Wema Bank Plc has launched a new branch at Ilorin, Kwara State as part of its strategic plan to reach its customers across the nation.
The bank in a statement to newsmen noted that the new branch, designed with innovative features for improved customer experience, will strengthen the bank’s business in Ilorin and also provide local residents and business owners with their banking needs.
“We are excited to open a new branch which will help us as a bank meet the growing demand for financial products and services by the residents of Ilorin,” said Ademola Adebise, the Managing Director of Wema Bank. “For us, it is not about just opening branches, we are targeting communities where there are opportunities.”
“With the new national status, the bank has reopened formerly closed-down branches in the North and South East. Some of the cities with reopened branches include Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Minna, Lokoja and Aba. The bank also plans to launch new branches in Gombe, Onitsha and other leading cities in Nigeria.
“In addition to its expansion, Wema Bank is also providing financial services through digital channels such as ALAT by Wema and *945#. Through these channels, Wema Bank has been able to onboard more customers and provide easy banking services with its digital channels. The bank is also providing agency banking to meet the needs of customers all over the country.
“Wema Bank remains committed to growing its network to support business owners and other Nigerians with effective retail banking services across the country, Adebise said.
Shareholders of Wema Bank Plc recently approved N0.03 dividend payment proposed by the management of the Bank.
Speaking at the AGM, the Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, Mr. Patrick Ajudua lauded the bank performance despite harsh operating environment.
Ajudua noted that the shareholders celebrated the proposed N0.03 per share dividend payout, not just because of a payout ratio of 34.79 per cent but also because it was the first time they were getting any return from Wema Bank in 15 years.
Addressing shareholders at the AGM, Wema Bank’s Chairman Babatunde Kasali said: “The Bank, founded in 1945, had survived different reforms and restructuring in the country’s economy and financial services industry.
Following the 2008 banking crisis in Nigeria which saw the collapse of many banks, the Bank had negative capital in excess of N66 billion and was declared a bank in grave financial situation by the banking industry regulator in Nigeria but years of effective leadership have turned around the fortunes of the Bank.
While the work to rebuild the Bank was ongoing, shareholders had to forfeit their annual dividend as the Bank was in no position to do so. However, following its capital reconstruction, a major constraint to Wema Bank’s dividend payment ability was lifted”.
Kasali noted that the journey to recapitalize Wema Bank, return it to profitability and consistently grow has been an arduous one for the management of the Bank and the shareholders alike, who year after year had to put up with the Bank’s reasons for not paying dividend.
A sum of N47 billion was budgeted for Nigeria Air in the recently passed 2019 budget.
This is despite the indefinite suspension placed on the national carrier project by the federal executive council.
Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation made this known in a statement released on by James Odaudu, deputy director of press and public affairs at the ministry of transportation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the Viability Gap Funding for the project be provided for in the 2019 Appropriation which the National Assembly had graciously done,” he said.
Speaking at an aviation stakeholders’ forum in November 2018, Sirika had explained that a viability gap funding of $155 million was required for the project in line with the Outline Business Case (OBC) to enable the airline to begin operations before private equity funds would be introduced.
At the official exchange rate of N306/$, the earmarked $155 million translates to N47.43 billion.
VGF is a grant provided to fund the ongoing operations or future development of a project that is not currently provided by cash, equity or debt.
It is generally provided to projects which have a long gestation period.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2019 appropriation bill of N8.91 trillion into law.
The national assembly had passed the budget into law after increasing the budget size from its initial N8.83 trillion.
The President’s assent officially makes the bill become law and signals the commencement of the 2019 fiscal budget.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma had earlier sent out invitations for the event.
The invitation read in part, “Dear Sir/Ma, On behalf of the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, CON, the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation hereby invites you to a public presentation of the approved FGN 2019 Budget scheduled as follows: Date: Tuesday, 28th May 2019; Time: 10:30 am; Venue: Main Auditorium, Federal Ministry of Finance, CBD Abuja.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma; and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang were present during the ceremony.
The much awaited UEFA Champions League final clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, scheduled for Saturday, will be broadcast live on DStv and GOtv.
The live telecast of the match, the second-ever final appearance of two Premier League sides, will offer fans match build-up programming, including highlights of past the two finalists’ games. Subscribers will have access to an array of pre-match programming, including half hour highlights of the four semi-final games; official UEFA Champions League preview show at 6pm; the studio build up including crossings from Madrid at 6:30pm before the match kick-off at 8pm. These will be available onSuperSport 3 (DStv Channel 203), SuperSport 10 (DStv Channel 210) and Select 2 (GOtv channel 32).
“The Champions League is Europe’s most prestigious competition and one that football fans all over the world follow passionately. This season has seen spectacular comebacks and will have two English teams facing off in the final for only the second time in history. We are indeed glad to be on the right side of history as the finale will be broadcast live for our customers on all DStv packages, GOtv Max and GOtv Plus,” said Mr. John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer for MultiChoice Nigeria.
Both English teams made astonishing recoveries in their semi-final clashes, with Spurs overcoming the exciting, youthful AFC Ajax of the Netherlands, while Liverpool had a legendary triumph over Spanish champions Barcelona.It’s a milestone match for Spurs who are appearing in their first Champions League final ever, with coach, Mauricio Pochettino masterminding an incredible campaign which has seen come through arguably the toughest group and knockout ties against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax.
Spurs were well off the pace in the Premier League, but being crowned European champions would make this the greatest season in the history of the London club and establish Pochettino as a legend in Tottenham for all time.Jurgen Klopp is already well on his way to doing the same for Liverpool, though there is surely a fear that his team will be labelled the ‘nearly men’: they got to the Champions League final last year and succumbed to Real Madrid, while their incredible Premier League campaign this season (in which they racked up 97 points – one point behind the season winners Man City).
A defeat in this final could be a huge psychological blow for Liverpool, but a victory (and a sixth European Championship title – more than any other English side) could lay the foundation for this Reds side to dominate at home and abroad as their predecessors did way back in the 1970s and ‘80s.
In head-to-head terms, Tottenham and Liverpool have met in 170 previous matches across all competitions. The Reds have dominated the rivalry, claiming 79 wins compared to 48 for Spurs, while 43 matches have been drawn.
The teams’ most recent clash a Premier League game live on SuperSport in late March at Anfield which saw ‘Pool claim a 2-1 win: Roberto Firmino’s opener was cancelled out by Lucas Moura, before a late fumble from Hugo Lloris resulted in an own goal for Toby Alderweireld.
As the country marks the 2019 Children’s Day, leading Nigerian Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has launched a nationwide initiative, tagged #BeatTheDistance, to improve educational outcomes for children in rural communities by easing the difficulties they face with mobility to school and back. Through the initiative, the Bank is providing students in remote parts of the country with bicycles to reduce the time and energy they expend in getting to school whilst helping to boost their attendance and focus on academics.
One of the biggest barriers to education for millions of children in Nigeria’s rural communities is often the physical act of getting to school, which could be as far as 10 kilometers away from home. The challenge of covering such a distance twice every day on foot, coupled with the responsibility of doing chores in the morning, significantly curtails school attendance rate increases the chances of students dropping out, and hampers academic performance. By providing them with bicycles, the Bank aims to empower the children most affected by these challenges beat the distance, not just to school, but between their present realities and immense potential.
Organized as part of the GTBank CSR Action for Rural Empowerment Scheme (GTBank CARES), the initial stage of the #BeatTheDistance initiative will focus on children in 20 rural communities across the Taraba, Enugu and Ondo States.
Jerry Hannatu, a student of Government Technical Training School, Jalingo, is one of the first beneficiaries of the initiative. Before receiving the bicycle from GTBank, he had to trek for an hour and a half to get to school. Now, his 10-kilometer journey to school takes him about a quarter of that time. Jerry and other beneficiaries like him will now be able to spend less time traveling to school and more time in the classroom improving their academic performance and attaining the skills and knowledge to reach their full potential.
Commenting on the Bank’s #BeatTheDistance initiative, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “Children are our greatest hope for a better future, and it is our duty to ensure that every child has access to quality education regardless of their socioeconomic background or geographic location.As an institution that is passionate about empowering young people to reach their full potential, this initiative reflects our commitment to building a society where distance is no longer a barrier to education for any child, and in every community.”
He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to leverage our unique capabilities and broad networks to help people and communities thrive. Whether we are intervening in public education, investing in underserved communities, promoting the Arts or working to protect the environment, we are constantly looking for creative and impactful ways to touch lives and give back to society.”
GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across it’s subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality, and innovation.
The Bank, through its clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility, champions education for all, empowers under-served people and communities expand access to healthcare, promotes African Art and advocates for environmental protection. In 2018 alone, the Bank carried out more than one hundred CSR projects across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and supporting some of the most underserved communities in the country.
Keystone Bank Limited has again reaffirmed its commitment to providing support for the real sector as it recently partnered Facebook via its partners, Rabbington Media, to organize a capacity building training on digital marketing for its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) customers in Lagos State.
According to the lender, the training on “Social Media Marketing” held on Tuesday, 7th May and Friday, 10th May 2019, is part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives under the scheme “Boost-Your-Business”.
At the event, participants (comprising of both existing and prospective customers of Keystone Bank) were trained on the advantages of internet marketing through the social media to grow their businesses and achieve their dreams.
Speaking at the event, the Ag. Managing Director, Mr Abubakar Danlami Sule represented by the Head, MSME/Value Chain Management of Keystone Bank Limited, Helen Nwelle, said the bank is providing businesses and organizations the opportunity to expand their customer reach by projecting their message on global platforms like Facebook thereby promoting exposure.
“We are committed to ensuring that our self-employed customers thrive at their various businesses hence we constantly seek ways and means to connect them to the market and ensure they succeed in reaching their customers. Giving them a social media presence will aid their appeal to the emerging middle-class customers in Nigeria who will most likely form a larger percentage of their customer base in the near future and are majorly upwardly mobile youths who connect daily on these platforms at a reassuring rate.
“The capacity building trainings are available to all Keystone Bank customers who seek a competitive edge to transform their businesses and will be coming to other parts of the country with trainings slated to take place in Edo, Port Harcourt and Enugu within this quarter and in the northern parts of the country from the third quarter,” Nwele explained.
She further stressed that the bank recently re-launched her MSME drive to ensure businesses are well equipped with required knowledge and skills for their growth and survival in the heavily underfunded sector.
Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.
Hugely exciting times await GOtv subscribers, as they will be treated to a series of thrilling programmes as the month of May winds down.
From Monday, 27 May to Friday, 31 May, subscribers will enjoy the best of movies, telenovelas, kiddies, documentaries and general entertainment programmes.
The intrigues continue for telenovela lovers in My Perfect Family(showing on Monday, 27 May at 4pm on Telemundo). Marisol is upset Eddy kisses her. Irma begins to suspect that Rosa is pregnant. Erika asks Guillermo to leave her and José María alone.
Also on This is Fate (showing on Tuesday, 28 May at 6pm on Zee World), Prithvi gets caught by Rakhi and Mahesh trying to save Sanju. Kareen insults Sarla and Preeta. What happens to the relationship between the Arora and Luthra family? Catch all the details on This is Fate.
The kids are assured of fun on Children’s Day with a salad of interesting programmes, including Game Shakers. Babe, Kenzie, Double G and his son Triple G all continue to learn life lessons while keeping their gaming company, Game Shakers, on trend (showing on Monday, 27 May at 4:20pm Nickelodeon).
Quality African entertainment is not left out for viewers, as the drama continues this week on epic local series, Ajoche (showing weekdays at 9pm on AfricaMagic Family). The people of the Idoma town of Ocholuje uncover some bitter truths from the past. How do they react to such information and survive the battles ahead?
Stanbic IBTC Bank has launched an Africa-China Agent Proposition (ACAP) which aims to assist Nigerian importers source and validate quality goods, safely and efficiently, from the most competitive suppliers in China. The ACAP offering is expected to revolutionise African importers’ view of China’s supplier universe. It will also ease the cash flow of African importers by providing access to financing while empowering importers with sight and control of the entire importing and logistics process.
The offering, which is expected to connect African importers and Chinese exporters and open China to Africa, was officially launched in Nigeria on Tuesday 21 May, 2019, and will also be launched in Ghana and South Africa with other markets in Standard Bank’s African footprint to follow before the end of 2019.
Currently, Nigerian importers order from only a handful of trusted Chinese suppliers. This limits the negotiating power of African importers while stacking the terms of trade against them. While ordering online provides access to a wider range of suppliers, online imports cannot guarantee the quality of goods. In most cases too, advance payments for goods are required. This is often demanded in cash, without reciprocal guarantees of delivery or quality. This means that Nigerian importers often carry a disproportionate burden of risk in most transactions. Language and cultural barriers are also a challenge for African importers when traveling and negotiating supplier agreements in China.
In response to these challenges, and in light of the vast opportunity that China presents as a trading partner, Standard Bank, the biggest bank in Africa, has leveraged its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank in the world, to connect African importers with a dedicated trade agent in China.
“The ACAP offering- underpinned by a letter of credit- will deepen trust in Africa-China trade relationships, guaranteeing African importers access to the best suppliers in China, the best payment terms and the best quality,” said Dr. Manessah Alagbaoso, Head, Africa China Integration, Standard Bank. If any of the terms of the letter of credit are not met, payment will not be made. As such, the offering will, “place African importers in a much stronger negotiating position when it comes to the price, quality and efficiency of importing Chinese goods,” stated Dr. Alagbaoso. At the same time, “Chinese suppliers can be confident that once the terms of the letter of credit have been met, payment will be made in full and on time – guaranteed by Stanbic IBTC Bank or Standard Bank and ICBC,” added Dr. Alagbaoso.
In his remarks, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Dr. Demola Sogunle, reaffirmed the bank’s objective of constantly exploring opportunities of adding significant value to the businesses of its customers. “Stanbic IBTC has established market leadership in several financial services segments, and our ultimate goal is to continually leverage on our connections, knowledge and experience in delivering impeccable service and value that would similarly make our customers not just get ahead but emerge leaders in their respective business segments and ACAP is another of such enablers”, said Sogunle.
Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd (Guomao) is the first Chinese Trade Agent nominated by ICBC to partner with Standard Bank to assist African importers trade seamlessly with China. “Guomao currently has almost 10 000 suppliers that meet the import needs of our clients,” says Dr. Alagbaoso. Where the need of a client falls outside of the supplier base that Guomao currently has, they will source new suppliers for that need after going through a process of new supplier validation and verification.
Guomao will assist Nigerian importers with services such as source the right suppliers, negotiate the best prices and trade conditions, arrange for African importers to travel to China and meet with a broad range of suppliers, provide translators to facilitate trade negotiations and discussions and source and validate the quality of goods. Other functions the agent would offer are to provide quality guarantees on goods from those Chinese suppliers recommended by the trade agent, ensuring that quality meets the expectations of African importers, rectify any quality issues on behalf of the African importer, finance imports based on a letter of credit from Standard Bank and ICBC as required and handle shipping logistics.
With over 20 years’ experience in foreign trade procurement services, Guomao provides a one-stop foreign trade supply chain, supply chain finance, and cross-border e-commerce supply chain service, “able to help Standard Bank’s clients navigate China’s foreign trade supply chain and trade seamlessly,” he added. In time, Standard bank’s ACAP offering will include other Chinese trade agents in other key international trade hubs of China, deepening access to China’s supplier universe.
Importantly, the ACAP offering will ease the cash flow of African importers. “Since Chinese suppliers will be secure in their possession of an ICBC-underwritten letter of credit, African importers will be able to receive goods before payment is made,” said Dr. Alagbaoso. This will allow African importers to keep cash in the business for growth.