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Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s most trusted financial institutions, in collaboration with Connect Nigeria has announced the launch of the Top 100 Emerging SME campaign at the just concluded eBusiness fair for mall to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which held recently at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos.

The eBusiness fair, organized by Connect Nigeria and sponsored by Union Bank, is reputed as one of the largest gatherings of SMEs on the African continent drawing business owners, startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the continent.

The Top 100 Emerging SMEs list is an initiative aimed at identifying, honouring and supporting Nigeria’s leading upcoming SMEs who have shown resilience by thriving despite the challenging business environment while maintaining ethical business practices.

Speaking about the launch of the initiative, Union Bank’s Head of Retail Segments, Paul Aseme said: “As a bank that recently crossed the century mark, we are committed to supporting the growth of Nigerian businesses so they can also be profitable and sustainable in the long term. We will continue supporting the SME sector which we recognize is a vital part of the Nigerian economy.

Through this project, we intend to acknowledge and celebrate upcoming SMEs whose hard work and persistence deserve to be recognized.”

The selection process to pick the top 100 emerging SMEs will involve a combination of voters’ polls and judges’ assessments. riteria to be considered in selecting the top SMEs will include innovation, scalability, business feasibility, market opportunity, reach and revenue.

Also speaking at the launch, Emeka Okafor, CEO Connect Nigeria said “The top 100 SME , is a project aimed at amplifying the best from the SME segment in Nigeria. Through diligent research, we hope to present the most authentic list of top 100 emerging businesses from different industries. We are pleased that Union Bank is partnering with us on this which is a clear indication of their commitment to the sector and Nigeria as a whole ”

Interested SMEs are invited to visit http://www.connectnigeria.com/top100/ to submit their entry.

Individuals are also invited to vote for the SMEs of their choice on the same site.

The Top 100 SME List is another example of Union Bank’s continued support for upcoming Nigerian businesses. Last year, 2017, the Bank, in partnership with Co-creation Hub (CcHub) launched a first-of-its kind business acceleration program ‘Start up Connect’ which is an opportunity for Nigerian companies, creating technology-based solutions for the next generation African market, to partner with CCHub and Union Bank for rapid growth.

Union Bank’s commitment to SMEs has earned it the “Best Bank to Support Nigeria’s Small and Medium Scale Enterprises” award at the 2016 Business Day Annual Banking Awards.

BUSINESS

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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GTBank Maintains Leading Position As Best Bank In Nigeria; Wins Bank Of The Year, Sierra Leone

Peter Okunoren

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Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has won the award for “Bank of the year Nigeria” for the second year in a row at The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards, regarded as the industry standard for excellence within the global banking sector.

Guaranty Trust Bank Sierra Leone Ltd, a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, was also recognized as the “Bank of the Year Sierra Leone” at the event, which held on November 29, 2018, at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, London, United Kingdom.

The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times, is the world’s leading monthly journal of records for the banking Industry, with over 90 years expertise in publishing developments in the banking industry in Africa and on the global scale. The Magazine’s Bank of the Year Awards celebrates leading financial institutions within the global banking sector who are setting new industry standards and driving innovation in financial services and customer experience.

Receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank said; “We are honoured to be recognized as the 2018 Bank of the Year in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. These awards serve as further motivation for us as we continue to go beyond traditional banking services by creating innovative digital services that are less about us as bank and more about our customers and how we empower them with everything that they need to better their lives.”

He further stated that “Our vision has always been to create an oasis in the financial services industry that leads, not only in earnings and returns on equity but also in maintaining world-class corporate governance standards and pushing the bounds in service delivery and customer experience. These awards reflect our sustained commitment towards this vision, which we will continue to pursue, driven by our passion for excellence and guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline, and integrity.”

Alongside its record for consistent year-on-year growth, GTBank is widely regarded by industry watchers as a trailblazer in the banking industry due to its many innovations in digital and financial services.

Recently, the Bank launched Habari, Nigeria’s largest platform for music, shopping and lifestyle content and the first mobile platform created by a financial institution in the country that focuses on enabling people’s needs and lifestyle rather than providing regular banking products.

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