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Heritage Bank Woos Golfers at Ikoyi Club 38

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By Dipo Olowookere

A monthly mugs competition of the Ikoyi Club 38 in Lagos has received a huge boost with the sponsorship of the event by Heritage Bank Plc.

The tournament is played by members only and at the end, gifts, in form of mugs, are given to winners.

MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, explained that the bank partnered the club because “we needed to pitch our tent where it matters, needed to be visible and to put our footprint in the sands of time.”

Mr Sekibo, represented at the last event by the Regional Head, Lagos Island 2 of Heritage Bank, Abiodun Agbaje, remarked that while the lender could not do everything at the same time, it was specifically looking at some events that are educative and have high calibre of people to deal with, adding that as a bank, they need to grow their business base with the kind of people that are at the event, who are high-calibre business people.

He said the event was one where a lot of business people gathered together in one place at the same time, stressing that Heritage Bank’s purpose is to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

Also speaking, CEO of Resource Churchill, Mr Joe Oduah, one of the players who contested in the competition, described the mug competition as a medal play, which meant that the player with the lowest net emerged the overall winner and entitled him to a mug and a special parking slot in the car park of the club.

Mr Oduah, who also doubles as CEO of 3M, a safety equipment stockist and service centre and who  has been playing in the tournament for about 10 years and  won on several occasions, said generally, it is an interesting tournament that brings all the amateurs players together to compete against one another.

In his contribution, Mr Fabian Kenni, manager of the Golf Section of the Ikoyi Club 38, said the monthly mug competition is a tradition in golf worldwide and is usually done every month, either the first Saturday or the last Saturday of the month.

He said only amateur members who registered when the portal is opened are eligible to play and it is based on handicaps, which is the rating level of the players.

He said handicap starts from one to 28 for men and there are two categories. Category one is from handicap one to 13 while category two is from handicap 14 to 28.

Each category produces two winners, that is, a winner and a runner-up, making a total of four winners every month and each of them are presented with mugs.

Mr M. Walsh emerged the overall net winner of the October mug competition with 81- (12)=69 and was awarded a mug and also be entitled to park his car in a special slot in the car park of the park for this month.

In the division one, Walsh won with 81- (12)= 69, followed by Mr C.E.O. Ekeocha with 79 – (08)=71 as first runner-up, while in the division two, Macaulay Magnus came first with 91- (21)= 70 and Mr K. Aderibigbe was first runner-up with 88- (15)=73. The other winners were only awarded with mugs respectively.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Oyo Catholic Diocese Gets Licence to Operate Microfinance Bank

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Microfinance Banks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Catholic Diocese of Oyo State has obtained a licence in principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate Ave Maria Microfinance Bank and provide financial services to about 1.5 million residents in the Iwajowa Local Government and the entire Oke Ogun area of the state.

The diocesan coordinator of the Justice, Development and Peace Movement (JDPM), Rev Fr. Gabriel Adeleke, said the financial institution will allow individuals and businesses to have access to affordable financial products and services that meet their needs in a responsible and sustainable way.

The non-existence of commercial banks in the Iwajowa Local Government had denied the people the right to pursue their dreams to the full because they were excluded from the formal financial sector. This lack of access to financial tools impacts the socioeconomic mobility of the population.

The Oyo Catholic Diocese explained that it came up with an idea to float a microfinance bank that can give people in the Oke Ogun area access to basic financial services such as formal bank accounts, insurance, transaction services, loans, and other permissible services.

Fr. Adeleke expressed delight with the reception of the Approval in Principle license from the central bank.

He disclosed that the proposed bank will bring a series of impactful interventions in the lives of the people in Iwajowa Local Government area and of the Oyo Diocese at large irrespective of religion, race, or gender.

According to him, the services the people will enjoy from the proposed bank include deposits including savings, time, target and demand from individuals, groups, and associations; except public sector deposits; provision of credit to its customers, including formal and informal self-help groups, individuals, and associations; as well as the promotion and monitoring of loan usage among its customers by providing ancillary capacity building in areas such as record keeping and small business management.

Others are the issuance of redeemable debentures to interested parties to raise funds from members of the public with the prior approval of the CBN; collection of money or proceeds of banking instruments on behalf of its customers including clearing of cheques through correspondent banks; agency services for the provision of mobile banking and micro-insurance services to its clients; and provision of payment services such as salary, gratuity, pension for employees of the various tiers of government.

It will also provide loan disbursement services for the delivery of the credit programme of government, agencies, groups, and individuals for poverty alleviation on a non-recourse basis.

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Afreximbank, APPO to Establish African Energy Bank

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Special Energy Bank

By Adedapo Adesanya

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a multi-billion dollar African energy bank has been signed between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO).

The institution will scale up private sector investment in African oil and gas projects and will not be a substitute for private investment but serve as a catalyst for Africa-directed investment.

As per terms of the MoU, the bank will provide critical financing for new and existing oil and gas projects, as well as energy developments across the entire value chain.

This will help strengthen the continent’s energy sector which has been further weakened by international oil company divestment and the shift in global investment trends.

The MoU was signed by Mr Rene Awambeng, Director & Global Head, Client Relations, Afreximbank, and Mr Omar Farouk, Secretary General of APPO, in the presence of Mr João Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, APPO Ministers and Mr NJ Ayuk, African Energy Chamber (AEC) Executive Chairman.

The proposed African Energy Bank will operate in the same way as the APPO-created Africa Energy Investment Corporation – a developmental financial institution created to channel resources towards the development of Africa’s energy sector.

“The African Energy Chamber has been pushing for the creation of an African Energy Bank, one that is African-based and Africa-focused, and I am proud to announce that the Afreximbank and APPO have taken the first steps towards its creation.

“The bank will be critical for Africa’s energy sector, serving as a catalyst – not a substitute – for private investment in African energy. This is a practical strategy for prosperity and a pragmatic vision that must be embraced by all who want to make energy poverty history and fight climate change.

“Why should our pension funds go to European banks who say they will not finance Africans and call us risky? We need to use that money to finance oil and gas,” Mr Ayuk said.

Based in Africa, the bank will operate as an independent entity, regulated and led by experienced professionals that know and understand Africa’s energy needs.

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NowNow Unveils New Features to Boost Contactless Payments

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A leading African fintech startup, NowNow Digital Systems Limited, has launched a first of its kind fully integrated near field communication (NFC) enabled wallet which allows complete contactless payments on the platform.

This new function provides fast, easy, and safe cashless payments for NowNow customers using android smartphones, automated teller machine (ATM) cards, and point of sale (POS) devices.

The most innovative feature of this technology turns smartphones into digital point of sale terminals for micro to small-sized businesses including individuals, agents, and merchants.

With the NFC integration on NowNow wallets, the company’s new Tap & Pay and SoftPOS features enable the acceptance and performance of seamless contactless transactions without the need for any additional hardware.

The Tap & Pay feature allows wallet to wallet transactions on NowNow, while the SoftPOS feature allows ATM card to wallet and wallet to POS transactions.

Speaking on the new NFC wallet integration, Mr Mahesh Nair, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, NowNow Digital Services, expressed excitement at the feat and affirmed that the new feature highlights NowNow’s commitment to enabling seamless financial services in Nigeria.

“We are excited to be the first fintech wallet in Nigeria to launch a fully integrated NFC wallet for our users that enables them to perform contactless payments. The Tap & Pay and SoftPOS solutions represent our dedication to providing seamless digital payments in Nigeria.

“As a leading fintech, it is important for us to provide services that promote financial inclusion. Today, our customers, agents, and merchants can make smooth contactless payments on our platform. Using the feature is easy with no hardware or maintenance required coupled with a simple onboarding process,” he said.

The new NowNow NFC enabled Tap & Pay and SoftPOS solutions provide customer-to-customer (C2C) and customer-to-business (C2B) services, including agent-to-customer offerings.

These options enable NowNow merchants and individuals to use payment solutions that are secure and easy to set up.

NowNow’s mission is to deliver best-in-class financial services having built an ecosystem for seamless digitized payments for customers.

The NFC integration on NowNow wallets will further enhance NowNow’s existing services for consumer banking, agency banking, and merchant payment, driving financial empowerment and inclusion for micro to small businesses and individuals alike.

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