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POST AGM: WEMA Bank extends loan to support schools and small businesses 

Having recently held its Annual General Meeting by proxy, the bank announced an impressive growth in Customer Loans and Advances by 15% y-on-y to N289.61bn from N252.19bn in Q4 2018.

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Wema Bank's 2019 half year financial results, Wema Bank Plc announces notice of board meeting, closed period

As the world continues the coronavirus pandemic, Wema Bank Plc has reiterated its support for individual customers and businesses by extending the tenure of loans to cushion the effects of the pandemic.

Having recently held its Annual General Meeting by proxy, the bank announced an impressive growth in Customer Loans and Advances by 15% y-on-y to N289.61bn from N252.19bn in Q4 2018.
“This superlative performance gives us a good ground to provide extended loan support to businesses and individuals during this period,” said Head of Credit Risk Management, Wema Bank Plc. Mr Uchenna Obazeh.

Speaking on the loan tenure extension, Mr Obazeh disclosed that the extension of school loans have been approved for one academic term (4 months). For businesses, he added that business support loans have been approved for 90 days (3 months) in order to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Obazeh further confirmed that the loan extension was also being considered for other sectors, and approvals are being sought from the CBN in line with the impact the pandemic will have on specific sectors as well as the estimated rates of recovery.

READ ALSO: Why shareholders of Nigerian banks should expect lesser dividend payouts in 2020

“For businesses, this is not a time to run from the Banks. Business owners need to sit with their bankers, assess the potential impact on their businesses and align repayment obligations with their projected cash flows,” he advised.
Speaking further, Mr Obazeh added that given the uncertainty surrounding when vaccines will be found, some businesses may have to alter their business models to become more adaptable. He enthused that well-analyzed credits availed under realistic terms will continue to succeed as the CBN is encouraging continued availability of credits to eligible businesses even in these times.

Mr Obazeh predicted an increase in non-performing loans. Although, in his words, “it will not be as significant as it would have been without the palliative measures and intervention funds made available by the CBN, as well as Banks working closely with their customers.

READ MORE: Wema Bank Plc announces notice of board meeting, closed period

“We advise businesses reappraise their operating models first, assess the impact and come up with realistic projected cash flows first. Obtaining a loan should not be the first thing. A loan will help a business increase supply. It, however, has to assess demand, as well,” he cautioned.

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On how Wema Bank is helping businesses on its credit list to grow to fulfil its financial commitments, he noted that the bank is providing advisory services in addition to making the loans available.


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Leadway Pensure PFA bags Customer Service Excellence award at Africa Brands Awards 2021

Leadway Pensure’s award reaffirms its commitment over the years to giving its clients amazing experiences beyond the call of duty.

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Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, Nigeria’s foremost pension funds administrator, has been recognized as the most admired pension brand in Nigeria following its emergence as the winner of the Customer Excellence Award at the 2021 edition of the Africa Brands Awards.

The prestigious African Brands Awards was created over a decade ago to promote innovation and creativity amongst African brands across different industries. The emergence of Leadway Pensure as the winner of the Customer Service Excellence award in the pension category reaffirms the brand’s customer-centricity and its commitment over the years to giving its clients amazing experiences beyond the call of duty. The recognition comes at a crucial period in the pensions industry with the opening of the transfer window which allows customers move their retirement savings account from their existing PFA to another.

Still on the recognition, the Managing Director, Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, Mrs. Ronke Adedeji, stated that receiving the award was a testament to how the brand had treated its clients and the positive perception it had been able to create in the larger society. According to her, “Our clients are at the center of everything we do, hence, we are constantly innovating and finding new ways to better their experiences with us. We continue to blaze the trail in the industry by finding simple and smarter channels to deliver our services; and optimizing our processes. We are a firm believer that if truly we must assist our clients to get more out of life, we must also continuously explore effective and efficient ways of delivering pension services.”

Mrs. Adedeji hinted that the company invested heavily in digital channels aimed at easing tracking, reporting, and communicating with its clients. “In addition to our long-standing heritage of excellence and competitive returns on investments, we prioritize accessibility for our clients by launching online channels to connect with them. Some of the online channels include our Online Enrolment Portal that allows users to remotely open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) and get their RSA PIN instantly, our Mobile App, Interactive SMS, Pensure Online (p-Online), SureCal (Pensure Calculator), amongst others. We are unwavering in our promise to all existing and potential clients to continuously offer pension plans and experiences that surpass their expectations,” Mrs. Adedeji said.

It is important to note that the company also recently received the ISO 27001 certification, a globally coveted standards certification that recognizes commitment to the highest standards of information data security management.

Leadway Pensure has, over the years, shown itself as one of the leading PFA’s in Nigeria. It continues to advance the PFA industry by devising unique ways to service the ecosystem and deliver value to all stakeholders. Leadway Pensure is one of the most capitalized PFA’s in Nigeria with an authorized share capital of N2.0 Billion. Our shareholder’s fund is in excess of N7.0 Billion, unimpaired by losses.

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ITA partners NEPC to launch first E-Lab Innova training for agribusinesses in Nigeria

The E-Lab Innova is an educational training program for the agri-food sector in Nigeria.

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As part of its commitment to boost trade relationships with Nigeria, the Italian Trade Agency, a governmental agency that supports the business development, partnerships and collaborations between Italian companies and their local counterparts, has launched the first E-Lab Innova in Nigeria. The E-Lab Innova is an educational training program for the agri-food sector in Nigeria which will be implemented in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Commission (NEPC) alongside other Italian partners, such as MACFRUT, a leading exhibition for the agribusiness industry.

The training is aimed at increasing the technical and managerial skills of Nigerian agri-food companies in order to support their access to EU markets and foster business partnerships with Italian companies. Participants which were selected with the support of NEPC are CEOs of high-potential companies active in the production of foods such as mango, pineapple, shea nuts and groundnuts. The programme is scheduled to hold for the duration of five weeks and will be implemented in three phases: a preliminary assessment to analyze the technical and management training requirements, company potential and profile design; 2-week webinar training classes focused on key internalization topics and a 5-days study tour in Italy, which will include Macfrut exhibition.

Giving his opening remark at the event held to flag off the training, the Italian Trade Agency Director for West Africa, Dr. Alessandro Gerbino said, “Nigeria remains a strategic point for engagement between the agency and other countries across West Africa. The E-Lab Innova holds prospects for Nigerian companies to be imparted on the knowledge and technicalities of their counterparts abroad whilst also paving the way for collaborations between Italian and Nigerian agribusinesses.”

“It is a pleasure to see the collaboration between the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), to develop the capacity of agribusinesses and aid their integration into the value chain of European Union markets. We remain committed to supporting the government’s plan to create more jobs through the agrofood industry and ensure that these businesses have the right skillset to grow, sustain their operations and contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy,” Dr. Gerbino added.

In her keynote address, Uduak Etokowoh, Deputy Director, International Export Offices, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said, “the council constantly seeks out collaborations like this to strengthen trade relations across the world. The European Union (EU) is one of the largest markets for agribusiness, however, challenges such as logistics and inability to meet market needs pose a threat to growth opportunities. In adjusting to the new normal of virtual engagements, we are extremely delighted to partner the ITA to deliver this virtual training in support of wealth creation for the economy and to enhance seamless penetration to the EU markets for Nigerian agribusinesses”.

13 agribusinesses across Nigeria took part in the first training session including United Agro Cooperative Society Limited, Cobrend Trading and more; the programme will involve nearly 40 Nigerian companies in total. Since the launch of Lab Innova in Africa, over 140 companies across Ghana, Angola, Mozambique, Uganda and Ethiopia have successfully gone through the training programme, with study tours and exhibitions held in Italy.

About the Italian Trade Agency in Nigeria

ITA – Italian Trade Agency is the Governmental agency that supports the business development of Italian companies abroad and promotes the attraction of foreign investment in Italy. With a motivated and modern organization and a widespread network of overseas offices, ITA provides information, assistance, consulting, promotion and training to Italian small and medium-sized businesses.

The agency is committed to establishing strong contact with Nigeria with a major focus on industrial technologies that address the growth pattern Nigeria has adopted in several areas, so to add value to local natural resources and raw materials.

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Using the most modern multi-channel promotion and communication tools, it acts to assert the excellence of Made in Italy in the world. ITA operates in 70 countries under the Italian Embassy.

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