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How First Bank supports Economic Summit, growing local enterprises



Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank (centre); flanked by Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank (third left); Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank (second left); Adebayo Olanrewaju, Head, Digital Banking, e-Business, FirstBank (extreme left); Olusegun Alebiosu, Chief Risk Officer, FirstBank (third right); Lola Ekugo, Head, Digital Lab, e-Business, FirstBank (second right) and Chuma Ezirim, Group Head, e-Business Group, FirstBank (extreme right) at the formal launch of the FirstBank Chat Banking on WhatsApp held at the FirstBank Digital Lab, Yaba, Lagos.

The need to raise Nigeria and Nigerians from poverty to prosperity was the anchor point for economists, captains of industries, key policymakers and corporate institutions like the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) at the recent 24th edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES#24) in Abuja.

The two-day summit themed: ‘Poverty to Prosperity: Making Government and Institutions Work’, was organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) with support from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, had President Muhammadu Buhari represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

NES#24: How we’re boosting infrastructural provision – Buhari

President Buhari at the summit said government has spent over N2.7 trillion in the last three years to develop key infrastructures that include rail, road, power among others that will aid business development and economic growth.

He said government will ensure about 30 per cent of the annual budgetary spending is sustained on capital expenditure. “Therefore, infrastructure based policy will not only reduce unemployment but also improve the living condition,” Osinbajo who represented the President said.

Chairman of NESG, Mr Asue Ighodalo called for more actions towards reducing unemployment and underemployment. He said: “The latest jobs report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the combined unemployment and underemployment rates rose from 35.2 per cent in Q4 2016 to 40 per cent by Q3 2017.”

Ighodalo noted that from the report, about four million Nigerians may have lost their jobs, remained unemployed or were employed at jobs that can’t cater to their needs.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma said the States through the National Economic Council (NEC) were being carried along to strengthen capacity for the implementation of the governance components of the Economic Reform and Growth Plan (ERGP).

On her part, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while speaking as a panelist on a session for sustainable economic opportunities for Nigeria said the federal government was working with the private sector to raise access to finance for small scale businesses, while expanding the reach of infrastructure.


We’ve actively supported NES for 20yrs

FirstBank in its brief justified its 20th year sponsorship for the 23 year old Summit saying it “has helped shape many of the reform policies that have underpinned the evolution of the nation’s economic growth strategy.”

The bank in its policy thrust document obtained by this paper said the summit positions the Bank as a front-liner in driving strategic policy influencing initiatives for national economic development.

The platform has worked as Launchpad for the Bank to pursuing business development opportunities through Public-Private sector Partnerships (PPP).

One of the several opportunities for promoting local enterprises by the Bank was at the NES#22, themed ‘Made in Nigeria’.

FirstBank which was deeply involved in the deliberation on the practical issues and panaceas to achieving the “Made in Nigeria” vision, presented various economic analysis to support such cause.

Chairman of FirstBank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, a panel discussant at the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Plenary Session during the summit brought out her entrepreneurial skills, unveiling secrets on how to do business and prosper in it.

Bank holds 3 multi-sector summits in 5 months

Besides being a consistent sponsor of the annual NES, FirstBank has sustained renowned multi-sector summits and expo. Analysis of the bank’s report shows that between June and October 2018, it created three platforms to support technology, export and import businesses and the agriculture sector.

Jaiz bank

A three day FINTECH Summit 2018 themed: ‘The Future of Banking – The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data was held between October 11, 12 and 17 in Lagos. The Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications of the Bank, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the first two days of the summit was for a coding competition tagged, Hackathon. The core summit then held the third day where over 700 Fintech players, key stakeholders and tech lovers participated.

At the Hackathon, 10 teams contested for the grand prize of N3 million as they showed off their technological and artificial intelligence capabilities with the second and third best teams winning N1.5m and N750,000. They also showcased their tech solutions at the core Fintech summit.

Away from the youth and tech-lovers oriented summit, FirstBank said on July 17, 2018, it held the FirstBank Chinese Business Forum to deepen intercontinental partnerships.

The forum was also an affirmation for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recent currency swap agreement with the Peoples Bank of China to ease liquidity issues faced by Nigerian entrepreneurs. FirstBank is among the four banks appointed as settlement banks in the deal.

The Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited & Subsidiaries, Adesola Adeduntan at the forum, said the Bank has a Representative Office in Beijing, China since 2010 adding that: “Our promise is that we will always deliver the ultimate gold standard of value and financial excellence as we put customers at the heart of our business.” It is the first Nigerian bank to record its presence in the Asian country.

In pursuit of sustainable economic diversification in Nigeria, FirstBank held the ‘FIRSTBANK AGRIC EXPO 2018’ on June 28, 2018 in Lagos state. The Expo triggered conversations and collaborations that promote sustainable businesses for Agropreneurs whilst creating avenues for growth and increased per capita income in the larger economy.

Launched in 2017, the is a lead to national discourse on the economic benefits of sustainable agriculture value-chain as an alternative source of economic development and foreign exchange through export.

FirstBank said the 2018 edition was over-subscribed by 100 per cent. Dr Adeduntan said: “Over 124 years ago, our Bank commenced operations with a major strategic focus on financing agriculture development as well as enabling farmers and agrobusinesses.”


He added that agricultural financing across all value chains has remained a core part of the Bank’s business at present.

The Expo featured master classes facilitated by enterprising experts who shared their success stories with focus on building capacity for agropreneurs.

This article first appeared on Daily trust, written by Simon Echewofun Sunday

"NM Partners" represent articles published in partnerships with Corporate Organisations, Government and Non-Governmental Institutions, and other stakeholders seeking to publish content on Nairametrics. Content includes Press Releases, Targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications targeted at our readers. Some of these content are paid for.

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Airtel Nigeria announces appointment of Surendran as new Chief Executive Officer

Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new MD/CEO with effect from August 1, 2021.



Like MTN, is Airtel Nigeria considering listing?

Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr C. Surendran as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from August 1, 2021.

Surendran would be replacing the outgoing Managing Director and Chief Executive of Airtel Nigeria, Olusegun Ogunsanya, who has been elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc with effect from October 1, 2021.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by Airtel on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Lagos.

READ: Airtel Africa signs new $500 million loan with Bank of America, HSBC, others

The statement says that Surendran would also be appointed to the Executive Committee (ExCo) as Regional Operating Director, reporting to the CEO of Airtel Africa plc, and onto the Board of Airtel Networks (Nigeria) Limited.

Airtel in its statement said, “Surendran has been with Bharti Airtel since 2003 and has contributed immensely in various roles across customer experience, sales and business operations.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka, which is the largest circle in Airtel India, with over one billion dollars in revenue.

Surendran delivered an exceptional performance with significant movement in Revenue Market Share (RMS) over the last few years, currently at 54 percent. He has over 30 years of business experience, including 15 years at Xerox.’’


Airtel said that Surendran would transition into his new role from June 1, 2021, and spend the time onboarding into the business until July 31, 2021.

READ: Meet the latest billionaires on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

In case you missed it

It can be recalled that a few days ago, Airtel Africa Plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Nigeria and 13 other countries, announced the appointment of Mr Olusegun Ogunsanya as the new Chief Executive Officer, following the notice of retirement given by the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava, to the Board.

In the notification sent by Airtel Africa to the Nigerian Exchange, Ogunsanya is expected to join the board of Airtel Africa with effect from October 1, 2021.

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Our First Bank loan is being serviced, reduced by 30% in 2 years – Honeywell Group

The credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.



Billionaire watch: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth N10.3 billion

The Honeywell Group has said that its loan with First Bank is being serviced as the conglomerate had reduced the facility by 30% in the last two and half years.

This was disclosed by the Group via a statement issued on Sunday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, the company and the bank have had a professional business relationship since 1975, which preceded the group’s investment in the bank over a decade later.

According to the Honeywell Group, the credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

The Group further explained that following agreed terms, its facilities are adequately secured with First Bank with collaterals in place at over 170% of forced sales value and 230% at open market value.

It stated, “In 2015, First Bank under the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, drew our attention to a 2004 circular (BSD/9/2004) which requires that insider related facilities must not exceed 10% of paid-up share capital.

Based on this directive we subsequently entered negotiations with the bank to agree on an appropriate repayment structure and the final negotiated position was duly approved by the CBN.

In addition to the above, First Bank, on the directive of CBN, requested additional security in the form of FBN Holdings Plc shares held by the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr Oba Otudeko citing a 2001 circular. This was duly provided through an authorisation to place a lien on the shares.”

Honeywell Group has continued to meet all its obligations on its facilities with the bank according to agreed terms and has reduced its exposure by nearly 30% in 2.5 years. The facilities were charged at market rate and the bank continues to earn significant interest therefrom.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had reported when the Central Bank of Nigeria directed Honeywell to fully repay its obligations to First Bank within 48 hours, warning that failure to do so would cause the CBN to take regulatory measures against the insider borrower and the bank.
  • The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, also served as Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc until he was asked by the apex bank to go along with other directors on Thursday.
  • The apex bank had noted in a letter last Wednesday that First Bank had yet to comply with regulatory directives on divesting its interest in Honeywell despite several reminders.
  • Also, the CBN asked First Bank to forward evidence involving the divestment of interest in Honeywell Flour Mills and Bharti Airtel Nigeria Ltd within 90 days.

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