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UBA Pioneers Financial Inclusivity For The Visually Impaired, Introduces UBA Braille Account Opening Form:

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UBA Pioneers Financial Inclusivity For The Visually Impaired, Introduces UBA Braille Account Opening Form:

 

Braille Account Opening 4: l-r: Past-Chairman, Anglo-Nigerian Welfare Association for the Blind(ANWAB), Ogie Eboigbe; Tutor, Pacelli School of the Blind, Sister Christiana Ekechukwu; Board Member, ANWAB, David Okon; Chairman, ANWAB, Ms Barbara Wey; Official, Ministry of Education, Grace Abimbola; Former, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Persons Living with Disability, Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal; Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, United Bank for Africa(UBA), Ugochukwu Nwaghodoh; Nigerian Musician and Producer, Cobhams Asuquo; and Executive Director, Group Operations, UBA, Alex Alozie, during the launch of Braille Account Opening Form for virtually impaired people, held in Lagos on Tuesday

 

Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), has launched the UBA Braille Account Opening Form, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the Nigerian and African markets, designed specifically to cater to the financial needs of the visually impaired.

Until now, this unique and special section of society has been disadvantaged, but with this ground-breaking initiative, UBA has fully demonstrated its unwavering commitment to providing an excellent user experience for all its customers, regardless of their individual abilities or disabilities.

The new UBA Braille Account Opening Form was launched at the UBA Head Office in Lagos on Tuesday, in an event that had in attendance key executive members of the bank and guests including Multi-Award Winner, Nigerian Musician, Producer, and Songwriter, Cobhams Asuquo, General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Dare Dairo; Former Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Persons Living with Disability, Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal, as well as students from the Pacelli School of the Blind.

While endorsing the laudable initiative, Award-winning Music Producer, Cobhams Asuquo, described the Braille account as an innovative initiative that presents UBA as a bank with a heart that pays keen attention to the needs of the blind and disabled.

Asuquo said, “Before now, we have always been at the mercy of the reader when we want to do things like open accounts for ourselves, but this account opening form has come to solve the problem of access which has previously been a huge limiting factor for people like me who are blind. With this initiative, UBA has promoted our ideal of inclusivity and has helped to put back freedom in our hands while opening us up to the variety of opportunities and options available to us.

Continuing he said, “UBA has blazed the trail, I am beyond elated, as this new initiative will send a strong note to others to replicate the same feat and make people realize that banking services can and should be done with humanity in mind. Thank you UBA for amplifying this much-needed cause, I endorse this 100 percent and I believe it is a much-needed first step that will lead to so many others.”

Speaking earlier, UBA’s Executive Director, of Finance and Risk Management, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said the bank continues to look for ways to make the physically challenged and others to be comfortable in their life-long relationship with the financial industry.

He said, “In our quest to drive all-encompassing financial inclusion, we decided to support the visually impaired by developing a Braille Account Opening form and these special customers now have the same opportunities available to our customers. The ultimate benefit is to ensure that everybody has the right to select and choose the kind of account they want to operate, and this account opening form will go a long way to ensure this.”

The UBA Braille Account Opening Form was produced with the support of the Anglo-Nigerian Welfare Association for the Blind and is the first of its kind in the industry, designed specifically to cater to the needs of visually impaired individuals. With this innovative solution, UBA is empowering blind customers to independently initiate and complete the account opening process, ensuring their seamless integration into the financial system.

The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs; LASODA, who was also at the event, commended the entire team for conceiving the idea. He said, “I am so elated at this initiative, and I am happy to hear that this is also going to be replicated in the 19 African countries where UBA is present. I say thank you to this bank for this beautiful project. It is true that Government cannot do it all, and we are glad when we see institutions charting the course for others.”

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 35,000 employees group-wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial, and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting-edge technology

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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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