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FG commends Heritage Bank commitment to entertainment industry

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Federal Government has commended Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service Provider, for its commitment to the development and growth of the creative industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the commendation at a two-day Creative Nigeria Summit held in Lagos recently with the theme: Financing the Film, Television and Music Industries; which was co-sponsored by the Bank.

He remarked that the conference which was jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Think Tank Media and Advertising was to take the industry into a golden era with smooth access to short and long term financing, world class management and local and international distribution.

In a plenary session on Alternative Sources of Financing for the Creative industry, Mr. Dike Dimiri, Acting, Chief Risk Officer of Heritage Bank, articulated some issues that have continue to plague the entertainment industry over the years.

According to him, the industry is being hindered by lack of infrastructure such as studios, equipment and talented manpower, adding that at a time when some international universities are offering cinematography as a course in mass communication, Nigeria’s educational system is still skewed towards the print industry which is dying rather than electronic industry that is widening, so there is deficiency that needs to be corrected.

Other issues he cited as hindrances to the creative industry are legal framework around which the industry runs its business, especially how intellectual property is protected as well as the right type of finance for the industry.

The Chief Risk Officer also touched on the need to have value chain in the industry, instead of one person being involved in every stage of the business as well as the need for operators to package their works into libraries and use them as collaterals to access money from banks.

Dimiri said Heritage Bank was committed to the development and growth of the entertainment industry because one of the easiest ways to solve the unemployment issue in the country is to get as many people as possible involved in the entertainment industry, because manufacturing, banking and other sectors cannot do it alone.

He said the music industry has done so much for Nigeria in terms of employment and foreign exchange earnings and if more resources could be put into it and also de-risk it, the country would be better for it.

Dimiri said Heritage Bank was therefore concerned on how to find a framework through which it could get funding to the players in the industry.

The two-day summit attracted who is who in the industry and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced the establishment of a $1 million venture capital to boost the industry.

He said the Federal Government has held discussions with about 20 foreign/local investors who were expected to invest a minimum of $50,000 each to raise the $1 million, adding that five investors have already indicated interest to invest $50, 000 each and expressed the hope that more were also expected to show their firm commitment in due course.

The minister said the $1 million venture capital would provide seed money for young and talented Nigerians to set up businesses in the creative industry

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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