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Fidelity Bank to become Tier-1 bank, as digitisation affects brick expansion

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of @fidelitybankplc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has disclosed plans by the Nigerian lender to migrate to a Tier-1 bank in the country three years from now.

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has disclosed plans by the Nigerian lender to migrate to a Tier-1 bank in the country three years from now.

Okonkwo said the migration is part of the five-year strategic plan Fidelity Bank Plc has set out to achieve. The plan was drafted two years ago, even though the bank began execution in 2018.

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According to the top executive who gave a recent interview, the bank’s numbers are showing steady progress towards the actualisation of its Tier-1 aspiration.

“Two years ago, we set out at Fidelity Bank to drive a five-year strategic plan, beginning from last year, that would see us migrate to a Tier 1 bank in the country by 2022. We want to break into the league of Tier 1 banks and grow organically, keeping in mind that the other banks are also growing.

“This is my sixth year as the chief executive of the bank and by God’s grace we are driving the plan; the numbers show that we are making steady progress, year-on-year, in terms of balance sheet size, deposit and profitability.

“As we are doing this, we are keeping our eyes on the safety of the bank. We have thus kept our eyes on the bank’s capital adequacy, liquidity ratios, risk management framework, governance and compliance practices, among others.

“For instance, as a result of our prudence in building up capital, we were able to cushion the impact of the implementation of IFRS 9; so we took the charge outright.”

Fidelity Bank is not de-emphasising corporate banking: Okonkwo also used the moment to douse speculations that the management of Fidelity Bank Plc is de-emphasising corporate banking for retail banking. He said the appointment of a new executive director for corporate banking shows how important corporate banking is to Fidelity Bank Plc.

“We have just appointed a new executive director, corporate banking and that should tell you how seriously we take corporate banking.

“Fidelity Bank used to be Fidelity Union Merchant Bank and that is why most multinational companies in the country have continued to bank with us.

“Supporting business in this niche segment comes at huge costs. Therefore, building up low-cost deposits from the lower end of the market helps to support lending to the corporate segment at rates lower than higher risk segments.

“We have grown our savings deposit account base from N75bn when I became CEO on January 1, 2014, to N226bn at present.”

The impact of digitisation on Fidelity Bank Plc: Okonkwo said the impact of digitisation has been positive for Fidelity Bank. According to him, 81.5 per cent of the bank’s transactions is now done through digital channels. While the emergence of digitisation first came as a challenge to banks, now its an innovation due to the role it has played in facilitating transactions.

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“We are driving our retail banking with digitisation. About 81.5 per cent of our transactions are now done through digital channels. That is why you will see us building just one or two new branches in a year.

“In the past, we used to do like 15 to 20 branches. I can’t remember the last time I went to inaugurate a new branch or even wrote a cheque. Digitisation has made things more efficient. Still, on digitisation, we have also taken into cognisance customers that may not have data to do their transactions.

“So, we introduced our USSD *770#, which does not require you to have a smartphone or data to carry out some banking transactions. This category of customers do not need Android phones to operate their accounts, just basic phones.

“This has made our cost-to-income ratio to improve significantly. Ultimately, our cost-to-income ratio is likely to drop by about 50 per cent by 2022 and digitisation will play a key role in achieving this.

“Having said this, Information Technology comes with a lot of risks. Any bank that does not pay attention to cyber risks is living dangerously and I doubt if any bank will even try that.

“Statistics have also shown us that even in some of the areas of the north with security challenges, we have a very high adoption of electronic banking because people are sending and receiving money using their phones. What is a challenge actually leads to innovation and opportunity.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    April 30, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I’m really rooting for Fidelity Bank to do very well. Hopefully they do.

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Economy & Politics

Lagos to shut down Marine Beach bridge for emergency repairs

The closure will allow the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency repairs on the bridge, in line with the government’s vision of providing a better transportation system in the state.

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Lagos to shut down Marine Beach bridge for emergency repairs

Lagos state government has announced that the Apapa Marine Beach bridge will be closed for five months, from Wednesday 27th May, to Wednesday 21st October, 2020.

The closure will allow the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency repairs on the bridge, in line with the government’s vision of providing a better transportation system in the state.

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In a statement from the Lagos state Ministry of Transportation, the Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, noted that the repairs were long overdue, and necessary to ensure safety of Lagosians, given the number of motorists that use the route.

READ MORE: Nigerians knock Fashola over comments on “bad roads”  

The Commissioner noted that the repairs included bearing and expansion joint replacement and would be executed in two phases, taking one lane of the bridge at a time.

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The first phase will involve handling the lane inbound Apapa while the second phase will be designated to work on the lane that conveys vehicles outside the axis,” he said.

Alternative routes

Oladeinde noted that alternative routes around the bridge had been improved to make them motorable, and ease movements for road users.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo sets up committee on reopening of Nigerian economy, suspends loan deductions for states

To manage the construction period, the statement noted that Traffic Management Authorities would be hard at work to ameliorate the expected traffic issues and supervise other arrangements.

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“Motorists inwards Wharf road will be diverted to the other section of the bridge outwards Apapa, a contraflow of 200metres has been put in place for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inwards Ajegunle or Wharf road, Apapa, while Motorists descending to Total Gas under bridge will drive without any hindrance,” it read.

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The Commissioner called for the understanding and cooperation of motorists and road users during the period to ensure a smooth flow of plans.

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Economy & Politics

Fayemi set to activate digital economy with N5billion broadband infrastructure

Governor Fayemi plans to activate Ekiti state’s digital economy, this would help generate healthy competition within the ICT sector

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Fayemi set to activate digital economy with N5billion broadband infrastructure in Ekiti state

Ekiti state government has concluded plans to create a digital hub, with the laying of a 606-kilometer broadband infrastructure.

The project is expected to lift the state from 16% internet penetration to 90% and is estimated to be worth N5 billion, with the Federal Government contributing N1.1 billion of the total sum.

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This plan is part of the memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which the state Governor signed with O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, a consortium that develops high speed and efficient Fibre Optic Cable (FOC) Open Access Network (OAN) across the South-West region of Nigeria.

According to the Managing Director of O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, the project will be officially flagged off in October and completed within 14 months.

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(READ MORE: What Nigeria stands to gain from new National Broadband Plan)

This decision is a follow-up to the recent crash of Right of Way charges from N4,500 to N145 per meter for broadband infrastructure, and in line with one of the five pillars of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s development plan for Ekiti state.

The Governor noted that these decisions would help generate healthy competition within the ICT sector, thus activating Ekiti state’s digital economy and digital education.

Fayemi noted that the project execution, as well as the broadband policy in the state would be coordinated and supervised by a Digital Infrastructural Committee, made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the project.

READ MORE: NCC, Infracos to boost broadband infrastructure with N265 billion 

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“For us the roadmap is first the fibre connectivity itself, the second is the adequate data center infrastructure, the third is the e-learning programme which will cover our educational institutions, then our safe city, our security programme will also be included.

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“With our geographical land information system (GIS), we would digitalize all our land records, and of course, commercial investment as well as digitalisation of our government assets and our health education initiative,” Fayemi explained.

 

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Economy & Politics

NCC reacts to claims that minister chased Diaspora Commission’s staff from office complex

The NCC denies claims of the video on social media, pointing out that the staffs of NIDCOM were not sent packing from the digital economy complex

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NCC orders immediate suspension of USSD charges by telcos, 5G Network to undergo 3 months trial before approval - NCC , NCC licenses 20 new Internet service providers amidst challenges , 150 million Nigerians risk being defrauded – NCC , NCC warns telcos against cyber fraudsters , NCC rolls out new regulations on drone use, NCC licenses 10 new VAS providers as it projects market to hit $500 million , NCC, Infracos set to develop broadband infrastructure with N265 billion raise , Telecommunications: Broadband penetration set to grow, Telecoms operators fined N2.9 billion over infractions , NCC reacts to claims that minister chased away diaspora commission staff from office complex

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reacted to claims by the Chief Executive of Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, that her staff members were chased out of its premises by armed men on the orders of the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

The NCC, through a press statement on May 24, 2020 signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, has said that nothing of such happened as it denied claims in a video making rounds on social media that the staff of NIDCOM were sent packing from the digital economy complex.

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According to the press statement from NCC:

Following the completion of the NCC building at Mbora, Abuja designated as NCC Annex and the acute shortage of accommodation space for the staff of the commission in the NCC head office at Maitama, Abuja, the Board of the commission directed the decongestion of the Head office building. Some of the departments of the NCC had started moving to the new office complex of 5 floors when discussions were held between the NCC and the Diaspora Commission to enable the Diaspora Commission also utilize any free offices within the complex.

“The fifth floor allocated to them had to be used to accommodate other departments from the NCC headquarters to ease the congestion. NCC’s offer to house the Nigeria Diaspora Commission was predicated on the long held position of the NCC that agencies of government will achieve more through strategic collaboration, partnership, synergy and sharing to the extent allowed by relevant laws.”

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(READ MORE: PenCom dissolves interim management committee for First Guarantee Pension, appoints new board)

NCC disclosed that it had secured approval for the commissioning of the office complex by President Buhari, and also the launching of 4 important projects of NCC, together with the renamed Ministry of Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

It also stated that the offer to NIDCOM had not been withdrawn, but had only hit a bump arising from the preparation for the visit of President Buhari to launch the projects and inaugurate the complex. It said that the Board and Management of NCC took a decision to ensure that every activity in the building was in line with the Federal Government’s agenda.

Going further, the statement reads:

“Incidentally, after the offer of the office spaces to the Diaspora Commission, the Director General, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa had not visited the complex to take possession of any of the offices and also the commission had not started using any of these spaces as offices.

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‘’As is usual in ensuring security and accountability before, during and after presidential visits, the building had to be cleared to allow for only known and identifiable persons to have access within the complex. Therefore, the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami could not have sent armed men to drive the staff of the Diaspora Commission out of the Communication Economy Complex.”

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The statement also pointed out that as at that time, only NCC staff were accredited to have access within the premises and that all properties belonging to NIDCOM were safely warehoused in some of the offices within the complex.

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