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Sterling Bank, NHEA Recognize Nigeria’s Healthcare Champions – Naijanewsdirect

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has given special recognition awards to healthcare providers who played leading roles in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.  The awards were given to selected recipients at the 8th annual Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA), which held in Lagos over the weekend under the theme of: Innovative Healthcare Services in the Era of Change. NHEA is an initiative of Global Health Projects and Resources in collaboration with Anadach Group of the United States of America. It is a yearly event where individuals and organisations are recognized and celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the healthcare sector. Special recognition awards were given to Medbury Medical Services as the Most Responsive COVID-19 Testing Company of the Year and Seven-UP Bottling Company Plc as the Most Outstanding COVID-19 Consumables Manufacturer of the Year. Other recipients were African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State as the Most Outstanding Genomic Laboratory of the Year and Nassarawa State as the Most Outstanding State for COVID-19 Vaccination. Speaking on the awards, Group Head, Health Finance with Sterling Bank, Ibironke Akinmade said the bank recognized and honored the champions of COVID-19 pandemic because of the excellent services they rendered while the pandemic was raging in a bid to spur them to do more. She said, “Sterling Bank is committed to improving access to healthcare for every Nigerian and our flagship offering - digitisation of State Health Insurance Platform - prefers 360-degree solution to help states bring healthcare to every citizen as well as provide wealth of data to inform policies, planning and strategy, at no initial investment.” Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Professor Ehanire Osagie, commended the organizers of the awards which held post the different variants of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restoration of the economy

Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge: Delta, Rivers Corps Members Listed To Benfit From N10m Business Grant – Naijanewsdirect

  Unity Bank’s flagship Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge, is set to return for the 8th edition across 10 locations in Nigeria, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States. The Retail lender kick-started the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states, which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja, but with the increasing traction of the initiative among corps entrepreneurs, the Bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation. The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna. This edition will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu. The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the Bank a national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition. In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500, 000 cash in the business grant. Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business. So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.

Adeduntan Sustains His Winning Streak, Pioneers Leadership Excellence In Banking – Naijanewsdirect

  Since his appointment as MD/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2016, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan has completely transformed the financial institution and has made it attractive to every strata of the society. From an institution that used to be perceived as an old-generation bank, FirstBank is now a darling to all as it leverages latest digital tools to meet its customers’ needs. Also, under Adeduntan’s leadership, the 128-year old bank has made huge contributions to national development, thereby stimulating development, setting standards and motivating excellent output across sectors. Clearly, these contributions to national development were what endeared Adeduntan to President Muhammadu Buhari who recently saluted him on his recognition by Cranfield University, UK, one of the most prestigious citadels of learning in Europe. Adeduntan will on Wednesday, June 22, be conferred with Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa and he would be delivering an address to the graduating class of the university. This feat, the president in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, described as, “another testament to the fact that Nigeria is blessed with the brightest and the best in all areas of human endeavor.” Buhari lauded Adeduntan for being a role model to the younger generation, showing that hard work pays, and with resourcefulness and doggedness, great heights are achievable. Adeduntan holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Ibadan, Master’s in Business Administration from Cranfield University, and is Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), as well as Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). The president sent best wishes to Adeduntan and family as he hoisted Nigeria’s flag proudly to receive an honor Cranfield University said was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business. Incidentally, Buhari’s commendation came on the day the bank successfully held its AGM which showed

Polaris Bank Urges Non-Oil Exporters To Embrace RT $200bn Programme – Naijanewsdirect

  A leading commercial bank in Nigeria, Polaris Bank in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged exporters in the non-oil sector to embrace RT USD 200billion programme in a bid to boost the nation’s economy. The financial institution made the appeal recently in Calabar during a one day Sensitisation programme for non-oil exporters on the need to key into the “Race to USD 200billion Foreign Exchange Programme”. Vanguard learned that it was part of efforts by CBN to ensure Nigeria realizes her quest to earn the needed foreign exchange; diversify its economy and make locally-produced goods competitive, globally. The above, according to the Bank, led it to commence a nationwide business forum to sensitize exporters on inherent benefits of Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) RT200 non-oil export proceeds repatriation rebate scheme. Vanguard gathered that the scheme was aimed at raising $200 billion in foreign exchange (FX) earnings from Non-Oil Proceeds over the next 3-5 years, is designed to motivate exporters in the Non-Oil export sector to encourage repatriation and sale of export proceeds into the FX market. Speaking during the programme in Calabar, Mr. Michael Chimah, Group Head, Uyo/Calabar Business said it was high time Nigerians took production more serious, adding that with more production and export things will change for the better for Nigeria. He disclosed that CBN’s guidelines for the scheme stipulates that for every US$1 repatriated and sold at the I& E Window to Authorised Dealer Banks (ADBs) for other third-party use, N65 will be paid to the exporter, while for every US$1 repatriated and sold into I & E for own use on eligible transactions only, N35 will be paid and payment was done quarterly. His words:” The basic fact is that there is no more dollar, the one we are earning is very little compared to the Volume of

FirstBank Secures $150 Million Afreximbank Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) To Support Businesses In Nigeria – Naijanewsdirect

  African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the disbursement of a US$150 million finance facility to First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider. The funding was provided under Afreximbank’s Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA).   Afreximbank’s US$150 million financial support will be accessible to FirstBank customers that are involved in the manufacturing and importation of products and equipment required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as initiatives to rehabilitate hospitals and strengthen diagnostic and testing capacity. The loan will also be used for the financing of trade debt payments falling due to avert payment defaults in trade debt obligations. In addition, proceeds of the facility will help beneficiary businesses manage the impacts of the Ukraine crisis.   Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, commented: “This new disbursement under PATIMFA is a further proof of the relevance of the programme in helping African economies to recover from the crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since April 2020, when PATIMFA was launched, we are more than proud to have disbursed more than US$7 billion to help Afreximbank member countries manage the adverse impact of the financial, economic and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through First Bank, one of our trade finance intermediaries, this $150 million facility will help build the resilience of many businesses to the adverse impacts of the pandemic, while helping them overcome the consequences of the current Ukraine crisis.”   Also expressing his delight in the partnership, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank’s CEO, said: “We commend Afreximbank for this impactful financial response. It will immensely contribute to empowering many businesses adversely impacted by the economic shocks caused by Covid-19. The selection of FirstBank as a partner in this initiative is a testament to their confidence in our capacity and

Excitement in Shareholders’ Camp As FirstBank Sheds NPL Burden – Naijanewsdirect

With a significant cut in its impairment charges (which translates into a clean loan book) in its 1Q, 2022 results, after it successfully brought down its non-performing loan to 6.1 per cent in 2021 full year performance, analysts say the repeat of the impressive performance of FirstBank in the first quarter did not only show the consistency in its rebound, but that it demonstrated the fact that the recovery is real.     For the shareholders of the Nigerian banking behemoth, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, it is a season of celebration and a period to shower praises on the board and management of the bank for successfully working its way back into reckoning, after a long period of operational challenges mostly blamed on rising cases of non-performing loans. The shareholders, who joined other stakeholders of the bank and its parent company, FBN Holdings Plc., in appraising its first-quarter 2022 results made public last week, said it is a great relief that the organisation has put the issue of non-performing loans behind it. According to them, the outstanding results for the bank’s full-year 2021 is an appetiser to the first-quarter 2022 results and that the repeat of impressive results for the first quarter did not only show the consistency of its restructuring but that it demonstrated the fact that the recovery is real.     SHAREHOLDERS’ ENDORSEMENT The founder and pioneer National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association, Sunny Nwosu, in an interview with THISDAY, at the weekend, said the management of FirstBank deserves praise for working the bank back to profitability and clean loan book. He believes the ability of the FBNHoldings, the parent company, to significantly cut the exposure to non-performing loans to 6.1 percent showed that the bank has shut the door against future delinquent debtors, a development he said will consolidate the bank.     Nwosu said many of the shareholders

GTCO Plc’s GTBank Maintains its Dominance in Financial Services at the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands Awards – Naijanewsdirect

  Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd (GTBank), the banking subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO Plc or the Group), emerged winner in four major categories at the 12th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands 2022 rankings of the Top 100 Most Admired Brands in Africa. The award is an initiative by Brand Africa aimed at driving Africa’s competitiveness and creating a positive image through strong brands with GeoPoll, the world’s leading mobile surveying platform, and Kantar, a well-respected consumer insights and data analytics company, as key technical partners.   In the presentation ceremony held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, GTBank retained the number #1 spot as Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Africa, Most Admired Financial Services Brand in West Africa, and Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Nigeria for the second year in a row. GTBank also ranked as the Most Admired Nigerian Financial Services brand in recognition of its excellent positioning, strength, and reach beyond Africa.  In an inaugural feature of the awards ceremony, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Group CEO of GTCO Plc, was conferred with the Africa Brand Leadership Excellence award for his pivotal role in inspiring brand-led excellence that drives the growth of ‘Made in Africa’ brands and businesses and his long-standing contributions to the financial services industry. Mr Agbaje led GTBank through a decade of unparalleled growth and now oversees the Holding Company. The Group recently concluded the acquisition of key businesses in fund management and pension operating as Guaranty Trust Fund Managers Ltd and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers Ltd.  Commenting on the awards, Mr Segun Agbaje, said: “As a leading financial services company, we are always looking for new ways to meet every customer need and to do more to help our customers and communities thrive by creating faster, cheaper,

FirstBank Bounces Back to Its Leadership Position, Delivers a Fantastic Performance in 2021 – Naijanewsdirect

  As financial market analysts continue to digest the 2021 financial results of the FirstBank Limited, which they say reflect the return of the banking conglomerate to its leadership position, Festus Akanbi writes that the regime of strong fundamentals which the robust performance represents is in tandem with the ongoing restructuring being midwifed by the current board and management of the company The Nigerian investing community was held spellbound earlier in the week when FBN Holdings Plc released its much-awaited 2021 financial statements to the public, showing a stellar performance, especially in its banking subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which is said to be indicative of its strong recovery from its hitherto dwindling financial position. Banking and capital market analysts, in their immediate reactions, said the impressive results signpost a regime of strong fundamentals after a period of restructuring by the leadership of its current management and board. The Scorecard. To mitigate the effect of the low-interest rate on investment securities and revenue generation, the bank was said to have intensified deposit mobilisation and funding strategy to support enhanced loan growth at optimised rates leading to a 5.7% increase in interest expense to N140.8 billion as against N133.2 billion in December 2020. During the period, non-interest revenue grew by 96.1% to N364.6 billion as against N185.9 billion in the preceding year on the back of increased fees and commission income, treasury activities, and other operating income. According to a report by Nairametrics, in its bid to further enhance its revenue generation capacity, First Pension Custodian Limited, a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc. This, according to the management of the bank will further boost its market

Unity Bank Yanga Product Positioned to Empower Underbanked Women Entrepreneurs – Olufunwa Akinmade – Naijanewsdirect

Divisional Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade has explained that the “raison d’etre for launching the Bank’s latest retail product called Yanga is to create a unique product proposition aimed at empowering the underbanked women entrepreneurs in Nigeria”. Akinmade, who stated this during a chat with the media, citing a recent EFInA report, said that “there are 51 million Nigerian women above 18 years of age, with over 41% of the unbanked. Out of these figures, it is estimated that there are 14-18 million female entrepreneurs – mainly in the micro SME category”. Recall that Unity Bank launched the women-focused Yanga account in November 2021 to promote financial inclusion and cater to unbanked women entrepreneurs across Nigeria in the MSME space. Therefore, the new retail product is designed to deepen its beneficial impact on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs operated by women in the mass-market retail space. According to Akinmade, “Recent research has shown that Nigeria has the highest number of women entrepreneurs in the world, with an estimated 40 million SMEs, of whom women constitute approximately 42%. “These women have proved beyond reasonable doubt that they have the capacity to create wealth and contribute productively to the economy. However, a lot more needs to be done and it starts with empowering them with the right tools to harness this entrepreneurship potential. “Currently, they face many institutional and cultural hurdles while starting or running their businesses. For instance, a recent report shows that only 22% of female entrepreneurs have access to finance against 34% of males. “This is part of why we have introduced Yanga to bridge this gap while also narrowing the population of underbanked women entrepreneurs”. Akinmade further explained that the Unity Yanga product will play a critical role in boosting financial inclusion and narrowing the underbanked women population

Billionaire Aliko Dangote Allegedly Broke, Can’t Meet 2023 Refinery Completion Target – Teport – Naijanewsdirect

Fitch, the world’s biggest global rating agency has alleged that Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote is broke. It alleged that his company, Dangote Industries has limited financial flexibility with which to complete its refinery. Fitch is basing its allegation on the timely completion or lack thereof of the project, adding that only limited delays or cost overruns may be tolerated in the current rating. Fitch argues that Dangote Industries suffers from weak corporate governance. It says that the existence of a “complex group structure with a large number of related-party transactions” has “a negative effect on operational and financial transparency.” “We also think it’s a risk that Aliko Dangote, as CEO and main shareholder, has a lot of power over operations,” it added. Dangote had promised to commission the $19 billion refinery project before President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends next year. Not only is the Dangote refinery very dear to Buhari’s government, Fitch claims that the government sees the project as the messiah that will solve Nigeria’s perennial fuel scarcity problem as it will end the country’s dependence on imported foreign fuel. But as it turns out, Fitch seems to think that this dream and the time line Dangote gave Buhari is not achievable. And their reason is not far fetched: Dangote requires an additional $1.1 billion (900 billion) naira to complete the refinery next year. Unfortunately, Dangote does not have that kind of money now as he has invested all his cash and even borrowed from lenders to finance the refinery project. Again, the lenders that borrowed Dangote’s loan for the financing of the project cannot give him the 900 billion naira that Dangote needs to complete the project as they are already over exposed to the project. So the only way Dangote can raise money is through the sale of bonds by his cement company, Dangote Cement. Dangote cement is already to

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