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CIBN President, Olugbemi Says eNaira Will Deepen Financial Inclusion

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CIBN President Says eNaira Will Deepen Financial Inclusion

“Equally worthy of note is the improvement, though slight, being witnessed in the exchange rate of the Naira

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Bayo Olugbemi has commended the introduction of the country’s first digital currency, eNaira, saying it was part of measures to deepen financial inclusion and integrate millions of unbanked Nigerians into the banking system.

Dr. Olugbemi, who spoke at the 56th Annual Bankers Dinner of the institute, noted that while the modality for the operation of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is being finetuned, the launch of the electronic currency was a step in the right direction.

He commended CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele for the innovative introduction of eNaira, saying” I have no doubt in my mind that it is a welcome development and a step in the right direction.

“Equally worthy of note is the improvement, though slight, being witnessed in the exchange rate of the Naira. I wish to call for its sustenance. We are certainly working in interesting times with global growth rate at its lowest and traditional norms being challenged on a daily basis.”

Olugbemi, who was attending his last CIBN dinner as the president of the institute as he would be handing over the mantle of leadership of the institute by May 2022, noted that his tenure builds “on the solid foundation laid by our predecessors, rooted in the tradition of constantly leaning forward into the future.

He thanks members of the Institute for their support in the implementation of the A-TEAM Agenda of his administration. “I want to assure you that the Institute will continue to devote its resources to the development of competencies whilst strengthening observance of ethics and professionalism in the banking industry.

He said traditionally, the Annual Bankers Dinner is the “CBN Governor’s Day” because it affords stakeholders’ the rare privilege of interacting and listening to Mr. Governor as he examines critical issues and fundamentals which have affected the banking industry within the year.

In his keynote address, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele who was the Special Guest of Honour stated that “In less than 4 weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place. “Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smartphones.

“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry,’’ he said.

The CBN governor noted that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.

Emefiele said that total transaction volumes using digital channels more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.

He said that Digital payment channels also helped to support the continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.

He said the banking sector’s robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria, reflective of the confidence in our payment system, indicating that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms run by Nigerian founders.

Mr. Emefiele also stated that the policies created to ensure stability in the exchange rate saw more transactions flowing through the official Investors & Exporters FX window (I&E FX Window) which raised its average daily Fx turnover to $250 million from $40 million in April 2020.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his remarks stated that bankers “must ensure that the fundamental economic indicators, both micro and macro, of our economy, are a true reflection of what the realities are in the various sectors of the economy.”

Sanwo-Olu said, “We will certainly need to review the traditional economic and monetary models in the face of changing realities and the desire to achieve maximum impact and outcome vis a vis our policy objectives.

“But even as we do this, we must never lose sight of our primary mandates as institutions and organizations. He said the fund’s banks deploy must create jobs, boost exports, build capacity, and guarantee prosperity for significant numbers of our population.

The Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, and Chairman North Central Governors Forum used the forum to donate a facility in Minna, the state capital to the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria (CIBN) to serve as the North Central Regional Office in other to strengthen the relationship between the Banking industry in Nigeria and the North Central part of the country.

Highlights of the event was the presentation of the various awards to Next Generation Class of 2021 which recognizes a class of young bankers who are excelling and have contributed exceptionally to the industry and economy with your institution; X-factor Award which recognizes a leading female banker breaking the glass ceiling and inspiring a more gender-inclusive Industry was awarded to OlaronkeKing; Affiliated of the year Award which recognizes an industry affiliate/agent whose performance has enhanced the Industry’s goal of financial inclusion was Award to Paystack Payments Limited; Next Generation Customer Award which recognizes a business in an identified strategic sector that has been catalyzed by the industry’s support was awarded to Faith Agro and the COVID-19 Response Banker of The Year Award which recognizes employees that innovatively stepped up beyond the call of duty in the fight against Covid-19, to ensure business continuity despite the scourge of the pandemic was jointly awarded to Ameachi Okobi of Access Bank and Dr. Segun Oghuan of FBN Ltd

The Group Managing Director/CEO of Wema Bank Plc, Mr. Ademola Adebise served as the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the event.

The Annual Bankers Dinner had in physical attendance Commissioner’s of Finance and Budget and planning of various states, Chairmen of Banks, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, President, IoD; Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria; President of Professional Bodies; Director-General, SEC and his Commissioners; MD/CEOs of banks; Past Presidents and Registrars of the Institute, Diplomats, Captains of Industries, Business leaders, and financial analysts.

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Sterling Bank, NHEA Recognize Nigeria’s Healthcare Champions

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Sterling Bank, NHEA Recognize Nigeria’s Healthcare Champions

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has given special recognition awards to healthcare providers who played leading roles in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awards were given to selected recipients at the 8th annual Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA), which was held in Lagos over the weekend under the theme of Innovative Healthcare Services in the Era of Change.

NHEA is an initiative of Global Health Projects and Resources in collaboration with the Anadach Group of the United States of America. It is a yearly event where individuals and organisations are recognized and celebrated for their exceptional contributions to the healthcare sector.

Special recognition awards were given to Medbury Medical Services as the Most Responsive COVID-19 Testing Company of the Year and Seven-UP Bottling Company Plc as the Most Outstanding COVID-19 Consumables Manufacturer of the Year. Other recipients were the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State as the Most Outstanding Genomic Laboratory of the Year, and Nassarawa State as the Most Outstanding State for COVID-19 Vaccination.

Speaking on the awards, Group Head, Health Finance with Sterling Bank, Ibironke Akinmade said the bank recognized and honored the champions of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the excellent services they rendered while the pandemic was raging in a bid to spur them to do more.

She said, “Sterling Bank is committed to improving access to healthcare for every Nigerian, and our flagship offering – digitization of State Health Insurance Platform – prefers 360-degree solution to help states bring healthcare to every citizen as well as provide a wealth of data to inform policies, planning and strategy, at no initial investment.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Professor Ehanire Osagie, commended the organizers of the awards which were held post the different variants of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restoration of the economy to normalcy again.

The minister who was represented by the Managing Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Adedamola Dada, remarked that the purpose of recognizing and rewarding healthcare professionals that contributed to efficient and quality healthcare services is to foster excellence and sustain the quality.“Good healthcare delivery is a key objective of this present administration,” Professor Osagie said. 

Sterling Bank, NHEA Recognize Nigeria’s Healthcare Champions
Left-Right: Head, Health Sector Finance, Sterling Bank Plc, Adewale Adebowale; Project Director, Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Awards 2022, Dr. Wale Alabi and Group Head, Health Finance, Sterling Bank Plc, Ibironke Akinmade at the 8th Annual Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Awards in Lagos over the weekend.

Chairman of the Advisory Board of NHEA, Dr. Anthony Omolola said, “Over the years, NHEA has continued to strive to deliver new and creative ways to honor excellence across the healthcare space. This year is not different at all. At these awards, we are paying attention to those who pioneered innovative healthcare services in the era of change.”

Sterling Bank’s Divisional Head, Business Growth and Transaction Banking, Mr. Obinna Ukachukwu, observed that the bank recognized the role that NHEA is playing in the health sector by rewarding excellence and promoting positive outcomes in the sector.

He noted that Sterling Bank, a leading player in the financing of the health sector, decided to come on board to further support the excellence and growth of the sector.

NHEA Executive Secretary, Vivian Alkali, expressed the confidence that with Sterling Bank’s partnership and support, subsequent editions of NHEA will meet with greater success.

The NHEA initiative, through its eminent team’s research and innovation, has continued to encourage improvements and focus on the quality and standard of service provided by various stakeholders in the industry.

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Fidelity Bank Renovates Classroom Blocks, Commissions ATM Gallery In Zaria To Drive Financial Inclusion

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Fidelity Bank Renovates Classroom Blocks, Commissions ATM Gallery In Zaria To Drive Financial Inclusion

Olushola Okunlade Writes

A leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc recently commissioned the newly renovated  Madrasatul Anwarul Islam school in Zaria,  Kaduna State as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives targeted across Nigeria.

Established over five decades ago by the emir’s father, late Maga in Garin Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli, Madrasatul Anwarul Islam is the alma mater of the current Emir of Zazzau and has produced several notable personalities in the country.

The bank also inaugurated a state-of-the-art Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) gallery to drive financial inclusion within the community.

Speaking at the official project commissioning event held on Saturday, 18 June 2022, Executive Director, North Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam, said the bank’s decision to renovate the school was borne out of its commitment to making learning conducive for both students and teachers across the country.

Fidelity Bank Renovates Classroom Blocks, Commissions ATM Gallery In Zaria To Drive Financial Inclusion
Left-Right: Emir of Zazzau, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli; Executive Director, North Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam; and Divisional Head, Brand and Communications, Fidelity Bank Plc, Meksley Nwagboh at the commissioning of classroom blocks renovated by the bank at Madrasatul Anwarul Islam, Kwarbai, Zaria, Kaduna State on Saturday, 18 June 2022. The bank also inaugurated a state-of-the-art Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) gallery at the Emir’s palace at the event.

According to Imam, “Our CSR footprint extends beyond education, healthcare and youth empowerment initiatives across the country as we are driven by the belief that we can only succeed as an organization when the people and community where we do business succeed. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to help upgrade the facilities here at Madrasatul Anwarul Islam. Our hope is that the teachers and students in the school would put the facility to good use.”

“As part of our commitment to drive financial inclusion across the country and boost commerce in Zaria in particular, we have installed an ATM gallery at the emir’s palace. We hope this would make financial services easier and accessible to members of the Zaria community in line with our mission as a bank and thank the emir, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, for his support in executing this project as well,” explained Imam.

Applauding the bank for its gesture towards promoting education and commerce in Zaria, HRM Ambassador Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli encouraged members of the community to put the facilities to good use and protect them against vandalism. He also urged businesses and merchants to patronize the bank as a way of appreciating their efforts in developing the community.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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Fidelity Bank Bags Award For Best SME Bank In Nigeria

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Fidelity Bank Bags Award For Best SME Bank In Nigeria

Fidelity Bank Bags Award for Best SME Bank in Nigeria

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Fidelity Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, has added yet another accolade to its burgeoning collection of awards.

This time, the Bank has been recognized as the ‘Best SME Bank in Nigeria’ by the Global Finance Banking & Finance Awards 2022.

According to the organizers of the Global Banking and Finance review, the bank received the award after a comprehensive review and assessment of its intervention and provision of long-term financing support for small businesses across Nigeria.

Dedicating the award to customers and staff of the bank, Managing Director/ Chief Executive officer of Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said, “Our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic transformation in Nigeria. That is why we constantly innovate new ways of helping them meet their objectives. I thank our customers for keeping faith with us and our staff for going the extra mile in delighting our customers”.

Fidelity Bank Bags Award For Best SME Bank In Nigeria
Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank CEO.

According to Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe, over the years, Fidelity Bank has developed a strong multifaceted SME banking franchise, driven by tailored products and services. She also noted that the bank has attractive offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster-focused advisory services and hand-holding support for SME customers.

The Global Finance Banking Awards are recognized globally and justly regarded as the industry standard for premier banking and financial services excellence with key sources of data and intelligence on the global banking and finance industry. The yearly awards recognize deserving financial institutions and corporate organizations, that drive innovation in the global financing community. They reflect on the achievement, strategy, progressive, and inspirational changes taking place within the financial sector.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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