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FirstBank employees lift partially sighted, down syndrome children

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Still in the spirit of the 2018 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week (CR&S), themed ‘Touching Lives; You First’, employees of First Bank of Nigeria Limited recently shared moments with physically challenged children in Lagos and also presented numerous foodstuffs and toiletries to them. The CSR activity which took place all over Nigeria and other Africa countries where FirstBank is located through its subsidiary; FBNBank had staff visit orphanages; homes for the physically challenged, and other institutions that require support across the country. These subsidiaries include, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal,

Defying the torrential rain, the top-level management staff, on Saturday, June 23, 2018, visited Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, and the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria in Surulere, Lagos respectively to interact with the pupils and also presented food, health and sanitary items contributed by the staff of the bank to them.

Similarly, the Bank presented foodstuff and other materials to orphanage babies home at Anua in Uyo and Generate of Handmaid of Holy Child of Jesus motherless home Ifuho Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom, with a view to giving the children a sense of belonging.

In Abuja, it was the same story as Al Ansar Orphanage Home and Abuja School for the Handicap, both in the Kuje Area Council of the FCT, Abuja, also received essential materials.

Expressing appreciation on behalf of management and pupils of Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, the Headmistress, Sister Jane Onyeneri, thanked FirstBank for the kind gesture and the timely gifts.

She added that the school founded on June 16, 1962 and owned by the Catholic Arch-Diocese of Lagos, accommodates 140 pupils, adding that it is a non-denominational institution.

“The school offers the pupils free tuition, free feeding and free accommodation. So, we really appreciate FirstBank’s timely intervention and consider it an act of kindness that will go a long way in ensuring the school continues to do this”, Onyeneri stated.

Speaking on behalf of the FirstBank team, the Group Executive, Retail Banking, Lagos and West, Tunde Owolabi, said: “FirstBank Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Week is set aside to promote acts of random kindness and create opportunities for staff to give their time and resources to defined courses in line with the bank’s Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability strategic approach.”

He disclosed further that ‘Hope Rising’ initiative is one of the key programmes of the Bank designed to empower people living with disabilities. “Its key objective is engendering inclusivity and diversity through training as well as inclusive events. The partnership with Pacelli School falls under the Hope Rising platform and this includes support in cash and kind”, Owolabi noted.

Touched by the show of appreciation in the emotion-laden sonorous songs rendered by the pupils, Owolabi went ahead to make a personal donation to the school, while appealing to other well-meaning Nigerians to render assistance to the needy. The FirstBank team also promised to send representatives and more gifts at the school’s graduation taking place on July 12, 2018.

The FirstBank team that visited Pacelli School for the Blind, comprised the Head, Alternative Workforce, Yinka Folorunsho, and Head, Talent Management, Muyiwa Olulaja, amongst others.

Apart from visiting and donating to orphanages/ less privileged homes and IDPs, the other four key initiatives of the FirstBank’s CR&S are Career Counselling for secondary school students, commemoration of the UN International Widow’s Day in partnership with the International Women Society, and Staff Promoting Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK) initiative designed to encourage people to be kind and uphold values. First Bank of Nigeria Limited is also in partnership with Vision Spring to empower people with impaired vision by providing eyeglasses and lens at very affordable rates.

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Fidelity Bank doles out N16m to 13 customers

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L-R: Divisional Head, Operations, Fidelity Bank Plc., Martins Izuogbe; Baale of Dankaka and N1 Million GAIM 3 Promo Winner, Alhaji Oluwa Kareem Amodu; his wife, Alhaja Amodu; Regional Bank Head, Apapa, Fidelity Bank Plc, Jude Monye at the 3rd Monthly Prize presentation ceremony of the Fidelity Get Alert in Millions Promo Season 3 (GAIM 3) held at the Fidelity Bank Trinity, Apapa Branch. Lagos ….yesterday.

Fidelity Bank Plc on Tuesday splashed 13 customers with N16 million under the Get Alert in Millions Savings (GAIM) season three initiative.

Mrs Chijioke Ugochukwu, the bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services and Product, stated this at the third monthly prize presentation in Lagos that the promo was an initiated aimed at boosting financial inclusion and saving culture.

Ugochukwu said that the bank, through the GAIM, had made significant impact on its customers.

She said that the monthly draw produced 13 cash winners and 18 consolation prizes, comprising refrigerators, generators and television sets.

Ugochukwu said that the bank had also given out N50 million and 54 consolation prizes under the GAIM season three initiative.

According to her, N60 million remains outstanding for grab by lucky customers in the course of the promo, adding that the bank has also earmarked N110 million to be won by customers for the GAIM season three initiative.

Ugochukwu further disclosed that the bank had given N2.67 million worth of airtime to about 1,964 customers, comprising of first 100 accounts opened weekly.

She said that the savings promo allowed the bank to go into nooks and crannies of the country to enlighten people on financial inclusion.

Mr Richard Madiebo, the bank’s Divisional Head, Retail Banking, said that the bank had made banking easy through the promotion.

Madiebo called on Nigerians to take advantage of the initiative to open account with Fidelity Bank, assuring customers that they had the chance of winning N1 million, N 2 million and more.

Alhaji Oluwakareem Amodu, the Bale of Dankaka, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, who won N1 million lauded the bank for the initiative, saying that he opened the account with N1, 000, describing he promo as genuine.

Mr Rahman Yusuf, a star prize winner of N 2, appreciated the bank for its kind gesture of instituting the promo.

“I want to say a very big thank you to Fidelity Bank for this opportunity. I did not believe in it until I got here and confirmed that I won,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf said he opened the account with zero balance..(NAN)

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AMCON seeks buyers for Polaris Bank

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)  is  seeking new investors to take over nationalised lender, Polaris Bank after elections next month. It is also taking stock of the bank’s assets ahead of the sale, its spokesman, Jude Nwauzor, said yesterday.

“The election season has slowed down things,” Nwauzor, said.

Nigerians will vote on February 16 in a presidential election where incumbent Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term.

“We would advertise for Expressions of Interest from investors after elections and commence the sale process,” Nwauzor said.

Some of Nigeria’s banks have faced tough times since low oil prices put pressure on their business of lending to the oil and gas industry. The country emerged from a recession in 2017 but economic growth remains sluggish and this has weighed on credit growth.

Polaris Bank was set up last year to take over the assets of Skye Bank which collapsed and had its operating licence revoked by Nigeria’s central bank.

Polaris was then transferred to the state-owned bad bank for sale to investors. AMCON has previously sold three other nationalised banks.

The AMCON spokesman said the bad bank was seeking to recover debts owed to Polaris that were non-performing and had asked for proposals on repayment.

AMCON was set up in 2010 to take on non-performing loans from banks as part of the country’s efforts to resolve a financial crisis at that time.

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CBN warns against rising debt, retains rate at 14%

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All 11 members of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday, voted to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 percent and other key economic parameters in its first meeting in 2019.

The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who made this disclosure in a communique read at the end of the meeting in Abuja, warned against the nation’s rising debt profile, even as he revealed that the nation’s foreign reserves now stand at $43.28 billion.

According to Emefiele, the Committee deliberated on external borrowing, where it noted the increase in debt level and thus called  for caution.

He said the debt level, if not checked, could rapidly hit the pre-2005 Paris Club level. The Governor said that Committee recommended the Federal Government to sustain the pace towards addressing infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.

On monies being paid by the Finance Ministry in collaboration with the Debt Management Office (DMO) to the oil and petroleum marketers, Emefiele said there was an agreement that the banks would halt interest charges from July 2017 to date on loans they gave oil marketers.

“So, its an agreement we have and any bank who refuses to do so, the petroleum marketer through his association should please inform the Central Bank”, he said.

On output, the CBN Governor said the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.81 per cent during the third quarter of 2018 from 1.5 per cent during the second quarter of 2018.

“The services and agricultural sector continued to drive output growth. However, the persistence of herdsmen attacks on farmers, cattle rustling and flooding in parts of the country affected agricultural and livestock output.

“The output for growth however remains fragile as the late implementation of the 2018 budget and the residual impact of flooding and security challenges constituted headwinds to growth.

“The committee therefore believes that effective implementation of the 2018 capital budget and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and improvements in the security situation and continued stability in the foreign exchange market will enhance aggregate demand and growth”, he added. 

The communique further noted that the committee observed that the near-term risk to inflation remains the impact of flooding on agricultural output, insecurity on food producing belts of the country, exchange rate pass through to inflation due to weakening of oil price and campaign related spending towards the 2019 general election.

On the MTN penalty, he said: “I am glad to tell you in November we held a round of meetings with MTN officials even from South-Africa and by December we concluded those engagements and the matters were resolved. It resulted in notional I repeat it is not a fine, not a penalty,  reversal of $53million amounting to about N19.5billion and this amount has since been paid by the MTN and terms of settlement of the matters have already been lodged at the Nigerian court”.

On the 41 items restricted from foreign exchange, he said the economic department of the CBN together with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would investigate any company or any individual suspected of bringing these items either through any border or through smuggling of any means for money laundering and economic sabotage.

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