The Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun has called for increased investment in girl-child education in Nigeria to bridge the gender gap and reduce inequality.
Somefun, who made the remark in her message on this year’s International Women’s Day, said every effort to reduce inequality must be rooted in the education of the girl-child, adding that education remains the most potent approach to empowering women to take a bold step that will challenge the status quo and make a mark in society.
International Women’s Day is a global day set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day is being commemorated with the theme: #ChooseToChallenge; and it is to reflect the imperative of collective action to challenge the status quo and inspire change.
In a statement, Somefun said, “Although female school enrolment has improved over the past decade in Nigeria, female adult literacy rate still lags at 59 percent. In some parts of the country, millions of girls still have little access to education resulting in a rampant increase in child marriages”.
Citing a recent UNICEF report on the impact of COVID-19, she stated that “over 10 million girls are at risk of becoming child brides. This is due to the fact that many have lost their parents while others have lost their means of livelihood and can no longer support girl child education. Here in our society, our own case is worsened by the current security situation in the country which is making it difficult for the girl child to remain in school.”
She added: “History has taught us that where women have made tremendous progress, it was because there was a deliberate plan to increase investment in education and special attention on educating the girl child.”
“For us in Nigeria, such investment should not just end at raising budgetary provisions for the education sector but must include making sure that girls are kept safe and protected while in school.”
This year’s #ChooseToChallenge theme underpins global consciousness to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
The organisers say gender parity in government, workplaces, health care, sports, and media coverage is achievable through individual change. They hope the theme will inspire individuals to challenge biases, question stereotypes, and celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
CBN to Extend Credit Risk Management System to OFIs
In an effort to curb growing bad debt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will extend its Credit Risk Management System to Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) operating in Nigeria to protect them from bad debtors.
According to the apex bank, this is important following the successful implementation of the credit risk system in other lending institutions operating in Nigeria.
The bank disclosed this in a circular titled ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies’ and signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, on Monday.
In part, the circular read, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.
“With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CTMS platform.
“Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis.
“OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions”.
BoI Grows Assets by 78.8% to N1.86 Trillion
The Bank of Industry Group concluded the 2020 financial year with a 78.8 per cent growth of assets from N1.04tn to N1.86tn between 2019 and 2020.
A statement by the bank on Monday said the increase was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndication of €1bn and $1bn that were concluded in March and December 2020 respectively.
BoI stated that the group’s financial statement demonstrated resilience and strength, noting that the period had significant challenges in the operating environment on account of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“It also indicates synergy with the various interventions developed by the Federal Government, the Central Bank as well as other strategic partners towards ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian enterprises,” the statement said.
The group’s total equity increased by 14.8 per cent from N293.08bn in the previous year to N336.48bn in 2020.
It added that as a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new facilities, loans and advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84bn from the 2019 position.
The bank explained that this was largely due to the economic slowdown in the year as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the bank for its customers.
“The bank reviewed and restructured all its managed projects under the CBN intervention programme with interest rate reduction from nine to five per cent per annum for a period of one year and moratorium extension of three months (with a possible extension up to 12 months),” it said.
TAJBank Deploys NQR Solution To Ease Customer Transactions
TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest bank, has announced the deployment of the NQR Payment solution, an indigenous Quick Response Code (QRC) by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), for merchants and customers as the newest addition to its innovative e-business channels.
The NQR Payment solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform developed for merchants and customers to receive and make payments for goods and services in a quick, easy, contactless and secure manner.
A statement signed by the Founder/Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr. Hamid Joda, indicated that the ingenious solution would further drive TAJBank’s culture of innovation and create a seamless payment experience for its rapidly growing individual and corporate customers in their banking transactions.
“We are excited to have this payment channel introduced into the nation’s financial system as an addition to other innovative solutions we have deployed over the past few months.
This is a proof that, as we have said in our communications signature line, TAJBank’s interest is always in our customers”, Joda enthused.
In his remarks, the non-interest lender’s Chief Marketing Officer/Co-Founder, Mr. Sherif Idi, also maintained that the deployment of the NQR payment solution would revolutionize the e-payment experience and open new frontiers for small, medium and large scale businesses who are major stakeholders of the bank.
Since it commenced operations in the non-interest banking segment of the financial services industry, TAJBank is noted for its impeccable track record of growth and innovation, rendering exceptional quality services to customers.
The lender’s NQR solution is open to all customers of the bank, both merchants and individuals, across all its branches and digital channels globally.
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