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Invest in Technology, Localise Supply Chain, Redefine Purpose, Airtel MD Advices SMEs at UBA Business Series

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In adjusting to the new normal, business owners and operators of Small and Medium Scale businesses have been advised to invest massively in technology and find ways to source their raw materials or supplies locally, as this is expected to boost their activities and help them stay afloat especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, who gave these tips at the UBA Quarterly Business Series on Tuesday, said that it is important that businesses redefine their activities to adapt to the new normal which most economies have found themselves as a result of the raging virus.

The UBA Business Series, organised by Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is a capacity building initiative held every quarter, where leading business leaders share insights on best business practices and how entrepreneurs can build a sustainable business empire especially in the challenging business environment in Africa. This edition was moderated by the Chief Executive Officer, Lyd Consulting, Bankole Williams.

Ogunsanya spoke on the topic: ‘Strategies and competencies for adjusting to a Post COVID-19 Business Environment’, where he sought to equip business owners with the important and essential strategies on how to recover and rebuild their business concerns following losses incurred due to the pandemic which took the world by storm, forcing many businesses to re-examine their models and strategies in line with the new normal.

Giving essential strategies to business owners to help their businesses thrive and stay afloat, he said, “I must stress the need for business owners to invest in technology as it is very key in the new normal to ensure that our employees are able to deliver the goods and services to customers while remaining safe and keeping the customers safe also. Remember that the customer is still the king, so it is important to ensure that you configure all your operations to make sure that they are still able to transact their businesses and also encourage online payment for services because handling cash can also be dangerous. More importantly, look for ways to configure your businesses to what your customers actually need especially in this era of physical and social distancing.”

While giving examples of companies that have changed the direction of their businesses due to the limitations occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic, Ogunsanya told the over 2,000 participants at the webinar, that this period called for critical evaluation of businesses where SMEs should think of creative ways to ensure that they meet the needs of customers and provide services that customers are actually willing to pay for.

“If as a business you find out that a huge part of your key services are not in high demand as a result of lockdown rules, then it is important to reconfigure your services; find other needs that you can meet for customers; look for various things you can do differently, completely cut out wastes and costs that are irrelevant as well as areas where value is not being added to the customers and ensure that you have a digital roadmap” he said in response to a participant who wanted to know how to increase productivity.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who spoke ahead of the webinar, said that far beyond banking services, UBA is interested in ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time, adding that the Business Series seeks to arm business leaders with all the knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level. “it is always an opportunity to learn something new from the people who have the experience,” Anele said.

United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Adeboye Sacks Top Redeemed Pastor For Sleeping With Member’s Wife

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The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has sacked Pastor Gideon Bakare, a pastor in one of the Akure, Ondo state branches for trying to have a canal knowledge of a member’s wife.

In a statement, RCCG spokesperson Olaitan Olubiyi said Bakare was sacked for attempted adultery and for putting the church in a bad light.

The statement read;

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God has excommunicated Mr Gideon Bakare and relieved him of all ministerial duties in the Mission.

“Bakare, who was an Assistant Pastor in the Church was recently accused of attempted act of adultery with a woman in her matrimonial home in Akure, Ondo State.

“The Church dissociated itself from such immoral act of Mr Bakare and described it as being completely contrary to the core values, doctrines, beliefs and practices of the RCCG and the undiluted word of God.

“The Church, after reviewing the report of her investigation, noted that by his conduct, Bakare has not only tainted his personal reputation but has portrayed the Church in a bad light.

”Mr Bakare has therefore been directed to return all official items in his custody and stay off all associated connections with the Mission with immediate effect.”

A video showed Pastor Bakare naked in the bedroom of a married female church member in Akure over the weekend.

The woman had played along and pretended she was consenting to the sexual act and had asked the pastor to strip before inviting her husband and others to the scene

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DSS arrests EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu for ‘questioning’

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

TheCable understands that DSS operatives arrived the EFCC headquarters in Abuja Monday afternoon and quietly whisked him away without creating any scene.

His arrest comes a few days after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), accused the anti-graft czar of gross infractions.

The AGF asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu over some “weighty” allegations, including the diversion of recovered loot.

In addition to allegedly re-looting the recovered loot, Malami accused the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination and misconduct.

TheCable learnt the EFCC chief travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president during the COVID-19 lockdown.

And when he was questioned, he said he went for an investigation.

He is also alleged to be living above his means.

In 2016, the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman after a DSS report indicted him of corruption.

The report read: “Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.

“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”

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COURT JAILS UNION BANK HACKERS OVER N2.5BN FRAUD

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has secured the conviction of one Abass Mohammed and a Bureau De Change, (BDC) operator, Ibrahim Saidu Jogal, who connived to hack into the Flexcube database of Union Bank and defrauded the bank of N2,550,000,000 (Two billion Five hundred and Fifty Million Naira).

The Commission received a petition alleging that fraudsters had hacked into the bank’s database and diverted the sum of N2,550,000,000. Investigation into the petition revealed that the said money was fraudulently credited into the accounts of mostly BDC operators, including one Jaxmine BDC, Gona BDC and Great Well Communication.

It was further revealed that Mohammed sourced for the account details of Jaxmine BDC from one of his friends, Lawal Ubah, who was a signatory to the account, and subsequently gave the details to one Salisu Liman (aka Zico), the ring leader of the syndicate. The sum of N450 million was then credited into the account.

Subsequently, the sum of N79 million was transferred from the account of Jaxmine BDC into the account of Digare BDC owned by Jogal for the purpose of buying $500,000. Further investigations revealed that Jogal only paid $80,000 to Mohammed and kept the balance of $420,000.

Jogal, investigations also revealed, said that he got information that the money was not genuine but fraudulent, thereby prompting Mohammed to open up to him that the money was stolen.

They were arraigned before Justice K.A. Jose of the State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos on three-count charges bordering on conspiracy, retention and use of proceeds of crimunal conduct contrary to Section 331(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws No. 11, Vol 44 of Lagos State 2011.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, paving the way for the commencement of their trial.

In proving its case against them, the EFCC presented three witnesses – Vincent Agwu, a Union Bank official, and two investigators, Joseph Nkeson and Aliyu Abubakar. Several documents were also tendered in court by the prosecution.

Delivering judgment, Justice Jose found the defendants guilty on counts two and three, and discharged them on count one, which bordered on conspiracy to defraud. Mohammed was sentenced to a term of one year in prison.

The trial judge further ordered that the sum of $37,000 and $7,000 recovered from him by the EFCC should be handed over to Union Bank, while the car recovered from him should be sold and the proceeds given to the bank.

Justice Jose observed that Jogal showed no contrition, and failed to pay back a substantial sum of the money traced to him. Subsequently, he was sentenced to a term of three years, and ordered to return the sum of $220,000 and another $200,000 earlier recovered from him by the EFCC to Union Bank.

The judge also ordered that his property, whose title documents he gave to the Commission, should be sold and the proceeds handed over to the bank.

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