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FCMB opens ultra-modern branch in Karu, Nasarawa State

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Customers of leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and Nigerians in general, who reside or run businesses in Mararaba-Karu, a satellite settlement town in Nasarawa State, neighbouring Abuja environs, including Nyanya, now have an opportunity to enjoy the excellent services offered by the Bank. This is because FCMB has opened an ultra-modern and full-service branch strategically located at Plot 35779, Mararaba Gurku Karu, Nasarawa State in the town.

The new branch was commissioned at an impressive ceremony on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. This brings to 3 the number of branches of the Bank in Nasarawa environs and 205 across Nigeria. The development is in line with FCMB’s strategic expansion approach and commitment towards bringing banking services directly to the door steps of its existing and potential customers. The location of the branch takes into consideration convenience for residents and businesses in Karu and neighbouring communities in Nasarawa and it is expected to promote financial inclusion in the country.

Apart from the experienced financial experts at the branch, it is equipped with unique physical and technological infrastructures that will ensure convenient transactions and sundry financial service delivery to customers in a relaxed environment.

In his speech at the commissioning of the new branch in Karu, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru said, ‘’this is due to the importance of this area, not just as a residential hub, but as a major gateway to other strategic places in Nasarawa state. Though, most of our customers prefer to carry out transactions from wherever they are, using our alternate channels such as FCMBMobile, FCMBOnline, USSD code and ATMs spread widely across Nigeria, some customers still prefer human interaction when banking. This additional customer touch point will further boost our commitment in providing customers with simple, helpful and reliable banking services, in a conducive and convenient environment’’.

Also speaking, the Divisional Head, Service Management & Technology of FCMB, Mr. Oluwakayode Adigun, re-iterated the Bank’s commitment to strategically grow its network to meet the individual and business aspirations of its growing customer base across segments.
He disclosed that, “the new Karu branch, just like other branches of FCMB across Nigeria, brings with it something special in terms of structure, aesthetics and above all, the excellent customer experience to be provided by our excellent team of professionals. While we strategically pursue our digital agenda as a forward looking financial services operator, we will continue to support the financial inclusion vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria where every customer is adequately served on any channel in which such services are provided to meet their respective lifestyles and needs’’.
In his address at the ceremony, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Hon. Silas Agara, commended FCMB for its commitment to national development through various forms of support to the private and public sectors. The Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Ayuba Ayenaje, said, “we are excited that FCMB has expanded its footprint in Nasarawa State and confident that this will go a long way to boost economic activities in our State. We are proud of the various initiatives of the Bank to support the people and government of Nasarawa state. With the opening of a branch in Karu town, the relationship will be taken to greater heights. On our part, we will support the Bank as much as we can”.
FCMB’s robust suite of financial solutions and award-winning service culture have continued to enhance its status as a leader in the Nigerian banking industry. Among other laurels, FCMB recently bagged the prestigious award of ‘’Excellence in Retail Banking’’ at this year’s edition of the New Age Banking Summit & Awards held from September 26 to 27, 2018 in Lagos. It has also been rated as the 3rd most customer-focused bank in retail banking (from 5th in 2017) by KPMG, a leading international consulting firm, in the 2018 Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

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BUSINESS

Ecobank to appeal tribunal judgement on tax liability

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Ecobank to appeal tribunal judgment on tax liability

Ecobank Nigeria says it will appeal a judgement delivered by the Lagos zone tax tribunal that it has an outstanding tax liability of N1.6 billion to be paid to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

In a statement released on Thursday and sent to The Witness, the bank said its tax liability based on the judgement delivered is N1.3 billion not N1.6 billion as claimed by the FIRS.

“Ecobank Nigeria wishes to provide its position on a statement released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on the judgement of the tax appeal tribunal (TAT), sitting in Lagos in respect of disputed tax liability between the bank and the FIRS for the 2015 financial year,” the statement read.

“For purposes of clarity, the decision of the TAT was for the bank to pay excess dividend tax on the dividend sum of N5,545,000,000 declared by the bank from its 2015 financial accounts. Based on the decision of the TAT, the excess dividend tax liability is N1,311,673,367 and not N1.6 billion.

“The bank will be appealing to the federal high court against the decision of the TAT as it believes, based on advice from its professional consultants, that the dividend declared relates to income from sources which are statutorily exempt from tax by virtue of the companies income tax ( exemption of bonds and short term government securities) order, 2011.”

Ecobank said its position is based on the principle that “income established to be exempt from companies income tax should not contrary to the intendment of the law, be subjected to the same tax it was intended to be exempt from”.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the FIRS had said the tax appeal tribunal ruled in its favour ordering Ecobank to pay N1.66 billion excess dividend tax for the 2015 financial year.

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Dangote strengthens export terminals

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DANGOTE STRENGTHENS EXPORT TERMINALS

Dangote Cement Plc will soon boost its export sales as it prepares to inaugurate its Apapa, Lagos, export terminal. This will be followed by Onne, Rivers State, export terminal. The company disclosed this while commenting on its future plans following the release of its 2019 financial results.

Dangote Cement Plc commended the decision of the federal government to close land borders, saying it is good for the economic growth and should be supported.

According to the company, the preparing to export products by sea in large volume affords it the flexibility to export cement and clinker. The company has spent over $95 million to put the export terminals ready for operations.

Speaking on the result, outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, said: “Dangote Cement maintained strong financial performance despite a low growth environment, pricing pressure and increasing competition in key markets. The Nigerian operations maintained volume and revenue performance in a challenging environment. Looking ahead, I expect an increase in volumes in 2020 as we commence clinker exports via shipping from Nigeria. Pan-Africa volumes were slightly up notably supported by Tanzania and Senegal. I am glad to report that Tanzania contributed positively at earning before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA level. In 2020, I believe Dangote Cement will see an increase in profitability in Pan-Africa driven by higher volumes and further efficiency improvements.

Dangote Cement Plc recorded a revenue of N891.671 billion in 2019, a profit after tax of N200.5 billion and recommended a final dividend of N16 per share.

Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited has predicted that the cement stock will soon hit N224 per share up from the trading price of N170. They are recommending a buy option for the stock.

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Keystone Bank trains entrepreneurs in Abuja

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Cross section of participants at the Keystone Bank ‘Spark Up Your Brand 2.0’ capacity building training for business start-ups (MSMEs) held at Rock View Hotel, Abuja, recently.

(Keystone Bank Limited) In demonstration of its commitment to consistently promote and support the growth and development of the economy and also to deepen its foothold in the retail sector, Keystone Bank Limited recently held another edition of its capacity building training for its customers in Abuja and its environs.

According to the lender, the programme tagged ‘Spark Up Your Brand 2.0’ which was launched in July 2019 and is part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, is designed to teach start-ups on how to position their brands for business growth and make them attractive to investors and for profitability.

Speaking on the initiative, Keystone Bank head of CSR, Izore Bamawo said: “SMEs are established drivers of the strongest economies and Nigeria cannot be an exception. With over 15 million SMEs dotting the Nigerian landscape, we are poised to ensure our customers in this segment actively grow their businesses through our partnerships and focused initiatives in the segment, and that is why we have strong support for the MSME sector.

“Keystone Bank is one of the financial institutions that have long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria because of the recognition of critical roles of MSMEs as vital agents of economic development and transformation.

“May I reemphasize that this programme is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to leverage business growth opportunities pivotal in accelerating the process of economic and social development, which is one of the global millennium development goals?

“Our target is at delivering top-of-mind value propositions to enable the entrepreneur’s position their brands for profitability.”

At the event held on 14th February 2020 at the popular Rock View Hotel, Wuse II, participants were offered a free website alongside mentorship sessions by experts who shared deep insights on varied aspects of marketing and brand management.

Keystone Bank, a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers, has a full-fledged SME banking division which over the years has developed various engagement programmes focused on empowering entrepreneurs.

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