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First Bank’s FirstMonie Agents Process Over N9.6trn

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FirstMonie Agents

By Ahmed Rahma

Over N9.6 trillion has been processed by the FirstMonie agents of First Bank of Nigeria, with more than 250,000 indirect jobs created within the last three years.

The CEO of the financial institution, Mr Adesola Adeduntan, during a chat with newsmen recently disclosed that the channel has been used to make cash transfers to the poorest of the poor in the rural areas by the governments and NGOs.

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He revealed that the agents in the rural communities are equipped with BVN enrolment devices which enables them to enrol and open accounts for rural dwellers.

With over 86,000 banking agents across 772 out of the 774 local governments areas in the country, FBN has shown its commitment to deepen financial inclusion and ensure that the unbanked are adequately catered for.

Speaking about the bank’s commitment to providing access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mr Adeduntun hinged this on “their potential to impact the economy”.

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He further stated solutions that have created a functional ecosystem for SMEs. The ecosystem includes access to business finance and market, the connection of the SMEs to talents and resources/cutting edge tools, capacity building opportunities and policy advocacy.

These are all aggregated on its SMEConnect platform as value-adding products and services for easy access and at rates (prices) that are competitive and mostly discounted.

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The SMEConnect which according to the CEO has been well received by the SME community is a digital platform that allows them connect to FBN’s offerings from the comfort of their locations anywhere in the world.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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Banking

CIBN to Revamp Banking Practice in Nigeria With A-TEAM Initiative

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CIBN 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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Banking

VBank Brightens Spirits at Lagos NYSC Orientation Camp

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VBank 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.

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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.

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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.”

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The corps members have since been posted to different places of assignment within the state while another stream gets ready for camp in July.

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Banking

Ecobank Describes Women as Bedrock of Entrepreneurship

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ecobank Customer Deposits

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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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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