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Ibadan Chamber Advises Private Sector on Recession

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  • Ibadan Chamber Advises Private Sector on Recession

The President, Ibadan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Margaret Amusa-Ogunnaike, has called on members of the Organised Private Sector to help end the economic recession in the country by creating opportunities for knowledge sharing.

She made the call at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the chamber held in Ibadan.

Speaking on activities in the last one year, Amusa-Ogunnaike lamented low performance of trade groups and companies mainly as a result of the depreciation of the naira and unfavourable foreign exchange rates in the banks and at the parallel market.

She said these adversely affected the business environment in the country last year, noting that exchange of ideas and information in the form of training and workshops would allow for wider views on how to overcome financial challenges.

The ICCI president lauded the efforts of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture for consistently mounting pressure on the Federal Government to formulate a policy on the reasonability of the foreign exchange rate.

She said, “Our umbrella body, NACCIMA, continually and consistently mounts heavy pressure on the Federal Government to formulate a policy conducive to the reasonability of the foreign exchange rate.

“It is obvious that economic recession is biting hard, and many stakeholders are facing serious challenges and battling for survival. Yet, I still believe that planning seminars and workshops is the best option for our people to overcome the menace of the recession.

“In order to optimise our performance, we have technocrats and professionals among us who can guide us properly on how to succeed through knowledge acquisition.”

At the event, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperative, Taibat Agaba, commended the chamber for working with the government in the interest of the members.

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.

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Banking Sector

Access Bank South Africa Begins Operation

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Access Bank South Africa- Investors King

Following Access Bank Acquisition of African Banking Corporation (BancABC Mozambique), Access Bank South Africa officially opened its door for business yesterday.

The bank described the development as another step in engraving Access Bank Plc into the continent’s history.

Noting the enthusiasm of all parties leading up to this day, Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe said the SADC region represents the strongest economy on the African continent.

“This means Access Bank SA is firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy, and unlocks the gateway to the entire Southern African region,” he was quoted to have said in a statement.

Wigwe highlighted Access Bank’s solid presence in Zambia too, saying the opening of the South African subsidiary cements the Bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for exceptional banking opportunities across the continent.

Building on the organisation’s vision of delivering a robust banking operation that connects key African markets, the CEO of Access Bank SA, Bennie van Rooy, described the development as, “an exciting event for the South African banking industry,” as well as the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the Group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in-depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint,” he added.

Continuing, Wigwe said the Group would continue to focus on building relationships, as a partner in both businesses and in communities it serves.

“It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals,” he added.

With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and Forex requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank puts the power of choice in clients’ hands.

“Partnerships with all our clients mean power for them to achieve their aspirations, while Access Bank’s growth brings greater advantages in the financial sector. Like Bennie, I am excited to be on this path with the knowledge and experience of the continent that we share,” said Wigwe.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go.”

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Banking Sector

Stanbic IBTC’s Upgraded USSD Platform Offers “Bigger And Better” Functionalities

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Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Standard Bank Group, has upgraded its USSD platform with innovative features and capabilities to improve customer experience.

The upgraded USSD banking platform tagged “bigger and better” will enable customers to make seamless transactions continually.

Some of the new features on the upgraded platform include the bill payment gateway for billers such as the DISCO companies, which will enable customers to pay their electricity bills without stress; auto-airtime top-up, which allows customers to set up a mandate for airtime top-up whenever their balance drops below a set benchmark; as well as direct data top-up.

Speaking on the rationale behind the USSD platform upgrade, Remy Osuagwu, Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, said, “We are dedicated to meeting the banking needs of our customers. Improving customers’ experiences at every touchpoint with the brand is critical. We are optimistic that the new features added to our USSD platform will indeed give our customers a bigger and better banking experience.”

Offering customers easy, fast and secure financial transactions, the Stanbic IBTC USSD platform works on any mobile phone. It can be used to purchase airtime, transfer funds, check account balance, request account statements, make bills payment, view transaction history, link a debit card to a wallet and more.

To onboard, customers should dial *909*11*1# to register and enter the last four (4) digits of their debit cards to create an authentication PIN that will be used to approve transactions anytime and anywhere. Existing users on the platform have access to the upgraded functionalities by just dialing *909# and following the prompt.

Remy Osuagwu assured the Bank’s esteemed customers of the organisation’s commitment to continually develop digital banking solutions to meet their needs as they evolve.

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Finance

ITFC Signs a US$ 250 Million Framework Agreement to Support The Gambia

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The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, has signed a new 5-Year Framework Agreement in favour of the Government of The Gambia that target to provide up to US$ 50 million to the country on an annual basis.

The agreement, signed with H.E. Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (IsDB Governor), is a part of the Corporation’s ongoing efforts to combat the economic repercussions from COVID-19 and strengthen key economic sectors in member countries.

This US$250 million Framework Agreement will provide pre-export financing for major cash crops such as groundnuts and cashew nuts, the main agricultural produce in a sector that is a major employer of the country’s workforce. In addition, this agreement will also facilitate the import of essential agriculture inputs such as fertilizer.

In the energy sector, the financing will enable imports of key commodities such as refined petroleum, which is crucial to generate electricity in the country. Other sectors that will benefit from the five-year framework agreement include the healthcare sector through the import of medicines and health equipment, and the private sector through financing facilities to local banks and financial institutions aimed at boosting local SMEs.

Technical assistance for trade development aimed at building capacity and promoting information exchange and knowledge dissemination are other areas covered in the agreement.

H.E. Mambury Njie, The Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs thanked ITFC on behalf of the Government for its continued support, highlighting that this framework agreement would support national development goals to drive economic diversification and job creation across key growth sectors, whist facilitating trade and investment flows within the country, as well as globally through the country’s participation in agriculture value chains.

Reiterating ITFC’s commitment to supporting its member countries, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “The five-year framework agreement will make way for further cooperation with the Government of The Gambia across key economic sectors whilst fostering greater collaboration with the country’s budding private sector to drive SME growth. In addition to crucial import-export financing, the agreement also has provisions to help develop the country into a stronger trading nation through enhanced capacity development and knowledge transfer programs.”

Since inception in 2008, ITFC has approved a total of US$607 million in favor of The Gambia. From energy to employment through agriculture, it reaffirms ITFC’s proven strategy of investing in key sectors of its member countries and thus contributing towards the development of the priority industries.

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