Nigerians are reducing their time and appearance in bank halls as the unwillingness to visit banks begin to grow among them. This change in behaviour is, however, affecting some banks – leading to the closure of branches. Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that it would no longer open branches across Nigeria for the same reason.
Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria doesn’t have its branches across all states, and it just might remain that way for a long time as the lender is one of the banks scaling back their expansion drive due to the adoption of digitalisation by Nigerians.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria and West Africa, Lamin Manjang, the company has redirected its investment focus, with much of it going into digital platforms in order to adapt to the technological trend in Nigeria. Standard Chartered has 22 branches, mainly in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
Nairametrics had reported that the future of banks is becoming cloudier due to the activities of Fintechs, as well as the inclusion of telecommunications companies into the payment system in Nigeria. The goal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2020 has created more transactional options than ever at the fingertips of Nigerians, giving them reasons not to visit banks in their locations.
Speaking during an interview, Manjang said, “For retail banking, we have decided to adopt a focused strategy which is that we are going to focus on a few cities as opposed to the nationwide sought of mass marketing strategy that other banks follow. We are investing in the digital bank platform and we will be announcing major changes on that front.
“We believe that the future of retail banking would largely dovetail towards the digital channels. Quite honestly, if you look back at 30-40 years ago and the role of the traditional bank branch and then look at the role of a branch today, you will realise that it is quite different.
“So, the things that would typically take you to a bank branch are things that you can now do without visiting a branch and, therefore, that speed, convenience and accessibility that digital channels provide for clients are areas I think we should invest more in as opposed to physical channels.
“I am sure you know about banks that are now digital, from opening an account to transacting; everything has to be digital. So, we are going to spend more in that space and that will give us the capacity to scale up and reach out.”
Negative impact: Job opportunities are created when companies expand. Without the expansion of companies, unemployment will continue to rise as it happened in recent years. While the adoption of digital ensures comfort and ease of financial transaction, it also will cost people their jobs in the banking sector.
The banks seem to be impacted more by the advancement of technology. Already, jobs are being projected to be lost in the next two to three years as technology is expected to take over 30% of banking jobs.
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Buhari meets with AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, promises support
Nigeria stands solidly behind Akinwumi Adesina in his re-election bid as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, met with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, at the presidential villa.
The meeting will not be unconnected with the current travails of Adesina, who was accused by a group of whistleblowers for official misconduct and the pressure by the United States Government for an independent probe of all allegations.
This was disclosed in a tweet posted on the president’s official Twitter handle.
The meeting which lasted for about 45 minutes was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari.
The President in his statement said, ‘’Nigeria stands solidly behind Akinwumi Adesina in his re-election bid as the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). We will work with all leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that he re-elected on the strength of his achievements during this term.
‘’In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position, I didn’t say because you were a PDP Minister, and I belonged to the APC, so I would withhold my support.’’
Adesina has continued to deny the allegations and maintain his innocence.
“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Adesina said recently while responding to the accusations.
The Federal Government has, however, continued to rally support for Adesina as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed in a letter urged the board of the AfDB to ignore calls for an independent investigation of Mr Adesina.
Nigeria stands solidly behind @akin_adesina in his re-election bid as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). We will work with all leaders, and stakeholders in AfDB, to ensure that he re-elected, on the strength of his achievements during this first term. pic.twitter.com/OSl6S99DW8
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) June 2, 2020
Nigeria’s Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier in his statement, and as a show of support, called on the board of AfDB to ignore calls for an independent investigation of Adesina by the US treasury secretary.
“In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position. I didn’t say because you were a PDP Minister, and I belonged to the @OfficialAPCNg, so I would withhold my support.”—@MBuhari to @akin_adesina, today. pic.twitter.com/0GMtH7F89K
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) June 2, 2020
Lagos commends religious leaders in the state, churches and mosques to remain closed
The Lagos State Government has commended religious leaders in the state for their cooperation and active participation in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
The Lagos State Government has commended religious leaders in the state for their cooperation and active participation in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the cooperation received from the leaders of the two major religious groups, especially in the area of zero-congregational gathering, assisted in lowering the curve of the pandemic.
The commendation was given on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, by the state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, during a Ministerial Press briefing commemorating the first year in office of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Alausa, Ikeja.
On plans to reopen the economy of the State including worship centres, Elegushi pleaded for continued collaboration with the State government and adherence to the government’s directives that would still be presented to the various churches and mosques when they are eventually allowed to gather for their services.
According to Elegushi, “When we got a hint on the current Coronavirus disease across the globe, we immediately went into action by organising a sensitisation and briefing workshop on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at the Chapel of Christ the Light Hall, Alausa. This was followed by another meeting where a joint decision was reached by all religious bodies to reduce the attendance of worshippers to 50 worshipers at a time”.
“In addition to this, our Religious Leaders came together again on 18th March 2020 after reviewing the situation to agree on a total lockdown of Religious Worship Centres across the State before President Muhammad Buhari came up with an announcement locking down Lagos, Ogun and Abuja“, he said.
Elegushi said that the shutdown of all religious gatherings, activities and programmes by churches and mosques was quite timely and helped in the containment of the virus from escalating beyond control, considering the huge numbers that do gather periodically for religious purposes in the State.
He also acknowledged the discomfort which the pandemic brought on both the Muslims and Christians in Lagos, specifically during the Lenten season and the Ramadan period.
He said: “For a very long time in human history, Christians celebrated the Lenten period and Easter celebrations at home, while our Muslim brothers and sisters were also restricted to observe Sallah at home throughout the Ramadan period, including the Eid-El Fitri celebrations”.
Elegushi attributed the mutual understanding that exists between the State government and the religious groups to a long-term religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, saying that creating rapport is one of the critical functions of the Ministry.
Lagos State Government has commended religious leaders in the State for their cooperation and involvement in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat #LASG #ForAGreaterLagos
Read More.. https://t.co/txGKGCZy2H pic.twitter.com/bKHaUG1XTT
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) June 2, 2020
Meanwhile, information from a monitored report suggests that the churches and mosques in the state might not be opening anytime soon for worshippers. This was disclosed by Elegushi on the sideline of the Ministerial briefing commemorating the first year in office of Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu.
He said that the reopening was not possible as Lagos State is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and that after several meetings with religious leaders in the state, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out.
Elegushi said that they claim that they cannot take responsibility for ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are in attendance.
He said that the governor will come out with further directives.
It can be recalled that the Federal Government, on Monday, June 1, 2020, announced the relaxation of the ban on religious gatherings. They, however, said that each state government can devise measures that suit them, thereby looking at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.
The economics of climate change
The Western economies were built by burning “dirty” fuel i.e. coal and later crude oil to generate power for industrial complexes and cars.
When I read “climate change” …I do not see polar ice caps melting and deserts growing. I see the economics of it.
To really do climate change, is to reduce or cap carbon emissions and boost the use of renewables such as solar and wind. These are good objectives, so why has a comprehensive climate change plan not been reached?
Simple, it is the economics
Let us look at reducing or capping emissions, what emits carbon? Factories and cars do, so to cap or reduce emissions is to cap or reduce growth in factories and to stop families driving cars. You are capping jobs and asking families not to drive. The reality is this, the Western economies were built by burning “dirty” fuel, i.e. coal and later, crude oil to generate power for industrial complexes and cars. Then the West moved to nuclear and cleaner sources of power, but this was after the Western economies had achieved a high and inclusive economic standard of living for their citizens. Owning a car in America was a rite of passage, still is.
The world’s two largest economies outside the Western World are China and India. In all measures, the citizens in these nations are not as rich as the middle class in Pennsylvania. How do you make poor people rich? You create opportunities. How do you create opportunities? You build economies that create jobs. Where do you find jobs? In factories and offices. What do those factories burn? Diesel, petrol, and of course, coal.
In other words, for India to move her citizens from poverty to prosperity, she must generate enough power supply to factories and businesses in India who hire Indian workers and pay them a middle-class wage. It is really that simple. So, climate change summits always fail because the West wants a cap on carbon emission and the developing nations do not, at least until they are “developed”.
It is important we understand this cold hard reality. Climate change is good. I want a great climate for my kids, but my kids must eat first. Nigeria must not in the name of “climate change” sign away our rights to build coal-fired power plants in Kogi and Enugu…. No. (Japan is restarting coal plants)
So, what should Nigeria do? Do we keep polluting and flaring gas?
Nigeria must have a strategy, and I propose a simple strategy called, “Let Them Pay” LTP. If Nigeria has coal deposits, then let the West pay Nigeria not to build a coal Power Plant using that coal. They can pay Nigeria by investing in developmental credits to fund the building of a solar power plan, or even writing off Nigeria’s debts.
There is a precedence to this, the West pays the Armed Forces in Africa to fight terrorists, and they pay Police in North Africa to stop people smugglers crossing the Mediterranean. Nigeria pays Niger Republic by supplying them power so that they do not build their dam on the River Niger to reduce water supply to Kainji Dam. China led Africa strategy on this with the Chinese President flying to Southern Africa from the COP 21 in Paris to discuss the developing world’s response with African leaders.
Nigeria should push that gas flaring be reduced by a massive investment by the Western nations via FDI to build LNG plants in the Niger Delta.
Nigeria should also tie the Climate Change narrative to terrorism by making the strong case that Boko Haram is feeding off the lack of jobs and opportunities caused in part by the drying of Lake Chad. This has reduced agric and trade and pushed many young boys to Boko Haram. Lake Chad has shrunk by 95% between 1963 to 1998, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization has called it an “Ecological Catastrophe”. Lake Chad provides water to almost 20million people, including frames, fishermen, and herders.
The solution to a drying Lake Chad is already there, a pipeline to take water from the Congo to Lake Chad, it’s bloody expensive – about $14.5b but allowing Boko Haram to exploit the lack of commerce from lake chad also is expensive.
Nigeria must tie this climate thing to economics