The memory of Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, came alive as Zenith Bank Plc named the iconic building housing its Unilag Branch and the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni in his honour on Friday, November 25, 2022.
In his opening remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs in Nigeria, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, lauded the Founder and Chairman of the bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for being physically present at the commissioning of the building to honour the memory of his late friend, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who served on the board of Zenith Bank as a Non-Executive Director, and for his passion for youth education and digital learning.
He noted the remarkable and continued commitment of Jim Ovia, CFR, to education and youth development in Nigeria, especially through the setting up of James Hope College, a co-educational institution which offers a combination of British and Nigerian curricula, and the James Hope University, which is billed to commence academic activities next year. He also extolled his philanthropy through the setting up of the Jim Ovia Foundation and Mankind United in Total Support for Education Initiative, which has awarded scholarships and produced over 1500 graduates from among indigent people who would not have had the benefit of having a university education.
Onyeagwu also recalled how the bank’s partnership with the University of Lagos began in 2001 with the donation of the first ICT centre, when the Founder and Chairman was the Group Managing Director/ CEO of the bank. According to him, “Today, Zenith Bank has built not less than 15 ICT centres in various tertiary institutions and cities all over the country. And I just want to say that no single institution or individual has been able to accomplish what we have done in that respect. And this is a demonstration of the passion our Founder and Chairman has, not just for education, but also for digital learning and computer literacy. This is in addition to several other support to the university, including the institution of Academic Excellence Awards in 2001, where the best graduating students from selected departments – Banking & Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Accounting, receive awards with financial rewards (currently NGN500,000) and employment opportunity, and the donation of 3,500 tablets to enable indigent students of the university to learn online effectively in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Onyeagwu noted that the building is a strong statement of Zenith Bank’s sustainability initiatives as a signatory to several global sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, as it incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Speaking at the commissioning of the iconic building, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel noted the huge contributions of Zenith Bank and, in particular, Jim Ovia, CFR, a man he described as a father, to the development of Nigeria. In his words,” when you see things being done consistently in the right way, there is always a man pointing in that direction. A lot of people ask me how come you are doing so much in public service; I say I come from a background where my mentor told me that you don’t report efforts, you don’t give excuses, but you report results. So no matter the situation, even in the midst of an economic recession, in the midst of Covid, you should not stop development and performance. As far as you are from the Zenith family, you are expected to have that creativity and ideas that can make you produce results. In Zenith, we say only the paranoid survive. So I really want to appreciate what I am seeing here today”. Whilst thanking the alumni association and the school authority for their collaborative efforts towards achieving capacity development, which he described as the bane of Nigerian society, he expressed his delight and honour to commission a building named after the revered Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who touched and impacted so many people while he was alive.
In his address, the National President of Unilag Alumni Association, Dr. John Momoh, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank as well as the management of the bank for the magnificent building and Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe for accepting the association’s request to name the building after her husband as a lasting legacy in his honour. He encouraged everyone to take good care of and maintain the building to serve the university community for years to come.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Zenith Bank to the development of the school, promising to work with the Alumni association to ensure that the facility serves not only the Alumni but also the entire students populace. She thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for donating 3,500 tablets to the university, which ensured that students who could not afford laptops for e-learning during the covid-19 pandemic were not left behind.
In her remarks, the wife of the Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for immortalising her late husband with such a great edifice named after him. Recalling how close he was to her late husband, Mrs Ibidapo-Obe said: “You are my husband’s friend. Dr. Jim Ovia has demonstrated the love that does not die in his friendship with my beloved husband. When he fell ill, Dr. Jim Ovia was there from day one till the last moment. I could feel the way he felt. From then, I knew that he was a genuine friend. He tried his best to ensure my husband survived, but he did not”.
The iconic building, which sits on a total site area of 950m2, was constructed by a team of world-class builders who had the mandate of delivering the best quality possible. The iconic structure is a smart building that incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable, including a grid-tie solar system that sustains power load on solar and not on a generator or national grid, an inverter-driven VRF air conditioning system and motion sensor lighting to enhance energy efficiency, perforated aluminium composite panels for natural lighting and ventilation, free Wi-Fi system to provide internet access for students, fire management systems, including fire hydrant, smoke detector, and fire alarm system, and a LED screen installed on the building for the dissemination of information. The iconic building will house the Unilag Branch of Zenith Bank Plc and the operations of Unilag Alumni. Of the total 1,665m2 of floor area designated for office use in the four-storey building, 585m2 will be used by Unilag Alumni.
Kuda Bank Says Customer Deposits Are Safe Despite Mobile App Issues
The fintech company assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.
Kuda Bank, a leading digital microfinance bank, has said there is no cause for alarm as their customers’ money is safe despite the mobile application issues.
The fintech company operating in Nigeria further assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.
Investors King gathered that currently, users of Kuda are having difficulties in accessing the bank app. Some have bitterly complained that their account balance reads zero despite having money in the account.
The Kuda bank management has, however, responded to the complaints by its customers through its official Twitter handle.
The digital bank admitted that the application was having issues and apologised to its customers for their inability to access their money or use the application adequately.
It stated that the company is aware of the mobile app malfunctioning, as well as the zero account balance error.
According to its statement, work is ongoing to rectify the issue and when properly completed, customers will be alerted. It stressed that their money has not been tampered with and the glitch will soon be resolved.
The company’s response on its Twitter handle, @joinkuda reads, “We are sorry that you still haven’t been able to use your Kuda app.
“We are working with our cloud services provider to sort out the downtime, and we will let you know when it’s been fixed. Your money remains safe and you will be able to access it as soon as services are restored.
“We know that the ₦0.00 balance error reported by several people is worrying but we assure you that it’s just what the app is displaying because of the downtime, not the amount of money you actually have. We will keep sharing updates as we make progress.”
Nigerians Lament Long Queues at ATMs, Cash Withdrawal Limits
Since last week, the long queues at banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have increased as Nigerians lament scarcity of the redesigned naira notes.
Despite the announcement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the extension of the deadline for the acceptance of old notes from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023, the crowd has persisted at Banks and their ATM galleries.
Investors King gathered that there is a gross scarcity of the new naira notes in the Southwest states as seen in the data obtained in Lagos, Ogun and Osun by its sources.
Lagosians expressed displeasure over the non-availability of funds at the ATMs and Point of Sale, POS agents which have caused them to be stranded even though they have loaded bank accounts.
They stated that both the new and old notes are no longer dispensed at the ATMs. The people of Ogun have similar experiences as they could not make withdrawals due to the lack of funds in the machines.
Meanwhile, some banks were said to be giving their customers N50 and N100 notes at the counter with a daily limit of N20,000 cash.
Investors King observed that this did not go down well with the people who had spent several hours on the queue but went home with not more than N20,000.
According to a Zenith Bank user in Akute, Ogun state, N5000 was the pegged daily withdrawal limit over the counter without an assurance of receiving it after the frustrating queue.
“We went to Zenith bank at Akute but could not get any money. We went inside the bank and we were told they could only pay us a maximum of N5,000 in N50 notes but the notes were torn and dirty.
“Even to collect the N5000, we queued for hours and eventually we were not paid. We went to the bank’s ATM and were given numbers, after staying in the queue, they later said there was no money. We can’t get new notes and we still can’t get old notes. We are tired and frustrated,” he lamented.
In Osogbo, Osun State capital, ATMs were filled with large numbers of people from the early hours of the day, as early as 3am to 4am. Number tags were issued as users arrived before the machines started dispensing money by 8:30am.
Though the machines dispensed new naira notes, there are withdrawal limits for various banks while some didn’t dispense for other bank users.
At Zenith Bank, Aregbe area in Osogbo, the withdrawal limit is N20,000 for their customers while other bank users can only withdraw N1000 at once for five times which makes it N5000. This angered several residents as they grudgingly withdrew their money with N35 bank charge on each N1000 withdrawal.
Meanwhile, at GT Bank Ogo oluwa area in Osogbo, their ATMs did not accept nor dispense for other bank users. Only their customers returned home with smiles, though not without long hours under the scorching sun.
Nigerians have questioned why the scarcity of new naira notes persist in the midst of fuel scarcity worsening the hardship in the country.
Jaiz Bank Reports N5.946 Billion Profit in 2022 Financial Year
Nigeria’s leading digital bank, Jaiz Bank Plc has announced a 45.58% increase in profit after tax to N5.946 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2022.
In the unaudited financial statement obtained by Investors King, the lender’s income from financing contracts grew to N21.589 billion in 2022, a 41.98% increase when compared to N15.205 billion recorded in 2021 financial year.
Income from investment activities inched higer from N8.972 billion filed in the corresponding period to N9.862 billion, representing a 9.92% growth. Therefore, gross income stood at N31.450 billion in the period under review.
Bank’s share as equity investor improved by 34.73% to N27.562 billion from N20.457 billion. Net spread after provision also expanded to N20.656 billion.
The bank’s total income appreciated by 31.73% to a combined N22.635 billion in the period under review. As expected, total expenses rose by 24.63% to N15.965 billion from N12.809 billion in 2021.
Profit before tax increased to N6.669 billion while the bank paid income tax of N583.595 million. The bank declared N5.946 billion profit after tax.
In September 2022, the Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Sirajo Salisu, who commented on the bank’s performance, said the “bank remained committed to providing value-creating ethical banking services to its growing customer base. He assured that the Bank is positioned to continue its remarkable earnings streak for the remainder of the year, by leveraging on technology and extending its touch points across the country.”
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