FBNBank UK, a member of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, painted London blue as it celebrated its 40th anniversary themed Partnership Beyond Borders on Friday, November 11, 2022.
The event, which had customers, members of government functionaries and the diplomatic community, regulators, and captains of industries in attendance, was convened to appreciate the patronage and support the Bank had received since it opened its doors in the United Kingdom 40 years ago.
As key stakeholders, they were instrumental in establishing the bank as an important gateway to connect international markets in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world to the finest financial services solutions that the UK has to offer.
Dignitaries and guests that graced the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General TY Danjuma, Chief Joseph Sanusi (Former CBN Governor and Former MD of FirstBank, who delivered goodwill messages via video), Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, Nigerian businessman and former Chairman of FirstBank; Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Chief Justice of Nigeria; Oba Moshood Olalekan Ishola Balogun, Alliiwo II, Olubadan of Ibadan land; Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, High Commissioner, Nigerian High Commission, UK.
Delivering his welcome address to the dignitaries and guests present, Sam Aiyere, Chief Executive Officer, FBN Bank UK Ltd, said “since its establishment, our bank has demonstrated an unmatched dexterity, serving as a gateway connecting international markets in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world to the finest financial services solution that the UK has to offer. Through its office in the UK and the Paris Branch, our Bank has continued to facilitate international trade between Africa and Europe while offering top-notch, world-class corporate, institutional, and private banking solutions to our esteemed customers.
“We have recorded laudable achievement only because you stand solidly with us. Therefore, I dedicate the success of the past 40 years to all our stakeholders. Thank you for being the lever beneath our thrust”, he also added.
Appreciating the patronage and support extended to FBNBank UK, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said, “today we celebrate 40 years of unbroken business operations in the United Kingdom; 40 years of supporting and enabling dreams; 40 years of resilience and relevance; 40 years of trust, safety and security; 40 years of long-term value to all stakeholders; and 40 years of partnerships beyond borders. I believe the future is bright for FBN Bank UK. With our beautiful outing tonight, our Group stands out, once again, as one big and happy family of many parts.”
In his speech, Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, highlighted that “FBNBank UK’s established presence in a leading global financial centre such as London ensures that FirstBank Group is well positioned to play an active role in the promotion of Africa as an investment destination, attract much-needed capital to the continent and facilitate trade with other parts of the world.
“The presence of FirstBank in other countries outside Nigeria shows that the span of its impact is continent-wide. As you are headquartered in the largest economy on the continent, you have a unique role in also facilitating capital flows into other African countries and assisting their economic growth and development.”
In addition, in his goodwill message, President Muhammadu Buhari said, “FirstBank has profoundly demonstrated a high level of nationalism by keeping the Nigerian dream at the heart of its business through constant evolution to birth agile financial services solution to suit the demands of its customers both home and abroad. Also, perhaps more than any other institution in its class, FirstBank has supported the Government by providing human resources at various times to booster much required professional expertise in various sectors of our economy.”
Established in the United Kingdom in 1982 as the London Branch of the First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBNBank UK was initially established to service the UK banking requirements of Nigerian companies and FirstBank.
Later in November 2002, the bank was incorporated in the UK as a registered and wholly-owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited with offices in the City of London and has then developed into a much broader business in the gateway to Europe and beyond for African banks, companies and high net worth individuals.
Visa Sponsors Ecobank Cardholder’s Trip to Qatar for World Cup
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A customer of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Ejike Michael Eziuche, will have the opportunity to travel to Qatar for the ongoing FIFA World Cup taking place in the country for free.
This was made possible by just being a customer of the financial institution in Nigeria and being issued a Visa card by the bank.
The Ecobank cardholder was among the winners of the payments firm’s Spend & Win Campaign, designed to reward customers and football lovers who were active users of their Visa cards.
The only condition to be part of the promo was spending a minimum of N50,000 in at least five transactions to qualify. The winners will have the opportunity of a first-class experience in the tournament, all expenses covered as Visa is the Official Payments Sponsor of the tournament.
“Mr Eziuche’s emergence as a winner is a reflection of the hassle-free payment experience our customers enjoy with their Ecobank Visa cards.
“At Ecobank, we are always innovating our services to suit our customers’ lifestyles, especially when it comes to how they can effortlessly access our products. I am truly delighted for him and wish him a memorable time in Qatar,” the Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, commented.
“We understand our role as a leading payments provider, pioneering seamless payments experiences across Africa; this is why we partner with critical stakeholders like Visa to ensure that our customers can have cards that allow them to enjoy financial services from anywhere in the world.
“Our promise to our customers has always been the same; to provide them with access to affordable and reliable financial services.
“We will continue to do so through our digital platforms, including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and over 50,000 agency banking locations,” she added.
Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai).
The lender is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms, including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and over 60,000 agency banking locations.
Sterling Bank Sponsors Training of 1,000 Youths at NJFP
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Sterling Bank Plc has sponsored the training of 1,000 fellows at the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP), a youth empowerment initiative between the Nigerian government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The programme, launched in 2021, was borne out of rising unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic, which adversely impacted the ability of young Nigerians to find work.
The initiative seeks to connect talented graduates with local job opportunities that apply their expertise while equipping them with world-class practical knowledge and relevant skills, and it does not matter if an applicant does not have job experience.
It targets a broad range of sectors, including the start-up economy, innovation, and creative industries, the digital and technology sector, the green economy sector, financial services, key public and international development institutions, research and development, agriculture, real estate, construction, transportation, and health services. In other words, there is a place for every organisation in this programme.
The Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, explained that his company supported the programme because of its interest in the education sector as one of five sectors it is presently concentrating investments in under its HEARTs of Sterling programme. The other sectors are Health, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation.
It will be recalled that as part of its commitment to the reduction of unemployment among youths in the country, Sterling Bank Plc recently renewed its partnership with iCreate Africa to provide a payment system that allows qualified workers to purchase tools and pay in instalments.
Consequently, the bank has also introduced different packages so that skill-seekers can access soft loans to buy tools, and it is encouraging skill-seekers not to let the opportunity slip off their hands.
Also, as part of this strategy, the commercial bank had also expanded its Café One community to Abuja in partnership with iCreate.
Zenith Bank Assures Budding Entrepreneurs Necessary Support to Succeed
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria have been assured by Zenith Bank Plc of all the necessary support they need to succeed and become corporate organisations capable of employing many people.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who gave this assurance last Wednesday, disclosed that this was why the bank organised the second Zenith Tech Fair themed Future Forward 2.0.
At the keenly contested hackathon session, the sum of N53 million was won by the participants, with Ecotutu, a cleantech company making cooling affordable and accessible for businesses, especially in the agricultural sector, emerging as the overall winner and taking home the grand prize of N20 million.
This is in addition to a mentorship programme with Seedstars, a company dedicated to implementing high-quality capacity-building programmes for entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
The first runner-up, Foris Labs, an app-based platform that allows students to conduct science experiments individually and in groups interactively via their mobile phones, won N15 million and a mentorship programme.
The second runner-up, Finva, a start-up which helps creditors offer credits at low risk, won N10 million as well as a mentorship programme.
Other finalists who took home N1 million each were Sanwo, Itinu -Ev, Eduvacity, Green Bii, Zion Robotics, Sono Care, Base, and I grow Africa.
Addressing guests at the Eko Convention Centre, Mr Onyeagwu announced that “all finalists would be enlisted into our incubation lab for grooming and mentorship.
“Our expectation is that we are going to scale and grow them just like the zenith brand. So, looking at what we have gone through, I can tell you that so much iron has been loaded on fire. The only thing left is to activate the digital talents, tech skills and entrepreneurship that would culminate in a new digital economy for Nigeria.”
Described as a huge success by participants, the two-day Tech Fair featured presentations on the leading technological innovations that cut across different aspects of life, such as Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Robotics, Big Data, FinTech, Augmented Reality, Data Analytics, 5G and Communication Technologies, with the keynote address, The Future of Banking: Digital Transformation Journey, delivered by Brett King, the renowned futurist, bestselling author, award-winning speaker, founder of Moven and Author of Bank 4.0.
The event also featured a goodwill message by the founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia.
Other eminent IT practitioners from top global brands who also made presentations included Tarik Alatovic, Senior Partner, McKinsey; Juliet Ehimuan, West Africa Director, Google; Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Inc.; Andrew Uaboi, Vice President/Head, Visa West Africa; Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director of Information Technology, CBN; Chris Lu, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria, and Dame Ms Adaora Umeoji, Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, amongst others.
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