By Eric Elezuo
Nigeria’s premier bank, FirstBank Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment to continue to provide quality service to its over 15 million customers, create value and exhibit wholesome team work and coordination among its staff.
The remark was the collective stand point of the bank’s principal officers as it holds a 125 kilometres relay walk to celebrate the banks 125 years of uninterrupted existence as a heavyweight in the financial institutions and general corporate world.
The walk which took place simultaneously at major FirstBank stations across Nigeria, was described as a significant activity to prove that achievements involve everyone committing his own quota for the common good of the whole organization.
Speaking at the Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Ikeja branch of the bank, which hosted one of the walks, the Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Dr. Remi Oni, stated ‘that it takes collaboration, working together, teamwork, empowering ourselves to be able to achieve what we have’.
He pointed out that everyone else’s tiny bit of cooperation contributes to what the bank has achieved.
He also said that the exchange of baton is “significant in the sense that it suggests that the present group has done their part and has passed on to the next generation that will continue the milestone achievements the bank is known for.”
The walk moved to the headquarters at Marina where the leadership and major customers of the bank assembled.
In his speech, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said the bank remains committed to value creation and effective service delivery to all stakeholders in the years ahead.
He said the bank would continue to provide standard services and products to its customers and stakeholders for value creation to maintain its market share.
“What we intend to deliver to them will go up in terms of quality and in terms of value,” he said.
Adeduntan reiterated Dr. Oni’s stand that the Relay Walk was very significant because it shows greatness and synergy.
He explained that the 125km was a representation of the collaborative effort of not just FirstBank but all its entities.
“The 125km is a mark of our incredible journey of delivering impeccable financial services to our customers as we leave no stone unturned to remain an icon of admiration in today’s financial services industry in Africa.
“The Relay Walk is very significant and symbolic.
“It’s symbolic because it’s a collaborative efforts not just FirstBank but other operating entities within the FBN Holdings family.
“We came together to organise a relay and the significance is when you think of a relay, when you think of 125, if you want to run a relay of 125 on your own as an individual you can get tired but when you collaborate together you can achieve it.”
Adeduntan said the walk signified power synergy, noting that the leadership of the institution had moved from individual to individual, generation to generation in the last 125 years.
“What we are doing is to pass on the baton of this relay to the next generation of our staff,” he said.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Urum Kalu Eke, said the bank had been able to create a network of partners in the past 125 years.
“What we have been able to achieve today by the Relay Walk is to create a network of partners.
“No other institution in Nigeria has achieved this and we belong to a unique club globally of those that have clocked 125 years and more and we are proud of this day.”
Eke said the passing of baton showed that the bank had come to stay with successive leadership team, team spirit, innovation and self development.
The Group Chairman, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, on her part, said the bank would continue to be the number one in the industry with long enduring legacy of value creation.
“If you had the kind of legacy we have had, we are 125 years, you can only look forward to the future.
“When you remember that the only way you can have the opportunity to celebrate 125 years today is because at different times, different generations from the least to the highest worker have added value and created value.”
Also speaking, the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said the bank would remain committed to helping customers build and grow their businesses as it has been committed to creating value for 125 years and counting.
She said: “We will continue to partner with our regulators to make sure there is strong robust financial services system in Nigeria.“
The anniversary celebration continues with more activities including a Jumat service on Friday, March 22, Church Thanksgiving service on Sunday, March 24 while a lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 26 with a prolific guest speaker, followed by a gala night.
Price of Cooking Gas Hits N7,000 As NLNG Rues Poor Facilities
The management of the Nigeria LNG Limited has said that marketers do not have enough infrastructure to take up its Liquefied Petroleum Gas supply.
In an earlier PUNCH report, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association had said that the major cause of the rising cost of cooking gas was lack of adequate supply.
The marketers claimed that foreign investors underestimated demand in the Nigerian market resulting in marketers venturing into importation of the product.
They advocated that the government should let NLNG supply more gas to the market to reduce the costs.
Reports from consumers revealed that the cost of refilling a 12.5-kilogramme cylinder of LPG had risen to as high as N7000 in some states.
The marketers had also urged the government to remove cooking gas from the list of commodities subject to the payment of value added tax.
The marketing manager of NLNG, Austin Ogbogbo, in a response to the claim made by the IPMAN said that the marketers did not have enough infrastructure to take up the gas the company supplied.
He said, “NLNG has grown its capacity from 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to 450,000 metric tonnes per annum of LPG in the past 14 years.
“Nigeria needs 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum, but even the 450,000 we produce cannot be absorbed by the market’s current infrastructure.
“We only operate in the midstream sub sector of the industry so we are only responsible for supplying to the market.
“The downstream players are responsible for the distribution to the end users, and also building the infrastructure to ensure it is done efficiently. It is out of our scope.”
He assured the public that the company would grow its LPG capacity if it confirmed that distributors could take up additional supply.
FirstBank Expands International Money Transfer Network, Reinforces Commitment to Customer Service
In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, First Bank 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.
Unity Bank Collaborate to Fund N15.5bn Equipment for Julius Berger
Unity Bank Plc, in company of other banks has facilitated a credit facility of N15.5bn for the acquisition of trucks and equipment to Julius Berger Plc.
The group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SCOA Nigeria Plc, Dr Massad Boulos, has appreciated the gesture.
A statement from SCOA said that SCOA presented 33 MAN platform trucks and equipment to Julius Berger to be deployed for the construction of the 380 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Kano roads.
The banks that funded the acquisition were Unity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, Providus Bank Limited, Wema Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Union Bank Plc and Coronation Merchant Bank Limited.
Boulos said, “I commend Unity Bank, their MD and the members of the executive management; and the entire team of banks who have worked closely with us on this project.”
Mr Ralph Brendicke, the representative of the MD of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, said the trucks and other equipment would help the company expand its field capacity and increase the speed of execution leading to timely completion of the highly anticipated project.
The MD/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun, represented by the Directorate Head, Lagos and South West Zone, Mr Wale Ogunride, was quoted as saying, “We looked at the strategic importance of this project and how such infrastructure could contribute to stimulating economic activity and decided that Unity Bank must play its part.
“Unity Bank will continue to provide support to such projects as we have been doing in other critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture.”
In a separate statement, the Executive Director of Wema Bank, Mr Oluwole Ajimisinmi, was quoted as saying that his bank was delighted to be one of the institutions to support SCOA in the project.
He also encouraged and solicited for more local content in order to create more jobs.