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IWD: FirstBank MD assures fairness and justice for economic growth.

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IWD: FirstBank MD assures fairness and justice for economic growth.

The Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said Wednesday in Lagos that the bank has made good progress in addressing gender imbalance.

This is even as he said that the objective remains that, in the very near future, the bank will have its first female chief executive officer.

Speaking in Lagos at the FirstBank Women Network International Women’s Day event with the theme, “Embrace Equity,” Adeduntan said the bank currently has two female executives and a number of ladies who are general managers, also at the deputy general manager level.

Adeduntan noted that he has had the privilege and opportunity to work with a good number of women at the bank.

He said, “I have been privileged to work with virtually everyone here; I see the brain, I see the resilience, I see the tenacity, and I see the hunger to succeed, which for me is much more important.” Many people have the brain, but if that hunger to succeed is missing, then they cannot fully utilize their brains.

“We are not yet where we would like to be, but we are very clear in terms of the direction of travel, and we are very clear in terms of what we are doing to ensure that we have more women go through the pipeline and get to the top.”

“The single objective of the FirstBank Women Network is and remains creating an enabling environment that allows our ladies to blossom, to thrive, and to be the best that they can be, so that you can contribute your quota to achieving our vision, which is to be the African Bank of First Choice.”

“Clearly, without an iota of doubt and without your contribution, that vision will be unattainable. We are not yet where we would like to be, but we are very clear in terms of our direction of travel and what we are doing to ensure that we have more women go through the pipeline and get to the top.

He, however, assured women that the leadership team of the bank is fully committed to supporting the female gender to ensure they become the best.

According to him, the FirstBank Women Network, which started in March 2019, was created to create an enabling environment that allows ladies in the bank to blossom, thrive, and be the best that they can be, in order to “contribute your quota to achieving our vision, which is to be the African Bank of First Choice.”

Also speaking at the event, a banker and investor, Mr. Andrew Alli, stressed the need for corporations to encourage girls and women to embrace opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

He said the opportunities in STEM education are enormous and, if properly tapped, would enhance the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Alli said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector had recorded tremendous growth and presently contributes about 18 percent to the GDP, up from two or three percent in years past.

He said, “I think that this is the time to try and change that narrative around what happens in technology companies; though, a number of those companies are already starting to do this,” adding that there was a need for female executives to change the narrative and encourage more girls and women to participate actively in the sector.

Chairman of the FirstBank Women Network, Mrs. Olaitan Martins, urged women to take advantage of the numerous resources available for learning and growth.

She said, “There are about 27 percent of tech-related jobs, and women are underrepresented in STEM.” This gap can truly be bridged, and it starts with us.

“We have the power to break this barrier and pave the way for the future generation of women in innovation and technology; we need to participate more actively and contribute new perspectives with our unique creativity and problem-solving skills.”

“We don’t need to be afraid; sometimes we think technology is too difficult. We should not be afraid to pursue our interest in innovation and technology, and there are numerous resources available for our learning and growth.
“So, together, we can break down the gender barrier in technology and innovation and create a more diverse and inclusive world for us all,” she said. “So, I encourage you all to subscribe, take that bold step, develop interest, and we will assist you,” she added.

Academic Director and Senior Fellow in the Operations, Information Systems, and Marketing Division of Lagos Business School, Prof. Olayinka David-West, also called on women to be changemakers and social problem solvers.

“So when we talk about changemakers, there are different types, and I think we all fit into different categories of changemakers?”

“First of all, we have social architects, influencers, and skill catalyzers; we could be inventors, putting financial resources into development; we could be inventors creating new things; and we also have connectors,” she said.

 

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First Bank reinforces commitment to empowering FMCG distributors

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First Bank reinforces commitment to empowering FMCG distributors

First Bank reinforces commitment to empowering FMCG distributors

 

FirstBank of Nigeria Plc has reaffirmed its dedication to bolstering businesses through a range of initiatives aimed at fostering a robust business environment and stimulating economic growth.

Mrs. Olaitan Martins, Group Executive of Transaction Banking, reiterated this commitment during an interactive session with Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) business owners held on Wednesday in Lagos.

The session was specifically designed for FMCG distributors in the Southwest region to provide insights into business development strategies and avenues for expanding their revenue streams.

Martins reiterated that the forum was a component of the bank’s continuous endeavors to actively involve and instruct its customers on business improvement, acknowledging the crucial function performed by principals and important distributors in the FMCG industry.

significance of supporting businesses

Highlighting the significance of supporting businesses that contribute to the national economy through the distribution of fast-moving commodities, Martins underscored the importance of the bank’s clientele, which comprises major distributors and principal players in Nigeria’s corporate landscape.

“The participants in today’s event represent the core distributors and principals within the FMCG sector, serving as integral components of Nigeria’s distribution network for fast-moving commodities.
This occasion serves as both a platform to acknowledge and celebrate their contributions to the nation’s economy and an opportunity to provide valuable insights into managing the intricacies of the value chain business,” stated Martins.
She further emphasized the imperative of providing support to customers navigating the inherent risks associated with business operations, reaffirming the bank’s commitment to assisting its clientele in navigating these challenges effectively.

Martins underscored First Bank’s enduring presence in Nigeria, spanning over 130 years, and its pivotal role in both the nation’s economy and the lives of its citizens.

She elucidated that the distributor’s scheme is geared towards providing financing solutions to companies, thereby contributing to the growth of the economy.

“FirstBank is steadfast in its commitment to supporting every business endeavor. We stand ready to assist, but it is imperative that we collaborate and work together to foster economic growth and national development,” she affirmed.
Engagement with distributors
Earlier, Mobolade Ojeahere, Group Head of Transaction Banking at FirstBank, highlighted the necessity for the bank’s engagement with distributors in light of exchange rate fluctuations.

He explained that the interactive session aimed not only to gather feedback but also to identify solutions and capitalize on challenges as opportunities for growth.

During the session, bank officials presented various products offered by the institution, dispelled misconceptions surrounding bank loans, and elaborated on strategies for distributors to leverage available opportunities.

Discussions also delved into market trends within sectors heavily influenced by FMCGs and emphasized the importance of digital solutions and embracing cashless transactions, especially within the FMCG sector, which boasts a substantial market share in Africa valued at 41.78 billion dollars.

The panel addressed inquiries ranging from calculations for different bank facilities to interest rates on various products, addressing concerns about overdeductions and elucidating product dynamics while providing valuable advice to attendees.

Subsequently, awards were conferred upon the top-performing distributors from the Southwest region in recognition of their outstanding contributions.

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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® – Input Costs Rise At Record Pace In February

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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI®: Input Costs Rise At Record Pace In February

Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI®: Input Costs Rise At Record Pace In February

Price pressures intensified in the Nigerian private sector during February and were unprecedented in over a decade of data collection. Both input costs and output prices increased at the sharpest rates on record, with rising prices impacting demand.

As a result, rates of expansion in output and new orders slowed sharply over the month, while employment decreased for the first time in ten months. Meanwhile, business confidence dropped to the lowest on record. The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ IndexTM (PMI®). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

The headline PMI dropped markedly in February to 51.0 from 54.5 in January, remaining above the 50.0 no-change mark for the third month running, but only just. The improvement in business conditions was the weakest since the recovery in the private sector began last December.

Input costs surged higher in February, often as a result of exchange rate weakness, which drove up material costs but also raised fuel prices. The latest rise in overall input costs was by far the sharpest since the survey began in January 2014, with around 78% of respondents signaling an increase over the month.

Similarly, output price inflation also hit a fresh record high in February as firms passed through rising input costs to their customers. Steep price pressures acted to limit new orders in the private sector. Although new business increased for the third successive month amid some positive signs of underlying demand, the rate of expansion slowed sharply and was the weakest in this sequence.

This was also the case with business activity, which increased only slightly. Rising activity in the agriculture and services sectors contrasted with falls in manufacturing, wholesale, and retail.

Muyiwa Oni, Head of Equity Research West Africa at Stanbic IBTC Bank, commented: “Stanbic IBTC Bank headline PMI slowed to its weakest level since Dec 23, moderating remarkably to 51.0 in Feb from 54.5 in January. Employment level dropped below the 50.0 no-change mark for the first time in 10 months, while output and the new order’s expansion both weakened significantly in the month.”

“These weaknesses were in line with the sharp local currency depreciation, increase in fuel prices, and rapidly rising food costs in February, thereby driving overall cost pressures in the month. These lingering pressures may push domestic demand low, limiting growth potential in Q1:24.”

Signs of weakness in the private sector led companies to lower their staffing levels for the first time in ten months, albeit marginally. Purchasing activity was also scaled back following a marked expansion in the previous survey period. Firms were able to keep on top of workloads, however, and reduced outstanding business for the first time in three months.

A desire to be able to respond to new orders in a timely manner meant that companies continued to increase their inventories. Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery times shortened again.

Unprecedented inflationary pressures amid currency weakness and signs of demand softening meant that business confidence dropped to the lowest on record in February. Firms remained optimistic regarding the year-ahead outlook for activity, however, often reflecting business expansion plans and hopes for an improvement in economic conditions.

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Sterling One Foundation Set To Host Africa Social Impact Summit 2024

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Sterling One Foundation Set To Host Africa Social Impact Summit 2024

Sterling One Foundation Set To Host Africa Social Impact Summit 2024

Sterling One Foundation has announced plans to host the third edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit between July 25 and 26 this year.

This was disclosed at a dinner organised to appreciate the Foundation’s corporate and development partners who have contributed to the success of previous editions of the Summit and other social impact initiatives.

The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, expressed profound gratitude to the partners, stating that their multi-faceted partnership and moral support have been instrumental to the success achieved over the years.

“Last year, we planned to convene about 1,000 physical delegates at the Eko Convention Center but eventually had over 1,500 participants join us for the two-day summit. Post-event, we have also realised that over 30 percent of the social impact players that joined us got financial and non-financial support just because they were part of the summit.

This is a testament to the immense value the convening offers the ecosystem and why I would like to sincerely appreciate all these esteemed organizations dedicated to fostering sustainable change in Nigeria and across the African continent.”

Among the recognised partners were co-conveners United Nations Nigeria, Coca-Cola Company, the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Afreximbank, the British Council, Microsoft, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the MTN Foundation.

She also appreciated deal rooms and technical partners such as the UNIDO Investment Technology and Promotion Of­ficer (ITPO), African Venture Philanthropy Alliance, Oando Foundation, Palladium SCALE Project, Nigeria Climate Inno­vation Center, Woodhall Capital Foundation, the Impact Inves­tors Foundation, Nigeria Eco­nomic Summit Group (NESG), Lagos Business School Sustain­ability Centre, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, TRACE, Proshare, Ventures Africa, as well as other partners and exhibitors.

Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, a member of the Foundation’s board, also remarked that one of the reasons the Sterling One Foundation exists is to address issues rooted in poor collabo­ration in Nigeria, which has birthed increased costs for the various foundations attempting to resolve the country’s and continent’s problems.

“We wanted to ensure we didn’t repeat the same mistake, so our objective was to bring people together and help them see what they might not have seen before. To that extent, I think the summit has done very well,” he said.

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