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Pastor Omowumi Popoola, 1st Female SAN, Chief Folake Solanke; 1st Female Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; 1st Lady of Zamfara, Hajiya Asma’u Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar; representative of the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Niyi Adeseun, Executive Director, Service Bank; Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Wife of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Chief Onikepo Akande, President of LCCI and Miss Oluwotoyi Abdukadir, all awardees at the 5th Oyo State Officials` Wives Association (OYSOWA) National Women`s Summit 2016 held in Oyo State.

Oyo State Government has recognised and awarded Heritage Bank Plc for its commitment to women empowerment.
The bank was bestowed with the special appreciation award at a summit organised under the auspices of the Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA), under the leadership of the governor’s wife, which is the 5th edition.
The three-day summit entitled: “The Ultimate Woman at a Time Like This,” was held at the Emeritus Theophilus Ogunlesi Multipurpose Hall, Opposite UCH Gate, Ibadan.
MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Dr. Ifie Sekibo in appreciation of the award, stated that the bank’s supports toward women entrepreneurs reinforce its belief in small businesses and their importance to economic growth of the country.
He said: “Heritage Bank recognizes the importance of women in the society, especially in the economy, and this informs its commitment to women empowerment. Our mission is to help women succeed in business and in life.

“We believe that with the right motivation and resources, more women in Africa and in Nigeria can achieve the enviable success that many women across the world have achieved.  At Heritage Bank, we have committed ourselves to providing these capacity and resources to empower and motivate women across the country.”

Women empowerment, according to him, was informed by the need to advance the Nigerian woman’s confidence and also teach her to find a balance between living the life she wants and securing her financial future.
The hostess and leader of OYSOWA, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, described the summit as a landmark for two reasons: “The first is that this is the fifth edition of the summit and it is so amazing that this small idea that was conceived a few years ago has become a reference point.
“The second is that just this year, the Violence Against Women Law 2016, was passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly to the glory of God. I recall that during the first summit in 2012, I mentioned that steps were being taken to pass this bill into law and there was even a session on passing a bill on violence against women during that summit. This summit gives us an opportunity to celebrate this achievement for Oyo State that now, we have a law that protects us (women) specifically.”
She noted that over the last five years, several programmes have been organised with a view to producing ultimate women in the society. She also advocated upward review for the roles of women in nation building.
Nkechinyere Okorocha, wife of Imo State Governor, who advocated greater recognition for women, noted that the change that Nigerians desired and believed has finally come to the country.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, emphasised the need for Nigerians to pray for their leaders and why women should be supportive to their husbands and play their own quota in the growth and development of the country.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and his counterparts from Lagos and Osun, Akinwumi Ambode, Rauf Aregbesola, called for increased support for women to ensure that they overcome challenges limiting their potentials.
The three governors noted that in this period of economic recession, the leaders at every level should ensure that the water does not become too hot for women, and that the future of every society is determined by the quality of women in that society.
They also called for empowerment programmes capable of preparing women economically for any emergency situation in the country and on the home front.
 

BUSINESS

Fidelity Bank Wins SME Support Bank of the Year 2020, Aigbe Emerges Outstanding Corporate Communications Personality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Fidelity Bank Plc has added yet another accolade to its burgeoning collection of awards. The bank, in recognition of its unflinching support for Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, clinched the award for the ‘Outstanding SME Supporting Bank of the Year’ at the 2020 Marketing & Advertising Award for Excellence ceremony which held on Friday at the D’Podium International Centre in Lagos.

According to the organizers, Marketing Edge, the bank’s nomination and subsequent emergence as an award recipient were a product of a review and assessment of its intervention and provision of long-term financing support for MSMEs across the country.

Receiving the award on behalf of the bank, Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe thanked the management of Marketing Edge for the recognition. “Our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.” He noted that the bank had developed a strong multifaceted SME banking platform, driven by its tailored, low-cost transactions banking offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster focused advisory services and hand-holding support.

Also, on the night, Aigbe was honored as the Outstanding Corporate Communications Personality of the Year’. He was bestowed with the award, in recognition of his contributions to the growth, development, and continuing evolution of the Nigerian marketing and brand management business even in the face of daunting challenges.

Marketing Edge, one of Nigeria’s foremost Brand and Marketing Communications publications, also acknowledged the huge strides that the bank has made in product development, brand recognition, and reputation as well as integrated marketing communications credentials.

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BUSINESS

Customer Service Week: UBA Hinges Customer Satisfaction On Innovation, Optimisation and Upgrading of Banking Platforms

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has said that the recently embarked transformation of its processes is to ensure that customers’ expectations are not only met but surpassed while enjoying seamless and world-class banking services.

In ensuring this, the bank has embarked on several initiatives that include streamlining and automating its processes, upgrading technology, training, and rewarding staff excellence all towards ensuring that customers enjoy the very best of services.

UBA’s Head of Operations, Alex Alozie, who explained this during a virtual media parley on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, to mark the 2020 Customer Service Week, said the bank has intensified its focus on putting the customer first whilst still reaffirming its leadership position.

Alozie said that in line with this year’s theme, the ‘Dream Team’, which embodies UBA’s core goals, the bank has recorded considerable milestones in its journey.

He said, “In the last one year we have embarked on an intensive drive to transform our services across all service touchpoints including but not limited to banking halls, channels – internet, mobile, USSD, etc in Nigeria, Africa, and territories where we operate. We have ensured that our customers enjoy self-service, where they can carry out their transactions seamlessly on their devices, without visiting the banking hall. This has further boosted customers’ confidence as the services provide ease and convenience, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Honestly, I will say that the pandemic brought out the best of us. With newly improved products like UBA Connect – where our customers can carry out transactions from anywhere in the world – and our recently improved Mobile App, our uptime has improved significantly, and our branch operations have also recorded considerable improvement. All these are the outcome of the transformation journey which we embarked upon,” Alozie noted.

He added that there have been cases of failed transactions, and the bank has taken relevant corrective and preventive actions for service improvement.

UBA’s Group Head, Marketing and Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, pointed out that the bank is focused on being more intentional in the quality of service delivery to customers. She added that strategic initiatives have been implemented to deliver a differentiated experience to customers across all service touchpoints.

According to her, UBA is keen on meeting the demands of today’s diversified customer base by focusing on innovation, process re-engineering, experience optimization, and technology upgrade, etc. This is all in our effort to improve our service delivery, improve our customers’ satisfaction, and deepen our market share.

“Apart from this, we have also embarked on thoroughly equipping our people to deliver exceptional service, while also leveraging on data for insight to guide business decision making. We are no longer a one-size-fits-all organization, as we now personalize services based on individual specific demands; this is largely because we know that the customer is the only one that matters, and we tailor all our activities in line with their expectations,” Nwoga noted.

Customer Service Week is celebrated annually all over the world and recognizes the importance of customer service and seeks to show appreciation to the staff who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-one million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries.

With a presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance, and ancillary banking services.

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BIG STORY

Access Bank Plc Announces Strategic Update And Transactions In Furtherance Of Its Vision To Be Africa’s Gateway To The World

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Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank” or ‘’the Bank’’) announces today that it has received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Approval-in-Principle for the Bank’s restructuring to a holding company (“HoldCo”).

The proposed HoldCo structure would enable the Bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiencies, talent retention as well as robust governance. Further details regarding the HoldCo structure will be communicated to the market in due course.

Access Bank also announces definitive agreements to bolster its market position in Mozambique and enter the South African market. This follows the recent transaction with Cavmont Bank in Zambia and further embeds the Bank’s presence in the SADC region, one of Africa’s most important trading blocs.

These transactions will result in a more connected African banking network that builds on Access Bank’s existing foundation and enhances its value proposition to stakeholders, including customers and employees. Shareholders will benefit from the economies of scale of a larger banking network, including the associated cost efficiencies arising from the Bank’s federated IT system and the replication of investments in innovative products across a wider range of markets.

A broader and connected Africa network remains a core strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification, which will further enhance profitability and risk metrics. Through these transactions, Access Bank will be well placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services, further leveraging its presence in key global trade corridors in the UAE, the UK, China, Lebanon, and India.

Strategic Entry and Acquisition in Mozambique

Access Bank announces that it has received regulatory approvals to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, S.A. (“Access Bank Mozambique”).

Access Bank also announces that its subsidiary, Access Bank Mozambique, has entered into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited (“ABC Holdings”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara”) to acquire African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique), S.A., (“BancABC Mozambique”) for cash, in a combination of definitive and contingent consideration.

This transaction will be funded from the capital invested by the Bank in Access Bank Mozambique and will result in the Access Bank Mozambique becoming the 7th largest bank in the country, up from the 20th. As an enlarged business, Access Bank Mozambique will have an enhanced capacity to play a more impactful role in the growth of the Mozambican economy, particularly in the emerging oil and gas sector, an industry that Access Bank has deep experience in.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions precedent.

 

Strategic Investment in South Africa

Building on its strategy of delivering a robust banking operation that connects key African markets, Access Bank has entered into a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings (“GroCapital”) to invest in Grobank Limited over two tranches. The first is an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, increasing to a majority stake in the second tranche. Both tranches are subject to various regulatory approvals and the overall transaction subject to Grobank’s shareholder approvals.

GroCapital, whose shareholders include the Public Investment Corporation – Africa’s largest investment manager, and Fairfax Africa Holdings – a leading global investor, will retain an existing but diluted shareholding in Grobank.

A presence in South Africa will serve as a cornerstone for further momentum in delivering on Access Bank’s mission to be Africa’s Gateway to the World. The proposed transaction is expected to provide access to the largest banking market in Africa and enable Access Bank to consolidate its Southern African and broader African footprint with enhanced capabilities to fulfill the needs of multi-national clients.

Speaking on these developments Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank said:

We have consistently said that we are focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank; one that leverages our experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships towards driving sustainable impact and profitability. Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

These transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa and further our footprint for growth in the SADC region. With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers who are increasingly looking towards intra Africa growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world-class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa. Our goal remains to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent.’’

 

 

SUNDAY EKWOCHI

COMPANY SECRETARY

FRC/2013/NBA/00000005528

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