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Ecobank To Host Second Agribusiness and Food Security Summit

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Ecobank - Investors King

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

Jaiz Bank Boosts Chairman’s Income to N24m Amidst Strategic Expansion

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Jaiz Bank

Jaiz Bank has announced a 20% increase in its chairman’s annual income to N24 million.

This decision was unveiled in a recent statement filed with the Nigeria Exchange Limited, highlighting the bank’s commitment to rewarding leadership amidst its expansion plans.

The bank, renowned for its pioneering role in non-interest banking in Nigeria since 2012, also approved a remuneration package of N20 million for each non-executive director.

The announcement was made by the bank’s secretary, Mohammed Shehu, highlighting the importance of competitive compensation for board members who provide crucial oversight and strategic guidance.

Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) expressed confidence in the board’s leadership by approving the resolution on directors’ fees.

This move aligns with Jaiz Bank’s ongoing efforts to enhance its capital base to N70 billion by the end of 2024.

The bank also announced a dividend of 4 kobo per share, which will be distributed to shareholders on July 16, 2024.

This dividend declaration was welcomed as a testament to the bank’s operational success in a challenging economic climate.

Also, the AGM saw the re-election of Muhammadu Indimi and Muhammad Abdulmutallab as non-executive directors, reaffirming shareholder trust in their leadership capabilities.

Jaiz Bank’s financial performance has been impressive, with a 67% increase in profit before tax, reaching N11.1 billion in 2023.

Gross earnings also rose by 42% to N47.2 billion from the previous year, showcasing the bank’s successful growth strategy.

As Jaiz Bank continues to expand its services, the enhanced remuneration package signals a commitment to maintaining strong governance and leadership, paving the way for future achievements in ethical banking.

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Banking Sector

Nigeria Plans 50% Windfall Tax on Banks’ Currency Profits

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has announced a one-time 50% tax on windfall profits that banks reaped from currency gains following last year’s naira devaluation.

This decision was part of the government’s strategy to navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The naira, which has depreciated by about 70% against the dollar since foreign exchange rules were relaxed in June 2023, allowed banks holding dollar assets to significantly boost their income.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria had advised lenders to retain these profits as a buffer against potential future losses.

The proposed tax will apply to the 2023 financial year, with non-compliance resulting in hefty fines.

The move has already impacted the NGX Banking Index, which fell by 1.3% as of midday trading in Lagos. Notable declines were seen in FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, dropping 3.2% and 2.5% respectively.

This initiative mirrors similar actions in Europe, where countries like Italy and Hungary have imposed taxes on banks to address what they view as excessive profits during periods of high inflation and interest rates.

European banks have criticized these measures, warning of potential impacts on economic growth due to constrained lending capabilities.

President Tinubu’s administration believes this tax will help manage Nigeria’s fiscal challenges while addressing social needs.

Lawmakers are expected to support the measure, alongside a proposal to increase government spending by 6.2 trillion naira ($3.8 billion).

While banks have benefited from currency revaluations, many customers, particularly manufacturers with dollar-denominated loans, faced significant losses as they struggled with the weaker naira.

The new tax policy highlights the government’s broader efforts to stabilize the economy and attract foreign investment, aiming to ensure a more equitable distribution of financial gains.

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Banking Sector

Unity Bank Customers Win Over N4 Million in Cashtoken Rewards Promo

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Unity Bank customers have claimed over N4 million in cash rewards in its ongoing loyalty programme recently rolled out with Cashtoken, a Cash Reward-as-a-Service company.

The winners included no fewer than 40 customers who adopted and transacted on the Bank’s digital banking platforms, including the UniFi mobile banking application, the *7799# USSD platform or activated their Unity Bank Verve Card to transact on e-payment terminals across Nigeria.

Beginning from onboarding in our customer lifecycle journey, the Unity Bank Cashtoken Partnership commenced as a loyalty and reward scheme to reinforce the benefits of e-banking platforms. To begin, Customer transactions earn cash tokens, which are then redeemed to qualify for the monthly Cashtoken Rewards draw. Consequently, winners emerge from the draws to claim the cash prizes.

Recall that the retail lender announced the ongoing Cashtoken Rewards loyalty programme in December 2023 in partnership with Cashtoken Rewards Africa to empower customers and improve customer satisfaction. The partnership with Cashtoken Rewards also provided an opportunity for the Bank to migrate customers—old and new—to a platform that will continually create exciting rewards and appreciation for loyalty.

Eghomware Iyamu, Unity Bank’s Head of E-Business, commenting on the success of the Cashtoken Rewards loyalty program, stated: “We are excited to see our customers win over N4 million in cash rewards through our partnership with Cashtoken. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to recognizing and rewarding the loyalty of our customers”.

“By leveraging our digital banking platforms, including the Unifi mobile banking application and the *7799# USSD platform, we are not only enhancing customer experience but also providing life-changing opportunities. The Cashtoken Rewards program is a testament to our dedication to improving customer satisfaction and creating meaningful rewards along our customer lifecycle journey. We look forward to seeing more of our customers benefit from this exciting program as we continue to innovate and deliver exceptional value to them.”

Unity Bank has robust electronic banking products which include mobile and digital banking channels, including ATM, PoS, or any digital payment channels which support retail product transactions across the country. New-to-Bank customers are invited to open a Unity Bank account, onboard onto the digital platforms and begin transacting on the various platforms to earn cash token rewards and cash prizes while existing customers are encouraged to onboard and transact to win even more rewards and cash prizes.

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