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Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building 

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Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building

…“We have adopted a community approach in engagement with stakeholders in this sector – Akinmade

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Optometrist Association (NOA) to automate operations, enhance capacity and provide funding at competitive interest rates for members of the association.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the MoU in Lagos recently, Mrs. Ibironke Akinmade, Group Head, Health Finance of Sterling Bank, said the initiative is part of the bank’s vision to be the leading bank for businesses in the health sector. 

She said, “We have adopted a community approach in engagement with stakeholders in this sector. This will not only give us leverage to develop tailor-made propositions for the community, but it also creates an inroad for engagement of their members through a cluster approach.”
Akinmade said the bank recently engaged the NOA in a bid to scale on its offerings to the health sector, which includes access to finance (template credit), access to digitalization (payment platforms and Electronic Medical Records) as well as advisory services, among others.

The Head of Health Finance said the rationale behind the partnership with NOA is to further position Sterling Bank as the bank of choice for businesses in the health sector, adding that this means more business collaboration and partnership with stakeholders in the health space.

She said the bank has earmarked N10 billion for the entire health care sector in the country and would accommodate any level of funding that members of the NOA may require. Under the MoU, members of the association will be able to borrow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention for the health sector at five percent as well as obtain template credit from the bank within 48 hours at a competitive interest rate of 20 percent, which is below the prevailing rate in the banking industry, she said.

Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists On Funding, Capacity Building
Left-Right: President of Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Dr. Obinna Awiaka; Group Head, Health Finance, Sterling Bank Plc, Ibironke Akinmade; Vice President NOA, Dr. Ogechi Nwokedi and Health Finance Manager, Sterling Bank Plc, Obiora Ezike at a signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sterling Bank and NOA in Lagos recently.

Since 2018, Sterling Bank has concentrated investment in five sectors of the economy under its HEART strategy in a bid to make an impact on the country’s economic development. The five sectors in HEART’s strategy include health, education, agriculture, renewable energy, and transportation.

Also speaking, Dr. Obinna Awiaka, President of NOA, said the association wants a bank that would help its members to grow and discovered that Sterling is the only bank that has a passion for the healthcare sector.

He said the relationship between members of his association and the bank will build the economy because once the healthcare industry is built the economy will also be built.

Dr. Awiaka said the NOA is satisfied with the relationship with Sterling Bank because in no distant time the bank, in conjunction with healthcare professionals, will help to develop the sector, which will translate to a better future for the country.

He said the development will make Nigerian professionals that are leaving the country in droves return to the country to practice and this will reduce medical tourism among the country’s leaders.

He thanked Sterling Bank for coming on board and taking the bull by the horn to support the healthcare industry.

The NOA was established in 1968 and is the prime umbrella association representing over 5,000 doctors of optometry across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as well as all other optometric interest groups in Nigeria.

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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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