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AbdulSamad Rabiu @ 61: Toast to a multi-dimensional disruptor and cheerful giver 

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Abdulsamad Rabiu

 

 

The head honcho of BUA Groups, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu’s name is synonymous with that proverbial tsunami hovering around the business firmament, changing narratives and causing a wide range of disruptions across the world. His numerous achievements are quite enormous that a toddler can even speak of his strides to put Nigeria on the world map.

 

During his formative years, he displayed the trait of a man destined for greatness. Despite the hard times, he faced; he was able to swim across the heavy tides. His story of business success cannot be complete without mentioning his late father who helped him sharpened and harnessed his business dexterity. With his audacious mindset to succeed, he ventured into business changing the narrative by giving his rivals a run for their money. As of today, he is regarded as one of the biggest investors in the Nigerian economy with business interest in real estate, sugar, cement, oil and gas among other business chains tied to him.

 

With a fortune calculated to be worth billions of dollars by Forbes, he has a large heart. When most of his peers would rather spend their huge financial war chest on the best vintage automobiles, the latest high-cost private jet or a big double-decked Yacht to move around, he deliberately dropped all absurdity and vanity of life cresting his name in the mouth and heart of many as one of the biggest philanthropists to ever emerge from Nigeria. He is not forcing; giving to him is a lifestyle. He gives like it’s going out of fashion. His bogus donation to humanity most especially in educational infrastructure and capacity building is a dream come through for him.

 

The Kano-born generous money bag is not interested in frivolities; he devotes most of his time to facilitating and sealing juicy business deals that will favour Africa and Nigeria at large. When he sauntered into age 60 last year, during the heat of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic; many wished to show their appreciation for his kind act by celebrating him to the high heavens, but the birthday boy opted for a very private celebration with his family and also thanked his creator for enlarging his coast also giving him a rare opportunity that many never had. As he celebrated his 61st birthday on the 4th of August, with different congratulatory letters and newspaper advertorials, it shows that a lot of people are willing to share in his pot of joy, but the very private businessman who loathes unnecessary media attention kept his birthday celebration on low-profile but in his usual self reached out to the needy. As part of his highly cerebral approach to business, a few months ago at the sidelines of the Choose France summit in Versailles, France, French President, Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the French Nigeria Business Council to facilitate business cooperation between Nigeria and France, Rabiu was appointed as inaugural President of the Council.

 

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FIRSTBANK BROADENS ITS INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER NETWORK, REITERATES COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMER SERVICE

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In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has increased its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), targeted at easing the accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner. With over 750 branches across the country, customers can receive money from the nearest FirstBank branch closest to them.

  

Over the years, FirstBank has been in partnership with Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs which include Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflow into the country, thereby putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the world.

Beneficiaries can receive remittance in US dollars in any of our over 750 branches spread across the country. Customers without an existing domiciliary account can have dollar account automatically created for their remittances. You can also receive inflow directly into your account through Western Union.

In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly-owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.

Reiterating the Bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Gbenga Shobo said “at FirstBank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses and debt servicing.

We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are, across the world.”

FirstBank pioneered international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of promoting cross-border payments in the country, having started the journey with Western Union Money Transfer. The Bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.

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Commitment to Customer Service Translates to Financial Gains – UBA GMD Kennedy Uzoka

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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, has said that the bank recorded significant improvement in its operational and financial performance as a result of its unending commitment towards delivering products and services aimed at meeting customers’ demands.

Uzoka said this during the Investors/Analysts Conference Call at the bank’s head office in Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday September 16, 2021, following the release of its results for the half year ended June 30, 2021.

UBA delivered a 33.4% appreciation in its profit before tax which rose to N76.2bn as at June 2021, up from N57.1bn recorded in the same period of 2020, translating to an annualised Return on Average Equity of 17.5% as against 14.4% a year earlier. Profit after tax grew to N60.6bn representing a significant rise by 36.3% compared to N44.4bn recorded in 2020, while gross earnings grew to N316bn from N300.6bn as at June 2020; a 5.1% growth

This feat was recorded despite the challenging business and economic environment that emerged from the slow pace of activities following the global lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The GMD expressed optimism that the bank is on the trajectory of achieving and even surpassing its targets for the financial year, adding that its focus on delighting its customers remains at the forefront of all its activities.

He said, “We are very committed to the prudent and responsible growth of our risk assets, quality of our balance sheet and the overall health of the bank. We will continue to balance our growth appetite with the need to maintain very good healthy portfolio of our assets.

“Our customer-first philosophy remains our guiding strategy. We want to assure you of positive customer experience for all our customers. In addition, we would like to deliver our banking services only from the standpoint of our customers. And indeed, as we say at UBA, our customers are our ultimate employers,” Uzoka explained.

Whilst expressing optimism that the Nigerian economy and the broader economy will continue to recover and rebound from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the remaining quarter of 2021 and all the way into 2022, the GMD assured the investors and participants of the bank’s commitment to maintain professionalism and continue to ensure strict compliance with the rules and regulations guiding our operations in all our presence countries. “With the trusted commitment of all our great and wonderful employees, board and management, we will continue to match towards actualising our enterprise goals,” he noted.

UBA’s Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, who spoke on the bank’s significant geographical diversification across key economies in Africa and beyond, noted that UBA recorded impressive growth in interest incomes and net incomes, with steady growth in funding and deposits from customers.

He pointed out that even as the operating environment remains largely uncertain and volatile, despite marked improvement from Covid-19 induced macroeconomic stress, UBA will continue to build resilience through its geographically diversified business model to support headline earnings growth for the Group.

“We remain committed to our 18% and 15% respective RoAE and deposit growth guidance for FY 2021, as we continue to invest in growth opportunities across our geographies of operation, whilst managing capital and balance sheet prudently,” Nwaghodoh said.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries. With a presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom 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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Heritage Bank Boss; Ifie Sekibo urges govt, stakeholders to prioritize SMEs, youth entrepreneurship 

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Bridging the gap to attain sustainable solutions to economic recovery will be the most impactful route to drive lasting and meaningful growth; for this to be achieved, the creation of opportunities, conscious inclusion of Small and Medium Enterprises and youth entrepreneurship are crucial. MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo gave this submission on the sidelines of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with a theme: “Economic Recovery, Inclusion & Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance.” 

According to him, one of the key areas where government, financial institutions and other stakeholders can move this nation from poverty to prosperity is through the conscious creation of a viable environment for small businesses and young entrepreneurs to thrive because they are the backbone of local economies around the world – they happen to be the biggest employers, job creators and contributors of the national gross domestic products.

“We cannot talk about moving from poverty to prosperity without taking SMEs very seriously in this country.

“We must support the SMEs sector reform through providing infrastructure, providing loans to farmers and ensuring interest rate loans are single digit,” he affirmed.

Sekibo who was represented at the conference by the Regional Head Abuja-1, Daniel Oniko, stated that giving SMEs and young entrepreneurs leverage to contribute immensely to the development of their host community through engaging the youths and unemployed individuals will bring about and facilitate economic recovery.

 

He emphasized that the role of SMEs in creating and sustaining national development in relation to job creation has been considered a key tool in modern-day poverty alleviation, economic emancipation, and total well-being. The MD, however, disclosed, “One of Heritage Bank’s major cardinal points as a bank is supporting micro, small and medium scale businesses and our strong desire to see young men and women succeed in any area of their business. This will help the society and economy to grow, thereby moving the nation from poverty to prosperity, he added.

L-R: Edison Okoro, Heritage Bank’s Experience Centre Manager, Herbert Macaulay, Abuja; Dr. Uche Olowo; Immediate past President/Chairman of Council, CIBN; Daniel Oniko Regional Head Abuja 1; Isaiah Ediae, Experience Centre Manager, Algiers Wuse and Blessing Eyo, Heritage Bank’s Experience Centre Associate, during the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with a theme: “Economic Recovery, Inclusion & Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance,” held in Abuja.

He noted that Heritage Bank was taking the lead through various initiatives such as its youth entrepreneurship development programmes which were aimed at increasing the contributions of the MSME segment to the economy. He further explained that the entrepreneur schemes of the bank in the support for business had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors such as the agricultural value chain: fish farming, poultry, snail farming, etc., cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry: tourism, arts and crafts, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

 

Speaking earlier, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said emerging challenges require that the banking and finance sector takes on more transformative projects such as housing and renewable energy. The VP acknowledged that the banking and finance sector has over the years played significant roles in the nation’s economic development. According to the Vice President, “it is time for the sector to take on some of the transformative big-ticket items that would fundamentally transform our economy.

 

Such matters include consumer finance but housing finance. “In his goodwill message, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele stated that the banking sector remained well-positioned to support the recovery efforts of the monetary and fiscal authorities. “Clearly, Nigeria’s banks have become not only strong and resilient but have also carved a good niche in the world to consolidate on the growth and resilience of the banks in the last decades”, he added.

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