A cross-section of business owners who participated in the just-concluded capacity-building programme organised for SMEs have commended Polaris Bank and a social medium giant, Facebook, for giving them a free opportunity to acquire new skills on how to grow their businesses, leveraging technology.
The virtual digital marketing seminar, which had over 5,000 SMEs participants in phases 1 and 2 ran for days in each session. The programme was in fulfillment of the Bank’s commitment to empower Nigerian SMEs. The workshop was designed to help them explore and learn new ways to grow their businesses, especially in the era of COVID-19 pandemic, which has further emphasized the need for digitization of business processes.
The sessions dwelt on how to build an online presence with Facebook, the discovery of tools to drive business, systemic ways on how to find customers on Instagram, and subsequently information on how to Create Facebook Adverts.
Commenting on the benefits of the empowerment programme, the Group Head, Products and Market Development of Polaris Bank, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, disclosed that the Bank’s move was to equip SMEs on how to leverage social media tools to generate marketing leads and sales. Adebimpe said, “The free empowerment training and partnership was part of Polaris Bank’s effort to contribute to driving SMEs businesses in the digital space.” She further noted, “For SMEs to remain relevant in their lines of business, Entrepreneurs must position to level up with the challenges of the digital world to scale to the next level”.
On his part, the founder/CEO at DIGIVATE 360, Segun Oyetunji, partner to the Bank on the “Boost With Facebook Programme” spoke of his delight about the on-going success of the partnership with Polaris Bank on boosting the digital capacity of SMEs in Nigeria over the years. “We are immensely grateful to Polaris Bank for the opportunity to collaborate!”
Speaking after the session, Mr. Adedeji Adewale, a detergent manufacturer from Akure, Ondo State, was full of commendation for the bank. He revealed that the wealth of knowledge provided during the training was comprehensive enough to understand the dynamics of digital business. He also stated the need for more digital marketing training. Another participant, Kadiri Mohammed, a shop owner at Balogun market in Lagos praised Polaris Bank and Facebook for making it possible for her to acquire knowledge on “social media marketing”
“This programme which attracted the participation of the SME community in Nigeria drew attendants from the 6 geopolitical regions of the country. Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank committed to the delivery of industry-defining products for individuals and businesses.
FRAUD: ACCESS BANK ALERTS CUSTOMERS AS CASE RISES
Nigeria’s leading retail bank, Access Bank Plc, has implored its customers to be vigilant in these uncertain times as incidents of fraud are on the rise. Since the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country necessitated the lockdown of the first 3 major cities, and eventually the entire nation, the Bank has observed a worrying increase in reports of fraudsters targeting unsuspecting customers. This development has become even more worrisome, especially as these people not only present themselves in a professional manner to appear as a bank representative but also use the palliatives from the government as bait to collect customers BVNs and other key banking details.
According to the Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc., Victor Etuokwu, “Access Bank is imploring its customers to be wary of any message, demanding their personal or bank details.
“Customers must remember that the Bank will never ask for their BVN, full card PAN, PIN, mobile app activation code, OTP or password as it is readily available to the Bank via its database. Any call, email and text message claiming to be from Access Bank demanding any of these details is certainly a scam,” he concluded.
Access Bank has always maintained a strong anti-fraud awareness as part of its responsibility to protect the interest of its customers. The Bank has dedicated pages on its official website that constantly updates customers on all the ways in which fraudsters can swindle them. To report any suspected fraud case, customers are advised to call 01-2701005 or send an email to
FBN HOLDINGS ANNOUNCES N25 BILLION CAPITAL INJECTION INTO FIRSTBANK
N25 billion worth of equity capital has been injected into First Bank of Nigeria Limited by its parent company, FBN Holdings Plc. The move came on the heels of FBN Holdings’ recent divestment from FBN Insurance Ltd. A statement signed by FBN Holdings’ Company Secretary, Seye Kosoko, as seen on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, noted that the N25 billion is part of the net proceeds from the recent divestment from FBN Insurance Limited.
Following this N25 billion capital injection, First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) has increased to 16.53%. This is before the capitalising year to date profit for half-year 2020. More details: While commenting on this development, FBN Holdings’ Chief Financial Officer, Oyewale Ariyibi, said that the “divestment has unlocked significant value embedded in the former subsidiary, which is being leveraged to strengthen the core baning business for which the Group is renowned.”
FBN REITERATES RESOLVE TO BOOST EFFICIENCY, SHAREHOLDERS VALUE
The backstory: Back in April this year, FBN Holdings Plc first disclosed ongoing talks with Sanlam Emerging Markets (Proprietary) Ltd over a possible sell-off of its 65% stake in FBN Insurance to the South African firm. Fast-forward to early June, FBN Holdings again informed stakeholders that it had completed the divestment process. All the while, no mention was made about the value of the transaction until now.
Note that FBN Holdings Plc reported a profit after tax of N49.5 billion for the half-year period ended June 30th, 2020. This represents a 56.3% increase when compared with N31.6 billion reported in H1 2019. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, UK Eke, recently commented on performance, noting that “the H1 2020 financial results were impressive and reconfirm our consistent focus on enhanced shareholder value.”
FBN Holdings’ share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is currently trading at N5.05. The company has a market capitalisation of about N181.3 billion, according to information gleaned from Bloomberg.
UNION BANK PARTNERS JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT NIGERIA FOR LEAD CAMP
As part of its commitment to gender equality and empowerment of the girl child, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has partnered Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) for the sixth consecutive time, to organize the annual Leadership Empowerment Achievement and Development (LEAD) Camp. The camp is a week-long programme designed to identify, assemble and coach exceptional female Nigerian students.
According to the organisers, as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s edition will be held virtually for the first time since its inception in 2001.
The mission of LEAD Camp is to inspire and empower young girls to become high-achieving women leaders while addressing Sustainable Development Goal-5 which are Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls. To achieve this mission, the participants are taken through a series of activities including leadership workshops, empowerment and panel sessions and media projects.
During the Camp, the girls will have the opportunity to engage in enlightening discussions with Union Bank employees and leading women from both the private and public sectors in Nigeria. They will also participate in conceptualisation and development sessions that discuss critical issues such as career, financial literacy and health, including sexual reproductive health.
Commenting on the significance of the programme, the Executive Director of JA Nigeria, Simi Nwogugu, emphasised the importance of empowering the girl child and appreciated Union Bank for its unwavering support and commitment to LEAD Camp despite the constrained economic environment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
She stated: ”We are committed to empowering young girls, making an impact on their lives and setting their feet on the path to becoming successful women as we believe this is a step in the right direction to having a just and equitable society.’’
Also commenting on the bank’s partnership with JAN for the 2020 LEAD camp, the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem said: ‘‘Union Bank is pleased to partner with Junior Achievement Nigeria to organize the LEAD camp for the sixth year. This expresses our commitment to the push for gender equality and our focus on supporting the girl child. We are proud to see the impact of the programme on these young girls from all across the country, and applaud the efforts of the JAN team who work tirelessly to prepare the young girls to take up leadership positions in the future.”