First City Monument Bank (FCMB), one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, is now a member of the Open Banking Nigeria, an industry-focused non-profit body facilitating the advocacy, development and adoption of a common standard for open Application Programming Interface within the Nigerian financial ecosystem.
With this development, FCMB has formally joined more than 50 other individual and corporate members across the financial industry, including banks, fintechs, financial consultants, global customer service leaders, among other stakeholders as an integral part of Open Banking Nigeria.
Open banking is a concept aimed at enhancing the capability of operators in the financial industry and allied institutions to drive and deepen innovation through access to more customer-authorised information and data.
In Nigeria, it will result in far greater end-users satisfaction, help the various stakeholders thrive, boost collaboration and inspire more innovation.
In addition, the adoption of the concept would create a new data sharing infrastructure among financial institutions, which will go a long way towards enriching the range of services and products that would emerge from operators.
Commenting on FCMB’s membership of Open Banking Nigeria, the Divisional Head, Transaction Banking of the Bank, Rolayo Akhigbe, said: “As an institution focused on the attainment of enhanced customer experience and a more productive as well as impactful business environment, our membership of Open Banking Nigeria reinforces our commitment to the delivery of exceptional services.
“We are optimistic that this would also upscale our operations and ultimately enable us align with the aspirations of our customers.”
Also commenting, the Team Lead, Banking As A Service of FCMB, Isi Nweje, stated: “As always, we are receptive to partnering with the drivers of initiatives that advance the development of Nigeria’s financial services industry to greater heights, while also enabling and fast-tracking growth across other sectors of the economy.”
A Trustee of Open Banking Nigeria, Ope Adeoye, said: “It is a delight to welcome FCMB to the fold. We anticipate working together for a standardised API-led system that would facilitate the growth, accessibility and viability of numerous cross-industry initiatives which would stem from Nigeria’s financial ecosystem.”
Established in 2017 to define and develop these open and non-partisan APIs, Open Banking Nigeria serves as a platform where industry players jointly champion a progressive cause for the benefit of the country and, by extension, the African continent.
First City Monument Bank is a member of FCMB Group Plc, one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments.
With a clear understanding of its market and environment, the Bank has successfully transformed to a retail banking and wealth management-led group.
It has also continued to distinguish itself through innovation and the delivery of exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of customers.
First of Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has launched the Virtual Payment card, a Naira denominated debit card and digital representation of the plastic debit card. The card is designed to be linked to either a customer’s operative account or wallet account.
The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques, with its wide-range features which include the ability of cardholders to protect his/her card using the block and unblock capabilities; PIN Reset; Change PIN as well as view statement at one’s convenience. It also enables diaspora customers to spend from his/her FirstBank account within the spend limit advised by the bank without the need for a physical card.
The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a safe, convenient, and easy way of making e-commerce payments amongst other functionalities.
The Virtual Payment Card can be created via the Bank’s leading digital channels; FirstMobile or Firstmonie Wallet applications. Customers can download the card, activate the card and consummate transactions all at once from the comfort of their homes/offices. No branch visit is required. Customers are advised to update their mobile application to the latest version, then select Card Services on the FirstMobile App and My Virtual Card application to create a Virtual Card at the cost of N215 (VAT Inclusive).
Speaking on the launch, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said ‘the launch of our Virtual Payment Card is yet another secure and seamless way we promote electronic banking, whilst enabling customers to carry-out their transactions on the web”
“The Virtual Payment Card is also designed to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank Branches. We enjoin our customers to download the application and stay ahead in modern banking,” he concluded.
Similarly, FirstBank recently launched the FAST Track ATM, the next generation ATM and first of its kind in Africa, designed to promote financial activities on the ATM without any form of physical interaction with the machine.
For more information on the Virtual Payment Card, kindly click here for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
MultiChoice is delighted to bring back the hugely popular Step Up campaign offer to its DStv and GOtv customers this January.
The Step Up campaign offer gives all active and disconnected DStv Compact, Confam and Yanga customers the opportunity to pay for a package a step above their current package and get a boost to view programming on the next higher package. While customers on GOtv Jolli and Jinja can upgrade to enjoy GOtv Max for less at a special discount of N2,999 instead of N3,600 per month. All the upgrades are scheduled to happen within 48 hours and will be available from Thursday, 14 January till Wednesday, 31 March 2021.
“Through the Step Up and Max for Less campaign offers, we are giving our DStv and GOtv customers something to get excited about this January,” said Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria.
Mabutho further said: “We started this special offer back in 2019 as a way of giving customers on the lower packages a chance to enjoy quality video entertainment on our higher DStv and GOtv packages for less. We are pleased with the popularity and acceptance of the offer, so we are making it available once more to both new and existing customers. It promises to be even more exciting as customers who take advantage of this offer will be exposed to even more great entertainment starting this January.”
DStv customers on the Yanga package can pay N4,615 for Confam package and then get a boost to view programmes on the next higher package, Compact; while customers on the Confam package can pay N7,900 for Compact and instead view Compact Plus package programming. Likewise, Compact customers only pay N12,400 for Compact Plus package and in turn get Premium package worth N18,400 per month.
January is booked with different exciting programming such as, brand new seasons of exciting shows and drama series on Africa Magic starting with Date My Family S2 premiere on Sunday, 17th January at 6pm on AM Showcase; My Siblings & I S3 on Monday, 18th January at 6:30pm on AM Urban and Unmarried S2 on Wednesday, 20th January at 9pm on AM Showcase.
Launch of the M-Net Movies 007 James Bond Pop-Up Channel 111 on Friday, 22nd January to Monday, 31st January 2021 on DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact.
The 2020/21 Football Season continues with the best leagues and cup tournaments on SuperSport. Watch Liverpool vs Manchester United on Sunday 17th January at 5:30pm and Manchester United vs Liverpool on Saturday, 23rd January at 4pm on SuperSport Premier League. Emirates FA Cup 4th round match between Leicester City vs Chelsea on Tuesday, 19th January at 9:15pm on SuperSport Premier League. In Serie A, Sunday, 17th January at 8:45pm is Inter Milan vs Juventus on SuperSport Variety 3 on DStv SuperSport Select 1 on GOtv while in La Liga, Real Sociedad vs Real Betis will air on Saturday, 23rd January at 6:30pm and Athletico Madrid vs Valencia on Sunday, 24th January at 9pm on SuperSport La Liga.
Exclusive GOtv Max content including all La Liga, Serie A, twice as more Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches, M-Net Movies 4, BET, Cartoon Network, StarLife, ROK 2, CBS Reality and more.
The Step Up and Max for Less offer is open to both active and disconnected DStv Yanga, Confam and Compact customers and GOtv Jolli and Jinja customers. For more information on this limited time offer as well as other products and services, please visit: www.dstvafrica.com or www.gotvafrica.com
Ecobank Nigeria says it is partnering Ultima Studios on the Lions’ Den TV reality show to further its aspiration to support entrepreneurs who have good business ideas but need to raise funds for advancement. Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan who stated this in Lagos reiterated Ecobank’s commitment to be the foremost financial institution in the country providing thought leadership within the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) space and also supporting them with access to financial products and services to succeed. Ecobank is the Lead Sponsor of the TV reality show hitting TV screens in 2021.
Lions’ Den which is being packaged and produced in Nigeria by Ultima Limited, a leading reality television programmes producer in West Africa, is a spinoff of the popular ‘Dragons Den’ and ‘Shark Tank’ in the UK and US respectively. The TV show brings together budding entrepreneurs and innovators with seasoned investors and business leaders to create an avenue where compelling best ideas are supported and funded.
Mr. Akinwuntan said he is optimistic that the show would attract the target group including established SMEs seeking seed or expansion capital , aspiring entrepreneurs and young graduates with bright business ideas. He reiterated that the TV show has a proven track record of appealing to both male and female audiences across the globe.
“ SMEs and entrepreneurs in the country are looking for a viable partner that will help them build sustainable businesses. Customers have become more discerning, they are not looking for any partner, but the right partner – one that is not just providing financial support but is investing in their growth; this is what Ecobank represents. We have been actively supporting SMEs because we recognise them as the engine of growth of any economy. This TV show will further create more entrepreneurs. We are pleased to partner with Ultima Limited who have a pedigree of producing world class programmes such as ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ and ‘Project Fame West Africa’. We believe the target group will embrace the programme and at the end of the day, we will achieve our objectives of supporting small businesses and helping aspiring entrepreneurs in the country realize their dreams.”
Recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Ultima Studios, Femi Ayeni said he has reached an agreement with UK-based Sony Pictures Television to produce the Nigerian version of the globally acclaimed business reality television show, ‘Lions’ Den’. He said the show, the first of its kind in Nigeria, is a variation of the original show that was first aired in Japan and has now been produced in over 30 countries. The show targets entrepreneurs who have good business ideas but need to raise funds to advance their business. According to him, Ultima’s choice of Lions’ Den is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, adding that the programme will not only provide exciting viewing for viewers at home, but also provide an opportunity for serious entrepreneurs to attract much-needed investments.
Lions’ Den is the world’s number one business reality show – adapted in over 30 countries worldwide. In summary, five investors listen to pitches from budding and innovative entrepreneurs who present their innovative ideas/ business plans in return for capital. Entrepreneurs with successful pitches on the show do not only obtain investments but also acquire mentors and partners for the lifespan of their business. The show, which appeals to adults 18 -54 years, generates consumer engagement opportunities as well as long term business relationships with participants, both on and off the show. It provides a platform for business education, directly and indirectly expanding on several business concepts such as investments, demand and supply, branding, business accounting and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs on the show and those viewing the show will acquire insightful business knowledge, through the questions, comments and suggestions offered by the Lions over the course of the show.
Buoyed up by the culture of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) of the current NNPC management, no fewer than (96) prominent and reputable companies from various jurisdictions have indicated interest in undertaking the rehabilitation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) downstream infrastructure ranging from critical pipelines to depots and terminals through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) financing model.
This was disclosed at a virtual public bid opening exercise which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja for the pre-qualification of companies for the contract.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the public opening of the bids for the contract was in keeping with the NNPC Management’s commitment to transparency and accountability in all its processes and transactions.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC), Mrs. Ada Oyetunde, disclosed that the exercise was in conformity with the mandate of the Federal Government to prioritise the rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructure across the country.
She listed the facilities that would be rehabilitated by successful bidders to include critical pipelines for crude oil supply to the refineries and evacuation of refined products, depots, and terminals, stressing that the objective is to get them ready to support the refineries when they become operational after their rehabilitation.
“An open tender for pre-qualification of interested companies was published in August 2020 in the national dailies, for the rehabilitation of NNPC downstream critical pipelines and associated depots and terminal infrastructure through Finance BOT to cover the 4 lots namely: Lot 1: Port Harcourt Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 2: Warri Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 3: Kaduna Refinery related infrastructure and Lot 4: System 2B related infrastructure,” Mrs. Oyetunde stated.
The NPSC boss said that the BOT arrangement would provide a reliable pipeline network and automated storage facilities for effective crude feed, product storage and evacuation from the nation’s refineries post-revamp through an open access model and charge market reflective prices and tariffs to recover the investment.
Earlier, the Group General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Mrs. Aisha Katagum, commended the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for providing guidance for the project and assured the bidding firms of a fair, equitable and transparent selection process.
On hand to observe proceedings at the public bid opening exercise were representatives of the ICRC, BPP, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Civil Liberties Organisations (CLOs).
Highpoint of the event was the display of the 96 companies that submitted bids for the rehabilitation projects.
Current and former Speakers of various legislative houses in the south-western part of Nigeria have agreed to unite in support of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The meeting, which was organised by the BAT Foundation, held in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, late Wednesday with the participants concluding that they all need to collectively project Tinubu ahead of 2023.
Those in attendance at the meeting include: Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa of Lagos, his colleague in Ogun, Olawale Oluomo.
Others Speakers and former Speakers present at the meeting also include: former Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji (Lagos), Rt. Hon. Suraju Adekunbi (Ogun), Rt. Hon. Muyiwa Oladipo (Ogun), Rt. Hon. Asimiyu Alarape (Oyo), Rt. Hon. Prof Mojeed Alabi (Osun), Rt. Hon. Victor Olabimtan (Ondo), Rt. Hon. Kenneth Olawale (Ondo), and Rt. Hon. Kola Adefemi, pioneer Speaker of Ekiti state.
Others include: Rt. Hon. Taofiq Abdulsalam (Ondo), Rt. Hon. Oluwasegunota Bolarinwa (Ondo), Rt. Hon. Patrick Ajigbolamu (Ekiti), Rt. Hon. Adejare Bello (Osun), Rt. Hon. Jokotola Pelumi (Lagos), Rt. Hon. Gunju Ojo (Oyo), Rt. Hon. Titi Oseni (Ogun), Simeon Olufemi Popoola (Ondo Dep Speaker), and Wale Afolabi.
Speaking at the meeting, Speaker Obasa said there was need for the body of Speakers and former Speakers to begin the move aimed at projecting the political and humanitarian sides of Tinubu ahead of 2023.
“He has made a lot of people and brought up a lot of leaders politically. So, some of us agreed that outside politics, there should be something that is more humanitarian. That is why we came up with the idea of BAT Foundation,” he said.
The Speaker said the foundation is primarily created to touch lives, adding in the same vein that the BAT movement is aimed at supporting Tinubu politically.
While clarifying that Tinubu is not involved in the mobilisation, he noted that the motivation was that each of the attendees at the meeting had personal and beneficial relationships with the political leader.
“When you have a benefactor who is well known for his benevolence, it is a duty that you must act on his behalf in a way you feel you can compensate such a man for what he is still doing.
“So we are here to interact in respect of what you all believe is around the corner and that is the 2023 ticket to galvanise support in the south-west,” Speaker Obasa said adding that there are plans to replicate the movement in all states in the zone.
He said talks were also ongoing with leaders from the north-central and a meeting would soon hold in Abuja for further discussions.
Contributing, Titi Oseni, who was the only woman at the meeting, described Tinubu as a generous man. She recalled how Tinubu supported her when she aspired to contest an election for the Senate.
On his part, former Ogun Speaker, Bashorun Muyiwa Oladipo, said in politics, no level of support is disregarded.
He also noted that currently across the country, it is difficult to see anyone who can match Tinubu politically.
Speaking also, former Lagos Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, urged for more support for Tinubu and argued in favour of zoning.
According to him, the country is not ripe for to jettison power shifts.
A top official of the BAT movement and former ambassador, Aliyu Saulawa, said it was only just to support Tinubu the way the leader assisted to make the election of President Muhammadu Buhari successful in 2015 and 2019.
Africa’s longest running and most successful drama series, Tinsel, is set to air its 3000th episode on Thursday 21 January 2021.
Launched in 2008, Tinsel has reimagined African soap opera, drawing audiences in with its intriguing storyline which speaks to love, influence and scandal set against the backdrop of the Nigerian film industry.
Over the years, Tinsel has also served as a major launchpad for many of Africa’s best-known faces on television including the likes of Gideon Okeke, Gbenro Ajibade, Damilola Adegbite, Chris Attoh, Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman and many others. Tinsel also features many established Nollywood actors such as Iretiola Doyle, Victor Olaotan, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Yul Edochie and many more.
Commenting on this major milestone, Channel Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “Our local content story cannot be complete without a mention of our flagship soap opera, Tinsel. We are indeed happy to hit the 3000th episode mark of this stellar series. At MultiChoice, we remain committed to growing and promoting local content and talents as we continue to expand the boundaries of African film and television production. Tinsel owes its longevity to its amazing cast, stellar directing, multifaceted storyline and high production values.”
Tinsel, which is widely considered the most successful television drama on Nigerian television in recent times, also won an Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for the Best M-Net original drama series in 2017.
The 3000th episode will feature a guest appearance from prominent Nigerian comedian, AY Makun.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged stakeholders in the oil industry to find and agree on cheaper means of producing oil in the country.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the vice president spoke at a virtual meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with stakeholders in the industry.
The stakeholders operate under the auspices of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) in Nigeria, and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG).
The vice president called for a more competitive environment that met the need and purposes of the Nigerian nation including the largest production volumes possible.
“We need to agree on terms that will give us a more competitive environment.
“ We should find a way of producing oil cheaper at the largest volume possible given the circumstances and future of oil itself, and of course, given our requirements and needs.
“The other point is that of gas; to sound the question of reconciling and maintaining our domestic gas obligation, and at the same time improving the gas environment in such a way that we are able to benefit maximally from it as a business and government.
“I like the concept that gas should be an enabler for quick development and I think that we must reach some kind of balance with this, especially with this question around domestic gas obligation.
“ I would like OPTS and IPPG to look more carefully and see in what ways we can come to some agreements as to how it should be done.”
Osinbajo said that the passage of the PIB should be seen as an opportunity to transform the industry by addressing lingering issues that had impeded development across the different sectors that make up the industry.
According to him, businesses will like to invest and invest more in the environment. “So, that is the point of convergence.
“We want more investments and obviously state governments like more investments, and you (private companies) would like to invest so that you can make more money.
“No question about that; what we should seek to do is to see to what extent we can come to that convergence,” he said.
The new PIB, which was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020, has passed the second reading in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The central aim of the bill is to foster sustainable development in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr Timipre Silva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the interaction with the stakeholders in the petroleum industry was indicative of their commitment to the transformation of the industry through the PIB.
He said that working with other stakeholders, including the National Assembly, that the PIB as conceived by the Buhari administration, would be passed into law.
On his part, Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that most of the concerns raised by stakeholders had been addressed in the proposal before the National Assembly.
He said that the Federal Government had moved from its previous position to one that was more competitive and attractive to investors.
Mr Mike Sangster, Chairman, OPTS and Managing Director, Total Nigeria Limited commending the efforts of the Federal Government in guiding the process of having a new law for the industry.
He said that the stakeholders remained committed to making Nigeria the “preeminent hydrocarbon province” in the region and the world.
Other participants at the meeting included Mr Laing Richard, Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil in Nigeria, Mr Rick Kennedy, Chairman of Chevron Nigeria Limited and Chairman of IPPG, Mr Ademola Adeyemi-Bero.
Mouka made a wholesome donation of 10 professional computer systems to the Nigerian Armed Force Resettlement Centre (NAFRC). This was to support the centre’s vision of becoming a world-class training institution for ex-servicemen and women who have made the nation proud in their duties as military officers while in active service.
Mouka made the donation at the NAFRC training centre during the passing out ceremony of Trainees Course 02/2020 Stream Two of ex-service military personnel. This act was also to commemorate the Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance Day which holds annually on January 15.
Presenting the gifts to the NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, in the presence of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Mouka, Dimeji Osingunwa, said the company is happy to step up and support the centre’s vision of becoming a world-class training institution for ex-servicemen and women.
Osingunwa was accompanied by other Mouka staff, including the Chief Operating Officer, Femi Fapohunda, the Head of Marketing, Tolu Olanipekun and Senior Brand and Innovation Manager, Akeem Audu.
Mouka’s CCO pointed out that the company also wishes to acknowledge the centre’s valuable role in adding value to the lives of members of the armed forces after their patriotic input to nation-building, by providing training to enable them to cope with challenges of reintegration into civil life.
Osingunwa said the company would continue to support the military and the NAFRC vision of becoming a world-class training institute through effective collaboration.
According to him, computer literacy is a must for all, even for the ex-servicemen and women in today’s digital world. “Everything around us is driven by technology. The computer has become an essential tool of learning and access to globally required skills, and that the ex-military personnel will find them useful for their career and personal growth,” Osingunwa affirmed.
In his remark, the NAFRC Commandant commended Mouka for enhancing the training centre, which he said will help equip the ex-military personnel who will put them into use.
The company leading in the manufacturing of branded mattresses and pillows in the country had also demonstrated its resolve in promoting Nigerian’s wellbeing through the recent presentation of gifts to mothers of first babies born on January 1, 2021.
This took place at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Shagamu, in Ogun State, and the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State. The gifts comprised of Dreamtime Baby mattress, Mouka baby mat, baby wipes and diapers.
Other goodwill acts include donations of over 1,000 mattresses to Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States government to enhance their COVID-19 isolation centres. Mouka also aided the Abule Ado gas pipeline explosion victims who were in dire need of assistance with 200 mattresses.
As the promoter of healthy sleep, Mouka has a portfolio of quality products such as Wellbeing orthopaedic mattresses, Klinic hospital mattress, Dreamtime water-resistant mattress, and a wide range of pillows to help Nigerians sleep well and wake up refreshed.
The Ogun State Government has announced Monday, 18th January, 2021, the official resumption date for the second term of 2020/2021 academic session.
According to the School Calendar for 2020/2021 Academic Year, released by Ogun State Government, second term commences on Monday, January 18, 2021.
“As usual, there will be a two-day mid-term break from Thursday, February 11, 2021 and Friday, February 12, 2021. The 2nd term academic activities will officially end on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
“The final (third) term of the session will resume on Monday, April 19, 2021 while the mid-term holiday will come up on Thursday, May 27, 2021 and Friday, May 28, 2021.
“Third term/the session will be rounded up on Friday July 16, 2021, giving way for the long vacation before the commencement of the 2021/2022 session on Monday, September 6, 2021.” It stated.