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Houston, Texas gears up for Fidelity Bank’s FITCC Trade Expo

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All is now set for the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC) billed for Houston, Texas in the United States of America.

Labeled as FITCC Houston, the second edition of the international expo will take place from the 24th to 25th of October, 2023 at the plush George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas.

Following the successful maiden edition that held last November in London with over $200million worth of deals closed, the bank is set for another edition of the globally rated expo. This year’s edition follows the tradition of promoting Nigeria’s non-oil exports as well as facilitating integrations to global supply-chain networks.

“Fidelity Bank is very much invested in supporting export trade and has consistently demonstrated this by the interventions and innovations that we bring to the space,” Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe talks up the motivation behind FITCC 2023:

“Beyond the instrument of financing, some of our key interventions in the space revolve around business management capacity development with initiatives like the Export Management Programme (EMP) which we host in partnership with the Lagos Business School and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and market access development initiatives like FITCC.”

Over the course of two-days, guests would be exposed to exhibitions by some of the very best of Nigerian businesses operating in the commodities, agriculture, FINTECH, fashion, arts, and allied sectors. Similarly, several panel discussions would hold across the various halls at the venue as stakeholders and leaders in the business, regulatory and investment sectors of the US and Nigerian economies share ideas on bilateral trade opportunities.

FITCC Houston would climax with a gala dinner on Wednesday, 25 October 2023 which would feature award-winning Nigerian hip-hop star, Kcee amongst other entertainers. Registration for this event is still open at www.fitccusa.com.

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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Interswitch Kicks Off InterswitchSPAK Nigeria 6.0: Calls for Registration, Doubles Value of Winnings

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Interswitch, Africa’s leading digital payment and commerce company, has announced the commencement of the sixth edition of its annual National Science Competition, InterswitchSPAK, in Nigeria with a significant boost in prize monies and added incentives for more participants, as the company doubles-down on its long-term support for STEM advancement across Africa. The competition, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the Interswitch Group, now in its 6th edition in Nigeria (and 5th edition in Kenya, where it also runs) aims to foster interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects among senior secondary school students across the country. Schools in Nigeria can now register up to twenty (20) SS2 Science Students each, marking an unprecedented scale of participation. Registration for students will be open until May 10th, 2024, and it is free of charge to all applicants. The qualifying examination is conducted entirely online, allowing candidates to take it from the comfort of their school, home, or any convenient location. The Computer Based Test (CBT) exams are scheduled to hold from Tuesday, May 14th, to Saturday, May 18th, 2024, from 8 am to 6 pm daily. Participants have the flexibility to choose the most suitable day, time, and venue for their exam, with two trials available. Following the online qualifying examination, the top 81 students will proceed to the semi-finals and finals to compete for the coveted title of Nigeria’s Best STEM Student. This year’s edition, with a prize pool of over 30 million Naira, marks a 140% increase from the erstwhile 12.5 million Naira in prize winnings, demonstrating Interswitch’s unflinching commitment to educational development by doubling cash prizes for winners. The first prize winner will receive N15 million tertiary scholarship spread over 5 years, a laptop, and monthly stipends. The second-place winner gets N10 million spread over 3 years and a laptop, while the third-place winner will get N5 million for 1 year. In addition to the top three prizes, cash rewards are also available for the participants who secure the 4th to 9th positions. Furthermore, the top 18 semi-finalists will also receive cash prizes. The competition also recognizes the contributions of teachers and offers cash rewards for the top 27 contributing teachers. Interswitch will also purchase JAMB e-PINS for the top 200 preliminary qualifiers to enable them register for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations free of charge. Speaking on this year’s edition of the competition, Cherry Eromosele, Executive Vice President & Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch Group said “We are excited to kick off another edition of InterswitchSPAK, the 6th in the series in Nigeria, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever before. By doubling the prize pool and expanding opportunities, we are not only investing in the winners but also in the entire ecosystem of STEM education. We are thrilled to see the impact this initiative has had over the last 5 editions and look forward to witnessing the brilliance and innovation of Nigeria’s young minds in this year’s competition”. The last edition saw Abraham Daramola, a student of Hallmark Secondary School, Ondo State, emerge as the winner, while the duo of Emmanuel Omoegbeleghan from The Crescent International School, Ogun State, and Emmanuel Angelo-Hyuwa from The Ambassadors College, Ogun State, came second and third, respectively. Secondary schools are hereby advised to visit the InterswitchSPAK portal to register their best science students in Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) for the competition. All eligible students and schools are encouraged to visit the website, www.interswitchspak.com, for more details on how to participate in the competition.

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Ecobank MySME Growth Series: Proper Packaging and Basic Certification are Critical for SME Exports, Says Expert

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Lagos, April 9, 2024 – Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria have great potentials and opportunities to earn foreign exchange (forex) if their products are well branded and packaged to meet international standards. Managing Director/Chief Executive, Export and Sell Limited, Nduka Udeh made this submission in his presentation titled: Earning FX By Exporting to USA and Canada, delivered at the Ecobank MySME Growth Series webinar. He stated that it was important for exporters of SME products to take into consideration the nature of their products while packaging and making shipping arrangements as well as an effective use of multi sale channels in US and Canada. According to him, many foreign markets particularly, United States and Canada are interested in Nigerian products and the SMEs can gain greater penetration in these markets that have huge potential but sadly most of their products are often rejected because they are not properly packaged and lacked necessary certifications. “SME products from Nigeria have great potentials in the export market. However, over 70% of food products are held at entry points because exporters don’t pay attention to packaging, local licensing and certifications needed to meet US specifications. The right process can save you so much. Exporters should pay attention to products that would give them maximum profitability, low shipping costs and effective distribution channels. It is important for them to be familiar with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)”, He said. Mr. Udeh who is also Chairman of African Import Export Solution, Houston, Atlanta, US advised exporters to explore the opportunities provided by Ecobank and his firm to train and support them on how to navigate the export market, adding that their products are in high demand, and they stand the chance to earn huge foreign exchange. Ecobank MySME Growth Series which started in February this year is designed to empower SME operators across the country. It is part of the bank’s commitment to train over 1 million SME operators in various sectors of the economy in 2024. The training will provide resources for starting a business, registration processes, industry statistics, and essential considerations for running a business. The series cover key topics such as accounting, credit, sales & marketing, taxation, and inventory management. Additionally, articles on key topics like increasing sales, advertising ideas, business management practices, case studies, and leveraging technology will be provided. Ecobank also plans to launch an SME Mentorship program to collaborate with successful entrepreneurs. Taken together, the MySME Growth Series reflects Ecobank’s dedication to fostering growth and success within the SME community.

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Interswitch Champions Digital Transformation for the Energy Sector

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Africa’s leading digital payment and commerce company, Interswitch, has said it is pertinent for oil and gas businesses to leverage digital solutions to drive the growth and sustainability of the energy sector. The company made this known at the first edition of the Interswitch Energy Summit, held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. At the summit, representatives of oil and gas companies and other stakeholders were introduced to innovative solutions designed by Interswitch Energy and informed of their robust benefits. The Interswitch Energy Summit, themed “Harnessing Digital Transformation in the Energy Sector’, provided insights, strategies, and robust opportunities for oil and gas businesses to thrive. During the event, Interswitch unveiled two new products designed to address prevailing issues within the Energy sector, enhance business development, and drive growth.

The products include Forecourt Operations and Wet Stock management solutions. Forecourt Automation and Wet Stock Management products focus on automating and optimizing wet stock operations, empowering oil and gas companies with enhanced capabilities for inventory management, sales tracking, and payment processing. The products will allow fuel station management to expand its network of retail stations and establish strategic partnerships with Oil Majors, thereby driving operational efficiency and profitability. Delivering her opening remark, Chinyere Don-Okhuofu, Managing Director, Industry Ecosystems (Interswitch Indeco), said, “For decades, the Interswitch Group has been a beacon of innovation, spearheading digital transformation initiatives across the African continent. Interswitch Energy stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to driving positive change and fostering prosperity on a nationwide scale.” She further said, “With the introduction of our groundbreaking Forecourt Automation & Wet Stock Management solutions, we not only unveil products but usher in a new era of transformative growth. These innovations are more than mere tools; they are enablers of change, empowering enterprises within the energy sector with unprecedented capabilities to navigate the complexities of the modern energy landscape with agility and foresight.” In his Keynote address, Prof. Joseph Ezigbo, Managing Director of Falcon Corporation Ltd, emphasized the need for energy companies to allocate resources for digitization initiatives accordingly to drive innovation and efficiency in the sector. The event also featured a panel session, in which the panelists discussed how oil and gas businesses can leverage cutting-edge solutions to address the challenges in the energy sector. The Interswitch Energy summit marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards a digitally empowered energy industry. Interswitch is committed to creating channels and platforms to foster innovation and drive positive change in the energy sector.

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