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Banks Set Aside 5% of Profit for Agriculture, Exports

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Recession bites
  • Banks Set Aside 5% of Profit for Agriculture, Exports

The Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday agreed to set aside five per cent of the profit after tax of the banking sector to finance the agricultural sector as well as non-oil exports.

The committee, at its meeting held at the headquarters of the CBN in Abuja, said that based on the balance sheet size of the banking sector for the 2016 financial year, about N25bn was expected to be pooled into the fund annually.

The Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mr. Ahmed Abdulahi, who addressed journalists shortly after the meeting, said that the decision to set aside the fund was to support the agricultural sector and import substitution policy of the Federal Government.

Abdulahi was joined at the briefing by the Managing Director, First Security Discount House, Mr. Hamda Amban; Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje; Director, Shared Services, CBN, Mr. Chidi Umeano; and Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor.

Apart from the new funding initiative for the agricultural sector, others issues discussed at the meeting, according to Abdulahi, are the reactivation of the cashless policy as well as its extension to the remaining 30 states, Ponzi schemes and the emerging threat of virtual currencies.

Providing more insight into the new funding mechanism for the agricultural sector, Abdulahi said the fund would be used to finance eligible bankable projects meant to support the export drive of all import substitution products.

He explained that the move was borne out of the conviction that the agricultural sector as well as the promotion of non-oil exports held the key to the diversification of the economy.

He said the money would not be given out to businesses in the sectors as loans, but would be provided by banks as equity contribution to such companies.

This, he noted, would allow the banks to have equity stake in such businesses for a maximum of 10 years, adding that rather than charging interest, the banks would be entitled to dividend during the period of their investments.

Umeano, who spoke on the cashless policy, said it would help drive financial inclusion, the Sustainable Development Goals of the country and improve security in bank transactions.

He said the committee’s plan was to have a gradual reintroduction of the scheme to the 30 states starting from May this year

The cashless policy, since it was introduced in 2012, according to him, has been implemented in six states.

On Ponzi schemes and virtual currencies, Agbaje said that the CBN had warned Nigerians not to patronise them as they were not registered by any of the regulatory agencies in Nigeria.

“Ponzi scheme is something that as an industry we are very concerned about. We are trying to make sure that majority of people do not fall into get-rich-quick schemes,” he added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Appointments

Standard Bank Appoints Sanni Chief Executive for Africa

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The Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets has appointed Yinka Sanni as its new Chief Executive for Africa Regions and a member of the Group Leadership Council.

Sanni, the group’s Regional Chief Executive for West Africa, takes over from Sola David-Borha, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the banking group.

This was disclosed in a statement.

Sanni holds a B. Agric. (Hons) degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2009, and the Global CEO Programme at the Wharton School in 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector across wholesale, retail and asset management, and joined Standard Bank Group’s Nigerian subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, in December 1990.

In a note to employees, Standard Bank Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala, congratulated Sanni on his appointment and thanked David-Borha for her extraordinary contributions to the group.

“Sola was appointed as the Chief Executive of Africa Regions in January 2017 and is one of the group’s most deeply expert and experienced bankers,” Tshabalala said.

“Under her leadership, the Africa Regions portfolio has grown remarkably in capacity, market share and contribution to the group’s headline earnings.”

David-Borha has been a passionate advocate of culture change and executive leadership development, having sponsored the ‘Last Mile’ programme, which has resulted in the successful promotion of talented people into both Regional Chief Executive and Country Chief Executive positions, including the appointment of two female Chief Executives in the Africa Regions business.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve and contribute to the growth of the Standard Bank Group,” David-Borha said.

“I am delighted to be handing over to Yinka Sanni, an exceptional, authentic and experienced leader who will take the baton forward in driving Africa’s growth.”

David-Borha will remain with the group until the end of June to ensure a successful leadership transition and handover process. Sanni’s appointment is effective from today, 15 April.

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Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0

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The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.

The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.

MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant  issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.

The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.

The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.

According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”

“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.

MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.

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Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria

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Ericsson

Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.

Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.

This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.

Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.

Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”

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