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Sunday Adeyemi

Sunday Adeyemi

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced its SME specific accounts designed to reinforce the Bank’s role in putting SME’s at an advantage whilst contributing to national growth and development.

 

The SME accounts – which are in two variants – FirstSME Classic and FirstSME Deluxe – are offered to SMEs, irrespective of industry, and tailored to have SMEs exposed to a wide range of services and opportunities that are essential for their continued growth and role in contributing to national development. The advantages and features of these accounts include; access to Temporary OverDrafts (TODs) and other facilities subject to meeting Risk Adjustment Capital (RAC) of each product; immediate enrollment on all digital platform; free access to FirstBank SME events; free access to extensive business promotional and networking opportunities on the SMEConnect portal; access to a wide range of discounted and promotional offers.

 

Amongst the many opportunities available to holders of FirstSME account is the SMEConnect initiative of FirstBank which is a platform through which SMEs access the Bank’s unique propositions that will equip them with the essential tools needed for the growth of their business. The SMEConnect portal is also designed to help SMEs identify various gaps that hinder their business growth. With FirstBank’s over 126 years of impacting the economy, the Bank’s SME innovative Business Diagnostics Tool will also help proffer tailored solutions, whilst creating avenues for business improvement, profitability and sustainability.

 

Following extensive research by the Bank, 7 strategic pillars have been considered essential for the sustainability and growth of SMEs. The 7 pillars – connect to infrastructure, connect to talent, capacity building, connect to policy and regulation, connect to resources, connect to market as well as connect to finance.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, “FirstBank is delighted to unlock several opportunities for SMEs to thrive. Our FirstSME account is one of the numerous opportunities designed to empower SMEs to continually drive impact as the backbone and contributors to employment and economic growth.

Being woven into the fabric of the society for close to 127 years means that we remain at the forefront of providing the desired financial products and services to fit the needs unique to the SMEs as well as facilitating the requisite tools and resources to efficiently and effectively drive business sustainability and expansion strategies essential to taking SMEs to the next level’’

 

About FirstBank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.

 

With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

 

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

 

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner. 

 

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

 

 

 

 

 

As the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD21) calls on people and organisations to #choosetochallenge for a better world for women, Guaranty Trust Bank plc (GTBank) has launched an initiative, tagged #GiveHerBetaHealth, to draw attention to the need for universal essential healthcare coverage, especially for women in the informal sector. Through the initiative, the leading African financial institution is providing 1000 self-employed women with BetaHealth for a year, at no cost. 

 

Launched in 2020, BetaHealth is a low-cost healthcare package that provides coverage for essential health services such as malaria treatments, pre and postnatal care, accidents and medical emergencies as well as life insurance, all at a subscription fee of N500 per month. Offered through more than 1000 hospitals and pharmacies nationwide, BetaHealth also provides a telemedicine service that allows the user to speak with a Doctor over the phone anytime, anywhere. 

 

With the #GiveHerBetaHealth campaign, the Bank is calling on the general public to nominate 1000 women who will be given free BetaHealth coverage for a year. To nominate a woman, visit 

giveherbetahealth.gtbank.com.

 

#GiveHerBetaHealth is the latest in a long line of GTBank initiatives that reflects the Bank’s commitment to extending access to critical services for everyone, irrespective of their social or economic background. The campaign focuses on empowering self-employed women in the informal sector, many of who have limited or no access to financial services and health insurance. With this campaign, the Bank is putting a spotlight on the need for universal access to essential healthcare services that is affordable for every working Nigerian, and accessible across the country. 

 

BetaHealth is available for everyone. To buy BetaHealth for yourself or someone else, simply dial *737*52*500*50# from your mobile phone.

 

 

 

*tale trails his romance with Bimpe Oyebade

 

 

Star Nollywood actor, Lateef Adedimeji, is currently enmeshed in an alleged romantic relationship with a US based singer, Jemiriye Adeniji. 

 

The latest romance story is coming on the heels of Adedimeji's alleged romance with an America based Yoruba actress, Oyinkansola Elebuibon, who recently denied in public that the actor is not the father of her baby.

 

Jemiriye is a star singer whose music is deeply rooted in Yoruba folk, traditional rhythms and Afrobeat. She is said to be the new girl Lateef Adedimeji is dotting on at the moment.

 

Besides, it is in the news that Adedimeji is in a serious relationship with one of his colleagues in the movie industry, Adebimpe Oyebade, yet sources say he can’t keep his eyes off the beautiful and ebony Jemiriye, who is currently making waves across the world with her unique music style. 

 

Those familiar with Jemiriye's music say it is never a dull moment with Jemiriye's melodious lyrics and classical beats.

 

Her exceptional talent and sexy look are the special gifts that sources believe might have attracted her to Adedimeji and to fans of her type of music around the world.

 

However, industry watchers are convinced there is more to their close relationship, insisting it is a serious one that may lead to the altar, while they fear it could have serious impact on the ongoing relationship between Lateef and Adebimpe Oyebade.

 

However, Jemiriye has denied she is dating Adedimeji. When contacted, the singer who is set to release a video track from her popular single, 'My Body', said that it is true she is much close to the actor but there is no issue of dating between them. The video track, we gathered, would be featuring Lateef Adedimeji playing the lover boy. 

 

Jemiriye Adeniji hails from Osun State, Nigeria. She later relocated to the United States of America to focus on her unique music career.

 

 

 

Hiding in the shadows and doing things under the cover of his easy going nature, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa has set his state alight with his work. 365-plus days in office and the former Senator representing Bayelsa Central is still a son of miracles. Indeed, who else could have gotten so much done in so few days?

He is neither stiff-necked, needlessly ceremonious, nor likely to peg an award for taking office shots or blaring his many good deeds. Diri is not that sort of man. Where one finds him is where he prefers to be: at work, thinking up ways to polish the fortunes of his Bayelsa people. Not afraid, not dawdling, not denting his work table with an anxious head.

So much executed, so little praise sought! In the beginning, the assumption - based on his phenomenal mode of obtaining the gubernatorial chair - was that he would laze about, or commandeer new projects and abandon old ones. But old ginger is spicier, as experienced minds can tell that Diri is no slouch.

From the projects of the past administration to those he approved of himself, the Miracle Governor has left nothing unturned. It is to the merit of this boundless sense of propriety that some formerly-ongoing projects have been completed and commissioned; that some formerly-derelict constructions are currently underway and nearing completion.

Is the completion of the water project in Ovom Town, Yenagoa LGA, not deserving of a glass raised to Governor Diri in salute? How about the Kaiama Referral Hospital; or the state-of-the-art Incinerator at the Bayelsa Medical University Complex; or the Imiringi Community Bridge in Ogbia LGA — all, aside the Ovom Water Project, were commissioned on the same day!

What about the ongoing projects? The complex to harbour Radio Bayelsa, Niger Delta TV and New Waves Newspaper is underway. So is the construction of the Elebele Community Bridge (Ogbia LGA), and the Igbedi Road in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA that stretches 4.5km.

Then there are the 'deserted' roads (from the past administration) that Diri has taken up: Glory Drive Road from Igbogene to Onopa; Igbogene to Elebele/AIT Outer Ring Road; Sagbama-Ekeremor Road; Yenagoa-Oporoma Road; Isaac Boro Express Road; and several others.

To think that Governor Diri was recently accused of taking a laissez-faire approach to his duties!

That Bayelsans can rest easy for the next three years is an occasion for satisfaction, and something the rest of Nigeria can look forward to discovering in their own State Governors.

 

 

 

Today marks a worthy milestone in the life of one of the fastest growing financial service provider, Heritage Bank Plc as it celebrates eight (8) years of entrenching seamless service delivery in the business of banking in Nigeria.

This is a journey that began eight (8) years ago, premised on passion, commitment, doggedness, culture and hard work amongst others, stands today as a reputable financial organisation in the Nigeria banking space.

The story began in 2012; a story of hard work and determination when Heritage Bank Plc emerged from a business combination of Heritage Banking Company Limited (HBCL) and Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL) after the acquisition of Societe Generale of Nigeria’s (SGBN) license by IEI Investment Ltd from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) having met all requirements by Nigeria’s apex bank.

 

Heritage Bank returned 100% of existing SGBN account holders' funds which were frozen at the closure of the SGBN. This move brought a lot of smiles to the faces of former account holders and inspired many of them to open new accounts with Heritage Bank. In October 2014, Heritage Banking Company Ltd successfully met the requirements of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the CBN toward owning 100% shares in Enterprise Bank Ltd., after a highly competitive bid process. This development firmly anchors the Heritage Bank in a rich legacy of technology and innovation in the banking industry. SGBN, which was incorporated in December 1976 and commenced full banking operations in August 1977, pioneered the introduction of e-banking services including its flagship, the 24/7 Cashpoint through the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in 1990.

 

With a management focused on innovation through technology and a unique philosophy to create, preserve and transfer wealth to its customers, Heritage Bank found itself in a fiercely competitive banking environment but it remained guided by passion, resilience, innovation and a brand architecture that exuded quality service, performance and sheer excellence.

Still, as big a move as it was, it remained just one of the many strategic moves to change the banking industry and Heritage Bank has made a lot of them and attains giant strides in reshaping the economy since it began operations in 2013 to drive improved investment outcome and job creation.

Success stories of entrenching business of banking in Nigeria:

 

As a catalytic financial institution, Heritage Bank, through its strategic partnerships with government and private organisations, has continued to make efforts to transforming the nation’s economy through championing entrepreneurial schemes for businesses and the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector was not left out, which have always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as education, agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

 

In recent times, the bank’s response to dealing with the global economic challenge occasioned by COVID-19, which highly impacted SMEs, Heritage Bank PLC has continued to deepen its support to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria to grow their businesses either as start-ups or prospective business owners.

 

One of such is the last Season of the reality TV show The Next Titan, themed “The Unstoppable” that was designed to search for business ideas that are immune to any pandemic, innovations that break boundaries and technologies that can survive any lockdown. This programme produced a young vibrant entrepreneur, graduate of the Federal University of Technology Owerri with a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science who is the Chief Executive Officer of Josult Oil Processing Company, a palm oil processing company in Akwa Ibom State, Joshua Joseph Idiong, as he finally emerged the winner of the Next Titan Season-7, going home with a whooping sum of N10million. Furthermore, Heritage Bank PLC in partnership with Honourable Fatima Mohammed (FAMO) Foundation also provided succor to over 300 affected private school teachers and small medium enterprises (SMEs).

 

Heritage Bank has continued to blaze the trial on the SME’s space to empower young entrepreneurs in such schemes as 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, among others.

Last year witnessed the Launch of the Nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold & Precious Metals which stands to create new opportunities for Nigeria to grow its potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold.

 

The Nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold & Precious Metals Buying Centre will fast-track 10per cent contribution of mining sector to GDP by 2026. Referring to this giant strides, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo remarked that the launch of this project between Heritage Bank and 'Dukia Gold SPV' would enable Nigeria to mine reserves properly, trade responsibly, refine locally and boost the nation's foreign reserves.

 

Heritage Bank has continued to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa, The Bank doled out the sum of $40, 000 grants to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab.

The bank’s commitment is to create enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial inclusion/intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.

 

For the bank’s giant stride of support to tourism, Federal Government commended Heritage Bank for its commitment to the development and growth of the creative industry.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the commendation at a two-day Creative Nigeria Summit.

The bank, aimed at boosting Nigeria’s tourism via creative arts industry supported the sponsorship of exhibition at the National Museum Benin, at the Exhibition Gallery of National Museum Benin by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), in collaboration with the Edo State Government, and the Smithsonian Institute, United States of America.

 

Also, efforts are being taken by Heritage Bank Plc and the River State government during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) to make art and culture a unifying factor and major earner to the contribution of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

Heritage Bank Plc partnered with the organizers of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance (IFCOD) to host the second edition of One Language, a musical production of intrigue, dance and drama.

 

 

Most prominent of its partnership and supports is the annual Calabar Carnival and festival, tagged “Africa’s Biggest Street Party,” was created as part of the vision of making Cross River State the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and other tourists across the world.

Heritage Bank is not done yet. The bank went further to prove its trend setting profile by driving seat of the agricultural financing revolution.

 

In a bid to support the real sector and unlock food potentials, Heritage Bank Plc provided over N5billion long term facility under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) to Triton Aqua Africa Ltd (TAAL).

TAAL known as Triton Farm accessed the CACS through Heritage Bank, which was used to set up aquaculture businesses; nursery/hatchery to produce fingerlings and brood stock in Ikeja and earthen ponds for catfish and Tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and Gambari towns in Oyo State.

Under the arrangement, TAAL will also help small-scale farms increase their fish production by making fingerlings available to them.

In the short term, the loan is expected to help Triton double its current production capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes with a projection to scale it up to 100,000 metric tonnes in five years.

The bank also has thrown its weight behind Globus Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Triton Group, to flag off the second phase of afforestation programme in Oyo state.

Nigeria’s demand capacity for fish was estimated at 2.7million metric tons and the country currently produces 800,000 metric tons.

Triton is now producing over 25,000 metric tons and with them on board, over 25,000 metric tons capacity will be added to our current production, the company’s projection is to exceed 100,000 metric tons in 5years.

 

In the state level, Heritage Bank entered into partnership with the Oyo State government in a multi-billion-naira project to give agriculture a boost.

Under the initiative, the bank supported the Oyo State Agricultural Initiative, OYSAI, a programme designed to revive agriculture, boost agro-allied businesses and massive empowerment programme for both youth and women across the state through the creation of thousands of jobs in the sector.

This huge, albeit laudable, project that is spread across 3,000 hectares of land in 28 of the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State is in three stages: food crop cultivation, cash crop/horticulture, and food processing.

 

Heritage Bank is supporting agro investors involved in this initiative with funds and advisory services and indications are that the programme has already led to more than 30 per cent increase in food production in the state.

The Bank also supported thousands of small holder farms in Kaduna and Zamfara states to benefit from the bank’s financial support for rice and soya beans production under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

 

Further on job creation, Heritage Bank through its establishment of a full-fledged learning and development institute accredited by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), dubbed “The Refinery” successfully trained and employed about 300 new intakes.

 

In the midst of the bank’s audacity to dare and succeed, industry watchers have continued to ask; how are they doing it? The answers may not be far from the fact that this is one bank whose leadership team continues to exude the charisma of the Midas touch. With Heritage Bank, the MD/CEO, Ifie Sekibo has proven over and over again that whatever he touches, turns into gold.

 

 

 

... Discovers 650 ghost households 

 

Around midnight on Sunday, Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum showed up at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic Legal Studies in Maiduguri, where internally displaced persons from Abadam local government area of northern Borno were being camped. 

 

Zulum immediately sealed entrance and supervise a headcount to identify actual IDPs, in order to put a stop to rampant cases of dubious residents pretending to be displaced, who spend day times at IDP camps to share food meant for IDPs, and towards the night, they return to their homes to sleep, with some of benefiting from other means through which the state distributes food to vulnerable non IDPs in communities. 

 

Governor Zulum’s mission, which ended past 1am, discovered that out of 1,000 households in the records of humanitarian officials, 650 households were ghosts. 

 

450 households were found to be real IDPs after Zulum’s midnight headcount which was conducted by the governor alongside an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Air Commodore M. T. Abdullahi, and two commissioners (Agriculture, and Local Government and Emirate Affairs).

 

In humanitarian system, a household normally consist of at least six persons who are either related through families, or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving household aids. 

 

Officials who were part of the midnight headcount said Governor Zulum was not averse to approving support for any citizen who may be vulnerably in need of food since there is a committee doing that, however, the Governor is vehemently opposed to some residents making dubious claims in other to take what is meant for IDPs while also benefiting from other existing welfare activities that target non IDPs.

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