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BoI Launches SME Mobile App, 4 Other Applications

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Bank of Industry Limited (BoI), as part of efforts in repositioning the operational systems, process and services by taking advantages of the digital and mobile era to offer its numerous customers the benefits of speed, mobility and convenience, on Tuesday, unveiled a number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)-centric digital products.

At the occasion held at its corporate office in Marina, Lagos, BoI executives were on ground to unveil digital product offerings such as ‘SME Mobile App’, ‘SME Accounting Application’ (SAAPP), ‘Loan Application Tracking System’ and ‘SME Customer Portal’.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director and chief executive officer of the Bank, disclosed that development of the applications were inspired by the increase in number of mobile phone and internet users in Nigeria.

Olaoluwa quoted the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) statistics, saying “the number of internet users in Nigeria has grown to 83.3million as at February 2015. Furthermore, the number of active mobile subscribers increased to 145.5million, giving Nigeria a teledensity of over 85% based on a population figure of 170million. These developments imply that we now live in a digital and mobile world. At BoI, we have repositioned our system, processes and services to take advantage of this new digital and mobile world to offer our customers the benefits of speed, mobility and convenience that come with it”.

SME Mobile App

The BoI MD/CEO explained the objectives of developing an SME Mobile App as to provide members of the public, especially entrepreneurs, with easy access to information, on their mobile phones, about the key activities and products of the bank and how to avail themselves of the Bank’s services.

Olaoluwa described the app as one credible platform through which the Bank is leveraging the opportunity provided by Nigeria’s high GSM teledensity and improved internet access.

“The app has a rich array of contents such as, an overview of the Bank and what it stands for; who the bank can assist (i.e., A to Z eligibility criteria for access BoI’s loans); online loan application with provision to track the progress of such loan applications; SME Fund implying information about the Bank’s various funds being managed and administered by the Bank such as Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) fund, Cassava Bread fund, MSME Development Matching funds in partnership with State Governments, Dangote Foundation/BoI matching funds, among others”.

Other components of the App, he said, include, SME customer portal, a platform created for BoI’s customers to showcase their products; business model canvass; business plan template; list of bank’s accredited business development service providers (BDSPs) with download feature; list to the Bank’s entrepreneurship development centre partners, et cetera.

He said that the App can be downloaded free from Google Play Store for Android Phones and tablets, App World for BlackBerry and App Store for iPhones and iPads.

“The Mobile App is easy to use in view of its user-friendly features that make it pleasing to the eyes and fun to browse, while also serving as a power-house of SME-centric information and loan application/tracking tool,” Olaoluwa said.

Online Loan Application Portal

For the sake of granting BoI’s prospective SMEs customers’ convenience, online loan application portal was developed to ensure they do not initially have to be physically present at the Bank to submit their loan applications.

The portal also has the advantage of shortening the loan processing Turn-Around-Time (TAT) of the Bank.

The MD/CEO said, “The portal has document uploading capability as well as allows the loan applicant select the preferred BoI State office location where the application will be processed. The online loan application portal can be accessed on the Bank’s website”.

Historically, the Bank of Industry Limited (BoI) is Nigeria’s oldest, largest and most successful development financing institution.

It was reconstructed in 2001 out of the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) Limited, which was incorporated in 1964.

The bank took off in 1964 with an authorized share capital of 2 million (GBP).

The International Finance Corporation which produced its pioneer Chief Executive held 75% of its equity along with a number of domestic and foreign private investors.

Although the bank’s authorized share capital was initially set at N50 billion in the wake of NIDB’s reconstruction into BoI in 2001, it has been increased to 250 billion in order to put the bank in a better position to address the nation’s rising economic profile in line with its mandate.

Following a successful institutional, operational and financial restructuring programme embarked upon in 2002, the bank has transformed into an efficient, focused and profitable institution that is well placed to effectively carry out its primary mandate of providing long term financing to the industrial sector of the Nigerian economy.


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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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