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Ogun Seeks Ecobank Help on Zero Interest Loans for Traders, Others

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Ecobank Nigeria

By Ahmed Rahma

The Ogun State Governor, Mr Dapo Abiodun, has appealed to the management of Ecobank Nigeria Limited to develop a credit facility that will make it possible for residents of the Gateway State to get funds to grow their businesses.

Mr Abiodun made this plea when he welcomed the bank led by its Managing Director, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, to his office in Abeokuta, the state capital, recently.

The Governor said this interest-free or single-digit interest loans would be tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable people in the state, who engage in petty trading and others.

“We are looking to support our vulnerable groups in the society, our women who are basically the strength of the society, they are very hard-working, and all they need is little capital.

“We aim to provide loans for them at single digit or zero interest rate and we know that they will pay back. They are religious about paying back. Let’s see how we can work with Ecobank to design a model that will allow us to support them,” Mr Abiodun informed Mr Akinwuntan.

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He also called on Ecobank and other lenders to join hands with the state government to fix the Lagos/Agbara and Ota/Abeokuta federal roads, disclosing that his administration was on the verge of getting the approval of the federal government to rehabilitate the roads through the PPP model.

“Let’s see what you can do for us in terms affordable housing through mortgage schemes, advertising on our job portal, Infrastructure.

“I am sure you are aware of the Agbara corridor which is the biggest industrial hub in this country; the road leading from Lagos to Agbara is a nightmare; that road is a federal road, but we have decided to take on it as a State.

 “We have also decided to take it over and construct it under a PPP arrangement.

“We hope Ecobank will perhaps be interested in this PPP model in partnership with other banks. The same goes for the Ota-Abeokuta road,” the Governor said.

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In his remarks, the Ecobank chief commended the Governor for providing a friendly environment to business owners in the state, promising to partner with the state government to boost its economy.

Mr Akinwuntan assured that the bank will help attract investments to the state to finance some long-term projects and support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), agriculture, health and other strategic sectors of the state’s economy.

“For us as a bank, we appreciate what your government is doing. When we look at the specific components of your vision and strategy as encapsulated in ISEYA, which represents Infrastructure, Social welfare and health, Education, Youth empowerment and Agriculture, we decided to come over to explore areas of partnership and collaboration.

“Your government has not left the vision as an acronym but the execution is a testimony to the greatness of this state. We believe the outcome of this collaboration will benefit not just indigenes of Ogun state alone, but our dear country Nigeria and the Africa continent,” Mr Akinwuntan said.

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“I want to also commend your government in terms of the peaceful environment of doing business. Ogun state is one of the leading lights in ease of doing business and a place to invest in.

“I will like to reiterate that we stand ready to support you in attracting investments to fund the long-term infrastructure projects that you have rightly embarked on.

“We understand that such projects will require long-term financing, the history and rating of Ogun State places it in a unique position to leverage on the capital market for long term instruments like bonds. We stand ready to collaborate and support you on this journey,” he said further.

During the visit, Ecobank donated rural health tricycle ambulances to the state to assist in primary healthcare delivery.

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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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