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Fidelity Bank Bags Award for Best SME Bank in Nigeria

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Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, has added yet another accolade to its burgeoning collection of awards.

Fidelity Bank Bags Award for Best SME Bank in Nigeria

This time, the Bank has been recognized as the ‘Best SME Bank in Nigeria’ by the Global Finance Banking & Finance Awards 2022.

According to Global Banking and Finance review, organizers, the bank was presented the award after a comprehensive review and assessment of its intervention and provision of long-term financing support for small businesses across Nigeria.

Dedicating the award to customers and staff of the bank, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, managing director/ chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank, said, “Our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic transformation in Nigeria. That is why we constantly innovate new ways of helping them meet their objectives. I thank our customers for keeping faith with us and our staff for going the extra mile in delighting our customers”.

According to Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe, over the years, Fidelity bank has developed a strong multifaceted SME banking franchise, driven by tailored products and services. She also noted that the bank has attractive offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster-focused advisory services and hand-holding support for SME customers.

The Global Finance Banking Awards are recognized globally and justly regarded as the industry standard for premier banking and financial services excellence with key sources of data and intelligence on the global banking and finance industry.

The yearly awards recognize deserving financial institutions and corporate organizations, that drive innovation in the global financing community.

They reflect on the achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the financial sector.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards.

The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

 


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E-Financial

FG Increases Tax on Cigarette to 30 Per Cent

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Federal Government has increased the tax on cigarettes by 30 per cent as part of its control measures against public health, according to Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of State for Health.

FG Increases Tax on Cigarette to 30 Per Cent

Mamora, disclosed this on Tuesday while delivering his remark at the launch of the Tobacco Control Data Initiative Dashboard in Abuja.

A 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), states that 5.6 per cent (4.5 million) Nigerians of 15 years and older currently use tobacco products.

Mamora said about 3.9 per cent (3.1 million) of this figure are smokers in Nigeria today.

“With effect from 1st June 2022, the federal government of Nigeria has commenced implementation of a new three-year tobacco tax regime, which will end in 2024,” Mamora said. “This new regime increased the Ad-Valorem tax rate from 20% to 30%.”

Mamora also stated that as part of its pro-health tax, the price for a pack of 20 cigarettes will be increased from N58 to N8 while shisha will be taxed ₦3,000 per litre.

“In addition to the 30% ad-valorem, a specific excise rate has been increased from ₦58 to ₦84 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and this will further be increased to ₦94 per pack in 2023; and then ₦104 per pack in 2024,” Mamora said.

“Also, Shisha is now taxed at the rate of ₦3,000 per litre and ₦1,000 per kilogram and this will be increased yearly by ₦500,”

“This pro-health tax is an effective public health control measure against behavioural risk factors.”

The minister said the result also found high and significant exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) during visits to public places with the prevalence of 82 per cent in bars or nightclubs, 36.3 per cent in coffee shops, 22.3 per cent in universities and 29.3 per cent in restaurants.

“The Tobacco Atlas 6th edition estimates that more than 26,800 annual deaths occur from tobacco-related diseases in Nigeria,” Mamora said.


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CBN Orders Financial Institutions to Tighten Noose on Cybercrimes by January 2023

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday released the Risk-Based Cybersecurity Framework and Guidelines for Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), following the recent increase in the number and sophistication of cybersecurity threats against financial institutions.

CBN Orders Financial Institutions to Tighten Noose on Cybercrimes by January 2023

The central bank also set January 1, 2023 as the effective date for full compliance with the provisions of the guidelines.

The bank said the directive became mandatory for institutions to strengthen their cyber defenses if they were to remain safe and sound.

The circular dated June 29, 2022, and signed by Nkiru Asiegbu, CBN director, OFIs Department, was addressed to all OFIs under the regulation of the banking sector regulator.

The apex bank added that the guidelines represented the minimum requirements to be put in place by all OFIs.

The regulator stressed that the safety and soundness of OFIs required that they operate in a safe and secure environment, hence the platform on which information is processed and transmitted should be managed in a way that ensures confidentially, integrity and availability of information as well as the avoidance of financial loss and reputation risks among others.

The CBN noted that considering the reliance of financial institutions on information and communications technology (ICT) to operate their business and the rising incidences of cyber threats and attacks targeted at financial institutions, it became necessary to implement cybersecurity measures to mitigate against those risks.

The bank specifically noted that threats including ransomware, targeted phishing attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) had become prevalent, demanding that financial institutions boost cyber resilience as well as take proactive steps to secure their critical information assets to ensure their safety and soundness.

The objective of the guidelines is to among other things create a safer and more secure cyber environment that supports information system security and promote stability of the OFI sub-sector.

It also seeks to promote and maintain public trust and confidence in the sub-sector as well as contribute towards the prevention and combating of cybercrime in the OFI sub-sector.

Essentially, the framework provides a risk-based approach to managing cybersecurity risk and consists of six parts including Cybersecurity Governance,  and Oversight,  Cybersecurity Risk Management System,  Cyber Resilience Assessment,  Cybersecurity Operational Resilience,  Cyber-Threat Intelligence and Metrics, ,  Monitoring and Reporting.

The document further spelt out the roles of board of directors in relation to cybersecurity as well as appointment and responsibilities of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) among others.


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NAICOM Cancels Niger Insurance, Standard Alliance’s Operational Licences

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National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has cancelled the certificates of registration of Niger Insurance Plc and Standard Alliance Insurance Plc.

NAICOM Cancels Niger Insurance, Standard Alliance’s Operational Licences

This was disclosed in a statement issued by ‘Rasaaq ‘Salami, head, Corporate Communications and Market Development,for the Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, titled, ‘Notice of cancellation of the Certificates of Registration of Niger Insurance Plc and Standard Alliance Insurance Plc’.

The statement read, “This is to notify all insurance stakeholders and members of the public that the National Insurance Commission has cancelled the certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC – 091 and Niger Insurance Plc,  RIC – 029 with effect from the 21st day of June, 2022.

“Consequently, the commission has appointed Sanya, Ogunkuade Esq of Plot 217, Upper Grace Plaza, 3rd Floor (Left Wing), Shetima Munguno Crescent, Behind Julius Berger Equipment Yard, Utako, Abuja as the Receiver/Liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc and, Kehinde Aina Esq of Aina Blankson LP, 5/7, Ademola Street,  SW Ikoyi, Lagos as the receiver/liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc.

“All stakeholders are advised to forward their enquiries to the respective Receiver/Liquidator for each company for their necessary action.

“The commission assures all stakeholders of the safety and protection of their interests.”

It would be recalled that in June 2021, the Nigerian Insurers Association suspended Industrial and General Insurance Company Limited, Niger Insurance and Standard Alliance Insurance.

“The governing council of the Nigerian Insurers Association approved the expulsion of the following companies from its membership for failing to meet their obligations to policyholders thus negating the basic principles of insurance,” the NIA had said.

It added that the affected companies should cease forthwith from using the association’s logo on their letterheads and other official documents.


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