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Heritage Bank empowers 2000 female entrepreneurs via financial inclusivity initiatives

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This move is in line with the people-oriented policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Heritage Bank Plc is partnering with a Non-Governmental Organization, Prime Women Builders Foundation of Nigeria (PWOBFON) in providing skills training to the female entrepreneurs.

At the graduation ceremony/ certificate award ceremony held at  Ikeja Local Government headquarters over the weekend, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo said the bank is keen in cultivating real partnerships with Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Sekibo, who was represented by the Head, Brand Management & Sustainability Ozena Utulu explained that the lender is interested in initiatives that encourage people to start their own businesses and gradually grow them into conglomerates.

According to him, the partnership with PWOBFON is vital in many ways particularly in the area of  job creation, economic empowerment and financial inclusion.

His words:  “apart from skills training, the women have been told the importance of record keeping in business, savings culture and the benefits of having bank accounts as a gateway to accessing other financial services.”

He said Heritage Bank has been a leading Nigerian bank with an excellent service culture hinged on working with each customer to create a name, wealth and heritage.

Also speaking, President/Convener Prime women Builders Foundation of Nigeria, Kemi Olofinkua applauded the bank for its support, and urged other corporate organizations to take a cue from the lender in supporting grassroots women empowerment.

She explained that through the support from the Heritage Bank and the Ikeja Local government, the women, based on their choices, have been equipped with 15 vocational skills covering event decoration, small chops making, baking, pastries, bead making, computer training , soap making, makeup, tailoring, digital marketing, Photography, hairdressing among others.

To underscore the  importance of women empowerment, the CBN had earlier set aside 60 per cent of its  N220 billion MSMED Fund for providing financial services to women.

According to Olofinkua, this training is important because when women are positively occupied, the level of poverty will reduce and great achievements will be recorded not only on the home front, but on several sectors of “our national life.”

“Heritage Bank has been very supportive and our desire is to see participants of PWOBFON Empowerment Day, doing great in their various vocations. Each and every one of us must deliberately find something to occupy us and bring good profit. There are lots of vocations that each and every one of us can excel in; so that we will not be frustrated along the part of life,” Olofinkua stated.

The executive chairman, Ikeja Local Government Development Council, Dr. Mojeed Alabi Balogun, represented by his vice, Yomi Mayungba said the local government is interested in the initiative because it is in line with its grassroots skills training program . According to him, this is a way of keeping not only women, but men also out of the streets.

He disclosed that the first batch of trainees started from Ikeja and this is the 10th year anniversary. “The local government is delighted to partner with the NGO, Heritage Bank and other interested parties,” Balogun said.

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BUSINESS

Keystone Bank restates commitment to environmental sustainability

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Keystone Bank restates commitment to environmental sustainability
Keystone Bank staff planting Mahogany trees at the Nigeria Conservation Foundation in Lagos, recently.

Keystone Bank Limited, Nigeria’s most innovative banking services provider, has restated its commitment to environmental sustainability as it recently embarked on tree planting campaign.

According to the lender, the event which saw staff of the bank plant trees at the Nigeria Conservation Foundation in Lagos, is in line with its bid to further align with the Sustainable Development Goal 15, which stresses the call by the United Nations to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss and ultimately for environmental sustainability.

Commenting on the initiative, Keystone Bank executive director, Adeyemi Odusanya said: “As a bank, our goal is to lead the movement promoting environmental sustainability in Nigeria and we are clearly going to sustain that.

“One of the ways to sustain this initiative is by planting trees to preserve the environment. Tree planting remains a strong tool to tackle the effect of climate change. Climate change is the most significant material risk to the future because it poses most devastating threat to human survival.

“Keystone Bank fully aligns itself with the UN ideology.

“We cannot live a healthy life, conduct business and create wealth amidst a sick environment. Hence, this gesture is our commitment towards a sustainable future that will benefit all,” Odusanya noted.

Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.

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Court orders Fidson Healthcare to pay ex-staff N4 million

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Court orders Fidson Healthcare to pay ex-staff N4 million

Benin Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria led by Justice Abiola Adewemimo has ordered Fidson Healthcare Plc to pay the sum of N4 million to its former employee, Mr Obateru Olufemi Abidemi, for illegally withholding his first degree certificate despite asking for it to be returned to him.

The Witness gathered that Mr Abidemi worked with Fidson as a pharmacist for over two years and one of the conditions for getting the job in August 2007 was for him to deposit his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree certificate with the company.

However, trouble started after he resigned in December 2009 and his three letters to Fidson between 2013 and 2016 demanding for the return of his original certificate were ignored.

This forced him to file a complaint before the court in January 2018, claiming his fundamental right had been violated by the defendant.

He also said the refusal of the drug-making company has made him to suffer psychological trauma, mental pains, distress, embarrassment and inconvenience. He therefore, asked the court to direct the company to return his certificate and pay him the sum of N5 million as general damages.

But Fidson, in its defence, denied all the allegations, saying it held the certificate because the claimant had an outstanding indebtedness of N9.234 million after reconciliation of the accounts.

According to Fidson, on several occasions, the claimant sold goods to customers and refused to remit the proceeds to the company as a result of which, he was asked to proceed on two weeks suspension without pay with effect from July 7, 2009.

The company informed the court that on December 28, 2009, the claimant suddenly resigned his appointment without clearing the alleged debt, which the claimant denied.

In her ruling, Justice Adewemimo dismissed Fidson’s counter-claim, emphasising that, “The refusal of the defendant to release to the claimant, his original Bachelor of Pharmacy certificate is unlawful.”

The judge further held that, “The defendant is hereby ordered to within 72 hours of this judgment, release to the claimant, his Bachelor of Pharmacy certificate.

“The defendant is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira) as general damages.

“All judgment sums awarded in this suit shall be paid within 30 days failure upon which it will attract a 10% interest per annum.

“A cost of N200,000.00k cost is hereby awarded against the defendant.”

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Contempt: Wema Bank’s MD, 6 other official must appear Tuesday – Court

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Contempt: Wema Bank’s MD, 6 other official must appear Tuesday – Court

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There is no reprieve yet for the Wema Bank Plc and its seven officials cited for contempt, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria reinforced its order compelling the said official to appear before the court on Tuesday to explain why committal to prison order should not be made against them.

When the matter was mentioned on Monday, only the Secretary of the bank, Johnson Lebile was present.

Other officials of the bank charged for contempt are Ademola Adebise, managing director; Moruf Oseni, deputy managing director; Wole Akinleye, executive director and Folake Sanu, executive director.

Lebile told the court that the chairman of the bank, Babatunde Kasali travelled abroad, why other Directors ordered to appear before the court today are not available.

He explained to the court that the bank refused to obey the order of the court to pay the judgement sum because the bank had filed an appeal against the ruling of the court and also filed stay of execution of the judgement of the court.

However, the lawyer to the bank officials cited for contempt, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde, suggested to the court that he could advise Wema Bank to pay the judgement sum into the account of the Chief Registrar of the court, since there was appeal against the judgement of the court and application for stay of execution of the said judgement and other pending application so that the outcome of the appeal would not be made nugatory.

However, the counsel to Heritage Bank, Chief Ajibola Aribisala SAN, in a counter argument told the court that the business of the day was for the parties cited for contempt to appear before the court to explain why they should not be sent to prison for flagrant disobedience of order of the court.

He urged the court to issue bench warrant against those officials that were not in court, while the Company’s Secretary present in court should be sent to prison to show that the court was not a toothless bulldog.

In his reaction, Ogunde, while citing certain rules of the court said last Friday, the court issued order compelling the officers of Wema Bank cited for contempt to appear before the court and that by virtue of the rule of the court Sundays and public holidays were not to be counted, saying that in view of this provision, the time for them to appear would expire tomorrow.

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