The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) have announced a $750,000 grant to support the charting of the main channel of the Niger-Benue river in Nigeria, as part of the Regional Sealink Project, which aims to bridge the gap in maritime transport infrastructure and improve trade connectivity in West Africa.
Afreximbank provided a grant of $350,000 to supplement the $450,000 made available by NEXIM, thus completing the financing of the barthymetric survey and hydrograhic and hydrological studies of the lower Niger-Benue river.
The studies will be undertaken under a joint collaboration framework between the Nigerian Navy Hydrography Department, Nigeria’s National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Sealink Consortium Partners.
According to a statement by Afreximbank, the completion of the studies will support the early commencement of the inland waterways operations planned under the Regional Sealink Project, by enabling the development of the inland waterways navigation chart as well as river ports and anchorage plans that will facilitate both bulk commodities and general cargo shipping, thereby boosting Nigeria’s bulk commodities trade and exports.
Inland waterways are a key transport mode that plays a vital role in facilitating the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods and providing a competitive alternative to rail and road transport, while ensuring integration into the country’s international logistics chain.
In his remarks, the President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said: “The project, which will facilitate regional transit, is timely given the recent commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The grant from Afreximbank and NEXIM will allow for the development of infrastructure that will eventually relieve road congestion and enable some bulky commodities and solid minerals to move by the river.
“The project will not only enhance Nigeria’s attractiveness as an investment destination, but also foster regional integration and trade in the ECOWAS region. In addition, it will facilitate the reduction of the level of informal trade, thereby promoting industrialisation and financial inclusion for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).”
The Managing Director, Neximbank, Mr. Abubakar Abba Bello, said: “The execution of the grant agreement strongly aligns with the strategic objectives of Afreximbank and NEXIM in trade promotion and support for the development of trade facilitating and enabling infrastructure that will deepen the partnership engagements of both institutions to foster trade connectivity, especially under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The partnership will also facilitate the implementation of the Regional Sealink project, thereby promoting hinterland, coastal and transit trade as well as the broadening of Nigeria’s export basket with bulk commodities like solid minerals and agricultural products.”
The Regional Sealink Project is a trade facilitation initiative designed to address the critical logistics infrastructure gap towards facilitating and deepening inland and intra-coastal waterways operations.
It was adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission as one of its seven priority projects under the ECOWAS Community Development Programmes.
Its implementation is expected to mitigate some of the main barriers to regional integration and the growth of cross-border trade, especially trade in large volumes of bulk commodities.
AXA Mansard Launches MyAXA Plus – A Better, Faster, and More Convenient Mobile App
AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, a member of the AXA Group and global leader in insurance and asset management, today announced the launch of its new “MyAXA Plus” mobile application.
This follows the launch of the company’s first mobile app in 2017 and further underscores the company’s desire to deliver delightful and relevant, cutting-edge financial solutions to its customers and the larger society.
“MyAXA Plus” has been very well received because it provides a much improved, seamless, and satisfying experience that puts users at the heart of every feature and action on the app.
The features available at launch include:
- Make Claims: Customers can make claims on their insurance policy, enabling fast reporting of incidents and payment of claims by the company.
- Book Hospital Visits: HMO customers of AXA Mansard can receive care at over 1,700+ hospitals, and with MyAXA Plus, they can also pre-book hospital visits, reducing their wait time while also getting faster access to specialist consultations.
- Renew Insurance Policy: Customers, by providing their car plate number on the app, can also renew their motor insurance policy within a few minutes.
- Invest & liquidate funds: Investors, whether with a high or low-risk appetite can find the right investment options on the app. Also, liquidation of funds and crediting of the customer account is completed within 5 minutes via the app.
- Data-driven advice: App users can make informed decisions by checking the market rates and trends before investing funds, reading articles by experts, and interacting with a robot-advisor that uses information provided by the customers to suggest the right products and insurance cover in seconds.
In addition, MyAXA Plus allows registered and unregistered users to generate instant quotes of any product; use the BMI calculator; read blog articles; check investment trends & rates; calculate returns on investment; calculate the market value of any car; and contact sales agents for more information.
“After launching the first of its kind MyAXA mobile app which gave customers a consolidated, single point of access to their general and life insurance; health insurance; assets and savings accounts in 2017, our team set out to build a more advanced solution to further empower customers to achieve their financial goals and access quality healthcare, wherever and however they choose,” said Mr. Bayo Adesanya, the Chief Digital Innovation Officer at AXA Mansard.
“We are committed to achieving the singular goal of putting our customers first, in this instance, by building an app that incorporates their feedback on desired features and improvements, as well as including other market-leading innovations. We urge our existing and future customers to start using MyAXA Plus today.”
To download MyAXA Plus by AXA Mansard Insurance, visit App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android users respectively.
CBN Grants Lotus Bank Non-Interest Banking Licence
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.”
Fidelity GAIM Season 4 Final Draw To Hold On July 22
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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