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Ecobank Nigeria Announces Appointment of New Chairman, Directors

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The Board of Directors of Ecobank Nigeria has announced the appointment of three non-executive directors: . Mrs. Bola Adesola, Mrs. Titilayo Olujobi and Mrs. Bimbola Wright. According to the Board, the new Directors have distinguished themselves in their various careers bringing with them a wealth of experience in the financial services industry, their professionalism and integrity, that has earned them international respect.

Mrs. Adesola who has also been appointed as the Chairman of the Board, following the end of tenure of Mr. John Aboh, is a highly respected professional with over thirty-three (33) years of experience in the banking sector. She has commendable leadership qualities and successfully driven expansion initiatives in several banks. Mrs. Adesola retired from Standard Chartered Bank as the Senior Vice- Chairman, Africa. Prior to this role, she was the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer for Standard Chartered Nigeria and West Africa for eight years with oversight over the bank’s West African subsidiaries, including Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Cameroun. Mrs. Adesola was also the Chairperson of the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Mauritius and a Director at Standard Chartered, Ghana.

Mrs. Adesola had also served as an Executive Director, Corporate Banking and Executive Director Lagos Directorate at First Bank of Nigeria Plc; Managing Director, Kakawa Discount House, Nigeria. An alumnus of Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School, she also holds a Law degree from the University of Buckingham, UK and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, U.K and Nigeria amongst others.

Commenting on her appointment as Director and Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Adesola said; “I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria. I am familiar with the brand and the proud history that is built on strong foundation across the African continent and indeed globally. I look forward to working with the other members of the Board and Executive team as we continue our journey to be top in the Nigerian market, by setting the standards in financial services for our customers. I would also like to express my thanks to my predecessor, Mr. John Aboh, a consummate and respected banker for a very successful tenure and wish him all the best for the future.”

Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria said: “The entire staff and Management of Ecobank Nigeria warmly welcome Mrs. Bola Adesola and the other new directors to the Board. We will give them our full support in ensuring the actualization of the Bank’s strategic plans in Nigeria. I also thank Mr. John Aboh who recently retired from the Board after successfully completing his tenure of office. Under his tenure as Chairman of the Board, the Bank made remarkable progress in growing its market share and repositioning Ecobank Nigeria for leadership in the Nigerian financial services sector”.

Mrs. Titilayo Olujobi also a new director on the Board is a well-rounded and experienced professional with nearly four decades experience in Public Accounting, Banking, Training Facilitation, Business Consulting and Coaching. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a Certified Professional Coach of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Mrs. Olujobi who is currently Non-Executive Director of IBFCAlliance Limited, started her professional career at Z. O. Ososanya & Co and Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse Coopers) where she led audit assignments and consulted on tax issues. She was at Nigeria International Bank Limited (now Citibank Nigeria Limited) as a Management Associate and rose through the ranks across multiple positions to become Vice President (Deputy General Manager); She was Managing Director, IBFCAgusto Training Limited; Executive Director of IBFCAlliance Limited after the merger of IBFCAgusto and Alliance Consulting. She holds a B.Sc. Degree in Economics from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

Mrs. Bimbola Wright is a transformative and human-centered professional with thirty three (33) years banking experience in top financial institutions, over 20 years of which was at senior leadership levels. She is currently an Executive Director with Wright & Co Limited, a management consulting firm based in Lagos; Chairperson of the Board of Arami Essentials; member of the Institute of Directors, where she sits on the board of IoD Centre for Corporate Governance; and Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management. Her career commenced with NAL Bank Plc (now part of Sterling Bank), from where she moved to Kakawa Discount House which was later acquired by First Bank Holdings to become FBNQuest Merchant Bank; she was Executive Council member of Women in Management, Business and Public Services (WIMBIZ). Bimbola holds a B.Sc in Human Biology from Surrey University, an M.A. in International Relations from University of Kent at Canterbury.

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Business

Fitch Upgrades Fidelity Bank’s Issuer Default Rating from ‘B-’ to ‘B’

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Fitch Ratings has upgraded Fidelity Bank Plc’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) from ‘B-’ to ‘B’, reflecting the bank’s increased creditworthiness. The rating agency also upgraded Fidelity’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘A(nga)’ from ‘BBB+(nga)’.

According to the global rating agency, the upgrade is a result of the Bank’s improving business profile and resilient financial metrics. The agency added that the improved rating reflected the bank’s increased creditworthiness relative to other issuers in Nigeria, emphasizing that, “Fidelity’s Long- and Short-Term IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b’ ’’.

The agency further stated that the VR reflects healthy asset quality, good business profile and reasonable capitalisation and liquidity. These are balanced against high sensitivity to Nigeria’s challenging operating environment as well as higher credit concentration as a percentage of equity and weaker profitability than larger domestic-rated peers.

Commenting on the upgraded rating, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, stated, “Receiving this upgrade at a time when the global economy is faced with a myriad of challenges, speaks to the strength of our business model, the efficacy of our risk management culture and the commitment of our staff towards creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.  As a bank, we will continue to execute our growth strategy in a prudent manner that allows us to take advantage of emerging opportunities in our various markets”.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge: Delta, Rivers Corps Members to Benefit from N10m Business Grant

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Unity Bank’s flagship Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge, is set to return for the 8th edition across 10 locations in Nigeria, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States.  

The Retail lender kick-started the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states, which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja, but with the increasing traction of the initiative among corps entrepreneurs, the Bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation.

The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna. This edition will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu.

The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the Bank a national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition.

In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500, 000 cash in the business grant.

Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.

So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.

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IPMAN Warns Members Against Selling PMS Above N165/Litre

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday warned members of the association not to dispense Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, above the approved N165/litre pump price.

IPMAN in conjunction with the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products gave the warning in Abuja following reports that many retail outlets had adjusted the price in their various pumps upwards above the government-regulated rate.

The factional National President, IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo, admitted that members of the association had called for a hike in petrol price, but noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had released enough petrol.

He said, “Our members in Lagos were getting the fuel at N170 – N173/litre, that’s why they wanted price increased. It is only the NNPC that is importing the product. The cost of doing business has changed, so it becomes difficult to sell at N165/litre.

“That is why we are thanking the NNPC for bringing the product to N143/litre. So, our members must sell the product at N165 which is the government-approved price.”

Okoronkwo further revealed that IPMAN and its partner had engaged the services of Benham Group to recover money owed them for the supply of petroleum products.

“Our business requires technology, that is why we brought a seasoned financial expert and we’ve been able to recover a lot of funds in other countries and Nigeria,” he said.

The IPMAN official added, “The incessant mishaps and destruction of trucks on the road, banditry and kidnapping is the reason we are bringing the insurance company to help us. Leaving the risk for the owner of the truck to bear will affect our businesses.”

On his part, the National President, Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products in Nigeria, Mohammed Danzaki, said the NNPC had done a lot to import the product, “but the main issue is the transportation.”

He added, “We have not been getting our payments. That is why we engaged a financial expert, Benham Group, to recoup our money for Nigerians to get regular supplies in the fuel stations.”

The Chairman, Benham Group, Maurice Ibe, said the collaboration was to ensure stabilisation of fuel supply at the filling stations.

The Punch

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