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Shareholders Approve Private Placement Of Unissued Fidelity Bank Shares

Shareholders Approve Private Placement Of Unissued Fidelity Bank Shares

Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has secured the approval of its shareholders to issue, by way of a private placement, the unissued ordinary shares of the Bank.

This was approved at the Bank’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) which was held at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, 29 September 2022.

Addressing shareholders at the event which had the representatives of various regulators in attendance including the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Exchange Group, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Corporate Affairs Commission, Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc, said the EGM was called to ensure the Bank complies with Section 124 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA) and Regulation 13 of the Companies Regulations 2021 which require companies with unissued shares at the time of commencement of CAMA 2020 to issue such shares by December 31, 2022.

“After considering the options, the Board resolved that the Company’s outstanding 3,037,414,308 unissued Ordinary Shares of 50Kobo each should be disposed of by way of Private Placement to strategic investors to enable the Bank to generate additional capital for continued growth in line with its objectives” explained Chike-Obi.

“Fidelity Bank is growing in leaps and bounds and we need to expand our capital base to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

We will also use the additional capital to enhance our technology infrastructure to enable us to serve more customers”, explained Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank.

It would be recalled that the Bank recently paid an interim dividend of 10 Kobo per 50 Kobo ordinary share, the first interim dividend payment in the Bank’s 34-year history, on the back of its remarkable H1 2022 results.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 7 million customers serviced across 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

The Bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards.

The Bank also won the awards for “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

Oluwatomi Somefun @ 60: A Quintessential Woman With Quiet Move, Loud Impact!

Oluwatomi Somefun @ 60: A Quintessential Woman With Quiet Move, Loud Impact!

As it’s the case all over the world, there are few women heading top executive positions in Nigeria’s corporate space. While this is something to worry about, it becomes even more worrisome when those few women who manage to climb to the top of the corporate ladder work efficiently as men would rather do.

Oluwatomi Somefun (born October 2) is an award-winning Nigerian banker.

She is the chief executive officer (CEO)/ Managing Director (MD) of Unity Bank, making her the first in the bank’s history to hold this position.

Named as one of the top 25 most distinguished Chief Executive Officers of quoted Nigerian companies for the 2015 financial year, Oluwatomi Somefun does not have any question marks about her competence.

Somefun is passionate about people, especially young adults, and helping them to
achieve their God-given potential inspired by their limitations.

She mentors and counsels individuals in their professional and social development. She sits on the board of a number of Financial and Educational institutions and has served on the Advisory board of several Foundations including the UBA Foundation.

As one of the female Chief Executives heading banks in Nigeria, Somefun has in her 7 years of leading Unity Bank Plc, proved her mettle, making it possible for other women to find a smoother path into top executive positions.

ACHIEVEMENTS
Too many experts within an industry give the illusion that this is normal and everyone is at the same level of brilliance, vision, and breadth of ability.

But in the banking and finance sector, there are crouching dragons and tigers. Crouch no more, Oluwatomi Somefun; your genius has been exposed.

Unity Bank Plc used to be one of those banks in Nigeria that kept a semi-low profile. Such banks did not seek to compete, only to meet their predetermined goal.

No more! The brilliance, methods, pursuit, and accomplishments of the bank’s MD/CEO, Oluwatomi Somefun, have dragged it to stand at an equal height with the other banking giants of Nigeria.

In recent days, Somefun has consolidated her more than two and a half decades of corporate experience and thrust her high-tier level of expertise into the pool of master managers and CEOs in Nigeria. Taking advantage of trends, Somefun has resorted to tying certain blocks of the Unity Bank customer demography to certain staff teams within the bank.

The result of this decision is a new wave of banking services that is tailor-made for and therefore suits every one of their customers.

Talk about customer satisfaction.
Somefun has also managed to reach equilibrium in her integration of traditional and modern banking.

In a world where nearly everything is available at the click of a button, Somefun is pushing to have Unity Bank take the lead in these responsive, customer-deterministic services. So far, the digital service corner of the bank has closed in on its former objectives of awareness and utilization.

Overall, Oluwatomi Somefun is not a disappointment in her dazzling education or many chattered fellowships. This is what it means to be a visionary leader, a professional banker, and an excellent corporate Paragon.

If Unity Bank does not surpass its contemporaries with Somefun at the head of things, it might as well become a bookshop.

EDUCATION
Somefun studied the English language at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and graduated with her first degree in 1981.

Since she had no academic training in accounting, banking, or economics, she would later take important professional courses and certifications. She became a Chartered Accountant in 1982 and is currently a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

She also did some graduate studies at the Harvard Business School and the University of Columbia, and attended an international training programme with INSEAD Fontainebleau, in France.

First degree or not, Somefun has acquired sufficient training over the years. She is also a member of professional bodies like the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Institute of Directors (IOD), and others.

CAREER
The over three decades journey to becoming the formidable banker she is today started with a role as Senior Audit Assistant with KPMG from 1982 to 1986.

She moved on to Arthur Andersen, still in the capacity of Senior Auditor, and spent another couple of years there before leaving in 1989 to join Ventures & Trusts Limited as an Associate.

This would be the last step before Somefun started her three decades of banking career which would cut across core sectors like Treasury & Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, Retail and Commercial Banking Operations.

Mrs. Somefun worked with Credit Bank Limited. Later, she moved to the UBA Group. She headed two of UBA Group’s major subsidiaries; serving as the MD/CEO of UBA Capital & Trustee Limited and the Founding Managing Director of UBA Pension Custodian Limited. She served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of directors of UBA Foundations, UBA Trustees, UBA Nominees, and UBA Registrars.

With Unity Bank Nigeria Plc, Somefun served as the Executive Director overseeing the Lagos and South-West Business Directorates, the Financial Institution Division, and the Treasury Department of the Bank.

This was before August 2015 when she succeeded Mr. Henry James Semenitari 2015 as Unity Bank’s CEO.

She is a Member of the Board Finance; General Purpose Committee, Board Risk Management Committee, and Board Credit Committee, amongst others.

Within the last seven years, she has reordered Unity Bank to the path of growth and profitability; de-risking the balance sheet, introducing products like UniFi (a mobile banking product with robust digital offerings which now stands as a flagship youth banking product); Corpreneurship (a youth banking initiative that targets entrepreneurship-minded fresh graduates completing the compulsory one-year national youth service).

Under her tenure, Unity Bank also became the first Nigerian Bank to offer Multilingual USSD Banking in the three major Nigerian languages.

Somefun is helping to drive the bank’s vision of being the bank of choice for all Nigerians.

She piloted the bank through the troubled waters in 2016 and 2017 when its financials were being bugged with a high volume of non-performing loans borrowed mostly by some former board members, which affected the bank’s capitalization.

RECOGNITIONS AND OTHER POSITIONS

Oluwatomi Somefun won the 2019 Top 25 CEOs Next Bulls award in recognition of the bank’s stellar performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The award came to her in recognition of the bank’s sterling performance for the year, as its stock appreciated 101.89% the year, making it one of the best-performing stocks on the NSE.

Tomi Somefun was also listed among the top 25 most distinguished Chief Executive Officers of quoted Nigerian companies for the 2015 financial year.

She also won the top BusinessDay Top 25 CEOs award in 2019. She was conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration by Redeemer’s University (RUN).

OLUWATOMI SOMEFUN QUOTES
“We underestimate the value of what each
one of us can do.”

“So don’t quit just yet… you’re closer to the
the finishing line of your challenge then you
think.”

“A job is a challenge and not an
achievement!”

“Greatness is a process and not an event.”

“Your words weigh 1000 tons… Choose them
carefully!”

“The only way to get rid of your past
mistakes is to learn its lesson for the
future; God will waste nothing. Make
every experience count.”

“Every new person we meet presents a new
opportunity from God, to be blessed or to
be a blessing. Don’t waste it.”

“Experience they say is the best teacher,
but the school fees are high, so save
yourself fees and copy handout from other
people’s lessons.”

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful
destinations.”

“Good is working, though we often don’t
just how…”

GoMed, Online Community Pharmacy Marketplace Launches in Lagos

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GoMed, an online marketplace for community pharmacies has launched in Lagos to provide on-the-go access to safe medicines, health products, and services for Nigerians, a strategic move to tap into the thriving Nigeria pharma market which is estimated at $2.5 billion.

GoMed partners with community pharmacies across Nigeria, providing them with the tools to showcase their inventory while exposing them to millions of potential customers within their communities.

With GoMed, community pharmacies regardless of size are able to digitize their sales process to reach even more customers, while users can access an array of pharmaceutical products ranging from prescription drugs to personal care and supplements. Users are also able to order medical equipment, speak with pharmacists or even consult a doctor.

Speaking at the launch in Lagos, Partner, and Co-founder of GoMed Nigeria, Dr. Aaron Grandy said the solution was inspired by the need to provide the tools and resources that pharmacy businesses need to take their services online and scale their operations in the most efficient and profitable manner.

“Most community pharmacies are so busy running their business that they don’t have spare time and resources to build up an online shop with 5,000 to 10,000+ products, manage branding, marketing, and communications, plus coordinate deliveries all at the same time.

“With all these challenges in mind, we asked pharmacy owners and managers if an online solution that they could tap into, enhance their brand and reach more customers would be of interest to them, and of course, it was a resounding yes!” Grandy said.

Immediate benefits of GoMed to pharmacy partners include increased sales via online channels, and brand visibility through showcasing brand specialties and unique selling propositions.

Other benefits include conveniently serving a wider audience without fear of giving away their business, risking their brand or losing their customers to the competition, and unfettered access to digital tools for better visibility and business insights.

Grandy further stated, “GoMed taps directly into the trust and loyalty that Nigerian community pharmacies have built over the years by being the first point of contact with patients,” adding that GoMed’s mission is to “support and lift up these community pharmacies as they are the real heroes in our story”.

About GoMed

GoMed is a Finnish / Nigerian company on a mission to digitize access to safe health products and services for everyone in Nigeria. For more information, visit https://gomed.ng or email us at contact(at)gomed.ng or call us at +234 903 552 9332

PRUDENTIAL ZENITH LIFE INSURANCE RECORDS 75% GROWTH IN PROFIT AFTER TAX IN FULL YEAR 2021 RESULTS

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PRUDENTIAL ZENITH LIFE INSURANCE RECORDS 75% GROWTH IN PROFIT AFTER TAX IN FULL YEAR 2021 RESULTS

PRUDENTIAL ZENITH LIFE INSURANCE RECORDS 75% GROWTH IN PROFIT AFTER TAX IN FULL-YEAR 2021 RESULTS

Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Limited (“PZL”) has announced its audited financial results for the year ended 31st December 2021, recording a 75% growth in profit after tax (PAT) of ₦1.13b compared to the ₦646m recorded in the corresponding period in 2020.

The results, which were approved by the Board of Directors of Prudential Zenith and the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), show that Gross Written Premium (GWP) and Annualized Premium Equivalent (APE) grew year on year by 16.3% and 9.3% respectively. This was primarily driven by 27% growth in new business acquisition for Group Life written during the period.

Investment income grew by 30% year-on-year due to a significant increase in the interest-generating assets of the company, and commission income also increased by 43% during the period.

The financial performance is a testament to the continued focus on investments, as the company remains committed to building a strong market-leading position in Nigeria by enhancing its capabilities, strengthening its digitally enabled multi-channel distribution network, and broadening the range of products and services that are available to customers in order to meet their needs.

Despite the challenges experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Prudential Zenith was able to achieve this strong growth in 2021 and is poised to continue improving its performance in the upcoming financial years.

Prudential Zenith will continue to develop and launch unique products to meet customers’ needs, leveraging technology and its core corporate governance structure to deliver faster claims settlement.

The company will also continue to prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of customers, who subscribe to its unique insurance product offerings.

Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Ltd (PZL) is a subsidiary of Prudential Plc., established in 2017 when Prudential Plc acquired a 51% holding in Zenith Life Insurance.

PZL is one of the most capitalized companies in the Nigerian insurance industry with a wide range of individual products including savings & investments-linked products, endowment, and protection products designed to meet the needs of individuals and their families.

For corporate clients, the company’s product offerings include Group Life, Key-Man Assurance, Credit Life, School Fees Protection, and Mortgage Protection, ensuring that the welfare of clients’ staff and families are met.

Prudential Plc provides life and health insurance, and asset management in Africa and Asia, helping people get the most out of life by making healthcare affordable and accessible and by promoting financial inclusion.

Prudential protects people’s wealth, helps them grow their assets, and empowers them to save for their goals.

It has more than 19 million life customers and is listed on stock exchanges in London (PRU), Hong Kong (2378), Singapore (K6S), and New York (PUK).

Prudential Plc has insurance operations in eight countries in Africa: Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo Uganda, and Zambia.

With over 1 million customers, Prudential Africa works with over 11,000 agents and six exclusive bank partnerships, with access to over 600 branches to bring value-added insurance solutions to its customers.

FIRST BANK: THE EMBODIMENT OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

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FIRST BANK: THE EMBODIMENT OF CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Who should corporate responsibility and sustainability lessons be taken from? Some companies are still unclear about the concept but latch onto the sustainability mantra anyway because it has become a marketing buzzword for business.

Or a company through whose creed and deeds, over the many decades it has been around, people can see corporate responsibility and sustainability lived (first) and preached (subsequently)?

If the above set of questions constituted a question in an examination hall, it would be one of the easiest questions to answer.

Not one person would fail it. Outside the examination hall, the answer to this question that seems as easy and simple as the question of 2 + 2 may not be as easy and simple.

It may be complicated by all the cleverly arranged noise and claims projected at people to make it difficult for them to see and accept the obvious.

So, it is incumbent on people who know and care enough (like this writer), to keep stating and restating the obvious.

This is in the hope that doing so would help others to take full cognizance of the obvious and not allow themselves to be bamboozled by images without substance and rhetoric without pedigree.

The concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability is not about the clever or manipulative use of marketing buzzwords by corporate citizens.

It is about impact, net positive impact, in the lives of real, not imagined, people through the deliberate and well-planned activities of socially-responsible corporate citizens.

Even if history is no longer taught in most schools in Nigeria, the records are there.

The records show that Nigeria has been blessed to have stood by her, at all times, as a corporate citizen which understands the concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

This corporate citizen has been standing by Nigeria before the country’s founding, through its amalgamation, Independence, and all the conflicts and crises Nigeria has gone through and still faces.

Today, corporate citizen still stands by Nigeria.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a lender of unmatched pedigree, a bank with a history of unparalleled support to Nigeria and Nigerians (right from the colonial era to date, even serving as Nigeria’s central bank at some stage of our national development), has been a corporate citizen like no other.

A brand that has backed innumerable groundbreaking projects across Nigeria and beyond, First Bank has demonstrated that real impact that can be seen and felt by all, and not mere marketing buzzwords, is the real measure of an institution’s understanding of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

It is incontrovertible that whichever way corporate responsibility and sustainability are understood or defined, First Bank is sure to tick all the boxes.

Just name every parameter for assessing a company’s efforts in corporate responsibility and sustainability and match each against what First Bank has been doing.

Is there any parameter that First Bank has not surpassed?

First Bank has been living corporate responsibility and sustainability for most, if not all, of its existence as a going concern.

Knowing it cannot do it alone, the bank has also devoted resources to efforts that will enable it to preach or pass the message so other corporate citizens, groups, and individuals will emulate it.

One platform the bank has used effectively for this purpose is its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) Week. 

The CR&S Week is a full working week that the FirstBank Group, in-country and across the world where it operates, dedicates to the promotion, execution, and celebration of social responsibility initiatives.

The Sustainability Week also includes a huge kindness campaign to reorient citizens towards the right values and reignite acts of kindness in society.

It is only one of the many ways First Bank is living true to its brand promise to always put customers first.

And Sustainability Week seeks to invite others (individuals and corporate citizens) to follow the bank’s example and begin to intentionally create a positive impact in their immediate communities.

From the inaugural edition in 2017, where the theme was “Promoting Kindness: Putting You First”, the Sustainability Week has helped to reinforce First Bank’s role as a nation-builder that is driving sustainable development across the communities where it operates.

It was an opportunity for the bank to encourage others (individuals and corporate citizens) to follow in its steps, even if all they can afford to take are small steps.

Taking small steps may have informed the choice of theme for the second edition of the Sustainability Week in 2018: “Touching Lives: You First”.

The bank sought to debunk the notion that touching lives in meaningful ways and making an impact on society require big-ticket projects, whilst emphasizing the power in the little things people do and the small steps they take.

After all, is it not little drops of water that make a mighty ocean, as the saying goes? And does the journey of a thousand miles not begin with a (small) step, as another saying puts it?

Just take a look at SPARK (Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness), a values-based initiative that raises consciousness by promoting kindness to one another in society, which the bank started during the inaugural Sustainability Week in 2017.

Aimed at reinforcing First Bank’s corporate culture of encouraging giving and volunteering among its staff and the larger society, its magnitude today and the many kind initiatives it has sparked off across the country could not have been imagined when the seed was planted five years ago.

Incalculable manhours and financial resources from First Bank staff and partners have been contributed willingly.

Children in orphanages, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various IDP camps, widows, and other underprivileged or vulnerable groups have been visited and their challenges alleviated if not totally eliminated.

Scores of career counseling sessions with secondary school pupils across Nigeria have also been organized as part of the Sustainability Week, which has been the first of its kind in Nigeria’s financial services industry.

In 2019, the third edition of the Sustainability Week with the theme: “Ripples of Kindness: Putting You First” enunciated the values (or pillars) of the SPARK initiative to include Compassion, Civility, and Charity.

First Bank believes that these values and the acts of kindness that flow as a result of embracing the values are critical to promoting and building peaceful co-existence and prosperity in society.

Among the key highlights of the 2019 Sustainability Week was “Nice Comments Day” which was a day set aside to foster words of encouragement, support, and kindness to people around one, regardless of one’s familiarity or close ties, in recognition of the instrumental role kind words play in lighting up people’s day and bringing out the best in them.

Another highlight was the SPARK School Engagement that promoted the SPARK initiative in schools, with the objective of embedding the values of SPARK amongst school children at a young age so the values become part of, and habitual to, them as they develop into adulthood.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed lockdown, the year 2020 witnessed no edition of the Sustainability Week.

Any attempt to stage the kinds of activities and events that usually accompany the Sustainability Week would have been counterproductive, spreading infections and possibly deaths instead of the kindness and joy that the Sustainability Week has become synonymous with.

However, First Bank’s avowed commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability would not allow it to fold its hands and just watch while COVID-19 and its debilitating effects tried to make living and learning difficult for most Nigerians.

Working virtually or remotely and, where it could not do otherwise, physically but in strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, First Bank executed several initiatives meant to ameliorate the very difficult situation in Nigeria then.

The bank contributed to efforts to provide palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians, announced a moratorium on repayment of loans, set up a special loan fund for businesses run by women, established another for school proprietors in collaboration with a state government, and drove an e-learning initiative that sought to move one million school children to a safe online learning platform so their educational progress would not be set back due to COVID-19 restrictions, government-ordered lockdown and the closure of educational institutions for the greater part of 2020

“Kindness: A Way of Life” was the theme for the fourth edition of the Sustainability Week held in 2021.

Highlights of activities of the 2021 Sustainability Week, designed to entrench a culture of kindness, included a practical-oriented training webinar for staff to embed a culture of kindness in the bank by driving understanding of how kindness (or the lack of it) can impact the workplace, the marketplace and the communities in which staff live and work.

Another important feature of the Sustainability Week was the “Kind Comments Days” that ran all week to inspire a consciousness of kind choice of words and consideration for others.

There was also a dedicated programme in secondary schools designed to institutionalize SPARK by using school SPARK champions (including students and teachers) alongside other partners such as Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) and Lagos State government to inculcate the SPARK values in school children.

One other feature was the ground-breaking ceremony for the Lagos State government’s OCAAT (One Community At A Time) initiative to provide the Primary Health Care Centre in the Ijedodo community in Alimosho LGA.

Set up as an initiative to improve the health and welfare of the members of various communities in Lagos State, First Bank partnered with the government on the project as part of its contribution to global efforts to meet some specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There were also webinars: a general webinar with the sub-theme: “Education: Does Kindness have a Role?”; and a millennial webinar with the sub-theme: “Making the Cyber World a Kinder Place” which sought to proffer solutions to the question of how people could become kinder on social media platforms.

All the past editions of First Bank Sustainability Week highlight the longstanding and relentless commitment of First Bank not only to continue to live but also to preach the message of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Given its unmatched pedigree in corporate responsibility and sustainability, First Bank has earned the right to address all other corporate organizations as well as individuals and groups on matters of sustainability.

The bank has earned its right to the people’s audience.

It is against this backdrop that First Bank’s forthcoming 2022 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week should be welcomed by other banks and corporate citizens, irrespective of industry, as an opportunity to come together and take lessons from Nigeria’s foremost corporate citizen with regard to corporate responsibility and sustainability.

First Bank does not consider itself too big to take lessons from other corporate citizens in areas where they have distinguished themselves.

So other corporate citizens should not feel too big to take lessons from First Bank in this area where the bank stands highly distinguished.

Or can anyone claim not to know that if the concept of corporate responsibility and sustainability were to be represented by one corporate citizen per country on a world map where countries are denoted by their foremost corporate entities, it is unarguable that First Bank would be the company eminently representing Nigeria on that map?

Culled from Leadership Newspaper

1 DAY TILL 2022 AFRIMA NOMINEES UNVEILING!

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1 DAY TILL 2022 AFRIMA NOMINEES UNVEILING!

IT’S another exciting moment in African music, as we anticipate the announcement of the nominees for the 2022 edition of the prestigious All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).

Culled from over 9,076 entries by our jury composed of seasoned experts across all five regions in the continent, alongside the African Union Commission, we are confident that this is an accurate representation of the current reality of African Music.

1 DAY TILL 2022 AFRIMA NOMINEES UNVEILING!
Iba One, the artiste with the highest (five) AFRIMA wins at a single edition.

For AFRIMA, as the ultimate recognition of African music globally, we are committed to the mission of spreading hope and celebrating our own unique heritage.

Who would #WinItAll at the AFRIMA 2022? Join the continent and diaspora as we unveil our nominees, globally, on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 15:00 (CAT), for this year’s edition.

Visit www.afrima.org and turn on notifications on our social media;

1 DAY TILL 2022 AFRIMA NOMINEES UNVEILING!

Facebook: @AFRIMAWARDS

Instagram: @afrima.official

Twitter: @afrimaofficial

AFRIMA…For Hope, For Celebration!

Heritage Bank appoints Acting Managing Director and Executive Directors

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Heritage Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Akinola George-Taylor as its acting Managing Director.

Following the receipt of the approval of the Board of Directors of Heritage Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank is poised for its next phase of transformation.

The new Ag. The managing Director will be overseeing all of Heritage’s banking operations across Nigeria. George-Taylor will take over from Dr. Ifie Sekibo who served his 10 years tenure at the bank.

As an experienced banker with over two decades working in the banking and financial services sector, Akinola George-Taylor has a proven track record in managing multi-billion Naira operations.

Heritage Bank appoints Acting Managing Director and Executive Directors
George Oko-Oboh – ED

He started his banking career in 1993 with GTBank where George-Taylor rose to the position of Executive Director in charge of Public Sector Group, Abuja & North Central. Whilst at the Bank, he has held various positions in different business sectors.

He was also the Managing Director of GTBank in Sierra Leone between 2005 to 2009.

Heritage Bank appoints Acting Managing Director and Executive Directors
Akinola George-Taylor -Ag. MD

Board Appointment

In addition to George-Taylor’s appointment, as Acting Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie and George Oko-Oboh were also announced as Executive Directors.

Osepiribo Ben-Willie is an accomplished banker with over two decades of experience and she has been leading business transformation initiatives at various levels within the financial service space.

Ben-Willie is currently the Directorate Head South-South, South-East & Private Wealth Management Team in Heritage Bank Plc. She has worked in the following banking institutions Credit Bank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, and Stanbic IBTC.

George Oko-Oboh currently heads the Abuja and North Directorate Business of Heritage Bank Plc where he plays a pivotal role in the business growth and daily operations of all businesses and transactions as it relates to his area of supervision.

Heritage Bank appoints Acting Managing Director and Executive Directors
Osepiribo Ben-Willie – ED

Oko-Oboh is an accomplished financial service professional with over two decades of banking experience functioning in various leading business roles spanning Retail, SME, Commercial, Public Sector, Collections, Funding Advisory, and Corporate Negotiations.

The newly appointed Acting Managing Director and his team of Executive Directors commenced their respective tenors on Monday 12th September 2022.

Photo News: Leadership Team of Kaizen Institute Paid Courtesy Visit to Mouka

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Leadership Team of Kaizen Institute Paid Courtesy Visit to Mouka
From Left: Dimeji Osingunwa, Chief Commercial Officer, Mouka; with Seyi Edward, Country Lead, Planning, Procurement & Logistics, Mouka; Vinod Grover, Managing Director, Kaizen Institute; Femi Fapohunda, Managing Director, Mouka; and Idowu Adedokun, Chief Financial Officer, Mouka; during the courtesy visit of the team of Kaizen Institute to Mouka's head office recently.

Leadership Team of Kaizen Institute Paid Courtesy Visit to Mouka

The leadership team of Kaizen Institute, a global consulting services organization, recently paid a courtesy visit to Mouka, the market leader in the mattresses and beddings sector of the Nigerian economy

Leadership Team of Kaizen Institute Paid Courtesy Visit to Mouka
From Left: Dimeji Osingunwa, Chief Commercial Officer, Mouka; Seyi Edward, Country Lead, Planning, Procurement & Logistics, Mouka; Vinod Grover, Managing Director, Kaizen Institute; Femi Fapohunda, Managing Director, Mouka; and Idowu Adedokun, Chief Financial Officer, Mouka; during the courtesy visit of the team of Kaizen Institute to Mouka’s head office recently.
Leadership Team of Kaizen Institute Paid Courtesy Visit to Mouka
From Left: Qualid Mougou, Director, Dolidol Africa; with Vinod Grover, Managing Director, Kaizen Institute, South Asia, Africa; and Femi Fapohunda, Managing Director, Mouka; during the courtesy visit of the team of Kaizen Institute to Mouka’s head office recently.

NCC, Civil Defence Corps align to Tackle Telecoms Crimes

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NCC, Civil Defence Corps align to Tackle Telecoms Crimes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has teamed with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to tackle some of the criminal activities bedeviling the telecom industry, such as telecom equipment vandalism and fraudulent registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards among others.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who addressed a gathering of the senior management staff of NSCDC in the South West Zone, at an exclusive workshop organized by the Commission, hailed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sealed between the agency and the Commission, for which the gathering was to explore how the Corps will deploy enabling laws, subsidiary legislations, and extant guidelines to arrest any form of criminality in the sector.

Danbatta, who was represented at the workshop by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement at the Commission, Ephraim Nwokonneya, said, over the years, the NCC has been working with relevant law enforcement agencies, and in particular the NSCDC, towards protecting telecom sector from all kinds of criminal behaviour.

“Through despicable activities that are criminal and totally at variance with national security concerns of government, the deviant elements in our midst have been acting to undermine efforts put in place to consolidate the gains of the sector,” the EVC said.

Danbatta declared that “These criminal activities include theft and vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure, the illegal use of fraudulently-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, operating without a license, illegal call masking, and so on.”

He said while the NSCDC officers have been of tremendous assistance, the objective of the workshop was to constantly engage and update them on new trends and existing regulations, requiring concerted efforts for their implementation towards enhancing sanity in the telecom sector.

Danbatta said the NSCDC and other agencies have done very well with the assistance of their personnel in carrying out raid exercises and mopping up fraudulently-registered SIM cards found in circulation, as well as in raising the banner of awareness on the need to protect critical national telecom infrastructure.

Some of the topical issues discussed at the workshop covered the activities of the Commission as presented by the relevant departments in the context of laws and other regulations, and in relation to the roles of NSCDC, as depicted in the presentation made by the NCC Head of Enforcement, Salisu Abdu, during the workshop.

Signed:

Reuben Muoka

Director, Public Affairs

AfricaPlan Foundation Selects 20 Graduates for 2022 HackathonAfrica in Enugu

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AfricaPlan Foundation Selects 20 Graduates for 2022 HackathonAfrica in Enugu

The inaugural edition of HackathonAfrica kicked off on Thursday, September 01, 2022, in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.

The HackatonAfrica program, a brainchild of the US-based AfricaPlan Foundation, is an intensive software coding boot camp for fresh graduates aimed at tackling the steep digital skills deficit in the Southeast region and creating opportunities for the enterprising youth to tap into the burgeoning technology industry.

With Nigeria’s unemployment rate at more than 35%, the AfricanPlan Foundation said the HackathonaAfrica provides one of several unique opportunities that must be explored to creatively tackle the unemployment crisis through an inclusive and strategic digital upskilling program that creates opportunities for the next generation of young Nigerians to play an active part in the digital economy.

The Hackathon attracted massive interest from youths across the region with over 300 applications received.

However, only twenty recent graduates were shortlisted to join the first cohort, which included ten males and ten females, underscoring the Foundation’s strategic commitment to inclusivity and removing biases by granting equal opportunities to both genders.

A unique fully-funded, residential software coding boot camp, HackathonAfrica will last for three months and will encompass intensive hands-on practical training on Fullstack Web Development (MERN) and in the latest and more commonly used software coding programs and databases in tech today.

The founder of the AfricaPlan Foundation, an accomplished technology industry executive and entrepreneur, Mr. Oni Chukwu while speaking at the opening ceremony lamented the dearth of digital skills in Africa, which is hampering the ability of the continent to fully tap into the economic opportunities of the technology revolution and its attendant economic empowerment.

He noted that advances in technology, especially in software development have disrupted virtually every industry resulting in a greater disadvantage for any economy without sufficient or commensurate digital skills to meet industry needs.

He, therefore, called on policymakers, governments at all levels, and concerned individuals to embrace the new reality and put in place deliberate measures that will refocus the energy of the youth and equip them to tap into the technology sector.

In line with HackathonAfrica’s structure and design, the 20 trainees after completing their three months of training AfricaPlan will make every effort to deploy graduates to HackathonAfrica’s partner organizations within and outside Nigeria for their internship, with a stipend from the AfricaPlan Foundation.

The long game here, according to Chukwu, is creating a successful pathway to launching successful careers in technology, as well as a pipeline to creating a talent pool for organizations that rely on digital skills on the continent.  More partner companies that can join in providing internship opportunities for the students would be welcome.

Some of the participants who spoke to reporters during the ceremony expressed gratitude to the AfricaPlan Foundation for the opportunity and pledged to take full advantage of the programme to start careers in the tech industry.

Israel Chukwu, who studied Product Design Engineering at the university, said, “I finished school about 5 years ago and after the NYSC programme without a job, it puts you in a depressing state; you see your dreams slipping through your fingers.

I stayed in Lagos for about two years and now I moved back to my hometown to take up this golden package. I feel glad.

I tried coding at age 13 but could not continue. HackathonAfrica is a life-changing opportunity for me and I thank Oni Chukwu whom I have never met before being selected and the team for being thorough in their approach to the program.”

Also speaking at the opening ceremony in Enugu, Mr. Jonah Onah, 2022 HackathonAfrica Project Coordinator, reiterated that the programme is anchored on three main objectives, which include upskilling, empowerment, and sustainability, adding that AfricaPlan Foundation will leverage the initiative to provide excellent training that will equip youth in Southeast Nigeria with improved skills required to harness opportunities in the software technology space.