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It will come to many as a surprise how GTBank has been making wonderful exploits over the years. This is because the bank has been ably managed by men of impeccable corporate pedigree.

What is now being said in many quarters is the input of the present MD/CEO, who has taken up the gauntlet from his predecessors.

GTBank has many things to be proud of and will always be the leader in the pack. The industry is replete with many gurus, and one of them is the quintessential Segun Agbaje, who has been managing Guarantee Trust Bank with his managerial capability.

In this report, AIRWAVES REPORT team looks into the good world of banking, focusing on what GTBank has achieved in 2017. In today’s banking, innovation and customer’s satisfaction are very key.

Every bank wants to keep and grow its customers’ base by keeping to the ideals of responsive banking and making profits in the long run. Even when a clientele base is large, and the bank is not able to match up to its growing demands, efforts have to be made to ensure the clients are satisfied.

With the increasing demands of Digital Banking, a lot of banks, both old and new generation, have struggled with meeting the needs and upgrading its backbone technology infrastructure for off-line and real time banking. Guarantee Trust Bank, through its innovative style and leadership, has ensured its Flashmob 737 to make banking easy and simple at touch the of your GSM phone.

These giant strides have helped the bank in no small measure, to allow clients be able to transfer, check their credit balances and other services by just pressing 737. This has enabled the forward- looking bank to garner many awards via the Flashmob that other banks have cued behind, to have a simple code that will make banking easy and affordable. Let’s take a run-down their achievements in 2017, in the following order.

GTBank ‘737’ Generated N1trilion In One Year!

In April 2017, it was widely-reported that Guaranty Trust Bank Plc recorded over N1 trillion transactions via the bank’s 737 payment and service delivery platform. Mr Segun Agbaje, the bank’s managing director, said this at the bank’s 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos. Agbaje said that the bank was leading the future of payments and service delivery with the 737 platform it introduced a year ago.

The bank’s 737 platform is a USSD-based service delivery channel that provides simple banking for every Nigerian through mobile phones. The bank’s boss said “within a year of the introduction of the service, the bank recorded an uptake of over three million customers, with over N1 trillion in transactions on the platform.”

He added that the platform had gained ubiquitous acceptance and global recognition. GT Bank indeed is one of the banks that take their corporate social responsibility CSR serious. The management led by its CEO, Mr Segun Agbaje, has made CSRs an investment into critical sectors that employ one of the highest numbers of people.

GTBank Celebrated 10th Year On London Stock Exchange Listing

Last year, champagne bottles were popped in celebration of the anniversary of the bank being listed at the London Stock Exchange. This has further boosted the international clientele and wider reach of the bank, making it a bank worthy of banking with, and improving in no small terms its brand value.

Corporate Social Responsibilities idealized through GTBank Fashion Weekend

The Nigerian fashion industry has grown in leaps and bounds. With the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture helping to make professionals access loans into growing their fashion companies and accessing textile credits, the industry has supported the entertainment industry in bringing out the colours and final products- clothing creatively our celebrities who strode the red carpet and paparazzi take them on.

In helping to deepen the growth of the multi million naira industry, GT Bank in 2016 decided to host a two-day fashion weekend that attracts thousands of people, vendors, couture and young make-up artistes learning from the experiences of experts in a Master Class.

The 2017 GT Fashion Weekend, held in November, will continue to linger in the memories of those that stormed the The Arena, at Water Corporation area of Victoria Island, in Lagos. Over 90 fashion retailers were at the stand to showcase their products. Hundreds of young and upcoming designers, as well as make-up artistes, gleaned from the wealth and experience of fashion experts in a Master Class.

The weekend had nine fashion runways, which showcased global designers, as models strutted the runway glamorously and stylishly. The fashion weekend has assumed a global event status where tourists visit the country to see creativity at its best.

GTBank Food and Drink Fair

Apart from the GT fashion weekend, the Food and Drink fair hosted by the bank, is another event that is gathering momentum on the national space because of its encompassing capacity to bring professionals in the food and drink subsector together in one space. Held in April 2017, the Food & Drinks festival was a forum to examine the growth and relevance of the sector and how much it had contributed to the hospitality industry. Over 100 food retailers gathered in one place at he Arena. The food fair had ten international chefs who tutored young and established cooks who desired to break into the international limelight in some years to come. The fair attracted a record, 120, 000 visitors.

The Social Media Week

In February of the same year under review, the bank sponsored the annual and engaging Social Media Week which has been the hotbed of many discussions and trends that the social media interacts with for the larger part of the year. The SMW brings Social media influencers, bloggers, experts and writers together to discuss on their relevance and how to galvanize change in the polity.

Segun Agbaje Speaks At London Business School

True to type, the visionary and exemplary leadership of the CEO of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, came to the fore in April 2017, when he was a guest speaker at the prestigious London Business School. Also, Stanford Business School hosted the banking guru and benefitted from the wealth of knowledge of the CEO extra-ordinaire.

The bank also celebrated the children who are the future of tomorrow on Children’s Day. In a carnival-like atmosphere, the event attracted thousands of children and their parents, who came to have fun, just as A-list comedians and musicians entertained.

GTBank Principal’s Cup

When it comes to School Sports, the bank has contributed immensely in the development of school sports in almost a decade. In partnership with the state of excellence, Lagos State, the GT Principal’s Cup annually engages scores of secondary schools in a football tournament. This has helped in no small measure to act as a pool where Under-17 footballers are being found and honed; to compete and bring honour and glory to the country.

GTBank Masters Cup, Season 6

One of the golf tournaments that the high-flying bank also sponsors is the GT Bank Masters Cup. Now in its seventh season, the tournament has added to the growing list of golf tournaments in the country and this is about improving the sport.

Ndani TV

The highly creative and interactive TV program, is part of the ways, the bank has supported the entertainment and media industry. Ndani TV, an online TV show, which creates content and markets them, once hosted an entrepreneurship reality show.

Tagged ‘The African Dream,’ the reality TV show hosted Ethiopian award-winning fashion entrepreneur, who deals in making of shoe wears and other products. A business reality show which is in its 2nd Season, was solely sponsored by the bank in August of this same year under review.

Tagged CAMPO RealTalk GTBank 2017, the business reality show was to create and train the next big young entrepreneurs in the ideals of starting and growing a business from the scratch. Other initiatives the bank embarked on in 2017 were the Digital Skill Training for SMEs and a Staff Health Week Walk.

In July 2017, a new library was built in Yaba area of Lagos State, to boost the intellectual and academic field. The initiative was part of the GT Bank Coronation Cup. Also, the bank, through its CSR initiative, supported the 7th edition of Annual Autism Program. An online gallery named Art635, engaged over 57 artistes and showcased 553 pieces of artwork in an exhibition sponsored by GT Bank.

2017: Harvest of Awards for GTBank

For 2017, GT Bank excelled on all fronts, carting away with most of the awards available. The list includes but not limited to: Boardroom Corporate Award 2017: Best Corporate Governance Financial Services Africa 2017.

African Investor Award: best performing Ai 100 Company and Segun Agbaje was the Ai 100 CEO of the Year. Euromoney Award For Excellence 2017: Nigeria’s best bank and best bank for SMEs in Africa. Euromoney Private Banking Survey 2017: Best private banking services overall and Net-worth-specific services, commercial banking capabilities

Emeafinance African Banking Awards 2017: Best Bank In Nigeria, Best Bank for CSR in Africa and CEO of the year. World Finance banker of the year Africa 2017, Segun Agbaje, Bank Banking Group Nigeria and Best Retail Bank. African Banker awards 2017: African bank of the year. AABLA company of the year, 2017. Excellence in retail finance services convention 2017: best deposit service, best retail payment in Nigeria

The Banker Awards 2017: 2017 Bank of year in Nigeria CEO Awards: 2017 CEO of the year, Segun Agbaje; AI International Finance Awards: Digital Bank Efficiency Award 2017: Best Customer Experience Award – electronic platform experience); Instant payments transaction efficiency Cashless Driver: card usage on point of sale terminals; Cashless driver: real time payments.

Point of sale card transaction efficiency award; Electronic data rendition compliance and integrity award etc. All of these have culminated into making GTBank the bank of the moment and the Segun Agabje-led team is still not relenting in their resounding service provision to all their customers.

 

 

 

—- Bolatito Adebola

BUSINESS

iCreate: Sterling Bank Tackles Unemployment Through Africa’s Biggest Skills Olympics

Gbemileke Ajayi

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iCreate Africa, the organiser of the iCreate Africa Skills Festival, has said Nigeria’s best artisans will converge on Lagos from December 4 -5 to compete for laurels at the grand finale of the festival following the conclusion of the regional finals in Kaduna and Enugu.

The festival which is the biggest of its kind in Africa is in its second edition.

Sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc, from inception, the festival also enjoys support from Bosch Nigeria Limited, GIZ, Trace TV, Siemens, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), and Universal Learn Direct Academia Limited (ULDA), among others.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos recently, Chief Client Engagement Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Moronfolu Fasinro, said the bank is partnering with iCreate Africa to boost acquisition of technical skills because it is committed to solving the unemployment challenge among young people on the African continent.

He said the way to resolve the unemployment challenge going forward is through skills acquisition by young men and women rather than focusing on white-collar jobs, adding that “We know that youth employment is a key part of creating a society that is harmonious and productive.”

Fasinro noted that vocational jobs are what move an economy in its day-to-day operations and iCreate was bringing various people together to work on how to change the narrative about the labour market.

“We are very happy to partner with iCreate to produce this sort of opportunity so that these people could change the face of employment on the continent in the future,” Fasinro said.

Also speaking, Chief Marketing Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Dapo Martins, said Nigeria needs to also focus on the export of skills instead of concentrating on the export of crude oil and agricultural products alone. He noted that most Nigerian graduates who travel abroad either find themselves washing plates in restaurants or doing other menial jobs.

He lamented the situation whereby skilled technicians are usually shipped in from outside the country because they are not available locally.

Also speaking, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iCreate Africa Skills Festival, Mr. Bright Jaja, explained that it was clear to him at the beginning of the journey that the idea of the festival was different and unique, and would probably not make sense to a lot of people.

“But we were consistent because we understood the concept and background. Having done thorough research on the employment situation in Nigeria, we realised that the only solution to the challenge was to rebrand jobs away from the existing perception and notion that if one is not a medical doctor, lawyer or an engineer, he has failed,” he said.

Jaja noted that over time a lot of young people had to go through tertiary education under stress and depression even though they knew that the courses they were studying were not what they wanted or had the interest to pursue.

The Founder/CEO said the objective of iCreate was to create five million jobs in five years by empowering about one million people who would, in turn, employ at least five people in their businesses.

He said the strategy is to rebrand the way society perceives vocational skills and get young people to be interested or attracted to what they have passion for in the overall interest of the economy.

Retail Marketing Manager of Bosch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Samson Ajayi, said the iCreate Skills Festival was pivotal to the company because it addressed a lot of structural issues in the Nigerian economy, adding that as an engineering company that makes mechanical parts, the festival provided a unique avenue for the company to contribute its quota to the Nigerian economy.

Also commenting, President of Universal Learn Direct Academia Limited (ULDA), Engineer Olawumi Gasper, said the company was very happy to work with iCreate and congratulated Mr. Jaja for inspiring young Nigerians to develop a passion for skills acquisition.

The press conference was attended by other stakeholders including Trace TV, Fashion Academy, House of Tara, and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

The iCreate Skills Festival is a platform that promotes skills excellence, showcases skills standards and careers, demonstrates benchmarks of excellence in teaching and learning and creates interest in public sector agencies and private organizations to invest in skills development.

The 10 winners from the first edition represented Nigeria in Russia in 2019. They include Otareh Alvin who won in the cooking category, Nejo Tolulope (graphics), Silas Adedoyin (web design), Patrick Obafemi (app development), Barnabas Kudi (robotics), Afolabi Caleb Kayode (art), Ms. Malissa Onojo (tailoring), Yusuf Abdullahi (barbing), Kingsley Ihejirika (hairdressing), Ms. Faiza Usman Adamu (make-up), Joshua Olalekan (carpentry), Oladoja Peter (tiling), Kumshuan Talgang (plumbing) and Prince Isitua (bricklaying).

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Heritage Bank Identifies High Prospects In Nigeria’s £4bn Gold Market

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider, disclosed that Nigeria’s Gold market is worth £4 billion Pounds with high prospects of profitability for all players in the subsector.

The MD/CEO, Ifie Sekibo, who stated this at the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit, held in Abuja, yesterday also disclosed that the enormous potential of the industry was one of the reasons why Heritage Bank delved into the mining sector despite enormous risks.

According to him, the bank has Dukia Gold as its partner that would facilitate access to local miners and artisans to get value for their commodity at international market price after being registered with Dukia Gold.

Sekibo, who was represented by the Team Lead, Agric Finance and Export, Adelana Ogunjirin, explained that prior to now, local miners of Gold found it difficult to trade their commodities favorably but with the involvement of Dukia and its partner, Heritage Bank, a Quality-and-Quantity test will be conducted based on the arrangement they made with Dukia Gold and that will lead to added value to the smallholder miners. He explained that this will leverage the small miners the opportunity to also trade their commodities at the international market price.

He further stated that a metric tonne of gold is currently valued at $30million adding that it is worth investing in the industry, especially as gold is a kind of commodity that does not easily lose its value.

He said: “Mining sector is an area which has not been fully tapped in terms of the potentials around it, as there are quite a lot of opportunities around that sector. Recently we secured a $1 billion funding line with our funding partner AfreximBank, which also is to support areas like solid minerals.

“Now with respect to this we have looked at the value chain of this space and we have looked at the opportunities that are there. A lot of fund providers have not really delved into this and it is because of the lack of understanding of the market.

“In terms of value, gold is an area where you can enhance the value. You hardly see Gold losing value and you see that in different exchanges you even trade those commodities.

“Looking at it in terms of trend, you see that gold is something that will appreciate definitely. So in terms of the profitability of this business, we have looked at it, the crunch, the numbers we see that is a space that the Bank will definitely earn a lot of income.”

He also expressed optimism that other banks would like to come into the Nigerian mining sector but maybe studying to understand the sector properly.

“Definitely other banks will come into the sector. For us, we are leading, but the truth is they need to play in an area and space that they understand, as not everybody would be able to play in that space.

“Heritage Bank has already carved a niche for itself in agribusiness space, just like the Gold commodity, this would be exported. So, in terms of export proceeds too, there are opportunities to be explored. Generally, looking at the Nigerian outlook, in the long run, this will also enhance the country’s external reserves. There are multiplier effects of what we are doing today and that is why we are also moving in this direction,” the MD noted.

Also speaking, Managing Director, Nigeria Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, Abba Bello, revealed that the bank had gone into high-level discussions with heavy equipment manufacturers and suppliers that would lease equipment to miners for exploration and processing, adding that this was expected to make the equipment accessible and affordable.

Bello said, “For equipment supplier or outright purchase of equipment, we have gone into discussions with Bluecare and now Mantrac for the supply of heavy equipment for gold processing or exploration on lease basis and, it is something that does not exist currently within the industry.

“Barrick Gold and Bullion Mart is something that happens in the mining world. You don’t have to own the equipment, but there are vendors who supply the equipment for explorers to hire.

“Discussions have gone very far with the equipment suppliers and very soon we will announce the programme.”

Meanwhile, the Country Manager, ITM, Nigeria, Habibah Waziri, raised concerns on human resources development that would sustain the sector.

Waziri also said there is a need to formalize the sector and also invest in human capital in the sector for growth and development.

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UBA Partners With British Airways To Reward Loyal Customers

Peter Okunoren

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and the global airline, British Airways have announced a collaboration to reward loyal customers who are cardholders of the Bank.

The promo which will last for six months from November 2019, will witness UBA customers getting significant discounts when they purchase their British Airways tickets using their UBA cards. The promo will allow customers to enjoy up between 10% to 15% discount on any ticket purchased during the campaign. The ticket fares is exclusive of taxes as is applicable to purchases of all goods and services.

The collaboration is aimed at increasing customer experience and satisfaction for both UBA Cardholders and customers of British Airways.

The General Manager, Corporate Bank, UBA Directorate, Mr Muyiwa Akinyemi, who expressed delight at the collaboration, noted that the promo between the two organizations was carefully thought out to ensure that loyal customers of the two institutions are duly rewarded while ensuring that they also receive more value for their money. He added that for persons without a UBA account, all they require to benefit from this promo is to procure a card instantly from any UBA branch nationwide.

“UBA is excited to collaborate with one of the foremost Airlines in the world to run a promotion aimed at rewarding our cardholders and premium customers who will enjoy discounted tickets and other ancillary benefits such as loyalty points on the British Airways Executive Club.”

He explained that as a customer-centric institution, UBA is always on the look-out for services and reward schemes that will ultimately benefit the customers, in line with its Customer 1st policy.

Akinyemi noted that the bank has plans to partner with other airlines in the future to provide further opportunities for reducing the cost of travel for its customers. “For now, we are partnering with a pre-eminent airline that offers class and distinction,” he said.

The Commercial Manager for British Airways in West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka, noted that the airline is pleased to partner with the bank due to its huge customer base and wide reach, adding that with the partnership, more customers will be able to enjoy the promo.

He said, “British Airways is excited to partner with UBA, Africa’s Global Bank, to create a mind-blowing promotion aimed at raising awareness about this service to be rendered by both institutions.”

Continuing, Kola said, “In addition, the discounts provided by British Airways will reduce the cost of travel and encourage the Bank’s customers to make more foreign trips during the period and also reward their customers and staff as a way of giving them something very tangible.”

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