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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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FirstBank Opens Saturday, Sunday Nationwide To Deposit Old Naira Notes Till January 31 Deadline

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Written By Olushola Okunlade

In line with FirstBank’s drive to always put YouFirst (customers), the bank branches nationwide will be open this Saturday, 28 January 2023, and Sunday, 29 January 2023 to deposit your old Naira notes from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

The bank said there will be no charges for cash returned/paid into customers’ accounts. All old Naira notes of series N200, N500, and N1000 will cease to be accepted as legal tenders from 31 January 2023 as CBN instructed.

Against the race to beat the deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for old naira notes to be returned to banks, making way for the circulation of the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, FirstBank announced that it will run weekend operations.

The bank said its branches nationwide will be open to receive and change old naira notes, in a bid to help their customers beat the January 31 deadline.

The CBN introduced sensitization campaigns to ensure that rural dwellers meet the deadline. The apex bank has sent agents to remote places across the country to help those who lack access to financial inclusion swap their old naira notes for new ones.

The Bank will continue to accept old Naira notes till the close of business on 31 January 2023.

For more inquiries, please contact FirstContact, our 24/7 contact centre on 0700FIRSTCONTACT (0700-347782668228), +234-01-4485500+234-0708-062-5000 or send an email to firstcontact@firstbanknigeria.com.

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Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference

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Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Leading financial institution, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), has reiterated its support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the country to drive increased growth and development.

This commitment was made during the recently held ‘Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria’ conference hosted by BusinessDay newspaper.

The event themed ‘How SMEs can thrive in an age of volatility’ was well attended by various stakeholders in the SME sector, including entrepreneurs, industry experts, start-ups, and financiers. The event had different panel sessions to discuss the multiple problems facing SMEs in Nigeria.

Speaking on the Funding for SMEs panel, Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank, said SMEs need to pay attention to capacity building and keeping proper financial records.

According to him: “SMEs must focus on building capacity and developing the necessary skills to increase their expertise if they hope to succeed in this volatile age. SMEs also need to embrace technology and digital tools as an enabler for business growth while ensuring their books and records are organised if they hope to attract funding from the right financial partner.”

BusinessDay newspaper presented Union Bank with The SME Financier of the Year award in Nigeria at the awards ceremony held that same evening in recognition of the bank’s efforts to support and promote the growth of the SME sector in the country.

Union Bank Reiterates Support For Small Businesses At BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference
Left-Right: Linda Ochugba, Digital Sales Manager, BusinessDay Media; Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank; Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO, BusinessDay Media; Olufunmilola Aluko, Head, Corporate Communication & Marketing, Union Bank; and Chima Nwaubani, Brand Manager, Union Bank at the BusinessDay Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs Conference recently held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Know More About Union Bank Plc: Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, 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 recognisable 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. In addition, 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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Discontinuation of Acquisition of Sidian Bank Stands – Access Bank

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However, according to Access Bank; “The completion of the proposed transaction is subject to fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions before the Long Stop date as defined in the transaction agreement.”

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Access Bank Plc, a leading financial institution has announced that it has discontinued its acquisition of Sidian Bank Limited.

It would be recalled that Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation (‘the Corporation’) on June 8, 2022, announced that its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc (‘the Bank’) has entered into a binding agreement with Kenyan-based Centum Investment Plc (‘Centum’) for the acquisition of the entire 83.4% shareholding held by Centum in Sidian Bank Ltd. (‘Sidian’).

However, according to Access Bank; “The completion of the proposed transaction is subject to fulfillment or waiver of certain conditions before the Long Stop date as defined in the transaction agreement.”

“Although regulators have all been supportive in engagements around the transaction, certain conditions precedent needed to prudently complete the transaction have not been met and the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the variation of these conditions in a manner to deliver the desired outcome for the parties.

Consequently, we hereby notify the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the investing public that the Sidian Bank acquisition will no longer be completed by the Bank.

The Bank however remains committed to growing its franchise in a safe and sound manner in Kenya and the broader East African Community and will continue to explore a variety of organic and inorganic opportunities to grow its market share therein.

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