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First Bank @ 125: Why we have remained the first – CEO

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L- R, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney; GMD, FBNHoldings, Mr. UK Eke MFR; Group Chairman, FBN Holdings, Dr. Oba Otudeko CFR; Chairman, FirstBank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; and CEO, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan raising their flags to the next 125 years of FirstBank at the 125th anniversary flag hoisting/press conference of the Bank, held at the FirstBank Head Quarters, Lagos on Friday

First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Friday said that it would remain committed to the development and growth of Nigeria as well as the financial industry through enhanced service delivery.

Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, stated this at its 125 years anniversary flag hoisting in Lagos.

Adeduntan said that the bank, a long-standing institution, had impacted the nation and the world through various financial products and services.

“From that very modest beginning in 1894, First Bank has traversed an incredible journey of delivering impeccable financial services to its customers and supporting the building of the modern-day Nigeria and indeed, West Africa, including our early pivotal role as the monetary and fiscal policy regulator for the entire West African region,” he said.

He said the bank had provided topclass financial services to the country and citizenry and had supported in the past 125 years and would continue in that direction in the future.

“As a long-standing institution, which even predates Nigeria as a unified entity, FirstBank is entrenched in the nation’s development; woven into the very fabric of society, with our involvement in every stage of national growth and development.

“At the amalgamation, independence and through the seasons ever after, we have been here marching hand-in-hand with you and our dear nation. We have enabled financial, technological, industrial and societal advancements, achieving very many firsts over time,” Adeduntan said.

He noted that the institution was celebrating 125 years of unbroken business operations in Nigeria; 125 years of supporting and enabling dreams; 125 years of resilience and relevance.

Adeduntan added that it was celebrating 125 years of trust, safety and security as well as 125 years of long term value to all stakeholders.

He said that the bank was now building for the next 125 years and beyond and would continue to maintain its leadership position.

The chief executive officer said that hoisting of the flag symbolises the identity, impact, permanence and reverence of an institution.

He said that the bank was among the few companies in the world that survived over 100 years of existence.
Also speaking, Mr Dipo Fatokun of the Central Bank of Nigeria, lauded the bank for its achievement in the development of the financial sector and Nigeria as a whole.

Fatoku said that integrity was very important in the banking industry, adding that First Bank had remained a major player both in human capital development and financial service delivery.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the dignitaries at the event were the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, former CBN Governor, Mr Joseph Sanusi, Mrs Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Dr Omobola Johnson, former Minister of Communication Technology and Mrs Nike Akande, among others.

By March 31st 2019, FirstBank, Nigeria’s largest financial powerhouse, will be 125 years. (NAN)

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BUSINESS

#SheVentures: 4 reasons every Nigerian business woman should consider this new proposition

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Reports show that women make up 49% of Nigeria’s adult population. However, only about 42% of them have access to formal financial services. Moreover, 42.7% of Nigerian women are business owners out of which only an estimated 2% have access to capital and loans to grow their businesses. It is also reported that around 7 million businesses will be set-up by Nigerian women in the year 2021 with the potential to create 8.9 million jobs and unlock billions in revenue for the country.

On Thursday, March 7th, 2019 at an impressive ceremony in Lagos, leading Nigerian financial institution First City Monument Bank (FCMB) unveiled #SheVentures, its brand-new proposition to support the growth of businesses owned or managed by women. The event, which was part of the Bank’s activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme “Balance for Better” provided the right opportunity to highlight how FCMB is helping women close the gaps in the world of business.

If you are a woman who runs a business in Nigeria, here are 4 reasons you should seriously consider FCMB’s #SheVentures proposition:

  1. Mentorship: Through a network of qualified mentors carefully selected by FCMB, #SheVentures offers Nigerian businesswomen access to guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling for a successful career.
  2. Capacity building and training: The Bank has also partnered with consultants in various fields of business to provide key professional services at discounted rates to its women in business customers. Not forgetting exclusive business training events which FCMB either directly organizes or in partnership with other leading organizations.
  3. Access to loans at zero (yes, zero!) or competitive interest rates: Through its flagship zero percent loan product, FCMB offers short-term loans to female customers who need quick access to funds. At the #SheVentures launch event alone, about 40 female SMEs were awarded loans of between N500,000 to N5,000,000 at zero percent interest.  In addition, there are other loans such as the FCMB BOI Gender Loan, which comes at 15% interest.
  4. Supporting women in business are of strategic importance to FCMB: At the launch of #SheVentures, Adam Nuru, said the Bank strongly believes in the power of entrepreneurship. He added that the contribution of women to economic development cannot be understated, as over 30% of businesses owned globally are either female owned or managed. On her part, FCMB’s Executive Director, Business Development, Bukola Smith, said ‘’the #SheVentures proposition is as much a statement of substance as it is one of intent. We are passionate about supporting women in business. The #SheVentures offerings are tailored to offer sustainable benefits to women-owned SMEs and support them to increase their productivity and contributions in the areas of job and wealth creation, poverty reduction, empowerment and the overall development of Nigeria.”

So, now you know – FCMB is providing the right support to help the Nigerian businesswoman thrive in all #SheVentures to do!

For more information about #SheVentures, please click https://on.fcmb.com/SheVentures-10.

(P.S. – a few pictures from the launch of FCMB #SheVentures are shown below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Local bond market attracts $6b, says CBN

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THE successful conduct of the general elections is rubbing off positively on investments, with the inflow of over $6 billion into the local bond market.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele described the foreign capital inflows to the bond market as an indication of the continued investors’ confidence in the strength of the economy.

The CBN boss, who spoke yesterday at the BusinessDay Post-Election Economic Agenda Conference in Lagos, also set a post-election agenda for the nation’s monetary policy. The current policy stance of the bank is expected to continue while inflation is estimated to rise to 12 per cent and moderate thereafter.

Emefiele said the Nigeria bond market remains one of the most attractive investment destinations – In Bloomberg’s Emerging-Market Local-Currency Government Bonds index, which covers major emerging markets, including Nigeria, South Africa and Argentina.

He said Nigeria’s bond continue to top the chart due to the stability of the Investors’ & Exporters’ Forex rate and the yields being high by emerging-market standards.

Investors, Emefiele said, are sure that they can exit their positions if they want, which has been crucial in driving other investors into the market.

Emefiele hinged the monetary policy stance of the bank on rising inflation expectations.

He, however, noted that the bank would adjust the policy rate in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks. Just as in the previous year, he said the Bank would continue in its drive to ensure that the policy interest rate is set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilisation.

The CBN boss also explained that since the establishment of the I&E Window in April 2017, the country has recorded about $35 billion in autonomous inflows through the window alone.

He said: “As a result, exchange rate pressures eased considerably across all markets as the rates converged to about N360/$ and the distortive premium almost eliminated. At the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment, we saw a significant appreciation of the naira from over N525/$ in February 2017 to about N360/$ today. Rates at the I&E window also appreciated from nearly N382/$ in May 2017 to just over N360/$.”

On the exchange rate policy, he said the bank, despite the expected pressures from the volatility in the crude oil markets, will maintain its stable exchange rate over the next year.

“Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market, given increased oil production and contained import bill”, he said.

Emefiele expressed optimism that the country’s Balance of Payments would remain positive in the short-term, adding that the current account balance could improve further if oil prices continued to recover. He assured that this would be “supported by improved non-oil performance as diversification efforts begin to yield results to reduce undue imports.”

Warning that the issues that led to the economic crisis between 2015 and 2017 remained visible, Emefiele stressed the need to significantly increase the country’s policy buffers, including fiscal measure, to increase its external reserve. He also reiterated the need to diversify the revenue structure of the Federal Government, in order to reduce dependence on direct proceeds from the sale of crude oil.

He further advised that cheap financing be provided to boost local production of priority goods in critical sectors of the economy in order to reduce reliance on foreign imports.

He also used the platform to highlight the efforts made by the CBN in the past five years in monetary policy and development finance, disclosed that the weakening of the Naira impacted the balance sheets of domestic banks.

However, he said the bank took some measures such as monitoring the financial position and performance of supervised institutions and the assessment of the risk profile and governance management practices of banks, to guarantee financial stability.

He listed other efforts carried out by the Bank to ensure financial system stability and the promotion of sustainable economic development to include the establishment of the investors and exporters’ window; conservation of foreign exchange through the restriction of access to foreign exchange on 43 items; and increased lending to the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

The governor, while soliciting continued support for the policy measures that restrict import of items that could be produced in Nigeria as well as increased penalty for smuggling of restricted items in Nigeria, expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy in post-May 2019 will witness growth and reduced unemployment.

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BUSINESS

PHOTO NEWS: Keystone Bank visits State of Osun government

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(L-R) Regional Bank Head, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Olaniran Olayinka; the Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Chief Benedict Alabi; and Divisional Head, West, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr Ademola Adeyemi; during a courtesy visit by the management of Keystone Bank to the State of Osun Deputy Governor in his office at Osogbo, on Wednesday.
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