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Heritage Bank Partners Silverbird To Empower Young Creative Nigerians

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria most innovative banking service provider has joined forces with Silverbird Group to empower and deepen its supports to young entrepreneurs in the Nigeria creative and entertainment industry.

This, the bank said, is in line with its culture as timeless wealth partners, which would impact positively on the nation’s socio-economic development, as the graduates are empowered with job and mentorship opportunities at the Silverbird Group.

During the first batch of the Ynspyre Project, Heritage Bank and Silverbird graduated five young talented minds in a three (3) months rigorously internship training programme to equip them with the necessary skills for their future engagements.

Over 3000 people sent their entries but only five were picked and trained in their different field of choice. Amongst the lucky interns are: Derrick Ugwugbu–Reporter/Anchor; Deborah Johnson–Radio Presenter; Oluwasegun Emmanuel Ikoya–Disk Jockey (DJ); Ayomide Solaja–News Presenter and Abayomi Bello–Cinematographer.

Speaking during the handover of certificate of completion, Fela Ibidapo, Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank said as a forward-looking financial institution its strength lays in the ability to spot and mould talents into great professionals.

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

He urged prospective interns who have an interest in participating in the Ynsprye Project to dial *745# to open a savings account with the chance to be amongst the next set of interns, whilst staying in tune with Heritage Bank’s platform and Silverbird Television.

Meanwhile, Ibidapo explained that the aim of Heritage Bank being at the forefront of youth empowerment is to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths to unleash their support to the growth of the economy.

Ibidapo stated that being at the forefront of investing in human capital development for critical economy recovery, “we will continue to up our game to empower Nigerian youths who is one of the bedrock of any vibrant economy,” he added.

He disclosed that one of the channels churned out in partnering the youths to leverage their talents and contribute their quota to the growth of the economy, was the use of financial inclusion strategy which would be adopted to boost entrepreneurship development, as this is critical to Heritage Bank’s mission to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

Uchenna Mike Olisa, Head, Product Development, Heritage Bank, who admonished the trained entertainers to make good use of their acquired skills, affirmed that platform would enable young creative minds to be more imbued with the requisite talents.

Mike Nwadike, Head, Silverbird Television hinted that lots of resources have gone into the training with series of creative sessions, strategy sessions, brainstorming meetings and re-evaluation, with the aim of ensuring that the participants are grounded in their respective skills.

Iyke Chinke, Head of Programmes, Radio commended Heritage Bank for their continued efforts to empower youths in the country. According to him, it is hard to find banks out there to give young people the opportunity but Heritage Bank has been championing it.

BUSINESS

Another Shot In The Arm For Adeduntan As FirstBank Wins Global Banking And Finance’s Retail Banking CEO Award

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While the age-old saying and philosophy of virtue being its own reward (or seeing doing good as its own reward) remain a strong motivating factor in doing good persistently, it helps when virtue gets recognition from time to time. Even though anyone or organization committed to doing good will keep doing so with or without recognition, recognitions for virtue tend to act like a shot in the arm for such people or organizations, spurring them to commit even more to do good.

That is what the recent award of “Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria” to Dr Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is to both him and the bank he leads. It is a shot in the arm of this foremost CEO of Nigeria’s most enduring financial institution that is also the pioneer in retail banking development in Nigeria, the premier bank in West Africa, and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, to keep steering the bank in the right direction, energizing and expanding retail opportunities for all Nigerians in the process. It is a well-deserved recognition for a man and the institution he leads that would rather keep off the spotlight and focus exclusively on attending to Nigerians’ banking needs as best as they can – which is what has kept them going for 127 years and counting.

This critical role is one FirstBank is better suited to lead than any other lender given the robust retail banking framework that the bank has in place, that is riding on its innovative technology-driven operations, over 750 branches across the continents, and 100,000 Firstmonie Agent banking network spread across 772 local government areas in Nigeria. It is little wonder that FirstBank, which is intricately woven into the fabric of Nigerian society, has been an essential player in the retail space, empowering Nigerians of all walks of life by providing them bespoke and innovative financial products and services that address their multidimensional needs. The bank has been at the forefront of bridging the financial exclusion gap and enabling customers and the general public to carry out both individual and corporate financial activities which contribute to the growth and development of the national economy.

The award by Global Banking and Finance Magazine, according to Dr Adeduntan, “speak[s] to the investments we [as FirstBank] have made over the past years in…enhancing financial inclusion….” It is a loud testament to the incredible strides FirstBank has made and continues to make in the retail space under the able and dynamic leadership of the management team led by Dr Adeduntan.

The strides are in turn underpinned by the bank’s resolute commitment to putting the customer and other stakeholders at the heart of its business. Dr Adeduntan reiterates this view when he wasted no time in dedicating the award to all the bank’s “customers, as the trust they reposed in us being their bank of the first choice in meeting their business and financial needs has been instrumental to the success we have achieved in our existence of over 127 years.” “We remain committed,” he continued, “to putting you, our customers, first as we contribute to the growth and development of our host communities.”

Organized to identify the banks across the world that have excelled across a number of areas, including corporate governance, sustainability, and innovation, and have played a key role in the industry’s growth, the Global Banking and Finance Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the global financial community. The awards were created to accord recognition to companies of all sizes which are prominent in their areas of expertise and excellence within the financial world. For Dr Adeduntan and FirstBank, the award is further proof of FirstBank’s enduring commitment to providing excellent retail banking services to all its customers as reflected in the bank’s strategic vision, diverse and inclusive workforce, and performance-oriented organizational structure.

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BUSINESS

UBA, DEG Sign $50m Term Loan To Support Small Businesses In Nigeria

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, the German Development Finance Institution, have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.

To this end, both institutions have signed a USD 50m Term Facility Agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses in Nigeria.

UBA America’s Chief Executive Officer, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country. She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organizations to collaborate on this laudable feat.

Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organizations, said, “At UBA Group, we are proud of this collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports our financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.

Continuing, she said, “These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent.”

In his comments, DEG’s Regional Director for West Africa, Bernhard Tilemann, said, “DEG is delighted to enter into long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region. This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent.”

According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100% subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).

The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg, and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.

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BUSINESS

Ecobank Appoints Babajide Sipe As New Head Of Marketing And Corporate Communications

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Great visions attract the best people, and so is the case at Ecobank Nigeria. The Nigerian franchise of the Pan-African financial institution is making good on its mission to empower Nigerians with all the tools to take control and make the most of their finances.

With the recent revamp of its full-stack mobile banking solutions – *326#, Ecobank Mobile app, OmniLite, Omni Plus, EcobankPay, and NQR, the Bank’s Marketing, and Corporate Communications department is being built up to connect customers to greater value in banking and to ensure that the innovative products are effectively articulated to the public.

Led by the seasoned Pan-African financial services expert Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank Nigeria has been bolstering its digital capabilities and human capital with the goal of delivering optimum value for clients and shareholders across several value chains.

It is in this line that Mr. Babajide Sipe was recently appointed to Head the Marketing and Corporate Communications department for Ecobank Nigeria.

An experienced Marketing & Brand Manager, Mr. Sipe’s multi-faceted career, which cuts across several fields, industries, and regions within the country and abroad will come to play in leading and enriching the Bank’s Marketing and Communications efforts with in-depth expertise, top-notch creativity, and an extensive breadth of value-adding networks.

Under Mr. Akinwuntan, who is both the Managing Director and Regional Executive for Ecobank Nigeria, the Bank has strongly positioned itself as a key stakeholder and supporter in the growth of the real sector of the Nigerian economy.

Recently, Ecobank announced that it would be empowering MSMEs with N100 Billion, a special fund set aside for business growth and to reduce unemployment in Nigeria; and also the Ecobank Female Entrepreneurship Initiative (EFEI) targeted at boosting female entrepreneurship, amongst others.

Ultimately, Ecobank’s goal is to remain the go-to bank for Pan-African trade facilitation and payments. This would mean leveraging the full value of its unrivaled Pan-African footprint covering 33 African countries to create greater market access and financing opportunities. The Marketing and Corporate Communications department, under the leadership of Mr. Sipe thus has a huge task to position the Bank for the future. With the fine blend of experience, expertise, and cutting-edge solutions, growth seems certain, if not near.

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