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Heritage Bank, GEZAWA set to transform Nigeria’s agric sector to huge commercial hub

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The Nigerian agricultural sector is set to witness a huge growth, as Heritage Bank Plc the lead settlement bank for Gezawa Commodity Market (GCMX) has collaborated with key stakeholders to revolutionise agricultural value-chain, aimed at providing fully integrated ecosystem for commodity Exchange.

Heritage Bank was appointed as the Lead Settlement Bank and Transaction Adviser to the Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Ltd and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two firms, whilst over 10, 000 farmers in 3000 cooperatives in the 44 local governments of Kano States were hosted.

The partnership between Heritage Bank and the Exchange would facilitate the ease of agro commodity trading in a more structured way, especially with the closeness to the Dawanu, the largest grain market in Africa.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, who was a panelist at the 2nd GCMX Farmers’ Cooperative Forum in Kano at the weekend, stated that the partnership is targeted to de-risk the sector that would bring about structured and enhanced agro-business and attain food security that leads to economic development.

Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye explained that the partnership which would help bridge the huge gap associated to risk, will fast track effective price discovery mechanism and traceability and enhanced trade settlement services.

Specifically, the bank’s helmsman stated that under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Heritage Bank would provide on-lending funding to aggregated farmers in the 2020 farming season to grow various products that will serve as raw materials to the processors, thereby ensuring market linkages and access to the market as well as reduce importation and conserve Nigeria’s external reserves.

According to him, with its assigned position  Heritage Bank would play a pivotal role in ensuring that there would be an effective and readily available platform for market linkages among players in the agribusiness value chain, involving FMCGs, warehouse operators, collateral managers, processors, farmers’ cooperatives to transact in a seamless way that guarantee quality, quantity, payment and delivery.

Speaking the event, the ED/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo affirmed that the initiative would help foster diversification of non-oil export trade.

He, however, stated that NEPC would ensure that the primary for the signing of the MoU would be achieve, whilst calling for the need to ensure adequate and seamless supply of agricultural commodities for the business to be sustainable.

The Gezawa Project Consultant, Binchang Binfa, Managing Director of Makarios Global Resource, disclosed, “the ultimate goal was to unlock the vast potential of agricultural value chain via partnerships and synergy with likeminded enterprises, organisations and institutions that will mutually create wealth, generate local employment and contribute significantly to the economic growth and GDP the nation.”

He stated that the Exchange would provide services on price discovery and transparency, increase foreign exchange earning capacity, commodity storage and warehouse receipt system, employment generation of 15, 000 direct and indirect jobs, investment opportunities, increase in non-oil export, ease of doing business, weather report, soil test report, as well as 24/7 online trading of commodities on alive trading platform.

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Aje Festival 2021: Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II and Princess Aderonke Ademiluyi To Launch Biggest Adire Textile Factory In Ile-Ife

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His Imperial Majesty, The Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II and Princess Ronke Ademiluyi has described the launch of the Adire Textile Factory in Ile-Ife as to provide opportunities for cultural exchange between African and international students of design to learn about the adire fabric.

To this end, Ooni and Princess Ademiluyi who is also the Founder of Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria hinted that the biggest Adire Textile Factory would be launch on the 22nd of February 2021 to commemorate Annual Aje festival in the state.

Also, the Ooni of Ife has commissioned Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria to build a new Cultural Centre located in Ile-Ife, in South West Nigeria.

The new cultural center was described as a massive capital project that will require national and international funding sets to be laid on 30,000 squaremeter of land in Ile-Ife.

Ademiluyi said the Cultural Centre will be a repository for the indigenous arts and crafts found in Africa.  It will provide an ecosystem for development, teaching and learning guided by tradition, innovation and sustainability and will connect the stories of indigenous arts to the heritage of Africa.”

According to her “Other facilities within the complex will include a gallery for visiting exhibitions, a textile museum, a digital library, heritage artisan village (which will include the bronze casting, terracotta pottery and wood carving); an aso-oke cloth weaving pavilion, Yoruba culture academy, a design innovation lab and timeshare residential lodges.”

“The cultural complex project starts with the opening of phase one – an Adire Textile Hub which heralds the revival of indigenous fabric production and creative arts in Ife.

“The Hub will generate employment and become an example of the Non-Oil Export Initiative promoted by the Nigerian government.  It will increase the capacity of the artisans working in Ile-Ife and educate on the importance of sustainability and ethical and environmental practices.”

Princess Ronke Ademiluyi is an award winning fashion icon with huge commitments in positioning Nigeria as formidable force in the leading other top nations in the world’s fashion industry.

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FIRSTBANK PROVIDES LOAN FACILITIES TO ITS FIRSTMONIE AGENTS

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In furtherance of the need to promote the business activities of its foremost agent banking platform – Firstmonie Agents – Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the provision of loan facilities – up to one million naira – to its banking agents. The Bank currently has over 86,300 Firstmonie Agents, spread across the country’s 772 Local Government Areas.

With its location in every neighbourhood, Firstmonie Agents have been integral to filling the financial exclusion gap, providing convenient banking services that are easily accessible, thereby saving time and travel costs for individuals in the suburbs and remote environments that have no access to financial services.

The  Bank’s financial inclusion activities is in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the availability of affordable financial products and services to all individuals and groups of people in the country; irrespective of location, literacy levels, familiarity with technology and accessibility to modern infrastructural facilities. The Firstmonie Agent channel is amongst the Bank’s many initiatives to expand financial access in the country.

Appreciating the Firstmonie Agents, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “the roles played by our Firstmonie Agents in promoting businesses across the nooks and crannies of the country cannot be overemphasized as they have continued to set the pace in extending financial inclusion to communities with little or no access to financial services.

“With our Firstmonie Agents in every neighbourhood, several communities have witnessed a surge in business and financial activities, which is contributory to national growth and development. We commend our Agents and are delighted to support them with credit facilities, which they can access 24hours a day in less than 2minutes.”

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FBN HOLDINGS PLC ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD APPOINTMENTS

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FBN Holdings PLC (“FBNHoldings), Nigeria’s leading financial holdings company, has announced the appointments of Mr. Seni Adetu and Mrs. Juliet Anammah as Independent Non-Executive directors, while Mr. Otu Hughes has been appointed as a Non-Executive director. These appointments are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”).

Speaking on the appointments, the Group Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko, CFR, said, “On behalf of the board, management and staff of FBNHoldings, I am delighted to welcome the trio of Seni Adetu, Mrs. Juliet Anammah and Otu Hughes to the FBNHoldings board as they bring on board their combined professional experience and expertise of over 97 years, cutting across various industries and institutions of global repute.”

“I am certain that these rich experiences will have immediate and long-term impact on the group and its subsidiaries across Africa and beyond,” he added further.

SENI ADETU

Seni Adetu, a former Managing Director/CEO Guinness Nigeria Plc, has 35 years of private sector experience garnered at the highest levels primarily with John Holt Plc, Coca-Cola International and Diageo (Guinness) Plc in various countries within and outside Africa. He holds a first degree in Chemical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration (with specialization in Marketing), both from the University of Lagos. Adetu was at various times Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Managing Director of Coca-Cola, and the first African Managing Director/CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Guinness Ghana Plc.

In 2009, Adetu was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO East African Breweries (EABL), the biggest company in East Africa, based in Kenya, during which time he was named Runner-up Forbes/CNBC CEO of the Year 2012 in East Africa.  He was subsequently appointed MD/CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc and Executive Chairman Diageo Brands Nigeria thus, again becoming the first Nigerian in nearly 20 years to lead that company. Adetu has had working stints in Hungary and the UK and has been exposed to various high-profile leadership courses globally including at the prestigious Harvard Business School.

He has served on the boards of various multinational companies in both Executive and Non-Executive capacity in Nigeria and abroad and was until recently an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of Fidelity Bank Plc and Non-Executive Director at APT Pensions Ltd among others.

Adetu is the Founder/Group CEO of Algorithm Media Limited and Ogilvy Nigeria Limited, two leading Marketing Communications agencies in Nigeria, in partnership with WPP, the world’s largest advertising and media agency network. He is a member of many reputable social clubs including the Metropolitan Club Lagos. He is also the immediate past National Vice President of the University of Lagos Alumni Association.

 

JULIET ANAMMAH

Juliet Anammah is Chairwoman Jumia Nigeria & Head of Institutional Affairs Jumia Group. Jumia is the largest eCommerce platform in Africa and the first African Tech start-up to be listed on the NYSE

She is an experienced executive with 28+ years of professional experience including 7 + years at Partner / Chief Executive level.

Before her current role, she was the CEO of Jumia Nigeria. Prior to joining Jumia, Juliet spent 16 years at Accenture and was the Partner managing Accenture’s Consumer Goods Practice in West Africa.

A Pharmacist by training, she started her career in Sales & Marketing with May and Baker (Sanofi-Aventis) in 1991 before joining Accenture as a Senior Strategy Consultant in 1999.

Juliet also serves on Corporate and non-profit Boards in a non-executive capacity. She is currently on the Boards of Flour Mills of Nigeria and APT Pensions as Independent non-executive member. She is also an EXCO member of Consultative Action Group for the Poor (CGAP) a not for profit agency funded by the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and several Bilaterial/ Multilateral agencies.

She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, an MBA (Finance track) and is an alumnus of both Wharton College University of Pennsylvania (AMP) and Yale University.

OTU HUGHES

Otu Hughes has over 25 years’ experience in operations and strategy, principal investment, mergers and acquisition as well as capital raising in both the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. He started his career in 1993 with Lehman Brothers, providing strategic and financial advisory services to government entities and companies in privatisation and empowerment issues, notably Brazil (power and mining), Ghana (mining), South Africa (empowerment programmes), amongst others.

Otu joined Deutsche Bank in 1998 as Associate– Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Advisory Group with the oversight responsibilities of providing mergers, acquisitions, corporate and strategic financial advisory services to companies and government agencies across industries and countries, rising to Vice President. He is the Co-founder and Principal of Rofgam/Hughes Consulting and also worked at KeyBanc Capital Markets, amongst many others.

Otu is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Candesco Limited, set up with the primary responsibility of developing and managing off-grid and independent power projects for Sub-Sahara Africa market, providing affordable, clean and stable power to clusters of communities.

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