Sterling Bank Plc has announced the launch of the Sterling Diaspora Services for Nigerians based outside the shores of the country.
The lender said the move was in line with plans to extend its banking services abroad.
The bank’s Group Head, Strategy and Communications, Mr. Shina Atilola, in a statement on Wednesday, said Nigerians living abroad with local and direct ties in Nigeria would be encouraged to embrace the services.
“We will also ensure that businesses owned by Nigerians and associations abroad make use of the services,” he added.
He noted that the bank was in discussions with various Nigerian communities abroad for business collaboration in the area of customer acquisition, management and retention.
Atilola said, “It will be recalled that the World Bank recently put the estimate of Nigerians in the Diaspora at 20 million who remitted an estimated $21bn in 2015.
“This provides a platform for proactive financial institutions like Sterling Bank to tap into the business opportunity available outside the shores of the country. This will give millions of Nigerians abroad access to the services through online and electronic channels.”
The lender restated its commitment to boosting retail banking in the country.
Sterling Bank said it had over the years done this through its continued investments in the areas of capacity building, product development and provision of technology infrastructure to harness the vast potential in the segment
It added, “Specifically, the bank has built its retail banking strategies around people, processes, products and technology with strong emphasis on differentiation. This is to enable it navigate the current changing tides of retail banking and in the process turn its customers to advocates.”
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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