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FirstBank partners CFA Society for ‘Ethics Challenge’

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As a way of demonstrating its commitment to ethics, professional excellence, capacity building and inclusive growth of Nigerians, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is partnering with CFA Society Nigeria for this year’s edition of its Ethics Challenge.

The Ethics Challenge, one of the university outreach programmes organised by CFA Society Nigeria for university students, aims to promote the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence in the investment industry and this aligns with the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability  strategic approach and the objective of the Bank’s Endowment programme – the Samuel Asabia Chair for Business Ethics at the University of Lagos.

According to FirstBank’s management, the partnership will also showcase the Bank’s support for education amongst youths and the drive for nation building.

Speaking on the event, which holds between November 2 (Lagos and Abuja) and November 3 (Lagos only) 2018, Folake Ani-Mumuney, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said that it s a part of the Bank’s ambition to raise the next generation of financial analysts who will operate under the appropriate guiding principles.

“This partnership is an improvement of last year’s edition of the programme. We realise to need to carry out adequate engagement with students as regards business ethics. That way, we will be shaping the future of the investment industry in Nigeria,” Folake Ani-Mumuney said.

With seven universities competing in the 2017 ethics challenge, CFA Society has set out to increase the impact of the 2018 version by expanding the number of participating universities from seven to twelve, including at least one West African university.

This year, the programme will run regional competitions in Abuja and Lagos before running a National Final in Lagos.

Also, in line with its ‘Women in Investment Management Initiative’ and to encourage women inclusion, the CFA society has added a requirement that each team must be represented by an equal number of female and male students.

Mrs. Ani-Mumuney said that it is hoped that these two strategic improvements will position the competition to enable the Bank make bigger impacts through the Ethics Challenge.

Participating Universities for the programme are Babcock University, Bowen University, Covenant University, Ekiti State University, Mountain Top University, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, University of Benin, University of Calabar, University of Ibadan as well as University of Lagos for the Lagos preliminary round, while the  Abuja Based preliminary round will have University of Abuja, University of Maiduguri, University of Illorin, University of Nigeria and Madonna University participating.

The competition will take place in two rounds with the preliminary rounds taking place in Lagos and Abuja. Thereafter, two qualifiers from the Abuja region and four qualifiers from Lagos region will converge in Lagos for the grand finale. “

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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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