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Sterling Bank apologises, takes down tweet after CBN’s accusation of “demarketing”

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Sterling Bank Tweet

Sterling Bank on Tuesday apologised for a subtle banter tweet it posted via its Twitter handle on Friday. In a tweet posted on Tuesday, the bank “tendered its unreserved apology to all banks the likeness of whose logos and buildings featured in the referenced tweet.”

Nairametrics gathers that a certain bank reported the tweet to the Central Bank of Nigeria after declining to get involved in the tweet banter. Subsequently, the Central Bank sent Sterling Bank a letter requesting that the bank immediately “pull down the post from its Twitter handle, write and unreserved apology, through the same medium, to all banks whose logos and buildings you used in the advert and explain within twenty-four hours why regulatory sanctions should not be imposed on your bank” 

The CBN claimed this was “an attempt” by Sterling Bank to “exploit the power of the social media to demarket other banks”. They also claimed this was in violation of section 44 of the Banking and Other Financial Institution Act (BOFIA).

Contrary to the pulse generated from the tweet the CBN claims that the post “generated negative comments for the entire banking industry.”

Sterling Bank subsequently took down the tweet and tendered its unreserved apology on Twitter. The bank on August 15th, 2017 appointed Abubakar Suleiman as Managing Director/Chief Executive with effect April 1st, 2018. Since he became CEO that the bank has introduced a rash of reforms one of which is building a youth-centric organisation. Abubakar is one of the youngest Bank MD’s in the country.

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Analysts believe the banks tilt towards fresh ideas with a youth appeal may have been the motivation for the tweet and believe this has catapulted the bank to the eyes of thousands of youth who saw the brighter side of the tweet.

Sterling Bank’s apology

The tweet that started all this

On Friday the bank posted a tweet that apparently took a stab at some rival Nigerian banks. The tweet has ignited tweet responses from rival banks and has engulfed twitter Nigeria with many seeing the fun side of the banter.

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The tweet read, “Shoot for the moon, become a star – it’s the least you deserve.” included a graphic showing a person, perhaps a customer, on a spaceship shooting for the moon. In this case the moon is a Sterling Bank logo.

The graphic also included a boy slaking on a board with what seemed like an Access Bank board. It also included someone looking out of a window of a cube looking house with a color similar to GTB. Two boys each rode on an elephant and horse respectively in a subtle shade to First Bank and Union Bank. Both banks replied along with Access Bank who was also shaded in the tweet.

Most social media handles tracked by Nairametrics suggest the tweets were viewed as fun and on a lighter note with the tweet gathering retweets of over 2000. The original tweet has now been pulled down by the bank.

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Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Business

Nigeria to begin gold production in 2021 with the Segilola Gold Project

The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve.

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Nigeria to save $300 million from importation of barite 

Nigeria is set to commence gold production in 2021 after the launch of the Segilola Gold Project in Osun state. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while taking stock of his first year in office as Minister.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, Adegbite said that the project is expected to create about direct 400 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs along the gold value chain.

He added that once the project takes off, Nigeria would become a major gold producing country, a move that would hasten the diversification of the economy and reduce unemployment among the youth populace.

He noted that the government was creating an enabling environment across the gold value chain. According to him, “the international roadshows we have had in the past have borne fruits. Today we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project, which is projected to start producing in the first half of next year.”

The minister also noted that the government has licenced two gold refineries to refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association, LBMA, standard.

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About the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Adegbite explained that the global travel restriction caused by the pandemic had prevented the technical experts from Russia from coming over to the plant to conduct an audit of the steel plant. He assured that this would be done as soon as the flight restriction was over, and there are hopes to revive the plant before the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.

Why it matters

The take-off of gold production in Nigeria is expected to open up an industry centred around gold production, from equipment leasing and repairs, logistic and transport. Note that gold requires a specialized means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators among others. These, according to Adegbite, would ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs across the gold value chain.

The minister further stated that Nigeria has mined, processed, and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI. The first batch of PAGMI gold was unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari on July 16, 2020.

The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank.

“PAGMI will result in the creation of thousands of new mining and formalized jobs, leading to poverty alleviation for many households. Under the scheme, artisanal and small scale gold miners will earn more from higher productivity, better recovery rates through mechanization of operations, and better access to reliable geological information,” he said.

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Business

AGF launches Committee on Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal

This initiative will provide the public with financial information of all MDAs.

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Office of Nigeria's Account General is reportedly engulfed in flames, Auditor-General, Accountant-General, grants, FAAC disburses N327.68 billion to States and LGAs in September, as allocation drops again,

Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has launched a Committee on Federal Government Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal to enable Transparency on economic governance policy.

Speaking during the launch today in Abuja, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, FCNA, said the committee would provide the public with financial information of all MDAs to promote accountability and anti-corruption campaign.

The AGF said that the Honourable Minister of Finance and National Planning (HMFBNP) had in July 2018, presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the approval to establish the Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal.

“The approved Transparency Policy provides for Transparency requirements, thresholds and responsibilities as part of Government Policy on accountability in line with Freedom of Information Act 2014.

“The HMFBNP, then constituted the composition of the Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee which membership were drawn from MDAs,” he said.

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Idris said that the Committee would implement transparent governance and improve the FG’s whistleblowing programme, which would help Nigerians report financial crimes in the MDAs.

He disclosed that the operations of the committee would be accounted through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation which will offer its secretariat services to the committee, and enable the committee request information and clarification.

Idris added that the Committee would report to the Accountant General and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed monthly, citing that the Committee would work transparently “without fear or favour”.

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Economy & Politics

FG meets group to access AfCFTA’s $650 billion market

AfCFTA is aligned to the ministry’s twin national objectives of industrialization and export based diversification.

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UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has met with executives of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG) on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and access the continent’s market worth $659 billion, in mostly manufacturing goods and services.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo during the meeting on Monday.

The minister emphasized on the importance of AfCFTA, as it is aligned to the ministry’s twin national objectives of industrialization and export based diversification. It provides us with a preferential access to African market worth over $650bn, in mostly manufactured goods .

Back story: Nairametrics had reported when Aissata Koffi Yameogo, ECOWAS’ Programmes Officer in charge of implementing AfCFTA rules of origin in the continent, said that the implementation will expand market for the manufacturing industry to 1.3 billion West African citizens, without additional duties and fees.

“It will build production capacity in the region and develop the value chain, and increased export to other African states” she added.

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The benefits would also encourage member states to specialise in the production of a certain good where they have a comparative advantage, thus enhancing the quality and quantity of local production and creating more jobs.

He said, “This would improve our competitiveness and the perception of our products and services in the African market. Intra-African trade in Agro products and services will develop our local value chain, create jobs and increase our GDP.”

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), the elimination of tariffs could boost trade in Africa by 15-25% in the medium term, and once fully implemented, is expected to cover all 55 African countries, with a combined GDP of about US$2.2 trillion.

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