The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking services provider and The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have disbursed a whopping sum of N774million to 310 beneficiaries under the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the disbursement of funds to young entrepreneurs under the YIEDP, on Thursday, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended Heritage Bank for its painstaking effort to buy into the vision of job creation and piloting the programme to a successful stage.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the CBN in partnership with Heritage Bank and NYSC instituted the programme to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment affecting over 16 million unemployed youths in Nigeria, adding that the access to credit via this platform would be a powerful instrument to grow businesses and the economy.
He noted that the YIEDP was part of the plan by the CBN and the Federal Government to create over one million direct jobs by 2020.
Emefiele, who affirmed that the programme would have a multiplier effect on job creation and economy, urged all the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund.
He added that the YIEDP has the potential of becoming the stimulus for job and wealth creation, growth and economic development through improved access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
He also assured the business community that the CBN would continue to provide enabling environment, devise ways and means to grow the real sector towards a self-reliant economy.
Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, stated that the beneficiaries would get the fund as soon as certain concerns raised by the beneficiaries regarding the conditions for the loans are addressed.
According to Sekibo, who was represented by Group Executive Director, Lagos /South-West Corporate and Banking of Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, a proper process of disbursement would be done to the benefit and happiness of all parties.
He said, “They will get the money as soon as all those issues they raised are addressed. The money is available. They have been disbursed. CBN has disbursed to the bans. It is now about sorting out whatever the challenges are, and then the funds are now made available.”
Commenting on the process, Sekibo stated that the target was for 1,000 beneficiaries, adding that the initial applicants were 4,000, while there are presently 7,000 applicants waiting.
He said, “We are optimistic that by the time we are done with the initial 1,000, and we go back, we would be able to accommodate as many as are qualified as possible, and obviously expand the amount of money that is needed to do that.”
The MD disclosed that Heritage Bank leveraged on its robust electronic platform in order to ensure a seamless and successful disbursement of the YIEDP funds.
Also speaking, Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Sule Kazaure, said the YEDP was introduced in March 2016, with the aim of funding the business plans of corps members so as to encourage and motivate others to imbibe the culture of entrepreneurship.
He further stated that the programme was also designed to facilitate access to other funding agencies and sources of support to corps members, while also making it possible for corps members to access Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMES, funds from the CBN through Heritage Bank and other banks wishing to join in the programme.
He urged the beneficiaries of the programme to remain focused, while also ensuring that the loans are paid back to make for extension of the same facilities to other corps members
Transcorp Group Announces Significant New Executive and Non-Executive Board Appointments
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has announced significant appointments to its Board and Executive Management. Transcorp is Nigeria’s leading listed industrial holding company, whose interests include Transcorp Power, Nigeria’s largest power generator, Transcorp Hotels, owner of the iconic Transcorp Hilton, and significant upstream oil and gas assets.
Owen Omogiafo has been appointed as President/GCEO of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, with effect from March 25, 2020. She succeeds Valentine Ozigbo, who is retiring to pursue a career in public service, having served Transcorp for close to a decade. Owen is currently the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc and has over two decades of corporate experience in organizational development, human capital management, banking, change management and hospitality. She holds a B.Sc. in Sociology & Anthropology from the University of Benin, an M.Sc. in Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and IESE Business School, Spain. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK and a Certified Change Manager with the Prosci Institute, USA. She has received multiple awards and been named as one of Africa’s top 100 Female CEOs.
Dupe Olusola has been appointed as the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, effective from March 25, 2020. She is currently the Group Head, Marketing at United Bank for Africa Plc. She has over 21 years of corporate experience including MD/CEO of Teragro Juice Concentrate Plant. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Leicester and a Masters in Development Economics from the University of Kent. She is a certified Project Manager, with qualifications in PMP and Prince 2. She has received numerous awards and was named by the Ventures Africa’s as one of the 10 Most Influential Nigerian CEOs of 2015.
The Board of Transcorp Hotels Plc has also approved the appointment of Helen Iwuchukwu as an Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of the company. She is currently the Group Company Secretary of Transcorp Plc. She holds an LL. B. (Hons) degree in Law and was enrolled as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1993 (BL Hons) and holds a Master of Laws degree (LL. M.) from Middlesex University Business School, London. Helen is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, with over 25 years in legal advisory, corporate law, corporate governance, administration, human capital management, and government relationship management.
Christopher Ezeafulukwe has been appointed as the MD/CEO of Transcorp Power Plant, Ughelli and was the Executive Director, Business Development & Legal, Transcorp Plc. He has over 21 years’ experience in business development, legal advisory, and company secretarial roles. He holds an LL.B from the University of Lagos, a B.L from the Nigerian Law School, an LL.M from the University of Lagos and further LL.M in Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston, Texas. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Nigeria, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and was a member of the Executive Council of Association of Power Generation Companies of Nigeria.
The Board of Transcorp Power Ltd has also approved the appointment of Okaima Ohizua as Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of Transcorp Power Ltd. She is currently Executive Director, Customer Services at Transcorp Hotels Plc. She has over 25 years of working experience and has been key to the continued service transformation at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, since joining the Board and Management in 2013. A graduate of law from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School, Okaima also holds an Advanced Management Program certificate from the Pan-African University – Lagos Business School.
The Board of Transcorp Plc also announced the appointment of Valentine Ozigbo as a Non-Executive Director, following his resignation as MD/CEO of Transcorp Plc.
Speaking on these appointments, the Chairman, Transcorp Group and Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, expressed his confidence that the newly appointed chief executives and non-executive directors will further, strengthen Transcorp’s mission of improving lives across Nigeria.
“These appointments demonstrate our commitment to nurturing talent and rewarding success. We have a deep pool of highly qualified and dedicated employees, who can be challenged with more responsibility in attaining our corporate vision. We remain committed to diversity and inclusion; are delighted by the depth and quality of experience that this leadership team brings to our group. These appointments further indicate our internal succession capacity and strong corporate governance practices”.
Mr. Elumelu thanked Valentine Ozigbo for his achievements as CEO. He highlighted that the Board of Transcorp will continue to implement its defined strategy, which has led its investee companies being leaders in their chosen sectors and has seen the significant transformation, since Mr Elumelu’s holding company, Heirs Holdings invested in 2011.
USAID, United Bank For Africa Sign Memorandum Of Understanding To Advance The Two-Way Trade And Investment Goals Of Prosper Africa
U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.
This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.
USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States. The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.
Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.
Zenith Bank Introduces e-Token
Leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc has introduced a new product called Zenith e-Token to enable its customers enjoy seamless banking services.
The Zenith e-Token App allows you to generate one-time passcodes on your mobile device to authenticate your transactions.
The Zenith e-Token app is available for Android and iOS devices.
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