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ZENITH TECH FAIR CONCLUDES WITH HACKATHON WINNERS RECEIVING SIGNIFICANT CASH REWARDS

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ZENITH TECH FAIR CONCLUDES WITH HACKATHON WINNERS RECEIVING SIGNIFICANT CASH REWARDS

ZENITH TECH FAIR CONCLUDES WITH HACKATHON WINNERS RECEIVING SIGNIFICANT CASH REWARDS

ZENITH TECH FAIR CONCLUDES WITH HACKATHON WINNERS RECEIVING SIGNIFICANT CASH REWARDS

L-R: Group Managing Director/CEO, Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Centre), flanked from left by Executive Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti; Founder, Skill Up with Kahdsole (SUWK), Chioma Ukpabi; Co-founder, Sync, Princess Edokpayi; and Co-founder/CEO, Tribapay, Bolu Oluwagbesan, during the presentation of cash prizes to the winners of the Zecathon at the Zenith Tech Fair 3.0 held at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday.

The Third Edition of the Zenith Bank Tech Fair, themed “Future Forward 3.0”, which was held on November 23–24, 2023, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, has concluded. From the over 500 contestants that participated in the Zenith Hackathon (Zecathon), Sync, a team collaboration and workflow management platform that provides synergy and enables project management, task planning, messaging, payments, scheduling, and people operations, emerged as the overall winner, taking home the grand prize of N20 million. This is in addition to a mentorship program with Seedstars, a company dedicated to implementing high-quality capacity-building programs for entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The first runner-up, Skill Up With Kahdsole (SUWK), a social-tech startup that provides an end-to-end platform for learning technical and vocational skills to empower young people, won N15 million and a mentorship program with Seedstars, while the second runner-up, Tribapay, a payment processing gateway that allows for cross-border payments and transactions in Nigeria and Ghana, won N10 million as well as a mentorship program with Seedstars. Other finalists who took home N2 million each include Edupoint, Joovlin, Frootify, Izesan Limited, Natal Cares, Plychain.io, and Niteon.

In his welcome address at the Zenith Bank flagship Tech Fair, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, expressed his excitement for this year’s Hackathon, stating that it was indeed the high point of the overall event. According to him, “We have deliberately kept the best for the last. The high point of today’s event is the hackathon.

This is where we have the opportunity to see the immense creativity and talent in our youth as they come up with different innovative ideas.” He added that “the good thing about the hackathon is that the pitches you see presented are completely different from the ones we have seen before, and we intend to make it far more elaborate as we hope that as we go into the future, we should be able to bring back winners where they can tell the audience their journey and how they have progressed so far.”

The two-day Tech Fair, which was described as a huge success by participants, featured presentations on the leading technological innovations that cut across different aspects of life, such as artificial intelligence, contactless payments, cybersecurity, cloud computing, fintech, data analytics, financial intelligence, and communication technologies, with the keynote address” “Artificial Intelligence: Application and Bias “, delivered by Chris Lu, the renowned IT specialist, business strategist, and Managing Director for Huawei Technologies, Nigeria.

The event also featured a welcome address by Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs, Nigeria, and goodwill messages by the Honourable Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, and Dr. Doris Anite, Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment (represented by Dr. Femi Adeluyi, National Coordinator for the National Talent Programme).

Other eminent IT practitioners from top global brands who also made presentations include Demola Sanusi, Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services; Temitope Aladenusi, Partner & Leader Cybersecurity, Deloitte; Andrew Uaboi, Vice President/Cluster Head, Visa West Africa; Dr. Blaise Ijebor, Director of Risk Management, CBN; Keelan Singh, Head, UiPath EMEA Banking and Financial Services; Shweta Juneja, Partner, McKinsey Digital; Wole Odeleye, Financial Services Technology Lead, Microsoft; Ope Ajayi, Founder & CEO, Cinemax; Elo Umeh, and Managing Director of Terragon.

The fair featured two panel sessions. The first panel, which examined “The Next Frontier: Digital Wallets, Contactless Payments, and BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later),” had Chris Lu as the host, with five discussants, including Fey Wong, Country Director, Palmpay; Premier Oiwoh, Managing Director, NIBSS; Vincent Ogbunude, Managing Director, Verve; Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager, MasterCard; and Managing Director of Network International, Adelola Agbebiyi.

The second panel explored the theme “The intersection of fintech, eCommerce, and SMEs: Collaboration for Growth.” It was hosted by John Obidi and had five discussants, including Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, Chief Executive Officer, Konga; Tunde Kehinde, Managing Director, Lydia; Stan Martins, Regional Director, Meta; John Obaro, Chief Executive Officer, SystemSpecs; and Seyi Banigbe, Founder of Bland2Glam.

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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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