Leading audit and professional services company, KPMG Nigeria, has ranked Ecobank Nigeria among the top three banks with good customer experience in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) segment. KPMG’s Nigeria banking industry customer experience survey measures the performance of lenders in the country in terms of their relationship with their account holders and other users of financial services. The 2020 survey covered 15,056 retail customers, 1,856 SMEs and 332 commercial/corporate organisations. Respondents were selected from customers who have interacted with their bank in the last six months.
According to the report in the SME category, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and Ecobank were top three. They were trailed by Zenith Bank and FCMB. Specifically, the report stated that respondents were impressed with the interaction between Ecobank and its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, stressing that the bank was able to provide personalized service to its respective customer segments. “The remote working arrangements resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have further constrained banks from catering to this stated need. While many banks struggled with providing dedicated relationship managers to SMEs, other banks quickly adapted by developing “how-to” guides for their relationship managers to navigate client relations during the pandemic. Ecobank, FCMB and Union Bank are rated as the top banks in the delivery of personalised experiences,” the report stated.
Commenting, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan stated the bank’s unwavering commitment to support and sustain the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in all sectors of the economy. He reiterated that Ecobank had invested in a robust technology-based model which positioned it to cope with current and future challenges including provision of convenient digital banking services to customers in a seamless manner, adding that the bank will continue to harness and explore the various intervention schemes, funding and trade opportunities for small businesses.
“We are delighted with this recognition from KPMG. It underscores our commitment to customer-centricity and putting the customer first in all that we do. We provide access to finance and markets to our customers and are the natural choice for ease of payments, trade and distribution within Africa on a real time, 24/7 basis. Our well trained personnel leverage the financial products and services we offer to support SMEs at all times through about 20,000 agency banking locations across the country and our digital platforms namely Ecobank Omnilite, Ecobankmobile, Ecobankpay, EcobankOmniplus, Rapid Transfer amongst others. By utilising these digital offerings, our customers can easily access their bank accounts, make payments, transfer funds, process salaries, have access to credit and carry out other ancillary banking transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices,” Mr Akinwuntan stated.
The KPMG 2020 Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey tagged: The customer in a new reality is the 14th edition. Banks are usually rated in three categories – Retail, SME and Wholesale. The researchers asked customers across financial market segments about their experience with their banks based on six pillars of personification, integrity, expectations, time and effort, resolution and empathy.
Unilever sets out plans to help build a more equitable and inclusive society
Unilever’s ambition is to improve living standards for low-paid workers worldwide.
Unilever today announced a wide-ranging set of commitments and actions to help build a more equitable and inclusive society by raising living standards across its value chain, creating opportunities through inclusivity, and preparing people for the future of work.
Unilever’s main commitments include:
- Ensuring that everyone who directly provides goods and services to the company earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030
- Spending €2 billion annually with suppliers owned and managed by people from under-represented groups, by 2025
- Pioneering new employment models for our employees, and equipping 10m young people with essential skills to prepare them for job opportunities, by 2030
Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, explained, “The two biggest threats that the world currently faces are climate change and social inequality. The past year has undoubtedly widened the social divide, and decisive and collective action is needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embraces diversity, nurtures talent, and offers opportunities for everyone.
“We believe the actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business; ready for the huge societal changes we are experiencing today – changes that will only accelerate. Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business.”
Unilever’s ambition is to improve living standards for low-paid workers worldwide. The company will therefore ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to them earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030. The company already pays its employees a living wage, and they want to secure the same for more people beyond its workforce, specifically focusing on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture.
In addition to improving living standards through economic inclusion, Unilever is also critical about creating more opportunities for people from under-represented groups – both within and outside of the organisation. Diversity in the workplace directly results in improved financial performance through its capacity to foster innovation, creativity, and empathy.
Speaking further Jope said, “As we help to build a more equitable and inclusive society, we recognise that changes to the world of work will affect the employment prospects of many people. Many current ways of working – roles, places, hours, skills – are rapidly evolving. We have a responsibility to generate and sustain employability, by preparing our employees and other people beyond our organisation for the societal and technological changes that are taking place.”
Beyond its immediate organisation, Unilever plans to help equip 10m young people with essential skills to prepare them for job opportunities, by 2030. “By investing in skills-building and providing work experience opportunities for young people, we will drive growth, and accelerate digital capabilities, building expertise and increasing productivity.” Jope said.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 150,000 employees and generated sales of €52 billion in 2019. Over half of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has around 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Dove, Knorr, Dirt Is Good, Rexona, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, Lux, Magnum, Axe, Sunsilk and Surf.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands delivered 78% of total growth and 75% of turnover in 2019.
Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business. We have made significant progress and continue to expand our ambition – in 2019 committing to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognised in 2019 as sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and in 2020 – for the tenth-consecutive year – as the top-ranked company in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility Sustainability Leaders survey.
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.
For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/
Nigeria´s rising debt, rising inflation and more | Economic Roundup
4 of my staff were paid by the FG MSME Survival Funds’ – Lola Petra Allen
MSME Survival Fund Program aims to protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fifth Edition of the annual Lagos Small Business Summit organized by SME100Africa in commemoration of the Global Entrepreneurship Week was held virtually with an outstanding attendance of inquisitive entrepreneurs who registered in their thousands looking for relevant tips, skills, and knowledge about business in Nigeria. The event was chaired by Mr Charles odii the Executive Director of SME100Africa. The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment where he spoke on how Government and small business owners can keep up with the market.
A participant of the Lagos small business summit Ms Lola Petra Allen, a small business owner who is the CEO of Lola Petra Ventures which specializes in Trading, bakery, food and Beverages based in Ogun states spoke up to testify and show appreciation of the FG survival funds, she shared her experience before, during, and after applying for the survival fund. Ms Lola announced that the day before 4 of her staff members were credited a sum of N30,000 by the FG and the Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo showed his appreciation of Ms. Lola’s testimony, stating that although many had received their funds from the program, they did not come forward to share about it but she did.
Ms. Lola went on to share her entire experience when asked by the host and CEO of Inversion STC, Brian Oji to explain to those in doubt and seeking more answers how it all went down; She stated that she got the link through a former institution school group and decided to check the legitimacy of the link; once she had confirmed this, she went on to apply just like everyone else and decided to keep following up for changes and necessary requirements. She got to a stage where she was expected to register her staff which she could not register because 2 members had prior issues with their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and had to be dropped otherwise her application would not have been accepted; after this stage, she and her staff were captured and eventually got to the final verification stage. The entire process led up to her employees being paid by 7 am the previous morning.
The Federal Government MSME Survival Fund Program is a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, which aims to support and protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has 3 parts which any MSME business owner is eligible for, the MSME Revolving Guaranteed Off-take Scheme, The Payroll support and MSME Grant.
To apply and receive the funds that can help keep your MSME afloat during this pandemic, click this link https://survivalfund.gov.ng/