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Business News

Sterling Bank set to provide credit facilities to IITA trained agripreneurs

Sterling Bank Plc to support IITA’s trained ‘agripreneur’ with credit facility.

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Sterling Bank, Adegoke

Tier 2 lender, Sterling Bank Plc has partnered the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to provide loans to potential IITA trained agripreneurs. The bank’s proposed loan scheme which amounts to N10 million will come with a 5 per cent interest rate.

The scheme offers a loan tenure of seven years and moratorium of up to 18 months for the principal and six months for interest.

The agribusiness financing scheme known as the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) is a voluntary initiative of the Bankers’ Committee to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

Sterling Bank Plc had released its financial statements for the period ended June 2018.

Results for the half year show that interest income increased from N50 billion in 2017 to N62 billion in 2018. Profit before tax jumped from N4.3 billion in 2017 to N6.3 billion in 2018. Profit after tax also jumped from N3.8 billion in 2017 to N6.2 billion in 2018.

About the bank and IITA

Sterling Bank Plc (formerly known as NAL Bank Plc) was the pioneer merchant bank in Nigeria. It was established on November 25, 1960, as a private limited liability company, and was converted to a public limited liability company in April 1992. The bank was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on August 17, 1993.

The current entity is a product of the 2006 merger among Indo Nigeria Merchant Bank (INMB), Magnum Trust Bank (NBM), and Trust Bank of Africa.

On the other hand, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a non-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations that are aimed at meeting Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Business News

CAC sets 3-hour time line for company registration in 2021

The CAC is prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just 3 hours before the end of the year 2021.

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CAC, Corporate Affairs Commission selects NIPOST as official courier partner

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just 3 hours before the end of the year 2021.

This is coming after CAC had in November 2020, announced the implementation of new technology that will change the face of business registration including allowing customers to print their certificates with verifiable QR code from anywhere in the world.

This disclosure was made by the Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Abubakar, at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.

In order to achieve this target, the Registrar-General said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.

Abubakar noted that the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.

He, however, pointed out that CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50% of its workforce.

While bidding farewell to Seriki, the Registrar-General said he received the news of his appointment with mixed feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

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In case you missed it

  • The CAC recently announced the upgrade of its website and online registration portal to include features, which allow for the automation of some selected services and processes, in line with the Federal Government’s mandate of improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
  • The selected services and processes include Electronic search of company records, Upgraded Companies Registration Portal for Pre-incorporation filings and Post incorporation filings.

 

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DEAL: Nigerian fintech software provider, Appzone raises $10m to scale its products and services

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa.

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Appzone a fintech software provider that builds proprietary solutions for financial institutions and their banking and payments services announced that it has closed $10 million in Series A investment.

The Series A round was led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers, a Lagos-based investment firm. Other investors include V8 Capital, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures. New York-based but Africa-focused firm Lateral Investment Partners also participated.

Founded in 2008 by Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi, Appzone functions as an enabler (at payment rails and the core infrastructure) within banking and payments.

READ: Shola Akinlade: The inspiration behind Paystack’s success

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa. Together, they amass a yearly transaction value and yearly loan disbursement of $2 billion and $300million.

Before now, Appzone closed a $2 million deal from South African Business Connexion (BCX) in 2014. Four years later, it raised $2.5 million in convertible debt and bought back shares from BCX in the process. But overall, the company says it has raised $15 million in equity funding.

This new funding will be used to scale its products and services and expand across more African countries. The startup also plans to achieve scale by growing its engineering team.

READ: From Chemist to Bank CEO – The Story of Uzoma Dozie

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What they are saying

Yomi Jemibewon, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers, said the firm’s investment in Appzone is further proof of Africa’s potential as the future hub of world-class technology.

READ: Bill Gates holds far more cash than Nigeria’s foreign reserve

Appzone is building a disruptive fintech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry with products across payments, infrastructure, and software as a service. The impact of Appzone’s work is multifold — the company’s products deepen financial inclusion across the continent whilst providing best-fit and low-cost solutions to financial institutions. Its emphasis on premium talent also helps stem brain drain, rewarding Africa’s best brains with best-in-class employment opportunities.”

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