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FirstBank supports educational institutions with FirstEdu

Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced its educational solution – FirstEdu –

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First Bank Adesola Adeduntan, Global transactions get easier with Firstbank’s Card Offerings, FBNQuest Trustees Marks 40th Anniversary of preserving legacies in Nigeria, Ellah Lakes Plc announces close period for H1 2019 results The Board of Directors of Ellah Lakes Plc has announced that the company would be meeting on the 22nd October 2019 to consider, among other matters, the audited financial statements of the Company for the financial year ended 31 July, 2019. The Company also announced the commencement of a closed period with effect from 7 October 2019, until 24 hours after the Company’s Audited Financial Statements is filed with The Exchange. Top executives, directors, advisers, and many others at Ellah Lakes Plc have been barred from trading in the company’s shares ahead of the meeting of board of directors of Ellah Lakes. This was disclosed in a notification which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). http://www.nse.com.ng/Financial_NewsDocs/27720_ELLAH_LAKES_PLC._CORPORATE_ACTIONS_OCTOBER_2019.pdf The announcement is in line with rule 17.18 of Part 2 (Issuer’s Rules) of the NSE’s Rule Book (2015) which states that, “The period of closure shall be effective from fifteen (15) days prior to the date of any meeting of the Board of Directors proposed to be held to consider any of the matters referred to above or the date of circulation of agenda papers pertaining to any of the matters referred to above, whichever is earlier, up to twenty-four hours after the price-sensitive information is submitted to the Exchange. The trading window shall thereafter be opened. Every issuer shall notify the Exchange in advance of the commencement of each closed period.” Why this matters: The close period will allow the board to consider the company’s unaudited financial statements for the third quarter. Other company issues will also be discussed during the meeting of the Board of Directors. What is a close period? A close period is a period before the release of a company’s result or financial statement when of course, those with sensitive information are not allowed to trade on the stock. These individuals may include company directors, audit committee members, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees and consultants with sensitive information. About the company: Ellah Lakes Plc is a fish farming company., FBN processed 237 million transactions in two weeks, amid COVID-19 lockdown, First Bank Holdings declares a Profit after Tax of N26 billion in Q1 2020

Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced its educational solution – FirstEdu – specifically designed to enhance the educational facilities in schools. The FirstEdu product includes FirstEdu loan and FirstEdu portal.

FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery & Primary and Secondary schools to assist the schools in achieving their desired growth in the medium and long-term. The product provides funding to replace old furniture and equipment, pay staff salaries, purchase brand new or fairly-used buses as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. With this product, school owners/proprietors can stay ahead of competition at all times.

The product enables the schools to access facility with no tangible collateral, apart from domiciliation of school fees account with the Bank.

In addition, FirstEdu portal is a modular and robust web-based enterprise portal that enables Tertiary educational institutions to manage academic, administrative, professional, logistics and payment challenges. The basis for its robustness is to take the stress of logistics, administrative and payment challenges off the institutions, as they focus on meeting their year-long, medium and long-term objectives.

The product features and benefits include; e-Learning, virtual library and facilitation of exchange programmes with foreign educational institutions; academic & student events/time-table/calendar management; school fees payment via the internet; online information and result checking; interactive community forum between students and teachers. It also affords applicants the opportunity of enrolling from the comfort of their homes or any location around the world; no licensing, installation and maintenance cost and plugs avenues for revenue leakages amongst others.

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According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “with FirstEdu, private schools across the various tiers of education in Nigeria; elementary, secondary and tertiary, have the right tool to boost their business to the level they desire. With over N5 billion loans already disbursed to schools this year alone, we are committed to supporting growth in this key sector of our economy.”’

For further information on FirstEdu, visit the FirstBank branch nearest to you or contact us on our social media channels.

About FirstBank

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading banking services solutions provider in Nigeria for 125 years. With some 15 million customer accounts, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services with over 750 business locations. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

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ICIT Solutions Nigeria builds 9Business Cloud Market in partnership with Microsoft, 9Mobile

ICIT Solutions Nigeria has announced a partnership with 9Mobile to launch 9Business Cloud.

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ICIT Solutions Nigeria, a business technology solutions provider and tier-one Microsoft partner, has announced a partnership with 9Mobile to launch 9Business Cloud, a top-notch e-commerce platform where all cloud-based software packages can be purchased. The cloud storage business platform is designed to enhance enterprise productivity in the fast-growing Nigerian market.

ICIT (Internet, Communications & IT Solutions) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is an experienced information technology solutions service provider with commitment to efficiently empower businesses to achieve more with less using automation. ICIT, provides both SMEs and Enterprise level businesses with affordable and trusted managed IT services and business process automation solutions to help them operate effectively. The company’s primary goal is to help clients build systems where business productivity is optimized, profitability is increased, and peace of mind is guaranteed.

Mr. Kamar Oyenuga, Managing Director, ICIT Solutions Limited noted that, “We are excited to announce our partnership with 9Mobilie Nigeria to launch this first-in-class cloud solutions e-commerce platform 9Business Cloud for organizations of all sizes. Whether you are an organization of 1 or 10,000 employees, we have something for you to enable you manage and run your business from anywhere.”

Kamar in his statement mentioned that, “the 9business platform https://cloudbusiness.9mobile.com.ng/, caters to anyone, whether a 9Mobile subscriber or not, looking to purchase cloud-based products and solutions. The 9Business Cloud market place has affordable software products like Microsoft 365 which helps you to run your business from everywhere in a cost-effective manner, Microsoft teams for improved productivity and employee collaboration, One Note, One Drive for data and file storage online with up to 1TB worth space. Also available are SharePoint, Dynamics 365 for customer engagement and personalized service on any channel, recruitment, employee development, financial management, improved customer experiences, and improved marketing, and many more.”

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He further stressed that, “This is an innovative way for modern businesses to cut-away unnecessary cost while also achieving optimal results for a more sustainable business operation. It’s simple, quick, secure, stress-free and affordable. Having identified that the core need of any organization is to ensure that every stakeholder has peace of mind which emanates from the profitability of the company, ICIT Solutions has positioned its offerings to support such businesses that aim to attain profitability that will in turn, increase their value.”

For over a decade, ICIT Solution has been creating sustainable and highly secured automated business solutions for companies, by engaging the businesses to understand their processes and help them break processes to measurable workflows that are automatable with the necessary support. It’s services include delivering End to End intelligent Managed IT services, fully-fledged business automation process support like software license sales and renewals, design and customization of process flows that will efficiently empower businesses to achieve more, data migration and protection, staff training and support and much more. It has also brought great value to the cloud solution offerings of 9mobile Telecommunication in Nigeria.

For more information, visit icit.ng today.

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COVID-19’s impact on cybersecurity and securing the remote workforce

Examining current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

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We live in exciting times, COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, and as part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease, the pandemic has forced organisations to adapt to working remotely quickly.

Currently, working from home has become a new reality for organisations and their employees. As convenient as this may sound, it is fraught with its challenges.

From a cybersecurity perspective, working from home presents significant risks to organisations because cybercriminals around the world are capitalising on this crisis, and that makes the need to secure the remote workforce an ever-growing concern.

Since the outbreak began, there have been spikes in cyber-attacks as cybercriminals are using COVID-19 as bait to trap organisations and their employees.

To avoid falling victim, organisations must address these challenges without introducing new flaws by implementing and evaluating cybersecurity safeguards/controls.

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In this article, we will be talking about some current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime, with phishing, targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, credit card details and passwords. Cybercriminals know we desire more information at this time, and they are using that as bait to get people to click on malicious links via emails and text messages.

These messages often have an appearance of legitimacy and designed this way to pull you in, getting you to click on links that redirect you to malware-infested sites that could steal your personal information, money, or both.

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There have been numerous cases of criminals targeting governments and organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO reports a fivefold increase in cyberattacks directed at its staff and email scams targeting the public at large.

In another scenario, due to shortage of health-care-related products such as PPEs, test kits and ventilators, cybercriminals have impersonated sellers and manufacturers of such products and duped not just people and organisations, but also States, out of millions of dollars.

Business Email Compromise (BEC), a specialist type of phishing attack is becoming increasingly prevalent too. BEC attacks are designed to impersonate senior executives and trick employees, customers, or vendors into wiring payment for goods or services to alternate bank accounts.

How can you protect yourself? Here are five things you can do:

  1. Always verify the source of the message – never swallow anything hook, line and sinker. Pay attention to spellings or grammatical errors in emails or text messages.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details.
  3. When entering sensitive information on a website, always verify that you are on a secure and legitimate website. A quick tip is to look out for the lock icon in your browser when you need to enter login details or other sensitive information such as your debit card details.
  4. Do not click on links from sources you do not know. Act by reporting them. Email service platforms such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook, give you the ability to report phishing emails, this helps to protect other users from spam and abuse.
  5. Question everything. Always remember the adage, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

The Not-As-Secure Home Environment

As mentioned earlier, one of the fallouts of the pandemic is the shift from traditional working models to remote working. This has led to many individuals using their personal computers to conduct business and carry out work-related duties. These computers might not have up-to-date operating system patches or useful antivirus software, and attackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities.

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It is essential organisations get employees on approved and secure devices to protect not only themselves but also the firm. Also, it is vital to know that while employees work remotely, they are not behind the typical corporate security perimeter. They are not protected by firewalls, no intrusion detection or prevention systems, no proxies etc. and with employees connecting directly to the internet with personal modems and routers, their visibility to attackers increases.

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What can be done to prevent this?

  1. Always ensure your operating system and security software is up-to-date with the most recent patches.
  2. Avoid free, unsecured, public WiFi.
  3. If you must connect remotely to your organisation’s network, maybe to login to a corporate application, use a VPN. It reduces your visibility on the internet by creating a safe and encrypted connection known as a tunnel.
  4. Use Multi-factor authentication. Authentication deals with validating the identity of individuals. It requires users to prove they are who they claim to be. There are three factors of authentication: the knowledge factor or something you know such as passwords, the possession factor or something you have such as tokens, access cards, keys and the inherence factor or something you are such as biometrics – fingerprints, retina.

Consequently, when we talk about multifactor authentication, the idea is having at least two of these factors present when proving your identity to a system. Use cases when logging into emails, corporate applications, and internet banking platforms.

Cyberattacks are nothing new, but in recent times, they have increased in frequency and magnitude. Cybercriminals are not letting this crisis go to waste, and they are working overtime, so organisations must take steps to protect themselves.

Governance and risk management functions must conduct and drive comprehensive risk assessments and business impact analysis for critical functions and processes within the organisation.

Policies around information security, cybersecurity and acceptable use of devices should be up-to-date and disseminated to all employees.

Organisations should test and update their cyber incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Operating system updates and security software patches must be mandatory.

Critical systems such as servers, core business applications should be monitored. Logs and security events from such systems should be reviewed daily. This will help to identify anomalies or suspicious activities quickly.

Finally, do not forget your people. Humans are the weakest link in the security chain. It does not matter if you have the best technology or the most efficient processes. If your people are not informed, they put the entire organisation at risk.

Now is not the time to cut down on information and cybersecurity training and awareness. Learning interventions such as videos, newsletters, pictures, even games and quizzes go a long way in building a security-conscious culture in an organisation.

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These recommendations if implemented, can strengthen the security posture of your enterprise, enabling you to build and maintain a cyber-resilient one.

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Stanbic IBTC educates preteens, teenagers on financial literacy

With the initiative, Stanbic IBTC aims to improve and deepen the financial knowledge of Nigerian children.

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In a bid to increase financial literacy amongst the younger generation, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, recently held virtual sessions to educate preteens and teenagers on how to develop a savings and investment culture.

Through its New School Money Initiative, the organisation aims to improve and deepen the financial knowledge of Nigerian children. This year’s event which was held virtually, is the fourth in its series and was themed “The Art of Money: Earn, Save and Invest”.

Representatives from Stanbic IBTC shed more light on subjects to distinguish between wants and needs, assets and liabilities as well as the importance of making the right financial decisions. These were communicated using simple relatable videos and illustrations.

The wealth certified professionals demonstrated different ways of achieving financial goals and meeting unexpected needs such as emergency savings, budgeting and investing, amongst others.

A total of 703 participants attended the sessions in the three age categories. 53 wealth facilitators selected across the group from various regions of operations also delivered to the exciting sessions cut across 18 virtual classrooms. Interactions recorded through the sessions were a total of 2,166 comments.

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Obinna Lewis-Asonye, Zonal Head, Micro Pension and Agency, Stanbic IBTC Pensions Managers, who anchored one of the sessions, emphasised that earning money is the first step towards financial freedom, followed by budgeting and investing.

He stressed that participants should inculcate a savings plan to enable them to keep their money safe while it grows with interest. He said: “To get more money, you must limit your withdrawal so that your interest can grow.”

Other representatives of Stanbic IBTC emphasised the need to cultivate the habit of saving and investing as a guarantee towards becoming financially independent. According to them, it is important to consider the kind of investments that suits your needs, be it long, medium, or short time. They added that a better future is assured by investing in government bonds, treasury bills, mutual funds and commercial papers, amongst others.

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The hosts described the initiative as essential in imparting financial education in the younger generation while strengthening their financial management skills and enhancing their understanding of financial matters. They further encouraged Nigerian children to engage in meaningful ventures to generate income as a first step towards making money.

150 winners emerged across the sessions from the various tasks which were completed and were all awarded with Stanbic IBTC Mutual Funds as prizes.

Speaking on the continuity of the initiative, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, Head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that the session will be an annual event as part of the organisation’s goal to continually increase the number of financial literate individuals across the country.

Oyefeso-Odusami highlighted the importance of the initiative, noting that financial literacy should begin from an early stage for easy attainment of financial freedom.

She emphasised the importance of the customers’ journey with respect to the offerings of the organisation being an end-to-end financial services provider.

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“One way to build a well-rounded adult is to catch them young. If we can inculcate financial literacy and investment culture into these young ones, we know that we will have financially enlightened adults tomorrow. At Stanbic IBTC, we want a future filled with smart, intelligent and financially enlightened leaders, hence we took this initiative,” she added.

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