USAID, United Bank For Africa Sign Memorandum Of Understanding

U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.   This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.  

USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States.  The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.

Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.

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Habeed Okunola Bags International Award For Business Leadership And Community Development

Managing Director of TILT Group of Company Mr Habeeb Okunola has trumped strong competition from the global community of business leaders to emerge winner of the ‘Excellence in Business Leadership and Community Development’ award at the Pan African Humanitarian Summit and Awards (PAHSA) held in Abu Dhabi.

The coveted accolade awarded by Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Center (PALDEC) recognised Mr Okunola as a frontline business leader of international repute committed to fostering grassroots development in underserved communities in Africa. The award category is for the most daring and futuristic-inclined business leaders with measurable achievements in humanitarian interventions and socio-economic development.

Speaking through his associate – Tobi Onile-Ere at the PAHSA ceremony, Mr Okunola refused to take all the credit for his business and humanitarian accomplishments, saying the strides were not just his, but that of his team at TILT Group of companies.

“I am humbled to be receiving the 2019 Excellence in Business Leadership and Community Development award and will also like to recognise my colleagues at TILT Group of companies for their commitment towards ensuring the conglomerate remains a leader in the industries we serve; as well as empowering communities where we work to consolidate effort of the government in ensuring social justice. All my colleagues at TILT Group share the credit for this award; most especially the Chairman of the Group – Alhaji Musa Halilu-Ahmed for his invaluable contributions and direction” he said.

Some past recipients of the Pan African Humanitarian Summit and Awards are President of Tanzania – H.E Dr. John Magufuli, Former President of Ghana – H.E John Agyekum Kufuor, Managing Partner of Ethiopian Airline & Head of Transaction Advisory – Mr Zemedeneh Negatu, Executive Chairman IPP Media Group-Tanzania – Dr. Reginald Mengi, Director General National Broadcasting Commission, Nigeria – Mr Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, amongst others.

The summit and award dinner was attended by global changemakers, international players in the different sectors from across the globe, captains of industry, and members of the diplomatic community.

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Polaris Bank Unveils New Mobile Banking App

Polaris Bank has unveiled its newPolaris Mobile Banking App and is offering customers, a 50% discount on all transfer fees for 30 days after registration on the app.

The Bank disclosed that the newPolaris Mobile Banking App “is now available to users on both Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices. To take advantage of the 50% discount on transfer fees, customers of the bank are encouraged to visit their respective App stores, search for “Polaris Mobile” or “Polaris Mobile Banking App” and download the app.

Speaking on the new Mobile Banking App, Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Tokunbo Abiru explained that the launch of the new product is in line with the bank’s digital transformation plan which is to further ensure we are a future- determining bank aligned with global trends of intelligent automation.

According to Abiru: “As evolving customer preferences are enabled by new technology, we continue to seek innovative solutions that excite our customers. The Polaris Mobile therefore offers a refreshing tool to enhance the convenience and lifestyle of our customers who are always on the go.

On migrating users from the old app to the new one, the Bank’s Head, E-Business, Biodun Alli explained that “Customers who have the old app can still use it for the time being but are advised to immediately migrate to the new Mobile Banking App to experience a seamless banking experience”.

“The Bank is committed to leverage technology innovation for high quality service delivery. Thus, to aid easy customer migration and registration, we have established a support portal for branches and other support teams to assist our customers with first-level and second-level support, he disclosed.

He added that “Customers seeking additional information on the new Mobile Banking App can also walk into any of our branches nationwide and have their enquiries attended to by our customer service team. Customers with enquires can also can contact our 24-hour multilingual customer service center, the YES Centre, on: 0700-7652747 or 08069880000, or send their enquiries by email to:yescenter@polarisbanklimited.com.

Advising customers on security, the E-Business Boss, stressed that “On no condition should any customer give his/her log-in details, including passwords, to anyone – either physically, over the phone or on online platforms such as social media and messaging groups. The bank will NEVER request for such information and customer must remain security-conscious. She added that “this warning has become necessary, so that our valued customers do not fall into the hands of internet fraudsters or scammers who might pose as the bank staff or workers with the aim of swindling customers”.

Just recently, the bank,launched a Collateral-Free Salary Advance Product to Customersa customer-led product that enables employees to get up to 50%of their net monthly salary to meet basic needs before their next payday.

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments.

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UBA Partners Mastercard To Reward Customers With All-Expense Paid Trip to UEFA Champions League Semi’s & Finals

Leading Pan-African Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC in partnership with leading global payments and technology company, Mastercard, have announced they are giving away all-expenses paid trips to the Semi-Finals and Finals of the 2019 UEFA Champions League to 12 lucky UBA Mastercard holders and their plus ones. 

Open to all existing and new UBA Platinum Mastercard holders, this amazing giveaway is an opportunity to pamper customers and give them a unique, unforgettable and priceless experience including flights, visas, 5-star accommodation, tickets to watch either the semi-finals or final matches of the UEFA Champions League and so much more with their MasterCard Platinum Access. 

 A total of 12 UBA Platinum Mastercard holders from Nigeria and 11 other African countries will share the enthralling experience of watching the finals live with a loved one as well as enjoy the great ambience of host city of the Semi-Finals or Finals (Madrid). The participating countries are Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. 

“As we celebrate our 70 years of Banking and excellence, this is our way of rewarding customers for their continued patronage to the UBA brand. There will be many more this year as we want to continue to appreciate all our customers … for now. Customers who qualify should get a UBA Platinum Mastercard and spend a minimum of $10,000 or its equivalent in his or her local currency to stand a chance to win the all-expense paid package. To get your UBA Platinum Mastercard at any UBA Branch, a customer simply needs to contact his or her relationship manager at any UBA branch office” the Group Head, Marketing, UBA Plc, Mrs. Dupe Olusola said.

She said, “The UEFA Champions League is the most sought-after trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world. To this end, we decided to partner Mastercard and UEFA in bringing the most iconic and cherished moments in the history of football to our esteemed and loyal customers who are the reason why we are so successful.

“We realize that, a lot of our customers love football and we feel giving them this treasured experience while they are pampered in far-away Spain is the way to go. These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with our loyal customers across Nigeria and Africa,” Olusola said.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

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Easter Promo: Ecobankpay Offers Special Discount To Shoppers

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has announced special discount for shoppers using the EcobankPay option to pay for their goods and services during the Easter holidays and will run to the end of April 2019.

EcobankPay is a digital QR code/ Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that enables payments using the mobile phone, without the need for a debit/credit card. “When you sign up, your EcobankPay QR is emailed to you, which you can print and post/stick it anywhere your customers can see it to easily scan and pay. When paid, you receive notifications and transactions can be viewed in merchant app or online and most especially  your account is credited immediately . Your customers can now pay you from anywhere in Nigeria and around the world, anytime.  Your customers can use the Ecobank Mobile App or other bank’s mobile app to pay with MCash, MVisa and Masterpass.” 

Announcing the Easter promotion in Lagos, Carol Oyedeji, Executive Director Commercial Banking said shoppers are to get special discounts in shops in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri, Aba and other cities across the country where the EcobankPay QR code is on display. Explaining the accessibility of the EcobankPay QR code, she  noted that it accepts all three payment platforms available, be it MasterPass, MVisa and MCash.

“Also, the discounts are available at all EcobankPay zones. If the person that wishes to buy goods from you is coming from a bank that has MVisa and decides to pay, the same QRcode would accept MVisa payment and vice versa. This creates synergy between us and the other banks and convenience for the merchants. And as you know, the QR code is much cheaper than having a point of sale (POS)  and your account is credited immediately,” she stated.

For the merchants she said “the beauty of the EcobankPay, is in the cost of set up, as the shop owner simply print the QR code on a paper and can stick it anywhere and do not face any risk. It is convenient and the mobile app allows the ubiquity. It allows you 24/7 access. We cannot over emphasis the instant credit”

Ecobank has recently launched several EcobankPay zones in various markets across the country. The EcobankPay Zones are digital payment hubs  enabling businesses within a location adopt Ecobank’s wide range of digital products for ease of payments for goods and services. It provides the opportunity for both buyers and sellers to increase their sales in an enhanced and secured way.

The EcobankPay digital hub/markets  makes it easy for the seller to be paid instantly while buyers pay with ease and also have peace of mind associated with doing business without carrying cash around. Also available at the payment zones is the Xpresspoint which allows customers do their banking transactions within their neighbourhood and non-customer open accounts on the go in as much as they have their phones.


The initiative of the Ecobankpay zone is to deepen financial inclusion in the communities and specifically aid business transactions between merchants and clients.

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More Winners Set To Emerge In UBA Wise Savers Promo… N90m Still Up For Grabs

Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has again announced that another set of  20 loyal customers will get a chance to win N1,500,000 each, in the second edition of its quarterly drawfor the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which would hold in April at the bank’s Corporate head office.

This development more than anything is an opportunity for potential and intending customers to take their chance and add to the growing number of millionaires who have benefitted from the ongoing Wise Savers Promo as a whopping N90Million is still up for grabs.

To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the  promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million, won by 20 customers last month, January to be precise  another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.

Already the following winners, who cut across all regions of the country; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji, have already claimed their cash prize and are currently spreading the news so others can take advantage of the once in a life time opportunity.

Others winners doing same are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.

The Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, while speaking on the forthcoming Raffle draw, noted that a lot of lives have been positively impacted, following the previous draw where 20 people went home with N1,500,000 each totaling, N90 million.

According to Rao: “there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise them as we always like to do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason for the ‘Wise Savers Promo”.

“I have been privileged to visit some of the customers who won in January, and was more than fulfilled to see happiness and gratitude on the faces of the fortunate 20 when their cash prizes were presented to them. That feeling is indescribable, to this end we are more than motivated to do more so our customers can better achieve their dreams and goals in life, I am happy this cash prize can go a long way, to this end, enjoin many more customers to participate in the promo, you never can tell, it could be you”.

Head Retail Liabilities, Tomiwa Sotiloye, also explained that the promo was consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers and this was necessitated because our customers are invaluable to all that we do.

“He continued, we would continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and would continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively”. Sotiloye noted

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Elumelu To Add 1,400MW To National Grid With $2.5bn Investment In Power

Plans to increase Nigeria’s national grid by 700 megawatts (MW), may be taking shape as Tony Elumelu, chairman of Transcorp Nigeria Plc, has pledged to invest as much as $2.5 billion in power projects across the country.

According to Bloomberg, Elumelu revealed that investments in the power sector will be made through Transcorp Power Ltd, a subsidiary company.

Although a time frame was not given, Elumelu said the company is ready to “spend a lot of money” on the 987MW capacity Afam Power Plant which is up for privatisation.

On March 15, the company along with two others, had launched a bid for Afam Power Plant which operates a natural-gas-fired power generation facility in Rivers state.

He said If Transcorp Power successfully acquires the facility, the firm’s daily power output will increase by 700MW, adding 1400MW to the national grid.

“We’ve expressed interest in the acquisition of Afam power plant, which we’re going to spend a lot of money on. It’ll give us 1,400 megawatts and we can do more,” he said.

Speaking on a N90 billion naira debt owed Transcorp Power, Elumelu said such has the tendency to hamper growth in the sector.

“If they’re owing you that kind of money, it affects your ability to do more and more importantly, slows your enthusiasm,” he said.

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CBN Cuts Interest Rate to 13.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday resolved to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), otherwise known as interest rate, by 50 basis points to 13.5 per cent from 14 per cent.

The MPR is the rate at which the CBN lends to commercial banks and often determines the cost of borrowing in the economy.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, anmouced this at the end of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The committee, however, retained the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

ThisDay

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EcobankPay Eases Loan Access For SMEs – Ecobank MD

Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, has stated that SMEs who embrace the EcobankPay app stand a good chance of easily accessing business loans from the bank. Akinwuntan made this known during the launch of EcobankPay Zone at Amu Market in the Mushin area of Lagos on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event with market traders, Akinwuntan explained that transaction activities on the EcobankPay can be easily monitored by the bank. This he said can also make the bank approach some performing SMEs with loan offer.

The MD who addressed the traders in Yoruba language said, “As a small business owner who uses EcobankPay, if you need loan to expand your business, we don’t need to ask you for your business or transaction records. We can see it from your everyday transactions. It makes it easier for us to grant such loans. And we can even be the one to approach you with the loan offer because we can see that your business is performing and you need to expand to make more profit.”

The event was interactive, as the traders asked questions and advised the bank on how it can serve them better. On security for Ecobank’s Xpress Point agents, Akinwuntan explained that “ that the situation at Xpress Points is cash in cash out. As you come to deposit your money, someone else come for cash withdrawal. You can’t find much cash with the agents. We also ensure that we provide necessary support for these agents. We currently have 6,000 Xpress Point agents across the country.  And we are very strategic with the agents’ location.”

He further explained that apps in the EcobankPay Zone are developed to cater for the needs of SMEs. “Small businesses thrive on instant cash. When a customer comes to pay with the POS, it takes 24 hours for the money to reflect in your account. But with EcobankPay QR Code, you get value instantly. At our Xpress Points, you can easily make cash transactions, be it withdrawal or deposit without you visiting the bank. It’s fast, safe and secure. We have decided to come to the market and show you how this works. We are bringing banking to you right in your market and at your doorsteps. You don’t need to come to us, we come to you,” he said.

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Access, Diamond Get Final Approval To Merge

Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc have gotten final merger approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The two financial institutions, in separate corporate disclosures issued on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend, confirmed that the approvals have been secured.

“Access Bank Plc is pleased to announce that the bank has received the final approval of both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the proposed scheme of merger between the bank and Diamond Bank Plc,” a statement by Access Bank disclosed.

“The scheme is subject to judicial sanction by the Federal High Court. We will provide further update to the market upon receipt of court sanction of the scheme.”

ThisDay

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We Are Supporting Women To Unleash Their Potential – Ecobank MD

The Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said the “Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative,” is a platform designed to recognise women as special and unique customers who require tailor-made service offerings.

The Ecobank Managing Director who was speaking in Lagos reiterated that the concept is designed to provide women with the necessary support to help them excel in their endeavours, promote and grow their businesses and generally position them for increased participation, validation and contribution within the society.

According to Mr. Akinwuntan said: “Increasingly, we are seeing the change in the attitudes of women, and their economic viability as individuals and leaders in their fields. Their banking and financial services as a whole therefore present vast opportunities, if properly understood and managed.”

Further Mr. Akinwuntan,said the launch is a charge to the society to challenge the status quo and strive for a balance by empowering females in their immediate environments and subsequently, on a macro level. “Our female customers will become our flagship ambassadors and we have created this platform for them in line with the sustainability requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria. These women will be provided with free health checks, training and empowerment sessions and other support  tools from Ecobank. The Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative aims at empowering women by helping them build capacity to grow their businesses.”

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Ecobank Nigeria Unveils a Special Initiative for Women

As part of activities marking the 2019 International Women’s Day, Ecobank Nigeria has unveiled a special initiative for female entrepreneurs. 

The initiative tagged Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative is a platform designed to recognise women as special and unique customers who require tailor-made service offerings. The concept is designed to provide women with the necessary support to help them excel in their endeavours, promote and grow their businesses and generally position them for increased participation, validation and contribution within the society.

Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria,, Patrick Akinwuntan while unveiling the initiative at the bank’s head office in Lagos,  said  “increasingly, we are seeing the change in the attitudes of women, and their economic viability as individuals and leaders in their fields. Their banking and financial services as a whole therefore present vast opportunities, if properly understood and managed”.

According to Akinwuntan, the launch is a charge to the society in line with the theme of the International Women’s Day 2019, to challenge the status quo and strive for a balance by empowering females in their immediate environments and subsequently, on a macro level.

In his words “Our female customers will become our flagship ambassadors and we have created this platform for them in line with the sustainability requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). These women will be provided with free health checks, training and empowerment sessions and other support  tools from Ecobank. The Ecobank Female Entrepreneurs Initiative aims at empowering women by helping them build capacity to grow their businesses”

Some of the benefits include access to credit facilities with little or no collateral, network opportunities across Africa, financial advisory services, wealth management resources and loyalty schemes.

Also speaking, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Mrs. Carol Oyedeji stated that Ecobank as a Group,  is proud to join the rest of the world to commemorate the IWD 2019, with the special theme #BalanceforBetter. For her, this year’s theme leaves no one in doubt as to the dire need to raise more awareness that gender balance is not a women’s issue but a human issue that must be tackled for us to have a better society and that it should not be mistaken for a battle between the sexes.

She called on all in the corporate world to join hands to ensure that “our women attain their full potential in all areas of society, including the workplace, which is vital for our communities and economies to thrive. A balanced world is a better world. We must help forge a more gender-balanced world by celebrating and recognising women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality”.

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