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UBA’s GMD Calls For Closer Collaboration Among African Central Banks

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Outgoing Group Managing Director of pan-African banking group, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Mr Philips Oduoza has called for increased collaboration among African central banks in order to drive intra-African trade on the continent.

He said this on July 22, 2016 when he delivered the fourth Valedictory Lecture of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on the topic “The Emergence of a Nigerian Pan-African Bank” to a parked hall of bankers and financial industry players.

Oduoza used the lecture to share his experience and challenges in helping build one of Africa’s largest banking groups, UBA Plc, not forgetting the lessons learnt from the bank’s expansion into Africa.

He spoke extensively on UBA’s expansion into Africa, the rational for the expansion and the strategies adopted to derive maximum value and reduce the risks of UBA’s foray into different African countries.

CIBN Valedictory Lecture Picture 4: :  l-r: Professor Segun Ajibola, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria(CIBN); Outgoing GMD/CEO, UBA Plc and Valedictory Lecture Speaker, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; wife, Jumai Oduoza; Chairman of the Occasion and Founder, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Pascal Dozie; and Group Managing Director Designate, UBA Plc Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, at the 4th Valedictory Lecture in honour of Phillips Oduoza, organised by CIBN in Lagos on Friday

Speaking specifically on the need to improve intra-Africa trade in order to drive the growth of Pan-African banks like UBA, Oduoza decried the low levels of intra-African trade. “The volume of formal intra-African trade is relatively low and estimated between 10 per cent and 12 per cent of Africa’s total trade. Comparable figures are 40 per cent in North America and about 60per cent in Western Europe”

He listed lack of the required infrastructure and policies as the major challenges to intra-Africa trade while noting that the adoption of policies like tax holidays, waivers, and market interventions to promote investments in sectors outside commodities will help diversify African economies and drive intra-African trade.

“I strongly feel African Central Banks have a greater role to play by collaborating to promote the development of cross border trade platforms in order to encourage the informal sector to join the formal banking system. When this is done, the opportunity will be readily captured by Pan-African banks.”

He also noted that “Intra-African trade growth will be further supported by the introduction of a visa-free travel policy across the continent by the African Union as well as the development of intra-regional transport infrastructure.”

Oduoza  harped on the need for improved financial inclusion on the continent, noting that research has shown that only 34per cent of African adults have a bank account as at 2014. He suggested the adoption of mobile money services could help drive financial inclusion on the continent.

“Data shows about 12 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account as against 2per cent of adults worldwide. I believe mobile technology has the potential to vastly expand financial inclusion across Africa. Pan-African banks with a good understanding of the continent can leverage their technology platform to capture this opportunity. Invariably this will mean a growth in retail banking as most of those financially excluded fall within this bracket”

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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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