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TONY O. ELUMELU LEADS HIGH-LEVEL TEAM TO WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS

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***Team Includes Consortium of Heirs Holdings Group Executives

 

Philanthropist and serial entrepreneur Tony O. Elumelu, CON leads a delegation of senior executives from his proprietary investment firm, Heirs Holdings, to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which begins in Davos, Switzerland today.

Elumelu will join global business and political leaders during the event, bringing a message of Africa’s continued economic renaissance and of the critical role that Africa’s private sector is playing in the continent’s transformation. Heirs Holdings executives accompanying Elumelu to the Forum include Transcorp Hotels CEO Valentine Ozigbo and the CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Parminder Vir OBE.

Elumelu attends WEF as both Chairman of Heirs Holdings, whose pan-African interests include financial services, energy, real estate, healthcare, power and agriculture; and as Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The meetings will also provide the opportunity to highlight the $100 million entrepreneurship incubator, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Already, 2,000 African entrepreneurs have benefited from training and seed capital. This year alone, applications for the 3rd cycle of 1,000 places, which closes on 1st March, are expected to exceed 50,000. Given the success and the need to reach an even wider audience, TEF is opening up the opportunity to strategic partnerships to participate and increase access to even more entrepreneurs.

“The massive impact of our Programme so far, proves that it is durable, measurable and scalable,” Elumelu said. “We are already well on our way to accomplishing the goal of catalyzing a new generation of entrepreneurs, and the time has come to scale the programme further to benefit more African each year. We are coming to Davos to seek partners ready to invest in African entrepreneurs, contributing not just time, skills, networks, but also seed capital so that we can scale up and support additional entrepreneurs each year”.

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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.

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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.

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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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Its Official: Manchester United Finally Seal Odion Ighalo’s Loan Extension Deal

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Manchester United

Manchester United has finally sealed a loan extension deal for striker Odion Ighalo.

Recall that Ighalo’s six months loan deal with the UK-based expired May 31.

Ighalo

However, with a ban on international footballers returning to the country till October, United sought a loan extension with Ighalo’s parent club, Shanghai Shenhua.

The deal will expire in January 31, 2021.

In a statement, the club said: 

“Manchester United have reached agreement with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua to extend the loan deal for Odion Ighalo.

“The Nigerian striker’s stay was initially due to end on 31 May but he will now remain with the Reds until 31 January 2021, enabling him to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.

“Ighalo’s tally of four goals in eight appearances so far includes at least one strike in each of his three starts – against Club Brugge, Derby County (2) and LASK.

“Today’s confirmation is a timely boost for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as he continues to prepare his squad for this month’s resumption of competitive football.”

“They [Shanghai Greenland Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club,” Solskjaer said.

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“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us.”

Ighalo scored four times in eight appearances in all competitions before the suspension of the Premier League.

 

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Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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AGM

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.

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