First Bank of Nigeria Limited is supporting schools with an array of educational based products and solutions targeted at enabling the acquisition of various facilities to boost the continuous expansion and improvement of the educational sector. Parents are not left out, as the Bank has bespoke products which empowers parents and guardians to meet the educational needs of their children.
The Bank’s educational products and solutions include the FirstEdu Loan, Operational Vehicle Loan, Term Loans for constructing new sites and extension of existing sites, Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) and FirstAdvance which enhances Parents/Guardians’ capacity to pay their wards’ school fees.
The FirstEdu loan offers short-term finance to private pre-primary, primary and secondary schools/ registered A level educational institutions with steady flow of income. The product offers opportunity for private schools to access flexible funding to meet urgent cash flow needs, replace old furniture and equipment or assets, purchase of fairly-used school buses, as well as refurbishing dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. This product helps school owners/proprietors in bridging the “no-income” gap between school terms, and to enhance diverse assets acquisition. It allows schools access up to N20 million with no tangible collateral required apart from the domiciliation of school fees with the Bank. Schools with CAC registration that are yet to get Ministry of Education approval can access up to N2million without collateral for up to 90days. In a bid to cushion the effect of covid-19 pandemic, the Bank is in partnership with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to finance low-cost private schools at a single digit interest rate where schools can access up to N5million.
The Bank is also in partnership with the apex association of private school owners in Nigeria, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) to finance member schools at a highly competitive rate. This reduces the cost of borrowing to the customer and eliminates the challenges posed by the provision of additional demanding collaterals.
The Operational Vehicle Loan is targeted at registered businesses. It allows the entrepreneur to acquire brand new vehicles for the day to day operation of the business. Organisations can take advantage of this facility to purchase school buses in the case of school proprietors and even upscale their staff welfare schemes through provision of staff buses. The product terms and conditions is competitive.
Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) offers customers in paid employment access to cash to meet immediate financial needs such as payment of school fees, medical treatment, holiday expenses, etc. PLAS has a flexible repayment plan spread up to 48 months for our customers’ convenience. There is no equity contribution or collateral requirement.
FirstAdvance is a 30days tenured digital loan also available to salary customers who are in need of assistance to meet immediate financial needs. It empowers customers to access upto 50% of their net monthly salary in less than a minute at any desired time by dialing *894*11# or through our FirstMobile App. Only a salary account domiciled with FirstBank will qualify you for PLAS and FirstAdvance.
Beyond these, FirstBank is at the forefront of promoting virtual learning, whilst exposing not just school children but individuals of all ages to various e-learning initiatives, designed to promote innovation and skills development on emerging technologies through focus areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Coding, Cloud, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Data Science and Analytics, and Cybersecurity.
In achieving this, the Bank has collaborated with Lagos State government, IBM and Curious Learning to ensure the e-learning initiative swiftly moves across the country to school children and individuals with the need to promote the pursuit of knowledge, irrespective of age.
Speaking on the Bank’s support for schools, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said “at FirstBank, we recognize the indelible roles the educational sector plays in promoting national economic development and we are delighted to support schools with collateral free educational solutions to meet various needs and projects to advance to the next level.”
“As schools proceed with the new term, we enjoin interested schools to visit the nearest branch or the Bank’s website for more information and encourage everyone to access our e-learning driven initiatives to keep learning and get exposed to various opportunities to stay ahead in today’s technologically advanced world.”
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.
With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.
The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.
Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.
Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications
Q4 Report: Jumia Maintains 12% Gross Profit Increase YoY
….. as Business rebalancing drives growth
Africa’s leading ecommerce platform, Jumia has reported gross profit of €27.9 million, translating to a year-over-year increase of 12% in its 2020 Q4 and full year report released on Wednesday. The report by the pan African etailer showed that Gross Profit after Fulfillment Expense reached a record of €8.4m.
According to the company, business mix rebalancing, alongside enhanced promotional discipline, was a meaningful driver of economic improvement experienced throughout 2020, as the brand continues its progress towards profitability.
“While 2020 has been a challenging year operationally with COVID-19 related supply and logistics disruption, it has been a transformative one for our economic model, as we firmly put the business on track towards breakeven.
We continued to make significant strides towards profitability during the fourth quarter of 2020. Gross Profit after Fulfillment expense reached a record €8.4 million during the quarter. In parallel, efficiencies across the full cost structure allowed us to decrease Fulfillment, Sales & Advertising and General & Administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation) by 18%, 34% and 36% respectively, year-over-year.
As a result, Adjusted EBITDA loss contracted by 47% year-over-year, reaching €28.3 million. In addition, we raised approximately €203 million in a primary offering in December 2020,” commented Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Jumia.
As contained in the report, Total Payment Volume on JumiaPay reached €59.3 million, increasing by 30% year-over-year. On-platform TPV penetration increased from 15.6% of GMV in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 25.7% of GMV in the fourth quarter of 2020. JumiaPay Transactions increased by 10% from 2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Overall, the report showed that 33.1% of orders placed on the Jumia platform in the fourth quarter of 2020 were paid for using JumiaPay.
Jumia’s annual active consumers reached 6.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 12% year-over-year with continued growth in both new and returning customers. This cascaded to increased sales on the platform, as Jumia’s 2020 Black Friday sales records surpassed that of the previous year.
The platform recorded 1.5 billion page views, up 34% when compared to 2019, while video content registered almost 100 million views, 3 times higher compared to the 2019 event. The report showed that more than 41,500 sellers participated in the 2020 event, with the top 20 sellers registering 141% growth in items sold in the 2020 Black Fridays compared to the same period in 2019.
The brand also recorded impressive figures on platform monetization. As contained in the report, Jumia Logistic service which was opened to third parties in 2020, shipped almost half a million packages on behalf of more than 270 clients.
According to the report, Jumia is also making meaningful progress in the reduction of the overall rate of Cancellations, Failed Deliveries and Returns (CFDR). “The CFDR rate as a percentage of GMV improved from 30% in 2019 to 25% in 2020. The CFDR rate as a percentage of Orders improved from 22% in 2019 to 16% in 2020.
The CFDR rate is typically lower when expressed as a percentage of Orders than GMV as higher average item value orders tend to show higher CFDR rates. As a result of the significant improvement in CFDR ratios, year-over-year trajectory of GMV and Orders after CFDR compares favorably vs pre CFDR. GMV was down 19% in 2020 while GMV after CFDR was down 12% and Orders increased by 5% while Orders after CFDR increased by 14% over the same period,” The report read.
The company also stated that General & Administrative expenses, excluding SBC, reached €21.8 million, down 36% on a year-over-year basis. This significant decrease was attributable to staff costs savings as a result of the portfolio optimization and headcount rationalization initiatives launched in the fourth quarter of 2019, alongside a decrease in professional fees, including legal expenses.
Jumia also reported operating loss of €40.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, while Adjusted EBITDA loss was €28.3 million, decreasing by 35% and 47% on a year-over-year basis respectively.
ACCESS BANK COMMENCES ACCELERATOR PROGRAM, TO EMPOWER STARTUPS THROUGHS AFRICA FINTECH FOUNDRY (AFF)
The Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank Plc has commenced its accelerator programs.
The initiative is set to empower emerging startups, with mentorship programs, advisory and has committed N10 million in cash to the top three finalists.
The accelerator program which opened its entries last month, received 306 registrations and after rigorous assessments was later shortlisted to 30 participants.
Theses finalists were further screened by the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and Vice President, Investments MBO Capital and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in a bid to narrow it down to 10 -15 finalist.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Awe said the AFF was committed to empowering startups with resources and to ensure start-ups are equipped to scale their businesses.
He said: “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.”
“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over $100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”
On funding available for the start-ups, he added: “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10 million. After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top three but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.
“This initiative would have a direct impact into the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”
Also speaking at the event, the Head, Retail Product Insight and Capabilities, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Rob Giles said: “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real world problems and were we are different from venture capital firms is we offer an environment where startups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get access to people who are further ahead on their journey like mentors.
“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow them to scale.”
Furthermore, speaking to one of the participating startups, the Founder, Farm Delight Ms. Love Uduma, a start-up focused on agriculture value chain from production to distribution and consumption said this platform is an impactful stream for startups to get support from.
On her expectation, she said: “I am expecting tech support and a good relationship with the tech community. We have the agricultural aspect covered but we need the technology assistance and also funding.”
Nigerian Breweries Declares N337 Billion Revenue For 2020
Nigerian Breweries Plc has declared a revenue of N337.01 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2020.
The revenue represented an increase of 4.3 per cent compared with N323 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
The company disclosed this in its audited financial statement to newsmen signed by its Legal Director/Secretary, Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, on Monday, in Lagos.
He said that the company posted a profit after tax of N7.52 billion during the review period against N16.1 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2019.
Agbebaku said that the board of directors would be recommending to the shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) a total dividend of N7.52 billion.
“Recall that the company had earlier in 2020, paid an interim dividend of N1.99 billion which translated to 25k per share.
“The final proposed dividend of N5.52 billion at 69k per share will be payable to shareholders upon approval on April 23,” he said.
Agbebaku said that only qualifying shareholders whose names appear on the company’s Register of Members at the close of business on March 10 would be paid the final dividend.
“Directors would also be recommending to shareholders for their approval at the forthcoming AGM, a right of election for qualifying shareholders to receive new ordinary shares in the company as against the final dividend in cash,” he added.
According to Agbebaku, the board of directors expressed confidence in the company’s position to continue to deliver return on investment to shareholders.
He added that the company remained committed to not only keeping its balance sheet strong but ensuring that the health, safety and welfare of its employees, customers and partners were protected.
Agbebaku noted that the company made various donations in cash and kind valued at about N531 million out of a phased commitment of N600 million to the federal and seven state governments COVID-19 Task Forces Relief Funds.
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