First Bank of Nigeria Limited has splashed scholarships worth N2.7 million on 18 customers under its XploreFirst promo initiative to boost savings culture and promote financial inclusion among students.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the winners were drawn from the six geopolitical zones and Lagos at the final/ grand raffle of XploreFirst promo on Friday in Lagos.
The winners emerged through an electronic draw handled by Tequila on behalf of the bank and supervised by KPMG, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Commission (CPC).
At the event, Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said: “XploreFirst is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age range of 18 to 29.’’
Ezirim said that a minimum amount of N1, 000 was required to open the account and account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N200 to run the account.
He said that the XploreFirst promo was one of the special benefits of the account.
According to him, the 18 winners that emerged at the final draw will be offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 each.
Ezirim said that the initiative was targeted at youths, especially those in tertiary institutions and informal sector, to enhance savings culture and drive financial inclusion across the country.
“Customers are offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 as incentives to maintain a certain amount of deposit, in this case, N10,000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.
“Customers who successfully maintain the set balance over the six months period are eligible to win the jackpot of N150,000, the grand finale prize,’’ he said.
Ezirim noted that the initiative would be sustained by the bank in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate.
Also speaking, Mr Olufemi Odumuboni, the bank’s Head, Youth/Women Banking, said the promo dynamics was centered at making people to engage in financial discipline.
Odumuboni said that winners were selected based on certain principles that made them eligible to qualify for the draw.
He explained that apart from the N2.7 million set aside for the yearly scholarships, the bank had splashed about N900, 000 to customers who emerged winners at the various monthly draws for data purchase for their mobile phones.
“Winners from the monthly draw selected from the bank’s six geopolitical zones are entitled to N5, 000 each which they are encouraged to use for data purchase for their mobile phones,” Odumuboni stated.
Ms Susie Onwuka of CPC, commended the bank for ensuring transparency throughout the promotion process.
Onwuka said the bank had deployed modern technology in the promo process to eliminate bias, noting that, the agency was happy with the process and the bank.
“Promotions should be registered to show transparency and ensure fairness to the consumers,” she said.
Onwuka said the regulatory body would follow up with the winners to ensure they were rewarded accordingly.
NAN reports that some of the scholarship winners included Mr Offiong Micheal, Mr Ezugba Chukwuebuka, Mr Olorunfemi Oluwatunmise, Mr Adekale Adenike and Ms Agbakwuru Dorcas.
‘No plans to relocate NGC headquarters from Niger Delta’
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured stakeholders that it has no plans to relocate headquarters of its subsidiary, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) from Delta State.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, described as unfortunate, statement credited to Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, where he reportedly condemned alleged moves by the corporation to relocate the NGC headquarters from the Niger Delta.
Ughamadu called on the NGC host communities and other stakeholders to disregard the relocation tale, which he described as “totally false”. He maintained that Omo-Agege may have been misinformed or was quoted out of context as the subject of relocation of NGC was never on the table for deliberation.
NNPC promised to ensure harmonious relationship with stakeholders and host communities to entrench a win-win scenario for all.
Buhari signs AfCFTA agreement at AU Summit
President Muhammadu Buhari in Niamey, Niger Republic, signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, making Nigeria the 53rd state on the continent to append its signature to the document.
Reports reaching Area News, indicated that the president signed the agreement at exactly 10.47 am local time
Buhari had delayed in signing the agreement, which entered into force May 30, 2019.
The delay was to give room for extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the free trade area.
The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.
In accepting the report as submitted, the President made it clear that Nigerian government would be seeking to include terms that engender the development of policies that promote African production, among other benefits.
President Buhari said: “Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda.
“Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of `made in Africa goods’. That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.
“If we allow unbridled imports to continue, it will dominate our trade. The implication of this is that coastal importing nations will prosper while landlocked nations will continue to suffer and depend on aid.’’
The AfCFTA is expected to be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization, with a potential market of 1.2 billion people.
CIFI N20bn loans: Access Bank begins disbursement to creative sector
Access Bank has commenced disbursement of loans to beneficiaries in the entertainment industry, under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The bank disclosed this during a forum with some stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Lagos on Tuesday.
It said the first tranche of the CIFI loans worth N20bn, would be made easily accessible to the borrowers in the sector.
Bidemi Adeboye of Access Bank said stakeholders in the creative industries such as fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student could access the loans.
When all documentations were completed and the loans approved, the bank would ensure the beneficiaries got the funds within two weeks, he said.
He added, “The CBN wants to create jobs, develop local capacity, preserve foreign exchange and ensure empowerment in the entertainment industry.
“It is more interested in providing infrastructure funding such as film house, equipment, studio, auditorium, which will make it easier for the entertainers to operate at lower cost and be able to make profit.”
He explained that the loan had maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum and a repayment period of up to 10 years.
According to him, those who would access the loans should come up with business plan or statement; they must be registered and should be doing what had economic benefits.
Chizoma Okoli of Access Bank said that the CIFI loan was introduced by the CBN to support the creative sector.
She said the bank decided to organise the forum with the stakeholders in the entertainment industry, to get more ideas from them on how best they could disburse the funds to them, and the documents they would need.
Music star, Oladapo Oyebanjo, popular known as D’banj, urged the bank to make the loans easily accessible as promised.
He said, “Most times when we apply for loans, it usually takes up to six months for us to get such. This will be a good development if we can access the loans within two weeks.”