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First Bank empowers women through online community

FirstGem is created to mentor, support a new generation of financially literate women.

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First Bank empowers women through online community

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that its all-female online community. This was made known in a press release made available to Nairametrics.

According to the premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, the portal, FirstGem is created to mentor, support and to make available opportunities for a new generation of financially literate women.

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The Bank aims, “to increase its engagement and reach a wider audience, an online repository for its FirstGem product was created and designed to provide a virtual online community where like-minded women irrespective of where they are in Nigeria and abroad, gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything about lifestyle, parenting, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family.

“Financial empowerment and wealth creation ideas are shared to encourage women to play their part in providing financial support for their families.”

READ MORE: FirstBank wins 2019 Oil and Gas Banker Award

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The portal, FirstGem online community, which presently has over 61,634 members drawn from all walks of life, provides varied contents ranging from Blog stories to Vlogs, Newsletters, Chat rooms which are built on 6 pillars – Health, Wealth and Finance, Food and Recipes, Events, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle and Beauty.

Commenting on the initiative, Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said, “FirstGem is suited for the Nigerian woman, and we are using this online community as the ideal opportunity to position the Bank’s gender initiatives to meet the required needs on a wide range of issues affecting women from lifestyle, skills acquisition, finances, wealth acquisition and management, business support, etc.

“We encourage all women to join the community by signing up via this link https://firstgem.com.ng/community to enjoy this experience.”

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FirstGem is targeted at women, aged 18 years and above and also represents a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs and MSMEs with a view to promoting growth via an array of benefits, from free business advisory services, regular information or insights on business opportunities in various sectors and industries, as well as mouth-watering discounts at partnered stores and outlets.

Patricia
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Corporate Press Releases

Meristem features Nike Okundaye in Campaign titled “The Journey”, highlights the importance for partners

Meristem taps into Okundaye’s creative energy, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration.

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Meristem features Nike Okundaye in Campaign titled "The Journey", highlights the importance for partners

It has been a long journey for financial services provider, Meristem Nigeria, having started out as a boutique stockbroking firm over 16 years ago and morphing into a capital market conglomerate offering an array of diversified service and product offerings. The tale is similar for the art and culture doyen, Nike Okundaye-Davies whose humble beginning in traditional weaving and dying practice annealed her to the art world and art lovers.

At a graceful age of 70, she has achieved over 102 solo art exhibitions, 36 group art exhibitions, a permanent display of two of her works in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, a Harvard recognition and many other global acclaims. With four (4) art galleries spread across the country, and the Lagos center being the biggest art gallery in West Africa, she once told a Forbes journalist that her dreams are driven by careful financial planning as she reinvests at least two-thirds of her income in her business and art centers.

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READ MORE: FCMB Pensions is planning to acquire AIICO Pension Managers Ltd

Meristem taps into her creative energy in this campaign, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration for both institutions, and the need to onboard the right partners to achieve long term financial goals and investment security.

Meristem, a capital market conglomerate and diversified financial services provider offering stockbroking, wealth management, asset management, trustee services and financial advisory. Over the past 16 years, Meristem has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. The Nigerian stock exchange awarded Meristem as the best digital broker of the year. In 2018 also, Meristem became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. In 2017, Meristem handled the single largest trade in the history of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Corporate Press Releases

First Bank’s FMAP graduates inuagural set of management associates

FMAP is a comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, highly driven individuals.

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FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider,  has graduated 28 successful candidates in its inaugural FirstBank Management Associates Programme (FMAP), virtually held on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 via the Zoom video-conferencing application. The programme which commenced in 2018 had a total of 48 candidates selected from thousands of entries and applications received nationwide.

FMAP is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, self-motivated and highly driven individuals that possess the right skill set and excellent leadership potential among Junior and entry-level cadre staff. Entries and applications for the programme enrolment was also extended to the public

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Speaking about the programme, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “It is an intensive skill development programme structured to enhance acute thinking, financial, methodical skills of staff. The bank would continue to reinvest in its human capital to create a kind of leadership needed for future growth and development.”

“This is part of the Bank’s strategic objectives of infusing and developing leadership at requisite levels across its staff hierarchy, aimed at building the next generation of leaders who will be groomed to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of first choice,” he concluded.

READ MORE: FirstBank takes its SMEs Business Clinic to Port-Harcourt, Abuja

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At the end of the programme, successful candidates are moved to middle management, becoming Management Associates irrespective of their grades at the point of entry.

Cross country postings and secondment opportunities are also offered to such staff to provide them with global exposure and network.

 

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About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 57,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. 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.

The Bank has been nimble at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 9million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 3 million people on FirstMobile platform.

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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.

 

Folake Ani-Mumuney

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications

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www.firstbanknigeria.com

 

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Corporate Press Releases

Raising finance to acquire a marginal field? Key issues to consider – FBNQuest

The energy sector, and in particular, upstream oil and gas, remains a critical sector for Nigeria.

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On the 1st of June 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria (“FGN”) via the Department of Petroleum Resources (“DPR”) formally announced the commencement of the long-awaited marginal field bid round. According to the guidelines published by the DPR, a marginal field is defined as a field that has been discovered and left unattended for a period of not less than 10 years from the date of first discovery or such field as the President may from time to time, identify as a marginal field. The first marginal field bid process occurred in 2001 and resulted in the award of 24 marginal fields to 32 companies. Another bid round was scheduled to take place in 2013 but was subsequently suspended. In this latest bid round, a total of 57 fields located on a combination of land, swamp and shallow terrains are on offer and there has been significant interest from investors in the process thus far.

Innovative financing will be critical particularly in the context of the current low oil price environment and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is therefore important that preferred bidders understand the need to structure optimal and bankable financings for the development of the asset post-acquisition.

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Robust Financing Structures

This encompasses the source of financing, framework and the various contracts that underpin how the financing will be availed. Reserve based lending structures, contractor financing and forward sale/prepayment structures are some forms that are likely to be utilized by prospective financiers.  A critical element in all possible financing structures and indeed most project financing type transactions is the offtake agreement. In the oil and gas industry, an off-take agreement establishes the contractual framework for the purchase and sale of oil and or gas between the seller and the off-taker. The terms of the agreements are typically negotiated before field development and will become effective upon completion of the project and production from the field commences.  This project document is quite key in ensuring the financing is secured for the project as it provides evidence that validates the financial model and cash flow projections that will underpin the asset cash flows. Offtake agreements have also become increasingly important for financing structures that involve some form of forward sale or prepayment. Lenders will seek to review the terms of the agreements as well as the creditworthiness of potential off-taker(s) and will often require that these parties either be of a specified credit rating and if not, be able to provide additional credit support (letter of credit/guarantees) to assure performance of their obligations under the agreement.  Given that this document (amongst others) contributes towards the bankability of the transaction, it is generally and in most cases made a condition precedent to the financing and will be expected to be in place prior to the disbursement of funds.  Other aspects of the financing structure which needs to be considered by prospective bidders include validation of reserves and escrow accounts, hedging requirements, defined cash waterfalls, credit enhancements from the sponsors and the inclusion of parties such as security trustee, facility agent and a technical consultant to validate the technical and operating assumptions in the financial models.

 

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Independent Due Diligence

In the oil and gas industry, due diligence is critical in view of the significant quantum of investment, as well as the technical, commercial and environmental complexities which can expose parties to significant risks.  Due diligence is sure to be undertaken by prospective financiers however, the level of due diligence will largely be dependent on the type of financing that the bidder is seeking to raise, with project finance structures requiring extensive levels of due diligence. Bidders should note that although internal due diligence may have been undertaken on the intended assets, financiers will still seek to independently validate the due diligence results provided by the client.  Typically, financiers will require the services of specialists in various fields such as Technical (Surface and Subsurface), Legal, Environmental, Insurance and a Financial Model, Accounting and Tax Auditor. Due diligence in the aforementioned areas are key for project finance transactions and even more so in an upstream oil and gas deal where cash flows and repayments are based on oil and or gas reserves.

 

Risk mitigation

Based on the independent due diligence results, prospective financiers will seek to ensure that transaction risks have been allocated to the parties’ best placed to handle such risks.  As a bidder, it is advisable to have thought through all possible risks of the proposed transaction and work towards ensuring that risks such as geological, operational, environmental, price, regulatory risks and others are suitably mitigated. Extensive due diligence is therefore required particularly in Technical (Reserves and Associated Infrastructure) and Environmental areas. In addition, other critical requirements set out in the existing guidelines such as, evidence of technical capabilities of the management and operational teams, proposed field development plans, evacuation infrastructure etc are essential aspects of the deal which need to be taken into consideration and will be critically reviewed by prospective lenders. In spite of the current macro-economic environment, significant interest from numerous prospective investors shows that industry participants believe the process is long overdue irrespective of timing. The energy sector, and in particular, upstream oil and gas, remains a critical sector for Nigeria. It is therefore in the interest of all industry participants that the marginal field bid round process is transparent and that bids are carefully evaluated against stringent criteria to ensure that these marginal fields are ultimately awarded to firms and or consortiums with the technical capacity and financial backing required to develop and operate these assets. Finance will be a critical aspect of this process and to ensure that industry players are able to successfully attract the funding required, the above items should be carefully considered as the bid round progresses.

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Ifeoma Finnih

Head Oil, Gas & Infrastructure, Debt Solutions, FBNQuest.

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