Poised by a desire to partner and create wealth for their individual customers, the Heritage Bank took advantage of the occasion of the customers’ service/appreciation week to organise a business fair that showcases and celebrates the business activities of their various customers.
The fair which took place at 12 Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island, last Sunday and Monday, saw various entrepreneurial clientele of the bank displaying their products and services to potential customers.
Just as was obtainable in trade fairs, products were reasonably cheap as they were sold at much discounted prices and prospective shoppers also used the occasion to obtain the contact addresses of sellers.
The event was strategically kick started on Sunday, a work free day, to enable customers alongside their family and friends hang out at the fair.
In her welcome address, the Executive Director, South Bank, AdaezeUdensi disclosed that at Heritage Bank, they are poised to collaborate with their customers to grow their businesses into generational conglomerate.
“Our desire is for Nigerian businesses to be listed on the stock exchange and eventually become global brands and household names. We believe that businesses like yours are the backbone of the economy because you create jobs and play a huge role in moving our country out of this present recession. I encourage you to rise up to this challenge facing every Nigerian entrepreneur and make our economy vibrant again.”
She stated that the Heritage Bank business fair is where new deals are brokered and partnerships initiated. ‘It is the place to connect’ she said.
According to her, a contact at the fair could lead to a business opportunity tomorrow and shoppers in turn will appreciate the vendors home grown businesses and in turn, the vendors would learn more innovative ways to meet their needs. ‘That is why we have created a platform like this, to propel a network of fast growing businesses’.
“Seize this opportunity, network with other vendors that are present, engage our SME consultants at the mini-bank and let us be your guide on the path to global recognition.”
Collaborating the Udensi’s speech was the Executive Director, Abuja & North Bank, Ola Olabinjo who hinted that the business fair being organised by the bank is a sure foundation of taking Nigeria’s economy out of recession.
The Abuja North Bank ED remarked that because small businesses are the foundation of every economy, at Heritage Bank, they are more than every ready to ensure that they support them.
“It is not the size of the balance sheet of the bank that grows an economy, but the patriotism of the bank and the small businesses and we are determined to go the long walk with you.”
Full of life and ensuring orderliness at the fair was the Group Head, Customer Experience and Analytics, KikanyaAkpenyi who declared to Independent that she is happy and could only thank God that the D-day has finally come and that the vendors responses to the invitation was fantastic.
“This is the second edition, during the first one, of course, we were still testing the water so, a lot of the planning was a bit rushed. However, this time around, we had much time to plan and that is why we were able to get a bigger space in terms of a more vantage location that would be accessible to a lot of people.”
Akpenyi indicated that the success of the event was hinged on the feedback gotten from the previous edition, leading to more people wanting to be a part of it.
“So, it took a lot of works, getting the vendors, collecting their logos and promotional materials for them. And of course, on our part, trying to put the word out there and then getting all these to happen. About two months of preparation, checking prices, comparing locations and then, we are here today.
“I am excited and happy, I am thankful for the team I have, it couldn’t have happened with just me. Team work is actually the success factor here. So, everyone has put in his and her best. We also got very good support from our management.”
Despite being organized just for the Lagos entrepreneurs, there were also vendors from outside Lagos that graced the occasion and the bank welcomed them with open arm.
The event which was open to all retail segments of Heritage Bank’s clients, according to the organizers, is hoped to be taken beyond the Island, to other metropolitan cities across the country.
“It is all about giving back to our customers, finding ways to support them, as well as appreciating them for their patronage. We are open to feedback as we get the feedback and clamour to do more, we can always adjust.”
Even though plans were made for 50 booths and five extra, the entire 55 booths were booked and occupied by vendors of various products and services who had their sales reps distributing fliers to customers.
Another Shot In The Arm For Adeduntan As FirstBank Wins Global Banking And Finance’s Retail Banking CEO Award
While the age-old saying and philosophy of virtue being its own reward (or seeing doing good as its own reward) remain a strong motivating factor in doing good persistently, it helps when virtue gets recognition from time to time. Even though anyone or organization committed to doing good will keep doing so with or without recognition, recognitions for virtue tend to act like a shot in the arm for such people or organizations, spurring them to commit even more to do good.
That is what the recent award of “Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria” to Dr Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is to both him and the bank he leads. It is a shot in the arm of this foremost CEO of Nigeria’s most enduring financial institution that is also the pioneer in retail banking development in Nigeria, the premier bank in West Africa, and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, to keep steering the bank in the right direction, energizing and expanding retail opportunities for all Nigerians in the process. It is a well-deserved recognition for a man and the institution he leads that would rather keep off the spotlight and focus exclusively on attending to Nigerians’ banking needs as best as they can – which is what has kept them going for 127 years and counting.
This critical role is one FirstBank is better suited to lead than any other lender given the robust retail banking framework that the bank has in place, that is riding on its innovative technology-driven operations, over 750 branches across the continents, and 100,000 Firstmonie Agent banking network spread across 772 local government areas in Nigeria. It is little wonder that FirstBank, which is intricately woven into the fabric of Nigerian society, has been an essential player in the retail space, empowering Nigerians of all walks of life by providing them bespoke and innovative financial products and services that address their multidimensional needs. The bank has been at the forefront of bridging the financial exclusion gap and enabling customers and the general public to carry out both individual and corporate financial activities which contribute to the growth and development of the national economy.
The award by Global Banking and Finance Magazine, according to Dr Adeduntan, “speak[s] to the investments we [as FirstBank] have made over the past years in…enhancing financial inclusion….” It is a loud testament to the incredible strides FirstBank has made and continues to make in the retail space under the able and dynamic leadership of the management team led by Dr Adeduntan.
The strides are in turn underpinned by the bank’s resolute commitment to putting the customer and other stakeholders at the heart of its business. Dr Adeduntan reiterates this view when he wasted no time in dedicating the award to all the bank’s “customers, as the trust they reposed in us being their bank of the first choice in meeting their business and financial needs has been instrumental to the success we have achieved in our existence of over 127 years.” “We remain committed,” he continued, “to putting you, our customers, first as we contribute to the growth and development of our host communities.”
Organized to identify the banks across the world that have excelled across a number of areas, including corporate governance, sustainability, and innovation, and have played a key role in the industry’s growth, the Global Banking and Finance Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the global financial community. The awards were created to accord recognition to companies of all sizes which are prominent in their areas of expertise and excellence within the financial world. For Dr Adeduntan and FirstBank, the award is further proof of FirstBank’s enduring commitment to providing excellent retail banking services to all its customers as reflected in the bank’s strategic vision, diverse and inclusive workforce, and performance-oriented organizational structure.
UBA, DEG Sign $50m Term Loan To Support Small Businesses In Nigeria
Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, the German Development Finance Institution, have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.
To this end, both institutions have signed a USD 50m Term Facility Agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses in Nigeria.
UBA America’s Chief Executive Officer, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country. She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organizations to collaborate on this laudable feat.
Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organizations, said, “At UBA Group, we are proud of this collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports our financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.
Continuing, she said, “These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent.”
In his comments, DEG’s Regional Director for West Africa, Bernhard Tilemann, said, “DEG is delighted to enter into long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region. This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent.”
According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100% subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).
The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg, and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.
Ecobank Appoints Babajide Sipe As New Head Of Marketing And Corporate Communications
Great visions attract the best people, and so is the case at Ecobank Nigeria. The Nigerian franchise of the Pan-African financial institution is making good on its mission to empower Nigerians with all the tools to take control and make the most of their finances.
With the recent revamp of its full-stack mobile banking solutions – *326#, Ecobank Mobile app, OmniLite, Omni Plus, EcobankPay, and NQR, the Bank’s Marketing, and Corporate Communications department is being built up to connect customers to greater value in banking and to ensure that the innovative products are effectively articulated to the public.
Led by the seasoned Pan-African financial services expert Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank Nigeria has been bolstering its digital capabilities and human capital with the goal of delivering optimum value for clients and shareholders across several value chains.
It is in this line that Mr. Babajide Sipe was recently appointed to Head the Marketing and Corporate Communications department for Ecobank Nigeria.
An experienced Marketing & Brand Manager, Mr. Sipe’s multi-faceted career, which cuts across several fields, industries, and regions within the country and abroad will come to play in leading and enriching the Bank’s Marketing and Communications efforts with in-depth expertise, top-notch creativity, and an extensive breadth of value-adding networks.
Under Mr. Akinwuntan, who is both the Managing Director and Regional Executive for Ecobank Nigeria, the Bank has strongly positioned itself as a key stakeholder and supporter in the growth of the real sector of the Nigerian economy.
Recently, Ecobank announced that it would be empowering MSMEs with N100 Billion, a special fund set aside for business growth and to reduce unemployment in Nigeria; and also the Ecobank Female Entrepreneurship Initiative (EFEI) targeted at boosting female entrepreneurship, amongst others.
Ultimately, Ecobank’s goal is to remain the go-to bank for Pan-African trade facilitation and payments. This would mean leveraging the full value of its unrivaled Pan-African footprint covering 33 African countries to create greater market access and financing opportunities. The Marketing and Corporate Communications department, under the leadership of Mr. Sipe thus has a huge task to position the Bank for the future. With the fine blend of experience, expertise, and cutting-edge solutions, growth seems certain, if not near.
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