United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), the German development finance institution, has entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Both institutions have signed a $50 million term-facility agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses.
Chief Executive Officer, UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country.
She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organisations to collaborate on this laudable feat.
Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organisations, said UBA Group was proud of the collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.
“These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent,” Yomi-Ajayi said.
Regional Director, West Africa, DEG, Bernhard Tilemann, said the development finance institution was delighted to enter into long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region.
“This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent,” Tilermann said.
According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100 percent subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).
The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.
With its portfolio of around EUR 8.5 billion in approximately 80 countries, DEG is one of the world’s largest private-sector development financiers. For almost 60 years, DEG has been a partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries.
It provides customers with tailor-made solutions, including financing, promotional programs and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs.
2021 NCOY: FirstBank Partners Junior Achievement Nigeria, Reiterates Commitment to Innovation and Education
For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.
This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021. Interested participants are to register via the link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtd-qvqz4pE90NXOHcy-tve6aEXpY_yYAE
The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.
Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu; PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.
Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman; Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.
The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.
The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.
Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.
According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.
Unity Bank Targets Women; Launches Yanga Account
In its bid to demonstrate increased commitment towards promoting financial inclusion and women empowerment, Nigeria’s retail lender, Unity Bank Plc has launched Yanga Account, a new retail product designed to deepen beneficial impact on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs operated by women in the mass market retail space.
As a product targeted to boost the Nigerian women entrepreneurs, the initiative was intended to create Yanga Experience, from promoting the business, capacity building to health insurance scheme for Yanga Account holders.
A statement by the Bank said that the benefits for signing up to Yanga Account are summed up as ‘The Yanga Experience’. This means that as we target every woman in the mass-market retail space, the Yanga account holders will enjoy many benefits including stress-free savings and investment, access to the services of dedicated Sales Agents, Agency Banking services close to the location of their businesses, special business seminar and training on how to grow business, access to microloans, customized debit cards and other bundled e-banking products.
Speaking at the launch of the product in Abuja on Tuesday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated the “Yanga Account is being launched as a bold attempt to directly cater to women and their respective businesses.”
The Unity Bank Boss, therefore, asserted that the Account “is open to all market women in farming, fashion design, tailoring, frozen food, pastry and baking, cosmetics, jewellery designs and making, skincare, eateries and restaurants, etc. whether living in the communities or cities.”
“Yanga Account is conceived and designed for the financial literacy and empowerment of Nigerian women. It is about making sure that our women who make up 55% of the financially excluded Nigerians have access to basic and life-changing financial services.”
Recent research by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has shown that “Women need economic opportunities if countries are to realize the full potential of their human capital. Financial inclusion can benefit individuals, families, and businesses, supporting key outcomes such as GDP growth”.
Speaking further, Somefun said: “The Yanga account will also be incorporating an affordable Health insurance scheme not only as a part of the product bouquet underpinning the Bank’s belief in health and wellness which translate to wealth creation but also to drive insurance penetration which is presently at 2% in Nigeria. We, therefore, believe that this will provide essential ingredients to growing a business as well as adding greater value for Yanga account holders.
“At Unity Bank, through products like Yanga Account, we continue to align with the vision of the Central Bank of Nigerian and the financial services ecosystem to provide needed support for Nigerian women by enhancing access to wealth-creating opportunities in the financial services sector”.
Also, speaking, Group Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Funwa Akinmade said: “the official launch of the Yanga Account is an extremely important step for us as a Bank because it is one step that brings our services closer to Nigerian women as Unity Bank makes the efforts to further expand its retail footprints in the market.
“At Unity Bank Plc, we have devoted the past few years to constantly innovating with banking solutions to enable us to drive more financial inclusiveness in different market segments, but the Yanga Account is introduced as a bold attempt to directly cater to women and their respective businesses.
“Unity Yanga is a well-packaged banking product that combines several services that most small businesses owned by women will need to become profitable. We are optimistic that Nigerian women will embrace the Yanga Account and leverage its full benefits to grow their businesses.”
FirstBank Wins Private Bank Of The Year Award for 2021
Popular financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been awarded the Private Bank of the year 2021 by Global Finance. Global Finance is the voice of the global market renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The leading financial institution with over 126 years in the banking sector was bestowed the Private Bank of the Year award for its excellent service delivery to customers, its dedication and commitment towards meeting the expectations of its customers whilst providing state of the art financial services to them, irrespective of where they are in the country. The awarding body also praised the bank for Its customer service which has been integral in fostering its relationship with customers.
“We are delighted to dedicate this award to our customers as we appreciate their unrelenting patronage and loyalty over the years. We remain committed to utilising the best technology infrastructure in delivering the best wealth and financial management services to the doorstep of our customers, irrespective of where they are across the world. We appreciate Global Finance for the award,” Mr Gbenga Shobo, the Deputy Managing Director of the bank said while receiving the award on behalf of First Bank.
Global Finance seeks to help corporate leaders, bankers and investors chart the course of global business and finance. The Award was organised to identify the banks around the world that have excelled across several areas, including corporate governance, sustainability and innovation, and have played a key role in the industry’s growth.
Each year Global Finance selects the best financial institutions around the world in line with the recognised and trusted standards of excellence.
This year’s Global Finance award is one of the numerous awards that First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been awarded in 2021. This year, the bank has won, ‘’Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria’’, ‘’Most innovative Retail Banking App Nigeria’’ and ‘’Best CSR Bank Nigeria’’ awards by Global Banking and Finance magazine
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