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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service Provider has been bestowed with the inaugural Nigeria Sustainable Banking Award convened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) “For Sustainable Transaction of The Year in Agriculture.”

The award which was in recognition of its outstanding success and leadership in Nigeria’s sustainable development in 2017 was presented to the bank recently during the Bankers Committee meeting held in Lagos.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo in recognition of the award said, “We are highly honoured to be awarded by the regulator as one of the most supportive financial institutions to the Agric sector, which is a key sector of the economy and this validates the hard work and success story of the bank to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.”

According to him, Heritage Bank has continued to compliment the efforts of CBN by making funds available to both individuals and corporate organisations in their efforts to increase agricultural output.

He explained that the bank has taken the front seat in financing critical agricultural projects in several states in the country, especially in Oyo, Kaduna and Zamfara States.

Specifically, Sekibo explained, “The Award is in recognition of what we are doing with Biase Plantations Limited (BPL) a subsidiary of Wilmar International in supporting Oil Palm industry and Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL) involved in aquaculture and reforestation projects.

“Being a Bank with sustainability as part of our DNA, our relationship with BPL that has sustainability as one of its core values provides a natural fit. The project is being implemented in full compliance with all relevant national legal requirements in Nigeria, following best international management practices, including compliance with requirements of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).”

The bank’s Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Olugbenga Awe explained further that the Heritage Bank is currently implementing an Outgrowers Scheme that is sustainable, fair, adapted to the local context and that will positively impact on the lives of the rural poor.

“The objective of the Outgrowers Scheme is to improve the livelihood of rural people, increase the product supply of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) to BPL and to help close the palm oil deficit in the Nigerian market with commitment to the ‘No Deforestation and No Exploitation policy’,” he said.

Awe also expressed the excitement about the prospects of working with CBN to expand the Anchor Borrowers Programme to cover cash crops such as Oil Palm and Cocoa.

According to him, our track records and experience in this field will be leveraged to offer a seamless rollout.

He, however stated that Heritage Bank was not only actualizing its vision of partnering with individuals, organisations and governments to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations, but is also playing a crucial role in helping to achieve the government’s ambition of diversifying the economy.

BUSINESS

MUST WATCH VIDEO: How To Safeguard Your ATM Card Details

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Watch the video below on how to safeguard your card details at all times courtesy Zenith Bank Plc

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BUSINESS

Goodbye Debit Cards

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Last weekend, I was at the cinema to watch the latest instalment of the Mission Impossible sequel; Fall Out. I had watched it over two months ago, but I had been busy with exams and there are some things in life you only watch on a big screen. The movie had received very good reviews and was still showing at Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja City Mall and a few other locations.

Ikeja City Mall on a weekend is a great place to hang out with friends and family, but its popularity also leads to overcrowding, which could mean long lines of people waiting to be served. I, however, shrugged off this thought with the consolation that ‘It won’t be that bad’.  Little did I know of the wahala ahead. I took an UBER ride from my house to the mall, arriving there 1.59pm, 21 minutes before the movie started. On getting to the cinema floor, I met a large crowd of agitated cinemagoers and frustrated attendants shouting back and forth. I stood there in disbelief. “Which kind line be this one now,” I said to myself. This was 2.03pm and my heart was already racing. I could not miss a second of this movie.  I bravely joined the queue, checking my watch every minute. 15 minutes later I heard, Next!!!! ‘Finally,’ I said to myself. I approached the counter and the attendant stared at me and asked ‘Yes, what can i do for you?’ I marvelled at her question, smiled and pointed to the Fallout movie poster behind her. She looked at the poster and responded ‘N2, 500’. ‘Ok,’ I replied as I handed her my card to make payment.

The attendant collected my card and brought out a gigantic POS terminal, ‘Just to collect N2, 500’ I wondered. She tried the POS the first time – TRANS FAILED, she looked at me and tried a second time; TRANS FAILED. ‘Oga, your card is not working’ she said. I searched through my wallet and realized I only had N3,000 cash.  Mental calculation… ‘That’s was my UBER ride back home’. Comments were already flying, ‘What is this one doing’, ‘Oga shift don’t waste our time, the movie is about to start o…’.

I looked at the hostile attendant’s face and the agitated crowd behind and reached for the N3,000 in my wallet.  Just as I was about to hand them over I saw a ‘MasterPass and mVISA ACCEPTED HERE’ sign and my mind went ‘Scan to Pay’. With my confidence back, I placed my notes back in my wallet and brought out my phone.  I looked at the attendant and responded with a smile ‘I will pay with Scan to Pay’. The attendant shifted the sign closer to me and I scanned the QR code.

As I scanned the QR code, I felt prying eyes from the crowd wondering what I was doing and then it happened my receipt came out of the printer. I collected my ticket from the attendant together with a coupon for a free popcorn and drink and walked away from the payment point with the swag of a big boy. As I walked away, a person on the queue stopped me and asked, ‘What was that?’ pointing at the sign. I responded smiling ‘That is the payment option to use. That’s the way to pay’.

So, if you are heading over to the cinema this weekend, just ask the attendant that you want to Scan to Pay and you will be marvelled.

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The ASPIRE Account That Made My Aspiration A Reality —– Femi Badmus

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2 months ago, I graduated from Lagos State University with a Honours in Accounting; an achievement that was only possible through the overwhelming support of my mother. It still feels like a dream having my Bachelor’s degree and looking back I recall that pivotal moment when everything changed.

I lost my dad in SS 3 and my mum had to struggle to put me through school. She was an uneducated woman who sold pepper at Idumota and whose painstaking efforts had sustained us through those trying times after my dad’s death. The death came as a shock and left us barely surviving. The loss was especially hard for my mum and I feared it might have broken her mentally. Contrary, she became this superwoman whose resolve was to see me succeed at all cost. She worked long hours; in the sun, in the rain and her dedication to make and save money for my university education.

That year, while my SSCE results were very good, my JAMB result was seized and it seemed the university dream was beyond me. I was very depressed but my mum was there to encourage me with words I have never forgotten “You see, sometimes life go push you, push you so te you go wan give up but remember na your choice to either give up or rise up stronger”. I forgave all those bad people at JAMB, took up a job as a waiter and started preparing for the next JAMB exam sitting while also saving for my university tuition.

One year later, JAMB was good, I was accepted to study Accounting at the University of Lagos and needed to pay my acceptance and other fees. I quickly rushed to the bank filled a withdrawal slip and presented it to the teller. Lo and behold, the teller returned the slip and replied that my balance was insufficient for the requested amount. I was stunned. I knew I had saved enough money in my account to cover this withdrawal but the teller insisted I did not have up to N40k and printed a breakdown of my account history to buttress this point. Only then did I realize there were so many bank charges that had been depleting my savings. I was really infuriated as I tried to reconcile my realities: a struggling youth trying to get admission being saddled with ridiculous bank charges. I consoled myself and withdrew the N37,000 left in my account, augmented it with additional funds from my super mum and proceeded to Zenith Bank to make the required payments.

While there I noticed differences from my own bank; the security was very courteous, the banking hall was very well-lit and ventilated with customers being attended to promptly. The teller was very pleasant and I soon found myself telling him how my bank has been chaffing me. He told me the Bank had an account for undergraduates called Aspire and I won’t have that problem if I was using such to manage my funds.

Two weeks later armed with my Admission letter, School ID card and a passport photograph I opened the most beneficial account any undergraduate could have. Throughout my stay in school, I received interests in my savings and it was as though the account was pushing me to spend less and less. This made me a better manager of my funds. I am now a graduate with no indebtedness and looking back, I realize the Aspire account wasn’t just a regular savings account, it was built with me and other millions of students out there in mind.

Thank you Aspire for helping me achieve my dreams.

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