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Poverty reduction: Dangote tasks private sector on women empowerment

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… lifts 13,000 women in Nasarawa

 

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has urged private sector operators and Government at all levels to adequately empower women as a means of poverty reduction.

Dangote said once our women have been successfully enabled to support their homes and families, poverty will gradually become a thing of the past in the country.

Speaking while flagging-off the disbursement of N130million to 13,000 women in Lafia, Nasarawa state under the Aliko Dangote Foundation micro-grant scheme, Dangote promised to do all within his power to spread his wealth across the country, towards reduction of poverty in the country.

The Micro grant scheme, according to Dangote was one of the components of the economic empowerment programme of the foundation.

He said the grant was aimed at providing the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society with an unconditional N10, 000 cash transfer to boost their household income generation.

“This we believe will help the beneficiaries meet their livelihood needs,” he added.
He explained that the scheme, which was launched a few years back, was targeted at a minimum of 1,000 women in each of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the country.

“It is estimated that we will spend about N10 billion on the scheme, some states with large population will get a little bit more than others,” he said.

Dangote said he started the foundation in 1993 with the belief that by supporting social and economic changes through strategic investment and interventions that improve the lives of the less privileged he would make a positive difference in the growth of the country’s economy.

He said the four major goals of the foundation are -health and nutrition, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief.
He said the foundation was partnering with Access bank to open bank accounts for the all the 13,000 beneficiaries in the state, so they can be issued with customised debit cards.

He said the essence was to introduce banking to the beneficiaries in their local communities.

According to him, the beneficiaries’ accounts have been credited with the grant and that the bank’s agents have been adequately trained and mobilised to provide the beneficiaries with the basic banking activities.

“The foundation and the Access bank team will be going to each of the 13 LGAs in the state to distribute the cards to the selected beneficiaries in order to be able to redeem their cash,” Dangote said.

Also speaking, Gov. Umaru Al-Makura thanked Dongote for the gesture describing it as strategic, considering the hardship currently pervading the society.

“The efforts of the foundation is in tandem with the Federal Government’s social investment programme aimed at providing succor to the aged, vulnerable groups and the poorest of the poor in the society,” he said.

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BUSINESS

FCMB promotes entrepreneurship among youths, urges innovation

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FCMB MD, Adam Nuru

Leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has once again demonstrated its commitment towards the empowerment of youths in entrepreneurship by sponsoring a capacity building programme for almost 1,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Abuja on July 30th, 2018.

Tagged ‘’Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme’’, it was in partnership with Activate Success Foundation. The highly engaging, interactive and exciting session provided a platform for the youth corpers to look inward, develop and deploy their business skills through practical trainings facilitated by experts and successful business owners.

According to the Bank, the development will go a long way to empower them with the requisite resources to start and grow successful businesses during and after their service year in order to become financially independent and contribute significantly to national development.

Commenting on the initiative, the Executive Director, Retail Banking of FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, said it is in line with the commitment of the Bank to provide multiple opportunities that would inspire and enable youths to be actively engaged and eventually become successful business owners.

According to him, ‘’FCMB Flexx account empowers Nigerian youths with the entrepreneurial and employability skills they need. Many youths set up their own businesses from their campuses. FCMB will be there with them to provide the necessary entrepreneurial and business skills they need to make great successes out of their businesses. FCMB will also provide great support for the youth businesses and work with them to nurture and grow the youth entrepreneurial ventures’’.

Also speaking, the Founder of Activate Success Founder, Love Idoko, said, ‘’I have a penchant for motivating people. There are business-minded youths out there that are just looking for mentorship or business ideas as well as funds to start their businesses. The purpose is not just to give grants, it is to also empower and motivate as many youths as possible”.

Among the facilitators at the programme were a Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Desmond Elliot; Chief Executive Officer, Vodi Tailors, Mr. Seyi Adekunle and Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo, of the #NotTooYoungToRun fame. At the end of the programme the sum of N2.7million was given as grant to some of the youth corpers with excellent business ideas to enable them start-up.

FCMB has over the years developed various engagement programmes focused on empowering young Nigerians such as #FlexxYourCreativity, #FCMBFlexxtern and the Flexx Youth Entrepreneurship Masterclass. Through these initiatives, FCMB has given young entrepreneurs and students access to training, funding, mentorship, networking opportunities and jobs. The Bank’s Flexxzone (http://flexxzone.fcmb.com/) also provides useful resources to help young Nigerians build their business and career, while keeping up with latest trends in fashion, lifestyle and entertainment.

The Bank’s youth product, Flexx, is one of its innovations to simplify and make banking services exciting. The Flexx proposition has continued to meet the overall financial and other socio-economic needs of young people from the age range of 16 to 30years. This is summarised in the description of Flexx as, “An app, a card, an account”. These features give account holders the freedom to bank on the go, using the Flexx Mobile App and also the Bank’s USSD code, *329#.

With a clear understanding of its market and environment, FCMB is well positioned to continue to create value by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of its customers.

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CBN orders banks to give loans to agric, manufacturers at 9%

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be refunding Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to banks that fund projects in agriculture and manufacturing sectors, its Director of Banking Supervision, Abdullahi Ahmad, has said.

Speaking Thursday at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Lagos, Ahmad said the outlook for the economy in 2018 is much better than 2017. The CRR is a portion of banks’ deposits kept with the CBN.

He said the CBN has been very supportive to banks adding that banks should be able to lend to companies that are doing new capital expenditures and expansions to factories using some of their Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at nine per cent. These, he added, are not short term loans but long term loans of seven year loans, two year moratorium on principal.

“It would probably be the first time in the history of this country where manufacturers would be able to take fixed interest rate loans for seven years which means they would be able to plan. The volatility that they fear for all kinds of risks would be taken out and I think these are very laudable steps in improving and growing the economy,” Ahmad said.

For him, the idea is to have job creating activities in the economy and also to bring interest rate down. Although agric and manufacturing are the initial sectors that are being considered, later on or now, a bank can apply if there is a job creating sector that bank is operating in, it may be considered.

“We can refund the CRR of a bank that has engaged in lending in a new project or an existing one in the agriculture or manufacturing sector as a way of utilising the CRR. So, anytime a bank lends to manufacturing or agric at the rate the CBN has prescribed, it would have its CRR refunded up to the amount it has lend. The guidelines are coming up any moment from now and once they do it take off,” he said.

Also speaking, Executive Director, Finance at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Mrs. Yemisi Edun, said the CRR that is taken from banks would be positively deployed to grow the real sector as well as the agriculture sector in the economy. “This is very positive for the economy and also positive for banks because we would be able to access these funds and earn on it. And because it would be coming at single digit rate, it would be positive for the economy,” she said.

“For now, it would be channeled to agricultural sector and manufacturing but it for growth expansions enhance creation of jobs. the focus it ensure the economy grow now that we have achieved stability we need to now see a positive trend of growth and that is what we are committed to do at this time,” she said.

“We have seen stability in the exchange rate being sustained, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth higher than 2017 and although there are capital reversals in our capital market, it is a little bit bearish but the fact is that capital outflow in the Nigerian economy is far less compared to many emerging economies is a sign there is high confidence in the Nigeria economy,” Ahmad said.

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FBNQUEST Merchant Bank lists Notore Chemical Industries Plc on NSE

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…retains leadership position in transaction delivery

 

FBNQuest Merchant Bank, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc recently acted as Lead Financial Adviser & Issuing House on the Listing by Introduction of the entire issued and paid-up ordinary shares of Notore Chemical Industries Plc on the Main Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Notore Chemical Industries, one of the leading fertilizer and agro-allied companies in Africa, listed on the NSE 1,612,066,200 ordinary shares with a N50kobo par value each at a price of N65.50 per share in order to promote better liquidity of its ordinary shares in the secondary market, as well as have a platform to access long term capital from a wide range of local and international investors when required. FBNQuest Securities acted as the Lead Stockbroker on the listing, alongside other Advisers.

The transaction adds to FBNQuest Merchant Bank’s impressive portfolio of clients it has supported, and once again highlights its capabilities in the successful execution of sizeable capital market and commercial debt transactions. Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe, Managing Director of FBNQuest Merchant Bank said: “We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction, and appreciate the trust Notore placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success.

“As a leading institution for financing, investing, trading, and advisory, we understand the role we must play in supporting our clients across the private or public sector and continue to build our team of industry experts across oil & gas, power, infrastructure, services, diversified industries, and other emerging sectors of the economy to enable us support their goals and objectives.’

In the last 36 months, the Bank has raised in excess of N200 billion for clients through commercial papers and bonds. Most recently, this includes UACN Property Development Company’s N10.66billion Series 29-31 Commercial Papers and a ₦4.355billion Series 1 Senior Guaranteed Fixed Rate Bond; Mixta Nigeria’s N9.83 Billion Series 5 Commercial Paper, and Nigerian Breweries Plc’s N11.08billion series 13-15 Commercial Papers.

Also on the list of successful transactions are Municipality Waste Management Contractors’ N20.3billion Fixed Rate Medium Term Note; the Divestment of First Bank of Nigeria’s 100% equity interest in FBN Mortgages; and Dufil Prima Foods’ 5 year  ₦10 billion Series 1 Fixed Rate Bond. In addition to these, the Bank has raised about US$500 million in equity from the public and private capital markets and also closed 6 M&A deals over the past three years.

A testament to the quality and consistency of execution is evident in the several international awards it has received, having won the prestigious African Banker Magazine’s Deal of the Year (Debt) award for the FGN’s $300m Diaspora Bond; The Banker Magazine’s Deal of the Year Africa in Islamic Finance for the FGN’s ₦100b 7-year Inaugural Sovereign Sukuk; as well as EMEA Finance Magazine’s Best M&A Deal Africa (Mid-Market) for the divestment of  AMCON’s 100% Shareholding in Keystone Bank, Most Innovative Bond for the FGN’s $300m Diaspora Bond, and Best Social Development Bond for Mixta Real Estate’s ₦4.5b Senior Guaranteed Fixed Rate Bonds in 2018, to name a few.

As a member of the FBN Holdings group, FBNQuest Merchant Bank is positioned to provide complementary services to the Group’s expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers, while also offering a broader choice in financing, investments and transaction execution. The group continues to ensure the delivery of innovative initiatives to enhance its positioning and deliver shareholder value.

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