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YouThrive: Access Bank Set to Empower over 700,000 MSMEs with 50Bn Loans

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Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by customer base with a global footprint beyond Africa has launched a “YouThrive” initiative which targets to empower 700,000 MSMEs in the country through a 5N0bn loan.

YouThrive: Access Bank Set to Empower over 700,000 MSMEs with 50Bn Loans

Victor Etuokwu, deputy managing director, Access Bank announced this during a press briefing held recently at the bank’s head office in Lagos. The bank’s Deputy Managing Director also revealed that the MSMEs that would benefit from the programme would undergo trainings to enable them optimally make use of the loan.

In his words, “Access Bank is set to financially empower over 700,000 youth MSMEs and to achieve this, we have set aside N50bn to lend to them at a huge, discounted interest rate.

To be eligible to access this loan, all applicants must be within the ages of 21 to 40 years.

“The Youthrive’ is a transformative initiative designed by Access Bank to empower, uplift, and accelerate the next generation of MSMEs. In the next four years we will empower 4 million youth, one million per year.

It would not just be about lending, we are building various capacity-building activities for them, and the curriculum will be centred around Technology, Creatives, Business Management and Skill acquisition.

Reiterating Victor’s comments at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum, hosted by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on job creation and MSME held recently in Abuja, Chioma Ogwo, head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank said “In four years, we hope to empower four million people, or one million each year. We have a business exchange program for the beneficiaries that would enable the SMEs to go and exchange ideas with their counterparts in other countries. Every year, 700,000 would be given access to financing, and 300,000 would be trained.” After then, we will take the best advice from the best and return to Nigeria to implement it.

There is also going to be employment opportunities as 1000 outstanding individuals who receive these trainings by the Bank and its holding companies will be recruited within the Tech space, the Access corporation ecosystem and other partner companies” Ogwo concluded.

Speaking on this initiative, Temitola Adekunle Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the president on job creation and MSMEs said that the initiative by Access Bank will help address the issue of access to affordable loans by small businesses.

He said the end point is to achieve a single digit loan by commercial banks for MSMEs. “Our aim is to ensure single digit loans become the norm for MSMEs.” He disclosed that disbursements will be made after the loan assessment is processed. This initiative will help reduce the bottlenecks often faced by MSMEs in securing funding for their businesses.

He commended the bank for using its funds and giving out the loan at a discounted rate and urged small businesses to take advantage of the opportunity and grow their businesses

Adekunle-Johnson also disclosed that the government is working towards creating 100,000 thousand jobs by May 29 and 384,000 jobs in four years.

He said the initiative will be launched massively across the country as the government is willing to provide businesses with the support of the social and private sector partnership.

He therefore urged other financial institutions to come up with programmes to support the SME sector.

To be part of this initiative and learn more about the YouThrive project, please click HERE or send an email to [email protected] for more enquires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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E-Financial

FG Recovers N57Bn Debt from 10 MDAs

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Federal government has announced the recovery of N57 billion from the N5.2 trillion liaibilities owed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other bodies by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government

FG Recovers N57Bn Debt from 10 MDAs

Okokon Ekanem Udo, permanent secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance made the disclosure on Tuesday in Enugu State during a Sensitisation Workshop on Federal Government Debt Recovery Drive through Project Lighthouse Programme for South-East geo-political zone.

While declaring the event open, Ekanem stated that the debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000+ debtors across more than 93 MDAs.

This was according to a statement by Mohammed Manga, spokesman for the ministry.

Represented by Aisha Omar, the ministry’s director, Special Projects, Ekanem Udo, informed that it also received refunds to the government from companies who failed to deliver on projects for which payment had been made, adding that others are unpaid credit facilities granted to both corporate entities and individuals by the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Judgment Debt in favor of Government and debts owed Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) by Insurance Companies amongst others.

He added that data from Project Lighthouse revealed that many companies and individuals, who owe government agencies and refused to honour their obligations were still being paid.

This, he said, was done through government platforms such as GIFMIS and Treasury Single Account (TSA) due to lack of visibility over these transactions.

According to him, in actualising debt recovery goal, the Federal Ministry of Finance initiated Project Lighthouse, which has enabled the aggregation of relevant economic and financial information from multiple agencies who hitherto did not share data.

Ekanem Udo explained that, generally, revenue loopholes have been aided by poor information sharing and enforcement.

It may interest you to note that the Ministry, through the consolidation efforts of the Debt Analytics and Reporting Application, has been able to aggregate monumental debts of approximately N5.2 trillion, he said.

The Permanent Secretary who informed further that the debt aggregation effort is still ongoing stated that currently, approximately N57 billion has been recovered so far from this amount due to concerted efforts on the part of stakeholders and the Federal Government

He disclosed that the Ministry has taken steps to address this major revenue loophole, through the issuance of a Ministerial directive to all MDAs to aggregate all Government debt across the Public Finance Space as well as having a single window on the credit profile of Government.

 

 

 

 


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E-Financial

Access Pensions Reaffirms Commitment Towards PBMs for Nigerians

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Access Pensions has emphasized its commitment to offering thorough guidance and assistance to customers interested in Pension Backed Mortgages (PBMs).

Head of Customer Experience at Access Pensions, Ophelia Alex-Iwuanyanwu, reiterated this commitment during a recent webinar organised by the company.

She also highlighted the Access advantage, showcasing the robust financial ecosystem provided by Access Corporation and how the firm is committed to ensuring the best for its customers.

Additionally, Chief Investment Officer, Access Pensions, Wale Okunrinboye, Regional Head, Business Development, Adaeze Raji and Head of Benefits Administration, Access Pensions, Zainab Bello, provided valuable insights to webinar attendees, offering tips to enhance pension planning security and manage personal finances effectively.

They reiterated the company’s commitment to delivering top-notch relationship management services. Alex-Iwuanyanwu said, “We offer competitive pension backed mortgage finance tailored to your needs, ensuring your goal of home ownership is achieved.

“We also guide our customers through every step of the homeownership journey, starting well before the application reaches us. We offer end-to-end guidance from our team to ensure a simplified process that reduces the turnaround time, from initiation to PENCOM’s approval.”

She further added that clients benefit from dedicated relationship managers, access to digital channels, financial literacy programs and superior investment returns. Additionally, efficient benefits administration ensures timely pension payouts globally.

Also, Okunrinboye, speaking on “Investment Management: How do we manage your pensions” said: “Our investment process is built around applying an analytical approach to securities analysis, asset allocation, optimal trade execution and a quantitative approach to risk management.”

Furthermore, Raji discussed the essential steps to achieve retirement goals, emphasising the importance of setting clear income targets and developing a comprehensive plan to achieve them. She noted that this involves identifying income sources, assessing expenses, establishing a savings strategy, and effectively managing assets and risks.

Bello delved into the specifics of pension benefits. She outlined the eligibility criteria for accessing retirement benefits, which include various circumstances such as mandatory or compulsory retirement, retirement due to medical reasons, or temporary loss of employment.

Additionally, she highlighted the factors that determine the amount payable to retirees, including gender, the total balance in the retirement savings account (RSA), final salary details, and the age at which retirement occurs.

The webinar, hosted by Head of Brand and Communications, Mojisola Coker, provided an enlightening platform for customers to engage in a question-and-answer session, fostering valuable insights.

 


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Former SEC Leadership Failed to Regulate, Develop Capital Market- ASCSN

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Senior Staff Union under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused the past administration of the Commission led by Dr. Lamido Yuguda of failing in its mandate of effectively regulating and developing the capital market, which is an intricate part of the nation’s economy.

Former SEC Leadership Failed to Regulate, Develop Capital Market- ASCSN

ASCSN also urged the federal government to exempt workers of the commission from 50 percent operating surplus remittance

Abba Mamman Ali, chairman of the Union, stated this on Monday during a briefing with journalists in Abuja.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had last Friday sacked Dr. Lamido Yuguda, former director general and announced a new management and board for the Commission.

While Mr. Mairiga Aliyu Katuka is the chairman of the new board, Dr. Emomotimi Agama is the new director-general.

Abba said the administration of the Yuguda “failed in its mandate to effectively regulate and develop the capital market, which is an intricate part of the Nigerian economy.”

Furthermore, he said the Yuguda-led Management “was insensitive and unresponsive towards issues of staff welfare especially issues bordering on staff promotion, gratuity and increase of staff emolument, amongst many others.”

He said, “Unfortunately, staff morale was at the lowest ebb under the regime of the immediate past Management.

‘It became clear to the SEC Staff Union and our parent body, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) that a vibrant capital market and a highly motivated SEC workforce could only be achieved through a change of SEC Management by Mr President.

“This prompted the Union to cry out to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. By clearing out the ineffective SEC Management led by Lamido Yuguda, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has lived up to his sterling reputation as a listening President.”

He said the SEC Staff Union has pledged to collaborate seamlessly with the new board under the leadership of board chairman, Mr. Mairiga Aliyu Katuka and Director General, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, to deliver a vibrant capital market in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

However, to achieve this, he called for the commission to be exempted from the 50 per cent deductions on operating surplus as contained in the Finance Act 2024 because the Commission is a development institution.

He said, “We want this management to look into issues of staff promotion, vacancies and gratuity. We urge them to look at it very well and settle those issues as they concern staff directly.

“Also, there is need for Management to meet with the government on the issue of 50 per cent deductions on operating surplus. These deductions have almost incapacitated the Commission as the SEC has been having great difficulties carrying out its dual functions of regulating and developing the capital market.”

On the capital market, he said the Union is “urging the new management to constitute a market wide committee who will proffer solutions to the various issues currently bedevilling the market.”


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