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Ecobank Extols CBN’s Financial Inclusion Drive, Adopts Reduced Bank Charges

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Ecobank Nigeria has complied with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent directive on the reduction of bank charges. The bank commended the CBN for taking bold steps to further strengthen the financial inclusion drive in the country. It will be recalled that in October 2019, Ecobank announced the elimination of session charges on its USSD platform – *326#, months prior to the new CBN directive.  Customers using *326# for their transactions such as inter and intra bank funds transfers, bill payments, airtime top-up, balance enquiry etc. can do so at zero session fees.

Further to the removal of the session charges, Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, advocated stakeholder buy-in to make banking more affordable and accessible to all.  He noted that lower charges would encourage the unbanked to adopt structured financial services, thereby driving financial inclusion and economic growth. Ecobank has been at the forefront of the campaign for inclusive, affordable banking. Anyone, regardless of their social class, can open the Ecobank Xpress Account with Zero Naira, from any phone type, simply by dialing *326#. The account opening process is fully “do it yourself” without any documentation or paperwork.

The Managing Director, in his new year message to customers, stated that “Our removal of session charges on Ecobank *326# well ahead of the recent downward review of charges on digital transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria further demonstrates our commitment to delivering more savings to our customers, making banking with Ecobank more delightful in the new year and beyond”

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In the same vein, it must be noted that Ecobank also offers EcobankPay which is a cashless easy-to-make-payment service at over 100,000 merchant locations in over 50 markets in Nigeria whilst Ecobank’s proprietary money transfer service, Rapidtransfer, offers Africans living in the diaspora the option of sending money home to their loved ones at minimal fees relative to competition. Ecobank Xpress Point Agents have also been deployed by the bank to bring banking to every neighbourhood in Nigeria. At the corporate level, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OMNIPLUS and Ecobank OMNILITE provide easy payment and collection services to customers.

Ecobank has reiterated its resolve to delight its customers better this new year by delivering exceptional service, products and solutions.

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Breaking News: Customers Groan As Zenith Bank’s System Collapse

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Zenith Bank customers are currently in pains as they have been unable to get good service from the bank since the early hours of Saturday.

It was gathered that the bank is experiencing system collapse at the moment, even as customers are finding it very hard to withdraw or send money while other transactions with the bank have become estremely difficult.

According to some of the victims of the Zenith bank sudden system breakdown, the development became noticeable in the early hours of today at about 8: 45am and was yet to abate as the time of filling this report.

Some of the victims are seeing around the banks premises, especially ATM users lamenting their predicament.

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2021 NCOY: FIRSTBANK PARTNERS JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT NIGERIA, REITERATES COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION AND EDUCATION

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FirstBank

For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.

 

This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021. Interested participants are to register via the link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtd-qvqz4pE90NXOHcy-tve6aEXpY_yYAE

 

The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.

 

Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu; PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.

 

Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman; Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.

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The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.

 

The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.

 

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.

 

According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.

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UBA Foundation Sensitises Staff, Customers on Mental Health Awareness, offers Therapies, Creative Opportunities, Giveaways

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UBA

In line with its commitment towards giving back and impacting lives, UBA Foundation – the corporate social responsibility arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc – has kicked-off a week-long series of activities aimed at promoting mental health awareness for staff and customers starting with a panel session on Wellness at the Workplace.

Whilst studies revealed that over 19% of adults struggle with their mental health every year, a majority of those affected are reluctant to speak-out and seek help for fear of stigmatisation, UBA Foundation, through the panel discussion, sought to address the challenges that individuals are facing and how it has now become important to create consciousness and prioritise the general well-being of employees and clients.

UBA’s Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, delivered a good will message at the event emphasising the importance of wellness and mental health. He stressed the need for more organisations to ensure that the mental health of their staff and families are taken more seriously.

He said, “UBA has always engaged in a lot of ground-breaking initiatives and the issue of mental health is important to us. We have found that people do not want to talk about mental health because they think it is bad, but the truth is that you can only get good productive people when challenges like these are addressed and I am so happy that this has commenced here. “

The panel was moderated by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, who spoke about UBA’s goal to remain the best place to work. She noted that the bank is addressing these issues and championing the narrative that says that mental health issues shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

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 “We want to create a workplace environment where people feel comfortable and encouraged to seek help when necessary, so that they can give the best of themselves in their respective roles. We hope to stomp out the stigma that keeps people suffering in silence and bridge the gap between mental health inclusivity, support and recovery in Africa,” Atta who is also UBA’s Group Head Corporate Communications, explained.

The panellists, UBA’s Group Head, Human Resources, Patricia Aderibigbe, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, BTH Therapy, Chris Abojei, Co-founder  Africa’s Health Matters Foundation, Vanessa  Adebayo and Angel Yinkore all agreed that wellness, especially at the workplace, has become a front burning issue and should be well addressed.

Atta announced the partnership with UBA Foundation and Inside Out as part of the weeklong activities to shine some light on mental health. Inside Out  aims at teaching youths to channel their feelings through art expression and photography. She added that staff members would be able to benefit from free therapy sessions from BHT Therapy and many wellness giveaways such as spa and fitness vouchers.

Another major highlight of the week will be an intimate discussion with the Founder, Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor, on Thursday, November 11th, where she will share insights around her personal journey and the realities of balancing life, family, and mental health.

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