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Heritage Bank CEO Highlights Success Factor for CBN Youth Fund Beneficiaries

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Ifie-Sekibo

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo has identified “character” as the success factor for the 1,500 youths participating in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N3billion Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).

Speaking at the official flag off of the training programme of the first batch of beneficiaries of the youth empowerment programme initiated by the CBN with Heritage Bank Plc and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as partners, Sekibo advised the youths to adopt a strong positive character to enable them take advantage of the platform being presented to them.

The event, which took place at the NYSC Orientation Village, Kubwa, Abuja marks the beginning of an experiment in reducing graduate unemployment in the country by extending single-digit interest loans to enable qualified NYSC members and young graduates fulfill their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

Mr. Sekibo tasked the young beneficiaries, who through initial tests were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants, to remain focused and tenacious so as to be able to succeed. Said he: “Today, you represent the first step into an experiment that if we succeed, we would be on a part of turning the economic tide of our great nation. But you have to bring your character to the table. If you do not bring your character to the table, this experiment will not succeed.”

He added that, “As I wish you well, I beg you in the name of God to bring your character to the table. You must develop a tenacious spirit, a can do spirit, a never say die spirit that can surmount all challenges. The effort we have undertaken today will amount to nothing if your character is not on the table. Every man, every leader worries about the character of the people he works with. If you are tenacious we will do the best we can to sponsor you to your highest dreams. Give us the opportunity to sponsor you to your highest dreams”

The CBN had selected Heritage Bank as its pilot partner bank to unveil, administer and manage the laudable project, which will focus on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Following the inauguration of the initiative by the CBN and the subsequent launch of a business application portal by Heritage Bank in March this year, not less than 10,000 applications have been received.

Out of this number, 1,547 candidates, representing the first batch of possible beneficiaries of soft loans for their business ideas, have been shortlisted to report for a 3-day business development training workshop, which will be conducted across CBN Enterprise Development Centres in the six geopolitical zones.

To be eligible for the YIEDP funding, youths must be within the age bracket of 18 and 35 year old, serving National Youth Corps members or non-NYSC members with not more than five years post-service.

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UBA Promises To Put Customers’ Needs First As It Holds 2019 Forum In Lagos

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The pan African Financial Services Institution, United Bank for Africa(UBA) has again reiterated its commitment to surpass the expectations of its customers through the provision of products and services that meet their needs. The Bank made this promise at a special Customer Forum to mark the 2019 edition of the Customer’s Service Week.

The forum which was held at the bank’s Head Office, in Lagos, was very interactive and presented an opportunity for the management, staff, and customers to share ideas on how to improve customer-satisfaction, in line with the bank’s Customer First Philosophy.

UBA’s Group Executive, Customer Fulfilment Centre, Mr Anant Rao, who welcomed customers to the forum, explained that the bank has deliberately re-focused and re-engineered its activities to put the customers first, adding that it has been leveraging on a three-prong lever of People, Process and Technology, in a bid to ensure maximum satisfaction to the customers, without whom the bank will not exist.

He said, “The singular mission of our consistent and superior customer experience has been imbibed into the DNA of each and every staff of the bank. In this way, there is no gainsaying that Service has been institutionalized at UBA. The mantra of our Customers being our employers has been ingrained into the psyche of each and every staff.”

Also speaking, the Group Head, Marketing, Mrs Dupe Olusola, said the bank has tailored a lot of products to assist customers to thrive in their various fields, adding that there was a lot of focus on small and medium scale enterprises which are growth drivers of any growing economy.

She said, “At UBA, we are constantly thinking about you, creating personalized products you need to achieve your goals. Right from the kids, children, young adults, students to the mass retail market; SMEs; creative industry; agricultural; UBA has something for everyone, and we are here at your service all the time.”

Some of the customers who were at the event, commended the bank for the services it rendered to them, and also pointed out areas of improvement and expectation, adding that this will lead to beneficial interests to both parties.

A customer of the bank, High Chief Goddy Ulasi, who has banked with UBA for over 15 years, commended the bank for helping him and his business grow over the years and called on the bank to make rates more competitive to ensure that customers and businesses also benefit even more from the bank.

In response, the Group Head, Transaction and Electronic Banking, Mr. Sampson Aneke, said the customers remain the key focus of the bank, adding that the bank is in discussions with the key agents to ensure ease of transactions.

Earlier, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who wrote a statement on the significance of continuous excellent service delivery to customers, appreciated the staff who have worked tirelessly to satisfy customers and urged them not to rest on their oars.

“Let’s strive to put the magical touch in everything we do to create a symbolic service experience for our ‘Employer’ – the Customer!”, Uzoka said.

The theme for this year’s celebrations, “Magic Happens Here”, embodies all that the bank represents as encompassed in its Core Values – the 3EEEs: Excellence, Enterprise and Execution.

The United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touchpoints. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine

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Zenith Bank Drives Convenient Banking And Financial Inclusion With Z-Money

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Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, has introduced Z-Money, which brings banking services closer to its customers and enhance financial inclusion among the under-banked and unbanked populace of the country.

Z-Money is an agency banking product of the bank which entails the onboarding of agents who are expected to render basic financial services on behalf of the bank.

Through the bank’s network of agents spread across the urban and rural communities in the country, customers are able to open accounts, deposit cash into any account, withdraw cash from any bank account, transfer funds, buy airtime, pay bills, and do so much more in a convenient way. In order to engender trust among its customers, the Bank ensures that all transactions done through the agents are PIN protected and safe.

Commenting on the new product, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said “the bank remains focused on providing premium financial solutions that create value for its customers wherever they are located across the country”. He added that apart from helping to extend the bank’s retail reach across all segments of the market, the adoption of the agency banking platform also demonstrates the bank’s commitment to achieving financial inclusion in the country.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

The bank’s commitment to world-class service standards has led to several product innovations over the last few weeks including the “Zenith Timeless Account”, which allows Nigerians aged 55 years and above bank for free, the “Zenith Save4me”, a high-interest target savings account and “Dubai Visa Service” on the Zenith Internet Banking Platform, which allows convenient application and payment for visas to Dubai.

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The Next Titan Season-6: Heritage Bank Continues To Boosts Entrepreneurship Among Youths

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider has again thrown its usual support behind the organizer of The Next Titan, so as to have a better and improved season six of the programme.

This year’s edition of the reality TV show is again headlined by Heritage Bank and is targeted at giving young entrepreneurs an opportunity to display their ingenuity and talents.

The programme, which also, focuses on ensuring that the entrepreneurial goals of the Nigerian youths are achieved, had its auditions in four of the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Speaking during the audition at the Sheba Event Centre in Lagos, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo stated that the Heritage Bank has continued to make seamless efforts to demonstrate its commitment towards developing and positioning youths to become world-class citizens equipped and ready to be absorbed into an increasingly competitive workforce.

“One of the reasons why we chose, as an organization, to support the entrepreneurial growth and welfare of the youths is to see young men and women play vital roles in the socio-economic development of the country and help curb the high level of unemployment,” Sekibo said.

The MD, who was represented by the Head, Brand Management & Sustainability, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, Ozena Utulu, said Heritage Bank is positioned to lead the recovery of the economy through enhancing youth entrepreneurship development and engendering self-employment via its various initiatives and products.

According to Sekibo, the drive to support youths seeks to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. He explained that the entrepreneur schemes of the bank has always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as the agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining, and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and ICT.
Sekibo stated that the bank supported this initiative because of its belief in Nigerian youth, who make up about 80 percent of the country’s population. He further explained that Heritage Bank was impressed with the nature in which talents were sought out, the rigorous selection process and the integrity with which the overall scheme was delivered.

Sekibo expressed satisfaction in the long term sustainability of the initiative, stating, we will not support something that will not stand the test of time.

The Executive Producer, The Next Titan, and Managing Director, Bravopoints International Limited, Mide Kunle-Akinlaja explained, “the idea behind the next titans is to create a Nigeria of our dreams, the roll calls of entrepreneurs with businessmen and women who will boost the nation’s economy and become employers of labour. It is not just an ordinary show but a show that transforms lives.”

According to him, The Next Titan over the past five years has been the only major entrepreneurial reality show in Nigeria, which provides an opportunity for young aspiring entrepreneurs with good business ideas that can transform the economy to compete among themselves on television in order to win a grand cash prize and a brand new car to start their dreams.

He noted that it was a platform designed to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of the generality of young Nigerians who may not have the opportunity to participate directly through its regional auditions, but who can watch the TV show, and who can, as a result, take a decision to ply the route of entrepreneurship as a viable career option.

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