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Wema Bank Partners Enugu Govt to Train 250 SME Owners



Wema Bank Plc, the oldest indigenous bank in Nigeria, has urged Small and Medium-Scale Enterprise (SME) owners and managers in Nigeria to explore the various funding opportunities that the bank provides to grow their businesses. This call was made during the business growth and innovation conference held in Enugu, in partnership with the Enugu State Government for SMEs.
Over 250 SMEs attended the conference, which featured renowned resource persons, including Samuel Oyekanmi, a macroeconomic analyst; Deji Rahman, CEO and Lead Consultant of Reap and Arcenciel; Sola Adesakin, a finance coach and Lead Consultant of Smart Stewards Limited; and Iyore Ogbuigwe, a strategy consultant specializing in Sales Force Management and Lead of Ultravantage Solutions.
The two-day event, which took place in February 2023, was organized to upskill and equip business owners and managers in Enugu and environs with the knowledge and skills that they need to supercharge the growth of their businesses. Topics covered ranged from strategy and innovation to digital transformation, sales and marketing, and financial management.
Arthur Nkemeh, Head of SME Banking at Wema Bank, explained that the bank’s interventions aimed at facilitating the growth and profitability of the SMEs segment of the economy are three-fold – SME Advisory & Non-Financial Services, Business Account Products, and Loan Products.
“Our loan products include the Business Support Facility, which is designed to help businesses finance stock and other business needs; School Support Facility that supports schools to meet recurrent expenditure; Pharma Loan, targeted at supporting pharmacy store owners with working capital; and the Green Energy Finance Facility that provides affordable financing for SMEs that want to acquire clean energy solutions like solar panels, inverters, and batteries.”
“Others are the Medi Loan, designed to meet working capital needs of private hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic laboratories; and the DBN Loan, a partnership with the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), that provides funding to SMEs at a very affordable rate and engenders inclusive growth. All these facilities offer SMEs various amounts ranging from N100,000 to up to N720 million and have tenures ranging from one month to six years. Therefore, I call on the owners and managers of SMEs to take advantage of these products,” Nkemeh continued.
He further informed the entrepreneurs in attendance that, in addition to the various loan facilities the bank offers SMEs, it also provides educational products such as the Wema SME Business School, Business Edge Masterclass, Quarterly Webinars, and monthly Newsletters that could help them update their knowledge in order to achieve growth and profitability.
“Our educational products help SMEs overcome most of the challenges that they face, especially in the area of funding. Some of the major factors that hinder SMEs from accessing funding, such as weak organizational and business structure, poor financial management and bookkeeping practices, lack of innovation, unproven business model or plan, no clear path to profitability, key-man risk and absence of a succession plan, poor marketing strategies, etc. are what we address through our educational interventions,” he concluded.

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FMAP: FirstBank Calls for Application in Third Edition



First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced the call for participation in the third season of its FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP). 

Interested participants are required to submit their application via

The application is extended to the general public as it closes by 24 March 2023.

The FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP) is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive programme targeted at young, dynamic and highly driven individuals that are passionate about making a difference in the financial services industry. The programme is designed to build the next generation of leaders to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of First choice.

FMAP equips participants with an extensive wealth of experience comprised of both classroom and real-life work that affords an insightful and balanced insight into the world of work. The programme is targeted at hi-potential young professionals who possess acute thinking skills, financial and methodical skills, and a distinctive ability to communicate effectively and synthesize ideas, information, and data to aid decision-making.

Speaking on the FMAP Season III, Olumuyiwa Olulaja, Group Head, Human Capital Management and Development, said “since its inauguration in half a decade, we are delighted with the giant strides and impact the initiative has had in promoting the career development of emerging talents in the financial services industry as they are instilled with the tenets and ethics of the banking industry in line with global best practice.

The FMAP initiative is amongst the many ways we reinvest in our human capital as we build the next generation of leaders through their exposure to various opportunities essential to preparing their readiness for the future. 

Since its launch in 2018, FirstBank has successfully trained and onboarded up to fifty talented individuals in 2 editions (2020 and 2022), who have all been deployed into strategic roles in the Bank and making a difference in the organization, while we continue to support their leadership growth and development.

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CBN Orders Banks to Retrieve Old Deposited Notes for Circulation – Sources



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to reliable source, has said that commercial banks have been instructed to collect the old Naira noted they deposited in the apex bank for onward distribution to customers.

The source disclosed that the CBN also promised that before the end of the week, maximum number of naira notes will be circulated.

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Marketers Warn Against Imminent Fuel Price Hike over Poor Supply



The disparity in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, is to further widen due to the incomplete delivery of products to many filling stations, oil marketers stated on Tuesday.

Dealers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, said there had been a lopsided pattern in the distribution of PMS lately, stressing that this would cause scarcity and worsen the price disparity in retail outlets.

They told our correspondent that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, through its NNPC Retail subsidiary, had not been delivering the exact number of trucks of fuel that were meant for independent marketers.

“Here in Port Harcourt, for instance, we have Oando and NNPC Retail, and they have products in some private depots. Master Energy and Liquid Bulk also have products, but there is no volume for independent marketers,” the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, stated.

He added, “Independent marketers have no volume in all these depots and we have over 3,400 tickets lying and waiting at the NNPC Retail account. This new system is now making independent marketers beg for petroleum products from NNPC Retail.

“It is until NNPC Retail has finished loading products to its own outlets before it would now attend to independent marketers. It has made the independent marketers the third tier in terms of the bulk distribution of petroleum products, which is very incorrect.”

Independent marketers operate about 80 per cent of filling stations nationwide, both in villages and other remote areas, making them the largest downstream distributors of petrol.

Ukadike explained that the recent lopsidedness in products distribution by NNPC Retail “is the problem that leads to price disparity,” adding that “we are now forced to go and buy products from retail outlets and some of these tank farm owners at a very exorbitant price.”

Also commenting on the issue, the National President, IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, said the situation at private depots (coastal depots) was quite worrisome.

He said downstream oil sector operators “must do something now to restore the depleted faith of independent marketers, especially at the Port Harcourt coastal depots.”

Ahmed’s remarks, which was forwarded to our correspondent by the association’s PRO, read in part, “In the second week of February this year, a vessel discharged about 28 million litres (622 trucks) of PMS in TSL depot (Oando).

“A 162-trucks programme was released for IPMAN, which was about 7.3 million litres. Out of the 162-trucks programme given to us, we struggled to load less than 100 trucks. About 62 tickets are still there waiting for the next vessel.

“In the last week of February, another vessel discharged 13 million litres (288 trucks) of PMS at Liquid Bulk. Only a 56-trucks programme was released for IPMAN. We were all expecting the next programme, just to hear that the product finished last week.”

He also stated that last week, a vessel with 13 million litres (288 trucks) discharged at Master Energy.

“As at this moment, IPMAN has not received any programme for that product. Another vessel will discharge at TSL. IPMAN, what’s our fate?” the association’s president stated.

He added, “This is the right time to toss away the crutches of comfort and restore the hope and expectations of all independent marketers. Is important we start our protest as soon as possible.

“This is important so that Nigerias will know what is going on with us and the new retail. The lopsided distribution pattern will continue to cause scarcity and price disparity in retail outlets.”

When contacted for comments on the matter, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPCL, Garba-Deen Muhammad, requested that the enquiry be sent to him via WhatsApp. This was done, but he had yet to reply up till the time of filing this report.

The Punch

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