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Heritage Bank CEO Wins Banker of Year SMEs & Agric 2021 Award

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria most innovative service provider has been adjudged Banker of the Year 2021 under SMEs and Agric category, which was awarded to the MD/CEO of the Bank, Ifie Sekibo.

R-L: Ayodele Aminu, MD/Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper; Jude Monye, Executive Director, Heritage Bank Plc; Titilola Docemo, Regional Head, Lagos Island 2A; Olugbenga Awe, Divisional Head, Agric Finance & Export; Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications, Adelana Ogunjirin, Head, Agric Finance, Agribusiness, Natural Resources & Project Dev.; Blaise Udunze, Team Lead, Media and External Relations at the New Telegraph Awards, where Heritage Bank won the Banker of the Year (SMEs & Agric) of the year 2021, weekend in Lagos.

The bank won the prestigious award at the New Telegraph 2021 Awards in recognition of its leadership position in delivering sterling development and growth of the Agricultural sector and the Small and Medium Enterprises.

Presenting the award to Sekibo, earlier in a letter to congratulate him for his nomination as the Banker of the Year (SMEs & Agric) of the year 2021, Ayodele Aminu, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, explained, “after a thorough scrutiny of Heritage Bank’s laudable support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), as well the country’s agricultural sector, in the last one year by our Panel of Judges and Editors, we at the New Telegraph 2021 are pleased to award Heritage Bank, Banker of the Year (SMEs & Agric).”

Receiving the award on behalf of the bank’s CEO, the Executive Director, Jude Monye stated that the Bank was honoured and motivated to do more for the sustainability and growth of the Agric and SME sectors following the award received from New Telegraph newspaper.

“We are highly honoured to receive the award as the Banker of the Year (SMEs & Agric) from the Board and Management of New Telegraph Newspaper. This validates the hard work and success story of the bank to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations, as amongst other sectors of the economy, we have continued to ensure our efforts to support the Agric and SMEs sector in Nigeria counts.

“This is a result that will continue to motivate us to deepen our supports to Agric, SMEs sector and the economy at large for sustainable growth,” he assured.

Sekibo vowed that in line with its core mandate to create and transfer generational wealth, the bank would continue to make farming profitable to stakeholders and attractive to the youth, as Heritage Bank had taken the front seat in financing critical agricultural projects in several states in the country, especially in Oyo, Kaduna and Zamfara and recently in Plateau Jos.

He noted that most of the ventures in the agriculture sector fall within the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) sectors of the economy, which Heritage Bank in close collaboration with CBN has been championing.

According to him, in complimenting the efforts of the Central Bank, Heritage Bank has made a huge success of the established agricultural schemes by making funds available to both small holder farmers and SMEs (Prime Anchors) in their efforts to increase agricultural output especially rice and wheat productions.

He explained that Heritage Bank has deepened support of small holders’ farmers and anchors in Ogun, Niger and recently Plateau state in rice and wheat seed and grain production under Prime ABP, which would help tackle gaps inherent.

“Heritage Bank in partnership with CBN is set to reverse the adverse trends by eliminating dependence on imported wheat which currently stands at over $2 Billion and the unavailability of high yield wheat seed that stands at 63,000 MT through a strategic approach which would facilitate import substitution and promote self-sufficiency in the wheat value chain in Nigeria, by funding the local production of wheat and encouraging backward integration by wheat millers,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank has recorded notable success stories in the Agric and SMEs’ spaces which in 2017 the bank won the maiden award from CBN for Sustainable Transaction of the Year in Agriculture.

In 2018, Heritage Bank emerged as a winner in the Agriculture Category during the year’s CBN Sustainable Transaction of the year award. The Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), announced Heritage Bank as the Agric. Bank of the Year. According to NAA, Heritage Bank was selected in recognition of its footprints in the Agribusiness space.

In 2019/2020, Heritage Bank secured mandate as Transaction Advisers and Settlement Bank on Agribusiness and Solid Minerals to Lagos Commodities & Futures Exchange.

 

 


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E-Financial

NDIC, EFCC Begin Investigation of Directors, Staff of Heritage Bank

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said it will, in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, commence investigation of directors, managers and staff of the defunct Heritage Bank following its liquidation over a month ago.

NDIC, EFCC Begin Investigation of Directors, Staff of Heritage Bank

Mr Bello Hassan, managing director of NDIC, stated this at the 2024 capacity building workshop for law enforcement agencies on ‘Inter-Agency Collaboration in the Fight Against Financial Malpractices in Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria’ in Lagos yesterday.

Stating that, those behind the collar of the bank will be brought to book, Hassan, who was represented by Mr Bello Hassan, NDIC’s director, Corporate Communications,  noted that, through its collaboration with law enforcement agencies, 14 prosecution cases are ongoing at various courts, 18 ongoing investigation with FMIU, 8 with EFCC and 9:concluded investigations with Federal Ministry of Justice for advice and prosecution.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria recently revoked the banking licence of Heritage Bank PLC which may require you to be called upon to investigate some of the Directors, Managers and officers of this failed insured Institution with a view to bring to book those found culpable in the collapse of this institution.

“The Corporation as a key participant in the financial safety-net, has over the years taken the fight against insider abuses and financial malpractices in banks very seriously. As you all know, a safe and sound banking environment is an essential ingredient of financial system stability which of course is the bedrock for economic development of every nation.

“We are not unaware of the challenges of investigating and prosecuting financial malpractices and bank fraud cases but wish to urge you not to relent in your efforts and be rest assured of our unflinching support at all times,” he pointed out.

Hassan noted that, the theme of the workshop ‘Effective Collaboration as a strategy in the fight against insider abuses and financial malpractices in Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria’ was to re-echo its resolve to unite with law enforcement agencies in the “fight occasioned by the menace of insider abuses and financial malpractices which is a major cause of bank failure, and if not tackled is  capable of eroding public confidence in our banking system.

“Consequently, and in line with Article 12 of the Core Principles of Effective Deposit Insurance which provides for every Deposit Insurer to put in place the necessary mechanism of bringing to book parties found culpable in the failure of their bank or financial Institution.

“It is for this reason that the NDIC has been consistent since 2012 in organising this workshop to sharpen the skills of law Enforcement operatives and Officers from Regulatory Agencies that are involved in the investigation and prosecution of bank Directors, Managers and staff of banks involved in malpractices and insider abuses that might have led to the collapse of their banks or financial Institutions.

 

“Change is the only constant thing in life. Most changes in human endeavours come through developments in sciences, technology or innovation. As the banking system is rapidly evolving with new innovations, it is clear that a new phase of financial technology driven economy is currently reshaping the global financial services space.

“With this development, the criminally minded users of the banking system including the notorious ‘’cyber criminals’’ are busy perfecting their misplaced skills and that is why workshops like this are necessary to enable law enforcement officers to understand, accept and adapt to the dynamic operating environment.”

 

 

 

 


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E-Financial

PalmPay Makes Payment Easier with Zero Bank Transfer Fees on All Transactions on the Fintech App

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In its continued drive to financial inclusion across Nigeria, leading fintech company PalmPay, continues to give its users unlimited free transfers to all banks. This feature which was introduced earlier in the year has been allowing users to make transfers to all banks within the country without incurring any bank fees.

Chika Nwosu, PalmPay’s Managing Director, stated: “We are committed to ensuring smooth and easy transactions with our free transfer feature. This shows our dedication to providing accessible and affordable financial services to our over 30 million users and every Nigerian. We believe everyone should have access to affordable financial services.”

PalmPay is dedicated to driving economic empowerment in Nigeria by offering top-tier products such as money transfers, bill payments, credit services, and savings through its app and mobile money agents. Users can send and receive money seamlessly, pay bills effortlessly, shop with ease, and earn discounts and cashback while performing these transactions.

By eliminating transfer fees to all banks on its app, PalmPay has empowered its millions of customers to enjoy endless fund transfers to family and friends, pay their bills seamlessly, and manage their finances more effectively.

PalmPay is a leading Africa-focused fintech platform committed to driving economic empowerment in Africa. Through its secure, user-friendly, and inclusive suite of financial services, PalmPay brings top-tier products into the pockets of everyday Nigerians. With this, we are able to drive financial inclusion.

PalmPay offers money transfers, bill payments, credit services, and savings on its app and via its mobile money agents. Since launching in Nigeria in 2019 under a Mobile Money Operator license, the platform has grown to over 30 million app users as part of its cashless payment ecosystem.


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eTranzact Powers Military Pensions Board’s New Digital Verification System

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eTranzact, innovative financial technology solutions company, has announced its role as the technology solution provider for the Military Pensions Board’s new digital verification system for military pensioners, officially launched on July 1, 2024.

eTranzact Powers Military Pensions Board’s New Digital Verification System

In a press statement, the company said that the initiative marks a significant milestone in leveraging technology to streamline pension verification processes and enhance the welfare of military retirees across Nigeria.

It also stated that, with Federal Government approval, the Military Pensions Board is transitioning from traditional physical verification methods to an advanced electronic system developed and deployed by eTranzact.

“This transition aims to minimise travel risks, reduce transportation costs, and accommodate the advanced age of many pensioners.”

According to the statement, Air Vice Marshal Paul Irumheson, chairman of the Pension Board, said the necessity of this transition to electronic verification is crucial for the safety and convenience of military pensioners.

“This innovative solution will ensure that retirees can verify their status from anywhere in the world, significantly reducing the burden of travel and associated risks.

“The successful pilot exercise conducted between February 15 and March 1, 2024, demonstrated the efficiency and reliability of the new system. In addition to developing the verification system, eTranzact has managed salary payments for other government agencies.

“The implementation of this electronic verification system is a critical step towards ensuring foolproof and seamless payment processes within the Military Pensions Board.

“The Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, have endorsed the electronic verification exercise, recognising its potential to revolutionise the military pensions system.”

The statement further explained that the “key benefits of the digital verification system include enhanced security by reducing the risk of identity fraud and impersonation, convenience by allowing pensioners to complete verification from their homes, cost efficiency by eliminating the need for travel, and accessibility by accommodating pensioners residing both within and outside Nigeria.

On his part, Niyi Toluwalope, chief executive officer of eTranzact, expressed enthusiasm concerning the partnership for digitalized pension processes.

“We are honoured to collaborate with the Military Pensions Board on this transformative project. At eTranzact, we are committed to harnessing the power of technology to solve critical challenges and improve the quality of life for Nigerians. This digital verification system affirms our dedication to innovation and excellence,” the statement reaffirmed.


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