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After a dreary weekend marred by flash floods, the resilient city of Lagos has gotten its groove back. Thanks to a colourful flash mob of street sweepers that toured the metropolis for three days doing choreographed dances while “cleaning” on the go.

Aptly named Skate and Clean, the youthful and colourful team of street sweepers on skates were led by A-list hip hop artiste, Olamide Adedeji popularly known asOlamide Baddo. Quite a spectacle, they wore and added class to the bright orange overall uniform of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) employees, courtesy of Sterling Bank.

Skate and Clean was initiated by Sterling Bank as a pre awareness campaign for the Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM) programme.

STEM is Sterling Bank’s corporate social responsibility initiative which promotes practices that protect the environment for the benefit of humanity in 14 states of the federation. This year’s flagship cleaning exercise is at the popular Computer Village market on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

For three days, using the power of music and dance, the youthful street sweepers toured Lagos on skates cleaning and dancing to a special theme song produced byOlamide Baddo. In the melodious theme song, Olamide Baddo waxed lyrical while imploring Nigerians to keep their environment clean and shun dumping of refuse in drainages.

In addition, the timely Skate and Clean flash mob vigorously proclaimed the positive STEM message on hygiene and sanitation in order to influence lifestyle change among Nigerians. The Skate and Clean flash mob attracted a large crowd and following as they move around commercial and residential hot spots that include Apongbon, Marina, Osborne, Ojota, Maryland, Ikorodu and Victoria Island, all in Lagos.

The crowd rocked and danced to the hip, melodious and club ready STEM theme song recorded by Olamide Baddo to tackle the menace of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainage and its negative impact on the environment. The star artiste urged the crowd to protect and keep the environment clean.

Last year, the MD/CEO of Sterling Bank, Yemi Adeola and popular Nollywood actor, Funke Akindele popularly known as Jenifa, made the news when they led employees of the bank to clean up Oyingbo – one of the oldest and busiest markets in Lagos. This year, corporates that include L’Oréal, Guinness Nigeria, British Council, Megaletrics Limited, Viacom, DAAR Communication, Businessday Newspaper, Seahorse Shawarma and Wecyclers, are partnering with Sterling Bank to make the national cleaning exercise a success.

Launched eight years ago as a cleaning exercise promoting sanitation and hygiene, STEM has evolved into a national force championing the cause of the environment. It presently covers public enlightenment campaigns, partnership with waste management agencies in 14 states, tree planting to combat desertification in parts of Northern Nigeria and an annual national cleaning exercise.

BIG STORY

Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.

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BUSINESS

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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BUSINESS

GTBank Celebrates Children’s Day

Gbemileke Ajayi

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