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COVID-19: Heritage Bank Joins WHO To Celebrate Health Workers Globally

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Heritage Bank Plc has joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the celebration of “World Health Workers Week” and pay tribute to health workers globally for their selfless sacrifice and bravery in the fight against the novel Coronavirus pandemic causing countless mortality rates.

The event is an annual commemoration of health workers but this year’s is scheduled to honour and advocate for health workers during the 8th annual World Health Worker Week slated for April 6 – 11, 2020.

The theme for this year’s celebration is titled, “Leaders on the Line,” which according to WHO highlights the need to provide greater leadership opportunities for frontline health workers—particularly women health workers, who make up more than 70% of the global health workforce. It further explained, “At the same time, this theme emphasizes how health workers often put themselves on the line, often at great personal risk to themselves and their families, to save and improve lives.”

Commending the health practitioners worldwide, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the heroic efforts health workers on the front lines make every day to keep their respective communities and the world safe and healthy.

“Despite the havoc caused by the of coronavirus pandemic on individuals and the medical personnel who are not spared by the disease, they continue to play significant roles to contain the spread of the disease, carter for the affected patients and embark on research to attain robust understand of COVID-19. They also take steps further to proffer recommendation on how to remain safe, hale and hearty, whilst we all embrace the warmth and safety of our home. This is a calling for every individual within and outside to honor and support the brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines,” he stated.

He, however, assured that as a bank “We are proud to join forces with health workers and agencies to help suppress the transmission of the virus, minimize social-economic impacts on the global community and work together to boost the nation economic growth,”

Also, as part of effort to support and attain a more robust health system in the country, Sekibo has further called and encouraged government at all levels, key stakeholders, including the private sector to strengthen financial and technical support for health workers, as part of efforts to create a safer environment for them.

According him, it calls for our collective joint action to combat COVID-19 since we are in this together and we will get through this together.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank has assured customers of uninterrupted access to the various services, which they have been enjoying before now.

This has been made possible with the activation of the bank’s business continuity management emanating from Heritage Bank’s corporate strategy to guarantee seamless service delivery to the various stakeholders.

The bank also adopted a crisis response measures in place to minimise and manage the risk arising from COVID-19 and ensure that the payment infrastructure and logistics to maintain operations going as various State governments continue to observe lockdown to contain the pandemic.

To ensure seamless banking transactions, the bank explained that customers are constantly communicated to, to adopt its available 24/7 alternate electronic channels.

“We have encouraged our customers to adopt the self-service platforms by using the *745#. We are available via email [email protected] and social media (insert social media icons) to render the following services: Debit Card Hotlist, Post No Debit Request (PND Placement), HB Padie unlock/ username request/ Password reset, Statement of Account (individual accounts) and general inquiries on products and services

“We have setup a COVID-19 Support Centre to offer COVID-19 safety tips to all our customers during this period, in support of the efforts of the Government and relevant bodies. Please send any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic via these channels: E-mail: [email protected] and contact number: 01-2369099,” the bank explained.

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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