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Ecobank Wins Big At Nigeria’s Banks And Other Financial Institutions’ (BAFI) Awards

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Ecobank Nigeria Announces Appointment of Independent Non-Executive Directors

Financial Institutions’ (BAFI) Awards 2021 held in Lagos at the weekend. At the keenly contested awards, Ecobank Nigeria emerged winner of the “Market Confidence and Capital Structure Transaction of the Year” via its Unsecured $300 Million Bond, a fixed-rate 5-year US dollar- denominated bond launched early in the year and “Female Economic Advancement Bank of the Year” for its sustained support for female entrepreneurs and the development of savings and loans products specifically aimed at women through its Ellevate program.

The BAFI Awards backed by the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU), noted that the impressive strength and depth of the book on the Ecobank’s $300 Million Bond transaction signaled solid global investor confidence in the financial institution at a time when Nigeria was racked by a perfect storm: a COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession in the 4th quarter, and a year of falling oil prices. It reiterated that a further proof of market confidence and demand was seen when the bonds were listed on the London Stock Exchange. “The success also stamped market faith in Ecobank Nigeria’s prospects, as it was the second major bond sale by Ecobank Nigeria in the space of two years; the first being an oversubscribed N50 billion Tier-2 issuance in December 2020”. They stated.

On the Ecobank Ellevate proposition, BRIU, said:  “Ellevateprogram, which is designed for businesses owned by women, managed by women, have a high percentage of female board members or employees and companies manufacturing products for women, received special attention of the BAFI Awards Review Panel for its comprehensiveness. A fully 360º solution, it cuts across Cash Management & Collections, Liability & Loans, and Support & Development. Being an “inside-outside” award that adheres to the “charity begins at home principle,” Ecobank as winner of the Female Economic Advancement Bank of the Year Award has demonstrated a commitment to creating a work environment that allows its female employees to thrive to their full potential within the bank. Ecobank was chosen based on the diversity and scope of Ellevate which is specifically developed for women; being a strong SME banking proposition since many women-owned and women-led businesses fall into this category; a clear, articulated vision to become a “Bank of Choice” for women through training of product development specialists, marketers, and customer service agents on the needs of women; and the service to female customers beyond providing loans, as advice and support are critical to business success anywhere in the world”.

In his comment, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan  said: “the strong demand for our bond shows the international appetite for the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria, its unique positioning for facilitating pan-Africa trade and the attractive opportunity for the many investors seeking to back world-class Nigerian corporates.” He also noted that “with the Elevate program, Ecobank aims to empower 40 million women, being a gender-based proposition designed to empower women-owned and managed businesses in Nigeria, as well as in the 33 African countries and beyond where Ecobank has presence.

Earlier, Publisher, BusinessDay, Frank Aigbogun, said the BAFI Awards is backed by the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU), noting that nominations for the BAFI Awards are the culmination of a rigorous review process. He said BRIU and an independent panel of judges evaluate more than two hundred and fifty institutions and benchmark them against their global peers using several indices in a thorough evaluation process and nominees are assessed for their vision, execution, and market leading propositions.  He added that they also considered factors like corporate values, integrity, workplace culture, gender balance, and other human issues.

The BAFI award categories cut across banking, insurance, capital markets, investment, pension funds, trustees, registrars, stockbroking, and private equity

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Illegal Oil Refinery Operators Arrested In Lagos

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Illegal Oil Refinery Operators Arrested In Lagos

No less than five illegal oil refinery operators in Oregun, Ikeja area of Lagos State, have been arrested.

The arrest was as men of the Nigerian Army uncovered an illegal oil bunkering depot, where siphoned crude oil was refined and transported to different filling stations within the Southwest region of the country.

During a raid on the refinery site, amongst other things, soldiers recovered refined crude oil valued at N300 million.

Briefing journalists on the arrest, the Operation Officer, 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja Cantonment, Major Tarela Emuren said the arrest and recovery were made by troops of Operation AWATSE.

According to Emuren, the soldiers arrested the illegal oil refinery operators on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, after an eight-hour raid operation at the Oregun illegal refinery site.

His words: “The scale of economic sabotages orchestrated by this unscrupulous act is estimated to be worth about N300 million. Regrettably, these activities have been ongoing for quite some time without the knowledge of relevant government agencies.

The five Ford vans have been specially modified, without due recourse to safety, to accommodate locally fabricated tanks for storage of stolen petroleum products. Additionally, four tankers were also recovered at the illegal depot laden with suspected stolen products as well as several drums, hoses, and other equipment used by these economic saboteurs.

Besides the economic loss occasioned by the activities of these criminals, the safety concern is also worrisome. The location constitutes serious dangers to other law-abiding residents within the community while their activities result in environmental degradation, pollution and heighten the risk of fire outbreak. Also, the crude modification of vehicles used in conveying these highly inflammable products constitutes even greater dangers to other unsuspecting road users in Lagos and other places the products may be transported to.

The Army operation officer, therefore, warned illegal oil refiners in the state to desist forthwith, saying that Op AWATSE would not rest on its oars till they were brought to book.

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Things To Look Out For When Buying Used Cars In Nigeria

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Things To Look Out For When Buying Used Cars In Nigeria
Image used for illustrative purpose

A large percentage of people would rather settle for used cars compared to brand new ones. For many reasons, which include prices, this has been the situation for most people in the country. According to Suomobroto Ganguly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cars45, used cars in Nigeria constitute 95% of the country’s auto market.

With this, Newsrand understands that nine out of 10 Nigerians are driving used cars; it is in this light that this publication presents below the basic things to look out for before considering an automobile purchase…

Review your budget: This is a very vital part to consider when buying a fairly used car. It is important for you to define a budget and stick with it. Sometimes after paying for the car, additional expenses might arise. For example, you might need to rewrap the interior or change the tyre as well as do some mechanical/electrical maintenance, all these will mean extra spending. You should decide how much you are willing to spend on the car.

Compare prices: Having an idea of what the price of your car choice should be will help your bargaining process. To do this, you can search the internet for your automobile choice, which would enable you to see the prices. It is advisable you do this before initiating a meeting with your car dealer.

Define your car taste and choice: Clearly knowing what you want is an advantage that will help you make smart decisions, and the interesting part of this is that it will make your buying process seamless. In Nigeria, people use more Toyota, Lexus, and Honda for reasons best known to them. So, it is safer to have more than one proposed car brand.

Confirm the mileage: What this means is the total distance a car has travelled since it was manufactured. When buying used cars in Nigeria, the mileage may be a dealbreaker because experts are of the opinion that the average annual mileage of every automobile product should be 12,000.

The mileage is how you will get to know how long the car has been used, how long it has run, which can influence how much it should be sold for.

Be sure of the spare parts’ availability: This is one of the most integral processes of buying used cars in Nigeria. Sometimes, an automobile product might thick all the aforementioned boxes, but when the spare parts are not readily-available, we are sure you don’t even want to be near such a car. So, it is strongly advisable you take out time to research the used cars in Nigeria that you are considering as their spare parts readily available for purchase in the markets. This is because all cars are prone to have issues that should be fixed at one point or the other.

Have a pre-purchase inspection: You need to engage a mechanic and other professionals in the automobile industry, like rewire, to check the functionality of your car choice. Inspecting the car will uncover what is not working well, or not working at all in the car.

It is in the course of this process that you will confirm the engine’s strength, amongst other things.

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PAPSS: Dangote Charges African Leaders On Improved Trade

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PAPSS: Dangote Charges African Leaders On Improved Trade

Business tycoon, Aliko Dangote has charged African leaders at the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) on improved trade relations within the continent.

Disclosing this at the PAPSS formal launching, stated that the trade will help promote African intrinsic greatness.

The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System is a centralized payment and settlement infrastructure platform for intra-African trade and commerce payments.

READ ALSO: APC Governors Want National Convention To Hold In February

The continent’s richest man urged Africans to close ranks to propel the continent towards charting her own course, becoming the master of her destiny, and maintaining her rightful position on the globe.

Dangote, who was represented by Group Managing Director of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Olakunle Alake, lauded the African Union, under the auspices of Afreximbank, for the launch of PAPSS, which he noted was aimed at facilitating payments across the continent.

He asserted that improved trade relations would greatly enhance the speed of recovery across Africa, noting that it has the potential to boost the level of economic activities through intra-Africa trade. He also remarked that the advent of PAPSS would greatly address challenges such as; high-cost, lengthy correspondent banking relationships, delays, among many others, and therefore ease transactions among businesses across Africa.

He equally expressed optimism that PAPSS would enhance the volume of trade among countries, which were hitherto not recorded or were overlooked because of the informal approach towards these transactions. According to him, these were now captured to reflect the corrector, at least, close to the appropriate position of trading activities within the continent, while also boosting the level of economic activities across the continent.

Dangote noted the enormous potential and benefits of PAPSS but nevertheless warned that such projects have teething issues. He, therefore, urged regulators and participants across the continent to look beyond such operational challenges and ensure the successful implementation of PAPSS.

While thanking member countries and organizations that contributed to the success of PAPSS by playing key roles leading to the launch of the project, he invoked the words of Ghana’s first President and Prime Minister, and renown promoter of Pan Africanism, Kwame Nkrumah, stressing: “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater…”

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