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Access Bank Moves to Dominate Agency Banking

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Access Bank

Access Bank in its bid to enhance financial inclusion has noted its intentions to significantly increase its customer base and deepen wallet share of the banking population riding on its agency banking platform.

Access Bank agency banking ‘Access Closa ’ recently hit a milestone of having 100,000 agents currently spread across Nigeria as the bank further plans to  increase its footprint by having a minimum of 50 agents in each of  the 774 LGAs across the country. 

Group Head, Agency Banking, Access Bank Plc, Chizoba Iheme, in a chat with journalists noted that due to the limited number of financial institutions, especially in rural areas, Access Closa is Access Bank’s strongest retail channel used in providing banking services to a large population of unserved and underserved Nigerians.

She said: “Our plan is to bank one in two Nigerians as this will see us increase our customer base and deepen our wallet share of the banking population.”

“Going by the high youth and adult population, the resources of Nigeria’s financial institutions are being overstretched in providing physical and human resources and were unable to cope with gaps that existed in meeting banking needs of Nigerians hence the need for Agency Banking as envisaged by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2013.”

“Therefore, Agency Banking helps financial institutions decongest crowded branches by providing a matching and more often convenient channel for their customers. In instances where reaching customers in rural areas is often highly expensive for financial institutions because transaction numbers and volumes do not cover the cost of a branch, agency banking helps in serving them.”

Furthermore, she added that becoming an agent has become a means to empower and reduce unemployment in Nigeria. 

“Our commission structure  allows an agent to earn up to N500,000 and more monthly in commission including incentives and opportunities for agents to grow their business and partner with a reputable brand is an attraction to the Closa brand.”

Furthermore on risks associated with agency banking in the country and how Access Banks moves to mitigate it, she added: “There are four major risks that we have identified. These are Technological, Legal, Fraud/Reputational. Assets.

“Technological Risk, to prevent software and hardware failures, the bank is investing in new infrastructure with capacity to absorb service disruptions that will have minimal impact. As part of our onboarding process, the bank’s agents are required to execute a service agreement that stipulate the roles and responsibilities of each party.

Also, agents are trained at the point of activation on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Terrorism Financing. This training also takes place every year to reiterate the dangers and consequences associated with fraudulent actions. Besides, the bank has set maximum daily limit on the amount and frequency of transactions that can be performed by an agent. Lastly, a quarterly risk profiling exercise is carried out on all agents for effective management,” Iheme added.

Access Bank is the leading retail bank in Nigeria with over 600 branches and more than 40 million customers. The bank offers products and services tailored to suit the lifestyle of every Nigerian irrespective of age and demographic.

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Dangote Surpasses $21bn In Net Worth For First Time Since 2014

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Dangote Surpasses $21bn In Net Worth For First Time Since 2014

Aliko Dangote, the founder of the most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited has surpassed $21 billion in net worth for the first time since 2014 when his wealth fell from $25.7 billion to below $15 billion.

The news comes as shares in his cement company, Dangote Cement Plc, which is listed on the Nigerian Exchange reached an all-time high price of N3000 ($0.7224) per share, bringing the cement company’s market capitalization to N5.11 Trillion ($12.3 billion).

Being the African Richest man and the only black man worth over $15 billion, Dangote derives a majority of his net worth from his 86% stake in Dangote Cement, which is now valued at $10. 6 billion.

For the tenth time in a row, Aliko Dangote was named the richest man in Africa in 2021, with an estimated net worth of $12.1 billion.

The business empire he began to build more than three decades ago, Dangote Group, is one of the largest private-sector employers in Nigeria as well as the most valuable conglomerate in West Africa.

Shortly after graduating from college at 21, Dangote borrowed $3,000 from his uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria, his native country. His business venture quickly became a success, and as a result, he managed to repay the entire loan within three months of starting operations. Ultimately, Dangote was able to turn a local commodities trading business into a multibillion-dollar corporation.

Dangote’s business interests encompass many industries, including oil and gas, consumer goods, and manufacturing. According to Forbes magazine, the subsidiary produces 45.6 million metric tons of cement every year and operates in 10 African countries.

Dangote also owns the world’s third-largest sugar refinery. As of March 31, 2021, Dangote Cement Group reported quarterly revenue of 332.7 billion Nigerian nairas, approximately US$808.5 million.

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Osinbajo Drums Support For FIRS Digitisation Agenda

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Osinbajo Drums Support For FIRS Digitisation Agenda

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has been urged to support the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in its drive towards full digitalisation of tax administrative processes.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN made this call in his speech at the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria’s (CITN) 24th Annual Tax Conference held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The Vice President was represented at the event by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami who delivered the address on his behalf.

Professor Osinbajo noted that the theme for the tax conference, “Global Disruption, Taxation and Digitalisation: Implication for Socio-Economic Development” aptly captures the prevailing realities within the national and global fiscal space.

He said, “Nigeria’s economy is fast digitalising. The digitalisation of the Nigerian economy means that the ways and manners of organising and doing businesses have changed. Indeed, the radical changes brought about by digitalisation have displaced the traditional approach to tax administration. Consequently, the digitalisation of tax administration is unavoidable, that is why our government has continued to heavily invest in the automation of tax administrative processes and digital infrastructure.

He further noted that the government had provided the enabling environment for digitalised tax administration by making necessary tax policy changes, developing rules for taxation of the digital economy, enactment of required legislation, and providing necessary political backing for the team negotiating the new international tax rules for the digitalised economy.

The Vice President urged the institute to see its role in society as a pillar for the country’s socio-economic development.

The possible impact of non-compliance by taxpayers—whom you hold briefs for—on the government’s revenue and the larger society is crucial and must be given topmost priority while holding briefs for them.

In doing so, you must always bear in mind the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal in Phoenix Motors v. National Provident Fund Management Board (1993) that it is in the best interest of the society at large that government be in revenue.

It is through this prism that I see your Institute as a pillar for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and the emancipation of the downtrodden of our society. Without a doubt, your members will continue to discharge the solemn and sacred responsibility of ensuring that the interest of the larger society in Nigeria is not trodden upon; and this you must do with patriotic zeal,” he noted.

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Lagos Airport Shutdown After Corpse Was Discovered On Runway

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Lagos Airport Shutdown After Corpse Was Discovered On Runway

The international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was temporarily shut in the early hours of Thursday, May 19, 2022, after the mangled body of a dead man was found on Runway 18R of the nation’s flagship airport.

The identity of the corpse could not be ascertained as of press time. Also, it could not be established whether the dead man was knocked down by an aircraft taking off or landing on the runway.

However, airport officials revealed that the runway was temporarily shut down while a team of officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) evacuated the corpse from the runway.

During the temporary shutdown of the runway, international flights were prevented from landing and taking off from the airport’s international terminal.

Among the flights that could not land due to the shutdown was an Ethiopian Airlines flight 3907, a Boeing 77F aircraft with registration number ETAVN, which was coming from Lome, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria.

The flight was later diverted back to Lome after holding for a while.

Airport officials said the corpse was suddenly found on Runway 18R during a routine runway inspection by FAAN personnel.

The officials were said to have reported a corpse on the runway around the cargo area.

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