Keystone Bank Limited recently partnered with the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to launch an annual SME Support Centre to support the micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in Lagos State and by extension, Nigeria.
According to the LCCI, the inaugural edition of the programme which was held on 12th of March 2020 in Lagos, was aimed at introducing business consultancy services to boost businesses of entrepreneurs in the state. The statement further said that the Chamber intends to achieve this through collaboration with external subject matter experts.
“The MSMEs is an integral sector in Nigeria. The free clinic is also coming at a time when stakeholders are raising concerns about planned increase in taxes and electricity bills. Therefore, our aim is to ensure that MSMEs get the necessary support through mentorship to stay afloat despite the various challenges.
“Partnering Keystone Bank on this project made the job easier because the bank is one of the financial institutions that believes so much in the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria,” the statement noted.
Speaking on the bank’s involvement in the scheme, Helen Nwelle, Group Head, MSME & Value Chain Management of Keystone Bank applauded the initiative as a welcome development in a bid to enable SME growth.
According to her: “Keystone Bank is an SME-centric bank focused on delivering tailored MSME value offerings and that has continually spurred our involvement in programmes like this.
“SMEs are the bedrock of our economy and the LCCI SME Support Center will provide a platform where SMEs can meet seasoned Consultants who will offer advisory services in areas of book keeping, capacity building, branding and digital marketing, to enable them remain competitive in the current business climate.
According to SMEDAN’s latest report, 99% of SMEs are in the micro sector which means a lot of them are unstructured making it difficult for them to access finance from Banks and other Funders. Therefore, this Initiative will help empower SMEs with the needed skills for book keeping and cash flow analysis to aid finance readiness,” Nwelle said.
At the forum, Keystone Bank provided hands-on consultation and support for over 30 participants including bespoke business and financial advisory services, as well as recommendation of business tools and models.
Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.
COVID-19: Our branches are open nationwide – FirstBank
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has said that all its branches across Nigeria are open to customers despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nation.
The lender in a statement by its Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, and made available to THE WITNESS on Saturday, however disclosed that it will run skeletal operations in some of its branches following the state government directives.
“Following the directives for partial lockdown in several states across the country, we will be offering skeletal services in some of our branches across the nation.
“These branches will be open from 9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday to Friday. We have implemented all necessary health and safety measures across these branches to keep you safe at all our locations.
“For the list of branches, please go to https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/list-of-open-branches-nationwide/
“Our alternative channels are available for you 24/7 during this period.
“Thank you for your understanding at this period as we continue to work to put You First,” the statement said.
COVID-19: NNPC, 33 partners donate $30m to Nigerian govt
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with 33 partners have donated 30 million dollars to support the federal government’s efforts at curbing the spread of Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mele Kyari, made this known during a Live Streaming news conference, in Abuja, on Friday.
“In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian population and economy, the Nigeria oil and gas industry under the leadership of the NNPC GMD Mele Kyari has embarked on an industry- wide collaborative intervention initiative to combat the pandemic and its attendant impact.
“The intervention initiative is in alignment with the ongoing Federal Government’s efforts and in collaboration with the NCDC to curb the pandemic.
“It is aimed at supporting our national healthcare delivery facilities and cover three key thematic areas,” he said.
The three thematic areas he said are provision of medical consumables, deployment of logistic and in-patient support system and delivery of medical infrastructure.
” The three thematic support initiatives amount to a total of 30 million dollars and will be delivered in phases starting from March 27.
He added that to address the increasing demand for medical services the sector would immediately provide medical consumables covering test kits, medical protective suits and ambulances to impacted areas.
“This will be followed in the next few days with deployment of ventilators, beds and temporary intensive care facilities across the geopolitical zones of the federation.
“As a responsive and responsible industry, we are taking this action to strengthen our collective national resolve in combating this pandemic and its dreadful impact,” he added.
Kyari said that the 33 partners who contributed to the intervention are drawn from the upstream sector and the companies drawn from oil producers trade section and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group.
He named some of the companies to include Shell Group of Companies, EXXONMOBIL GROUP, Total Group, Chevron Group, ENi Group,ADDAX Petroleum and Aiteo Eastern Exploration.
Others are AMNI International Petroleum Company, Dansaki Petroleum Development, Eroton Exploration and Production Company among many others.
In the downstream sector, he said that DAPPMA donated N120 million for the provision of 36 ventilators and 1,500 medical overalls while MRS donated 2,000 test kits, 1,000 medical overalls and 100 million Naira for ambulances.
“Matrix Energy provided N360 million for necessary medical equipment, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) 50 ventilators and OVH 200 ambulances for use.
“Also, Eyrie Oil donated 1500 medical overalls and lab equipment for one diagonistic centre, WIEN, test kits and Lab equipment, BONO, MOCOH, LEVENE oil donated N18 million each,” he said.
Mr Kyari noted that health and safety of Nigerians remained paramount to the oil and gas sector noting that the sector was still open for more interventions from all partners.
Fidelity Bank staff tests positive for COVID-19
In a statement released on Tuesday, the bank said the individual has embarked on self-isolation upon his arrival in the country in line with its policy that mandates staff/family members who have travelled overseas in recent time to self isolate for 14 days and test for the virus before returning to work.
“Fidelity Bank mandates staff or immediate family member(s) who travel out the country to self-isolate for two weeks and obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of our COVID-19 preventive and precautionary measures,” the statement signed by Charles Aigbe, the bank’s divisional head for brand and communications, read.
“This process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.
“He was in self-isolation and underwent testing in line with the bank’s policy. The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where he is currently being attended to by health officials.”
According to the bank, two other members of staff who received gifts from the individual have also been made to self-isolate and the office where they work has been temporarily closed.
The bank said no customers were identified in the contact tracing that was carried out.
Also, the bank said it has shut down its business office at the federal secretariat in Abuja and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with its policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff.
The bank said it is carrying out other measures like reducing the number of staff expected to report physically at work and number of customers allowed at a time in the banking hall to a maximum of five to curb the spread of the virus.
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