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Palm Oil Investor Gets N10m from Heritage Bank



The Next Titan Season 7

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An investor in the palm oil industry, Mr Joshua Joseph Idiong, has received N10 million from Heritage Bank and the fund is expected to boost his business.

Mr Idiong is into the oil palm processing business. He is the chief executive of the Akwa Ibom State-based Josult Oil Processing Company.

He was one of the contestants of the prestigious The Next Titan Season 7. In fact, he won the edition of the programme themed The Unstoppable.

The Next Titan is an entrepreneurial reality show sponsored by Heritage Bank and aimed to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mr Idiong, who is a graduate of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) with Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science, emerged winner after competing with Ifeanyi Nkwonta, Chidinma Eriobu and Ifeoma Benjamin at the grand finale in Lagos.

Idiong’s entry on the show was amongst the 18,000 entries, followed by online auditions before the top 16 moved into the Titan House for 10 weeks to compete against top-notch young entrepreneurs in real-life entrepreneurial tasks.

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They were grilled by a panel of judges who are technocrats with the perfect blend of entrepreneurial requisite skills comprising Kyari Bukar, co-founder/CEO of Trans-Sahara Investment; Lilian Olubi, CEO of Primera Africa Securities Ltd; Chris Parkes, Chairman/CEO of CPMS Africa and Tonye Cole, co-founder of Sahara Group.

The winner, who highly commended Heritage Bank for its continued supports to entrepreneurs and sponsorship of the Next Titan, said, “Heritage Bank is an amazing bank that has stood strong on this show. My love for Heritage Bank stems from the fact that this is my second time on this show but before I came in, I have learnt so much from the show.

“This means that Heritage Bank is truly affecting the lives and businesses of entrepreneurs positively, alongside the viewers. This is a bank that has differentiated itself from other banks in boosting the strength of SMES in Nigeria.”

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Speaking at the grand finale, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, stated that the programme easily aligns with the primary focus of the management of Heritage Bank to promote every laudable entrepreneurial idea meant to broaden economic horizon of the country for the benefit of citizens and other residents of Nigeria.

Mr Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Fela Ibidapo, further affirmed, “as a catalytic institution in the empowering of entrepreneurs in the MSME sector, Heritage Bank has continued to make relentless efforts in this space to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria through championing several empowerment schemes like the HB Innovation Lab Accelerator programme (HB-LAB), Ynspyre Account, Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP), Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) on Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant and Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), Big Brother Nigeria, Lagos Comic Con, amongst others.”

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The Executive Producer of The Next Titan, Mr Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, in his address explained that the project was created and designed as a deliberate attempt to provoke the spirit of entrepreneurship of young Nigerians, not only the contestants on the show but another multitude of aspiring entrepreneurs who can watch the show on TV.

He said that Season 7 was designed to search for business ideas that are immune to any pandemic, innovations that break boundaries and technologies that can survive any lockdown.

“It does not matter what your business idea is all about or its focus, but you must be able to prove that your business has what it takes in terms of ideas or technologies to survive any future pandemic or lockdown,” he said.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs




By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting



GTBank Branch

By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa



DLM Capital

A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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