The Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said the tier-1 bank has begun collaborating with fintech companies to drive payment solutions and other products for its customers. This comes as the Nigerian digital economy keeps evolving significantly, even as more people continue to switch from the conventional ways of transaction to digital transaction.
Onyeagwu disclosed this recently when he appeared on CNBC Africa during an exclusive interview, to reflect on the company’s audited 2019 financial statement.
According to him, the company’s increasing focus on digital banking is partly responsible for the N208.8 billion profit after tax that was reported in 2019. Recall that Zenith Bank’s profit after tax increased by 7.9%, up from N193.4 in 2018.
While commenting on the audited 2019 financial statement, Onyeagwu noted that retail banking also played a huge role in the impressive. This is because 2019 was the first full-year that the bank ventured full-time into retail banking. He said:
“Last year was our first full year in our foray into digital and retail banking. So, when you are looking at the digital income and fees, it’s a combination of both digital and retail fees. Last year was the first full year when we went full blast into the retail business, so we’ve seen that combine to give us incremental growth in terms of income from fees and electronic commission.
“Zenith is also known to have a bias for digital and investment in IT. We are leveraging on that to build very strong capability and competencies to drive business. There are quite a lot of product developments which are targeted at very niche markets.
“We are also looking at some integration with various fintech companies depending on what services you have. Sometimes we are collaborating with fintech companies to drive payment on different platforms. In some cases, too, we are churning out new products just to create confidence for our customers.”
Now, you cannot but agree that it is quite interesting that Zenith Bank (and indeed other banks), now partner with fintech companies. What changed? CNBC Africa’s Esther Awoniyi more or less threw this question at Zenith Bank boss and his response was quite revealing.
According to him, fintech companies’ bank agnostic products, which are widely accepted by the people. Unfortunately, whenever banks come up with these products by themselves, Nigerians tend to express some kind of “apathy”. This is why Zenith Bank had decided to identify where it can best collaborate with fintechs.
In the meantime, Onyeagwu made it clear that the bank will also continue to come up with its own products in the meantime. This is because the bank is never scared to compete with the fintechs. As a matter of fact, Zenith Bank has always been a very competitive bank, he said.
You may watch the full interview by clicking here.
AXA Mansard emerges Best Health Insurance Product Winner 2021
The winning product was the AXA Platinum Plus Cover which has been specially designed to provide a world-class health cover for the insurer’s customers.
Health Management Organization, AXA Mansard Health Limited, recently announced that it has emerged as the winner of the best health insurance product of the year in the Insurance Product & Process section of the just concluded 11th Annual Global Banking and Finance Awards 2021.
The winning product was the AXA Platinum Plus Cover which has been specially designed to provide a world-class health cover for the insurer’s customers. With access to roam over 1,700 hospitals locally, care in India, UAE and South African hospitals and limited in-patient cover in the UK, France, and Germany for up to $1000 in healthcare benefits.
The product provides enrolees with benefits such as twenty-four-hour dedicated Telemedicine service, home vaccination service, free home delivery of special medications, partnership with healthy eating restaurants, and smarter budget-friendly discounts on healthy meals.
Speaking on the award, Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Health Limited, Tope Adeniyi, said “We thank our highly esteemed customers for this prestigious award, as they are the reason, we passionately drive to improve our product offerings and execute innovative initiatives. This award is recognition of our unflinching commitment to our customers and an affirmation of our current position as the leading health insurance company in the country.”
AXA Mansard Health has a twenty-four-hour call centre, a team of highly trained and dedicated professionals, service portals at all AXA Mansard Welcome Centres nationwide and has deployed state-of-the-art technology to attain operational excellence while contributing to prompt service delivery and overcoming of challenges being encountered in the Nigerian health insurance industry.
Whilst thanking the organizers, Adeniyi noted that “the company is counting on the continued support of our stakeholders to continuously provide superior customer experience and to develop more innovative and value-adding products. We will continue to innovate, create new products, improve our product offering and refine our service delivery to ensure we continuously meet the changing needs of our customers”.
AXA Mansard Health Limited is the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) arm of the AXA Mansard group of companies. The HMO is geared to promote her members’ wellbeing.
The HMO serves all clients across the country virtually and has established functional offices in Lagos (the head office), Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, with ongoing plans to open offices in other locations.
Global Banking & Finance Review is a leading Online and Print Magazine, which has evolved from the growing need to have a more balanced view, for informative and independent news within the financial community.
Since its inception in 2011, The Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the Global Financial community. According to the magazine’s publishers the awards were created to recognize companies prominent in their areas of expertise and excellent in financial service delivery.
NNPC to boost power generation with additional 5,000 megawatts to national grid
The NNPC has revealed plans to boost power generation with additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced plans to boost power generation with additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid once the ongoing gas projects throughout the country are completed.
This follows progress being made on several gas projects, including the NLNG Train 7, with a foreign direct investment of between $3 billion and $5 billion.
According to a report from Thisday, this disclosure was made by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, while speaking at a virtual event organised by the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), themed: “Powering Forward: Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialisation Via Gas,”
Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman, said the NNPC was committed to fulfilling President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to boost domestic gas supply.
Other gas projects listed by the NNPC boss include the AKK, which he described as one the largest and most aggressive gas infrastructure that has ever been embarked upon in Nigeria, stretching 614 km from Ajaokuta, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, and Lot B of the OB3 gas project, which is already producing 125 mmscfd of gas.
He said the NNPC hopes to establish 2 gas hubs, one at Oben and the other at Brass, adding that one of the presidential mandates is to deliver on gas and power and create a market in the domestic environment that will consume the planned 4.5bcf of gas.
Kyari pointed out that the state oil giant and its partners are able to raise about $260 million within Nigerian merchant banks and 2 African banks for the Asa North gas project.
What the Group Managing Director of NNPC is saying
Kyari in his statement said, “At the moment, the power sector is challenged and all efforts have to be put in to unlock the liquidity in the downstream sector and expand the transmission network. This will enable us to sell the gas we have already invested in and enhance the economic prosperity of the country.
“Within the NNPC, we are looking to establish about five gigawatts of additional power into the network. So, NNPC is engaging with the stakeholders to resolve the power sector issue so that investment that has been made in generating gas can be realised.”
He also stated that the NNPC had started creating a link between the domestic gas pipelines infrastructure and export gas pipelines to establish an outlet into the export route which will make the projects more bankable.
What this means
- The actualization of this plan by the NNPC will give a much-needed boost to the power sector which has been facing serious crisis despite the rapidly growing economy.
- Despite the power sector reform, which saw the Federal Government give up control of power generation and distribution but still retained transmission, the crisis in the sector still persists, with serious negative impacts on the agricultural, industrial and mining sectors. Even the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises are not saved from its crippling effects.
- The addition of 5,000 megawatts of electricity, which is about half of what the country generates at the moment, will go a long way to help reduce the crisis in the power sector and boost the economy, which is still very fragile.
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