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Smartcash PSB and Thunes partner to introduce remittances in naira



Smartcash PSB Partnership

Smartcash Payment Service Bank Limited (Smartcash PSB) has partnered with Thunes, a cross-border payments infrastructure provider, to power international remittances in naira to mobile wallets.

Smartcash PSB becomes one of the first financial services providers to offer naira payouts to wallets, since the Central Bank of Nigeria approved this payout method in June 2023.

This partnership will enable Smartcash PSB’s customers to receive inward remittances from countries worldwide directly into their Smartcash accounts by simply sharing their phone numbers, which also serve as their account numbers. Funds are sent rapidly at no charge to the recipient and can be accessed across the Smartcash agent network.
Muyiwa Ebitanmi, Managing Director, Smartcash PSB, said that the service is set to solve another challenge with receiving funds from family and friends abroad adding: “It helps those financially excluded by providing a hassle-free and efficient solution for individuals in the diaspora looking to send money quickly to their loved ones in Nigeria.”

“We are delighted to partner with Thunes on cross-border transfers that bring unprecedented convenience and speed to international remittances, making it easier than ever for Nigerians to enjoy seamless transactions at a global scale via their Smartcash accounts.  This service will not only improve the financial well-being of our customers, but also contribute to the economic growth and spending capacity of Smartcash account holders in the country,” he remarked.

Asma Ben Gamra, Vice President of Network Development, Middle East and Africa at Thunes, adds: “Our partnership with Smartcash PSB aims to simplify transactions for millions of Nigerians in the US, Europe and beyond, making it easier for them to support their families back home. With a population of 224 million and an extensive international diaspora, Nigeria is one of the world’s largest markets for remittances, with $20.9 billion, paid in during 2022 according to the World Bank. Thunes has deep experience supporting banks and digital wallets to enable cross-border payments seamlessly, transparently and in real-time.”

Smartcash PSB was launched in 2022 to help unbanked populations better access banking services and the digital economy.  It’s one of the fastest growing digital wallets providers in the country with tens of millions of account holders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria granted the Payment Service Bank (PSB) license to entities and investors who seek to comply with its policies and obtain its objective, to enhance financial inclusion by increasing access to deposit products, payments and remittance services to individuals, small businesses, low-income households and other financially excluded entities.

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Fidelity Bank boosts Nigeria’s Non-oil Exports with FITCC Houston

…Signs $40million deal with AFREXIM Bank and JohnVents Industries for cocoa export




Standing: Simisola Ojumu, Managing Director, Regius Asset Management (a subsidiary of JohnVents Industries Ltd); and Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, African Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank). Sitting: Babatunde Ajayi, Chief Strategy Officer, JohnVents Industries Ltd; Mrs Kanayo Anwani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, AFREXIM Bank; Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc; and Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, AFREXIM Bank; at the signing ceremony of a $40million pre-export finance deal for JohnVents Industries Ltd at the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) in Houston, Texas, United States of America on Tuesday, 24 October 2023.

The much-anticipated second edition of the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC) got off to a boisterous start on Tuesday, 24 October 2023 as leading financial institution -Fidelity Bank Plc -hosted a broad range of businesses, regulators, members of the diplomatic corps and other guests to the opening ceremony in Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Tagged FITCC Houston, the two-days event is aimed at achieving several objectives including increasing the pipeline of Nigerian businesses that export into the US market, providing the diaspora market more ethnic product options and enabling exporters to build capacity to improve product quality and meet international standards.

Welcoming participants to the event, MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said, “Developments on the global scene have necessitated the need to constantly seek viable alternatives as businesses work to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving macro-economic environment. On the supply side, businesses are waking up to the imperative of catering to an international customer base in order to hedge against currency devaluation risks, increase the reach of their products and to ultimately ensure the long-term sustainability of their ventures. Indeed, globalization has emphasized the need for businesses to improve in terms of cross border offerings and collaborations.

“To bridge these gaps, we created the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) in 2022 and hosted the inaugural edition of the expo in London last November. At the event, we had over 100 Nigerian businesses connected to United Kingdom business counterparts and deals worth about 200million dollars closed on the spot and post-event. This year, we are taking it a notch higher as we aim to close deals worth about 250million dollars. We have therefore put in place an elaborate experience to help stakeholders achieve this and several other objectives at this expo.

Following the welcome address, keynote and goodwill addresses were presented by the President & Chairman of the Board of Directors African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), Professor Benedict Oramah; and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Dr. Uzoma Emenike respectively.

A key part of the event was the exhibition which featured more than 160 Nigeria and US-based businesses active in the fintech, commodities, fashion, cosmetics, service, creative, agriculture and extractive industries in the non-oil sector.

One of the exhibitors and the Founder/CEO, Oriki Spa, Joyce Awosika said, “We look forward to meeting all our amazing customers and we promise them an impactful experience with our products that would leave a lasting impression. We urge them to join us at booth 520 here at FITCC Houston.”

The expo also featured the signing of a $40million pre-export finance facility in favour of JohnVents Industries -one of the exhibitors at the expo. The loan, which has been adjudged as a landmark development by analysts in the exports space -would be provided by AFREXIM Bank with Fidelity Bank acting as the local administrative agent.

“We are delighted to participate in the tripartite loan signing ceremony as it demonstrates the size of the opportunity in the Nigerian cocoa market and its potential to meet the demand of off-takers in the US. The ceremony also highlights the value of our partnership with AFREXIM Bank especially in providing much-needed credit to last mile beneficiaries to upscale their operations and cater to a global market. These align with our objectives for FITCC and we are thrilled to host the formal deal signing event here”, commented an elated Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe in a chat with journalists at the event.

Day 1 of FITCC Houston closed out with a fashion show dedicated to unique Nigerian pieces. Themed, “The Connect Plus Fashion Show”, the event featured elegantly styled-models adorning distinctive and culturally inspired designs from several Nigerian labels including Bijelly Couture, Eclectic Chique and MODChic. The fashion show also provided networking opportunities for guests and participants.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank was recognized as the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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Adron Games 2023: Lotus Bank Partners Adron Homes on Annual Sporting Event




Lotus Bank Nigeria confirmed its partnership with the 7th edition of the Adron Games as both organizations struck a partnership deal to showcase the annual sporting event.

In a brief, but meaningful ceremony, the top executive of Adron Sports Foundation paid a courtesy call to the headquarters of Lotus Bank Nigeria to officially unveil the Adron Games trophy.

In an exciting event at Lotus Bank Headquarters, Adron Sports Foundation, one of the leading nonprofit organizations promoting sports in the country, delivered a captivating presentation to Lotus Bank executives.

The occasion marked a significant milestone in the partnership between Adron Sports Foundation and Lotus Bank for the upcoming Adron Games event.

The event showcased the vision and objectives of Adron Sports Foundation and the passion the organization has for promoting sports in the community. The presentation provided a comprehensive overview of the Adron Games event, highlighting its significance in fostering unity, promoting healthy competition, and creating opportunities for young athletes to showcase their talents.

Lotus Bank, known for its commitment to supporting various community initiatives, expressed its enthusiasm for the partnership with Adron Sports Foundation. The bank’s executives acknowledged the importance of promoting sports as a means of improving physical and mental well-being, as well as developing leadership skills and team spirit.

During the presentation, Adron Sports Foundation discussed the various ways in which Lotus Bank will contribute to the success of the Adron Games event. This includes providing financial support, offering resources, and leveraging their extensive network to attract more sponsors and participants.

The collaboration between Adron Sports Foundation and Lotus Bank is expected to have a significant impact on the Adron Games event. With the bank’s support, the event is anticipated to reach new heights and create a positive influence on the sports community at large.

The partnership between Adron Sports Foundation and Lotus Bank is a testament to the power of collaboration and the shared goal of promoting sports excellence. As the excitement builds, both organizations are confident that the Adron Games event will be a resounding success, leaving a lasting legacy in the sporting landscape of the country.

The Executive Director of Lotus Bank Nigeria Mr. Isiaka Ajani-Lawal received the Adron Games Trophy and official merchandise and commended the organiser for the initiative. 

While he also confirmed Lotus Bank as one of the sponsors and Partners of the Games, he stated that the staff of the Bank will also participate in the Games. 

Speaking on this development the Director of Operation for Adron Sports Foundation, Mr. Oladapo Emmanuel reiterated the need for such collaboration to drive an all-inclusive sports development in Nigeria. 

“We are very excited to have Lotus Bank join us for this wonderful initiative. I do not doubt in my mind that this will not only add value to the project but also send a strong message that Sports is a unifying factor”. Oladapo said. 

The Adron Games event will feature competition in over sixteen (16) major sports with medals and cash prizes for all winners.

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Sterling Bank’s Imperium partners JinkoSolar to revolutionise energy business




Sterling Bank’s logo

In a groundbreaking move, Sterling Bank Limited’s Imperium Initiative has joined forces with JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. to tackle the import challenges faced by photovoltaic (PV) distributors and solar developers in Nigeria.

The partnership aims to address significant foreign exchange burdens and operational constraints, ultimately driving the adoption of solar energy in the country.

Mr Olabanjo Alimi, Group Head of Transport and Renewables (Digital Renewables and Mobility) at Sterling Bank, announced this transformative collaboration in a statement issued by the bank.

He said the Imperium Initiative seeks to streamline the process for distributors and developers, eliminating the need for them to source foreign exchange at costly rates to fund their PV panel purchases.

As a result, it will significantly reduce costs and make solar energy more accessible to Nigerian households and businesses.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd, known for its innovation and competitive pricing in the PV industry, is committed to sustainability and expanding energy access in Africa.

Notably, JinkoSolar was the first business to commercialise N-type TopCon Technology under the name Tiger Neo module as solar technology gradually transitioned from P-type to N-type.

Renewable energy is one of Sterling Bank’s strategic investments under its HEART of Sterling initiative, alongside sectors such as Health, Education, Agriculture, and Transportation.

The Imperium Initiative represents Sterling Bank’s commitment to providing alternative power solutions to households, eliminating the need for individuals to make substantial capital investments to power their homes.

Sterling Bank has also demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability by powering approximately 60 branches nationwide with solar energy, contributing to over 40 percent of its total branches.

Furthermore, compared to the previous year, the bank achieved a remarkable 35.4 percent increase in the deployment of solar-powered ATMs across Nigeria in 2022.

Jinko Solar, a globally recognised solar technology leader, is dedicated to reshaping the energy landscape and promoting a sustainable future. With a focus on integrated research, development, and manufacturing of photovoltaic products, the company offers comprehensive clean energy solutions and maintains its position as the global leader in module shipments, serving customers in more than 180 countries and regions worldwide.

The collaboration between Sterling Bank’s Imperium Initiative and Jinko Solar holds great promise for the Nigerian solar industry, marking a significant step towards sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions for the nation.

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