By Ahmed Rahma
A leading financial institution, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, has provided Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with ample solutions to support their businesses and ways to minimize risk.
The solutions, which are to help boost their businesses, allow organisations to take advantage of joint partnerships without the risk of losing capital, focused on providing the business owners with access to flexible funds and exposure to international markets.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Wole Adeniyi, the solutions were designed to support SMEs and address its customers’ trade and financial needs.
“Over the years, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, as Nigeria’s leading end-to-end financial services provider, has remained at the forefront of providing financial solutions to business enterprises in the country, while offering Nigerian importers access to its global presence through its Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP),” Mr Adeniyi said.
“Leveraging Stanbic IBTC’s network of Chinese agents, with client satisfaction being the cornerstone, ACAP offers a broad ecosystem of services, solutions and support, which equips African and Chinese businesses to leverage trade and growth opportunities to drive Africa’s growth.
The ACAP solution, which has been termed ‘game-changer’, eases the cashflow worries of African importers by providing access to finance while also empowering the importers to have end-to-end visibility of the entire importation and logistic process,” he added.
The bank also highlighted its Agribusiness solution, which is geared at providing financing options to stakeholders in the agriculture value chain. Simultaneously, Vehicle Asset Financing (VAF) is targeted at financing heavy machines needed for business or personal purpose.
Speaking, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, Mr Oladele Sotubo, urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities in the stock market via vehicles such as the Stanbic IBTC Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and equity-focused Mutual Funds which provide a diverse range of investment portfolios well-suited for medium to long-term investing.
He said, “They are specially designed for investors with higher risk appetite suitable for investing in the Nigerian stock market, which returned circa 50 per cent in 2020.”
Sotubo emphasized that these funds provide a unique opportunity for individuals and organisations to invest in a portfolio of professionally-managed listed securities, thereby enhancing their financial resources to earn even more over an extended period.
Noting the Importance of minimizing risk and transacting with trust, the lender restated the need for businesses to obtain the fire and special perils insurance coverage so as to prevent unexpected loss that may arise from a natural disaster.
The organisation also talked about the Stanbic IBTC Escrow Services tailored at ensuring the security assets including funds, an Escrow account offers buyer-seller protection such that buyers can deposit their money and the Trustee or Escrow Agent initiates payment only when the seller delivers the required goods in line with the Escrow Agreement terms. This way, both parties in a trade deal are protected and businesses can thrive.
CIBN to Revamp Banking Practice in Nigeria With A-TEAM Initiative
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A strategic initiative aimed to revamp banking practice in Nigeria has been introduced by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
The new plan with the acronym A-TEAM means Accelerated Development; Technology and Digital Enhancement; Engagement for Growth; Accountability and Transparent Leadership and Membership Drive for Value.
As part of efforts for its successful implementation, the CIBN is seeking collaborations with financial institutions in the country.
Recently, the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, visited Ecobank Nigeria and he said the A-TEAM initiative will benefit stakeholders in the banking sector.
He applauded Ecobank’s consistent support for the institute over the years to ensure the realisation of its mandate of determining the standards of knowledge and skills development for those seeking to become members of the banking profession.
“We applaud Ecobank Academy as the first corporate member to become a member of the Global Business School Network and for the consistent support for the realisation of the institute’s mandate of determining the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the banking profession.
“We, therefore, seek Ecobank’s collaboration and enlistment in our Endowment/Prize Awards in any subject of interest; support towards the renovation of Abuja Bankers’ House; support for the establishment of banking museum by donating artefacts and other relevant materials; and to participate actively in training programmes of the institute,” Mr Olugbemi said.
Further, he congratulated Ecobank Nigeria and the Ecobank Group on winning several International awards, which includes the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by Asian Banker; Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility by Euromoney (Ecobank Group); African Bank of the Year (African Banker); Innovation in Financial Services Award from African Banker (Ecobank Group); EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2020.
Responding, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, pledged more support and collaboration with the institute, restating that Ecobank will continue to contribute to the efforts of the organisation to become top class and remain relevant globally.
“For us at Ecobank, we are extremely proud CIBNs efforts at ensuring public discourse on the future of the Nigeria economy and the banking and finance industry.
“This is not in isolation of the ethics, professionalism, accountability, transparency, good corporate governance without losing focus of harnessing the opportunities technology has provided in the new world order. Be assured of our maximum support and collaboration at all times,” he said.
Mr Akinwuntan also identified with the efforts of the institute to raise the bar of competency and capacity building in the industry, stressing that with sound professional conduct, every banker will be held in high esteem.
He said Ecobank was working assiduously to ensure a majority of its staff become members of the institute, adding that the bank will also provide more mentees and mentors in its mentorship programme.
“We have a medium to long term programme to ensure all Ecobank Nigeria staff become chartered members of the institute.
“At Ecobank, we take human capacity development very seriously. Some of our staff that wrote the last examinations are now chartered members of the Institute.
“We will also ensure bulk subscription of our staff. We will be nominating 30 mentors and 100 mentees to participate in the second mentorship programme,” he assured.
VBank Brightens Spirits at Lagos NYSC Orientation Camp
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Lagos was recently brightened by VFD Microfinance Bank, owners of the 2020 banking app of the year, VBank.
The financial institution, for 10 days, entertained corps members and officials alike at their Games Veelage, an arcade set up with interesting games including snooker, Jenga, fuss ball, chess, scrabble, snakes & ladders and video games.
At the climax last Sunday, 15 NYSC members won N150,000 in cash prizes, while others received loads of consolation gifts.
Dayo Osborne, Gbenga Benedict, Olamide Ojedele, and Joseph Eweje were some of the winners of the N20,000 cash prize category and were rewarded instantly via transfer from the digital banking app, VBank.
While onboarding the graduates on the banking platform, the brand created an avenue for the Batch A Stream 2A corps members to relax after their usual daily camp routine.
The bank had equally sponsored the inter-platoon games night which took place days before, gifting participants cash transfers using the app’s Proximity Payment feature.
According to Ebere Ahaotu, Product Manager, VBank, “It is our little way of encouraging young people to keep hope alive.
“Camp life can be hectic and VBank is all about ease and convenience so why not brighten up their camp experience, introduce them to a better way to bank and assist them with some funds to transport them to their places of primary assignment. It’s about paying it forward.”
The corps members have since been posted to different places of assignment within the state while another stream gets ready for camp in July.
Ecobank Describes Women as Bedrock of Entrepreneurship
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The role women play in entrepreneurship cannot be downplayed and this is why Ecobank Nigeria has thrown its full weight behind the Selfmade Woman Conference (SMWC) 2021.
The Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, in a statement from the lender, said women are the bedrock of entrepreneurship and most families.
He said partnering with a notable media entrepreneur and blogger, Ms Linda Ikeji, to host the event slated for Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Lagos was in line with the bank’s empowerment policy for women.
According to him, the challenges facing the nation have made it more imperative to recognise the potentials in women and develop them.
“Our decision to support Linda Ikeji conference aligns with our women empowerment policy. As a bank, we have been playing a leading role in this respect,” Mr Akinwuntan said.
Business Post reports that the event is taking place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, and the speakers include Tara Durotoye, renowned beauty and make-up entrepreneur; Dr Ola Brown, founder of the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company; and Dr Nancy Nnadi, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Telecom Distribution Company.
Other guest speakers are Tomie Balogun, investment expert and fintech entrepreneur; Sola Adesakin, finance coach and chartered accountant; Kemi Adetiba, filmmaker and content creator; and TV star, Dorathy Bachor.
They will provide actionable strategies and hope to women who would like to start their own businesses, enhance their impact in various industries or broaden their creative roles in traditional industries.
Speaking further on the various supports the bank has offered to entrepreneurs, Mr Akinwuntan said, “As you know, we have a long-standing partnership with Tera Kulture, that is Bolanle Austen Peters who has come out with various movies such as Bling Lagosians, Moremi The Musical, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, The Oluronbi Musical and others.
“Recently, we also supported The Wait, a movie inspired by the popular book from renowned lawyer and entrepreneur, Yewande Zaccheaus.
“We are also currently working with the Ogun state government to promote the Adire industry which is also primarily women-driven.
“In the agricultural industry, we have supported the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) across the six regions of the country to reach out to farmers, especially the womenfolk to support them financially to increase their farm size and yield capacity through the introduction of new techniques.
“Let me also add that Ecobank has a women empowerment programme Ellevate for women in Business; this will be publicly launched across the country in July.
“With Ellevate, we want to ensure we raise and recognize our women for the significant role they have always played to ensure a better society for us all.”
The Linda Ikeji Self-Made Woman, which debuted in 2013, is an advocacy project with the sole aim to mentor and provide financial empowerment to young female entrepreneurs or aspiring ones.
It is mainly to build stronger economies and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.
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