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Our GMD Not Arrested by EFCC, Zenith Bank Clarifies

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Zenith Bank has debunked reports that Ebenezer Onyeagwu, its group managing director (GMD), was arrested in connection with alleged fraud at the ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation.

On January 9, 2024, there were media reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained the CEOs of Zenith, Jaiz and Providus Banks.

Some other reports said the top executives were at the EFCC to present account documents of the humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation ministry.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Michael Otu, Zenith Bank company secretary and general counsel, said the reports are “entirely false and inaccurate”.

We have become aware of inaccurate reports circulating on social media and certain news outlets alleging that Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the group managing director/chief executive officer of Zenith Bank Plc, was arrested and held by the EFCC on January 9, 2024, in connection with an alleged fraud at the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation,” Otu said.

“We wish to clarify that these reports are entirely false. The group managing director was not arrested or detained by the EFCC or any other anti-graft agency and is currently fulfilling his duties at the bank.

“We are issuing this public statement to dispel the misinformation and ensure that the public and our stakeholders are accurately informed.”

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has been under probe over fraudulent transactions and misappropriation of funds, leading to the suspension of its minister, Betta Edu, by President Bola Tinubu. 

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Business

Record Financial Performance: Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Workforce

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 11% of its workforce, a testament to the exceptional performance and dedication of its employees.
This significant move follows the release of the bank’s 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, which reported an impressive 131.5 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N124.26 billion.
The recent promotions span every level within the bank, reflecting Fidelity Bank Plc’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence across its entire organization. This strategic initiative has garnered positive reactions from staff members, who see it as a validation of their hard work and contribution to the bank’s remarkable financial achievements.
In addition to the promotions, Fidelity Bank Plc has also concluded arrangements to raise a total of N127.1 billion through a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer. This move is part of the bank’s broader strategy to strengthen its capital base, support future growth, and enhance shareholder value.
Fidelity Bank Plc’s impressive financial performance and the subsequent employee promotions highlight the bank’s robust operational strategy and its commitment to fostering a rewarding work environment. By investing in its people and ensuring their career growth, the bank continues to build a motivated and high-performing workforce.
Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United  Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.
The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.
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FirstBank Partners International Women’s Society to Empower Women

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with the International Women’s Society (IWS) to empower over 250 widows, in commemoration of the 2024 International Widows’ Day.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that beneficiaries at the Lagos event, tagged “IWS Widows Feast and Empowerment Programme”, received various essential tools, equipment and grants. The items distributed were sewing machines, freezers, coolers, hair dryers, cake mixers, industrial cooking gas, generators, and freezers to help the widows establish and sustain their businesses.

Ms Lande Atere, Chief Customer Experience Officer, FirstBank, said that the financial institution had been partnering with IWS for over a decade. According to her, the bank has been empowering women-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with funding and skills acquisition.

“As an organisation that strategically prioritises financial inclusion, we will continue to support IWS in creating entrepreneurial opportunities and promoting self-reliance and vocational skills among women,” Atere stated.

Mrs Adebanke Adeola, Chairperson of the International Women’s Society (IWS) Widows Trust Fund (WTF), appreciated FirstBank for supporting the society in empowering and feasting with the widows. Adeola mentioned that the bank provided Point of Sale (POS) machines to improve the benefiting widows’ access to financial services and income generation opportunities.

Also, some beneficiaries would receive extra working capital through the generosity of the financial institution and other sponsors.

“This partnership, along with generous sponsorships from other companies and individuals, enables us to continue our mission and expand our impact. The programme, organised yearly, aims to help widows achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency,” Adeola said.

Culled from NAN

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Fidelity Bank Leads Trading As Equities Gain N324bn

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Fidelity Bank Plc was the most active stock on Monday, 10 June 2024 at the Nigerian stock market as a strong positive sentiment led Nigerian equities to a net capital gain of N324 billion in the first trading session of the week.
The market opened with widespread positive sentiment as investors sought to lock into value stocks in the high-end sectors of oil and gas, construction and manufacturing.
With three gainers for every loser, the market closed with average return of 0.58 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N324 billion.
The momentum of activities also improved considerably as total turnover rose by 148.33 per cent to 963.541 million shares valued at N13.498 billion in 8,657 deals. Fidelity Bank topped the activity chart with 605.257 million shares valued at N6.025 billion.
Fidelity Bank’s activities appeared to be driven by buy sentiment as the stock closed within the top 15 gainers with a gain of 6.52 per cent to close at N9.80 per share.
The All Share Index (ASI)- the common value-based index that tracks all share prices at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), rose by 0.58 per cent to close at 99,793.71 points as against its opening index of 99,221.14 points.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also increased simultaneously from its opening value of N56.128 trillion to close at N56.452 trillion.
Other most active stocks included Access Holdings, which recorded turnover of 93.067 million shares worth N1.744 billion. United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 58.726 million shares valued at N1.261 billion. Nigerian Breweries traded 45.256 million shares valued at N1.267 billion while Zenith Bank traded 16.079 million shares worth N539.552 million.
Analysts at Futureview Financial Services said they anticipated a mixed sentiment in the equities market, primarily due to the enduring allure of the fixed income market among investors.
“This interest is fueled by expectations of increased rates in the Nigerian Treasury Bill (NTB) auction and the impending release of the inflation rate. However, amidst these factors, there remains an opportunity for sustainable growth, particularly in fundamentally strong stocks that currently find themselves in the oversold region. We foresee a selective pursuit of bargains, particularly in dividend-paying stocks, driven by the nearing corporate qualification and payment,” Futureview stated.
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