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Zenith Bank collaborates with fintechs, insists it is not scared to compete with them

The CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said the bank has begun collaborating with fintechs to drive payment solutions and other products for its customers.

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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.

Zenith bank, Zenith Bank: Strong growth in Non-Interest Income offset weakness in Interest Income

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:

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“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.”

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[READ MORE: Zenith Bank Plc pays final dividend of N2.50 to shareholders)

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.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Hospitality & Travel

#EndSARS: NCAA denies alleged shut down of airspace, as Turkish Airlines takes off tonight

FAAN has reportedly shut down the air space of the nation due to alleged unrest in the country.

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Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), FAAN recruitment, FAAN in recruitment scandal as politicians takeover, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, 2019: Lagos airport records growth in passenger, aircraft and cargo movement  

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied the alledged shut of the nation’s airspace due to the unrest, arising from the hijacked #EndSARS protests in Lagos, Abuja, and some other states in the country.

Though, the authority has not issued an official statement on the development, a source in the apex regulatory body told Nairametrics that the airspace remains open in Lagos and Abuja.

He said, “It is not true that the airspace is shut as rumoured on some social media platforms. Turkish Airline is attending to its passengers at the moment and the flight is tonight. So, where is the airspace being shut coming from.

“Delta Airline decided to divert the Lagos bound flight to Dakar, Senegal before going back to New York not because our airspace is shut but its Lagos office informed the Pilot that there is curfew in Lagos. Expectedly, American airlines are so sensitive to issues like that.”

Back story: A Twitter user, Osasu Onayiuwana, whose friend is one of Delta Air passengers en-route Lagos from Atlanta, USA, had alleged that Delta Airline returned ti New York because Nigerian air space was shut.

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He tweeted, “A friend returning to Lagos, from Atlanta on @Delta has been informed, during their Dakar, Senegal stopover, that @Nigeria’s airspace has been closed. They are now flying back to Atlanta!

“Actually, his plane is currently on the way to New York, from Dakar. Before this, some passengers asked @Delta to allow them to find their way to Lagos from Dakar. Understandably, the airline refused.”

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Economy & Politics

FRC to implement new IFRS 17

The FRC is set to implement International Financial Reporting Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023.

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The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria is expected to implement International Financial Reporting
Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023. This follows the amendment of the standard on June 25, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Head, Directorate of Accounting Standards Public Sector, FRC, Dr. Iheanyi Anyahara, during a Stakeholders interactive forum with FRC and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) webinar recently.

Nigeria adopted the IFRS as part of measures to improve transparency, reporting practices and full disclosures.

Having adopted the IFRS by the Council, Anyahara explained that all amendments to existing standards alongside the new standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) must be implemented by all reporting entities in Nigeria.

According to him, the Council is aware that implementing IFRS 17 commands a radical departure from current accounting standards and produces complex operational challenges.

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He said, “That is why we are organizing this programme and many more in collaboration with IASB to guide the users of the standards both in application and implementation.

“The Council will be organizing more events in financial reporting, auditing and corporate governance in order to sensitize the general public and lessen the knowledge gap in IFRS standards in Nigeria in collaboration with relevant agencies and organisations.”

Back story:

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Last July, Nairametrics reported when FRC released guidelines for reporting in compliance with the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance. (NCCG 2018).

In a statement posted on its website, the Council explained that it had been engaging with all regulators of sectors for the purpose of developing sectoral guidelines of corporate governance on specific requirements relevant to each sector, which are not covered under NCCG 2018.

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Business News

Geely Auto to invest 54 million dollars in the development of healthy cars

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.”

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As Exclusive Partner of Geely Automotive in Nigeria, Mikano brings us great news of Geely Automotive innovative steps towards development of “healthy, intelligent vehicles” by earmarking 54 million Dollars of funding to it; as a furthering of the fight against Coronavirus.

The move not only adds a new dimension to Geely’s understanding of “passenger safety,” it also represents a new development direction for automobiles.

READ: Automotive Bill: Why FG may return it to National Assembly

The development of a “healthier car” differs from specialized medical vehicles in that Geely’s products are made for ordinary consumers. Cars with comprehensive virus protection not only require the capability to isolate harmful substances in the air, it also needs to quickly and effectively purify cabin air for occupants.

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Geely Auto’s global R&D and design networks based in Europe, USA and China will jointly move to develop and research new environmentally sustainable materials with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which can be used within air-conditioner systems and on frequently touched surfaces such as buttons and handles.

Geely Auto will make full use of its global R&D system and resources as well as cooperate with professional medical and scientific research institutions to set up special project teams to work on the new research.

READ: Cars45 CEO explains how to increase demand for Made in Nigeria cars

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An Conghui, President of Geely Holding Group and President and CEO of Geely Auto Group said “Epidemic prevention is a job that requires the long-term effort of wider society. As the most common mode of transportation, consumers spend a considerable amount time in their cars, akin to a “second home” Only by making healthier products can we meet consumer demand for better quality of life. Based on the automotive industry’s development direction built around electrified, connectivity, intelligence, and shared mobility, auto companies should commit to developing products that help protect the health of drivers and passengers. This will become one of Geely Auto key long-term development objectives.”

Earlier on January 28, Geely Holding Group joined hands with the Li Shufu Foundation to set up a special 30 million dollars fund in support of the new coronavirus prevention and control, with a focus on the mass purchasing of much needed medical supplies for China in the short term.

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.” Geely’s move sets a new precedent in the development of safety technologies that goes beyond developing leading crash test results and moves into new dimensions of passenger safety.

Visit www.geely.ng to find out more about Geely Nigeria

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