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FBNQuest Merchant Bank Holds 9th Annual General Meeting, Reports Strong Financial Performance and Strategic Growth Initiatives in 2023

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Lagos, Nigeria, May 2024 – FBNQuest Merchant Bank, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, successfully held its 9th Annual General Meeting recently. The gathering served as a platform to present the Bank’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2023. Amid the prevailing economic challenges, the Bank reported a robust financial performance and outlined strategic growth initiatives aimed at delivering sustainable value to its shareholders.Mallam Bello Maccido, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commended the Bank’s resilience in navigating through the complexities of the operating environment in 2023. He stated, “2023 was a year filled with unprecedented challenges that tested our resilience. Given the evolving economic landscape which was characterized by shifting government policies and volatile market dynamics, FBNQuest Merchant Bank stood resilient. Our ability to navigate through these challenges underscores our adaptability and unwavering commitment to excellence.”The Bank reported a strong financial performance for the year 2023, with gross earnings improving by 43.1% year-on-year to N35.5 billion. Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N4.09 billion was recorded, representing a 36% increase year-on-year while PBT for the FBNQuest Merchant Bank Group was N9.98 billion, reflecting an increase of 91.5% year-on-year. Mallam Maccido added “The asset management business achieved remarkable milestones, hitting above N600 billion in Assets under Management at the end of December 2023. The equities business also posted growth in PBT by 182% year-on-year.” In line with its commitment to providing robust and sustainable returns to shareholders, the Bank declared an interim dividend of N1.01 billion.The Bank’s Board continues to ensure that its governance structures conform with international best practices and regulatory guidelines. At the meeting,shareholders approved the appointment of Mr. Afolabi Olorode as Acting Managing Director, noting that the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria had been obtained for his appointment. The retirement of Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe as Managing Director and Mr. Taiwo Okeowo as Deputy Managing Director was also acknowledged, both individuals having served the Bank meritoriously for eight years each.Looking ahead to 2024, Mallam Bello Maccido expressed optimism about the improved outlook and opportunities for the Bank’s various lines of business. He stated, “We are dedicated to accelerating revenue growth purposefully and responsibly. The Bank remains committed to delivering value to its stakeholders and driving growth in the years ahead. Its solid financial performance and strategic growth initiatives position it for continued success in the dynamic economic landscape.”About FBNQuest Merchant BankFBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is the investment banking and asset management business of FBN Holdings Plc, one of the strongest and most dependable financial groups in Africa. We are innovative and client-focused, with strong industry and execution expertise to serve our diverse client base of corporate organisations, financial institutions, high net worth, and affluent individuals across a wide range of services.From securing wealth to financing business opportunities, we are constantly searching for what comes next so we can take our clients there first. We are a trusted and inspirational partner founded on innovation, a strong heritage, and a pioneering spirit that drives us to help our clients look beyond today and redefine tomorrow.We provide services in Corporate Banking, Investment Banking, Wealth Management, Institutional Sales, Fixed Income, Currencies & Treasury, and Agency Services to support the diverse financial needs of our clients.

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Oando Foundation’s Clean Our World Project reaches 47,000+ beneficiaries

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.…expands environmental education reach in Nigeria.

Lagos, Nigeria [17th May 2024] – Oando Foundation, an independent charity established to support the Nigerian government in achieving its Universal Basic Education goal has commenced the fourth phase of its Clean Our World project (COW IV) in Lagos reaching 54 public primary schools in 25 communities. This milestone marks a significant step forward in the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to environmental education, sustainability, and community development.Building on the success of the previous phases, COW phase IV focuses on standardized lesson delivery through wide-scale capacity building for teachers, deployment of environmental educational materials, and various in-school climate action activities, laying the foundation for a cleaner, greener future. With active government participation, this cycle of the project ensures uniform, consistent, and high-quality delivery of environmental education in schools across Lagos State.“Environmental education plays a crucial role in equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to address complex environmental challenges. As we confront these challenges, investing in environmental education becomes imperative for building resilient communities and securing a sustainable future for all. We are excited to commence the implementation of Clean Our World Phase IV, which will empower teachers, engage students, and foster a culture of environmental stewardship and citizenship, ” said Mrs. Adekanla Adegoke, Head of Oando Foundation. Since its inception, the Clean Our World project has evolved and expanded, reaching more communities and schools. In collaboration with Sumitomo Chemical, a leading Japanese chemical company, Oando Foundation has enlightened various schools and communities in Lagos State about environmental education and sustainable waste management practices such as recycling. From reaching seven schools in three communities in COW phase 1, twelve schools in five communities during the second phase, and twenty-four schools in ten communities for the third phase, the project has demonstrated its effectiveness in promoting environmental education, sanitation, and recycling.Through robust government participation and strategic partnerships, Oando Foundation through the COW phase IV has ensured sustainable impact and created a legacy of environmental awareness and action. Lagos State Universal Basis Education Board (LASUBEB) provided technical support and coordination, ensuring the project’s alignment with local educational priorities and policies. GreenHub Africa Foundation also served as a trusted co-implementing partner, contributing to the successful implementation of COW IV.In furtherance of its commitment to promoting environmental education and sustainable action for pupils in target schools and their host communities, Oando Foundation is expanding the reach of Clean Our World project to other communities in Nigeria such as Plateau state. This expansion will impact over 6,000 direct beneficiaries in 20 public primary schools through targeted activities such as establishment of green clubs, training of teachers and education managers, deployment of the environmental education syllabus as well as engaging students in gardening, upcycling and recycling activities. The Foundation continues to lead advocacy efforts and policy level engagements with key stakeholders for standardization and inclusion of environmental education lessons in public primary schools across the country.

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Ecobank MySME Growth Series: Artificial Intelligence Holds the key To Business Development, Says Erhabor

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Lagos, May 14, 2024 – Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country have been advised to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to grow their businesses. Founder AI Nigeria, Ehia Erhabor, made this submission in his presentation titled “ Using AI for business innovation” delivered at the Ecobank MySME Growth Series webinar. He emphasied that AI is a gamechanger particularly for small businesses. According to him, AI is rapidly transforming industries by automating processes, enhancing analytics, and enabling personalized customer experience, stressing that the future of AI is its democratization where companies of all sizes including SMEs can harness its power to drive innovation and gain competitive edge.

Specifically, Erhabor pointed out that “AI technology holds the key to the future. It is quite pervasive. It is part of our existence and will impact businesses the way we can ever imagine. It can help SMEs develop new products and services by analysing data and identifying customers’ needs. AI can also be used to automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and improve efficiency by reducing operational costs.” He listed the challenges and risks of AI as bias, explainability, privacy, transparency and misuse, debunking claims in some quarters that AI will lead to the end of the world but rather a tool for development.

Also speaking, former Chief Operating Officer, Flutterwave, Bode Abifari said AI technology holds the key to the future, explaining that it simulates human intelligence to perform complex tasks like research, decision making, pattern recognition and problem solving. She submitted that AI was capable of improving customers’ experience and engagements for the SMEs, adding that the technology can personalize interactions, provide personalized recommendations and enhance customer service leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty for small businesses.

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 areas such as accounting, credit, sales & marketing, taxation, and inventory management.

Additionally, articles on important 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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Wema Bank Unveils New Digital Solution For Cooperative Societies, CoopHub

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Wema Bank, Nigeria’s foremost innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has officially launched CoopHub, a new digital solution for Cooperative Societies. The groundbreaking platform was unveiled at the launch ceremony held on May 10th, 2024, to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Bank.
CoopHub, the first of its kind in the Nigerian banking industry, is a digital platform designed strategically to transform the way Cooperative Societies operate by providing tailored solutions that bridge the gaps in the traditional framework of Cooperative Societies. The unique platform insulates Cooperative Societies against prevalent struggles like manual recordkeeping, limited access to loans, poor communication, insecurity, and other restrictions, supporting them with the solutions needed to not only mitigate these problems but also operate with the utmost efficiency.

L-R: Group Head, Partnerships and Ecosystem, Ajibade Laolu-Adewale; Divisional Head, Brands, People and Culture, Wema Bank, Ololade Ogungbenro; President Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited; Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye; MD/CEO Wema Bank, Moruf Oseni and Executive Director, Retail and Digital Bank, Wema Bank, Tunde Mabawonku, at the launch of Coop Hub, Wema Bank’s digital solution for Cooperative Societies, held in Lagos today, Friday, 10th May, 2024
With CoopHub, leaders of Cooperative Societies can manage every aspect of their community’s operations from a simplified dashboard accessible on their phones, seamlessly managing their Cooperative Society’s finances, communication, member records, analytics and every other detail in real time and on the go. Members of the Cooperative Societies also enjoy increased access to loans, seamless contribution tracking, secure transactions, and easy communication with the leaders. Essentially, CoopHub helps Cooperative Societies maintain 100% transparency, reliability, and security, with the option of white labelling for a customised experience.
Disclosing the Bank’s motive for creating CoopHub, Wema Bank’s MD/CEO, Moruf Oseni, highlighted the Bank’s commitment to innovation and customer-centricity. “Cooperative Societies have many pain points. As a bank that is committed to empowering lives through innovation, we examined the end-to-end value chain of Cooperative Societies and launched CoopHub to provide solutions that address the pains and headaches in the Cooperative Society experience for both the leaders of these communities and the members. CoopHub is the future of Cooperative Societies and we have designed every detail to address the needs of every player in the Cooperative Society ecosystem and empower these communities for optimal productivity”, he said.
Delving into the unique features of CoopHub, Solomon Ayodele, Wema Bank’s Head of Innovation, added, “CoopHub is taking Cooperatives to an era where conflicts, stressful physical meetings, mistrust, inadequate capital, poor recordkeeping and inefficient governance are all a thing of the past. With a digitised database for all records, a dedicated User Management section for leaders to manage members efficiently, a transparent overview of contributions for both leaders and members, seamless communication framework that allows for easy planning of meetings and events, and a host of other unique features, CoopHub truly is the solution that every Cooperative Society needs. To promote community and financial security, CoopHub also offers a three-factor authentication system that ensures that every withdrawal from the Cooperative Society’s account is subject to an approval of three members of the Cooperative Society, including the Admin. We have been very intentional with CoopHub and I encourage every Cooperative Society to come on board and experience the future of Cooperative Societies through CoopHub”, Ayodele concluded.
CoopHub is now live and open to every Cooperative Society across the world. This futuristic solution is set to not only empower Nigerian lives with increased access to their needs through Cooperative Societies, but also revolutionise Cooperative Society operations for the best.
To onboard a Cooperative on CoopHub, simply register at https://coophub.alat.ng/

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