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Firstbank Celebrates Youth Week 2021

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From showcasing talents to the art of fashion design, identifying youths in the food business, and lots more, Nigeria’s leading financial services providers, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has reiterated its commitment to Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship through the celebration of its ongoing 2021 Youth Week.

The Youth Week, themed “The Future is Now, Let’s Takeover” started on Monday, 8 November 2021. The event comprises a variety of activities, including Youth-themed Future Forward activities, [email protected] Creative Artistry Empowerment Workshop, Grooming and Wellness Workshops, Digital Engagements, Virtual Mini Concert, and many more. Each activity is associated with various gift items, including gift vouchers and cash prizes.

During the celebration of the FirstBank Youth Week 2021, youths will get rewarded for their talents by following this process – Do a recording showcasing your singing prowess in a video (1 minute or less), Upload your video on Instagram, be sure to follow @firstbanknigeria on IG, then Tag 5 friends to follow the bank with the hashtags #YouthVoices #FirstBank #YouthWeek. The top 5 videos with the highest likes will be posted on FirstBank page and the top 3 videos with the highest likes would win the competition. In addition, Millennials and Gen Zs will upload videos detailing their FirstBank experience on Yammer. The videos with the most votes will win the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.

The Bank will also provide an avenue for the youth to be empowered in Artistry Workshop Sessions & Arts Classes. A call for interested candidates in the art of fashion design and illustrations will be done. Entries will be received from candidates who are told to submit their illustration creatives and 10 Youths will be empowered to learn the business of illustrations at Claire Idera Studio.

Also included is the Food Grill & Fest, a platform the FirstBank uses to give opportunities to youths in the Food business. Youths in the food business will be allowed to submit their entries to the vendors at Grill & Fest 2021.

Food-related questions will be asked on the Bank’s verified social media platforms and the first 5 people to get the questions right will win vouchers. The Wellness and Grooming 101 event will provide an avenue for youths to be empowered in the grooming and wellness Masterclass. Interested youths will show their interest to upskill in areas of beauty, grooming, and wellness.

Speaking on the Youth week celebration, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said ‘’we remain committed to recognizing the enormous opportunities that can empower the Nigerian youth. Over the years, we have seen our youth benefit from actively engaging in our programmes where they develop effective leadership skills and gain a stronger connection to their community. Young people are our future and we are always ready to support and help harness their skills as with these, we put them at an advantage in securing their future as they contribute to national development.

At FirstBank, with about 57% of the entire workforce being millennials and ‘Gen Zs’, the Youth segment has been and will continue to be the prime focus. Therefore, the Youth Week presents a unique platform to strengthen the Banks commitment to the younger population, who have become the powerhouse driving all facets of digitization and innovation in our world today’’.

Since 1999, Nigeria has continued to join the international community to observe the Day in commemoration of the importance of youth’s participation in politics, economic and social activities towards sustainable development of the nation. Nigeria has one of the highest populations of youth in the world, with about half of the estimated 200 million of the country’s total population being under the age of 19 and 62%, below the age of 24.

For more information and participation in the Youth Week, kindly visit the bank’s verified social media platforms; Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

BIG STORY

Dangote Cement Grosses N413.2bn Revenue In The First 3 Months

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In the first three months of the 2022 financial year, Dangote Cement has recorded a 24.2 percent increase in its revenue and an 18 percent increase in its profit after tax for the same period.

Unaudited results for three months ended 31st March 2022, showed revenue of N413.2 billion and a profit after tax of ₦105.9 billion.

Analysis of the cement giant’s three months results indicated that Dangote Cement sold a total volume of 7.2Mt of cement across the group with Nigerian operations accounting for 4.8Mt while the rest of Africa did the balance of 2.4Mt.

Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, in his comments, said that the company started the first quarter on a positive note despite the new uncertainties brought by a very volatile global environment. He stated that increases recorded in revenue and profitability drove strong cash generation across the Group. Profit after Tax rose to ₦105.9 billion, up 18 percent compared to last year while Group EBITDA rose to  ₦211.0 billion, by 18.6 percent with an EBITDA margin of 51.1 percent.

Puchercos said, “On the operational side, we are ramping up production at our Okpella plant and are progressing well to deploy grinding plants in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Demand remained strong across all markets, and we remain confident that Dangote Cement is positioned to meet customers’ expectations despite these temporary challenges.

Continuing our efforts to deliver shareholder value, Dangote Cement completed the second tranche of its buyback program. Following the completion of both tranches, Dangote Cement has now bought back 0.98% of its shares outstanding. This share buy-back program reflects the Company’s commitment to finding opportunities beyond dividend to return cash to shareholders.”

Puchercos added, “the volatile international context is strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels and execution of our export-to-import strategy. Reducing our dependence on imported inputs and making our markets self-sufficient has never been more relevant from a regional perspective.

Our continuous focus on efficiency, meeting strong market demand, and maintaining our costs leadership drives our ability to consistently deliver superior profitability and value to all shareholders.”

Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. A fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer, it has a production capacity of 35.25Mta in its home market, Nigeria. The Obajana plant in Kogi State, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; the Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta while the Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta, and Okpella plant in Edo state has 3Mta. Through recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement and has transformed the nation into an exporter of cement serving neighboring countries.

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BIG STORY

UBA Upgrades Chatbot Features, As Leo Launches Service On Google Business Chat, Instagram

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced the expansion of the services of Leo, its Artificial Intelligence chatbot to Google Business Chat and Instagram.

Leo – UBA’s AI-powered chatbot, which enables customers to make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions – was first introduced in January 2018. It has since evolved to become a custom-fitted, personalized virtual banker to several UBA Customers across its 20 African countries. Before now, UBA’s Leo was servicing customers on Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Apple Chat.

The bank also announced an interesting upgrade to the existing features of Leo, where customers can now carry out their activities in a 3D animated format. Armed with this upgrade and with its recent expansion to Instagram and Google Business, customers will now be able to carry out more transactions from the comfort of their homes and can now perform more activities such as funds transfer, checking balances, buying airtime, and data, and getting their bank statements with ease, from any of these social media platforms.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who spoke about the upgraded features of Leo, explained that the bank was always on the lookout for innovative ways to develop strategies aimed at easing transactions for the bank’s numerous users while ensuring utmost safety of their transactions.

He said, “At UBA, we have been working with technology giants that have the global capacity to ensure not only seamless but also effortless banking for millions of our customers across Africa. We at UBA, have collaborated with the very best to actualize this unbeatable innovation that is capable of revolutionizing the way banking is done in Africa.”

He disclosed that Leo’s activities have aptly spread across Africa, changing the face of e-banking in other key African locations including Cameroon, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Congo DRC, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Mozambique, Zambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali.

Uzoka emphasized that the uniqueness of Leo lies in inconvenience. “Customers can initiate transactions without leaving their favored phone applications. By bringing Leo to the comfort zone of its customers, UBA’s chat banking became a pioneer innovation and has since enjoyed leadership status in the chat banking space,” he explained.

Since its inception, Leo has been effortlessly enhancing the digital customer experience in banking and also achieving a range of other benefits like 24/7 availability as the chatbot Leo stays available round the clock to assist customers and handle the common financial queries asked by the customers.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries. With a presence in New York, London, and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance, and ancillary banking services.

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BIG STORY

Dangote Cement Best Performing Stock – Nigerian Exchange

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Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc Dangote Cement Plc has emerged as the Best Performing Stock of the Year 2021 by the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX).

Dangote Cement pride as the most capitalized company on the Nigeria Stock Exchange was named the best stock ahead of BUA Cement Plc and CAP Plc, during the 2022 Nigerian Investor Value Award (NIVA) organized by the Businessday in collaboration with the Nigeria Exchange Group

The coveted award is meant for two classes of companies namely, the listed companies segment and the Next Bull segment with Dangote cement leading the pack in the Listed Companies best-performing stock, in the Industrial goods category having been adjudged to have recorded stellar performance in creating value on the Nigeria Stock Exchange on the basis of criteria such as share price, dividend payments, sustainability, brand value, market leadership and business strategy against its peers during the period under review.

In his address on the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Exchange Limited, Mr. Temi Popoola, who was represented by the Divisional Head, Capital Market, Mr. Jude Emeka said the award by the Businessday Media Limited underlined Nigeria Exchange Group’s goal of promoting actionable and effective multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues central to a well-functioning financial system.

While acknowledging that the winner organizations are worthy and truly deserving of the honor, he clarified that the winners were selected from among companies that are active and the investors have expressed strong demand to own their shares.

“As a responsible entity, known for aligning with best global practices, we recognize the importance of corporate governance and effective board leadership in driving sustainability on the business front. That is why we choose to not only recognize listed companies who are blazing the trail in investor relations but also contribute to building a sustainable socio-economic standard in governance, regulation, and compliance.

The Nigeria Exchange boss said the leveraging of investments in business innovation and its diversified range of products and services coupled with robust engagement, we are well on our way to achieving our aspiration to be Africa’s preferred exchange hub especially given the number of advances that have been implemented recently including the launch of the NGX Exchange Traded Derivates Market which saw the listing of two Equity Index Futures Contracts, NGX30 Index Futures, and the NGX Pension Index Futures.

He assured that the NGX remained resolute in its commitment to the provision of a scalable and enterprising platform for issuers and investors to meet their financial objectives irrespective of the prevailing conditions.

Mr. Popoola said “we will continue to consolidate on the advances by focusing on key initiatives aimed at creating and growing the capital market for the benefit of all key stakeholders.

In his address of welcome, the Publisher, Businessday, Mr. Frank Aigbogun said the NIVA formerly known as the Top 25 CEOs Award recognizes leaders of private and public companies who have created sustainable alpha-generating value for their shareholders through strategic priorities, operation efficiency, organizational values, and marketing engagement activities.

He explained that Covid-19 was what most companies, including Nigerian businesses, never envisaged but the reality today is that the Russian-Ukraine crisis has again emphasized the urgent need for backward integration and value addition to the nation’s primary produce. Aigbogun expressed happiness that the Nigeria capital market has remained strong in the mix of the global realignment that is going on consequent of the Ukrainian crisis.

Mr. Obu Oliver, the Group Financial Controller, Dangote Cement Plc. who received the award thanked the organizers for the award and assured them that the company would not rest on its oars in sustaining the strategies that make the stock the best performing.

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