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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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Polaris Bank Promotes SMEs, Sponsors The Fashion Souk

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Valentine Season: Polaris Bank Excites Existing, Prospective Customers With Mouthwatering Rewards

…as The Fashion Souk holds December 3 and 4, 2022

Polaris Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

The Bank in a statement gave this assurance while disclosing plans to sponsor The Fashion Souk 7.0.

The statement further noted that 3 successful entrepreneurs who emerge winners in a business pitch at the event will go home with N1million, N500,000, and N250,000 for the overall winner, first runner-up, and second runner-up respectively.

The two-day event, which is organised in partnership with Nigeria’s foremost event management company, EVENTFUL Limited is scheduled to hold on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th of December 2022, at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Speaking on behalf of Polaris Bank, the Group Head, Strategic Brand Management, Nduneche Ezurike, said that “Fashion and style enthusiasts can once again look forward to experiencing unparalleled fashion moments from Nigerian entrepreneurs.”

Mr. Ezurike noted that “As a SMEs-friendly Bank, it is always our delight to explore opportunities to grow Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprises. Polaris Bank’s lead sponsorship of the 7th edition of The Fashion Souk, underscores our acknowledgment of the SMEs as the catalyst for Nigerian’s economic growth.”

Continuing, he noted that “this year’s Fashion Souk is unique as it provides an opportunity for the yuletide holidaymakers with an unforgettable shopping experience as visitors will behold the creativity of the Nigerian entrepreneurs, especially in the beauty and fashion space.”

Mr. Ezurike further stated that Polaris Bank’s continued partnership with EVENTFUL Limited stimulates the entrepreneurial spirit of many Nigerians, especially the new-age innovators in the key sectors of the national economy. He commended Eventful Ltd for visibly showcasing the enterprise amongst Nigerians.

Commenting on the essence of the SOUK, Founder and Chairman of Eventful and Convener of the Fashion Souk, Yewande Zaccheaus, said: “Eventful Limited has been deliberate in using the platform of The Fashion Souk to create the much-needed road to market for budding fashion entrepreneurs whilst also expanding the target market of the more established designers. “We are proud to once again contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy,” she added.

More than 160 SMEs in Nigeria’s fashion industry, ranging from manufacturers to designers and retailers in clothing, kids’ fashion, textiles, jewelry, accessories, hats, bags, shoes, and lingerie, are billed to showcase their creativity and product lines at the Fashion Souk.

According to December 2021 industry report, the Sub-Saharan African fashion market is worth $31 billion, with Nigeria holding an expanding share of 15 percent.

In line with its SME focus, Polaris Bank has partnered with and supported businesses in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, including health, education, manufacturing, agriculture, export, and others. The Bank has advanced credits and indeed, provided close to N70billions to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) from January 2021 till date.

Following the Bank’s recent strides in supporting SMEs and MSMEs, the prestigious BusinessDay’s Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards named Polaris Bank the MSME Bank of the Year 2022.

Polaris Bank, adjudged Digital Bank of the Year 2021 and 2022, is a future-determining Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products for individuals and businesses

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Union Bank Unveils Brand New Sonic Identity – The Sound Of Union

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Union Bank Unveils Brand New Sonic Identity – The Sound Of Union

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Union Bank of Nigeria launched a sonic identity tagged ‘The Sound of Union. At 105 years, the Bank is now leveraging the universality of music to engage with new and existing audiences through this unique sound identity.

The Bank tapped prolific and award-winning music producer Tee-Y Mix, to create a timeless sound and interpret it across multiple genres for today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

Speaking about The Sound of Union during the official Twitter Space unveiling, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, at Union Bank, spoke about why the Bank is unveiling the sound identity at this time. She said: “Over the past couple of years, Union Bank has gone through significant evolution, and as a team, we are constantly thinking of ways to connect with our audiences – new and existing.

At 105 years, we are entering a new era of identity and the Sound of Union represents a milestone for us. We have produced a distinct tone and instrumental melody spanning five music genres drawing on our local culture to connect with audiences across different geographical zones. We believe we are the first Nigerian bank to create an identity using sound, and not just a one-off jingle or payoff. This launch underscores our commitment to providing the simplest and smartest solutions while offering the best experience for our customers.”

Union Bank Unveils Brand New Sonic Identity – The Sound Of Union

To launch the sound identity, Union Bank has partnered with Boomplay to release an EP that will include the melody’s five genres, making the EP available exclusively to Boomplay subscribers for a period before it is available on other platforms.

Also commenting during the Twitter Space, about the audio distribution partnership between Union Bank and Boomplay, James Afuwape, Marketing Manager at Boomplay said: “Boomplay is the largest and fastest-growing streaming platform in Africa, and we are passionate about building and sustaining the music culture and consumption in Africa. We do this by leveraging partnerships and collaborations and this one with Union Bank was one we couldn’t pass up on. The Sound of Union is a unique project, and we are honoured to use our platform to help amplify the sound.”

The Sound of Union EP is now streaming exclusively on Boomplay. Click here to listen

Know More About Union Bank Plc: Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971 now Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank is a trusted and recognizable brand, with an extensive network of over 300 branches across Nigeria.

The Bank currently offers a variety of banking services to both individual and corporate clients including current, savings, and deposit account services, funds transfer, foreign currency domiciliation, loans, overdrafts, equipment leasing, and trade finance. The Bank also offers its customers convenient electronic banking channels and products including Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Debit Cards, ATMs, and POS Systems.

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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® – New Order Growth Hits Six-Month High In November

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By Moninuola Sulaiman

…Faster rises in output and new orders

…Inflationary pressures remain elevated

…Business confidence at a survey-record low

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Business conditions continued to improve markedly in the Nigerian private sector during November amid improving demand and higher customer numbers.

In turn, firms expanded their purchasing activity and employment. That said, business confidence dropped to the lowest since the survey began in January 2014. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures remained elevated, often reflecting currency weakness.

The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

The headline PMI rose to 54.3 in November from 53.6 in October, pointing to a solid monthly improvement in business conditions in the Nigerian private sector. The health of the private sector has now strengthened in 29 successive months, with the latest improvement the most pronounced since April.

New business increased at the fastest pace in six months amid reports of stronger demand and higher customer numbers. Companies responded to rising demand by increasing their business activity accordingly. Output has now risen in each of the past five months.

Marked increases in activity were seen across each of the four broad sectors covered by the survey. New order growth also encouraged companies to expand their employment and purchasing activity midway through the final quarter of the year.

Staffing levels increased for the twenty-second month running and at the fastest pace since August. Meanwhile, the rate of growth in purchasing activity was the steepest in four months. Similarly, inventories also expanded at a marked pace.

Purchase costs rose at a sharper pace as the weakness of the Nigerian naira against the US dollar exacerbated rising raw material prices. Staff costs were also up, linked both to higher staffing levels and efforts to motivate workers by increasing wages.

The passing on of higher input costs to customers meant that output prices also increased markedly, with the rate of inflation quickening to a three-month high.

Despite the generally positive picture for output and new orders in November, business confidence continued to decline. Optimism dropped for the fourth successive month and was the lowest since the survey began in January 2014. Those firms that were confident in the year-ahead outlook for output mentioned business expansion plans and hopes for a further strengthening of demand.

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