First Bank of Nigeria Limited has expressed its commitment to driving financial inclusion across Nigeria. With currently over 37,000 Firstmonie Agents, present in 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, the Bank is the leading financial institution at promoting financial inclusion in the country to all Nigerians, regardless of where they are.
Speaking during the Firstmonie Agent Banking national award ceremony, recently held in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said the Firstmonie agent network is a bespoke channel through which the Bank expresses its unalloyed commitment and passion to promote opportunities and access to financial services by every Nigerian, especially within the low-income segment. The Firstmonie Agent Banking awards had the Bank – FirstBank – reward 37 leading Agents that have promoted financial inclusion in the country. The sum of N250,000 was won at the State level by 31 Agents; N1,000,000.00 at the Regional level by 5 Agents with the grand prize being the sum of N2,500,000.00 at the National Level.
Adeduntan explained that with the initiative, the gap between the tech-savvy and the low literacy clients has been breached as Firstmonie agent network represents the convenient and comfortable alternative for customers, that are unacquainted with sophisticated digital channels.
In his remarks, the Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Francis Shobo, noted that the agents are the most critical part of the banking ecosystem because they take deposits, make payments and open accounts, provide transfers and sell airtime at locations with little or no access to financial services.
Shobo lauded the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele for the role the apex bank has played, stating that the CBN has made a lot of changes in regulation around agency banking, “they have allowed the programme to scale as much as it has scaled.”
In chat with newsmen after receiving the cash prize at the event, the N2.5 million grand prize winner at the national level from Abuja (North Central), Zayyanu Hassan Ishaq, expressed his amazement at his prize, one he noted he finds very encouraging and a miracle from God.
“I want to thank FirstBank for this gesture. It took me by surprise, because I never expected it from them. This is a miracle. “FirstBank is truly different. This will spur me to work harder and ensure more people have access to the top-class financial services offered by FirstBank” joy-filled Ishaq concluded.
Glo slashes cost of international calls by up to 55%
Globacom urged subscribers to take advantage of the tariff slash to connect with friends and relations.
In a move to help its subscribers stay in touch with their loved ones abroad at a much more affordable cost, national telecommunications operator, Globacom, has slashed international call tariffs by as much as 55%.
According to a press statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday, Globacom said the reduced tariffs, which come without any subscription fee, cover calls made to major destinations such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Spain and Saudi Arabia. Other countries affected by the reduction are Cameroon, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. The specific tariffs for each country vary, but are the most competitive in the market, the company stated.
For instance, calls to the United Kingdom which used to cost between N30 and N130 per minute now cost between N24 and N100 per minute depending on the network the call is being terminated on. Similarly, calls to Spain and Italy have been reduced to N75 and N60 per minute from N90 and N130 respectively.
Also, calls to South Africa will now attractive N85 per minute instead of N150, while calls to Saudi Arabia will now be charged at N55 per minute, down from the former N60 per minute. For France and Ireland, the tariff has been slashed to N50 and N40 respectively from N65 and N60, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Togo and Niger N150 instead of the old N200 per minute rate.
Globacom urged subscribers to take advantage of the tariff slash to connect and talk at a cost-effective rate with their friends and relations in the countries covered by the offer especially in view of the prevailing international lockdown caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
“We understand the need for our subscribers to stay in touch with their friends and family overseas now more than ever before. With the ban on international travels imposed by most countries because of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are unable to travel to reunite with loved ones. They now rely heavily on efficient and affordable telecom services to communicate with them. We have, therefore, reduced tariffs to these major destinations to make our subscribers still feel at home even when they are thousands of miles apart from their loved ones,” Globacom noted.
“With these reductions, calling your loved ones abroad has never been more affordable,” the company stated.
It added that its rates to other major destinations such as the United States, India and China are still the most competitive in the market. “Subscribers can enjoy premium quality calls to these countries for just 50 kobo per second,” the company concluded.
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The impact story of Nigeria’s biggest investment club, The Green Investment Club
The Group boasts of 1,100 members who have invested over N2bn in multiple small businesses in Nigeria.
The Green investment club was established in the wake of the economic recession in 2016 in Nigeria. At the time, the members were focused on getting financially educated in a community and gradually building investment in impact-driven investment opportunities. The current uncertain economic situation seems to be opening up a lot more investment opportunities for the members of the biggest investment club in Nigeria.
In the words of the founder, Tomie Balogun, ‘’I co-founded an investment club with four friends and this led me on an investment journey filled with lessons. Three years into operating our private investment club, we started to receive requests to join our investment club. We were not so keen on accepting new members. That’s why I decided to build a framework to teach how to start an investment club. To deepen my understanding more, I decided to implement the 3 models of investment clubs I developed. The green investment club is an example of a community model and we launched it as an experiment to see if anyone will be interested’’
Today, that experiment boasts of 1,100 members who have invested over N2bn ($5m) in multiple small businesses in Nigeria. The direct impact of investing in small and medium enterprises in sectors such as agriculture and micro-credit lending has contributed to economic growth and created jobs for over 2,000 people in Nigeria.
According to the founder, Tomie Balogun, ‘’The investment club’s focus was to teach young millennials like herself how to invest confidently. I had no clue how to invest confidently when I started so I made a lot of mistakes on my journey.’’
Things changed when she started an investment club and started to read books and seek out experts to learn practical investment tips from. This boosted her confidence in making investment decisions over time.
Her investment journey mirrors the challenges many young people face today in Nigeria. Most millennials who earn good income do not understand how to invest confidently. Their short-time financial needs make them drop long term goals. As a result, they end up spending all they earn or investing in bad investment schemes which promise money doubling returns.
Through the investment club’s financial literacy courses, resources, and curated investment opportunities, they help their members achieve sustainable income growth through investments at a rate higher than the average. Members of the Green Investment Club earn an additional stream of income from investing in credible investment opportunities. Being impact-driven as a community, they invest actively in small and medium businesses in key sectors of the economy in a bid to increase employment and encourage economic growth.
The investment club is also focused on reducing the inequality in the investment sector as more women are inspired to invest. 65% of the members of the Green Investment Club are women. It is confidence-boosting for women to be in a group with other women who are working towards financial independence. They get a clear picture of their finances and make better financial decisions
The Green Investment club has a thriving community of professionals and entrepreneurs who are mostly Nigerian but live in different countries. The community communicates strictly via email and a support group. To protect the privacy of its members, they do not have WhatsApp or Telegram groups. So if you see a WhatsApp or Telegram group in the name of the Green Investment Club or Tomie Balogun, it is a scam and they encourage everyone to report the group immediately.
As an investment club and community, the members of the Green Investment club are all connected by one goal; to get better with their personal finances and make an impact by investing in small businesses contributing to economic growth in Nigeria.
United Capital Plc releases H2 2020 Outlook report titled “Up In The Air”
The outlook report examines the volatility of the pandemic on global financial markets amongst other things.
Leading Pan-African investment banking and financial services group, United Capital Plc, today released its economic outlook report for the second half of the year. The bi-annual report analyzes the status of the Nigerian economy and outlines future projections informed by domestic and global events.
Based on extensive research, “Up in the Air”, as the report is titled, encapsulates the uncertainty triggered by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus; a pandemic that threw a curveball at the trend of previous economic variables and policy forecasts for the year. Transcending evaluations of the Nigerian economy, the outlook report examines the volatility of the pandemic on global financial markets, evaluates the risk of a recession in fragile economies, and prognosticates the basis for a turnaround in global trade value.
Speaking on the report, Group Chief Executive Officer, of United Capital Plc, Mr. Peter Ashade, said, “United Capital is committed to equipping our clients, seasoned investors, and the investing community at large with valuable insights to inform their decision-making processes in the second half of the year. With the advent of the pandemic, COVID-19, which proceeded to destabilize even the strongest economies worldwide, our research team has made use of their knowledge, expertise and understanding of the situation, and the economy to predict possible actions in the future and we believe this would be beneficial to investors.”
The 2020 Half-year economic outlook report by United Capital Plc is a strategic initiative by the organization that reflects its dedication to being the financial and investment role model across Africa; empowering its clients, through innovative methods, with a robust suite of investment solutions to achieve their financial goals.
The full report can be downloaded here www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com/Research
About United Capital Plc
United Capital is a leading African investment banking, asset management, trusteeship and securities trading Group, providing a bouquet of diverse financial services to individuals, corporates, and governments, enabling growth at all levels.
Since it was founded over 50 years ago, United Capital Plc has cultivated and sustained a heritage of excellence in the finance space in Africa. Its track record of transaction execution, industry leadership and client focus are still unmatched. It has achieved this by providing top-of-the-line financial services, consistently demonstrating a commitment to execution, excellent service delivery and client satisfaction.
Through the years, the Group has innovated with each season, and found smart ways to provide even more value to its clients by showing a spectacular ability to adapt to change.
United Capital’s Pan African expansion drive is borne out of the need to replicate its numerous successes in the Nigerian market to the broader African space. This enables it to contribute to transforming the African continent by providing investment banking solutions to governments, companies, and individuals. It is poised to be the financial and investment role model across Africa, deploying innovation, technology, and specialist skills to exceed client expectations, whilst creating superior value for all stakeholders.
Looking ahead, with strategic financial partnerships, and a commitment to economic growth and prosperity on the continent, United Capital Plc will leverage its market leadership and strong relationships with financial market participants, Development Finance Institutions, multilateral agencies, as well financiers within and outside the continent to drive innovative solutions to funding challenges in Africa.