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Finance

IWD: Unity Bank, AltSchool Africa Partner to Empower Female Software Engineers

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Unity Bank

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, IWD 2022, Nigeria’s retail lender, Unity Bank Plc is partnering AltSchool Africa to sponsor female students towards the acquisition of specialist software skills – an empowerment initiative to boost the capacity of the female gender.

AltSchool Africa is a school for individuals looking to gain technical skills and kick start a career in Software Engineering. The school currently prides itself on the large enrolment of female students. Unity Bank Plc is providing funds to encourage enrolment of young female students into AltSchool who will pursue a career in Informational Technology.

The Bank said in a statement that the gesture has become imperative to #BreakTheBias against women in the emerging information technology industry, where a recent study by ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development, showed that less than 30 per cent of technology companies in Nigeria are owned by women, even as the female members of the entire tech ecosystem workforce constituted less than 20 per cent.

Speaking on the partnership, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun said the initiative to extend the scholarships to the young women looking to start a career in the IT industry not only aligned with the theme of the IWD 2022, “#BreakTheBias,” but is in tandem with the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability initiative targeting education and empowerment.

She said: “The International Women’s Day is yet another opportunity to reexamine the critical role that women continue to play in building a peaceful and prosperous society. Today, more than ever before, we are confronted by the harsh realities of gender-based exclusivity, especially in the workplace.

“I agree that some progress has been made but we must not be distracted by this momentary success because, over the next decade, the share of jobs requiring medium to digital skills would have risen to more than 50 per cent. Therefore, we must remain committed to empowering women who are courageous to make a difference in careers that have hitherto excluded the women, such as the IT industry.”.

According to Mrs. Somefun, “The advancement in technology has created a new world order that must be deliberate about inclusivity, removing biases and unlearning stereotypes. If future prosperity shall be defined by technological and requisite skills, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past by ensuring diversity, equity and inclusivity and empower our women to take an active part in creating that future.”

The International Women’s Day, IWD is a day set aside globally to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and reflect on action to accelerate gender equality. This years’ theme #BreakTheBias “imagines a gender-equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination; a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive; a world where difference is valued and celebrated.”

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Finance

Emefiele Meets President Buhari, Hinted on Revisiting Naira Withdrawal Limit

The House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

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enaira wallet

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated yesterday that the apex bank would consider reviewing the new weekly cash withdrawal limits of N100,000 and N500,000 for individuals and corporate bank customers, while also clarifying that the new policy which will take effect from January 2023 is not targetted at any individual. 

Investors King had earlier reported that the House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

During the plenary session yesterday, several lawmakers positioned that the new withdrawal policy is capable to hurt the economy, especially some Nigerians who still rely on cash transactions. 

Similarly, the Association of Mobile Money Operators of Nigerians argued that the policy is capable to get them out of business.

While speaking to journalists after a close-door meeting with President Buhari, Emefiele assured that the apex bank would not be rigid on the policy as it was not meant to hurt anybody but to strengthen the nation’s economy.

In addition, the CBN governor added that more than N1 trillion worth of old notes had been deposited to various commercial banks across the county by bank customers while adding that the CBN has distributed the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to banks for disbursement to their customers, ahead of the December 15, earlier scheduled for circulation of the new notes. 

It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that naira redesign will help to address some prevailing fiscal issues which include excessive circulation of naira notes, counterfeiting, and terrorism. 

Emefiele explained that countries that have embraced digitization have gone cashless. He revealed that the president was happy with the policy 

“President Buhari was happy and said, we should carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to bother about anybody,” he said. 

He said that the new policy of the apex bank was for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, adding, “We can only continue to appeal to Nigerians to please see this policy the way we have presented it”. 

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Finance

NNPC to Spend N1 Trillion on Road Projects Across Nigeria

NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

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Mele Kyari - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited stated that it has provided an additional N1 trillion to fund road projects across Nigeria.

This was disclosed by NNPC Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari in Lagos yesterday.

Investors King learnt that this new development is coming after NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

It could be recalled that President Buhari had signed Executive Order 007 which allows companies and corporations to embark on public infrastructure projects as a Tax Credit against Future Income Tax. 

Speaking during a tour of roads in the North-central and South-west, along with the Chief Executive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, and other top government officials from the ministry of works, Kyari noted that NNPC intervention will help to better the road network across the country. 

The NNPC boss said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country, not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. NNPC is taking another set of over N1tn of investments in road infrastructure in the country”. 

Some of the roads visited by Kyari include the reconstruction of Bida-Lambata road in the state, with a length 124.81km, and the Lagos-Badagry expressway along the Agbara junction and Nigeria/Benin border.

In addition, it is important to note that roads embarked upon by NNPC are roads that will directly or indirectly sustain a smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. 

Kyari noted that the project to tax initiative is a good policy that could help to accelerate road construction in Nigeria. 

“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr President has put in place is the game changer for our country. We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be a massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why NNPC is your company and working for all of us,” he said. 

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Reports $401 Million Before Tax in Nine Months to September 2022

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group on Thursday reported a 7% increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 2022, the leading financial institution announced in its audited financial statement.

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

The bank’s operating profit expanded by 12% to $593 million, up from $528 million filed in the corresponding period of 2021, Investors King reports.

Profit before tax rose to $401 million, a 14% increase from $352 million achieved in 2021. Profit paid to shareholders grew by 7% from $182 million to $196 million.

Gross loans and advances to customers increased 5% from $9.469 billion to $9.917 billion. Similarly, deposits from customers increased by declined by 2% to

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We continued to deliver on our strategic priorities and are on track to meet full-year targets despite the complex operating environment. Group-wide return on tangible equity reached a record 21%, and profit before tax increased by 14%, or 48% at constant currency (i.e., excluding currency movements).

“These results reflect the resilience, strong brand and diversification of our pan-African franchise. We saw decent client activity in consumer and wholesale payments, trade finance and foreign currency markets. Additionally,
despite inflationary pressures, we maintained a tight lid on costs, thereby improving our cost-to-income ratio to 56.3% from 58.3% in the previous year.

“The dampened economic outlook necessitated maintaining a sound balance sheet with adequate levels of liquidity and capital. As a result, our total capital adequacy ratio at 14.4% is well above our internal and minimum regulatory limits. Also, we hold sufficient gross impairment reserves that fully cover our non-performing loans. Moreover, we have fully repaid the five-year $400 million convertible debt we issued in September and October of 2017.

“Ecobankers have worked extremely hard to serve our customers’ financial needs, and I am proud of them. As always, we will passionately work towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust.”

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