Appeal Court in Enugu Dismisses Innoson’s Preliminary Objections Against GTBank

preliminary objections brought before it by the Chairman of Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Ltd.

Innoson arguing through his counsel, Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha had at the last hearing of the matter on June 14, 2018 raised objections to a motion brought before the court by GTBank seeking to amend its notice of appeal before the court.

Delivering ruling yesterday, Justice Ogunwumiju held that, the court would be in serious error if it decides to wait and hear Innoson Motors preliminary objection.

“There is no doubt that the application for amendment of the notice of appeal will, if successful, give the appeal a chance of being considered and disposed-off on the merit rather than on technicalities. It is implicit in the constitutional rights of fair hearing that parties in a case be accorded every reasonable opportunity of being heard, and that extends to the right to amend their processes and place before the court all the issues they may wish to canvass to enable the court reach a fair and just conclusion”.

Ogunwumiju also ruled that, “The fact that the respondent counsel raised objections to some of the grounds of appeal is not a bar that can deprive the appellant of the right to amend his notice of appeal.

The respondent has not argued that the notice of appeal that the appellant is seeking to amend is fundamentally defective. He has failed to identify any substantial or legally acceptable reason to support the objection.

There is no limitation of time to amend a notice of appeal, the objection by Innoson is not only frivolous but is vexatious and hereby dismissed”, she ruled.

Concluding her ruling, Justice Ogunwumiju noted that “this court had at an earlier adjourned date observed that it found it strange that Innoson, a judgment creditor will be employing all manner of tactics to delay the hearing of the substantive appeal entered in this court as far back as 2013”.

“I see no reason to refuse the appellant’s (GTBank) request to amend its notice of appeal”.

“Everyone in this judicial drama knows that the substantive appeal must be decided in this court and no matter how much time is wasted, the Supreme Court can only hear the substantive matter after it has been decided in this court”.

“Without any disrespect to whatever legal gymnastics being displayed by the 1st to 4th Respondents’ (Innoson) Counsel, these are the types of practices that give the administration of Justice a bad name considering that this case involves money and has been hanging in this court since 2013”.

“Considering all the reasons and circumstances set out above, I hold that it is in the interest of Justice that the appellants application be granted in terms of the following orders:

• Leave is granted to the Appellant (GTBank) to raise new issues in this appeal,

• Leave is granted to the Appellant (GTBank) to amend its notice of appeal in terms of the particulars and specifics highlighted in its supporting Affidavit

• The amended notice of appeal which has already been filed and served is properly filed and served

• Leave is granted the Appellant (GTBank) to amend its brief of argument to reflect the reliefs granted.

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GTBank And Innoson’s Day At The Supreme Court: How It Went Down, By Festus Igbinosa

The long running case between Guaranty Trust Bank and Innoson finally had its day in the Supreme Court, and although there have been some wild tales on what transpired, here is the factual story of how it went down.

Even before the doors of the Supreme Court had shut for the day, what was meant to be a simple directive by the Apex Court on the case between Guaranty Trust Bank and Innoson had been turned on its head, with false versions of the Court’s directives spread online and across social media.

It began with the claim, contained in Press Release circulated by Innoson, that the Supreme Court had ordered “GTB to Pay Innoson’s N14Billion Judgment Debt into an Interest Yielding Account.” The records of the Apex court show no such thing, instead it asked both parties to return to the Court of Appeal, Enugu Judicial Division, for a hearing on GTB’s appeal scheduled for the 14th of June, 2018.

GTB has also released a statement on the actual events of the day at the Supreme Court. “The attention of GTBank has been drawn to false, mischievous and malicious statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported directive by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make payments to one of its debtor Customers,” the Bank said in an official statement. “There was no directive or Order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make any payment to any of its debtor Customers. We again reiterate that there is no iota of truth in the falsehood being peddled by desperate and mischievous elements and the General Public should disregard same in its entirety,” the Bank added.

In fact, the Supreme Court simply directed GTB and Innoson to return to the Court of Appeal for a hearing of the Bank’s substantive appeal on the matter. It is actually in the tradition of the apex court to issue definitive rulings only on Fridays, and what it delivered today was more or less a directive. However, court feelers say this is actually a win for GTB as it grants what the Bank has always wanted—and what Innoson has consistently stalled, which is for the Court of Appeal in Enugu to hear the Bank’s appeal.

The Bank’s appeal of a 2013 High Court judgment gotten by Innoson had stalled at the Court of Appeal for the past two years due to the pending motions filed by both parties at the Supreme Court. On Thursday, 7th of June, 2018 the Apex Court finally sat on the matter and asked both parties to withdraw their motions and return to the Court of Appeal, because GTB’s appeal at the lower court had not been heard.

“The implication [of the Supreme Court Directive] is that both parties are going back to the court of appeal for the Bank’s substantive appeal to be heard,” a source in one of the legal teams of the parties said. “The court said it won’t hear any applications and asked all parties to withdraw their applications.” One of the applications that was withdrawn and struck out by the Supreme Court is the plea filed by Innoson on 27th of February, 2015 askingfor the court to order GTB to issue a money guarantee to the court. This is interesting because it means that, rather than rule for the Bank to pay Innoson 14bn as the latter had claimed, the apex court struck out that particular request.

Back to the Appeal Court

Following the directive by the Supreme Court, the substantive appeal filed by GTB will now be heard at the Court of Appeal, Enugu Judicial Division, on the 14th of June, 2018.This appeal has been repeatedly delayed by the Innoson camp using moves such as itsmotion filed by on October 3, 2017to prevent the appeal from being heard. Back then, the Court of Appeal had expressed surprise that Innoson (the Judgment Creditor) is not desirous of allowing the appeal to proceed.

Again, in the proceedings of 24th October 2017 in CA/E/275/2015 between same parties, the same Prof. Mbadugha appearing for Innoson and other Respondents had scuttled proceedings when he refused to proceed with Appeal even though it was clear that the Appeal was ripe for hearing and opted to pay costs. Prof Mbadugha said to the courts: “I ask for an adjournment even though all motions have been taken… I offer N50,000.00. The Appeal Court responded; “This application for adj. has no basis, but in the interest of justice it is hereby granted. The appeal is ripe for hearing. Cost of N100,000.00 to the Appellant against the Respondents. Appeal adjourned to 17/4/18 for hearing.”

However, following today’s hearing at the Supreme Court, it seems all hurdles have been cleared for GTB’s substantive appeal to be heard by the Court of Appeal.

 

Festus Igbinosa is a financial analyst and he writes from Abuja

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Elizabeth Solaru To Visit 2018 GTBank Food, Drink Fair

Baking aficionado and founder of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, Elizabeth Solaru will be at the GTBank Food and Drink Fair to facilitate a Masterclass on how to make great wedding cakes.

Elizabeth was recently named as one of the world’s “Masterful 100.”

Her creations have been featured in numerous international publications including Wedluxe, Strictly Weddings and The Telegraph, amongst several others.

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium is regarded as one of the best wedding cake companies in the world. The company creates beautifully handcrafted cakes that are adorned with the most realistic edible jewelry, sugar flowers, lace, pearls and gems.

Elizabeth regularly features on BBC and Sky TV and is the only three-time winner of The Great Cake Bake, a show which features the best wedding cake makers in the UK.

Follow the conversation at #GTBankFoodDrink #PromotingEnterprise

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2018 GTBank Food And Drink Fair To Hold April

The third edition of the GTBank Food and Drink Fair is set to hold on April 29th, 30th and May 1.

The fair will bring together small businesses in Nigeria’s food sector, with more than a dozen internationally renowned chefs and food experts and thousands of food lovers to create the biggest food experience in Africa.

Organized by foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, the Fair is designed to celebrate Nigeria’s vibrant food culture whilst Promoting Enterprise in the small business sector of the Food Industry.

The 3-day event is free for all to attend and provides small businesses with a free and vibrant platform to connect with a wider segment of their target markets as well as experts in their business fields. Having hosted over 250,000 people and helped hundreds of small businesses achieve record sales, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair has, over the past 2 years, become a major event in the social calendar of Nigerians and beyond.

This year, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair will feature a series of Masterclasses in the art and business of food and drink whilst treating attendees to a host of live cooking demonstrations of their favourite delicacies by renowned international and indigenous chefs. The carefully curated selection of small food businesses will offer the best culinary experiences in Lagos and beyond.

There will be a space for Street Food, which will offer the best of local delicacies, as well as a Farmer’s Market where SMEs involved in agriculture will sell fresh and organic farm products. Attendees can also expect a fabulously diverse range of gastronomic delights from restaurants and outdoor grills well-known for setting taste buds on fire and an exciting mix of eclectic cocktails.

Commenting on the 2018 GTBank Food & Drink Fair, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Alongside the unparalleled culinary experience, the GTBank Food and Drink Fair showcases the richness of Africa’s food culture and the vibrancy of the small businesses involved in the industry. This year, we have added an extra day to the fair, thereby increasing the opportunities for small businesses to connect to more consumers as well as businesses.

He further stated that, “Apart from the amazing experiences that we create for our tens of thousands of guests, it is the personal testimonials that we receive from small businesses that speak to the true value of the GTBank Food and Drink Fair. Behind these small businesses are hard-working fathers, enterprising mothers and incredibly passionate youths, and when they share their remarkable stories of record sales at the fair, we see not just the impact of our efforts at Promoting Enterprise but the immense capacity of our organization as a Platform for Enriching Lives.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also going beyond the traditional understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility as corporate philanthropy by intervening in key economic sectors to strengthen small businesses through non-profit consumer focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth.

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Olubayode Treasures Reads Aloud For 122 Hours To Promote Reading, Sets New Record

In a bid to reignite the interest in reading across Nigeria and beyond, a 40 year old Nigerian, Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, , read aloud for 122 hours at a Read Aloud Marathon Session organized by the YouREAD Initiative, a CSR initiative of Guaranty Trust Bank.

The Read Aloud Marathon, which had renowned Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer as the official timekeeper, held from 1:30pm on Monday, February 26th, 2018 to 3:30pm on Saturday, March 3rd at the Herbert Macaulay Library Yaba, which was recently remodeled into a state of the art facility by GTBank.

Olubayode, who read aloud 23 published books within 5 days and 2 hours, set out to achieve a personal goal of reading for 120 hours as well as play for the Guinness World Record. However, any claim to breaking the current World Record of 113 hours and 15 minutes (held by Deepak Sharma Bajaan from Nepal) is subject to confirmation by Guinness World Record in London, after verification of evidence of this attempt, in line with the guidelines set out by the organisation for every record breaking attempt.

His challenge for the Guinness World Record however garnered huge public interest, with hundreds of well-wishers visiting him at the Herbert Macaulay Library and thousands more cheering him on across social media platforms.

Speaking on his remarkable feat, Olubayode said; “I would like to thank GTBank first for sponsoring my Guinness World Record attempt, and most importantly, for all the Bank has been doing to support education and promote the culture of reading. I would also like to thank the Governor of Lagos State, Lagos State Officials and Nigerians everywhere, who sent me messages of support physically and across social media; together, we are making reading famous again.

I hope that this effort will raise our consciousness on the importance of reading and also help change the narrative that making money and being famous can only come from entertainment and sports. Those two are great, but so too is excelling in education, and hopefully the younger generation will find in my attempt the inspiration to read and study more.”

Commenting on the Read Aloud Marathon, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of GTBank, Segun Agbaje said; “We are proud to have supported Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi’s trial to make history through one of the most positive human activities—reading. His personal commitment to promoting a reading culture will hopefully put Nigeria on the global map as a nation that is passionate about books, it will also serve as a source of inspiration to everyone in the country and beyond to adopt and maintain an active reading culture.”

He further stated that “At GTBank, we are passionate about rekindling the interest of young Nigerians in reading and will continue to create and support innovative ways to promote an active reading culture within and outside the academic environment.”

GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.

The Bank’s footprints in Corporate Social Responsibility are guided strategically by its decision to operate on four major pillars: Education, Community Development, Arts and the Environment, which it believes are essential building blocks for the society and prerequisites for economic growth and societal development.

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EFCC Debunks GTBank’s Involvement In Innoson Boss Arrest

Recently, the Innoson/GTBank story has gained so much media prominence, especially following the arrest of the Innonson chairman a few days ago by EFCC. Though the case is pending in court, Innoson has taken the battle to social media. There have been numerous sponsored social media campaigns against the Bank such as #BewareOfGTBank and #WhatIsWrongWithGTBank.

The company has also gone Television, with its owner, Dr Innocent Chukwuma granting an interview to TVC, where he claimed he had obtained a judgement of N8bn against the bank. He added that the bank pleaded with him over their inability to pay, and that he graciously offered to accept shares of the bank as payment.

GTBank on their part has chosen to remain silent on the matter, perhaps trusting in the integrity of the legal system as against playing to the gallery. Many attempts by us to get the bank’s representatives to comment on the story has proven abortive. A staff of the bank who spoke under anonymity, stated “Irrespective of the issues we are facing with the company, Innoson remains a customer of the bank and we owe him a duty of confidentiality and to conduct ourselves in a responsible manner towards him”. This statement didn’t stop us from conducting our own investigations on the matter, and below are our findings, put in bullet points for your optimum understanding.

The obvious:

Innoson is, and still remains, a customer of GTBank.

GTBank not behind Innocent Chukwuma’s arrest as EFCC states N1.4bn fraud and usage of forged documents to secure tax waivers as reason for arrest

What we discovered:

1. GTBank (in 2009) granted Innoson several credit facilities (i.e loans) totalling N2,400,000,000,00 (two billion, four hundred million Naira only), to part finance working capital requirements, import new motorcycles and motorcycle spare parts, agricultural spare parts and plastic manufacturing equipment (“Imported Goods”).

2. Under the loan terms agreed by Chief Innocent Chukwuma on behalf of Innoson, proprietary interest in the Imported Goods was consigned exclusively in favour of the Bank. This means that the Bank was the exclusive owner of the Imported Goods. Accordingly, the original shipping documents (i.e. the Bills of Lading) were in the custody of the Bank, and have remained in the custody of the Bank at all times.

3. Because GTBank was the exclusive owner of the imported goods, ownership of the goods could only be transferred to Innoson (or any other third party) by the Bank. The condition in the agreement between the Bank and Innoson, for the release of the Imported Goods by the Bank to Innoson, was the payment of 25% of the value of each Letter of Credit transaction by Innoson.

What we learnt:

1. Innocent Chukwuma approached the Bank, on behalf of Innoson, requesting the release of the shipping documents without payment of the agreed+ 25% equity. The Bank declined his request as a result of Innoson’s failure to meet the agreed conditions.

2. It came to the Bank’s knowledge sometime in June, 2011 that the Imported Goods for which the Bank declined to release shipping documents to Innoson in view of its failure to meet the agreed conditions, had been fraudulently procured by Innoson.

3. The Bank discovered that Innoson, under the control of Dr. Innocent Chukwuma had forged the Bank’s endorsement on the bills of lading to the Shipping Line and fraudulently cleared the Imported Goods which were in the name of the Bank. The Imported Goods, being property of the Bank should not have been cleared from the Port without the original shipping documents being endorsed by the Bank in favour of Innoson, or any third party.

4. The signatures of 4 (four) staff of the Bank, to wit, Taofeek Olalere, Dan Attah, Bunmi Adeyemi and Amazu Amalachukwu, as well as the Bank’s stamp were forged on all the shipping documents used by Innoson to fraudulently clear goods at the port. The Bank did not at any time endorse or transfer the shipping documents to Innoson, as the originals of each of the relevant Bill of Lading remain in the Bank’s custody to this very day.

5. When the Bank reported the matter to the Nigeria Police, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma claimed the Bank released the shipping documents to him. Consequently, the Police commenced investigation into the Bank’s complaint, including a forensic examination of the disputed signatures, and established that the signatures of the Bank’s staff were forged, and the Imported Goods were fraudulently cleared from the Nigerian Ports Authority by Dr. Innocent Chukwuma and his accomplices.

What we heard from the Police:

1. Police investigations confirmed that Innoson and Dr. Innocent Chukwuma deliberately set out to defraud, steal from the Bank and convert the Imported Goods belonging to the Bank by deceptive means and through forgery and misrepresentation. The unlawful takeover of the Imported Goods, which served as the Bank’s collateral, left an indebtedness in excess of the sum of N1,654,481,895.04 (one billion, six hundred and fifty four million, four hundred and eighty one thousand, eight hundred and ninety five Naira, four Kobo) as at September 26, 2012.

2. Chief Innocent Chukwuma was arrested and interrogated by operatives of the EFCC, following which he agreed to make monthly payments into Innoson’s account until the full liquidation of Innoson’s indebtedness to the Bank. However, Innoson defaulted in making the agreed payments. Investigations by the Nigeria Police following a petition by the Bank in September 2013 also found Innoson and Chief Innocent Chukwuma culpable of the criminal allegations levied against them by the Bank, and Chief Innocent Chukwuma was accordingly charged to court by the Police.

3. The Police filed Charge No. FHC/L/565C/2015-Inspector General Of Police And Innoson Nigeria Limited; Innocent Chukwuma; Charles Chukwuma; Maximian Chukwura; Mitsui Osk Lines; Annajekwu Sunny for fraudulent clearance of goods, forgery, conversion, stealing and conspiracy presently pending before Faji J, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi and adjourned to November 21, 2017 for arraignment/or hearing of motion for issuance of Bench Warrant.

What Innoson did:

1. Innoson approached the Bank for a reconciliation of his account and pleaded for a debt forgiveness. A reconciliation was carried out on the account – which had a debit balance of N1,654,481,895.04 as at December 31, 2011. In the spirit of amicable resolution and EFCC intervention, the Bank said it agreed to forego the sum of N559,374,072.09 which represented default charges that has accrued on the account and debited in line with the loan agreement between the customer and the Bank.

2. Based on this, the Bank decided to accept from the customer, the sum of N1,095,107,822.95 as full and final payment of the customer’s indebtedness to the Bank, provided that same shall be fully paid not later than (30) days from the date of the letter written to him

3. Surprisingly, Innoson commenced suit no:FHC/AWK/CS/2012 against the Bank at the Federal High Court, Awka stating the bank had debited its account with excess charges totalling N559,374,072.09 and obtained judgement in excess of N4.7Billion against the Bank. Again choosing to dishonour an agreement that was amicable reached between him and the Bank for a full and final settlement of N1,095,107,822.95 wherein the Bank graciously forgave him the sum of N559,374,072.09 which accrued on his account during the period which he abandoned his account.

4. To further stall the criminal proceedings against him, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company instituted suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja, as well as the Federal High Court, Awka in January 2014 against The Inspector General of Police, The Nigeria Police Force and Investigating Officer(s), seeking declaratory and injunctive reliefs, including orders restraining the Police from commencing criminal proceedings against Innoson and Chief Innocent Chukwuma. Furthermore, in a bid to stall the Bank’s recovery steps, and distract the Bank from focusing on the criminal action, as well as civil actions filed for recovery of the debt, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company Innoson, have continued to institute various spurious suits before various courts, claiming frivolous and outrageous sums against the Bank.

What EFCC is Saying

In a statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wilson Uwujaren, he said, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has released Nnewi, Anambra-State born Industrialist, Chief Innocent Chukwuma on bail.

“The business man who runs a local auto assembly plant was arrested on Tuesday December 19, 2017 at his Enugu residence, following his refusal to respond to invitations by the Commission, after initially being granted administrative bail by the Commission, while his surety could also not be found.

“Unfortunately the industrialist resisted arrest and stirred controversy by bringing six truck-loads of thugs to block the entrance to his Plot W1, Industrial Layout, Abakaliki Road, Emeni, Enugu, home.

“This was after he initially misled the Police Command by informing them that his home had been invaded by armed robbers and kidnappers despite the fact that operatives of the Commission duly identified themselves to policemen guarding his home.

“His unruly thugs encircled and manhandled operatives of the Commission who had gone to effect the arrest. Consequently, a distress call was sent to the Commission’s Enugu Office for reinforcement.

“In all of this, the Commission’s operatives acted with decorum and civility. No one was manhandled or assaulted by the EFCC team, and not a single shot was fired, despite the provocation.

“Chief Chukwuma and his brother, Charles Chukwuma (who is still at large), are being investigated by the Insurance and Capital Market Fraud Section of the Commission’s office in Lagos over matters bordering on N1, 478, 366, 859.66 fraud and forgery.

‘The industrialist, among other infractions, allegedly used forged documents to secure tax waivers.”

 

 What GTBank is not saying:

1. In responding to Innoson’s motion for a stay of criminal proceedings at the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice J.S Ikyegh on September 17,2017 dismissed the motion for being unmeritorious and ordered that proceeding in the criminal case against Innson should proceed.

2. On October 12, 2017, the Police through its Charge No. FHC/L/565C/2015- filed an application for the issuance of bench warrant against Innocent Chukwuma; Charles Chukwuma and Annajekwu Sunny for fraudulent clearance of goods, forgery, conversion, stealing and conspiracy presently pending before Faji J, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi and adjourned to Decemeber 8, 2017 for arraignment/or hearing of motion.

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GTBank-Ogun State Principals Cup (Season 5) Holds Sept. 21

The 2017 edition of the GTBank-Ogun State Principals Cup will reach its climax on Thursday 21st September, 2017 in the famous MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta. The highly anticipated finals will thrill football lovers from across Ogun State and beyond as first-time finalists take on former champions.

The curtain raiser for the day will be the finals in the female category between 2 time winners, Muslim High School, Isolu and Iko Gateway Grammar School, Idiroko. In the male category, Ipara Community Secondary School, Ipara will hope to spring an upset as they take on title favorites, Pakoto High School, Ayede-Ifo who won the trophy in 2015. The matches are bound to produce historic moments for two of the four schools as both jostle to win the trophy for the first time ever.

The GTBank – Ogun State Principals Cup has been won by 5 schools since its inception. In the male category, Alamuwa Grammar School, Ado Odo won the first and forth editions of the competition (2013, 2016) and are the only male team to win twice so far – a feat Pakoto High School hope to repeat when they file out on Thursday – while Remo Divisional High School, Sagamu emerged winners in 2014. In the female category, Orile Ilegun Comprehensive High School, Odeda clinched the title in 2013, Alamuwa Grammar School, Ado Odo 2014, while this year’s finalist, Muslim High School, Isolu took home the title in 2015 and 2016.

Outstanding players to watch out for in the male category of this year’s final include Olalekan Toheeb of Pakoto High School who is the leading scorer of the tournament with 3 goals, and Sodiya Olaoluwa of Ipara Community Secondary School who won the most valuable player award in the semifinals. In the female category, all eyes will be on Adeyanju Hanna of Iko gateway Grammar School who scored the lone goal that earned her team a place in the final, and Kayode Tolulope of Muslim High School whose midfield prowess helped her team get to this stage of the competition. Winners in both categories will be rewarded with the sum of N1,000,000 each, while the 1st ,2nd, 3rd runners-up will be given N750,000, N500,000, and N350,000 respectively.

Commenting on the Finals the 2017 GTBank – Ogun State Principals Cup, Segun Agbaje, the MD/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said “We are proud to lead this initiative that provides an avenue for students to showcase their talents and passion for the game of football even as they remain committed to their academics.” He further stated that “This competition paves the way for youths to cultivate their sporting talents and aptitudes, while fostering and building a healthier lifestyle at a critical stage in their lives”.

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a foremost Nigerian financial institution that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports in-classroom and out-of-classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

Alongside the Ogun State Principals Cup, GTBank also sponsors the Lagos State Principals Cup, and the Masters Cup tournaments.

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NIS Launches New Passport Collection And Data Capturing Center In Abuja

Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, is set to sponsor 40 outstanding young talents discovered at its football tournaments as well as 60 school coaches on an all-expense paid intensive player development and coach-training programme tagged “Camp GTBank.”

Camp GTBank is a football and educational development initiative designed to train and develop outstanding football talents discovered at the GTBank football tournaments which include the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup, GTBank-Ogun State Principals Cup and the GTBank Masters Cup.

Since its inception in 2011, Camp GTBank has helped kick start the careers of more than 120 footballers, some of whom have been selected to represent the country in international tournaments at various levels, and are currently playing in both domestic and foreign league clubs.

Holding in Lagos from the 21st to the 28th of August, 2017, this year’s edition of Camp GTBank will help prepare the outstanding talents for successful football careers whilst building the capacity of the coaches to improve the quality and potential of grassroots football.

The 8-day residential camp will feature renowned coaches such as Augustine Eguavoen, the former coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Jolomi Atune, coach of the Nigeria’s U-15 Future Eagles, and Ajuma Ottache, the only female coach of a professional male football team in Nigeria, amongst others.

The coaches will take the players through all the aspects of the game, expose them to modern rules and regulations and improve their physical and metal conditioning to position them for a professional career.

The coaches will also offer expert coaching lessons to the school coaches and sport instructors over a two day period to develop and enhance their knowledge and technical competence.

Commenting on the Camp GTBank, the Managing Director/CEO of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said “Given the amazing talents shortlisted for this programme and the quality of the coaches overseeing their development, I am confident that Camp GTBank will be a seedbed for the emergence of professional footballers who will go on to have very successful careers.

This goes to the heart of our sports education initiatives, which are aimed at actively engaging the youths through sports whilst identifying, nurturing and grooming young football talents.”

He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to invest massively in youth development through education and sports in order to help more youths actualize their dreams and to also grow their personal confidence and make them become better team players.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports Education programmes in-classroom, Out-of-Classroom, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

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GTBank Listed Among Top 25 Banks In Africa,1000 Global Banks

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, GTBank, has been ranked among The Banker Magazine’s Top 25 Banks in Africa that was released last night, in the magazine’s 2017 1000 Global Banks’ ranking.

Other banks on the lists are Zenith Bank Plc, FirstBank Nigeria, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc and Diamond Bank Plc.

According to the ranking, GTBank was ranked the third in Nigeria, 13th in Africa and 588th in the world.

According to The Banker, Africa’s leading economies faced adverse conditions over the 2016 review period, as low commodity prices continue to shake the continent’s growth trajectory.

They pointed out that dealing with a shortage of foreign exchange, heightened political risk and volatile currencies, the performances of some regional lenders have suffered.

“Yet, as the rankings demonstrate, this is not a one-dimensional story. In some cases, African lenders have improved on their positions in the Top 1000 ranking, helped in part by prudent growth strategies and diversified business models,” the report added.

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GTBank Remodels Herbert Macaulay Library, Flags Off ‘YOU READ’ Initiative

Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has transformed the old Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba into a state of the art learning and recreation facility. Executed in partnership with the Lagos State Government, the project is part of the Bank’s YOU READ CSR Initiative which identifies, renovates and reequips public libraries, turning them into centers for learning and social engagements for students and the general public.

Public libraries play a fundamental role in the lifelong mental and intellectual development of individuals as well as in enabling broad societal development. However, the inadequacy of public library services and infrastructure in Nigeria has hampered the fulfillment of these crucial roles.

Concerned about the state of public libraries in Nigeria, and motivated by the belief that quality education is crucial for nation building and a fundamental right of everyone irrespective of background, race, or economic status, GTBank created the You Read Initiative to connect people with a global resources of information and knowledge.

With the goal of raising the Herbert Macaulay Library to global standards, GTBank carried out a total overhaul of the internal and external structures of the facility. These included a complete refurbishing of the building, equipping the library with state of the art furniture, the installation of computer and internet facilities to create an e-library and the provision of books to ensure a pleasurable and highly rewarding library experience.

The Bank is also calling on member of the general public to donate new and used books in good condition to the library in order to expand the scope of resource materials available at the event.

Commenting on the renovation of the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, stated that, “We are happy to provide this much-needed upgrade to a facility that is crucial to the academic and personal development of members of the Yaba community as well as residents of Lagos State and beyond.

Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities, and the new-and-improved Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba will not only serve as a centre for learning and research, but will also provide a warm and welcoming environment for sharing experiences and creating new opportunities.

He further stated that, “At the heart of the You Read initiative is our commitment to transform our organization into a platform for enriching lives that offers our customers and communities, benefits beyond banking. Beyond the renovation of the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, we, through this initiative, seek to encourage and engage people, especially students in all stages of their education, to read, build capacity, gain exposure and connect with peers and educators around the world.”

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GTBank holds 7th Annual Autism Program

Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, is set to hold the 7th edition of its Annual Autism Conference. The two-day conference, which is free and open to the general public, will hold on the 13th and 14th of July 2017 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

This year’s conference, themed “Childhood to Adulthood: Communication and Social Development”, will create conversations and develop resources which address the dynamic needs of people living with Autism right from their childhood through adulthood.

As part of the 2017 program, there will be globally renowned specialists present to offer consulting services ranging from the assessment of children for Autism and other developmental challenges to the counselling of their parents from 17th to 22nd July 2017 at Digital Village, Alausa, Ikeja. There will also be sessions for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behaviour Analysis, Audiology, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy.

Since 2009 the Autism Awareness Conference has been a core part of GTBank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative, an advocacy program designed to support people with developmental disabilities and special needs, especially Autisim Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In 2016, the 6th edition of the Autism Conference had over 1,500 participants over the two-day period, more than triple the number which attended the inaugural conference. This year is expected to attract a larger audience and will have as partners, Ministries of Health and Education, Blazing Trails International, Texas, USA, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Patrick’s Speech and Language Centre and the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro Ogun State.

Commenting on the 7th Annual Autism Awareness Conference, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Over the past six editions of this conference, we have made tremendous achievements in amplifying the national awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders and increasing the expert assistance available to people living with Autism.

This year, we are going several steps forward to address the dynamic communication and social needs of children living with Autism as they transition into adulthood. He further stated “Aware that we are a voice for people who don’t have a voice, we will continue to support children living with Autism as well as their parents, teachers and care givers so that through us, the world can hear them.

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a Nigerian financial institutions that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affect Infant and Maternal Healthcare, Education, the Art, Community Development and the Environment.

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How GTBank is Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) developed alongside the emergence of corporations more than a century ago and is now practiced by most companies and institutions around world. While corporations may vary in their level of commitment to CSR, their practice is largely focused on corporate philanthropy such as donating to charities, supporting causes or sponsoring individuals, groups and programmes. However, some companies, intent on making their CSR impact more effective, are rethinking this approach. Among these companies is Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) plc, a leading African financial institution headquartered in Nigeria and spread across sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom.

GTBank has always been heavy on CSR. The bank maintains a clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy with targeted focus on Education, Community Development, the Environment and Arts. Among its landmark CSR programmes are the GTBank Adopt-a-School programme through which the Bank has taken over the provision of facilities to some public schools across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. The Bank also sponsors three annual secondary school football tournaments—The Lagos State Principals Cup, the Ogun State Principals Cup and the Masters Cup—all of which have become major grass-roots football competitions in the country. The bank’s backed Orange Ribbon Initiative is the foremost Autism-focused initiative in the country providing support and raising awareness for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Not resting on its CSR feats, GTBank is innovating how it gives back to its communities by going beyond traditional corporate philanthropies to intervene in key economic sectors to strengthen small businesses through non-profit consumer focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth. The first big example of this new approach was the Food and Drink Fair which the bank organized in May. Although the event had all the flavours of Food festivals, with world-class chefs such as Marcus Samuelson and Raphael Duntoye serenading cooking masterclasses, its raison d’étre was to boost the enterprise of indigenous SMEs in the food sector. In that front it succeeded quite remarkably with over 25,000 guests attending the fair and the over 100 SMEs seeing record sales of their products.

GTBank is now looking to repeat what it achieved with the Food and Drink Fair in the Fashion sector. “We are thrilled to be the first in the Nigerian financial sector to pioneer an initiative that will assist in unlocking growth opportunities for businesses in the fashion industry,” said the Bank’s MD, Segun Agbaje, in a Press Release announcing the GTBank Fashion Weekend set to take place in November. “We are committed to growing SMEs in a sustainable manner that is not driven by profits but focused on empowering our customers and growing our economy collectively.” The Weekend, it is understood, will have all the glitz and glamour of fashion events but at its core will be the theme of Promoting Enterprise, which will be achieved through the Fashion MasterClasses for entrepreneurs and designers as well as retail exhibitions to boost the sales of local SMEs.

While in the process of organizing the Fashion Weekend, GTBank also announced the launch of its virtual arts gallery which the bank said will serve as a free platform for local artists to exhibit their artworks and achieve greater market exposure. “At GTBank we see art as an avenue for unlocking people’s creative potential and by creating ART635 we aim to expand the opportunities for art education as well as broaden the reach and viewership of the works of indigenous artists,” said Mr Segun Agbaje in a statement announcing the gallery’s launch. “Although African art goes back several centuries, the art industry in the continent is still young and largely untapped and we hope that with ART635 we can drive its evolution into a lucrative and vibrant economic sector,” he added.

Given the depressed economic situation in Nigeria, and indeed across sub-Saharan Africa, GTBank’s new approach to CSR is an apt response from a company keen on boosting the general economic fortunes of its community. Small businesses, on which the economic growth and development of most African states depend, need not just financial empowerment but also capacity building and access to market, aspects that GTBank’s CSR-tweak does address. The company’s new approach to CSR also shows that far from just innovating for business growth, companies and organizations must always evolve how they give back to their communities to ensure that their CSR programmes continually make its desired impact.

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