Connect with us


/">

BUSINESS

Heritage Bank’s “The Refinery,” CBN, 25 Others Receive CIBN’s Certificates of Accreditation

Peter Okunoren

Published

on

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) yesterday official presented Certificates of Accreditation to Heritage Bank Plc Academy known as “The Refinery” and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Learning Centre.

The Institute via a Zoom virtual platform also accredited more 25 Educational Training Service Providers (ETSP), which is in accordance with its role as the Accreditation Agency for the implementation of the Competency Framework released, as part of the strategy to redirect the banking industry towards the path of entrenching a sequenced competency development programme and build capacity for the stability of the financial system.

The Institutions include Crown Agent UK; B. Adedipe Associates Limited; Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI), United Kingdom; The Nigerian Stock Exchange X Academy; Mactay Consulting Limited; Knowledge Beyond Limited; Brideswell Consulting Limited; Ultravantage Solutions; EdgeEcution Global Resources Limited and Katalyst Consulting.

Others are Michael Stevens Consulting; NLP Nigeria Limited; Procept Associates Professional Services Limited; Don Mitchell & Co Limited; Bode Zakari Management Consultants; Success for ALL Limited; Edcof Educational Services Limited and Kloverharris Limited.

The Refinery supervised by the Bank’s Human Capital Management Group was accredited by CIBN after assessing and evaluating its syllabus, curriculum, and structure by a panel of technocrats and seasoned bankers set up by the Institute, which according to the chartered institute aligns with the Competency Framework of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the professional paper standard of CIBN.

Speaking during the presentation, the CIBN President, Bayo Olugbemi said the event marks yet another significant milestone in the annals of the Institute and our continuing quest for the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities of the human capital in the banking and finance industry. He stressed that apart from efforts towards addressing competency challenges, thereby enthroning a minimum standard for practitioners in the banking industry.

He applauded Heritage Bank for setting a high standard of learning facility in which its structure and curriculum “is next to that of CBN’s training institute,” whilst stressing that the bank’s training school is the best in the Nigerian banking industry and at par with international best standard.

He equally informed the gathering that the Certificates of Accreditation presented to Two (2) Bank Academies and Twenty-Six (26) ETSPs bringing the total number of institutions under the Programme to Nineteen (19) Bank Academies; Seventy-Five (75) Educational Training Service Providers; Sixty-Nine (69) Solicited Accreditation; Six (6) Unsolicited Accreditation.

Ifie Sekibo, the MD/CEO of the bank, has described Heritage Bank as a forward-looking business whose strength lies in the ability to spot and mold talents into great professionals.

Sekibo, represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye explained that the word “The Refinery” was chosen for the purpose of refining its employees to emerge as gold and harness the required skills to excel in their job functions.

He noted that the Refinery was established to train, nurture, and arm young employees with the right skills needed to fast-track development and enable teams to flourish.

“Just as the word Refinery connotes, the Heritage Bank Plc Refinery is a Facility where crude talents or abilities are converted or ‘refined’ into ‘finished’ jewels for optimal performance.

“The training program is designed to take each participant on an enriching, rigorous, and intellectually engaging learning journey to equip them with the fundamental competencies required of a professional banker. The Curriculums are structured to accommodate both Core and Non-Core Banking competencies such as finance, credit, and accounting, organizational and behavioral competencies to mention a few”, Sekibo stated.

Meanwhile, about 300 employees who are fresh from universities across and outside the country with diverse academic backgrounds and impressive academic records underwent rigorous training in an intensive 12-week academic (practical and theoretical) programme with over 30 courses in Port Harcourt.

The Refinery is a tailored learning experience Institute with the perfect blend of technologies, techniques, and methodologies to optimize training experiences, which will help employees, succeed in ensuring that the bank’s business stays ahead of the curve with the banking sector along with Heritage Bank’s target goals.

BUSINESS

Lasaco Shares Not Suspended

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Our attention has been drawn to an online publication on the 22nd of February 2021 that Lasaco Assurance Plc. (“LASACO”/”the Company”) shares had been placed on indefinite suspension. This is not correct as the shares of the Company were never placed on indefinite suspension by The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”/”the Exchange”).

The shareholders of Lasaco Assurance had at the Annual General Meeting of 8th October 2019, approved the reconstruction of 7,334,343,421 Ordinary shares of 50k each in the share capital of the Company in the ratio of ONE (1) new ordinary share for every FOUR (4) Ordinary shares previously held by the shareholders into 1,833,585,855 Ordinary shares of 50k each.

Lasaco Assurance, through its Financial Advisers and Stockbrokers, filed necessary Applications with the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”/”the Commission”) and The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”/”the Exchange”) for the reconstruction of the said Issued shares as directed by the shareholders.

Following the approval of SEC with the Issuance of Letter of no Objection to the reconstruction by the Commission and submission of the said letter to the Exchange, suspension from trading in the shares of the Company was placed by the Exchange from Monday 1st February 2021 to Friday, 19th February 2021 to allow the Share Reconstruction exercises to be concluded.

The shares of the Company resumed trading on Monday, 22nd February 2021 following the conclusion of the Share Reconstruction.

It should be noted that Lasaco Assurance is a regulatory compliant institution and had not done anything to warrant an indefinite suspension of its shares at the Exchange as published by your paper.

Management.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Access Bank Commences Accelerator Program, To Empower Startups Through Africa Fintech Foundry

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

The Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank Plc has commenced its accelerator programs.

The initiative is set to empower emerging startups, with mentorship programs, advisory and has committed N10 million in cash to the top three finalists.

The accelerator program which opened its entries last month received 306 registrations and after rigorous assessments were later shortlisted to 30 participants.

These finalists were further screened by the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and Vice President, Investments MBO Capital, and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in a bid to narrow it down to 10 -15 finalist.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Awe said the AFF was committed to empowering startups with resources and ensuring start-ups are equipped to scale their businesses.

He said: “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.”

“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over $100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”

On funding available for the start-ups, he added: “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10 million. After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top-three but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.

“This initiative would have a direct impact on the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”

Also speaking at the event, the Head, Retail Product Insight and Capabilities, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Rob Giles said: “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real-world problems and were we are different from venture capital firms is we offer an environment where startups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get access to people who are further ahead on their journey like mentors.

“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow them to scale.”

Furthermore, speaking to one of the participating startups, the Founder, Farm Delight Ms. Love Uduma, a start-up focused on the agriculture value chain from production to distribution and consumption said this platform is an impactful stream for startups to get support from.

On her expectation, she said: “I am expecting tech support and a good relationship with the tech community. We have the agricultural aspect covered but we need the technical assistance and also funding.”

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Fidelity Bank Plc Successfully Issued The Largest Ticket Tier II Local Bonds In Nigeria

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Fidelity Bank Plc has successfully issued 10 years N41.21 billion in fixed-rate unsecured subordinated bond at a 8.5 percent coupon rate due in 2031. The bond issuance which was fully subscribed given that total investor interest and commitments in the bonds were N56.6 billion, adds to the impressive portfolio of landmark transactions structured by the bank and underscores its capacity to successfully execute debt capital market transactions.

The transaction is a landmark achievement in the Nigerian domestic debt market for being the largest corporate bonds ever issued by a Nigerian Bank including the deposit money banks and merchant banks etc.

In December, the bank had announced plans to issue fixed income securities with a 10-year tenor to support the growth and development of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Retail Business as well as its technology infrastructure. The bank conducted the debt issuance under its registered N100 billion bond issuance programme.

The bonds are unsecured and subordinated, which will qualify as Tier II Capital in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Guidance Notes on Regulatory Capital for commercial banks in Nigeria.

Speaking on the significance and success of the bond issuance, Fidelity Bank Chairman, Mustapha Chike-Obi said that the bond issuance further demonstrates our confidence in Nigeria’s debt market. “It also validates the continued investor confidence in our corporate strategy and aspirations, strong corporate governance structure and solid and stable executive management team with a robust history of superior financial performance and returns”, Obi explained.

In her comments, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe noted that proceeds from the transaction would be utilized to support growth in the issuer’s risk assets in SME and retail business as well as investments in technology & retail infrastructure. This, Onyeali-Ikpe added is in line with the bank’s Tier I aspirations. According to her, our business fundamentals have remained strong despite the challenging economic environment occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and the attendant recession.

“The successful bond issuance highlights the confidence in the Fidelity brand, as well as our capability to expand our funding sources, and deliver innovative financial services to our esteemed customers”, she added. The issue was assigned a rating of A- by Agusto, and A by Datapro and will be listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 5.7 million customers who are serviced across its 250 business offices and various other digital banking channels. The Bank is focused on select niche corporate banking sectors, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and is rapidly implementing a digital-based retail banking strategy which has resulted in annual double-digit growth in savings deposits in at least 7 consecutive years while over 50 percent of its customers are now enrolled on its digital platforms.

Continue Reading

Most Popular