Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc is championing a ground breaking innovation in the collection of internally generated revenue (IGR). Working in conjunction with SystemSpecs, a leading electronic financial transactions company and owners of Remita, Fidelity Bank has launched a more convenient collection and remittance of Federal Government Revenues via its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel (*770#).
The solution, which is first of its kind in the industry is in response to some of the challenges faced by millions of customers when making their tax payments and remittance and the need for all tiers of government to provide convenient sources of revenue collection.
This innovative solution, according to the Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Richard Madiebo, was developed with the average tax payer in mind. “This payment option is borne largely from our desire to always provide easy and convenient payment channels to the semi-formal and informal tax markets in Nigeria”, adding that tax payers can now make payment efficiently, thus leading to reduction of leakages in the system for both the State and Federal Government.
He further explained that customers should simply dial 770# on the phone linked to theirs accounts and then use their unique Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) generated from the Remita platform, to make payments using the USSD code *770*RRR# and conclude their transactions.
“Our operating model has always been to collaborate with forward-looking partners in the financial ecosystem, so that customers are able to consistently make smooth and convenient payments across diverse channels.” said Deremi Atanda, Executive Director at SystemSpecs.
“Partnering with an institution like Fidelity Bank to ensure customers are able to make TSA and other payments on their innovative USSD platform is in furtherance of our corporate ideals and the bank’s quest for the delivery of easy and convenient banking services”, Atanda said further.
Fidelity is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 3.8 million customers who are serviced across its 240 offices and various digital banking channels. The Bank is focused on select niche corporate banking sectors, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and is rapidly implementing a digital based retail banking strategy which has resulted in the following over the last three and half years; a 93 percent growth in savings deposits, 50 percent customer enrollment on debit cards and 30 percent of its customers now using its flagship mobile/internet banking products.
Dangote new cement, best for all seasons – Moulders
Markuche further said the cement has helped improved his revenue as he was able to deliver cement to customer within few days of molding them.
A major cement distributor Alhaji Mukhtar Moriki of Albabelo company said block makers now demand for more as they are able to deliver to their customers few days after moulding.
Dangote’s National Sales and Distribution Director Adeyemi Fajobi said the new cement is the King of cement, and a product of innovation.
“Our customers, and key distributors are happy because of the strength and quality of this product. It is also very affordable and it gives them far more yields than all other cements in the market… it is currently the highest grade of cement in Nigeria. It is by far the strongest cement, bagged in the Nigerian market…this cement is 50 per cent stronger after one day and up to 15 per cent stronger after 28 days when the cement finally sets, so that explains the excitement displayed by our retailers and key distributors across the country.”
Noting that there are other brands of cement, even from the company, the Director, Route to the Market, Funmi Sanni, said the BlocMaster quality has been certified as the best by regulatory agencies in the country including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
She said: “It is the king of cement because it is the best quality cement in Nigeria today, based on the laboratory research which shows it is of high quality in terms of value for money. Enjoining builders and block boulders to patronise the new product, Sanni said the product dries fast after moulding into bricks and also that: “When you mould blocks with BlocMaster and it is raining, you don’t have anything to worry about,” She further explained that the cement can be used to build houses without painting, as it comes out in good dark colour as well as being weather friendly.
Fajobi also said: “BlocMaster is a product of years of research, it is of high quality and it will give users value for money by eliminating loss, it is their response to growing demands by stakeholders, bringing the total products of Dangote Industries Limited to four.
He assured that the new product will not disappoint as it can withstand weather elements including rains, adding, “This BlocMaster cement, which is the best for all block and concrete works, is a product of years of research, as testimony abound of its high quality in parts of the country, where it has been in use”
Retailers and distributors who spoke at the event however commended Dangote for the innovation, but urged the company to maintain an efficient distribution system that will ensure that the product is readily available whenever consumers request for it.
Afrexim Bank, Heirs Holdings sign $600m facility to increase energy investments
The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) and Heirs Holdings have signed a $600 million financing facility to help increase the energy investments made across Africa.
At present, Heirs Holdings has investments across Africa in financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors.
Both entities signed the agreement on Tuesday at the ongoing Intra-Africa Trade Fair holding in Cairo, Egypt.
“The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource-based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer,” a statement by Heirs Holdings read.
Commenting at the ceremony, Benedict Oramah, Afrexim president who signed on behalf of the bank, said that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa.
“A world-class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited.”
Tony Elumelu, Heirs Holdings chairman, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world-class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential.”
Diamond bank partners Facebook to support young entrepreneurs
Diamond bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook and Affrinolly is set to project Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to the digital world.
Addressing journalists, Area Manager, Ikeja branch of Diamond Bank Plz, Chigozie Onyecha, said that, Diamond bank believes in small and medium enterprises.
He said that it was the reason, the bank in partnership with the named firms is embarking on digital marketing training for entrepreneurs particularly in the entertainment industry.
According to him, the aim is to help individuals with feasible and viable initiatives to reach out to the global space by providing an online platform for networking, financial aid, advisory, business clinics workshop and technical know-how.
“We are poised to boost talents in young people provided their initiatives are bankable” he stated.
Speaking for Facebook, the creator trainer, Ewonro Amune, for Afrinolly, said facebook America and its partners are working to help small and medium entrepreneurs to do their businesses online.
According to him “we want them to leverage on the social media tools to boost and enhance their performance, build community and make profit”
Ewonro further stressed that facebook is offering business owners knowledge by showing them ways businesses ought to be done in the 21st century, adding that, it’s like showing people how to fish instead of giving them fish.
“It’s up to creators to harness their potential by keying into the Data world because Data is the new oil to explore the world and any entrepreneur who is not in the Data world is playing. So Facebook is offering a lot of incentives for Nigerians, all they need is to show themselves approved” he added.
Meanwhile the Executive Director, Legal & external networks, for Afrinolly, Jane Maduegbuna, said Afrinolly with its partners are helping young people to identify and position their brand identity, saying that the training is geared to make entrepreneurs monetize their products.
“we want to bring at least 300 viable ideas to the fore and we expect them to explore the digital world to market their businesses.
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