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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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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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UBA Rewards 100 Customers With N100,000 Amid COVID-19 Meltdown

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Pan African Financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has again given its loyal customers reason to cheer as it rewarded 100 of them with N100,000 each in the UBA Bumper account draw.

The draw, which took place at the UBA Head office on Tuesday, was held via the Facebook platform in strict compliance with social distancing rules as directed by the Federal and Lagos State Government were 100 more customers emerged winners through a transparent draw.

When contacted, the customers who emerged winners of the draw agreed that the total reward of N10m is timely and would be very useful in assisting them especially in the face of the Coronavirus Pandemic currently ravaging the world with attendant effect on incomes of individuals.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, spoke about the bank’s excitement to be able to put smiles on the faces of as much as 100 customers at this critical time when livelihoods and lives are being threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These are difficult times indeed with little to cheer about because people are going through trying times. However, for us in UBA, we want our customers to know that we are in these together, that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to reward those that have kept our business going with their loyalty. With this reward, we want to encourage them to stay happy and safe even as they continue to aim for their dream regardless of the present challenges,” Anele said.

He noted that the bumper draw is also in line with the bank’s mission of creating superior value for its stakeholders while encouraging saving cultures among Nigerians, adding that “We have in recent times deepened our focus on the most important aspect of our business – the customers we serve. Hence, our huge investment in technology to make banking easier and seamless across all our product channels and that is why we most recently introduced new offerings such as this Bumper Account, with our customers in mind as it is expected to deliver improved value to them,” he said.

In the first draw which was held live during the official launch in Lagos, a total of 100 customers emerged winners as ‘Bumper to Bumper Crooner’, Wande Coal, serenaded guests with his famous hit songs to the delight of all present.

The Group Head Marketing & Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, explained that the Bumper account was created specifically with the customer in mind, adding that UBA truly puts its customers first and will stop at nothing to ensure they have the right solutions to support their needs. “We are committed to delivering exceptional service and will always seek to excite our customers at every interaction. We back our words with action and that is why a total of 100 customers emerged winners at the last draw which also took place here,” she said.

She added that a monthly shopping allowance of N100,000 for a year is also up for grabs. “No fewer than 5 account holders will get a whopping N2 million each across all participating regions every quarter. This account is open to both existing and new customers of the bank who save a minimum of N5,000,” Nwoga added.

Mafulul Emmanuel King, one of the winners who was called on the phone, could not hide his joy when he was announced as one of the winners. “I am still very amazed. I never knew I could get lucky and win. All my life, I have never won anything like this, and I am very happy that I won this time. What a time to get lucky than now when this Corona Pandemic has affected my business severely. You can’t imagine how relieved and delighted I am. God bless you guys, thank you so much UBA,” he said.

Another winner, Bello Aishat, who could not also believe it when her name was contacted screamed for joy, saying: “You don’t know what this means to me at this very difficult time! This bank keeps touching and supporting lives. The same way they supported both the federal and state governments and some African countries with a whooping N5bn. I am convinced UBA truly cares and I am proud to bank with UBA. Thank you so much, you have touched me beyond words at a trying time,” she concluded.

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