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Ecobank To Host Second Agribusiness and Food Security Summit

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All is now set for the 2nd edition of the Ecobank Agribusiness and Food Security Summit organized in association with the Vanguard Economic Forum Series.

The primary content objective of the summit is to discuss the role of technology and digitisation across the agricultural value chain. The virtual summit with the theme: Digitizing the agricultural value chain for unlocking productivity, economic growth and food security, is scheduled for June 3rd, 2021 by 11 am prompt and will be broadcast and streamed live via zoom and across vanguard newspapers and Ecobank social media channel platforms

Strategic Partners to Ecobank on the summit are the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME). Others include the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG). The speakers and panelists are carefully drawn from government, development finance institutions, banking, trade associations, civil society, non-governmental organisations and subject matter experts in technology and agriculture.

Confirmed speakers include Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, IITA; Aliyu Abdulhameed, MD/CEO, NIRSAL; Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, Vice President, NABG; Ndidi Nwuneli, Co-founder/Managing Partner, Sahel Partner; Akin Alabi, Co-founder, Corporate Farmers International; Ayodeji Balogun, Country CEO, AFEX Commodities Exchange and Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, among others.

Announcing the conference in Lagos, Head of Agribusiness at Ecobank Nigeria, Mojisola Oguntoyinbo said the summit is part of the bank’s determination to further showcase the potential in the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy in partnership with Vanguard newspapers, the Economic Forum Series and Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG).

According to her, the summit is also part of the bank’s continuous contribution to the growth and development of the agriculture sector, stating that a pool of notable thought leaders and industry experts have been assembled to address how technology can aid the entire agriculture value chain to bring about economic development and food sufficiency in the country.

Mojisola Oguntoyinbo explained, “This virtual conference is part of Ecobank Digital Series which is in line with our vision to consolidate a modern pan-African market, contribute to the economic development and financial integration of the continent. The summit would amongst other things examine the potential impact of agriculture technology investment in fixing low productivity in Nigeria’s food production; evaluate existing traditional agriculture finance models in Nigeria and the role and impact of technology enabled commodity exchange trading across the agriculture value chain and the role of developmental partners and international agencies in driving funding and investments across the agriculture value chain.”

She noted that the Agribusiness Summit would help Ecobank communicate and connect with Nigeria’s entrepreneurs in the agric value chain, farmers and other investors, adding that the bank will also showcase its strength in the digital banking space such as its innovative digital payment channels like the OmniPlus, Omnilite and digital sales collections channels like Ecobankpay NQR amongst other financial service offerings to close the large financial Inclusion gap and a direct response to mitigating the economic challenge post-COVID-19.

Also speaking, Jude Ndu, Director, Vanguard Conferences and The Economic Forum Series said: “we are indeed pleased and delighted with the ongoing high-level strategic partnership with Ecobank Nigeria in the area of concept development, synthesis, design and execution of high profile thematic bespoke events. The upcoming conference speaks to the strong sense of confidence the bank has in us to help curate thought leadership content and context for the brand in line with its marketing objectives.

“As a media organisation, this is our own way of contributing to the growth prospect of the sector through audience engagement by bringing together critical stakeholders to discuss solutions to the issues of low productivity and food insecurity in the country”.

The Ecobank Digital Series is a virtual programme organised by Ecobank to educate and enlighten the public on crucial issues of public interest, especially as it relates to their financial empowerment.

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Banking Sector

CBN Grants Lotus Bank Non-Interest Banking Licence

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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

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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

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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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