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FirstBank, Driving Dollar Remittances, Economic Growth Via IMTOS

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FIRSTBANK UNVEILS A FULLY AUTOMATED SELF SERVICE BRANCH, STRENGTHENS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN NIGERIA

FIRSTBANK, DRIVING DOLLAR REMITTANCES, ECONOMIC GROWTH VIA IMTOS

By Chinwendu Obienyi 

For centuries, there have been heated debates over the sources of economic growth in developing economies and why some countries reflect strong economic growth compared to others.

The hypotheses have often centred around crude oil, agriculture, revenues, private capital, bubbling stock market, stable security, low unemployment rate, high standard of living amongst others. But in recent times, one factor that has been added to this list is diaspora remittances as it is one of the major international financial resources, which sometimes exceed the flows of foreign direct investment (FDI).

Remittances promote economic growth by increasing household income and increasing income creates the opportunity to boost consumer spending, accumulation of assets, promotion of self-employment, and investment in small business.

Data from the World Bank in 2014 indicates that global remittances stood at $430 billion dollars in 2011 and was 0.31 per cent of global GDP in 2009. The impact of remittances on any economy is more profound in developing countries because they receive $307.1 billion of the total N416 billion inward remittances, amounting to about 74 percent.

Remittances also account for about 27 percent of the GDP of developing countries. According to the World Bank, remittances flows to the developing world have reached $414 billion in 2013 (up 6.3 percent over 2012), and are now, behind the foreign direct investment, the second-largest source of external financial flows to developing countries.

Daily Sun investigations reveal that the enormous upward movement in remittances payments may be attributed largely to two factors, namely; immigration between developing and developed countries which increased dramatically in the past 20 years, and decline in transaction costs as technological improvements have allowed for faster, lower-cost mechanisms for the international transfer of payments between individuals.

This means that it is different from other external capital inflows like foreign direct investment, foreign loans, and aids due to its stable nature. Little wonder why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled a new policy in 2020 that granted unfettered access to forex from the diaspora and other money transfer remittances like Western Union and MoneyGram.

The bank also clarified transactions that are eligible under the policy in line with global best practices. The policy allows beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to henceforth receive such inflows in the original foreign currency through the designated bank of their choice. It explained that the new regulation was part of efforts to liberalise, simplify and improve receipt and administration of diaspora remittances into Nigeria.

Under the new policy, recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving such funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.

“These changes are necessary to deepen the foreign exchange market, provide more liquidity and create more transparency in the administration of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria,” the apex bank stated.

It explained that the changes would help finance a future stream of investment opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora, while also guaranteeing that the recipients of remittances would receive a market-reflective exchange rate for their inflows.

Backed by these words, several commercial banks swung into action to tap into this virgin zone by introducing a variety of offers that yield fruits as more remittances started coming in.

However, the CBN in March 2021, in a bid to encourage more inflows, introduced a new incentive tagged “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme”. In a circular signed by Saleh Jibrin, CBN‘s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, said, the scheme would allow all recipients of diaspora remittances to be paid N5 for everyone dollar received.

This explains why First Bank of Nigeria Limited chose to expand diaspora remittances inflow into the country by increasing its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) targeted at easing accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner.

Before then, it was on record that FirstBank has maintained a long-standing partnership with Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The Bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs including Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes, and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflows into the country, thus putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends, and loved ones across the bank’s 750 branches, especially in this Yuletide season.

For potential customers without an existing domiciliary account, can have their dollar account automatically created for their remittances and can also receive inflow directly into their account through Western Union.  In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly-owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, and FBNBank Senegal.

Reiterating the bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Gbenga Shobo said, “At First Bank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses, and debt servicing.

We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are across the world.”

Having been at the forefront of pioneering international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago, it is safe to say the bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.

With its total principal standing at N100 billion and over one million customers to service in 2020, FirstBank is providing prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand, a credible financial partner, thus promoting economic growth and development.

Culled from The Sun 

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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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