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From the promise of mouth-watering delicacies to the allure of savoury wine tastings, the 2018 GTBank Food and Drink Fair is set to deliver, in 3 days, an experience that will certainly remain unmatched for the entire year.

On April 29th, 30thand May 1st, 2018, the third edition of the GTBank Food and Drink Fair will bring together small businesses in Nigeria’s food sector, more than a dozen internationally renowned chefs and food experts and thousands of food lovers to create the biggest food experience in Africa.

Organized by foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair is designed to celebrate Nigeria’s vibrant food culture whilst Promoting Enterprise in the small business sector of the Food Industry. The 3-day event is free for all to attend and provides small businesses with a free and vibrant platform to connect with a wider segment of their target markets as well as experts in their business fields. Having hosted over 250,000 people and helped hundreds of small businesses achieve record sales, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair has, over the past 2 years, become a major event in the social calendar of Nigerians and beyond.

This year, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair will feature a series of Masterclassesin the art and business of food and drink whilst treating attendees to a host of live cooking demonstrations of their favourite delicacies by renowned international and indigenous chefs. The carefully curated selection of small food businesses will offer the best culinary experiences in Lagos and beyond. There will be a space for Street Food, which will offer the best of local delicacies, as well as a Farmer’s Market where SMEs involved in agriculture will sell fresh and organic farm products. Attendees can also expect a fabulously diverse range of gastronomic delights from restaurants and outdoor grills well-known forsetting taste buds on fire and an exciting mix of eclectic cocktails.

Commenting on the 2018 GTBank Food & Drink Fair, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Alongside the unparalleled culinary experience, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair showcases the richness of Africa’s food culture and the vibrancy of the small businesses involved in the industry.This year, we have added an extra day to the fair, thereby increasing the opportunities for small businesses to connect to more consumers as well as businesses.

He further stated that, “Apart from the amazing experiences that we create for our tens of thousands of guests, it is the personal testimonials that we receive from small businesses that speak to the true value of the GTBank Food and Drink Fair. Behind these small businesses are hard-working fathers, enterprising mothers and incredibly passionate youths, and when they share their remarkable stories of record sales at the fair, we see not just the impact of our efforts at Promoting Enterprise but the immense capacity of our organization as a Platform for Enriching Lives.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand 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. The Bank is also going beyond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by intervening in key economic sectors to strengthen small businesses through non-profit consumer focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth.

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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