Connect with us

The menace of food insecurity currently prevailing Nigeria may soon become part of history as Heritage Bank Plc has disclosed that it is supporting NatnudO Foods, a food processing company in its determination to make poultry affordable and accessible for the people.
Speaking at the media briefing organized on food security in Nigeria, Team Member, Agric Finance, Specialised Banking of the bank, Adelana Ogunjirin, a representative of Heritage Bank, said the bank decided to partner with the company in order to ease the burden of poultry production in the country.
He explained at the briefing held at the company’s headquarters in Magodo, Lagos, recently that the interest of Heritage Bank in agriculture and food production in the country is second to none as it is impossible to increase productivity on empty stomach.
According to him, Heritage Bank is supporting the company in the area of funding infrastructural projects required to make agricultural business more productive for farmers in different parts of the country. He disclosed that Heritage Bank supported such projects with the Central Bank of Nigeria-intervention fund with a maximum interest rate of 9 per cent.
Ogunjirin said the project structure on ground, as prepared by NatnudO, has helped to reduce the level of risk which could impact on the profitability to different parties. As a result, he promised that Heritage Bank would be willing to support such projects at any time as long as it would boost agricultural produce in the country.
Speaking earlier at the occasion, Gbolade Adewole, Coordinator, natnudO Foods’ broilerout-grower scheme tagged “natnuPreneur”, acknowledged that Heritage Bank has been so supportive in making the required infrastructure available for the participating farmers on the project.
He commended the bank for standing out as a veritable pillar upon which the food production initiative of NatnudO Foods rests. However, he implored Heritage Bank to get ready to do more for the farmers who are increasingly showing more interest in the scheme.
According to him, farmers are getting more interested because they enjoy between 7.5% and 15% profit on investment per cycle. His words: “With a potential to conclude 5 cycles per year, efficient farmers stand to make between 37.5% – 75% profit, making natnuPreneur ‘broiler out-grower’ scheme the most profitable in the country.
He also disclosed that between October 2014 and July 2017, poultry farmers registered under the three-year pilot phase have reared over 4 million birds and the firm has handled birds to the value of over N4 billion.
Adewole explained that what makes this possible is that natnuPreneur does not only make market available for the participating broiler farmers, it also gives them the required technical support for the success of their farms.
He stated: “We treat our farmers’ farms as our own and invest a lot of time in ensuring their poultry businesses are run with global best practices as we run and manage ours, because we believe that our success is closely tied to the success of our farmers”.
He said natnuPreneur has a standard operating manual used in ensuring optimal farm management, such that, lapses in standard processes are quickly noticed and brought to the attention of farmers.
Aside from this, he added, we pay weekly visits to farms to monitor their progress and offer business and technical advice when needed. These activities have helped to achieve the success level recorded by our farmers so far.
According to him, these processes are what distinguish natnuPreneur from other broiler out-grower schemes the country had witnessed in the past.
Sharing their experiences, two long-term natnuPreneur farmers, Dr. Robinson of Kadapo Farms in Ilorin, Kwara State; and Mrs.Tomori of Honey Dew farms,Ibadan, Oyo State; made highly complementary comments and confirmed the claim made by the AMO FARM’s team.

BUSINESS

Zenith Bank To Intensify Presence In Retail Segment —- Amangbo

Published

on

Managing Director/Chief Executive, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Peter Amangbo, said that the bank is pursuing a retail strategy focussed on increased lending to small businesses, households and individuals at affordable interest rate.

He disclosed this yesterday in an exclusive interview with Vanguard Newspaper.

Noting that the sluggish loan growth in the banking industry in 2018 might persist this year due to the slow pace of economic recovery, Amangbo said that Zenith Bank has decided to focus on the retail segment to grow its loan book this year.

He stated: “We just talked about the loan volume going down in the industry but we are now looking at other areas. If the big ones are not taking loans you won’t fold your hands because those deposits that you are holding, the deposits can even sink a bank. If you take deposit and you don’t know where to deploy it, you can die in liquidity, that is what we normally say, you sink in that liquidity.

“So we are looking for other outlets. We are developing our retail end of the market and we are being very aggressive about that. We believe that is an area with a lot of potential.

We are looking at individuals, households, small businesses. We are reaching out to them with credit facilities, whether to pay school fees or to meet some obligations pending payment of their salaries or whether to develop their small businesses, we are reaching out; and about two weeks back, we had an event tagged, “Style by Zenith Bank.”

“The whole objective is to galvanise the economy to let them know that we are well positioned to serve small businesses and to serve households and individuals and even the students; that we are actually there for everybody. That is actually the stage we are moving to.

“We are not that perception that we are elitist; no, we are there for everybody, we have different offerings for everybody. So those that don’t even have security, we have ways of handling some of those things too.”

Referring to the difficulties most banks face in loan performance in the retail segment, Amangbo stated: “We try to be much more efficient in terms of how we do our business in that segment. If you are able to bring down your cost of funds, it is much easier to pass it on to our customers in terms of cost of lending to them.

And we believe if you are going to lend to the retail segment, households, small businesses and you are looking at those high rates, then you are inviting a bad loan.

“So for you to say you are going into retail, you must be sure of your cost of funds, which is what we are very mindful of, and that is why we said that deliberately we must bring down our cost of funds, which is basically what we are doing, so that it makes it much easier for us to lend in the retail space. Because the rate must be affordable, if it is not affordable from day one, you have set out to fail and to have bad loans.”

Zenith Bank has one of the lowest cost of fund in Nigeria banking industry, recording 3.3 per cent as at September 2018.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Union Bank Supports 6,000 Underprivileged Citizens During Festive Season [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Union Bank, through its UnionCaresinitiative,provided relief for thousands ofthe underprivilegedby donating over 6,000 care bags containing staple food items.

The campaign, now in its third year,is co-funded by Union Bank and its employees. The bags containing nutritional staples included rice, beans, oil, salt and readymade stews. In various parts of the country, the Bank’semployees were seen handing out the bags to people in underserved communities. 

The Bank also made financial donations to over 30 orphanages, care homes and NGOs including Wesley Schools for the Blind and Hearing impaired as well as Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially sighted children, all under its UnionCares umbrella.

The Head of Corporate Communication and Marketing at Union Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem described the initiative as one of the Bank’s ways of supporting charitable causes and contributing to the wellbeing of the needy, particularly during the festive season.

According to her;

Union Bank will continue to lead the charge for social responsibility and impact. We are firm believers in supporting the communities within which we operate. This outlook drives the initiatives we organise and support under our Corporate Social Responsibility pillars.

We launched the UnionCares initiative to touch as many lives as possible during the festive season and it is fulfilling to see the level of impact the initiative has had.”

As part of its year end welfare initiatives, Union Bank also distributed care bags to children at the Makoko Christmas party organised recently by Slum2school.

The UnionCares initiative has come to be acknowledged as a viable platform which supports the less privileged. In 2017, the Bank and its employees also donated thousands of care bags to the needy across the country during the festive season.

Union Bank recently received the ‘Peoples’ Choice Award for theMost Outstanding Company in CSR/Sustainability’ at the 2018 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs), emphasizing the Bank’s role as a socially conscious organization, actively supporting its host communities.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Diamond Bank Confirms Merger With Access Bank

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

The board of Diamond Bank Plc on Monday finally announced its merger with Access Bank Plc expected to be completed in first half of 2019.

Both banks recently denied media reports of any merger.

Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said in Lagos the board had selected Access Bank as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of both banks.

Dozie said the potential merger of the two banks would create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.

He added that the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019 was in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Dozie said the completion of the merger was subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.

He said: “The proposed merger would involve Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger.

“Based on the agreement reached by the boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising N1 per share in cash.”

Dozie also said the transaction would include the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.

“The offer represents a premium of 260 per cent to the closing market price of 87k per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer,” Dozie said.

He said the bank’s shares would be absorbed into Access Bank at the completion of the merger and Diamond Bank would cease to exist under Nigerian law.

“The current listing of Diamond Bank’s shares on the NSE and the listing of Diamond Bank’s global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled, upon the merger becoming effective,” he added.

Dozie said the proposed combination with Access Bank would create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.

“The board of Diamond Bank believes that the proposed combination of the two operations provides an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses,” he said.

Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, said: “Access Bank has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy.

“Access Bank and Diamond Bank have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking.

“This could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”

Continue Reading

Most Popular