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Heritage Bank Celebrates Children, Launches Book On Financial Literacy.

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Heritage Bank Children's Book

In a bid to celebrate and support children, Heritage Bank has launched, The Protector, a comic book to deepen financial literacy among school children.

The initiative is a fall-out of the declaration of May as “Children Banking Month” by the bank. The project, according to the bank, is in recognition of the pivotal role children play as leaders of tomorrow.

At the unveiling of the book in Lagos on Tuesday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, who was represented by Executive Director, Lagos/South West and Corporate Banking, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, explained that Heritage Bank has been at the forefront of driving the CBN financial inclusion initiative and is constantly thinking of creative and innovative ways of introducing the younger generation to the concept of wealth creation through Financial Literacy

Sekibo added: “With this Comic book project, we envisage the birth of creative writers, voice over artistes, motion graphic producers among children.

“Dear young ones in our midst, Heritage Bank remains committed to your development because you represent the future, if we do all we can to support you and equip you, our country will be a much better place to live in.”

He stressed that financial education is a key success indicator for socio-economic development, adding that the bank believes in empowering the youth with requisite skills to make solid financial decisions in adult years

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, who was represented by Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, commended the bank for the initiative, which he described as a strong foundation for the nation’s development. He maintained that the state is desirous of an organization that is ready to educate the youth and help them realise their potentials.

“The idea is commendable, because it is a building block for development. It will help to instill the culture of discipline, saving and financial management,” he said.

Mr. Seye Awojobi, the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN also praised the bank for his support for the financial inclusion mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The apex bank, few years ago, came up with a mandate to reduce the number of financially excluded Nigerians from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent by the year 2020. The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, in a study carried out in 20112 also found out that financial literacy appeared lowest among students and the unemployed.

As a key implementation priority of the Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria developed a Financial Literacy Framework (FLF) in January, 2013. The document articulates a strategic direction for a multi stakeholder approach to the delivery of financial education programmes across various target groups of the population in Nigeria.

Consequently, as part of the Global Money Week celebration, the Bankers’ Committee designated March 13 every year as Financial Literacy Day. The day is  marked to focus attention on children and youth in primary and secondary schools nationwide and to empower them by enhancing their financial knowledge and planning skills.

BIG STORY

Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.

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COVID-19: CBN Issues Directive To Banks, Reduces Interest Rates

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced interest rates on its facilities through participating in Other Financial Institutions (OFIs).

The rate has been slashed from 9 to 5 percent per for one year, effective March 1, 2020.

This was contained in a circular to banks on Wednesday by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo.

Similarly, CBN intervention facilities obtained through participating OFIs, Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Banks, among others would be given a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments.

This is also effective on March 1, 2020.

OFIs have equally been granted leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okoroafor, said the decisions were part of the bank’s efforts to cushion the effects of coronavirus on Nigerians, businesses and regulated institutions.

He assured that the CBN would also continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN for the month of May will be held on Thursday.

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GTBank Celebrates Children’s Day

Gbemileke Ajayi

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