for business improvement, profitability and sustainability.

Following extensive research by the Bank, 7 strategic pillars have been considered essential for the sustainability and growth of SMEs. The 7 pillars – connect to infrastructure, connect to talent, capacity building, connect to policy and regulation, connect to resources, connect to market as well as connect to finance.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, “FirstBank is delighted to unlock several opportunities for SMEs to thrive. Our FirstSME account is one of the numerous opportunities designed to empower SMEs to continually drive impact as the backbone and contributors to employment and economic growth.

Being woven into the fabric of the society for close to 127 years means that we remain at the forefront of providing the desired financial products and services to fit the needs unique to the SMEs as well as facilitating the requisite tools and resources to efficiently and effectively drive business sustainability and expansion strategies essential to taking SMEs to the next level’’

First Bank unveils FirstSME account, reiterates its commitment to the continued growth of SMEs

Dangote Grooms Nigerian Engineers to Manage Refinery Complex on Completion in 2022

 

The Management of Dangote Oil Refinery is preparing young Nigerian graduates to take over the management of its 650,000 barrels per day single train refinery when it becomes operational in 2022.

Already, the company has trained several Nigerian engineers in some of the world’s biggest refineries in India and other parts of the world to gain first-hand experience on how to manage a refinery of this magnitude.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who made this disclosure on Saturday during the tour of the Dangote Refinery by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, affirmed that the country is blessed with great talents that are capable of running a refinery of this size, if given the necessary encouragement.

According to him, the outbreak of Corona Virus in 2020, which forced many expatriates out of the Construction site made it possible for the company to identify great talents that exist within Nigeria.

Dangote stated: “One thing that gladdens my heart is the young Nigerians we have trained to take over the operation of the Dangote Refinery. These young Nigerians are the ones that are going to run the refinery when it becomes operational. We want a situation whereby the operation of the refinery will be the sole responsibility of Nigerian graduates. We can start the process by bringing in team leaders to keep giving them that training they require to run a world class refinery. However, we will ensure that Nigerian engineers, welders and others are the ones running the refinery. We have created that capacity, human capacity, equipment capacity and every other thing to ensure the successful operation of the refinery by Nigerian engineers.”

Speaking also after the tour of the refinery, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that arrangement is being made to enable the Dangote Refinery sell refined crude to Nigeria in naira when it commences production.

The CBN governor noted that the $15 billion projects being constructed by the Dangote Group would save Nigeria from expending about 41 per cent of its foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products.

Emefiele said: ”Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira.

 “That is the element where foreign exchange saved for the country becomes very clear.

 “We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

“This will make the price of our petroleum products cheaper in naira. “If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

 “This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Emefiele said.

He expressed optimism that the refinery would be completed by the first quarter of 2022, adding that this would put an end to the issue of petrol subsidy in the country.

“I am saying that by this time next year, our cost of import of petroleum products for petrochemicals or fertiliser will be saved, which will save Nigeria’s reserve. “It will help us so that we can begin to focus on more important items that we cannot produce in Nigeria today,” Emefiele said.

He said the CBN had given a N100 billion intervention to the projects, adding that the apex bank was ready to support Nigerian businesses set up to uplift the country economically.

Dangote said that the fertiliser and petrochemicals plants were capable of generating 2.5 billion dollars annually while the refinery would serve Nigeria and other countries across the world.

Dangote thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN governor for their support toward the completion of the projects.

He said: “I will like to thank the President personally for helping us and assisting us in making sure that we are now back on track.

 

 

Dangote Grooms Nigerian Engineers to Manage Refinery Complex on Completion in 2022

Zenith Bank Gross Earnings rises by 5% to N696.5bn

In spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic,Zenith Bank Plc announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2020.The bank,achieved 5% rise in gross earnings,to N696.5 billion from N662.3 billion reported in the previous year.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2020 financial year presented to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday, the Group recorded 8% growth in non-interest income from NGN232.1 billion in 2019 to NGN251.7 billion in 2020 and a 1% increase in interest income from NGN415.6 billion in 2019 to NGN420.8 billion in 2020.

Profit before tax also increased by 5%, growing from N243.3 billion to N255.9 billion in the current year. The increase arose from a combination of growth in the topline and a significant reduction in interest expense. Interest expense reduced from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020, significantly increasing the net interest income from NGN267.0 billion in 2019 to NGN299.7 billion in 2020.

The Group’s increased retail activities translated to a corresponding increase in retail deposits and loans. Thus, retail deposits grew by NGN612.7 billion from NGN1.11 trillion to NGN1.72 trillion year-on-year (YoY), while savings balances significantly grew by 88% YoY and closed at NGN1.16 trillion. This retail drive, coupled with the low-interest yield environment, helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.0% to 2.1% and also reduced interest expense. However, the low-interest environment also affected the net interest margin, which declined from 8.2% to 7.9% in the current year due to the re-pricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating costs grew by 10% YoY but are still tracking well below inflation which at the end of the year stood at 15.75%. Although returns on equity and assets also reduced from 23.8% to 22.4% and from 3.4% to 3.1%, respectively, the Group still delivered improved Earnings per Share (EPS), which grew 10% from NGN6.65 to NGN7.34 in the current year.

The Group also increased corporate customer deposits, which alongside the growth in retail deposits, delivered total deposit growth of 25%, to close at N5.34 trillion, driving growth in market share. Total assets also increased significantly by 34%, from N6.35 trillion to N8.48 trillion. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, the Group managed to create new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 19%, from N2.46 trillion to N2.92 trillion. This was achieved while maintaining a stable and low overall NPL ratio of 4.29% (2019: 4.3%) across the entire portfolio and an increase in the cost of risk from 1.1% to 1.5%, reflecting the elevated risk environment in 2020. The Group recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 66.2% and 23.0% and remained above regulatory thresholds of 30% and 15%, respectively.

In a demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of N2.70 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.00 per share.

As a testament to this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, 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,Best Banks Awards 2020 and Best Corporate Governance & Financial Services; Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine ;Top 500 Banking Brands 2021 and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital;2020 Top 1000 World Banks; Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.

Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade 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 Gross Earnings rises by 5% to N696.5bn
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