Ecobank Nigeria Launches RapidTransfer Mobile Remittance App

In line with its tradition of leadership in digital banking in Africa, Ecobank has introduced a dedicated mobile remittance app Rapidtransfer.

Rapidtransfer app was unveiled by the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan at a commemorative dinner to thank and celebrate outgoing members of the Ecobank Nigeria Board and to welcome its newly appointed directors.

According to Akinwuntan, Rapidtransfer will enable Nigerians in diaspora to send funds home at a reduced cost.

Mr Akinwuntansaid: “Historically the cost for Nigerians in the diaspora to send funds home has been far too high, while the process itself has long been inefficient and burdensome. Customers often have to physically visit an agent and yet are left with little or no clarity as to when the funds will actually reach the intended recipient. Rapidtransfer removes all of these issues and its standout affordability will be a gamechanger in the way that Nigerians can send money to their loved ones.”

At the dinner, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, who was officially welcomed into his new role as Managing Director and Regional Executive of Ecobank Nigeria, and on to the Ecobank Nigeria Board of Directors said. “Many Nigerians work elsewhere in Africa, or further a field, and financially support their relatives back home,” he commented. “Rapidtransfer is a safe and secure low-cost remittance solution, which ultimately will put more money into the hands of the recipient. This will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy by boosting demand and driving business growth.”

As well as being intuitive, easy to navigate and multi-lingual with English, French, Spanish and Portuguese variants, the app provides simple and secure digital onboarding. Users can choose how and when funds are delivered to the intended beneficiary, with transparent foreign exchange rates prior to each transaction. Charges range from 0% to 3% depending on the options the customer selects. The Rapidtransfer mobile app will enable Nigerians anywhere to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash collection in – and across – 33 African countries and globally.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest recipient of international remittance inflows and is also the fifth largest remittance recipient globally. It received US$22 billion in 2017[1], which accounted for 5.6% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2015[2] remittances received included $5.59 billion from the United States, $3.7 billion from the United Kingdom and $2.29 billion from Cameroon.

In the first quarter of 2018, the average cost of sending US$200 globally was 7.1%, and remittance services in Sub-Saharan Africa were the costliest in the world at an average cost of 9.4%. The International Sustainable Development Goal aims to reduce the average transaction cost of remittances to less than 3% of the remittance amount by 2030[4].

In a rousing speech during the proceedings, Mr Akinwuntan also took the opportunity to outline his vision for driving Ecobank Nigeria forward and assure his fellow Board members of his ambitions for growth. “Ecobank Nigeria must be the jewel in the Ecobank crown and the affiliate that sets the roadmap for others to follow,” he said. “We will do this by providing customer service excellence and a suite of innovative and convenient banking services that makes banking easy for retail and corporate customers alike.

“Nigeria has a vibrant population of 180 million and I want a large share of these to be served by Ecobank. Therefore, I am setting an audacious customer growth target against the group goal to serve 100 million customers by 2020. We currently have 9 million customers in Nigeria and I want to grow this to 40 million customers within two and a half years. This may be a huge challenge but I resolutely believe that it is one that can be achieved.”

The Ecobank Rapidtransfer mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

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2018 WEF Global Competitiveness Report Ranks Nigeria 115 Out Of 140 Countries

The World Economic Forum in its 2018 Global Competitiveness Index, ranked Nigeria 115 out of 140 countries. This means it moved ten places upward from its 2017/2018 ranking of 125 out of 137 countries.

According to the new ranking, Nigeria improved in four(4)  of  twelve (12) ranking pillars, namely;



3.Business Dynamism

4.Innovation Capability

The current GCI ranking template has the following twelve (12) as pillars for assessment;

  1. Institutions
  2. ICT Adoption

4.Macroeconomic environment


7.Product .Market

8.Labour Market

9.Financial System

10.Market Size

11.Business Dynamism

12.Innovation capability

Nigeria was ranked 127 out of 138 countries in the 2016/2017 edition report and 124 out of 140 in the 2015/2016 GCI ranking.

 Areas that Nigeria will require improvement in the 2018 GCI competitiveness report, include;

  1. Institutions
  2. ICT Adoption

3.Macroeconomic environment


5.Product Market

6.Labour Market

7.Financial System

8.Market Size

Featuring the Global Competitiveness Index, the Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies, providing unique insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. Discover the 2018 edition’s rankings, key findings, your economy’s scorecard, and much more.

The 2018 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report represents a milestone in the four-decade history of the series, with the introduction of the new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0. The new index sheds light on an emerging set of drivers of productivity and long-term growth in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It provides a much-needed compass for policy-makers and other stakeholders to help shape economic strategies and monitor progress.

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NNPC: Oil Revenue Rose By 35% To $416m In June

Nigeria’s revenue from crude oil and gas sales rose by 35 per cent, representing $416m in June, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said yesterday.

The NNPC in a statement, which announced the release of its June 2018 monthly financial and operations report in Abuja, stated the total financial value of the crude oil and gas export sales the country made in the month was $416.07 million in June.

It explained that the figures were 35.78 per cent higher than that of the previous month which was $343.08 million. This also signified the country bounced back from a drop in oil revenue in May having earned $447.58 million from oil and gas export in April before sliding to $343.08 million in May.

Industry statistics showed that oil price for Brent crude oils in June was $74.41 per barrel; $76.98 per barrel in May of 2018 – the period Nigeria earned less between these three months; and $72.11 per barrel in April.

But details of the sales figures were contained in the statement NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, sent to THISDAY, and it indicated that crude oil export sales contributed $274.95 million which NNPC said translated to 66.08 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with $244.72million contribution in the previous month. The export gas sales for the month, it explained amounted to $141.12 million.


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NDIC Pays N11.50bn To Insured Failed Banks Depositors, Recovers N28bn Debt

The Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, yesterday said N11.50 billion had been paid to depositors, creditors, shareholders and other stakeholders of closed financial institutions as at December 31, 2017.

He also said N368.43 million was recovered by the corporation from debtors of failed banks during the period under review- bringing total recoveries to N28.84 billion to date.
The NDIC boss further noted that N21.85 billion had so far been realised from sale of physical assets of closed banks as at 2017.

He also said depositors of 16 deposit money banks (DMBs) in-liquidation have so far been fully paid all the deposit balances they had in their accounts at the closure of the financial institutions as at 2017.

Speaking during the NDIC Special Day at the ongoing 13th Abuja International Trade Fair, Ibrahim further announced the successful conclusion of the adoption of bridge bank as a failure resolution option in 2011 by the corporation to address problems of the then three failing banks.

Represented by NDIC’s Director, Enterprise Risk Management Department, Mr. Peter Nggada, the NDIC boss noted that Keystone Bank Limited, the last of the three bridge banks to be sold, had been acquired by Sigma Golf River Bank Consortium on March 23, 2017, following the divestment of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).

The bridge bank transaction also had the then Mainstreet Bank Plc acquired by the defunct Skye Bank Plc, while Heritage Bank Plc had bought over Enterprise Bank.

He said in a bid to ensure financial system stability in the country, NDIC in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had conducted on-site and off-site supervision of 25 DMBs, one non-interest bank, 1008 microfinance banks (MFBs) and 38 primary mortgage banks (PMBs) using the Risk Based Examination of three banks with holding companies.

He added that as a risk minimiser, the corporation in collaboration of the CBN exists to protect depositors’ funds through effective supervision of banks as well as timely resolution of distressed financial institutions “like we saw in the case of the defunct Skye Bank and the establishment of Polaris Bank to assume its assets and liabilities.”

He pointed out however, “When various resolution measures fail, the corporation could, as the last option, liquidate the failed banks and ensure the prompt payment of all insured deposits.”

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United Capital Launches its New, Improved Online Investment Platform, InvestNow.Ng

United Capital Plc, a leading financial services group just launched its new, improved online investment platform, InvestNow. The company, which prides itself in being innovative and customer-centric rolled out this platform as part of its retail strategy and unwavering commitment to excellent service experience.

The platform was first released in 2014 as a securities trading platform but has gone through series of upgrades and improvements. Some of the new, unique products and features include the direct debit functionality which helps make saving and investment easy for the customer by allowing for direct transfer from the customer’s bank account to their investment account; the online wills, which allows users to create a will online; and zero account balance which allows customers to open an account without funding their account. In addition to these unique features, the Group also launched a mobile app which will make investing even much easier and more accessible for the user.

According to the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Peter Ashade who talked to newsmen at the event launch which held in the Group’s Lagos office, “We are extremely excited about this new upgrade. We are always thinking about how to make the customer experience better and really speaks to that. Our customers can now invest in our different products on the platform either through the website or with the App. You can buy mutual funds online, trade on the equities market, set up a trust and even write a will.”

Speaking further about the portal, the Group Chief Information Officer, Mr. Joseph Onyema also stressed that the various investment products are consolidated on the portal for ease. According to him, “A big selling point for us is that everything can be done with a single app. You don’t have to download several apps just to trade on the Stock Exchange, to buy mutual funds or to create a will. With InvestNow.Ng, you can have all your investments at a single point”.

United Capital is committed to consistently creating value for its stakeholders and has expressed hopes that the new, improved platform will help drive financial inclusion by ensuring that more people have finance and investment solutions at their fingertips.

United Capital is an integrated financial services group operating in four core business areas: Investment Banking; Asset Management; Trustee Services; and Securities Brokerage Services.

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Polaris Bank Takes Over Skye Bank

Following the withdrawal of operating license of Skye Bank Plc by the apex Central Bank of Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC), Godwin Emefiele, has changed name of Skye Bank to Polaris Bank.

Emefiele, at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said an injection of N786 billion has been made into the bank with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been directed to commence the sale process of the bank from Monday.

The revocation of Skye Bank’s operating license follows the Central bank’s decision to pause its injection of funds processes in the lender.

The regulators maintain that customers deposits safe as management and members of staff will be retained under the new ownership structure.

Meanwhile, the share price of Skye Bank on Friday gained 4.05 percent at 77 kobo.

The stock is expected to be placed on suspension from Monday in accordance with bridge bank procedures.


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Aircraft Leasing Companies May Blacklist Nigeria – NCAA

There are strong indications that aircraft leasing companies may blacklist Nigeria over failure of domestic operators to keep to terms of agreements in leasing aircraft, spares and engines.

This development was disclosed to THISDAY in an exclusive interview by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman.

According to him, Nigerian airlines are now finding it difficult to lease aircraft and spares from international lessors.

He said the development was due to the actions of two airline operators who reneged on their contractual agreements with the lessors to return their leased aircraft as enshrined in agreement they signed.

Usman added that rather than return the aircraft, the operators went to court to stop the lessors from repossessing their airplanes.

The director general also explained that Nigeria is signatory to Cape Town Convention, which allows an airline of member nations to lease aircraft and return them as agreed, but some Nigerian airlines after signing agreement to abide by these conditions repudiate them after possessing the aircraft.

Usman said that there is a clause in the Cape Town Convention that authorises the Civil Aviation Authority to deregister the aircraft in contention and allow the lessor to repossess his aircraft.

“The Cape Town Convention allows airline operators to lease aircraft at affordable prices. In the past, before the Convention was introduced, people leasing out aircraft (lessors) were having difficulty repossessing their aircraft when there was default. So that Convention took care of that by providing irrevocable deregistration authorisation for the Civil Aviation Authorities where there is default should be able to deregister their aircraft and for the owner (the lessor) to repossess his aircraft.

“That has made it possible for our operators to access leases. It is not only Nigeria; so many countries have signed to the Convention and Nigeria has domesticated it. But unfortunately because of the acts of two operators, Nigeria is about to be blacklisted and this would make it difficult for other operators to have access to access aircraft on lease,” Usman said.

The airlines’ inability to lease airplanes, he explained, has affected the number of aircraft in operation in the country.

This, it was learnt, has forced the airlines to hike their fares in order to meet their operational cost, as demand outstrips supply due to fewer operational aircraft.

Without the ability to lease, some Nigerian airlines are left with only one choice – outright purchase of aircraft at high cost occasioned by the depreciating value of the naira.

Usman disclosed that Nigerian airlines that want to lease aircraft might not be able to do so because the country is now identified as a pariah state that cannot keep to terms of leasing agreement.

Usman also denied a claim that any aircraft was taken out of the country, adding that the aircraft said to have been taken out of the country are still in Lagos.

He explained that there were two aircraft and two helicopters that were leased by Topbrass Aviation Limited, which the company allegedly failed to return according to the terms of the leasing agreement, which prompted the lessor to request for the re-possession of the aircraft.

The director general said in line with the Cape Town Convention, NCAA had to deregister the aircraft and grounded their operations in Nigeria, after the Managing Director of Topbrass Aviation, Captain Roland Iyayi, had claimed that the aircraft was stolen.

“We thank God that such has not happened. Such cannot happen in Nigeria’s airspace. In fact, it came to me as surprise when I saw it as the front page headline of a major newspaper; that aircraft was stolen from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. We are not aware of that,” Usman said.

The CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, also told THISDAY that Nigerian airlines had already been blacklisted by some lessors because it is difficult to lease aircraft, engines and spares.

“It is because of this that my requests to lease nose wheel from some companies were rejected. I have made efforts to lease aircraft spares but the request was rejected. This is a problem caused by those who cannot abide by the terms of agreement when they leased aircraft,” Sanusi said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Topbrass, Capt. Roland Iyayi, had told journalists that his company kept to the terms of agreement in the leasing of the aircraft, but the lessor later failed at execution.

“Our belief is that there is a group somewhere trying to manipulate the system to the detriment of Topbrass, doing everything to see that we are taken out of business completely. The truth is that we have completely moved out of the rule of law to impunity. But in the long run, it is not in the interest of the country,” he said.

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Taraba Takes Giant Strides In Improving IGR

Taraba State government has launched core electronic Internally Generated Revenue solution with a view to improving revenue generation.

The state government noted that the move would  help in improving the living standard of the citizenry.

Flagging off the exercise at the gymnasium hall of the Jolly Nyame stadium Jalingo, Governor Darius Ishaku said his administration would continue to judiciously use tax payers’ money to develop the state.

Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku said the priority of his government is to bequeath a legacy of prudent management of state resources.

He charged people of the state to see tax payment  as a responsibility so as to  improve state revenue..

Ishaku maintained that the use of technology in payment is not alien to his government, noting that the system is already being used in the payment of salaries.

He added that it also helped in flushing out ghost workers and ghost pensioners.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of finance, Saleh Kaka said the state has been experiencing steady increase in her Internally Generated Revenue over the years.

He opined that in 2013 , the state realised more than N3 billion while in 2017 it increased to more than  N5 billion.

Commenting, representative of Buzz desk group limited revealed that the company  established new electronic IGR solutions  customised for Taraba State to capture more eligible tax payers.

The Ishaku administration has been adjudged as leaving no stone unturned to revamp the state economy since the Buzz desk group ICT an electronic IGR consultants has been engaged  to improve the state IGR.

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Nigeria’s GDP Records Growth In 2nd Quarter

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Report (GDP) has grown 1.50% in the second quarter against 1.95% in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the GDP report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the second quarter GDP is driven by the non-oil sector 2.05% growth indicating an increase in the second quarter of 2018.

According to the NBS, Growth in Q2 2018 was 0.79% points higher when compared to the second quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 0.72%,  but –0.45% points lower than 1.95% recorded in the first quarter of 2018. On a quarter on quarter basis, real GDP growth was 2.94%.

Growth in Q2 2018 was driven by developments in the non-oil sector as Services sector recorded its strongest positive growth since 2016. However, the relatively slower growth when compared to Q1 2018 and Q2 2017 could be attributed to developments in both the oil and non-oil sectors.

Oil output fell to 1.85 million barrels a day from the 2 million barrels in the first quarter.

According to the report, agriculture GDP grew by 1.19% in the period under review as against 3.0% in the first quarter of 2018.

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DMO Raises N410bn To Finance 2018 Budget

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised N410 billion from the domestic capital market to fund the 2018 budget.

The Director-General of the DMO, Ms, Patience Oniha, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

She also revealed that the nation’s public debt stood at N22.37 trillion as at end of June ($73. 31b) of which $22 billion was external.

The DMO boss said, however, that the debt was still sustainable and that her team’s Debt management Strategy has crashed interest rate to a region of 11- 14 percent from about 18 percent last year.

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Kogi Government To Build Sugarcane Refinery

The Kogi State government is working with a Brazilian group of companies, enigma to build a sugarcane refinery and plantations in three communities in the state.

The state finance commissioner of Finance Ashiru Asiwaju Idris led other top government officials to guide a visiting team from brazil to inspect the prospective sites.

The visit of the Brazilian company to Kogi state is a fallout of the maiden edition of the Kogi economic and investment summit held earlier this year

The commissioner of finance Ashiru  Asiwaju Idris and other government officials  say the establishment of sugar-cane plantations and refineries across the state has huge positive economic implications

The  representatives of the Kugbani community in Lokoja local government area expressed their preparedness to make their land available.

The visitors expressed their willingness to get started

The state government assured the visitors of the security and safety of their lives, property and investment and expressed hope that this development will mark the beginning of huge investment flows into the state.



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