Fidelity Bank says it has empowered about 50 small business entrepreneurs to boost their businesses and save them from collapse.
Mr Mannir Ringim, the Regional Head of Fidelity Bank in North West, told the News Agency Nigeria in Kano on Wednesday that the gesture was to strengthen the bank’s relationship with small business owners.
According to him, the bank is engaging small business owners because it believes they will boost the country’s GDP by so doing.
“If businesses succeed, the economy will improve and that will be beneficial to us at macro level.”
Ringim described Fidelity Bank as a small and medium enterprises-friendly bank, adding that it had planned series of trainings for Nigerian business owners at various stages across the country.
COVID-19: Fidelity Bank donates N5m to Borno
Presenting the cheque on Tuesday in Maiduguri, the North East Regional Manager of the bank, Mrs Halima Mustafa, said the gesture was part of the bank’s social responsibility and contribution to the fight against the pandemic.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of Borno Government, the Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the state COVID-19 Committee, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, thanked the management of the bank for the donation.
He said that the gesture would go a long way in supporting the fight against the pandemic.
Kadafur advised other organisations to emulate the bank, assuring that the donation would be judiciously utilised.
Fidelity Bank donates N10m to Plateau govt COVID-19 Trust Fund
Fidelity Bank Plc on Wednesday donated N10 million to the Plateau govt COVID-19 Trust Fund.
The Regional Head, North Central, of the bank, Mr Sadi Zawuya, while making the presentation at Government House Jos, commended Gov Simon Lalong for his commitment in combating the disease in Plateau.
“We want to appreciate and commend the state governor for his efforts in the combat of COVID-19, and on behalf of the board and management of Fidelity, donate the sum of N10 million.
“We previously made a donation of N250 million to the federal government and deem it fit to replicate similar gesture to Plateau,” he said.
Zawuya said the donation was to enable the state access what they need, especially palliatives and other commodities, in controlling the spread of the disease in Plateau.
Responding, the governor of Plateau, Mr Simon Lalong, appreciated the bank for the donation, saying real friends assist in times of need.
“I am happy with this development; when you have a problem and you see friends coming, you get relief of your challenge,” he said.
Lalong said it was his earnest prayer that all efforts to combat the disease would be successful, and life would return to normalcy.
The governor urged Nigerians to be hopeful of the end of the pandemic and adhere to preventive measures set by government at all levels to control the spread of the disease.
He also prayed to God to replenish the resources of the bank, as they had donated to the sustenance of humanity.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
COVID-19: Fidelity bank donates N5m to Kebbi Govt
Fidelity Bank has donated N5 million to the Kebbi Government as part of its support in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Malam Yahaya Sarki, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, made the disclosure in a statement on Wednesday in Birnin Kebbi.
“The Cheque for the amount was presented to the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad-Argungu, by the Regional Manager of the bank, Malam Salihu Jibrin, at the Government House on Tuesday.
“Jibrin also assured the state government that the bank would be an active partner in the fight against the novel Coronavirus disease by providing more possible assistance.
“Although the donation of N5 million by the bank could be described as a token, it would aid ongoing efforts by the state government in containing the COVID-19 scourge,” he said.
Sarki said the regional manager of the bank, however, announced that the money would be remitted into the state government’s account on May 20.
Responding, Muhammad-Argungu, thanked the bank for the gesture and promised judicious management of the fund.
“All donations received from various sources were handed over to the state Task Force on COVID-19 for proper management,” Muhammad-Argungu said.
He commended the Chairman of Task Force on COVID-19 and Commissioner for Health, Ja’afar Muhammed, and members of the team, for doing a marvelous job in curbing the spread of the virus in the state.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Felix Ajide (NAN)
COVID-19: Fidelity Bank reassures customers, staff of safety measures
Fidelity Bank says it will continue to take measures that will ensure the safety of customers, staff and other stakeholders during the period of COVID-19.
The bank, in a statement on Monday, said its Chairman, Mr Ernest Ebi, gave the reassurance at the bank’s 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently in Lagos.
The chairman said that the board, in line with its oversight responsibilities, had been meeting virtually, to strategise on new opportunity areas to cushion the impact of the pandemic and to sustain the growth trajectory of the bank in recent years.
Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, was also quoted in the statement as saying it would explore new prospects that were opening up in the retail market.
Okonkwo said the bank would continue to focus on customer-centricity, innovation and digitisation, whilst keeping its eye on governance, risk and liquidity.
“We place a high premium on risk management and will continue to review our risk acceptance criteria in reaction to new market realities,” he stated.
The shareholders at the AGM unanimously endorsed the payment of a cash dividend of 20k per share, which translates to N5.79 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
Meanwhile, the bank has started the 2020 financial year on a positive note with the announcement of its unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
Gross earnings for the first quarter of the year grew by 5.7 per cent to N51.2 billion, from N48.4 billion in the previous year.
Profit before tax stood at N6.6 billion, representing a marginal drop from N6.7 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2019.
Shareholders’ funds grew by 3.6 per cent to N242 billion from N234 billion in 2019.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Fidelity Bank pledges to join in fight against COVID-19
Mr Charles Aigbe, the Bank’s Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, made the assertion on Thursday in a statement in Lagos, pointing out that one of the staff members tested positive to COVID-19.
Aigbe said the bank had mandated its staff or immediate family member(s) who travelled out the country to self-isolate for two weeks.
He said that they would obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of the bank’s COVID-19 Preventive and Precautionary Measures.
According to him, this process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.
He said that the affected staff members was in self-isolation and had undergone test in line with the bank’s policy.
“The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) where he is currently being attended to by health officials.
“We are in constant touch with him and have been monitoring the situation closely. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
“Though, the staff has not been at the bank since returning from the UK, he however, brought some consignments for two other staff which were delivered to them individually.
“We have self-isolated the two individuals and sent them for necessary testing.
“In addition, the office where these two individuals work, has been temporarily shut and has been disinfected.
“Due to the proactive measures taken by the bank, contact tracing within the bank was very swift and conclusive with no customers involved.
“We have also shut down our Federal Secretariat, Abuja Business Office and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with our policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff,” Aigbe said.
He said apart from the directive on isolation and testing for staff and family members who have had trips abroad within this period, the bank had in place, several other precautionary measures as advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health institutions.
Other precautionary measures, according to him, included, body temperature screening of staff members and visitors before being allowed access to all our premises; wearing of gloves and face masks by all our frontline staff.
He said that the bank had ensured reduction in the numbers of staff expected to come to work with 60 per cent of our staff now working remotely from home.
Aigbe said that had reduced the number of customers allowed at a time into its banking halls to a maximum of five, among others.
“Fidelity Bank places high premium on health and safety. We shall continue to do everything within our means to ensure the health and safety of all, including customers, vendors, staff and indeed everyone who comes into our premises,” Aigbe said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye
2019: Fidelity Bank records N215.5bn in gross earnings
Fidelity Bank Plc has recorded gross earnings of N215.5 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019, indicating an increase of 14 per cent.
The bank’s audited result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that the gross earnings was up, compared with N189 billion achieved in the preceding period of 2018.
Profit before tax rose by 21 per cent to N30.4 billion, compared with N25.1 billion recorded in the previous year.
Similarly, net profits surged by 24 per cent to N24.4 billion, from N22.9 billion in the corresponding period.
Buoyed by the performance, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20k per share, translating to N5.8 billion compared with the dividend of 11k paid in 2018.
Net Operating Income rose by 15.6 per cent from N97.2 billion to N112.3 billion during the period under review, while total assets grew by 22.9 per cent from N1.72 trillion to N2.11 trillion in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the performance.
“We are delighted at the results which clearly showed that we sustained our performance trajectory and continued to increase our market share, driven by significant traction in our chosen business segments,” Okonkwo said.
On digital banking, he said the results were enhanced by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and the deepening of the bank’s existing digital products.
“We now have 47.4 per cent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products, 82 per cent of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 31.1 per cent of fee-based income now coming from our digital banking business,” he said.
The CEO noted that the efforts aimed at strengthening the bank’s foothold of the retail market were yielding significant results with savings deposits rising by 20.7 per cent to N275.2 billion, making it the sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
“Savings deposits now account for about 22.5 per cent of total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment,” Okonkwo said.
He said that the bank’s Non Performing Loan (NPL) ratio dropped to 3.3 per cent from 5.7 per cent due primarily to the growth in the loan book and a 25.1 per cent decline in absolute NPLs resulting from the loan write-offs of over N12 billion.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Oluwole Sogunle
Fidelity Bank moves to bridge finance gaps for women entreprenuers, MSMEs to boost employment
Fidelity Bank Plc on Friday expressed commitment to continuous support and development of women entrepreneurs to address the short-term financing needs of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Managing Director, stated this at its mentoring and networking engagement with women entrepreneurs in celebration of the 2020 International Women’s Day in Lagos.
Okonkwo said the bank’s long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in the country was due to its recognition of SMEs as critical agents for economic development and transformation.
Okonkwo stressed that the bank was very passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs as well as SMEs development.
He noted that the bank had built structures and systems to channel low cost intervention and development funding to MSMEs, including women entrepreneurs, to tame ‘high-cost-of-funds’ challenge facing the sector.
He disclosed that the bank had disbursed about N1.7 billion to SMEs from the SME on-lending line from the Bank of Industry as at February 2020.
Okonkwo added that the bank got an offer from the Development Bank of Nigeria for a N28 billion on-lending line in 2018 for on-lending to players in key sectors.
He noted that about N18 billion had already been disbursed from the fund as at February 2020, noting that additional N6.8 billion had been approved and awaiting completion of documentation by customers.
“Recently, we obtained a facility of 50 million dollars from the African Development Bank and about 30 per cent of this is dedicated to female entrepreneurs,” he said.
Okonkwo said that the bank would continue to expand the frontiers of funding for SMEs through its Fidelity SME Funding event series.
Mrs Tara Fela-Durotoye, Founder, House of Tara, attributed collapse of small businesses to lack of knowledge in support systems and policies.
Speaking on the Business Structure and Governance, Fela-Durotoye, said that small businesses must build brands that would outlive them to boost employment generation.
“Entrepreneurs today need to decide on businesses that will outlive them to create an impact.
“You must decide to build a business that will outlive you, its a national call to service.
“And by so doing, they are pulling people out of poverty and then the international world will stop looking at us as a country that cannot provide jobs for its people,” she said.
Fela-Durotoye said entrepreneurs must separate their personal lives from their businesses in order to thrive by paying themselves salaries.
Also speaking, Linda Ikeji, the Chief Executive Officer, LIB TV, commended the bank for bringing the initiative of women empowerment.
Ikeji said more Nigerian women needed platforms like this to be able to thrive and scale up on their businesses.
“This is commendable and as you know that I am passionate about entrepreneurship as regards to women who want to be motivated, learn and be inspired.
“I definitely welcome that platform and so it is commendable that Fidelity Bank thought it very necessary to put something like this together and invite female entrepreneurs, myself and Tara to do some form of mentorship,” she said.
Ikeji stressed that entrepreneurs must put all their time and energy in what they were doing to scale up their businesses.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Scaling Up’, she said entrepreneurs must continue to fight and must never give up on their dreams.
According to her, entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, need to innovate what people really need and not just come up with businesses that will not thrive.
“Your business must satisfy a need and not a want for it to succeed,” she said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Man ends 24-year-old marriage over wife’s infidelity
NNN: An Igando Customary Court on Monday dissolved a 24-year-old union between a 47-year-old pastor, Gbenga Aina, and his enstranged wife, Damilola, over allegation of adultery.
The president of the court, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, in his judgment said that it appeared that the estranged couple were tired of the marriage.
He also said that all efforts to reconcile them had failed.
“Since both parties had consented to the dissolution of their marriage, this court has no choice than to dissolve it.
“The court,hereby, pronounces the marriage between Mr Gbenga Aina and Mrs Damilola Aina dissolved today.
“Both of you, henceforth, cease to be husband and wife.
“Each of you should go his or her separate ways unmolested, the court wishes both of you well in your future endeavours.”
Koledoye said that Gbenga, who was the petitioner in the case, should be responsible for the feeding, education and general welfare of the three children produced by the marriage.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the petitioner had earlier told the court that his wife was promiscuous.
“My wife is having extramarital affairs with a man called Shola.
“Shola had on three occasions called to inform me that my wife was finally his and that I should forget about her.
“Sometimes, he would call my phone line and start insulting and threatening me.
“When I investigated the matter, I discovered that he and my wife were attending the same church.
“I went to the church and I was told that Shola and my wife had been lovers for a long time,” he said.
The petitioner also alleged that his wife once abandoned their matrimonial home for three years without checking on their children.
The man prayed the court to terminate their union, claiming that he was no longer interested and that he had moved on with his life.
“Please, dissolve our marriage; I don’t love her again, I have married another wife,” he said.
In her response, Damilola accused her husband of sending her out of his house.
“Gbenga sent me out of his house. He threatened to deal with me if I should come back and for that reason I never went back.”
The 45-year-old sales representative also denied having any extramarital affairs with any man.
“I am not having any extramarital affairs with Shola as claimed.
“I only chose to be close to him so that he can help in facilitating my plans to travel out of the country being a travel agent.
“Surprisingly, Gbenga came to my church to fight and accused Shola and I of having an affair,”she said.
The respondent said that their marriage had been turbulent and fraught with fights and quarrels.
“I never enjoyed the marriage since inception, it has been fighting galore.”
The mother of three conceded to the dissolution of the marriage that she was also fed up with the union.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Peter Dada
Fidelity Bank seeks board approval of 2019 audited financial report March 2
Fidelity Bank Plc says it will hold an emergency board meeting on March 2 to consider and approve 2019 audited financial statements.
The bank stated this in a notice on Friday to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the general public, signed by its Company Secretary, Ezinwa Unuigboje.
It said the emergency board meeting would hold on March 2 at 9.30am, to consider and approve the company’s audited financial statements for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
“Upon approval by the Board, the audited financial statements shall be presented to the Central Bank of Nigeria for approval and thereafter published in compliance with the provisions of the NSE Rule Book and other relevant provisions.
“The bank had earlier communicated to its insiders a closed period relating to trading in the shares of the bank from Jan. 24 until 24 hours after its Audited Financial Statement for the year ended Dec. 31 2019 is released to the public.
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange has been notified of this development,” said the notice.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s communication requires public companies to adopt one of two options.
The first option is to file fourth quarter unaudited financial statement (UFS) within 30 days after the quarter end and Annual Financial Statement (AFS) within 90 days after the year end.
The second option is not to file fourth quarter UFS but to file the AFS within 60 days after the year end.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle
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