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Fidelity Bank pioneers Instant Banking Solution for revenue collection

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As part of deliberate efforts to change the face of service and create total customer experience in the financial services industry, Fidelity Bank has deployed a ground breaking and innovative solution for the collection of internally generated revenue (IGR) in Lagos State. Working in conjunction with the State Government, Fidelity Bank developed the tax collection/payment solution via its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel (*770#). The solution, which is first of its kind in the industry, is in response to some of the challenges faced in making tax payments and remittances to Lagos State Government.

According to the Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Richard Madiebo, the introduction of the USSD for the payment of State taxes is an innovative step that enables the average tax payer fulfill his or her obligations to government conveniently. “This payment option is borne largely from our desire to always provide easy and convenient payment channels to the semi-formal and informal tax markets in Nigeria”, adding that tax payers can now make payment efficiently and this would eventually lead to a reduction of leakages in the system for the State.

Fidelity Bank has, over the years, positioned itself as a key player in the Nigeria’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) across Federal and State mandates. The Bank successfully deployed easy and convenient payment solutions in Anambra, Abia, Imo, Kano and Sokoto Sates through Point of Sale (PoS) Terminal Tax Collections, Automated Electronic Motor Vehicle License, Land Registry Automation Processes and web payment platforms.

Speaking in the same vein, Head, Enterprise Solutions, Zee Agetua expressed gratitude to the Lagos State Government for the partnership adding that Fidelity is committed to helping to improve its IGR position. “We are working to institutionalize a robust and efficient revenue collections and payments culture through our partnerships with State Government agencies and departments through the years. This is borne out of our conviction that the revenue collections market has indeed huge potentials with increased digitization”, she said.

To get started and enjoy these benefits, the Head , E-Banking, Fidelity Bank, Ifeoma Onibuje explained that customers were simply expected to complete account opening and registration process by simply dialing *770# on the phone linked to their account, choose the tax payment option and conclude their transactions. In addition to this, all registered users can easily transfer and withdraw funds, buy airtime as well as pay utility bills. “User safety is also key to Fidelity Bank. We  have incorporated an ‘instant blocking’ feature to the platform such that a customer who feels that his or her code has been compromised can disable the service immediately using any other phone” she added.

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Decade old story wins GTBank’s Dusty Manuscript Contest

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The MD/CEO Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje with Winner of the contest, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

 

A manuscript written almost ten years ago has been selected as the winner of the Dusty Manuscript Contest; a Prize organized for budding Nigerian writers. Written by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, the winning manuscript, titled Devil’s Pawn clinched the top prize ahead of The Orchid Protocol by Onoche Emeka Onyekwena and The Other Side of Truth by Nneoma Anieto, which came first and second runner-up respectively.

Organized in partnership with Kachifo Ltd. and Okadabooks, the Dusty Manuscript Contest is the latest in a long line of GTBank’s YouREAD initiatives aimed at fostering the culture of reading and creating a platform for the appreciation of Africa’s literary excellence. As part of the contest, Nigerians were invited to submit their unpublished stories and stand a chance to get publishing deals for their works. The contest received over 1,000 entries and had a panel of four judges made up of authors Eghosa Imasuen, Yejide Kilanko and Toni Kan and Assistant Professor of English, Dr Ainehi Edoro-Glines.

As part of the prizes in the Dusty Manuscript Contest, the authors of the top 3 manuscripts received 1,000,000, N500,000 and N250,000 respectively, as well as publishing contracts with Kachifo Ltd. The authors of the 10 manuscripts also received e-publishing contracts with OkadaBooks, while the authors of the top 20 manuscripts were hosted to a two-day intensive writers boot-camp to sharpen their literary and business skills.

Speaking about the winning entry, the lead judge, Dr Ainehi Edoro, said; “Devil’s Pawn was a unanimous choice. Told in a fast paced narrative style that keeps you glued to the pages, the story is a gift that keeps giving’’. “The Orchid Protocol is an intriguing detective story, call it CSI Lagos and you won’t be too far off the mark,” said Eghosa Imasuen, one of the judges. “The Other Side of Truth presents a woman’s life, without judgement. In making the case for the novel a single word comes to me: Empathy,” added another judge, Toni Kan.

Commenting on the Dusty Manuscript Contest, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “At GTBank we see Art as not just a medium for creative expression but also as a means of livelihood, and by organizing the Dusty Manuscript Contest we are helping budding writers share their stories with the world whilst providing them with a platform to build successful writing careers.”

GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank’s footprints in Corporate Social Responsibility are guided strategically by its decision to operate on four major pillars: Education, Community Development, Arts and the Environment, which it believes are essential building blocks for the society and prerequisites for economic growth and societal development.

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CBN boosts Forex market with $210 million

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made available the sum of $210million, to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market.
In its desire to meet customers’ needs in the various segments of the market, the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got boosted with the sum of $55 million.
According to figures obtained from the Bank on Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.
It will be recalled that the Bank last Thursday, June 14, 2018 intervened to the tune of $343.06 million to cater for requests in the retail segment of the forex market.
Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability in the FOREX market, exchanging at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
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FirstBank celebrates CSR Week across 8 countries, over 800 business communities

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited is commemorating the second edition of its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) Week scheduled for June 19 – 23, 2018.  The event themed ‘Touching Lives; You First’ would offer FirstBank employees the opportunity to give their time and resources in the service of humanity. The week-long event which is being commemorated across its business communities in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal is a reflection of the Bank’s brand promise to always put stakeholder needs first, while it reinforces the Bank’s role in driving sustainable development in the communities where it operates.

The CR&S Week would witness the culmination and consolidation of the Bank’s interventions in social responsibility, promoting random acts of kinds across 800 communities to reignite acts of kindness in our society. The events are tailored towards re-orientating the society along the right values; encouraging the citizenry to intentionally create positive impact in their immediate environment.

Major Highlights of the 2018 commemoration include:

Promoting Acts of Random Kindness in over 800 Business Communities– This initiative launched in 2017 as Staff Promoting Acts of Random Kindness has been expanded to give opportunities to everyone who wants to participate. Consequently,  it  has been tagged ‘Start Promoting Acts of Random Kindness’ (SPARK)  and a Giving platform has been put in place to encourage all interested parties to donate to humanitarian causes. All stakeholders are encouraged to nominate people they believe are deserving of kindness. Nominations can be sent to spark@firstbanknigeria.com with supporting reasons in not more than 100 words; entries close on June 23, 2018.

Giving and Visits to Orphanages/Less Privileged Homes Across Sub-Saharan Africa and United Kingdom:  FirstBank staff would drive welfare through visits to homes of the less privileged and elderly across the Bank’s footprints in Sub-saharan Africa and the United Kingdom to present the items  which have been procured based on a prior needs assessment at the chosen locations.

Career counseling for over 3000 students: Executive Management and staff will deliver impactful career counseling sessions with secondary school students across the regions to inculcate financial literacy and inclusion in young students.

Provision of Vision Screening and Eye Glasses for 2000 People: The Bank is partnering with VisionSpring to provide vision screening and affordable eye glasses for consumers earning less than $4 per day. This initiative is structured around three social impact themes: See to Earn, See to Learn, and See to be Safe to impact the lifestyles of their communities.

Empowerment for over 500 Widows: As part of the week’s activities, FirstBank will also commemorate the International Widows Day (IWD) on June 23, 2018 and is partnering with the International Women’s Society (IWS) to empower women, especially widows that will be present at an event organised to commemorate the IWD.

FirstBank’s CR&S Week is the first of its kind in the Financial Service industry in Nigeria and it is tailored to spotlight the Bank’s corporate citizenship interventions to drive positive impact across various communities all in one week. The Bank is encouraging people everywhere to step out of their comfort zones, perform a random act of kindness, post a picture and tag FirstBank on social media using the hash tag #FirstBankCRSWeek on Facebook – facebook.com/firstbankofnigeria; Twitter – @firstbankngr and Instagram – @firstbanknigeria

Speaking on the initiative, the MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan stated that The 2018 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability week will amplify the Bank’s Employee Giving and Volunteering scheme as we all collaborate across our business communities to create sustainable impact, touch lives and make our societies a better place to live.

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