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Access Bank Commences Accelerator Program, to Empower Startups

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Access bank

Access Bank Commences Accelerator Program, to Empower Startups

The Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank Plc has commenced its accelerator program.

The initiative is set to empower emerging startups, with mentorship programs, advisory and has committed N10 million in cash to the top three finalists.

The accelerator program which opened its entries last month, received 306 registrations and after rigorous assessments was later shortlisted to 30 participants.

Theses finalists were further screened by the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and Vice President, Investments MBO Capital and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in a bid to narrow it down to 10 -15 finalist.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Awe said the AFF was committed to empowering startups with resources and to ensure start-ups are equipped to scale their businesses.

He said: “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.”

“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over $100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”

On funding available for the start-ups, he added: “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10 million. After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top three but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.

“This initiative would have a direct impact into the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”

Also speaking at the event, the Head, Retail Product Insight and Capabilities, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Rob Giles said: “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real world problems and were we are different from venture capital firms is we offer an environment where startups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get access to people who are further ahead on their journey like mentors.

“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow them to scale.”

Furthermore, speaking to one of the participating startups, the Founder, Farm Delight Ms. Love Uduma, a start-up focused on agriculture value chain from production to distribution and consumption said this platform is an impactful stream for startups to get support from.

On her expectation, she said: “I am expecting tech support and a good relationship with the tech community. We have the agricultural aspect covered but we need the technology assistance and also funding.”

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.

Banking Sector

CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

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NIBSS

CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS) have introduced professional certification programmes on electronic payments for financial service providers and institutions.

Both organisations disclosed that the programme was designed to enhance the electronic payment skills and knowledge of financial practitioners in order to equip them with efficient tools and information required to upscale innovation and services.

Speaking to journalists at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Seye Awojobi, said the initiative is an international programme, well grounded in the local realities of the Nigerian e-payment industry and captures the current dynamics, as well as aspects of digital financial services practices.

“This programme would set the standards for e-payment expertise in Nigeria; foster a category of high performing professionals in the industry and build a resilient, safe and secured payment technology driven platform.

“The curriculum for the programme adequately covers recent methods required, which are in line with global practices.

“The introduction of the scheme cannot be more timely than now considering the COVID-19 pandemic, which created serious disruptions in our professional and personal lives,” he added.

On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc, Premier Oiwoh explained that the introduction of the programme would determine the capacity and work experience criteria required to recognise beginners, intermediate and advanced.

“It would create a growth roadmap for fledging e-payment workers, including the unemployed who has the desire to make a career in the electronic sector.

“Also, it would enable us continue to tackle the issue of insecurity within the financial technology payment and banking space,” he added.

The institutions also noted that in order to maintain a certification credential, the practitioners must earn some recertification credits over a three year span and valid for three years after it has been issued.

The CIBN last week has reintroduced its mentoring scheme. The initiatives aims at up-scaling the leadership capacity and productivity of workers within the financial and banking sector.

Speaking during the virtual forum, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, had explained that mentoring schemes are essential for the sustenance and development of the sector as it is built upon values such as trust and professionalism.

“These values can be taught. But are reinforced when practiced by the senior co-workers and emulated by junior colleagues. Such initiatives enable workers to avoid being distracted by the material, prestigious and monetary incentives the space presents.

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Banking Sector

Mahe Mahmud Abubakar Retires as Deputy Managing Director Jaiz Bank

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Jaiz Bank

Mahe Mahmud Abubakar Retires as Deputy Managing Director Jaiz Bank

The Board of Directors of Jaiz Bank Plc on Tuesday announced the retirement of Mr. Mahe Mahmud Abubakar as the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank with effect from February 16, 2021.

The bank disclosed in the statement signed by Rukayat O. Dahiru, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser and released through the nation’s stock exchange.

According to the lender, Mr. Mahe has attained 60 years’ retirement age.

The Board, therefore, thank Mr. Mahe for his meritorious service to the Bank.

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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank Declares N2.70k Final Dividend for 2020

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Declares N2.70k Final Dividend for 2020

Zenith Bank on Tuesday announced a final dividend of N2.70k per share of 50k for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.

The total dividend for the financial year now stood at N3.00k, Zenith Bank disclosed this in the statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The amount is subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval. Payment will be made to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on the 8th day of March, 2021.

Zenith announced Register of Shareholders will be closed on March 9, 2021.

The qualification date remains March 8, 2021.

On the payment date, the bank said payment will be made electronically on March 16, 2021 to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at March 8, 2021 and who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their bank accounts. GDR holders will be paid subsequently.

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