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Elumelu says Covid-19 Presents Opportunity to Reset Africa 

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SÈMÈ CITY

 

·   Advocates Martial Plan to Boost Electricity And Ease Debt Burden

·    Wants Youths Prioritised as SMEs are Empowered

The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Elumelu, has stated that the Coronavirus Pandemic currently ravaging the world presents an opportunity to reset the African continent so that Africans can be empowered to become more productive and self reliant. He said this today at the high-level Roundtable discussions made up of African leaders including Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, the Special Envoy of the African Union on Covid-19 and Tidjane Thiam who is also a Covid-19 Special Envoy responsible for mobilising international economic support for Africa.

 

During the session titled ‘Resilient World: An African call for a new world order’, Elumelu stated “I see this pandemic as an opportunity to reset Africa.’ Whilst pointing out that Africa as a continent has all it takes to emerge into a strong digital economy, the UBA Group Chairman advocated a martial plan that will galvanise the entire continent and make Africa less dependent on the ‘circularity of debt’ from developed nations, which according to him, has been a major setback for decades.

 

He said, “I feel that as we engage the rest of the world in providing relief, we need to look for a more fundamental solution to Africa’s challenges. I have often argued for a martial plan overtime. We need to mobilise everyone. If we have a martial plan that mobilises resources to address particular issues, then we can mitigate against this constant begging for assistance.”

 

Also Read:  Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”

Explaining further, Elumelu pointedly said, “The truth is that we have resources to help mobilise people. As the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we committed to endow $100m to support young African entrepreneurs and we have been seeing the positive results this has yielded so far. It is evident that if we can fix access to electricity, ensure stability of the macro-economic environment, ensure prioritisation of the youth, empower our small and medium scale enterprises and fix youth migration, then we are in for a better and more resilient economy’. “There is the urgent need to prioritise our youths and empower our SMEs. The people who work hard need to be encouraged,” Elumelu noted passionately.

 

Tidjane Thiam who supported what Elumelu had proposed, said that rather than depend on international assistance at every point, there is the need for governments and institutions to invest in activities that will prioritise the youths and create a better enabling environment. 

 

“I totally agree with Tony Elumelu. The major challenge is that we do not see enough entrepreneurs. Similar to what obtains in Asia and Europe, there is the need to promote a class of Entrepreneurs to drive the African economy.  we need to groom more Tony Elumelus’ from Africa’ he said. Tidjane continued, ‘We know what needs to be done. We need government and multinational institutions to bring in capital so that there will be investment in health, infrastructure and the like. We do need to get rid of this debt cycle because constant rescheduling and begging for relief for debts is not good for us as a continent,” Thiam said.

Also Read:  Press Release: UBA GMD-CEO Urges African Banks To Use US-Africa Business Leaders Summit To Grow Capacity

 

Okonjo-Iweala, on her part, called for a system where youths and women will be empowered to create and produce more to boost the African economy.

Whilst calling on private and government parastatals to engage in meaningful partnerships that will help to galvanise job creation and entrepreneurship among youths in Africa, she said, “As Tony pointed out, we can see this pandemic as an opportunity for the continent. We have the African Free Trade Agreement, and we have to make it real. 

 

“We have to specialise our countries to manufacture the things we need so we can trade with others. We need to produce good jobs for our young people. We need to empower our women and youths and put them at the centre. It is said that Africa would have the largest number of youths in the world by 2050, so we need to fix this,” she noted.

 

The roundtable which was organised by the New York Forum Institute, also had in attendance African Heads of States including President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire; President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Julius Bio of Sierra Leone;

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Doubble.Ng Offers Investors 100% Investment Income, Safety

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Doubble.Ng

 

 

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has offered a safe option for investments in its Doubble.Ng product to discerning investors seeking double-digit investment income and safety in this period of heightened market volatility and unpredictable macro-economic environment.

 

Doubble.Ng is an investment product which is denominated in Naira and Dollar with short and long-term options.

 

According to Adekunle Feyisitan, the Product Manager, Sterling Bank, Doubble.Ng was designed to address the concerns of individuals who are looking to accumulate savings and regular investment income over a specific timeline to plan for future business or lifestyle needs.

 

He listed benefits of the product options to include guaranteed income stream and growth for a fixed period of time, safety from market volatility, ability to access loan facilities against balance and opportunity to transfer the annuity to a spouse or any other named beneficiary.

 

Feyisitan said, “With Doubble.Ng, a customer can choose to invest either a lump sum in one contribution or in smaller monthly contributions, which could be for the duration of 12 to 120 months with all pay-outs remitted either monthly or as a lump sum once target is achieved to named beneficiaries.

Also Read:  FirstBank Hosts SME Clinic, Reiterates its Commitment to Building Capacity of SMEs

 

“It empowers individuals to plan towards future consistent cash outflows such as payment for children’s further education, mortgages or funds for business start-up. Doubble.Ng is actually the perfect investment vehicle for those planning to transition from paid employment to owner-businesses and need to plan the cash flow in the business growth years”.

 

The product manager added that Doubble.Ng target option allows the beneficiary to set target saving and interest income in Naira or Dollar over a specified period while additional voluntary contributions can be made into the investment account apart from the regular contributions based on the initial set date because an investor is at liberty to take up multiple plans.

 

He assured customers of efficient and prompt service delivery and urged those in active employment as well as entrepreneurs to take advantage of the high-income growth product to maximise returns on investment at this volatile and uncertain time.

 

The product offers four variants to discerning investors, including 3, 5 and 10 year plans as well as short-term target investments.

Also Read:  The Next Titan Nigeria: Behold The Face Of Season Five Winner, Ogechukuwu Obah

 

With a 3-year contract plan during which the investor makes monthly contributions for the first three years, Sterling Bank will pay out the invested amount plus returns to the beneficiary every month for the following three years. It has returns on investment of 125 percent.

 

In the 10-year contract plan whereby an investor makes monthly contribution for the first five years while Sterling Bank will pay out the invested amount plus returns on the investment every month to the beneficiary for the next five years with returns on investment of 150 percent.

 

The Doubble 10 investment option is a 15-year contract plan during which an investor makes monthly contributions for the first five years and Sterling pays out invested funds plus returns on investment to the beneficiary every month for the next 10 years with a 100 percent returns on investment.

 

The novel product, which provides fixed rates of return for a fixed period of time, can be conveniently accessed via the OneBank mobile app or Doubble.Ng website from anywhere in the world by investors.

 

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Over 60 frontline workers benefit from Health Workers Fund

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Doubble.Ng

The N1 billion Health Workers Fund set up to support frontline health workers combating the COVID-19 pandemic has supported more than 60 frontline health workers since it launched in March.

Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Chairman, Governance Board of the Fund, disclosed this in a statement issued in Lagos over the weekend. The seasoned public health expert and former Commissioner of Health in Ogun State said almost N59 million has been donated to the Health Workers’ Fund by public spirited corporate organisations and individuals.

“We are very proud of our strides so far, and are excited by the opportunity to provide succor to frontline health workers in the country. More than 60 health care workers from different parts of the country have been paid tokens in appreciation of their service at this critical time. We want them to be motivated when they walk into COVID-19 Isolation centres because some of their basic needs are sorted.

Also Read:  The Next Titan Nigeria: Behold The Face Of Season Five Winner, Ogechukuwu Obah

“With the rising cases of infections daily, we urge Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to donate now in support of frontline health workers wherever they are in the country. They are doing whatever it takes to protect us. We can all play a part in empowering and motivating to function effectively on the job”, Dr Olaokun Soyinka appeals.

Also Read:  NIGERIAN BREWERIES REWARDS TRADE PARTNERS, PROMISES AN EXCITING YEAR AHEAD

He called on public-spirited Nigerians to contribute their quota by visiting www.giving.ng/covid19 to make donations. Leading the donor’s chart, Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, supported the N1 billion Health Workers’ Fund with N25 million.


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FIRSTBANK LEVERAGES TECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE VIRTUAL BANK ACCOUNT OPENING FOR CUSTOMERS

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Customers

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that it has reinforced its technology infrastructure to enable anyone in the country open a FirstBank account through their mobile phones, without visiting any of its branches nationwide.

 

The investment in the Bank’s mobile banking infrastructure is in furtherance of the need to deepen financial inclusion in the country, enabling account opening to be carried out on its *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile (self-service telephone banking), its website – www.firstbanknigeria.com – as well as the Bank’s staff, through the Direct Sales Executive (DSE) application installed on their mobile phone, ATMs and the bank’s over 55,000 FirstMonie Agents spread across the country. Opening an account with FirstBank through any of these means is seamless, convenient, fast, and user-friendly.

 

The DSE App is an end to end encrypted mobile application installed on the phone(s) of FirstBank staff which enables them to open an account for to-be customers. Upon the completion of the account opening process via the DSE App, the customer is notified of his or her account number through a text message on the mobile phone used to register the account.

 

With FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking, various banking activities are carried out on a mobile phone – across the four major GSM network operators in the country – without the use of the internet. To open an account via this means, dial *894# then select ‘open an account’ to provide the information required or by simply dialling *894*0#. The Bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.

 

The FirstMonie Agent Banking is an agent banking initiative from the bank that is designed to take banking closer to people, thereby bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked. FirstMonie is a channel through which various banking activities like FirstBank account opening, funds transfer, bill payments, data and call credit recharge services, amongst others are carried out. The Agent Banking initiative has also contributed to reducing poverty, being responsible for the indirect employment of over 150,000 people across the country.

Also Read:  Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”

 

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “beyond opening an account in any of our over 700 branches, we are delighted with the investments at reinventing our business processes over the years, especially with the use of technology. This has been critical to staying relevant in the industry for over 126 years and being the financial partner of the first choice to all our customers and Nigerians, irrespective of where they are.”

 

Creating these virtual ways of opening a bank account with us – thus; the staff DSE App, ATMs, FirstMonie Agents, *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile and our website – reinforces our resolve to ensure that more Nigerians and residents have access to banking, especially through our state of the art financial services and we remain resolute to being the key to banking, enabling business and financial activities that would continue to propel the country’s economic growth and development.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.

With over 750 business locations and 55,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

Also Read:  Guinness Nigeria Plc undertakes N39.7 billion Rights Issue

The Bank has been nimble at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 9.5million people on its USSD banking service through the nationally renowned *894# banking service and over 3.5 million people on Firstmobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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