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CBN Warns Public Against Rising Fraudulent Loans, Investment Schemes

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CBN Tells Small Businesses to Disregard Text Messages and Videos of Fraudulent Loans, Investment Schemes

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday warned Nigerians against the rising number of fraudulent loan offers and investment schemes.

Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, made the disclosure in a statement titled “Beware of Fraudulent Loan Offers, Investment Schemes”.

The statement said the apex bank attention had been drawn to several fraudulent messages and videos across social media requesting unsuspecting loan seekers and small business owners to apply for loans or investment schemes purportedly facilitated by the central bank.

He, therefore, said while the apex bank had numerous development intervention programmes to help small businesses, it did not engage in direct interaction with prospective applicants.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, there are clearly spelt out procedures for accessing CBN intervention funds, which are disbursed through Participating Finance Institutions, such as Deposit Money Banks, Development Finance Institutions and Microfinance Banks.

“The bank also does not facilitate investment schemes.

Nwanisobi advised small business owners and the youth to disregard video or tex message proposing investment schemes or requesting them to pay fees on the pretext that their organisations were endorsed by the apex bank.

These videos and messages are fraudulent and anyone who enters into correspondence with those behind them does so at his or her own risks,” he stated.

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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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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