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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS EVENTFUL TO SUPPORT SMEs IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

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Fashion

As part of efforts to provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry, First Bank of Nigeria Limited partnered with Eventful Nigeria Limited on its event, fashion souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

The Runway

Speaking at the event held in Lagos recently, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said the bank has over the years, since its founding, been very supportive of the entrepreneurial space and SMEs, adding that the role of the bank is that of an enabler.

“FirstBank has been involved in every sector of the economy since 1894, so if you think about that there is no sector we have not been involved in, in fact this particular fashion souk, we are the pioneer sponsor and we sponsored it right from when it started.”

Zaccheaus, Osibanjo and Ibru

Ani-Mumuney explained that the fashion industry over the years has grown incredibly and added that it has helped to grow other businesses.

According to her, “Just like Nigerian music, the fashion industry is still in its infancy. We have great talents and potential in the fashion industry. Let’s consider the developed fashion industry of Italy for instance and the entire value chain of fashion, it tells you that there is a lot to be done. We still need to have fashion zones in core Cities and States, so that within a particular zone, you could have the cutters, button hole creation and others.

“The great thing is that we have a market here, but beyond that is that we could easily become the fashion hub for Africa, especially its export across continents. The fashion industry is diverse and versatile with many roles carried-out by individuals with uniquely different skill-set. Some persons could focus on finishing; some could focus on sketching, garment making and other areas. Indeed, Nigeria are fashion freaks, with a large and diverse market.

Also at the event was Nollywood actor and producer Kunle Afolayan whom had his clothing line Ire Clothing, displayed. Afolayan, the Chief Executive Officer of Ire Clothing said he started the clothing line with just the Kunle Kembe, and presently, it has expanded to about five, six collections.

He also stated that what inspired Ire clothing is because of his love for arts and anything that deals with the Nigerian cultural heritage and helps to document culture, “so with Ire clothing, we use Africa fabrics, Anakara, Adire and others.”

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Afoloyan explained that he has modified the old Yoruba Kembe style to something that is now pop culture so that the younger generation can also wear it, adding that there are T-shirts and Kunle’s Dansiki which is a bit smaller than the traditional Dansiki, and face caps.

According to him, “The brand story we are trying to tell is that we want people to embrace their own culture and tradition; use it to their advantage and use it to the world. I think the fashion industry is striving and it’s been here for a very longtime and it is doing better because a lot of our people are exporting our clothing abroad.”

In his remarks, veteran comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as Ali baba, said the fashion souk is a platform of opportunities and a collage of business ideas, providing a platform for people to network and express business innovations.

According to Ali baba, “To expand the frontiers of the fashion industry, there is need for exposure and the social media is helping a great deal to improve the employment needs of Nigerians. Once the employment statistics increases there will be higher purchasing power and people will tend to invest and spend more in fashion. In a country of about 200 million people, one should be able to do one million sales in months. But I think we will get there someday. We need to grow our textile industry and revamp the textile companies, which implies that we have to revive the production of cotton so that players in the industry can have access to raw materials, thereby cutting down production cost.”

Also speaking at the event, popular television presenter and model, Uti Nwachukwu, expressed satisfaction with the event, commending the organisers for creating an avenue to convene fashion vendors under one roof to provide their wares at discounted and affordable rates, while giving customers the opportunities to patronize their brands.

He further stated that the fashion souk gives the vendors an opportunity to showcase what they have to sell and creates opportunity for them to advertise their products.

Nwachukwu added: “A lot of vendors and customers here are happy. It is a give and take situation that works well. The fashion industry in Nigeria is the most underrated industry; there is so much potential, and greatness in the fashion industry.

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“We have great designers that will shine in any part of the world. It is a great gesture the bank is making by supporting the industry. I just wish the bank can help these designers to get to international level of exposure. Our designs are wonderful, African prints are in fashion in different parts of the world. Finance and exposure are the key challenges facing the industry, if it is properly addressed, things will work out well.”

About FirstBank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading banking services solutions provider in Nigeria for 125 years. With some 15 million customer accounts, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services with over 750 business locations. 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.

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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Ibukun Awosika’s Other Love

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Ibukun

 

Love for children naturally come with women. This is a fact.

 

However, there are women whose affection for children is exceptional and unexplainable.

 

Respected Ibukun Awosika, the Chairman of First Bank Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Center Group is such a woman.

 

A success story in several business fronts, the woman has found a way of effectively finding time for her other love, children.

 

Renowned for her women conferences, her undying love for children has also drawn her into the board of some primary schools. 

 

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FIRST BANK: TOWARDS REVIVING NIGERIA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

For many years, until the early 1980s, the Nigerian textile industry was the highest employer of labour, after the public sector. Sadly, the industry is in dire straits battling for survival in recent times.

Among the challenges that confronted the sector were policy inconsistency leading to closure of many textile companies occasioned by poor power supply, smuggling, poor access to finance and high operating cost, among others.

It is unarguable that the closure of many textile companies contributed to the rise in the country’s high unemployment rate, rising insecurity and other social vices.

It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently lamented the country’s descent from being a textile giant to a mediocre player in the world economy.

Emefiele said Nigeria used to be home to Africa’s largest textile industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with the employment of over 450,000 people.

“The textile industry at that time was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.

“The industry was supported by the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“This sector supported the clothing needs of the Nigerian populace, as our markets were filled with locally produced textiles from companies such as the United Textiles in Kaduna, Supertex Limited, Afprint, Texlon, Enpee and Aswani Mills, among others.

“In addition, the cotton growing sector has gone dead, thereby depriving thousands of smallholder farmers the chance to earn a living.

Furthermore, a large proportion of our clothing materials today are imported from China and countries in Europe,” Emeifele stated.

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It is against this background that First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, in line with its celebratory 125th anniversary , themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”, on Oct. 2 commemorated the country’s independence with a locally made textile attire.

Specifically, the bank set aside Oct. 2 to have all staff wear a locally made textile attire adorned in its 125 anniversary logo and over 18,000 staff across the bank and FBN Holdings participated.

The bank in a statement attributed the initiative to moves to celebrate the country’s 59th Independence anniversary and at the same time support the textile industry.

“The native attire fashion statement by FirstBank and the FBN Holdings Group is rooted in our trust in the diverse opportunities the textile industry provides.

“And indeed its contribution to national growth and development, vis-à-vis the job opportunities, youth and women empowerment, as well as the entrepreneurship driven influence its creates cannot be overemphasised.

“The bank is indeed honored to have been woven into the Fabric of Society in the last 125 years and is committed to keep promoting activities and opportunities that contribute to the growth of the textile industry.” it added.

Apart from the above intitative, FirstBank also provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry with an initiative tagged Fashion Souk.

The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd with Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

Textile Industry

FirstBank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika The Octopus News

The bank also in a bid to ensure sustainability of the industry recently introduced fashion design loan specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

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The bank’s fashion design loan with a single obligor limit of up to two million naira is targeted at tailors, dressmakers and traders in clothing accessories with no tangible collateral required.

Textile Industry

CEO, FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must have been in line of business for a minimum of three years.

Commenting on the development, Mr Moses Igbrude,  Publicity Secretary,  Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the initiative as a wonderful concept.

“I hope those in the local textiles value chain will key into it and take advantage of this initiative.

“FirstBank should also ensure that the concept is properly communicated to the larger audience to ensure more patronage of locally made textile,” Igbrude said.

He noted that the Federal Government on its part should encourage institutions that are supporting our local industries by way tax incentives.

Also speaking, Mr Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank’s support for local fabric and the textile industry.

Mikail said that the initiative would boost the morale of interested bodies who would like to venture into local fabric in promoting our culture to the world.

He said that the bank should focus on the fashion designers who would be ready to promote Nigerian mode of dressing to meet the world class in fashion design.

“This will help in promoting Made in Nigeria fabric and it will also encourage an interested investor to venture into textile industry business and this will tranform our economy,” Mikail stated. (NAN)

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UBA Honours Kola Jamodu after 12 Years of Service; Assures of Solid Governance Processes

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Kola Jamodu

 

Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured investors and shareholders of her continuous adherence to solid corporate governance processes as the bank honoured its ex-director, Chief Kola Jamodu.

In a glitzy cocktail event and dinner in his honour at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Thursday, Jamodu was celebrated for his service on the bank’s board for 12 years as a non-Executive director. Accolades were poured on him, for his remarkable contributions to the group over the period that have helped solidify the bank’s footprints in its many countries of operations. 

Speaking at the event, UBA’s Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, commended Jamodu’s efforts at contributing towards the strong corporate governance policies which UBA currently boasts of.

He said, “Chief Jamodu is a great Nigerian, a respected man and a great non-executive director to UBA. He has been wonderful and instrumental to today’s current standing of UBA across our 20 presence countries in Africa as well as in America, United Kingdom and in Paris. He was on the board of UBA for 12 years, and in line with corporate practices, which says at the end of 12 years, you retire from the board, he is retiring and we are here to celebrate his contribution to the bank.”

While reeling off some of Jamodu’s many achievements, Elumelu said, “He has been extremely supportive to UBA; he served as Chairman of Board Risk Committee, and he has all the experience – a chartered accountant, extremely astute, chairman of Nigerian Breweries, chairman of PZ, chairman of Nutricima; former minister of industry; a great tax expert, financial and management expert and UBA has been extremely lucky to have him on our board for 12 years. So to him and his family, we say thank you for all the support, for the teachings, for being generous with knowledge and for asking those hard questions that made us solidify our governance processes here at UBA.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, explained in fine details the impact that Jamodu’s experience has had on the bank, adding that he was able to help UBA navigate through some challenges that have now made the bank come out even stronger.

He said, “Chief Kola Jamodu is a very astute financial manager with diverse experience; he is someone that has helped us as managers to look into areas that we may not have looked into. During his time, he helped us to navigate critical issues, and now UBA America is a bank on its own as is UBA UK. He was always asking the right questions which others would have missed, and this is what helped us be where we are today. He started with us when we had just a few countries of operation and now today, UBA is operating in 23  countries. Kudos to Jamodu, he will be missed.”

Jamodu, who attended the event with his beautiful wife Funmilayo, thanked the bank for the opportunity given to him to contribute to the growth of the UBA Group, adding that as a board member one should be able to have an impact in the way things are being done, in governance principles and much more.

Speaking on his most memorable achievements on the board, he said, “I am very happy today that loan loss provisioning in UBA is one of the lowest because of the way we have handled those issues. My door is quite open and I will continue to offer what I can to ensure that this bank which I am still very much a part of continues to flourish.  My advice to the board, is that they should continue to ensure good succession planning which is very important.”

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