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Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc (GTBank), has launched the Dusty Manuscript Contest(csr.gtbank.com/dustymanuscript) to give budding writers the opportunity to win publishing deals for their finished, but yet-to-be published, manuscripts. Organized in partnership with publishing houses Okada books and Farafina, the contest is part of the Bank’s YouREAD initiative which is aimed at promoting the culture of reading.

The Dusty Manuscript Contest is the latest in a long line of GTBank initiatives geared towards promoting the appreciation of Art and supporting creative potential. In 2017 the Bank remodelled the old Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba into a state of the art learning and recreational facility that would give people in the community and beyond the opportunity to build capacity, gain exposure and connect with the world. The remodelled library has been the venue of regular book readings and art expositions organized under the YouREAD initiative.

With the Dusty Manuscript Contest, the Bank is seeking to address the challenges indigenous writers face getting their books published.The top 3 entries in the contest will be rewarded with publishing contracts with Farafinaas well cash rewards. The top 10 entries will get their books e-published by Okadabooks, including book cover design, book editing, and publicity. The top 25 book authors will also get a 2-day boot camp training on writing, marketing and branding.To submit a manuscript, interested writers are to visit csr.gtbank.com/dustymanuscript.

The entries in the Dusty Manuscript Contest will be assessed by a panel of four judges which includes Eghosa Imasuen, the author of widely acclaimed novel, Fine Boys, and Yejide Kilanko, a poet and therapist in children’s mental health, Dr AinehiEdoro-Glines, an Assistant Professor of English Language and Toni Kan, a writer and PR executive whose collection of short stories, Nights of a Creaking Bed, won the NDDC/Ken SaroWiwa prize for literature.

Commenting on the Dusty Manuscript Contest, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “At GTBank we see art as not just a medium for creative expression but also as a means of livelihood, and by organizing the Dusty Manuscript Contest we are helping budding writers make a living off their works. He further added that; “By addressing the major barrier that our indigenous writers face in sharing their stories with the world, we hope to inspire and develop the next generation of award-winning and globally renowned authors.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.

BUSINESS

Heirs Holdings Signs $600 million Loans With Afrexim Bank, To Scale Its Energy Investments

Gbemileke Ajayi

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As a further demonstration of the African Export-Import Bank’s (“Afrexim”) mandate to facilitate the growth of intra-Africa trade and support the development of African businesses, Afrexim today, signed financing facilities totalling US$600 million with the Heirs Holdings Group, a pan-African proprietary investment holding company.

Heirs Holdings has significant investments across Africa, in the financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors. The facilities will further support the Group’s power, oil and gas strategy, as it positions itself as an African leader in integrated natural resources. The signing ceremony took place at the Afrexim Intra-Africa Trade Conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer.

Commenting at the ceremony, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afrexim who signed on behalf of the Bank, stated that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa. He stated that “A world class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited”.

Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented that “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential”.

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UBA Academy Gets CIBN Accreditation for Excellence in Training, Capacity Building

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In recognition of its high standard, quality of human resources development, training and capacity building, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria(CIBN) has certified and awarded UBA Academy the certificate of accreditation in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Competency Framework for the banking industry .

UBA Academy, the dedicated learning and development centre of the Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, was accorded the new recognition of excellence at a ceremony presided over by the President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Dr. Uche Olowu in Lagos on Thursday.

According to the president of the institute, UBA Academy was conferred with the new status having met the rigorous standards set for the delivery of their suites of programmes by the Institute.

The certification follows rigorous assessment exercise carried out by the institute’s Capacity Building Committee, the accreditation agency under the competency framework for the country’s banking and finance industry instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This Accreditation is an affirmation that UBA Academy has adopted and complied with the minimum assessment standards for programmes run by the organisation, which have gained a label of recognition and distinction,” Olowu said.

According to him the accreditation of UBA Academy would enable its graduates to be eligible for exemptions from various subjects in the banking professional examinations thereby facilitating their completion of the Chartered Banker examination. “This will not only enable them comply with the provisions of the Competency Framework for the banking industry, it will go a long way in the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities available in their institutions,” he concluded.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Bank’s Group Head Human Resources, Mrs Patricia Aderibigbe, while appreciating the recognition conferred on the UBA Academy, said the academy has already embarked on training for the future with digitisation of its training programmes and modules.

“With Ignite, UBA has taken training into the future as we believe that the only way to get the best results and continually stay ahead of the curve is to continually sharpen our most important asset – our people, using mobile technology,” Aderibigbe said.

Aderibigbe promised that UBA Academy will continuously seek improvement in ensuring that it serves the needs of industry in a changing banking industry.

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Union Bank Shines At Sustainability, Enterprise And Responsibility Awards (SERAs)

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Union Bank has won the Best Company in Environmental Excellence Award and the peoples choice Award for the Most Outstanding Company in CSR/Sustainability’at the 2018 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs). The awards were presented at the SERAS ceremony which took place recently at the MUSON center in Lagos.

Following an extensive vetting process that included an on-site inspection of applicants’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability projects and initiatives, Union Bank was nominated across seven award categories including The SERAs Innovation Prize, Best Company in Education and Best Company in Sustainability Reporting.

Commenting on the two awards received by the Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Head Corporate Communication, and Marketing at Union Bank said:

Corporate citizenship is a core pillar of our brand and business strategy. We are committed to being a sustainability champion in Nigeria and we are always improving our business operations, social engagement and innovation practices to ensure beyond compliance, we are leading the charge to deliver a sustainable future for Nigeria. We thank the SERAS team and all members of the public who recognise the work we are doing.”

Now in its 12th year, SERAs is an annual project organized by TruContact CSR, which aims to promote and raise awareness about the roles organizations to play with an emphasis on their responsibility towards stakeholders and the social development of Africa. The theme for this year’s edition was ‘Poverty Eradication through sustainability: Turning Challenges into opportunities’.

As part of its Citizenship and Sustainability efforts, Union Bank represents Nigeria on the global financial inclusion working group at the World Economic Forum. The bank is a member of the Business Call to Action (BCtA) group and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and has recently published its first UNGC Communication of Progress report.

Union Bank also publishes an annual Citizenship, Sustainability and Innovation report which highlights its strategic approach, initiatives and impact made in these areas within the last year.

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