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We’re Committed to Supporting Annual Ake Festival – Sterling Bank

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Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has said it is committed to supporting the annual Ake Books and Arts Festival because it sees Nigeria as part of a larger world and believes that Nigeria’s ultimate competitiveness lies in its energy.

Executive Director at Sterling, Yemi Odubiyi, who disclosed this over the weekend in a goodwill message at the opening of the 10th edition of the Ake Books and Arts Festival said Nigeria can become a leader in the world and its creative people as part of its competitiveness.

Odubiyi continued by saying that “Nigeria enjoys a comparative advantage in the arts and culture domain, and Sterling, being focused on promoting the development of human capital and improving national competitiveness, is thrilled to have been a part of the festival for the past six years and plans to continue to do so.”

Also speaking, Founder and Director of Ake Books and Arts Festival, Lola Shoneyin said, “I’m often amused when people say they can’t believe how long we’ve been doing this. I believe it has been 10 years. It has been 10 years of bringing brainwaves to life, 10 years of learning, 10 years of celebrating the incredible work that so many of you have done and are still doing and 10 years of making lifelong friends.”

She said ‘Homecoming’ was chosen as the theme of this year’s festival because, “We were going back to Abeokuta where it all began, and it was time to reconnect with our ancestral roots. The main reason ‘Homecoming’ was so perfect is that we couldn’t wait to have you back at Ake after the COVID-19 pandemic”.

She said, after two years of lockdown and online festivals, the festival is back again as participants can mingle, catch up on news and strengthen their friendships. Adding that this moment, this feeling, is what has kept them going.

The Founder said the priority has always been to ensure that guests feel at home since the very first edition of the Ake Festival. Consequently, during this year’s edition of Ake Review, guests were asked to express what home means to them, and the common responses were: A place of love; friendship and a sense of belonging, she said.

Shoneyin thanked the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, Professor Abdulrazaq Gurnah and his wife, Professor Denise Gurnah for honoring the invitation to attend the festival in person. She also thanked the headliner of this year’s festival, Professor Veronique Tadjo, for finding time to be a part of the festival.

Other highlights of this year’s festival include the hosting of Directors of the Global Association of Literary Festivals while many of the panel sessions explored different aspects of the theme.

Some of the sessions focused on why home exerts a pull on us, stirs our creative impulses, influences our creative expressions, evokes profound sentiments, and shapes our perception of the outside world.

Others explored the impact of conflict, capitalism, and climate disasters as well as what it means to be displaced, to live away from home and, of course, to return. The festival also featured book discussions on the idea of a home and how for some people, the home might not be a place of safety, but a place of violence, among others.

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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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Business

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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