In its quest to ensure that every Nigerian has access to financial services, Nigeria’s leading retail bank, Access Bank Plc, has designed a campaign tagged Awoof Berekete to promote its Access Mobile Wallet service.
The Awoof Berekete is a savings reward scheme which runs from August to November 2019. It will see customers rewarded handsomely weekly for using their Access Mobile Wallet to make transactions. For instance, customers can get 20% cashback up to N1,000.00 when they purchase airtime via Access Money Wallet as well as receive 10 times their initial deposit (up to N10,000) when they fund their Access Money Wallet and save for 7 days.
The Access Mobile Wallet is an electronic wallet service which allows users to save, transfer, and receive money. It provides access to a wide range of financial services offered by Access Bank and access to all the Bank’s branches and agents nationwide.
Commenting on the campaign, Head, Business Development and Planning at Access Bank, Chinedu Onuoha, said: “We are the largest bank in terms of customer base. Cumulatively, we have about 30 to 31million customers. By 2022, we intend that this should be a minimum of 65million customers and to achieve this, we came up with Awoof Berekete, which is another way to reward our customers.”
Awoof berekete intends to encourage those whose accounts have been dormant or inactive due to various reasons – insufficient documentation, BVN etc. Customers will get 20% cash back up to N1,000.00 when they purchase airtime on their Access Money Wallet as well as receive 10 times their initial deposit (up to N10,000) when they fund their Access Money Wallet and save for 7 days.
He further stated that: “What we are essentially doing incentivizing them (customers) to be more productive. Sometimes you pay N200 as transport fare to go and pay somebody N2,000. What we are saying is that you can stay in the comfort of your home and do that transfer; also that market woman on her way home can drop the vegetables for you. Those kinds of things can happen and help people promote efficiency and also make them live better lives.”
According to him, the Access Mobile Wallet was designed for customers, who for some reason, do not have all that is needed to be able to provide for the typical KYC documentation such as electricity bill and address verification.
“There are some Nigerians, yes, they are good citizens, who work every day to earn a living but they don’t live in places where you have electricity bill, address and all of those of things. So what we have done for access to money wallet is to say just come; give us your name, give us your date of birth, give us your gender and tell us your age. And once you are an adult and a legitimate citizen, we give you that wallet. The wallet is not a physical wallet; it is like an account but most of the transactions you need to do will be through your mobile phone and also by going to our agent outlets across the country. So that is what we are trying to do with Access Mobile Wallet – to deepen financial inclusion,” he stated.
Explaining how the service works, Onuoha said that a customer has to dial *901# to get started or visit any Access Bank branch/Agent location. He pointed out that the service allows customers to transfer money, pay bills, top-up airtime among other features.
He also spoke about the bank’s successful inroad into agency banking, stating that Access Bank currently has 20,000 agents across the country.
“Our desire is to place ourselves as close as possible to the customer so that if he needs to do any transaction, all he needs to do is to walk in and do his transaction,” he said.
Responding to a question on how Access Bank deals with customer complaints especially regarding a failed transaction, Onuoha stated that the Bank had made a lot of investments in technology and in its contact centre.
He said: “You will agree with me that generally in terms of transfers there has been some level of improvement today compared to what it was, three or five years ago. It will continue to get better. For Access Bank, we ensure that we make an investment in the best technology, make sure we partner with the best telcos; make sure we employ the right people also to ensure that we are always available and that we are able to service our customers. But if all of these fail, we have the largest contact centre in the country today, almost 700 agents. So the customer can always call in there and get remediation,” he concluded.
To open an account to participate in the Awoof Berekete campaign, simply dail *901# or visit any Access Bank branch/ Agent location nearest to you.
The Access Mobile Wallet account can be opened with a minimum of N1,000. Please click HERE to know more.
Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure
ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil exports as production resumes.
ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal, as crude exports resume for the first time in almost six weeks after a fire at the terminal halted operations.
This is according to a company spokesman yesterday, who confirmed the company had lifted force majeure on Qua Iboe crude loadings.
Qua Iboe production started to ramp up to normal levels of 200,000 b/d in the past week, according to sources, with the release of both the February and March loading programs.
The VLCC Dalia was also in the process of loading a 1-million-barrel stem at the Qua terminal since January 21, 2021, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This will be the first export of Qua Iboe since December 15, 2020, after a fire hit the facility and injured two workers.
The company has been under pressure since the closure and prices have taken a hit as a result of the disruption. S&P Global Platts last assessed the grade at a discount to Dated Brent of 50 cents/b, down from a premium against the benchmark in December.
Bonny Light, a mainstay Nigerian crude which typically trades at roughly the same level as Qua Iboe, was last assessed 30 cents/b higher.
What they are saying
One trader said: “If you get a cargo of Qua now it could be 50 cents to a dollar below Bonny even – a January cargo is completely out of cycle and the reliability issues mean people won’t touch it.”
Another trader stated that: “[The return of Qua Iboe] is not what West African crude assessments (WAF) differentials needed.”
What you should know
- Qua Iboe is one of Nigeria’s largest export grades, and is very popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.
- Qua Iboe is light sweet crude, which has a gravity of 36 API and sulfur content of 0.13%. The crude, produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.
- Indian demand has steadied following a buying spree late last year, and European demand has been hit by renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the region.
- Prices for Nigerian crude have suffered in recent weeks, even with lower supply due to the outage.
- February and March loading programs have been issued for Qua Iboe averaging 169,643 b/d and 153,226 b/d respectively.
- Production of this key grade ranged between 180,000-220,000 b/d in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.
CBN says revised new cheque book to become fully operational from April 1, 2021
The CN has announced plans to discontinue the use of old cheque books with effect from March 31, 2021.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), accredited Cheque Printers/Personalisers, and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), stated that the revised cheque book will become fully operational from April 1, 2021.
The apex bank has directed all DMBs to enlighten their customers on the revised cheque book, introduced across all banks as full enforcement of its usage will commence on the stated date.
The disclosure is contained in a circular that was issued by the CBN and signed by its Director Banking Services, Mr Sam Okojere.
The CBN in the circular noted that the clarification became necessary as some stakeholders had been interpreting the circular differently from the intended purpose.
The CBN in the circular stated, ‘’Please refer to our circular dated 9th December, 2020, referenced BKS/DIR/CIR/GEN/02/042 on the above subject.
It has come to our notice that some stakeholders interpret the circular differently from the intended purpose. Consequently, it has become imperative for the CBN to issue the following clarifications;
- The parallel run, in which old and new cheques are allowed to co-exist, will end on 31st March 2021, and thus only new cheques would be allowed in the clearing system from 1st April 2021.
- Full enforcement of the second edition of the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) Version 2.0 will commence April 1, 2021 and the NCS/NICPAS 2.0. Sanction grid will be fully operational on April 1, 2021.
- All deposit money banks are (therefore) directed to actively enlighten their customers and ensure necessary provisions are put in place for a smooth migration to the New standard.
- The extension of full implementation date from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2021 is due to outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had on the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) Version. 2.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that in an earlier circular issued on the revised cheque book, the CBN had put the cut-off date for the parallel run of the old and new cheques at August 31, 2020.
- This was further extended to December 31, 2020, with only new cheques intended to be allowed in the clearing system from January 1, 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it had on the project.
- This further adjustment of the deadline gives room for more sensitization by the deposit money banks to their customers, taking into consideration the disruptions that have happened in the economy.
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology
Elon Musk has announced a donation of $100 million prize money for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” carbon capture technology.
Elon Musk wrote in a tweet, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” details next week.
Carbon capture technology is designed to prevent the release of CO2 generated through conventional power generation and industrial production processes by injecting the CO2 into suitable underground storage reservoirs.
According to Reuters, “Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.”
Since the tweet was shared, it has garnered thousands of responses from people because of the jaw-dropping cash prize. A lot of people have started sharing their carbon capture ideas.
The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Newly-sworn-in U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Besides Tesla, Elon also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.