Sterling Bank Plc, has contributed N250 million as part of its commitment to the newly formed Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 created to help channel resources to combat the coronavirus disease under the theme: “We need you.”
The bank, in an email to its customers, disclosed that it is working with the Bankers’ Committee to lead the effort to raise N120 billion required by the Federal Government to fight the coronavirus pandemic and help achieve the shared goal of eradicating the virus.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman said: “While this will go a long way, more still needs to be done. We have come to acknowledge that this battle will require every one of us to play our part as corporate citizens and individuals.”
He enjoined other public spirited corporate organisations and individuals to join in the fight against COVID-19 by making a contribution to the Fight COVID-19 Fund (FCF) and help the coalition to defeat the pandemic for good. He said every Naira donated will go a long way in saving the country from the pandemic.
Suleiman said donations should be sent to:
Bank Name: Sterling Bank
Account Name: COVID Donations
Account Number: 0076813615
He urged Nigerians to show their strength by uniting against the virus, saying a Swahili proverb which translated into English means “Unity is strength; division is weakness,” is needed now more than ever.
Fidelity Bank says one of its staff who returned from a holiday in the United Kingdom has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement released on Tuesday, the bank said the individual has embarked on self-isolation upon his arrival in the country in line with its policy that mandates staff/family members who have travelled overseas in recent time to self isolate for 14 days and test for the virus before returning to work.
“Fidelity Bank mandates staff or immediate family member(s) who travel out the country to self-isolate for two weeks and obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of our COVID-19 preventive and precautionary measures,” the statement signed by Charles Aigbe, the bank’s divisional head for brand and communications, read.
“This process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.
“He was in self-isolation and underwent testing in line with the bank’s policy. The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where he is currently being attended to by health officials.”
According to the bank, two other members of staff who received gifts from the individual have also been made to self-isolate and the office where they work has been temporarily closed.
The bank said no customers were identified in the contact tracing that was carried out.
Also, the bank said it has shut down its business office at the federal secretariat in Abuja and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with its policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff.
The bank said it is carrying out other measures like reducing the number of staff expected to report physically at work and number of customers allowed at a time in the banking hall to a maximum of five to curb the spread of the virus.
After launching Euronews on its platforms in November, the MultiChoice Group has just launched Africanews – part of the Euronews group. The channel is available on DStv and GOtv and offers millions of households across Africa access to a pan-African multilingual news channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis develops and spreads across the African continent, the MultiChoice Group and the Euronews group have partnered to offer DStv and GOtv customers access to real-time quality information.
Africanews is the only international and independent news channel made for Africa. It offers its viewers content in English and French from an African perspective, made by journalists representing the diversity of the continent. With anchored shows, such as the daily bilingual breakfast show Morning Call, a team of 50 local correspondents, Africanews reports breaking news from the ground, delivers unbiased reporting and showcases all the voices shaping the future of the continent.
While Euronews, Europe’s number one international news channel was already available on the DStv platform, its sister channel Africanews will be available to DStv and GOtv subscribers in over 40 countries across the African continent, including South Africa and neighbouring southern African countries, as well as countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, or Angola.
Thanks to this new partnership, Africanews, launched in 2016 from Pointe-Noire, Congo, now reaches 20 million homes in total across the African continent.
Michael Peters, Euronews CEO, said: “Amid the current COVID-19 crisis, Euronews and Africanews’ mission has never been so important: helping people access real-time up-to-date information, empowering them to make sense of what’s going on in the world by presenting a diversity of viewpoints. We are thrilled to be partnering with the MultiChoice group once again to offer their DStv and GOtv customers access to Africanews, after Euronews, launched on DStv last November. Euronews and Africanews have always been recognised and valued for their fact-based impartial and independent newsgathering. In these times of uncertainty, millions more people in Africa will now have access to these trusted sources of information.”
“In these unprecedented times, the importance of having access to precise, reliable information becomes paramount for our customers and their families. We have increased access to news channels already and the launch of Africanews confirms our commitment to doing all we can to provide the best possible service,” said John Ugbe, CEO MultiChoice Nigeria.
Aside from delivering rolling news, Africanews offers viewers a diverse range of programmes, on culture, lifestyle, sport, business, travel or sci-tech. Inspire Africa is, for instance, the channel’s flagship lifestyle magazine, sourcing stories from the continent. Africanews and Euronews also have a strong presence on digital platforms. In the last two weeks alone, traffic to the Euronews website rose by 86%, while the Africanews website recorded a +300% growth in traffic during the same time.
For more information and find out about other content, products and services, from DStv and visit www.dstvafrica.com or www.gotvafrica.com . To manage your account, download the MyDStv App or MyGOtv App. To enjoy all the extra entertainment on the move, download the DStv Now App which allows you to watch from wherever you are.
Africanews, launched from Pointe-Noire, Congo, in 2016, is the only international and independent news channel made for Africa. With a team of 50 local correspondents representing the diversity of Africa, Africanews reports breaking news from the ground, delivers unbiased reporting and showcases all the voices shaping the future of the continent. Africanews is available, in English and French. Africanews is part of the Euronews group.
Euronews, Europe’s number one international news channel empowers people to form their own opinion. Euronews is unapologetically impartial and seeks to offer a diversity of viewpoints: Euronews is “All Views”.
Since its launch in 1993 in Lyon, France, Euronews has been delivering trusted news in a non-partisan and in-depth way to audiences across the world reaching almost 400 million homes across 160 countries. It reaches more viewers in continental Europe than any of its rivals.
In 2017, Euronews replaced its model and launched 12 distinct cross-platform editions, becoming the world’s first “glocal” news brand. The different editions enable Euronews to deliver tailored content that is relevant to each audience.
Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions has announced a US$130,000 (N50million) donation to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
The donation was made into a fund set up by 54gene, an African genomics research, services and development company working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will help increase COVID-19 testing capacity in the country by up to 1,000 additional tests a day, by buying testing instruments and critical biosafety materials such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment urgently needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe. The procured equipment will be installed in general hospitals and laboratories across the country, and will remain in place even after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to be used in the case of future outbreaks.
In addition, there will also be extensive training and support to medical practitioners and volunteers working across the country to curb the menace.
Announcing the donation, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, said: “Community is one of our core values at Union Bank, and there’s no better time to live this value than now. A critical need for the country at this time is to scale up our testing capabilities and give us a better chance of slowing the spread of the virus. We are therefore pleased to be supporting 54gene who is directly collaborating with NCDC and World Health Organisation who are coordinating Nigeria’s Covid-19 response.”
While commending Union Bank on its donation, the CEO of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong also said: “The rapid and assured response from some of Nigeria’s most reputable institutions, such as Union Bank, to join us in our fight against this deadly disease is highly welcome, and we thank them for their unwavering support. They, like us, understand the need for a multi-stakeholder, co-ordinated plan, that can be implemented almost immediately, as we work together as a community, side-by-side, to fight COVID-19 and protect our population.”
Last week, Union Bank, which had already been proactive in rolling out stringent safety and hygiene practices within its branches and service locations, took the lead in activating remote work for its employees, directing more than 70% of its employees in non-service functions to work from home starting Monday, 23rd of March.
Union Bank also announced the launch of a toll-free Customer Care number 0800 700 700 which customers can call free of charge at anytime of the day or night to get help with banking issues.
These initiatives underscore Union Bank’s commitment to containing the spread of the virus while actively supporting the communities within which it operates.
United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) today announced a donation of over 5 billion Naira (USD14 million), through the UBA Foundation, to catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.
The donation will provide significant and much needed support to Nigeria and 19 other African countries, by supplying relief materials, critical care facilities, and financial support to Governments. The UBA support programme will be allocated as follows:
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) to Lagos State Government in Nigeria
- N500 million (USD1.4 million) to Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria
- N1.5 billion (USD4.2 million) to UBA’s presence countries in Africa
- N1 billion (USD2.8 million) for Medical Centres with equipment and supplies
- Free Telemedicine call centre facility
The pan-African bank will fund a medical centre immediately in Lagos, Nigeria, with beds for isolation and ICU facilities, managed and operated in partnership with Heirs Holdings’ healthcare subsidiary, Avon Medical Hospital.
In addition, UBA is providing a free telemedicine platform, that is physician-led, to provide direct access to medical advice to citizens, in compliance with social distancing requirements.
UBA Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, stated ‘This is a time when we must all play our part. This global pandemic must bring citizens, governments and business leaders together – and quickly. As we see a rapidly increasing number of cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria and Africa, the private sector has to work hand in hand with various Governments, in stemming the spread of the global pandemic.
We commend the efforts of governments and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective’.
Operating in 20 African countries and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, the United Bank for Africa has a strong record of supporting its communities, through challenging times.
Being stuck at home doesn’t have to be so boring, because you have amazing content on DStv, especially when you press the green button. Yes, you’re right! That’s the DStv Box Office.
We have exciting movies for the kids, adults and for N400 only.
Here’s a line up of what’s on offer:
The kids will love this. Frozen, the most anticipated animania movie returned for its sequel with Frozen 2. So, Elsa is having trouble with her magical powers that could threaten her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll set out on a remarkable journey to rediscover herself. Also, for the kids are Bernie the Dolphin, The Addams Family and The Angry Birds 2 Movie.
For the adults, we have actions packed movies and some comedy. Chadwick Boseman features in this gripping crime drama 21 Bridges. After uncovering a massive conspiracy, an embattled NYPD detective joins a citywide manhunt for two young cop killers. You can also rent Black and Blue, The Courier and Playing with Fire.
For half the price, rent some feel-good movies to enhance your viewing pleasure such as Downton Abbey and Good boys.
Hurry over to DStv BoxOffice, available on DStv Explora to rent your copy of any of these movies for N400 only!
This is an opportunity you certainly don’t want to miss out on. Watch the movie as many times as you wish within the 48 hours rent window.
Ikeja Electric has announced that no physical transaction of business will take place across its offices in its franchise network for the next one week. This partial closure is in line with ongoing efforts nationwide to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and protect customers and staff of the Company.
The DisCo said the partial closure, which begins today (Tuesday, March 24, 2020), is part of precautionary measures that have become necessary in order to safeguard the health of customers and staff by limiting their exposure to COVID-19.
The spread of the virus, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), is believed to be mainly through person-to-person contact which enables respiratory droplets from infected individuals who exhibit or later show symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulty, fever etc. to be transmitted to other persons.
Meanwhile, the Company has reassured customers that services including supply of electricity to customers, fault clearing, online channels for purchase of energy credits and payment of bills are unaffected by the temporary closure. Customers can continue to make enquiries or complaints to its Customers Care Team via email, live chat or phone calls.
- Proposes Dividend of 20k Per Share
Fidelity Bank Plc has delivered another impressive full year result, sustaining the sterling financial performance that has been witnessed by the top lender in recent years. The bank’s FY 2019 results released on Monday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed strong growth across key income and balance-sheet lines.
Gross Earnings grew by 14.0% to N215.5bn from N189.0bn in 2018, whilst Profit before tax rose by 21.0% to N30.4bn compared with N25.1bn recorded in the previous year. Similarly net profits surged by 24% from N22.9bn from 2018 in 2018 to N28.4bn in 2019. Buoyed by the performance, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20kobo translating to N5.8bn compared to the dividend of 11 kobo paid in 2018.
In other indices, Net Interest Income increased by 13.2% to N83.1bn in 2018. Net Operating Income rose by 15.6% from N97.2bn to N112.3bn whilst Total Assets grew by 22.9% from N1,719.9bn to N2,114.0bn in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the performance “We are delighted at the results which clearly showed that we sustained our performance trajectory and continued to increase our market share driven by significant traction in our chosen business segments”, he said.
On Digital Banking he said the results were enhanced by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and the deepening of the bank’s existing digital products. According to him “We now have 47.4% of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products, 82.0% of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 31.1% of fee-based income now coming from our digital banking business”.
He further revealed that the efforts aimed at strengthening the bank’s foothold of the retail market, is yielding significant results with savings deposits rising by 20.7% to N275.2bn making it the 6th consecutive year of double-digit growth. “Savings deposits now accounts for about 22.5% of total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment” stated Okonkwo.
Just as was seen with deposit growth, there was also a corresponding increase in the bank’s retail assets. Specifically, Retail loans grew by 42.9% to N53.8bn driven by the bank’s new digital lending products and partnership with Fintechs. As at December 2019, the bank had disbursed over 70,000 micro-loans on our flagship digital lending product (Fidelity FastLoan) in partnership with Migo.
Conversely there was a remarkable improvement in Non-performing loans (NPLs). The bank’s NPL ratio dropped to 3.3% from 5.7% in the 2018FY due primarily to the growth in the loan book and a 25.1% decline in absolute NPLs resulting from the loan write-offs of over N12bn.
By Shola Oshunkeye
The former Group Managing Director, GMD, of the ASCON Oil Company Limited, Grace Olowofoyeku, has named the factors that compelled the board of directors to approve that the company be sold.
She said the clarification became expedient in order to dispel the rumour roiling in the social media that the family of her late husband, and founder/Chairman of the company, Barrister George Enenmoh, was at war with her over the decision to sell the company to its investors.
Until it ran into turbulent waters in 2019, ASCON Oil was one of the leading players in the downstream sector of the economy.
Olowofoyeku, who took over the company in 2005 when her husband and founder of ASCON Oil died in a Bellview airlines crash, said any suggestion of discontent over the divestment “is a lie from the pit of hell.”
“The whole family knew about it,” she declared. “The whole process was done in the open. My children, who were directors in ASCON, as well as other stakeholders, reached a consensus that the best option was to divest. And that’s precisely what we did.
“In fact, my children initiated the move to sell the company. My children saw that the boat was sinking and they said we should bail out. And the family of my late husband, Engineer George Enenmoh, was in full support. Everybody agreed that it was the best thing to do in the circumstance. That’s why we did it and everybody is happy.”
Olowofoyeku, a lawyer, named inconsistent government economic policies, brazen corruption in the downstream sector of the economy, erratic power supply, “strangulating” estimated billings by EKO DISCO, as some of the factors that militated against ASCON Oil, and eventually led to its sale.
“Apart from unfavourable government policies,” the Sabongida Ora, Edo State former GMD continued, “there were other major problems, like the various toll gates created by people from the regulatory agencies down the line. It was impossible for you to transact any business without settling those people. You need to settle heavily before you can do business.
There is also the nagging issue of erratic power supply which keeps you running all your stations on diesel at astronomical costs. This is not to mention the crazy estimated bills that the DISCOs slam on ASCON every month.”
Olowofoyeku underscored the damage that estimated billing did to the company in the few years leading to its divestment, citing the example of the company’s mega filling station at the Admiralty area of Lekki in Lagos, which guzzled N2 million per month in estimated electricity billing.
“What were we selling?” she asked angrily. “We were paying N600,000 per month at our head office (in Victoria Island). Is this place (the headquarters) a manufacturing company? What machines do we operate here to attract N600, 000 per month? None.
“As far as I am concerned, that is oppressive. What business were we doing to generate the income that would enable us pay N2 million for power in just one station, in a month? What were we making in our Admiralty station to be paying N2 million every month for electricity? If you do the maths, you can guess how much we were spending on energy alone. This is not talk about other operational costs, overheads, and so on.”
After taking ASCON Oil to unprecedented heights after her husband’s demise, expanding its retail outlets first from 11 to 39, then, to 57, Olowofoyeku said that, paradoxically, by 2019, the business terrain had become so difficult that the company could hardly do any profitable business again.
“Business became so bad that, in the last four years, we had been gradually laying off staff,” she revealed. “I laid off a lot of staff because we couldn’t pay salaries. By 2019, we had asked 80 per cent of the staff to go home. With that, coupled with the underlying factors which remained unchanged, we had to divest 80 percent. Later, we were left we no other choice but to divest the remaining 20 percent. ASCON Oil is now completely in the hands of its new owners.”
New on DStv is Little Fires Everywhere, an American drama television
Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who would suddenly topple their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster. This mini–series will premiere on 30 March 2020 on M-Net channel 101 at 10 pm.
American Idol is back for its 18th Season. The season promises to be interesting and exciting with returning judges; Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie with the ever dapper and handsome host Ryan Seacrest. American Idol is back 27 March 2020 at 8 pm on M-Net channel 101.
Noughts + Crosses just in its second episode is a British television adaptation of the first book in the novel series of the same name by Malorie Blackman. The series is speculative fiction set in an alternate history, where black “Cross” people rule over white “Noughts“. This series airs Thursday at 11 pm on M-Net channel 101.
The Affair is back for its final season, it follows the life of a grieving waitress, Alison and her extramarital affair with Noah, an accomplished teacher and budding novelist. The repercussions of their affair will destabilise their respective marriages. It premieres 31 March 2020 at 11 pm on M-Net channel 101.
Not a DStv premium subscriber, then upgrade, step up and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.