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Fidelity Bank rewards loyal customers with N2.6 bln



The Fidelity Bank Plc says it has disbursed over N2.6 billion to customers as reward for their loyalty in the last four years.

Richard Madiebo, Head, Divisional Retail Banking of Fidelity Bank, made the disclosure while presenting cheques to three beneficiaries of the reward from Kogi on Wednesday at the Lokoja International Market.

Madiebo, who was represented by Mrs Ugonnaya Okoro, Product Manager, Consumer Finance , Fidelity Bank,  said about 6,323 out of its over four million customers had so far been rewarded under the Fidelity Savings Loyalty Scheme.

He said the bank valued and appreciated the customers who patronised its services across its business offices and various digital banking channels.

“We have to thank and appreciate them for doing business with us all these years.

“In Kogi State today, we have rewarded three customers; two beneficiaries of N500,000 and one with N150,000.

“We do this periodically; we can’t reward all the customers at the same time.

“So, what we do is, every month, we pull out customers and we move around wherever they are, we gather them at a central place and reward them,”, Madiebo said.

According to Okoro, a customer must maintain a Children’s Savings Account and the Fidelity Personal Savings Scheme with a minimum of N5,000 and N20,000 monthly savings to qualify for the draw.

“I am sure what we have done here today is enough evidence for them to know that Fidelity is not just like any other bank.

“Our slogan says it all: “Fidelity, we keep to our word. Whatever we say, we do”, she said

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the three customers rewarded in Kogi include Aisha Ganiyu and Francis Babatunde Obansa with N500,000 each for maintaining the Fidelity Personal Savings Account Scheme.

A primary two pupil, Ojochegbe Trust Edoka, was also rewarded with N150,000 for a Children’s Savings Account opened for him by his parents.

Speaking with NAN, Ganiyu said: “I never expected it anyway.

“I was out on that fateful day when they called said that I won N500,000 and I said, please leave me oo. How will I win N500,000 just like that.

“They now said that I should come to the branch office and of course, I refused to go there;  but several intermittent calls made me to go.

“I give God Almighty the glory and I pray that Fidelity Bank will grow from strength to strength,’’ she said.

For Ojochegbe, he was thankful to his parents saying: “I thank my mother and father for opening an account for me with Fidelity Bank.

“I also advise other parents to do the same for their children,’’ he said.

Editing  by Vivian Ihechu and Abdullahi Yusuf


Recruitment: Physically challenged applicants take demand to Customs



The Association of Physically Challenged Applicants and Workers (APCAW) on Friday visited Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) demanding for slots in the ongoing recruitment by the service.

The President of the association, Mr Godstime Onyegbulam, told the Nigeria News Agency that they were at the customs headquarters to plead, to consider his members in the employment.

Onyegbulam explained that some of the members of the association applied for the job vacancies recently advertised by the service.

NAN reports that the NCS began recruitment process in April, this year, to fill 3,200 vacancies of professionals in the service.

The president said most of his members were graduates hence the need to be considered in the exercise in order to be part of the system to contribute their quota.

The Public Relations Officer of the customs, Mr Joseph Attah, who received the physically challenged applicants, pledged to look into their request.

Attah assured that their request would be taken to the appropriate authority with a view to addressing it.

He advised those that applied to come and submit their printed slips at the customs’ headquarters for screening.


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Oil prices nudge higher, eyes on speech by Fed chair




Singapore, Aug. 23, 2019 Oil prices clawed back the previous day’s losses on Friday, with Brent nudging above $60 a barrel.

This is as tighter supplies from key producers offset slowing demand growth and investors await clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 29 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $60.21 a barrel by 0629 GMT, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 were at $55.53 a barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 per cent.

Both contracts were on track for a second week of gains.

“Oil is set to trade quietly today as it’s all about the Jackson Hole (meeting) tonight,’’ said Jeffrey Halley, a Singapore-based senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.

A speech by Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, later on Friday at a meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is expected to provide clues on whether the U.S. central bank will cut interest rates for a second time this year to boost the world’s largest economy.

Traders’ expectations of further U.S. monetary easing were clouded by comments from two Fed officials on Wednesday who said they do not see a case for a rate cut now.

“If Powell talks about lower for longer and reverses some of the hawkish comments that we heard from Fed members earlier this week, we could see it supporting oil,’’ said Michael McCarthy, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

McCarthy also said Brent has good support at $60 a barrel on technical charts and may have some upside potential.

Brent prices fell in July and are down so far in August, dropping after the International Energy Agency and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut demand growth forecasts due to risks to global economy from the U.S.-China trade war.


Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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NIPC, SMEDAN link MSMEs with larger coys



The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), has said that its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) “Market Linkage” initiative was designed to connect MSMEs to larger companies to boost economic growth.

Mr Emeka Offor, Director, Strategic Communications Department, NIPC, said this on Thursday in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was organised by NIPC and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to work out strategies for the business linkages.

Offor said that NIPC has been collaborating with SMEDAN to foster linkages which would enable the MNEs and LLCs to outsource operations which could be conveniently handled by MSMEs thereby opening new opportunities for them.

“It is also designed to encourage and promote producers of industrial raw materials by large companies.

“It will forge linkages that emphasise technology partnerships and to support the upgrading of local MSMEs capacity.

“It is designed to encourage the creation of new backward linkages with local suppliers, as well as deepen and upgrade existing backward linkages with the suppliers.”

The director recalled that in January 2019, after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIPC and SMEDAN, the Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated and it commenced implementation of the work plan.

Offor explained that NIPC was requested to provide technical support and take the lead in the organisation of the stakeholders’ engagement while SMEDAN would facilitate the implementation of the match-making.

According to him, the first phase of the action plan which is the pilot programme is to focus on agro-industries and agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industrial services and to later spread to other sectors.

Mr Monday Ewans, Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, identified lack of access to local, regional and global market as one of the major challenges militating against optimal performance of MSMEs in Nigeria.

This, he said, would bridge the gap and enable local content development and participation in various sectors of the economy.

“The initiative is designed such that by creating market access for active MSMEs operating in Nigeria, they will be able  to contribute to economic growth through increased output and income.

” It entails identifying and selecting MSMEs and suppliers for profiling to build existing database suppliers, subcontractors and service providers.

“It also involves identifying prospective buyers and original equipment manufacturers that will culminate in compilation of buyer list.”

According to him, profiling and match-making will be conducted in Lagos and Kano states between MSMEs and large enterprises.  

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Ikeazor promises to speak for pensioners as she leaves PITAD



The Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, has assured pensioners that she will continue to speak for them at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Ikeazor, the out-going Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja at a reception organised by members of the directorate to celebrate her new appointment.

Ikeazor was among the 43 ministers inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Ikeazor, who took over the leadership of PITAD in October 2016, pledged to continue defending pensioners’ interest at a higher level.

“ With my appointment as a federal minister, pensioners now have a voice in the FEC, I will always be speaking out for pensioners anywhere I am,” she said.

Ikeazor attributed her success in office to the cooperation she received from staff of the directorate and charged them to support his successor.

She advised them to sustain the momentum at the directorate by working hard and ensuring that all pensioners were treated fairly.

“I know I have driven you all hard but please as I leave, do not relent, keep the pace, hold on to all stakeholders and continue with the hard work I started, “she said.

She further advised heads of government agencies in the country to give National Youth Service Corps members posted to serve in their offices opportunity to grow, saying that “in them, lie great abilities.’’

Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, SERVICOM National Coordinator congratulated Ikeazor for her new appointment, saying she merited it.

Akajemeli noted that during her tenure at PITAD, Ikeazor entrenched social justice in the directorate and ensured that every pensioner received their due.

She said that interaction with pensioners by SERVICOM revealed that Ikeazor brought good service to pensioners in the country.

“During your tenure in office, you were able to right the wrongs and strengthen the directorate by bringing service to the people with responsibility and visibility.

“We have seen the difference; you have indeed brought good service to the people, especially pensioners.

“You recorded tremendous successes in PITAD which has brought you to this height, “ she said.

Akajemeli recalled that Ikeazor while in office set up an independent committee that ensured the regularisation of staff in PITAD.

“We wish you the very best and we look forward to greater achievements from you, in your new assignment as Minister of State for Environment,“ she added.

Also, Mr Chille Igbawua, the Chief Commissioner of the Federation, Public Complaints Commission, said Ikeazor`s success in PITAD would continue to speak volumes.

According to him, Ikeazor is leaving behind a legacy that will continue to speak for her long after her exit from office.

Some pensioners  said Ikeazor took pensioners as special people which earned her lots of respect and regards.

To them, she succeeded in her job not because she is a woman, but because she decided to be “a human being with passion to help“.

Dr Chioma Ejikeme has been appointed to take over from Ikeazor as PITAD Executive Secretary.

Present at the event were representatives from the Police Service Commission, PITAD past Executive Secretaries, Military and Police Service Retiree Association and association of different pensioners’ unions.

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Shipping expo exhibition will create more employment, investment opportunities – SOAN



President of  Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr Mkgeorge Onyung, says the Shipping Expo exhibition will create more employment and investment opportunities toward boosting the nation’s economy.

Onyung, who made the disclosure at a news briefing in Lagos on Thursday, said that the theme of the expo: “The Ocean Blue Economy and National Development”, was chosen to enable Nigeria explore opportunities in the blue economy.

According to him,  the exhibition tagged: “The Lagos international Shipping Expo,” scheduled to hold in Nov.  27 and 28 at Oriental Hotel, will expose Nigerians to utilise the resources of the ocean for sustainability.

“Our Cabotage Law has been with us for 15 years now, we see it as  contribution to ensuring that we open the doors for people to understand what cabotage really means and the opportunities in it.

“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had established  a committee between the agency and stakeholders to look into the challenges affecting the waivers in the last five years.

“We must have both ship building and ship repair yard in Nigeria, there is need to open up for acquisiton.

“Within the next five years,  the Nigeria Content will be in the region of 3.5 billion dollars and in order to enjoy these benefits, we need to upgrade our capacity.

”The upcoming conference will open opportunities to collaborate toward ship building opportunities in Nigeria,” onyung said.

He said the association was working toward decongesting the Lagos ports by reviving the other ports in the country to create more jobs for Nigerians.

Onyung said  Nigeria was blessed with over 840 kiloliters of Nautical miles of coastline and nearly 10,000 kilometers of Inland waters, adding that Norwegian had their waters frozen for eight months in a year but it owned a lot of ships in the country now.

He explained that shipping was an old trade but Nigeria was yet to benefit and need to build capacity in the shipping business.

The SOAN boss said all shipowners in Nigeria have been working tirelessly to ensuring that Cabotage act is effective in the country .

He emphasised the need for Nigerian to expand shipping capacity, saying that marine notice had been established by NIMASA to ban substandard ships coming into the country.

From left,  Vice President,  Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Mr Eno Williams, President of SOAN,  Dr Mkgeorge Onyung, Technical Committee of SOAN and Chief Coordinator, Mr Lucky Akhiwu,   Mrs Jite Gbeje, during the briefing of Association conference in Lagos


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