Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the hijacked #EndSARS protests that led to the looting and destruction of businesses that has thrown Nigerians and business owners into debts.
Leading financial institution in Nigeria, Access Bank Nigeria Plc. has announced N50 billion in support of Nigerians through interest-free loans and grants to support communities, the youths, and micro, small and medium-sized businesses. This information was disclosed by the bank through its official LinkedIn page.
According to the bank; “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively. In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with 50 Billion Naira interest-free loans and grants. Watch this space for more information.”
This show of support from Access Bank will help alleviate and stimulate economic activities, as well as produce many positive multiplier effects on the economy.
As a way of supporting SMEs and the working class of the country following the recent damage of properties and livelihoods experienced across the nation, @myaccessbank has rolled out interest free loans of up to N50bn. The fund is expected to serve as a kickstart to these affected communities, people and businesses. #AccessCares #All4One
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says the country’s oil revenue target declined by N1.06 trillion due to COVID-19 and low crude oil price.
The NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari, made the disclosure on Tuesday during a Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) oil and gas webinar with theme as: “Perspectives of Operations and Industry Experts Post- COVID-19”.
According to Kyari, the country’s N2.64 trillion oil revenue target declined by 40 per cent as a result of twin shocks of COVID-19 and low crude oil price. He said that the pandemic created an unprecedented and global crisis that would cause regions, countries, sectors, companies and individuals to experience reaction, resilience, recovery and adjustment for a new reality.
Kyari, represented by Mrs Rose Eshietti, noted that upstream projects were delayed as a result of the pandemic restrictions. “The energy industry is likely to continue to struggle in the wake of a precipitous drop in oil and gas prices due to dampened demand from the effects of COVID-19,’’ he said.
According to him, revenue and production declines will continue to present major challenges for oil and gas companies, especially those at risk of being unable to refinance debt.
Speaking on emerging opportunities in the industry, Kyari said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill would remove uncertainties and create investments opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
He disclosed that 40 billion barrels and three million barrels per day production target were potential investment opportunities for in-country storage capacity for crude oil.
Kyari urged industry players to exploit the country’s abundant gas reserves for in-country consumption.
He added that private firms should support major partners in the establishment of Integrated Power Plants along the Abuja Kaduna Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline project.
He said that oil and gas industry players should manage cost, improve efficiency and deliver required cash flow for reinvestment and expansion by taking advantage of opportunities that would keep the industry viable and ready for post COVID-19.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in his keynote address, also said that the pandemic resulted to loss of revenue and deferred investments.
Sylva stressed the need for innovation and adaptability in the industry for enhanced growth and development.
He said that industry players must adapt in these unusual times, noting that over reliance of crude oil was increasing diminishing.
The minister, however, assured that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry would emerge stronger from the current challenges Sylva said that players need to come up with strategies and solutions to issues for quick recovery and economic sustenance. On the way forward, he called for cost reduction to ensure adequate return on investment and accelerated passage of PIB. Sylva suggested the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to guarantee industry stability and sustenance.
Earlier, Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, said that government and corporate organisations were saddled with the responsibility of overcoming the impact of the pandemic.
Onyema said that the oil and gas sector was critical to the nation’s economy due to its importance to government revenue.
According to him, the sector needs to adopt innovations in growth areas due to crude oil price collapse.
Onyema said that the exchange would continue to provide platform to quoted companies and stakeholders for long-term finance.
He disclosed that about N400 billion issues had been raised by oil and gas companies from the market.
The chief executive officer said that NSE would work with stakeholders to provide a framework for renewable energy.
The Board of Directors, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc., has announced the resignation of Mrs Furera Jumare as a non-executive director on the board. Mrs Beatrice Hamza-Bassey, Chairman of the board, made the disclosure in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
According to the statement, Jumare’s resignation from Union Bank Board followed her appointment as Director-General of the Jigawa State Investment Promotion Agency. This is in line with the regulatory guidelines precluding certain categories of public servants from serving on boards of banks and other financial institutions.
Hamza-Bassey, said: “Since joining the board in May 2017, Jumare has been an invaluable voice in the boardroom.
“Her experience and professional counsel directly contributed to our wins in recent years and in helping us navigate challenging times.
“She also served studiously as the Chair of the Board Governance Committee and Member of the Board Audit and Risk Management Committees. “On behalf of the board, I thank her for her diligent service and wish her much success as she answers the call of service to her state.”
According to Mr Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer, Furera’s appointment is a clear acknowledgement of her experience and accomplishments in her long career, including her role as a Director with Union Bank.
“The Board and Management are grateful for her service and wish her the best in her new role.
“Mrs. Jumare’s resignation is effective immediately,” he said.
Fidelity Bank Plc has added yet another accolade to its burgeoning collection of awards.
The bank, in recognition of its unflinching support for Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, clinched the award for the ‘Outstanding SME Supporting Bank of the Year’ at the 2020 Marketing & Advertising Award for Excellence ceremony which held on Friday at the D’Podium International Centre in Lagos.
According to the organizers, Marketing Edge, the bank’s nomination and subsequent emergence as an award recipient were a product of a review and assessment of its intervention and provision of long-term financing support for MSMEs across the country.
Receiving the award on behalf of the bank, Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe thanked the management of Marketing Edge for the recognition. “Our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.” He noted that the bank had developed a strong multifaceted SME banking platform, driven by its tailored, low cost transactions banking offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster focused advisory services and hand-holding support.
Also, on the night, Aigbe was honored as the Outstanding Corporate Communications Personality of the Year’. He was bestowed with the award, in recognition of his contributions to the growth, development and continuing evolution of the Nigerian marketing and brand management business even in the face of daunting challenges.
Marketing Edge, one of Nigeria’s foremost Brand and Marketing Communications publication, also acknowledged the huge strides that the bank has made in product development, brand recognition and reputation as well as integrated marketing communications credentials.
- Releases New Book
Dr. Hellen Oritsejafor, wife of the founder of Word of Life Bible Church and former President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Ayodele Oritsejafor, has launched a book explaining effective ways of sustaining businesses in a COVID-19 burdened economy.
The book titled “You Too Can Become A Success” which was launched recently in Warri, Delta State, highlights the strategies required for any business to succeed in an economy buffeted by the pandemic.
Certainly, many economies have been adversely affected by the deadly disease and that thousands of lives have been decimated, a situation that has made world leaders grappling with the doldrums and unsettling issues of the virus.
This led to the survey conducted to explore the impact of the pandemic on more than 3,000 small businesses between March 28th and July 2020, and it led to some led to some discoveries, which shows that there were mass layoffs and closures few weeks into the crisis, that the risk of closure was negatively associated with the expected length, and that many small businesses are financially fragile.
The book therefore holds significance for small, medium and large-scale enterprises and specifically focuses on strategies built around the following six sub-headings; Work your Process and be Strategic, Creating a Powerful Ecosystem Strategy to Sustain Competitiveness, the Place of Technology, Adopting Customer Centric Strategy for your Business, Business Diversification and Recession-proof businesses that you can invest in during the pandemic
The literary work also embodies steps critical to self-actualisation in any sphere of life, thus, helping readers to discover their passion and effectively work towards attainment of set goals.
The author has disclosed that 50 percent of the proceeds from the book sales will be invested to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on small and medium scale enterprises.
She is also willing to provide mentorship to business owners who seek such service as the book can be purchased through the following platforms: Amazon, Kindle, Eagle Strength Bookshop in Delta State, Roving Heights Bookshop and Patabah Bookshop in Lagos State respectively.
Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv, has refuted the claim that its system has been hacked and explained that the firm was only upgrading its system.
This was disclosed by a source in Multichoice Nigeria, who pleaded anonymous as she is not allowed to speak officially on the development.
The source said the company decided to open all of its channels because during the upgrade the subscribers would have difficulties accessing some channels on their bouquets.
“Instead of allowing subscribers to go through such challenge, we decided to open all channels till the upgrade is over,” the souce said.
According to the source, the company had informed its subscribers last week Thursday that the upgrade exercise would last for about three days.
It stated: “Please be informed that Multichoice offices are under going a system upgrade from 11 pm Saturday October 17 to 4pm Monday, October 19, 2020.”
Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service providers is set to commence the account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for the earmarked 774,000 participants of the SPW Programme in their branches, throughout the 774 Local Government Areas.
The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 (Twenty thousand Naira) only, monthly and the programme is to kick off from 1st November 2020, and a total of 129 LGAs have been assigned to Heritage Bank Plc.
The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement 774,000 Jobs in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, for a period of three (3) months.
As part of the modalities of the programme, the 6 participating banks, Heritage Bank inclusive have been mandated to open accounts for all the beneficiaries and capture BVN. Also, a special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s Bio-data for this exercise.
In a bid to align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo disclosed that Heritage bank has prepared seamless process flow for the commencement of the BVN enrolment/ account opening documentation of the assigned shortlisted beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, he noted, “For locations that the Bank does not have physical presence, the Agency Banking Team has engaged Super Agents to cover these areas and ensure smooth on boarding in such locations.”
He stated that Heritage Bank would definitely adhere strictly to the beneficiary list forwarded to the Bank from the Federal Government for account opening/BVN enrolment to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Ibidapo reiterated the bank’s success stories and legacies in similar exercises sustained through various entrepreneur schemes in the support for economic growth, which had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Recall that 1,000 participants were drawn each from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria for the Special Public Works Programme. In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed the fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, stating that it has gotten assurance from the banks that even in places where they have no physical presence or branch, registration centers would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.
The minister said, ‘‘The banks assured us that even in LGAs where they don’t have branches, temporary registration centers would be opened in such LGAs so that the participants would not have to travel far to open their accounts”.
Explaining the core areas of the SPW programme, Kenyamo said, “Special Public works department is one of the four (4) core focus of the NDE. It seeks to identify and optimize employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organizing the skilled, un-skilled and semi-skilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works.”
Amidst the harsh realities brought by the pandemic, Wema Bank, last week, announced that it had promoted 214 staff members. The promotion is part of the bank’s custom to reward good performance.
The promotion, which comes with a salary increment, cuts across several departments and grades, including senior, middle and junior staff.
Chief Human Resources Officer, Wema Bank, Ololade Ogungbenro, said that the promotion was part of the bank’s intent to maintain a vibrant workforce by rewarding the effort of staff members.
“2020 has been a difficult year for all us but as a bank, we have had to depend on the commitment, innovative efforts, passion and dedication of our staff to ensure we continue to deliver refreshing digital solutions to our teeming customers.”
“Wema Bank is known for maintaining a motivated workforce with high standards of professionalism, innovation and excellence. Despite the current challenges of the Nigerian business terrain, the recent promotion is our way to reassure staff of the bank’s commitment to maintaining overall workforce motivation and support their career growth.”
Mrs Ogungbenro added that “while it may be practically impossible to promote everyone, measures have been taken to ensure the career growth of all staff through special courses, training and other strategic partnerships.”
“We have rebuilt our training school, the Purple Academy, which serves as a pathway for new staff to join the bank as well as a learning centre for staff members to increase individual and organisational productivity. We have also partnered with Coursera, one of the largest online courses and training platform in the world, to deliver free courses to staff to enable an increase in capacity, modern-day work practices and knowledge across several areas,” she explained.
…says website not shut
Our attention has been drawn to the tweet making the rounds on social media on shutting down the FirstBank website following a false tweet that the Bank prevented staff from joining the ongoing protests in the country.
As the largest banking institution in Nigeria, it is not unlikely that we may be seen as a target in circumstances such as these. This is rather unfortunate as we believe far reaching reform is necessary and we have said as much on a number of occasions across our platforms.
In the process of change, some pain will be borne by all and some anger may well be misdirected. We understand this as a part of the process of the struggle.
We have a large staff strength and an even larger customer base who may be affected by any disruption and this would be a pity as a number are also contributing in many ways to ensure that voices are heard and required action is taken.
We have been consistent in our message on the need to end all brutality and carry out necessary reforms. We will continue to lend our voice accordingly.