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Fidelity Bank Holds AGM, Assures of Greater Returns Through with Digitization

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Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc are in for greater returns in 2019 financial year with the lender’s sustained investment in digital innovations that would engender enhanced customer service delivery and open fresh streams of revenue.

Indications to this effect were given in Lagos, Friday by the Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo during the Bank’s 31th Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the audited financial report for the year ended December 31, 2018, was presented to shareholders.

According to Okonkwo, the bank will not relent on efforts to increase the adoption rates and migration of customers to its digital banking platform. “We are investing heavily in digital technologies to drive our retail strategy, reduce cost and consequently improve revenue and returns for our shareholders” he stated.

With 25 percent of the bank’s fee-based income coming from digital banking, the Fidelity boss disclosed that the lender is introducing a digital lending solution and AI-Chatbots to spur further growth in the industry verticals, where it currently operates.

On the overall outlook of the bank, Okonkwo said Fidelity Bank was on track towards breaking in to the league of Tier 1 bank by 2022. “The 2018 financial year marked the beginning of the second phase of the growth aspirations of your Bank and I am happy, we closed the year impressively”, he stated.

Gross earnings in FY2018 increased by 4.8 percent to close at N188.9 billion driven primarily by 22.7 percent growth in earning assets. Total deposit, increased by 26.3 percent to N979.4 billion from N775.3 billion, just as current and domiciliary accounts grew in double digit

In other indices Profit Before Tax soared by 30.6% to N25.1BN, when compared with the 19.2BN it recorded in 2017. Similarly Profit After Tax (PAT) increased by 29.0 percent to N22.9 billion from N17.8 billion in 2017.

Shareholders commended management and staff for growing the fortunes of the bank in the last financial year. They made a plea for better returns in 2019 and unanimously approved the proposed dividend of N3.19 billion, which translates to 11kobo per ordinary share of 50k held by investors at the close of business on April 12, 2019.

Chairman, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr. Farouk Umar who lauded the bank for its consistent dividend payout, charged Management to continue to record better financial performances.

Mr. Timothy Adesiyan, President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSAN) extolled the bank for its impressive showing in digital banking. “Digital banking has shown us increased profitability and progress. Kudos to Fidelity Bank he said.

Whilst commending the management of Fidelity Bank for its participation in the Bank of Industry (BOI) Traders Moni Scheme, he said “we are quite appreciative that the cost of risk has reduced considerably in the bank from 1.5 percent in 2017 to 0.5 percent”.

Speaking during the meeting, Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Ernest Ebi assured shareholders that the Board will continue to provide the right leadership at Board level, with focus on governance, risk management and capital preservation. “Every action and everything we have done thus far have been around these areas. The fundamentals are very strong we intend to keep things that way” he said.

BUSINESS

Access Bank Celebrates Recognition Of Tracy Batta As Forbes Africa’s 2020 30 Under 30

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Helping female businesses grow through discounted access to finance is one of the many unique value propositions under the Access Bank’s W Initiative. Tracy Batta, co-founder, SmoothieExpress and a W Power Loan beneficiary recently emerged on Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 lists.

Tracy Batta co-owns Smoothie Express, a healthy focused brand known for providing consumers with healthy fast foods. Prior to her recognition under the 2020 class of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, Tracy was recognized under Business Day’s Top100 Fastest Growing SMEs. She has since grown to become a household name in Lagos.

Since its launch in 2018, the W Power loan has impacted the businesses of growing female entrepreneurs with N14bn for expansion whilst seeking opportunities and exposure to the global market.

Speaking on the impact of the W Power Loan on female-owned businesses, Ada Udechukwu, Head, Women Banking at Access Bank says, “Ensuring access to affordable finance for SMEs and opportunities to access new markets is an integral part of Access Bank’s economic ecosystem for SMEs. Since the introduction of the W Power Loan, more women can now sit at the helm of entrepreneurial affairs and grow their businesses to be internationally recognized.  We strengthen female-owned SMEs in Nigeria by being a pillar for them to lean on for growth and expansion”.

Access Bank’s support for female-owned home-grown businesses is undeniable and this is evident in the resultant benefits from its discounted financing initiative, The W Power Loan.




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BUSINESS

Access Bank W-Initiative Welcomes New Babies Through Health Financing Scheme

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Access Bank adds another feather to its cap through the women market program, The W Initiative Maternal Health Service Support (MHSS) scheme.

The W Initiative is happy to welcome the birth of two new babies to the couples who accessed the MHSS financing for their IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) procedure having waited several years.

Since 2014, The W Initiative through its MHSS health financing program has supported the advancement of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)  to enable couples to access fertility treatment such as IVF.

Having successfully financed hundreds of procedures including fertility treatments, child delivery, fibroid treatments, surrogacy, bone marrow transplant, and other specialized procedures, The W Initiative remains ever committed to supporting more women and families by restoring hope and saving lives through its health financing scheme.

Women interested in accessing this health financing solution from the Bank can go through their service touchpoints- www.thewcommunity.com, or send a direct email to [email protected] or call 01-2273005

 




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BUSINESS

Heritage Bank-Dukia Gold To Boost Nigeria’s 200mn Ounces Of Gold Potential Reserves —- FG

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has commended Heritage Bank for being part of a valuable private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Ltd, saying such partnership stands to create new opportunities for Nigeria to grow its potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this during a Zoom- meet & chat session, a virtual platform at the launch of nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold & Precious Metals Buying Centres held yesterday

He affirmed that the launch of this expansive project between Heritage Bank and Dukia Gold would enable Nigeria to mine reserves properly, trade responsibly, refine locally and boost the nation’s foreign reserves.

He stated, “What we are looking at here is an extremely valuable new source of trade, jobs and foreign exchange.

“This project will create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives, and across the solid minerals value chain. Off-take agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold will be a useful provider of jobs in our post-COVID economy.

“The positive multiplier is expected to extend even further than this as the Dukia Gold project will also encourage the emergence of smaller-scale mining companies who, for the first time, will now have a transparent and welcoming market for their mined gold and precious metals. This is set to create jobs and unleashes the economic potential of mining communities.”

Osinbajo further counted the enormous benefits of the project, “This provides a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewellery and other precious items for cash. This system of exchange not only helps encourage a culture of recycling but will also serve as a complementary source for the raw materials needed for the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Company. These buying centres will also enable the responsible management of some of the electronic waste.”

Meanwhile, the project would further drive the diversification of the nation’s economy, Heritage Bank Plc, Dukia Gold which has given birth to new gold and precious metal market that will grow the mining industry’s contribution to gross domestic products to over 10% by 2026.

Records have shown that the growth of mining production at the end of 2019 in Nigeria was 0.1% and the sector still contributes less than 0.5% of GDP compared to other African economies who are strong in mining like Botswana (38%), Democratic Republic of Congo (25%), South Africa (18%), Zambia (18%), Guinea (12%) and Ghana (7%).

However, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo stated that the partnership that would boost the mining industry production has given birth to a new market, a platform that will contribute immensely to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, the operationalization of this initiative aligns with the overall Economic Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria especially as it relates to the full stream diversification of the Nigerian economy, job and wealth creation, development of the solid mineral space amongst others.

Sekibo affirmed, “It is our belief that as the economy of Nigeria is being recalibrated, given the impact of the global pandemic, the government’s committed aspiration to build a robust and resilient economy will be further enhanced through the operationalization of this initiative working with all stakeholders across States and Government Parastatals, the Central Bank, Private Sector and other international actors towards the development of the solid minerals sector and its appendages.”

He explained that this would enhance a regulated market that would see precious metals and other commodities take centre stage in the endeavour to ensuring irreversible economic growth and development in alliance with a modernized Exchange for commodities trading in Nigeria.




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