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Access acquires majority stake in African Banking Corporation of Tanzania

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Access Holdings Plc said that its wholly owned subsidiary, Access Bank has completed the acquisition of a majority equity stake in African Banking Corporation of Tanzania (ABCT) Limited, a subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited, a London Stock Exchange listed entity.

Following the completion of the transaction, ABCT will be merged with the consumer, private, and banking business of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania, earlier acquired by the bank to establish Access Bank Tanzania as an enlarged entity within Tanzania’s banking landscape. This combination will position Access Bank Tanzania as a top-tier.

Access said its vision is to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank and its entry into Tanzania’s market, “not only brings us closer to that vision but is also critical to our near-term strategy of targeting local, regional and international revenue opportunities across trade, payments and specialised commerce for business and retail customers within the East African region.”

Commenting on the transaction, Managing Director of the Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said, “This strategic move represents a notable step towards setting a railroad in Tanzania for intra-African trade within the East African region, Africa and the rest of the world.

“It underscores our commitment to creating a robust East African banking network, driving positive change and innovation.

“We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition presents for our operations in Tanzania and are eager to leverage our combined strengths to deliver exceptional financial solutions and experiences to our customers,” he said.

Commenting on the transaction, Managing Director, African Banking Corporation (Tanzania) Limited, John Imani, said, “The completion of our transaction with Access Bank Plc, not only underscores the strong confidence of Access Bank in our operations and the Tanzanian market but delivers new and exciting opportunities for our customers, employees, and stakeholders.

“The new entity is poised to enhance our service offerings, leveraging Access Bank’s extensive resources and expertise to deliver even greater value to our clients.

We look forward to an exciting and prosperous future as part of the Access Bank family, driving economic growth and financial inclusion across Tanzania.”

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Congresses: PDP extends deadline for sale of forms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has extended the deadline for the sale of forms for its 2024 congresses from  June 17 to  June 28.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr  Debo Ologunagba, disclosed this in a statement issued  in Abuja on Tuesday.

Ologunagba said that the extension was approved by the party’s  National Working Committee (NWC) pursuant to its power under the party’s constitution.

Ologunagba added that the deadline for  the submission of completed states’ executives forms had also been extended from June 21 to July 5.

He advised all party leaders, stakeholders and members to note the extension and be guided accordingly.

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4,459 PDP, opposition members decamp to APC in Benue

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…as Governor awards contract for construction of Sankara-Chito-Vaase road

By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

4,4,459 card carrying members of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties have dumped their parties to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State.

The decamped announced this during the Governor of Benue state, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) thank you tour across the 23 local government areas of the state to appreciate the Benue electorates for the overwhelming victory they gave him in the 2023 governorship election.

The mass defection took place on Tuesday  in Sankera comprising Logo, Ukum and Katsina Ala local government areas as well as  Kwande and Ushongo local Government Areas on the first day of Governor Alia’s  thank you tour.

Governor Alia thanked the people of Sankera for their overwhelming support during the 2023 governorship polls  that made him victorious over other contenders.

Alia reiterated his administration’s resolve  to return all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of armed herdsmen attacks back to their ancestral homes to continue with their normal farming activities.

He expressed concern that Sankera, which is the hub for yam production in the country, is  greatly hit by the attacks by the armed bandits.

The Governor maintained that the issue of security is not the responsibility of government alone, and enjoined all and sundry to synergies with him  to rid the state off  attacks.

He  urged the people to form cooperative societies through which they would receive farm inputs and other benefits from his administration to develop themselves to be self-reliant.

The Governor dismissed the widespread reports that he had borrowed huge sums of money from foreign financial institutions to execute infrastructural projects in the state, and announced the award of contract for the construction of the Sankera-Chito-Vaase road to help check the worsening insecurity situation bedevilling the area.

He revealed that he had contacted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assist the state construct more roads network in Sankera and has graciously approved the construction of the Katsina-Ala Head Bridge-Hausa Quarters/Victory Bible Church Wukari Junction; the Zaki-Biam Yam Market-Iwar Ior-Y Junction  roads and urged the people to be patient with the President as he meant well for the state in the area of development projects.

Speaking on behalf of his constituents, the member representing Ukum, Logo and Ukum federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Solomon Wombo, endorsed Governor Alia for a second term.

Hon. Wombo said Sankera people have unanimously endorsed the governor to contest again because of the track record of achievements he has put on the sand of history within his one year in office which he said no governor of the state had ever recorded.

The federal lawmaker frowned at the growing insecurity situation bedevilling the area which he said is in dual fold including local militia and armed herdsmen and appealed to the governor to tackle the menace for the development of Sankera to enable residents go back to their farms.

Collaborating Hon. Wombo’s position, the governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Paul Biam, lauded  the one year scorecard of the Alia’s administration which he noted have surpassed those of the immediate past governor.

Biam disclosed that the Alia’s administration has a programme of stomach infrastructure for the people after critical projects might have been attended to, to enable the people to have the  feel of government.

“After roads and other infrastructural development, the governor will resort to stomach infrastructure and the cries of hunger will be a thing of the past,” Biam assured.

In Kwande/Ushongo, Governor Alia also appreciated the people’s support to him, and promised to reciprocate the gesture via the construction of the Adikpo-Mbape-Ada road to link the state to neighbouring Cross River state.

He commended chairman of the local government for lighting up Adikpo town within few days in office, but lamented the insecurity situation in the local government especially the armed herdsmen attacks and the illegal mining activities, and tasked traditional rulers to rise up by ensuring that anyone caught confronts the full wrath of the law.

The State Acting chairman of the APC, Mr. Benjamin Omakolo, urged the people to support the Alia’s administration to take the state to the next level of development.

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How Nigeria is losing millions of dollars annually to technology transfer regulations non-compliance

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…As FG moves to penalise defaulters

By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

Nigeria is losing millions of dollars annually to companies who fail to submit their technology transfer agreements to the Federal Government.

The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Obiageli Amadiobi made this revelation when she led the top Management staff of NOTAP on a familiarisation visit to some Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies in Lagos recently.

On of the stakeholders in his welcome address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), Mr. Adewale Adeyipo expressed delight in the energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by the new DG within a few days of her appointment, adding that the company is ready and willing to partner with NOTAP in ensuring the development of the ICT ecosystem.

He said that NOTAP’s mandate and activities are enormous and strategic to directly or indirectly generate over 2000 jobs annually within the ICT space. He added that for a nation to be globally competitive, it must adopt one of the key elements of growth, which is ICT holistically.

He said that what government in the developed countries consider first while thinking of investment is digital penetration and regretted that over the years the Country has expended over $987.8 million on digital media subscription and downloads, adding that this sum could have been saved for Nigerian economic growth if adequate support for local ICT operators had come from government through policies.

Likewise, the DG of NOTAP complained that companies that do not submit their technology transfer agreements to NOTAP for proper evaluation and registration will soon face stiff penalties and prosecution.

She stated that NOTAP was established  to regulate the inflow of foreign technology through the registration of technology transfer agreements  to promote the development of locally motivated technologies.

The Director General further stated that while the Office is working assiduously to ensure that Nigerian companies are offered the best contractual terms in acquisition of foreign technologies, some companies are  hiding under the non registration of hardware to avert registration of their agreements because they have lumped up software and hardware together thereby shortchanging the system.

She expressed the commitment of the Office in synergising with  companies that strictly comply with NOTAP rules but will ensure stiff punishment for erring ones.

“Available records show that a greater percentage of companies in Nigeria operate on imported technologies which run into millions of dollars without NOTAP registration necessitated by Law, thereby shortchanging the Nigerian economy.

“By law, it is mandatory that NOTAP should be involved during the technology negotiation stage to ensure that the Nigerian entrepreneur acquires appropriate technology in best contractual terms so to enable rendition of services  commensurate with the money expensed on it,” she stated.

The new NOTAP boss said that in line with the renewed hope mantra of the present administration, no company is allowed to continue to avoid registration of technology transfer agreements with NOTAP.

She also stated that some operators lump acquisition of foreign hardware with the software with the claim that the technology can not be registered since it is hardware.

She emphasised that such companies are doing great disservice to the nation and should henceforth desist from such practices.

In the same vein, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of  Microsoft Nigeria plc, Mrs. Ola William said that NOTAP had done remarkably well in fast-tracking the development of the ICT sector.

She used the opportunity to debunk the remour making the rounds that Microsoft was winding up to leave Nigeria, adding that the company was committed to the sustainable growth of the ICT ecosystem

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