First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services organization has announced its partnership with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System plc (NIBSS) on its recently launched Nigeria Quick Response (NQR) Payment Solution.
The NQR is an innovative payment option implemented for all financial service providers and designed to promote quick and fast transactions by scanning the code on one’s mobile device. Also, the initiative reduces cost(s) for merchants and banks in delivering instant value for person-to-business (P2B) and person-to-person (P2P) transactions by simply scanning to pay. Unlike other QR schemes, the NQR is implemented with reduced charges that is cheaper for merchants.
The initiative is accessible on the Bank’s payment infrastructure as the NQR code can be used to make payments through one’s FirstMobile App. And it is also available for the merchant in facilitating their business activities. The touchpoint and use cases of the NQR payment solution include convenience stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, ride-hailing/taxi payments, bus fares, tolling booths payments, vending machines, e-commerce sites, online (Instagram) businesses amongst many others.
To access the service, launch your FirstMobile App and select QR payment. Afterward, choose NIBSS as a payment provider, then scan the seller’s NQR barcode. Thereafter, the amount is inputted, followed by PIN validation to generate an instant confirmation of the transaction successfully. On the other hand, merchants are to visit any FirstBank branch closest to them for service enrolment.
Speaking on the initiative Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “we are delighted with the adoption of the Nigeria Quick Response (NQR) payment solution, an initiative by Nigeria Interbank Settlement System plc (NIBSS) which has been instrumental to easing and promoting payment convenience with the use of mobile phones. At FirstBank, we recognize the indelible role technology plays in promoting businesses across diverse frontiers and we remain committed to reinventing our technology infrastructure to meet global standards whilst being committed to staying true to our mantra in always putting You, our customers First.
Dangote Cement Grosses N413.2bn Revenue In The First 3 Months
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.
UBA Upgrades Chatbot Features, As Leo Launches Service On Google Business Chat, Instagram
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.
Dangote Cement Best Performing Stock – Nigerian Exchange
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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