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Banking Sector

Unity Bank Partners RIFAN on Ekiti Pyramids Project



Mrs. Tomi Somefun - Investors King

Having sponsored no fewer than 900,000 smallholder farmers in rice production across the federation to benefit from CBN’S intervention fund under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Unity Bank Plc has partnered the launching of Ekiti Rice Pyramid Project in South-West Nigeria held recently. 

The launch is a follow-up to the unveiling of the Rice Pyramid earlier in the year at Kebbi State, for the Northwest and Gombe State in the Northeast.

Over 278 metric tonnes of rice paddy were on display at the event attended by several stakeholders in the rice production value chain including the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Unity Bank said it provided additional funding to 500,000 rice farmers across Nigeria in the wet and dry season farming in 2020.

Reflecting on the impact of the funding interventions for the rice farmers since the launch of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, recalled that through the strategic partnership with them, the Bank financed about 273,000 smallholder farmers at the onset of the programme, which was then the largest single-ticket transaction in any CBN intervention programme in the agricultural sector.

She said that in 2019, the bank followed up with the financing of additional 146,810 smallholder rice farmers for the wet and dry season farming activities, cutting across 35 States of the Federation and the (FCT).

The Bank sustained the momentum in 2020 by extending additional funding to over 500,000 smallholder farmers in 2020 wet and dry season farming activities, in furtherance of the Bank’s commitment towards supporting rice farmers.”

Represented by the Regional Manager, Southwest, Adenike Abimbola, Somefun commended the Central Bank for sustaining the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme initiative, adding that it is imperative to boost food production and attain self-sufficiency in food production in the country.

She also enjoined the rice farmers to utilize their inputs judiciously and continue to show commitment to the government’s agenda of driving food security through rice production.

She said, “We urge the beneficiaries of the Intervention Programme to utilize the inputs judiciously and ensure the sustainability of the Programme by repaying their loans.” 

“They should appreciate the efforts of the Government in attaining food sufficiency, diversification of the economy from oil, job creation for the teeming youth and poverty reduction. We also advise our farmers to imbibe good agricultural practice as it has been established that doing so would enhance yield and greatly increase farmers’ incomes.” 

She added, “We remain optimistic that RIFAN under the able leadership of the National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, will continue to educate its members on their roles and responsibilities under the ABP. 

“Unity Bank is fully committed to its partnership with RIFAN to support the programme. This commitment will ensure the attainment of FGN/CBN’s target of meeting self-sufficiency in food production and through it, national security.” 

Recall that Unity Bank announced recently that it would support an additional 120,000 smallholder maize farmers in the 2021 wet season farming under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

The Bank has gained a reputation for its agric financing in the country, especial for its role in facilitating the Nigerian government’s intervention in the agric sector through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

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

Banking Sector

CBN Grants Lotus Bank Non-Interest Banking Licence



Lotus Bank- Investors king

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, June 17, granted a non-interest banking licence to Lotus Bank Limited.

This was contained in a statement titled ‘CBN grants Lotus Bank licence to commence non-interest banking operations’.

The statement read in part: “Lotus Bank seeks to pursue the mission of creating value and growth for all through digital innovation and best-in-class customer experience for Nigerians.”

Commenting on the grants, the founder and managing director of Lotus Capital (the pioneers of non-interest finance in Nigeria), Hajara Adeola, said the bank was starting its operations on a solid foundation of experienced leadership and a strong advisory council of experts.

Adeola explained that the bank is managed by a team of seasoned professionals and financial experts led by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kafilat Araoye, who has over 25 years of commercial banking experience.

She added that the institution’s focus and guiding principle is ‘to deliver an alternative option to interest-based banking and to cater to the needs of not just the banked but also the underbanked and unbanked population.

According to her, non-interest banking was geared towards supporting the real sector and Lotus Bank aimed to improve financial inclusion in the country.

The founder of the bank, however, disclosed that it would operate transparent pricing models as it was the norm in non-interest banking.

The statement added: “Our values are deeply rooted in partnership. A critical component of our mission is the provision of innovative solutions that drive ethical prosperity for all stakeholders.

“We pride ourselves on digital solutions that provide our customers with the convenience of unlimited access to our services and products.”

“Our products and service offerings will include non-interest business financing, deposit products (current, savings and investment accounts) and personal financing.”

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Banking Sector

Fidelity GAIM Season 4 Final Draw To Hold On July 22



Fidelity Bank- Investors King

One of the leading financial institution in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to enrich the lives of fifteen Nigerians with a total of 39 million Naira at the final draw of the “Get Alert in Millions Campaign (GAIM)” Season 4 savings promo, slated for July 22, 2021.

The savings promotion, which is specifically aimed at promoting the culture of saving among Nigerians, is one of the bank’s many initiatives aimed at rewarding new and existing customers for their unwavering loyalty and patronage.

Despite the fact that the promotion was halted in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic and the resulting global lockdown, hundreds of Nigerians have benefited from this unique reward scheme in which lucky customers are credited with millions of naira and consolation prizes via a draw system.

The Chairman, Promo Committee, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Richard Madiebo expressed his delight at the resumption of the savings promotion, stating that the campaign seeks to reward customers for their loyalty and patronage. According to Mr. Madiebo, for the past twelve years, the bank has empowered new and existing customers, providing an avenue for many to change their fortunes through its savings Promo.

He stated that the bank takes pride in keeping its promises, adding that the lender would continue to look out for innovative ways to satisfy and enrich its customers across the nation.

“And as we wind down on the 4th season of the GAIM promo, we are elated at the prospect of not only driving financial inclusion across Nigeria but also at the unique opportunity to enrich the lives of our customers especially in times of economic uncertainties”, noted Madiebo

Over the years, the leading tier two Bank has continued to intensify its efforts and innovate ways towards ensuring customer and stakeholder satisfaction. Through this promo, Fidelity Bank has promoted financial inclusion through digital channels and enriched the lives of its customers even in times of economic uncertainties.

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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank Gets Recognition for Best Corporate Governance



Zenith Bank - Investors King

Zenith Bank Plc’s strong business ethos, ethical values, and impeccable corporate governance have been rewarded with ‘Best Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa 2021 award by the Ethical Boardroom.

The bank, in a statement yesterday, said the award, published in the June 2021 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, recognised the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalisation of corporate governance as well as setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.

Commenting on the award, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to quality, accountability, fairness and transparency in our engagement with all stakeholders.

“It is also an affirmation of the bank’s professionalism, ethical conduct and sustenance of global best practices and standards which is attributable to the joint collaboration of the management and staff.”
The award comes on the heels of others and recognitions that the bank has garnered in recent times for its track record of excellent performance and commitment to global best practices.

For instance, Zenith Bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020; Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, and Best Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine.

Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the THISDAY Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.

Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a corporate governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange.

The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.

The bank places a premium on its core business strategy anchored on people, technology and service, to create value for its numerous clientele.

“With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/digital channels,” the statement added.

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