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COVID-19: Heritage Bank to Disburse CBN’s N100bn Intervention Fund



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As part of proactive measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 and revamp the nation’s dwindling economy, Heritage Bank is set to disburse the N100billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This is in line with the apex bank’s policy to introduce another intervention scheme directed to the health sector, which is known as the NGN100 Billion Credit Support for the Healthcare sector (the Scheme). Specifically, the scheme is to provide credit to indigenous pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.

Also, the CBN resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay schools fees and small medium enterprises (SMEs) with plans to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country. In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of over US$100 million per week for both categories.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank serves as a conduit which will assess and channel the profiles of interested applicants to the CBN while using its platforms to create awareness for the scheme.

The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.

To access the N100bn loans provided by the CBN for firms in the healthcare sector, a corporate entity must submit its application to a participating financial institution (PFI) which could be either a Deposit Money Bank or a Development Finance Institution of its choice with a bankable business plan.

It stated in its latest guidelines that the PFI must appraise and conduct due diligence on the application; and upon approval by the PFI’s credit committee, the application would be submitted to the apex bank with relevant documents attached.

The CBN would process and disburse funds to the PFI for onward release to the project, it added.
The CBN stated that the PFI must receive and review applications submitted by its customers; undertake due diligence based on normal business considerations, and bear the credit risk.

They must also issue offer letters and forward qualified applications to the CBN; disburse the released funds to successful applicants; monitor the project and recover the loans from the beneficiaries, and maintain adequate records of all beneficiaries and facilities.

It requires the PFIs to register all movable assets with the National Collateral Registry; forward periodic returns in the prescribed format on the scheme to the CBN; comply with the guidelines, and carry out any other duties as the CBN may prescribe from time to time.

According to the CBN, eligible participants under the scheme comprise healthcare product manufacturers – pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; and healthcare service providers/medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, diagnostic centres/laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres and blood banks, among others.

Others include pharmaceutical/medical products distribution and logistics services; and other human healthcare service providers as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

Eligible activities under the scheme would include manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; establishment/expansion/upgrade of basic and specialised healthcare facilities; and medical/pharmaceutical supplies.

Others are medical/pharmaceutical research and development; distribution of medical/pharmaceutical drugs and supplies; Manufacturing of medical/pharmaceutical drugs distribution technology; and any other healthcare value chain activity as may be prescribed by the CBN.

The CBN said the term loan had a maximum of N2billion per obligor; and the interest rate under the intervention would not be more than five per cent per annum up until February 28, 2021; and that interest on the facility would revert to nine percent as from March 2021.

To access further details on the modalities, interested persons and institutions can logon Heritage Bank’s website (

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Nova Merchant Bank Floats N10Bn Bond



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Nova Merchant Bank, a leading merchant bank in Nigeria has announced that its ongoing N10 billion bond issuance is aimed at putting the business on firm footing to achieve its short-term and long-term goals.

Nova Merchant Bank Floats N10Bn Bond

The technology-driven financial institution is seeking to raise up to N10 billion 7-year Fixed Rate Subordinated Unsecured Bonds under its N50 billion debt issuance programme.

The bond has a price range of from 12 per cent to 12.50 per cent and the offer, which opened on June 30, will close on July 8, 2020

Anya Duroha, managing director/CEO, Nova Merchant Bank, who disclosed this, explained that the bank is raising the N10bn in Subordinated Unsecured Bonds under its N50 billion debt issuance programme.

Anya Duroha, managing director/CEO, Nova Merchant Bank

Duroha who pledged the bank’s commitment to creating superior value in the market and keeping customers at the centre of its business, noted that the Bond will be invested in long-term risk assets as part of its medium-term growth strategy and advised interested investors to obtain more details of the bond from the Bank’s website

Nova Merchant Bank Limited is a licensed merchant bank in Nigeria rated BBB by Agusto & Co. and A+ by Datapro and the bond which is issued under a SEC-approved N50billion Debt Issuance Programme is callable in five years by the bank.

Speaking to shareholders at a meeting recently, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, the bank’s chairman, noted that the bank reported a significant improvement in all the key financial indices compared to the previous year’s achievement, and attributed the growth to the successful execution of the 2019 strategic plan in line with the key pillars to position the bank as a market leader by 2025.

Mr. Phillips Oduoza, chairman, Nova Merchant Bank

He said that the Bank will continue to focus on digital banking, provision of long-term funding, wholesale and investment banking while maintaining a lean operating philosophy.

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Path Solutions Tops IBS Islamic Sales League Table 2020



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Path Solutions, a global banking software provider, was announced by IBS Intelligence as the leader in the Islamic financial services sector in IBS Islamic Sales League Table (SLT) 2020.

For the eighth year in a row, Path Solutions was recognized the undisputed leader in Islamic Banking with more new Islamic deals signed in 2019 than any of its industry peers. The company is part of the iconic IBSI Leadership Club 2020 for back office systems, topping the Islamic Banking category since 2017.

Separately, Path Solutions was recognized as the World’s 4th Universal Banking System Provider for the fifth consecutive year in IBS Global SLT. The dual recognition demonstrates Path Solutions’ cementing leadership position across the breadth of the financial services space.

In IBS SLT 2020, Path Solutions featured in four other categories; the Compliance, Digital Banking & Channels, Risk Management, and the Lending category, making it one of the preferred software vendors in these segments, expanding its solution footprint globally.

The annual IBS SLT is the global barometer for sales performance of Universal Banking, Islamic Banking, Wholesale Banking, Retail Banking, Private Banking, Lending, Digital Banking, CRM, Payments, Compliance & Risk Management, Investment & Fund Management-related technology market.

Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO of Path Solutions, commented, “These recognitions attest to our continued vigorous commitment and rigorous execution, seeing the pace and scale in the adoption of our flagship iMAL platform. It makes us incredibly proud to be serving our valued clients with a comprehensive open banking platform, innovative and state-of-the-art digital solutions complemented by deep intelligence built into all major business segments”.

Kateeb added, “Being recognized as the leader in Islamic SLT for the eighth year running demonstrates our company’s overall ability to meet the continuously emerging complex client requirements, emphasizing the breadth and depth of our suite of solutions, as well as our ability to accelerate time to market for products and services.

As our clients look at rethinking the playbook, we will continue to make industry leading R&D in intelligence and digital, to help them embrace the opportunities created by Industry 4.0 technologies and be more efficient and competitive”.

IBS ISLT spokesperson stated, “Islamic financing in recent years has seen tremendous growth spurred by more awareness, strong investments, digitalization and increasing financial inclusion in predominantly Islamic countries in the Middle East and Africa.

This year’s ISLT saw close competition between top players, where Path Solutions emerged as the winner for its iMAL platform. Many congratulations again for being at the leadership position in the Islamic Banking category”.

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FCMB Empowers SMEs with Training on Digital Technology, Logistics



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Business owners in Nigeria have been advised to leverage on the opportunities provided by digital technology to boost productivity, service delivery and overall performance of their organisations despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19.

This was the submission of guest speakers at the second edition of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) organised virtual capacity building programme for SMEs with the theme, “Leveraging Digital Technology & Logistics to Grow Your Business,” held recently.

The initiative was organised under the auspices of the bank’s free comprehensive capacity building programme, tagged, “Business Empowerment and Sustainability Training (BEST)’’ Masterclass and was put together by FCMB’sTraining Academy and SME Advisory Unit.

A statement explained that the online seminar, which recorded over 2,016 registered participants, focused on various topics, ranging from innovation, digital technology solutions, business model opportunities and adapting to the new normal.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic has continued to pose alarming economic, business and commercial impact globally. It has adversely limited the ability of businesses to meet high demand of goods and services due to the restrictions and other safety measures put in place by Governments and health authorities to contain the pandemic.

However, experts are of the opinion that these challenges can be overcome with the adoption of effective digital technology solutions and logistics.

In his presentation, an Associate Partner with Mckinsey & Company, Mr. Chika Ekeji, said, though, Covid-19 is disrupting the structure of businesses across Africa, the continent can respond to disruptions with four actions.

These, he listed to include a shift in business model, sustaining business and restoring operation, shaping a whole new business and restructuring company or industry, depending on the extent of business model disruption and extent of negative demand disruption.

According to him, “some of the ways business owners can respond to this impact are, respond, return and reimagine. Across all horizon, a number of technology solutions can be leveraged to adjust SME operations to the new normal with the goal of cutting cost, sustaining revenues, reaching (new) customers, delivering on commitments, managing supply chains and innovating”.

Another guest speaker, an Associate Director of Strategy and Economics at KPMG Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Zacchaeus, said businesses, particularly SMEs, should realign their strategies to embrace the new normal caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted that this new reality presents a new set of conditions for success for SMEs and as such they must proactively adopt new strategies for survival, considering the challenging economic outlook.

He stressed that, “businesses will have to navigate the different phases of crisis maturity by responding to immediate challenges, managing through uncertainty, resetting and identifying opportunities and adapting to New Reality. The strategies for the New Reality include, building financial sustainability, manage your market to sustain revenue flows, diversify and explore new opportunities and re-evaluate your operating model plan with scenarios in mind”.

On his part, the Chairman of FASMICRO Group, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, who was a special guest said, there was need for everyone in business to evaluate why they are in business which brings the market friction between demand and supply to equilibrium.

“To stay relevant in business, business owners are required to solve market frictions and those with the acquired skills have the capabilities to release products that can overcome the frictions. If you have a great product – great things will happen,” he added.

Ekekwe added that, “The ability of business owners to serve customers and deliver goods to them can be achieved through partnership with logistics companies who leverage on technology to reach customers.

By following this model in the right way and choosing appropriate tech solutions, business owners can gain visibility, transparency and save cost, which will in turn help them stay within the marginal cost of production.”

Commenting on the BEST Masterclass, Mrs. Bukola Smith, Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, said the bank recognises the increasing role and impact of SMEs and particularly understand the impact COVID-19 might have on their operations.

According to her, “the BEST initiative has been redesigned to meet the changing dynamics of the environment with the addition of a Masterclass. This is one of the innovative ways we empower and lay a solid foundation for the success of our SME customers.

“We believe that this initiative, which is the second edition since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, will go a long way to impact positively on business owners. We will continue to go the extra mile to create opportunities that would enable our customers succeed despite the challenges.”

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