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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed a partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to tackle poverty, unemployment and others.
He said this at the Commissioning of the AfDB Nigeria Country Office, Abuja.
According to the VP, While Africa had made significant strides in economic growth and in poverty reduction, much remained to be done, and the goal was clear – to eradicate poverty, create more inclusive socio-economic development and to integrate the continent.

He said he was particularly delighted that AfDB was working closely with the Buhari administration in addressing the challenges faced by communities and people emerging from the insurgency in the North East and some of the militancy in the Niger Delta Region.

“With its large market of over 185 million people, Nigeria will continue to be an important player in the Bank’s work, advancing efforts to boost regional integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in particular and Africa as a whole,”
Osinbajo said.

Full Address by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

“I am delighted to be here today, to celebrate with the African Development Bank the commissioning of its Nigeria Country Office Complex. This building here in Abuja is, among other things, an important symbol of the special relationship between the AfDB and Nigeria – a founding member and the largest shareholder of the Bank from inception to date. And since 1971, the Nigeria Country Office has served as an important convening point between the Bank, the Federal and State Governments, and the private sector.

Nigeria has been important in the growth of the institution as a major shareholder, donor and borrower all at the same time. And we have through the years shared the bank’s vision and objectives. Just to underscore the love between the AFDB and Nigeria, as the President aptly described it as a marriage, we have loaned our own Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina to the bank, as he is to our great pride, Nigeria’s first President of the Bank.

Since its founding in 1964, the African Development Bank, has evolved into one of the most efficient vehicles for the economic development and integration of the African continent. The bank has faithfully played its role as a trusted advisor and an honest broker in our region. And has earned its place as the voice of Africa on development issues.

As the continent’s premier financial institution, it is at the center of Africa’s transformation to bring real and lasting progress to the lives of African people.

While Africa has made significant strides in economic growth and in poverty reduction, much remains to be done. The goal is clear – to eradicate poverty, create more inclusive socio-economic development and to integrate the continent.

To do so, the continent needs to promote growth that creates jobs and provides economic opportunities for all.

To contribute to this agenda, the African Development Bank, through the High-5s – unveiled by Dr. Adesina when he took office in 2015 – is in our view, right on track by investing more in infrastructure, agriculture, education, healthcare, and increased access to, in particular, affordable energy and water.

More importantly, the Bank is to be commended for its ongoing efforts to close the gender gap, empower women and youths, and to ultimately strengthen and expand social safety nets for our most vulnerable populations.

With its large market of over 185 million people, Nigeria will continue to be an important player in the Bank’s work, advancing efforts to boost regional integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in particular and Africa as a whole.

We will continue to be a strong and committed partner of the African Development Bank, and to lead by example. We have already clearly demonstrated through the partnership that led to the establishment of the Bank’s Nigeria Trust Fund, established in 1976. The Trust Fund of more than $500 million has helped to transform the economies and improve the living standards of millions of people in other African countries.

In Nigeria, the AfDB has an active portfolio of close to $6 billion dollars spread over 73 projects across public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. These projects continue to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in many parts of our economy.

I am particularly delighted that the Bank is working closely with this administration in addressing the challenges faced by communities and people emerging from the insurgency in the North East and some of the militancy in the Niger Delta Region.

The Bank’s Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme (IBSDLEIP), aimed at addressing the challenges in the North East in particular, is commendable. The project will support the youth, women and IDPs who have returned to their communities. An estimated population of more than 10 million affected people are expected to directly benefit from this project.

More specifically, I thank the President and Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, for their support to Nigeria at a very difficult time during the 2015/16 economic recession. When we requested support from the Bank, the response was swift. The Bank approved a budget support loan of $1 billion in November 2016. The first tranche of $600m has been fully disbursed and utilized and in my discussions with the President of the Bank, we will be getting the remainder in the form of sector loans, so we are looking forward to the remaining $400m.

The approval by AfDB sent a much-needed positive signals to the markets at a critical time for Nigeria and for this we will ever remain ever grateful.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as we celebrate the commissioning of this world-class edifice, I wish to reiterate the commitment of the Buhari Administration to the Bank’s strategy in Nigeria. The strategy is fully aligned with our own Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2018 – 2020.

Again, congratulations to the President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the Board of Directors, and the staff of African Development Bank, and all who made this edifice a reality.

I want to thank you for listening and in the next few minutes, we will be commissioning the AfDB new complex.”

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BUSINESS

One Stop Online Shopping Platform, Jankaramall, Hits Cyberspace

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Conceived from a deep desire to re-redefine the online shopping narratives as well as create a standard, first class and relevant shopping experience for Nigerians, especially those resident in Port Harcourt and its environs, Jankaramall has hit the cyberspace, and with a reliable promise to ensure trust and all new level convenience.
Launched in October 2018, Jankaramall, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, is endowed with the best of qualitative approach to easy online shopping and stress free timely delivery.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Enitan Igwe, jankaramall.com is not just the everyday online shopping platform, but a one stop arena where virtually everything ranging from household essentials, electronics, health and beauty care products, foods and beverages ready-made meals, home appliances, groceries, office supplies, among others can be derived at the snap of the fingers or rather a click.
Hear her:

“Jankara is an online store with rich Nigerian heritage offering world class shopping experience. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us, therefore we ensure that our prices are fair and competitive.

“Jankaramall was conceived from an intense desire to create a modern and relevant retail shopping experience for Port Harcourt and Nigeria as a whole and a more convenient way for people to get their everyday needs without the hassles of moving out of your comfort zone just to get desired groceries. We don’t just sell groceries, we take the stress off of you and give you time to spend on more rewarding activities.”
With an established vision “To be the biggest and most preferred one-stop online shopping destination for grocery, household essentials, home cooking, personal care and general consumer goods in Africa”, Jankaramall.com is fast taking over the cyberspace, making life easy for a great number of people who are always on the go.
Jankaramall does not only deal with continental products but is also into local brands to ensure the customers’ all round care and wellness. Even pets are not left out as there is a large assortment and variety of Pet foods and accessories available.
Mrs. Igwe continues: “To ensure you have utmost trust and reliability and more convenience, you can also pay for your order on delivery. This gives you the chance to access your products and make sure they are in good condition before you make payment. With Jankara, online shopping is easier in Port Harcourt and Nigeria.”
Jankara is derived from the popularly Lagos market called Jankara Market, located at the centre of the Lagos Island, where it is reported that everything under the heavens, is always available, no matter the time. And through to type, Jankaramall.com is never in short supply of anything money can legitimately buy. So whatever it is you wish to buy, http://www.jankaramall.com is just a click away, and offers lots more at the lowest of prices.
Note: Jankara caters for individuals and corporate needs.
Give it a try today; make that call now!
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BUSINESS

GLOBAL TRANSACTIONS GET EASIER WITH FIRSTBANK’S CARD OFFERINGS

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By EHIME ALEX

As in many developing countries, cash has been the most prevalent mode of payment in Nigeria until 2012 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the cashless policy with the aim of promoting the use of electronic payment channels instead of cash.

Since then, banking services in Nigeria have shifted from physical and tangible distribution to technology-enabled, such as internet, automated teller machine (ATM), mobile phones, point of sale (POS) and mobile money channels.

African economies are also in support of driving cash out of the financial system and the introduction of digital payment solutions is in line with their cashless strategies.

It is also worthy of note that one of the prerequisites for the development of national economy is to encourage a payment system that is secure, convenient, and affordable. In this regard, developed countries of the world, to a large extent, have moved away from paper payment instruments toward electronic ones, especially payment cards.

Looking at data from the CBN official website on E-Payment transactions from 2012 to 2018, it is clear that there has been an exponential increase in the volume of transactions carried out through various channels.

For instance, the volume of ATM transactions carried out in 2012 was approximately at 375.5 million compared to 875.5 million recorded in 2018. Also, the volume of transactions recorded from the POS and Internet channels rose from 2.58 million to 295.89 million, and 2.27 million to 50.8 million in the review period respectively.

This suggests that, the e-payment channels, if well implemented will help achieve the CBN‘s objective of expanding, deepening and modernizing the payment system in Nigeria, and also galvanize the apex bank in ensuring that Nigeria ranks among the top 20 economies of the world in line with the nation‘s vision 2020 aspirations.

To this course, and in line with its pioneering strategy and focus at smartly improving payments infrastructures and greater usage of non-cash means in the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited recently launched Visa Multi-Currency card, the first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in the country.

This All-in One-Card has by all means added to the array of FirstBank’s card offerings: Naira MasterCard and Visa Gold card.

The FirstBank Naira MasterCard, a chip and PIN Debit Card, offers a convenient alternative to the use of cash, and cheques. It is a naira denominated card linked to customer’s current or savings account, and can be used to make purchases online, pay bills and access cash at ATMs point worldwide.

With it, cardholders go cashless, have zero need for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) or Business Travel Allowance (BTA), and also have increased limits for international transactions up to $5000 monthly on all channels with a daily ATM cash withdrawal limit of $300.

While the FirstBank Visa Gold card, an international premium credit card, is a U.S. Dollar- denominated card, secured also by chip and PIN technology. Its higher daily spending limits on ATM, POS and Web are $1,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively, anywhere in the World.

However, in addressing challenges many Nigerians faced while travelling abroad, FirstBank has introduced the Visa Multi-Currency card with some unique features. Before now, the major pain points for travelers have been how to source different currencies with high and non-transparent exchange rates.

In today’s businesses where expectation is significantly increasing, consumers have to embrace innovative new technology made available, such as the FirstBank Visa Multi-Currency of card, for global transactions.

The newly launched FirstBank Visa Multi-Currency card is an enhancement to the existing Visa Debit Dual Currency card. Having other unique features, the card can be linked to either or all customer’s NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts. It is designed to enhance customer experience when transacting globally outside Nigeria, and to address challenges many Nigerians faced while travelling abroad thereby positioning the bank at meeting the needs of its increasingly global customer base.

Besides other benefits are POS and Online purchases, access to and use of ATMs worldwide, and no cash collateral requirement prior to its issuance.

It is an international card secured by Chip and PIN technology with a lifespan of 3 years, and it has additional protection for web-based transactions with “Verified by Visa” (VbV). In fact, it is a one card that enables access to funds throughout the world, providing maximum protection for all card users.

It has a daily withdrawal limit of N150,000 and $1,000 for local and International transactions on the ATM channel, and N1,000,000 and $6,250 for local and international on Web. While on POS, Current account cardholders have a withdrawal limit of N2,500,000 and Savings account cardholders N500,000 distinctively for local, but $2,500 parallel for International transactions.

In the words of Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Product, “FirstBank takes pride in pioneering the Visa Multi Currency Card in the country, as we remain committed to providing products and services that are designed to ensure the banking convenience of our customers regardless of their location.”

“This card is designed to make traveling fun for our customers and ensure they have a seamless transaction experience during their vacation, tourism and other business-related trips around the globe,” he added.

True and true, FirstBank has shown itself to be a digital innovating bank since the craze of technological transformation in the financial sector, with various Awards, achievements and recognitions.

This Nigeria’s Bank of first choice was named the first financial institution in the country to achieve sustained alternative channels transaction volumes of 100 million transactions in December 2015 and May 2016.

In 2015, FirstBank won two awards in the eBusiness category: MasterCard Cardless Champion award for International acceptance across all POS channels; and MasterCard Cardless Champion award for Mobile POS (MPOS) merchant acquisition.

In 2016, it won three awards also in the eBusiness category, viz: Asian Banker award for Best Mobile Payment Product for West Africa; Asian Banker award for Credit Card of the Year for West Africa; and Global Finance Award for ‘Digital Bank of Distinction – Emerging Markets, Africa Category’.

For two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, the bank was honoured with the Digital Bank of Distinction, Nigeria award in the Global Finance Best Digital Banks Awards.

While still counting, in 2017, FirstBank won the Cashless Champion Award of MasterCard International on POS International transactions acquiring, and same year won Interswitch awards on Fastest Mobile Penetration in Africa; Highest Card Transacting Bank in Nigeria; and Highest Verve Issuing Bank.

For FirstBank to sustain its relevance and be part of the banks of the future, it must continue to be proactive to customers’ goals, their ‘next big thing’, and invest heavily, rediscover and reassert its core role in society, while securing ongoing support of policymakers.

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BUSINESS

FIRSTBANK SPOTLIGHTING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AGRICULTURE VALUE CHAIN

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BY OBINNA EMELIKE (BUSINESSDAY)

In 2017, the Nigerian agriculture sector witnessed a revolutionary discourse on the economic benefits of sustainable agriculture value-chain as an alternative source of economic development and foreign exchange with the launch of FirstBank Agric Expo.

It was a first-of-its-kind initiative that afforded the bank the opportunity to aggregate top players in the agricultural sector under one roof for easy relationship establishment, as well as, enlighten customers and prospects alike about FirstBank’s readiness to support their Agricultural businesses.

The event, which was oversubscribed by 100 percent in its maiden edition because of its relevance, also positioned the bank as a thought leader in the agricultural financing space in the country. For leading that discourse and opening the agricultural financing space, the bank’s agric portfolio recorded a growth of N11.65billion as a direct impact.

Riding on the success of the maiden edition, the bank has gone ahead to further engage key policy influencers, agriculture service providers, primary producers, exporters and top players in the agric value chain, among others in the 2018 edition, as well as promising a better engagement in this year’s edition of the expo.

Considering the falling oil prices and the urgent need to diversify the economy, the FirstBank Agric Expo is imperative. Expressing his delight on FirstBank’s leading role at not just promoting Agriculture but diversifying the Nigerian economy, Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sees opportunities beyond economic diversification in the non-oil sector, which agriculture leads. “As Nigeria expands opportunities in its non-oil sector, especially Agriculture, we remain committed to the growth of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product”, the CEO said.

Also, the bank is venturing into the agric financing space in order to promote entrepreneurship and employment opportunities bearing in mind that agriculture has potential to take millions of unemployed off the streets when the right investment are made and thoroughly coordinated.

So, the bank is using the FirstBank Agric Expo, which is now in its third edition to “build the agribusiness economy, which is capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports, supporting sustainable income and creating employment opportunities”, Adeduntan assured.

Ironically, Nigeria, according to Audu Ogbeh, former Minister of Agriculture, spends about $22 billion annually to import food into the country.

But with sustained gains from the Agric Expo, more funds would be available to agric entrepreneurs to improve production, and reduce the high importation of food that has negatively impacted Nigeria’s Balance of Trade.

With more funding, the bank assured that Nigeria can be self-sufficient in producing things it has comparative advantage on, especially rice, the staple food, which can be grown across the country.

As well, improved funding in the agric sector will result in more entrepreneurs, more investments, more hands in the farms, more food produced, huge foreign exchange earnings from exportation, as well as, less crime in the country. Though the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report stated that the value of agricultural exports rose by 115.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, the country can double the value if agric entrepreneurs are financed and guided, which makes the First Bank Agric Expo very imperative.

As a continuous financier of credit worthy agro-allied businesses, the bank is rolling out the drums once again to hold the third edition of the agric expo. Like the previous editions, the expo will hold on August 30, 2019 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos with the theme, “Agricultural Value Chain – Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks” and would have Professor Benedict Oramah, president, AFREXIM Bank, as the keynote speaker.

It will host over 600 delegates and over 60 exhibitors who will display the latest technology in farm equipment, tools and machineries, as well as, packaged finished agricultural produce, logistics and supply, thereby keeping the participants and sundry agribusiness practitioners abreast with new opportunities in the Agricultural industry.

Besides the plenary session, the expo will feature three masterclasses with in-depth analysis on specific areas of Agribusiness, facilitated by enterprising Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The masterclass facilitators include; Leonard Anyanwu, Group Executive Director, Saro International Limited; Segun Ogunwale, Team Lead, Kominity Digital and Bamidele Ayemibo, Managing Director, 3T Impex Trade Centre, who will provide insight, as well as, share success stories and experiences.

For the agric entrepreneur looking to grow your business, there are many reasons to be at the expo as FirstBank has a large base of agribusiness clients across Nigeria who you will likely meet.

 

 

 

 

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