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Heritage Bank supports widows, gets UN award for humanitarian service

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Heritage Bank received the 2022 United Nations Award for Humanitarian Service by the Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), as no fewer than 500 widows and orphans in Lagos State benefitted from the Bank’s supports.

This was made known during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

The event was opportunity to recognize Heritage Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles to widows, their children and other less privileged within the society.
Speaking during the awards presentation, Founder, Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), Ambassador Tayo Thomas, said Heritage Bank is one of the group’s key partners and has for years shown massive support to the widows.

He said: ” Basically, we are giving this award to people and organizations that have been supporting the less privileged widows. These are our partners, they have been doing great service to humanity, especially service the less privileged widows in meeting their financial needs and those of their children”.

Continuing, he said: “The United Nations Humanitarian Award is to appreciate and acknowledge them for their support to the less privileged widows. The United Nations Humanitarian Award is an award we give every 24th of June to those who have really supported the widows. Those who have joined us to fight against injustice against the widows. That is the reason for today”.

Speaking at the event, Heritage Bank Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Olawale Osundele, said the bank has for years, remained committed to improving people’s lives.
He said: “It has always been one of our front liners to always improve the quality of people’s lives right from childhood. And today that they are marking the International Widow’s Day, we are also part of the support team to WOSSA in various aspects.”

“We have been supporting them in terms of providing quality education for children of widows to ensure that life after the death of their husband is still good to them and their children. We also support the children and orphan and the less privileged in the society,” he added.

According to Osundele, the bank’s support to the widows has always been a source of joy to them. “It means that life still means a lot to them. You can see the joy in their faces. Despite what they are going through, they are still very happy and relevant in the society,” he said.

One of the widows at the event, Mrs. Felicia Ugwunwanne thanked Heritage Bank and WOSSA for their continuous support to the widows and less privileged.
She said that WOSSA is through the support of partners such as Heritage Bank, making life better for the widows and their children.

“The WOSSA has for years, been assisting so many of us, including our children and orphanages. WOSSA gives us cash, help some widows to pay their house rent, school fees for widows’ children, among other things,” she said.
Ugwunwanne said the widows under WOSSA are being trained for skills acquisition to improve the quality of their lives.

“I am aware that the WOSSA is working on securing loan from Microfinance Bank, and we have completed forms to achieve the purpose. Our members are prepared to access the loans. Some of the widows have gone to learn some skills that will enable them to invest and succeeded in whatever craft or business they are doing, so that they will not continue to depend on people,” she said.

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Finance

Asset Finance: FCMB offers 100m to early-stage SMEs

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Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) can now quickly access from N5 million to N100 million to purchase equipment needed to grow and expand their businesses, courtesy of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) SME Asset Finance Facility. So far, over 25,800 SMEs have accessed this facility.

FCMB has provided N42.4 billion loan guarantee support to SMEs with inadequate collateral coverage in the start-up stage and has disbursed over N637.08 billion in loans to entrepreneurs.

With a four years repayment option, this asset finance facility is open to early-phase businesses of less than five years and growing SMEs to help fund new equipment addition or replace depreciating assets to sustain growth trajectory.

Mr George Ogbonnaya, Group Head of Business Banking at FCMB, said that SMEs in Nigeria have what it takes to be more productive and contribute more to economic growth. However, they face a major challenge, the capacity to raise funds to acquire modern equipment and other assets.

He disclosed that “FCMB understands the challenges SMEs face in securing funding and is committed to providing them with the financial support they need to grow and succeed.”

The FCMB Asset Finance facility is conveniently structured to provide a viable option for SMEs to acquire business assets at an affordable rate. So far, the uptake by SMEs has been impressive, and it is helping them to succeed.

In recognition of its support to SMEs in the country, FCMB was awarded “Best Bank with the Highest Impact on SMEs in Nigeria” for the second consecutive year by the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) at its annual awards ceremony. This prestigious award is a testament to FCMB’s ongoing efforts to provide SMEs with the financing and support they need to grow and succeed.

In 2021, the Bank won nine national and international awards and recognitions across various SMEs segment, including the “Best SME Bank in Africa” and “Best SME Bank in Nigeria” at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional Awards for the second consecutive year.

First City Monument Bank is a member of FCMB Group Plc, a purpose-beyond-profit corporation led by Ladi Balogun. The Bank is committed to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth in the communities we serve. We do this by building a supportive ecosystem rooted in Africa that connects people, capital and markets.

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Zamfara govt warns CBN, commercial banks over new Naira notes

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The Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Hassan Muhammad Gusau, has expressed dissatisfaction over the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other commercial banks in the state when he paid them an unscheduled visit.

Sen Gusau said that the state government was not happy over the hardship faced by the residents of the state.

He said residents were spending several hours in long queues in order to access their hard earned money at Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, saying that the situation always took a whole day before withdrawals are made.

He called on the apex bank authorities in the state to, as a matter of urgency, release enough new Naira notes to commercial banks to ease the hardships of the citizens.

Responding, the Comptroller of the CBN, Gusau Branch, Alhaji Buhari Abbas, while receiving the Deputy Governor, said the visit was the first of its kind to the bank by a high-level officer in the state since the introduction of new notes due to the hardship being faced by the residents.

Alhaji Abbas said “the Central Bank of Nigeria is doing all that is possible to address the problems. Cash would be made available at counters and ATM machines of the commercial banks with a view to decongest the crowd of customers at the banks.”

Also at some commercial banks, Gusau expressed dismay over the long queues he witnessed, seeing how customers were being treated by some banks in Gusau, the state capital.

He charged the banks in question to comply with the CBN’s directives by providing the money in their ATMs and counters for the domestic use of their customers.

He added that the state government would take drastic measures against any commercial bank willing to capitalize on the current challenges of shortage of new Naira notes to institute artificial suffering on the people of the state.

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Scarcity of new Naira notes threat to national peace – Kachikwu

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  1. Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, African Democratic Congress, ADC, presidential candidate, said the insufficient circulation of the new Naira notes posed great threats to the country’s peace.

Kachikwu said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said it was disheartening to see Nigerians endure long queues under the scorching sun just to withdraw their hard-earned money.

According to him, Nigerians are groaning in agony and people are being dehumanised in a bid to obtain the new notes.

“If this is not bad enough, the most political Central Bank Governor in our nation’s history seeks to plunge our nation into further chaos.

“How else can one explain this ill-conceived Naira Redesign Policy that ought to strengthen the value of our currency but now threatens our very existence as a nation?

“My heart broke as I watched the videos of those who stripped naked in banking halls all in a bid to collect their money.

“How do you speak of cashless banking in a country plagued by epileptic telecom networks and power blackouts?

“Who is deceiving who when many parts of Northern Nigeria don’t have bank branches and lack the infrastructure to support e-banking.

“Was this not factored into the CBN Governor’s plan?” He asked.

Kachikwu said that Nigerians did not deserve hardships, especially at a time when fuel was also not available in many parts of the country.

He alleged that people queued for hours for fuel only to be told they could not buy.

This, he said, was because they did not have cash and the Point of Sale, POS, terminals were not in operation due to unavailability of both the old and the new Naira notes.

He lamented that there is no money, no food, no power, no jobs, no security, adding that all these were ingredients of anarchy if not well managed.

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