By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Five first-class female graduates of universities in Nigeria have been celebrated by Ecobank Ellevate as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Month.
The Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Babajide Sipe, explained that the recognition and celebration of the graduates were in line with the bank’s deliberate policy to promote distinction and excellence.
According to him, one of the ways to create a society that is free of bias and gender-based discrimination is to identify, recognize and reward excellence among the female folks in all spheres of life, noting that this would further encourage other women to aspire high and close the bias gap.
“I advise the honourees not to rest on their academic exploits but continue to mentor and be an inspiration to younger ones. The theme for this year’s IWD ‘’Break the Bias’’ suggests that there’s still more to be done the world over especially in Africa.
“Ecobank has made tremendous progress over the years in ensuring that women have similar access like men to the resources they need to grow, whether as employees or as entrepreneurs. It is imperative to join hands together to create a society that is free of bias and gender-based discrimination.”
“Across Ecobank, we are intent on ensuring that women have genuinely equal opportunities to men in achieving promotion, developing their careers, and reaching their full potential.
“Here at Ecobank Nigeria, our aim is to achieve 50/50 equality by 2030 at all levels of the bank. While IWD is just one day, gender equality is a phenomenon that even goes beyond women’s month.
“It should be firmly embedded in our beliefs, behaviours, and actions as the norm every single day. We understand that ultimately, the success of women is the success of the world,” he stated.
It was gathered that the graduates celebrated for their excellence and distinctive nature were Abolaji Awodein, a graduate of Social Works; Nusirat Eniola Yusuf, Economics; Faith Nwachinemere, Estate Management and Anthonia Owani, Economics all from the University of Lagos. Also included is Fisayo Ojo, who graduated from Covenant University with a degree in Computer Science.
Abolaji Awodein is a young and ambitious lady, who graduated with a First Class (Hons) Degree in Social Work. She was the best graduating student in her department. She also has a Diploma in Social Development and Administration where she was also the best graduating student. The self-published writer published her book “And Then I Met You” in 2018, which sold many copies locally and internationally.
Nusirat Eniola Yusuf is a young and ambitious Nigerian Economist who graduated with a First Class from the prestigious University of Lagos in 2021. She has a keen interest in Data analytics and currently works as a Financial Analyst. Outside work, Nusirat can be best described as an individual who is passionate about humanity. She is big on IMPACT, particularly on promoting quality education for Nigerian children.
Faith Nwachinemere is a young, ambitious and talented lady, who studied Estate Management and earned a distinction at a Diploma level (OND) from Yaba College of Technology, before proceeding to obtain her first degree (BSc) in the same course from the University of Lagos. She graduated with a First Class (Hons) and was the best graduating student in the Faculty of Environmental sciences. While in school, she represented her department in the 51st annual quiz competition organized by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and came second place.
Anthonia Owani is a First Class graduate of Economics from the University of Lagos. She strives to always make an impact. In 2018, she led a team of five to organize a genotype awareness campaign at the University of Lagos where she educated over 800 students and community members about the intricacies of the human genotype.
Fisayo Ojo graduated from Covenant University in 2021 with First Class Honours in Computer Science. She believes technology is a vehicle for change and loves building products that make life easier for everyone. As an undergraduate, she also co-founded an NGO (TSC) to promote the inclusion of women in technology.
Polaris Bank in Safe Hands, No Need to Panic—Management
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The management of Polaris Bank Limited has urged its customers and members of the public not to panic over reports that the financial institution has been sold to a new investor, Mr Auwal Gombe, in the sum of N40 billion.
It was recently reported that efforts are being made to hand over the lender to the businessman, who is said to be an ally of former military president, Mr Ibrahim Babangida, after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationalised the defunct Skye Bank Plc into Polaris Bank in 2018.
In a statement issued on Friday in Lagos, the bank described the report of the purported sale as not only “speculative” but done to deliberately “create panic” among its customers and the banking community.
The company said the CBN established it and injected funds for its operations, it has bounced back to profitability, with a solid balance sheet, saying there is no cause for alarm as the bank was in safe hands.
“Stakeholders may recall the regulatory intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank by the CBN and the subsequent injection of capital via the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) through a bridge bank process, which birthed Polaris Bank in 2018.
“The bank has since stabilised its operations following the intervention; improving its balance sheet, customer base and profitability,” a part of the notice today said.
Continuing, Polaris Bank noted that, “Whilst the intention has always been to return the bank to private ownership, such a sale would occur following regulatory approvals with formal notification to all relevant stakeholders,” expressing its commitment to “ensuring timely communication to the public in such an event.”
“The board and management hereby reassure its customers, staff and the general public that Polaris Bank remains a stable, strong and credible financial institution, positioned to deliver sustainable value to all its stakeholders,” the statement concluded.
Wema Bank Refutes Dud Cheque, Forgery Allegations
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The management of Wema Bank Plc has rubbished an allegation that it issued a dud cheque in connection with a garnishee proceeding for the payment of a judgement debt on behalf of the Bayelsa State Government.
A legal practitioner, Mr George Haliday, had accused the financial institution of issuing dud cheques but in a statement issued on Wednesday, the lender explained that the cheques have only not been cleared for payment because of the subsisting appeal at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on the garnishee proceeding which has now been decided in its favour.
According to the statement, the lawyer only ran to the Magistrate Court in Abuja to lodge a complaint about the issuance of dud cheques after he lost his case at the appellate court.
“It is very worthy of note that the judgement debt against Bayelsa State Government, which Barrister George Haliday attempted to enforce by a garnishee proceeding, thereby leading to the issuance of the cheques in question had been settled by Bayelsa State Government via a Terms of Settlement between Barrister George Haliday and the Bayelsa State Government at the Supreme Court,” a part of the statement.
Recently, there were reports that the Managing Director/CEO of Wema Bank, Mr Ademola Adebise, was issued an arrest warrant, but the bank dismissed this, saying its leader was not given a fair hearing in the matter.
“Wema Bank wishes to state that the warrant for the arrest of Mr Ademola Adebise is in violation of his fundamental rights to fair hearing as he was never personally served with any process to appear before the magistrate court nor was he represented in court.
“We are a law-abiding corporate citizen; if there was any court summons properly served on the Managing Director for his appearance in court, he would have done so without fail.
“But in this case, there was no such service extended to him or any court processes personally served on him to appear in court until a warrant of arrest was issued in absentia. We view the arrest warrant as being an infringement on his fundamental rights,” the statement said.
Concluding, the lender emphatically refuted and dismissed “in their entirety, the allegations of dud cheque and forgery levelled against our bank and the Managing Director. We also dismiss the inappropriate issuance of a bench warrant on our Managing Director.
“We are already engaging in legitimate actions to seek redress and bring all the perpetrators of these unprofessional conducts and heinous criminal acts against our Managing Director and the bank to book.”
Advans Nigeria Becomes Most Innovative Microfinance Bank
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
More big feathers have been added to the colourful cap of Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, cementing its leadership position in the small lending business in Nigeria.
Recently, in recognition of its customer-centric credentials and innovation in product development, service delivery and brand management, the financial institution was named the Best Microfinance Bank in Nigeria at the Financial Derivatives Awards 2022.
Also, the company emerged as the Most Innovative Microfinance Bank in Nigeria in the Global Brands Magazine and World Economic Magazine Awards 2022.
The Managing Director/CEO of Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Mr Gaetan Debuchy, while reacting to the accolades bestowed on the firm, dedicated the awards to the working management and staff of the bank, promising that the bank would continue to break boundaries.
“We are excited to win these awards. It further validates our innovative approach to providing customer-centric, affordable and transparent financial services,” Mr Debuchy said.
Also, the Head of Marketing and Communication at Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Mr Kayode Abraham, stated that, “Over the years, we have centred our business on customer needs and feedback, which has helped us develop financial solutions from scratch to completion. We are pleased to be recognised as the most innovative and best microfinance bank in Nigeria.”
Earlier in the year, Advans Nigeria upgraded its mobile banking app ‘Adspire’ to include users’ ability to request bank statements and control their daily transaction limit. Through the app, clients can receive notifications and share by referring their friends and loved ones.
The bank recently introduced a micro-health insurance product and an education loan to facilitate financial inclusion.
The health insurance product was designed to ensure existing and prospective clients have access to high-quality and affordable health care services, while the education loan was designed to provide working and investment capital for school owners and to assist parents in paying their children’s school fees with ease.
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