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

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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

Heritage Bank MD Tasks Govt On Policies To Support Private Sector Interventions For Infrastructure Growth

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The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has called on governments to provide enabling policies that would support private sector interventions to achieve the vision of infrastructural development.

He made this submission at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria’s (FICAN) 30th-anniversary conference and awards with the theme: “Financing Infrastructure & SMEs for inclusive growth in the post-COVID-19 economy,” held weekend in Lagos, where the bank carted away duo Platinum Awards presented to Ifie Sekibo and Heritage Bank for Outstanding Support towards FICAN and Financial Reporting, respectively.

Sekibo who was represented by Olusegun Akanji, Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, argued that the government cannot solve the country’s infrastructure challenges, noting that it is the private sector that will deliver the solution.
According to him, the government can only provide enabling policies that will support private sector interventions.

“We need the global private sector intervention to help us achieve a vision of infrastructural development,” he said.
He noted that until the country developed an identity management system that delivers value to the citizenry, SMEs will continue to grapple with financing challenges.

He explained that though the banking industry has financed a lot of SMEs in terms of count, that it is the sector that has the largest numbers of bad loans and frauds in terms of count.

MD of FMDQ Group, Bola Koko represented by Yomi  Osinubi, Head Private Market, urged Nigeria to conceive a way its domestic capital market could fund the international capital market.

That, he said, was the only way that we could pluck the infrastructure rewards.

“If we want to pluck our infrastructure rewards, first of all we have to conceive of a way our domestic capital market can actually fund capital market.

“But the investors in debt capital market international and debt, money will come into an environment where capital is expected and there is an expectation of good management of those resources and cash flows will come back to it.

“So I think there’s the issue of maybe an underlying structure where we want to put in the capital like road infrastructure tax payment.

” If you want SMEs to get the best benefits of infrastructure development in the country, the CBN Governor mentioned the largest areas of course for SMEs which is energy.  The second-largest is the logistics, movements of cargo around the country,” he said.

Executive Commissioner, Temidayo  Obisan representing the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda advised that the nation connected the right duration of money which according to him would be long-term.

“The major thing to identify is that infrastructure is a long-term thing,  so it Is essential we connect the right duration of money which is long term capital which is what capital market provides and which sec as a regulator should.

“We have about three surviving infrastructure focus funds in Nigeria now that are totaling almost a 100bn, itching about 90 billion at the moment and there are some that are registered programmes of 200billion,” he said.

More so, the Chairman of FICAN, Titus Chima Nwokoji, said if Nigeria’s infrastructural gap, which is estimated to be N36 trillion annually, is addressed, a lot of the country’s economic challenges will be easily tackled.

“And coming out of COVID-19 pandemic, we know that if the infrastructure is fixed and SMEs thrive, the growth that you see will be faster,” he added.

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UBA Publishes Names, Account Details Of Individuals Who Got Cheap Dollars With Fake Visas And Tickets

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The United Bank of Africa has published the names of some individuals who applied for Personal Travel Allowance and bought cheap dollars at the bank but did not use it for the purpose they applied for.

The account numbers and Bank Verification Numbers of the defaulters were included in the publication.

According to the bank, the beneficiaries committed the offence after applying with fake tickets or visas.

The UBA disclosed this in a publication on its website titled ‘CBN FX defaulters’ on Friday.

It stated that “In compliance with the directive of Central Bank of Nigeria mandating banks to publish the names of defaulters of the forex exchange regulation.

“Based on regulatory directives, the following customers cancelled their trip and failed to return the PTA availed to them despite several emails, text messages and follow up phone calls.”

The bank added that “The customer(s) below presented fake visa to apply for PTA.”

Banks had earlier sent messages to their customers to notify them that travellers who bought foreign exchange from banks for travel purposes but failed to embark on the trip two weeks after their scheduled travel date must return the forex to the banks.

According to the banks, this was a directive from the CBN.

Defaulting customers who presented fraudulent travel credentials or cancelled their tickets and failed to refund the purchased PTA and BTA within two weeks, as stated in the signed customer declaration form, would have their identities and bank verification numbers published, the banks had said.

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BUSINESS

Firstbank Expands Its International Money Transfer Network, Reinforces Its Commitment To Customer Service

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In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has increased its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), targeted at easing the accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner.

With over 750 branches across the country, customers can receive money from the nearest FirstBank branch closest to them.

Over the years, FirstBank has been in partnership with Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs which include Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes, and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflow into the country, thereby putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the world. 

Beneficiaries can receive remittance in US dollars in any of our over 750 branches spread across the country. Customers without an existing domiciliary account can have a dollar account automatically created for their remittances. You can also receive inflow directly into your account through Western Union.

In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly-owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.

Reiterating the Bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo said “at FirstBank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses, and debt servicing.

We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are, across the world.”

FirstBank pioneered international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of promoting cross-border payments in the country, having started the journey with Western Union Money Transfer. The Bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market. 

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