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New naira notes: Hardship, currency rackeetering soar in Akwa Ibom

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New Naira Notes

Even after the Supreme Court issued a ruling prohibiting the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, from enforcing the February 10 deadline for the phase-out of the N200, N500, and N1000 old naira notes, currency fraud in Akwa Ibom State persisted within the week.

It was noted that as long as there was a shortage of cash, traders, gas station managers, supermarket owners, POS operators, and bank employees continued to take advantage of the general public.

Unwilling to provide his identity, an Akwa Ibom resident described how he leaves his residence as early as 4 am to go to any bank’s ATM without having any money in his account.

He said he would stand in line, and when it came time for him to collect money, he would look for someone in a hurry who would not want to wait in the long line, sell their spot to them for N1,000, and then return to the line. He added that he makes between 5,000 and 10,000 naira daily from the business.

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It was learned that traders in important markets throughout the State, including Itam, Akpan Andem, Nyong Essien/Etuk, and others, would sell cash to POS operators for 10% instead of depositing it in the bank, and those POS operators would then charge their potential customers 15% to 20%, depending on the situation.

Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area native Kingsley bemoaned the fact that a POS employee persisted on taking a commission of N22,000 from the N200,000 he withdrew to buy a few things in the market for his father’s funeral on Friday.

He added that despite his efforts to avoid paying the POS attendants’ hefty charge by patiently waiting in the enormous lines at the banks, he was ultimately only able to obtain N5000.

The visibly distraught man said, “God will punish whoever or those that subjected me to this difficulty. That N22, 000 I used in paying for commission, I would have used it to buy up to four cartons of drinks. Only God will judge all these people.”

Another native, Inyene, described how the financial crisis affected her preparations for a wedding, saying that both her family and her fiance’s family had decided to postpone the traditional wedding to a later date in order to see if things would return to normal.

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Since most petty traders and fruit vendors do not have bank accounts and those that have do not want to accept transfers due to the difficulty in receiving cash, the negative effects of the cash shortage have also filtered down to them.

Additionally, the lack of money is having a negative impact on overall work productivity, according to ICT expert and entrepreneur Maxwell Akpan, who also revealed that the uncertainty, worries, and concerns caused by the development are having a negative impact on the mental health and general wellbeing of his staff.

 

 

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How Vision and Dedication Catapults an Institution to Greatness

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There is no gainsaying that having a vision and purpose, gives direction to ones hustle as well as gives flight to dreams.

To put in perspective, It helps you focus on what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take, to get you there. Without a clear vision, you may end up going in different directions, wasting time and resources. For a number of individuals and institutions who have passionately followed this principle, the outcome has been, that of enviable success.

Individuals and organisations who get better at what they do, all over the world have constantly shown and proven that when you go at your dream relentlessly even when it seems daunting, eventually it all comes together. That is consistency. It helps you gain mastery of a particular skill or set of skills. Consistency opens the door to expertise and eventual greatness.

Today, the iconic success story of UBA since coming into existence 75 years ago, typifies this and is indeed an exceptional one which is a testament to vision and sheer determination and truly deserves commendation.

Whether it’s in its first rate customers service, passion to overall wellbeing, customer satisfaction, business growth, the ability to maintain a steady course over time from generation to generation as evidenced in the overwhelming testimonials of UBA generational customers, is one that has kept the bank constantly leap-frogging competition in bounds which is why UBA continues to enjoy enduring success. This principle is brilliantly exemplified in what the United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC, a financial institution which has not only survived but thrived for 75 years stands for. Let’s look at how UBA’s unwavering commitment to excellence has allowed it to keep getting better with age.

Adapting to Change and Innovation

UBA has stayed relevant for 75 years by embracing technological advancements. From launching the first chat banking bot in Africa, the first cash deposit ATMs in Nigeria to launching the Braille account opening form for the visually impaired, The bank has continued to balance reliability with innovation.

A Legacy of Trust

While speaking during a global press conference as part of its 75th anniversary celebration, Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Oliver Alawuba, said: “Since 1949, UBA has continued to support and transform businesses across Africa, especially in the critical SME space. One such transformed business is Destination Global Investment, a beverage distribution company that was able to expand its business into major distributorship, through the support of UBA”. “This he attested to the bank’s huge contribution to the growth of businesses and the bank’s unwavering dedication to its customers (C1st Philosophy) which has made it easy to build this legacy of trust and reliability”.

Alawuba also applauded the Group Chairman of UBA Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu for his visionary leadership and tutelage without which, he said the bank’s success would have been impossible.

Also, Alawuba noted that the bank remains committed to improving and facilitating intra-Africa trade, adding that the $6 billion it pledged for that purpose would be used to finance it and as well as support from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

“we are committed to developing Africa. We are committed to supporting the key sectors that are pushing African economies. And it is showing even in our performances and our businesses. If you look at our accounts and performance, you will see that our performance has continued to improve, reflecting clearly what we are doing.

“We don’t just support these businesses; we support all the value-chain that are tied to these businesses so that the SMEs will continue to thrive. SMEs are the future of Africa and will continue to provide support to SME businesses,” he said.

“We are committed to expanding our presence, seizing growth opportunities, and delivering value to all stakeholders. Collaboration and partnerships as exemplified by the $6 billion SME funding agreement signed with the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be instrumental in achieving our strategic objectives. We are dedicated to deepening relationships with customers, employees, regulators, and other stakeholders for mutual benefit and long-term success.

“As we embark on the next phase of our journey, I urge all stakeholders to continue their support and collaboration. Together, we will write the next chapter of success for United Bank for Africa Plc.”

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Moniepoint resumes onboarding; set to enrich millions of Nigerians with new personal banking referral programme

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Moniepoint MFB, Africa’s fastest-growing financial institution according to the Financial Times, has relaunched its personal banking referral program to enrich its customers as they enjoy the Moniepoint experience with family and friends.

The referral program is designed to reward users every time their friends or family perform a transaction on Moniepoint after signing up with their referral link. Through this, millions of people will earn well over N100,000 from referrals alone.

Moniepoint’s technology has powered over 3 million businesses across Nigeria, and with its reliable infrastructure now in the hands of personal users, it now enables seamless payments for many across the country. With referrals linked to transfers, a leading payment method for many in Nigeria, this referral program will provide extra income for many of its users.

Commenting on this development, Babatunde Olofin, Managing Director of Moniepoint MfB, noted that the customer-centric referral program supports the bank’s focus on driving financial inclusion while helping to accelerate its vision of creating a society where everyone experiences financial happiness.

“We know how important seamless financial transactions are, and we’ve seen first-hand the power of peer to peer recommendations and how word-of-mouth referrals can grow a customer base and increase revenue. Given our strong customer obsession and the strings of commendations which we have received that validate the work we do in providing peerless financial services, we want to provide our customers with rewards even as they continue to share these positive experiences with the Moniepoint brand,” Olofin said.

Each current and new personal account holder has been provided with a unique referral code which is identical to their account username and is visible in the Referral Section on the Personal Banking app. This code/link can be shared with anyone, who, upon signing up and transacting with the Moniepoint Personal Banking app, will contribute to rewards for the referrer.

For every outward interbank transaction conducted by referred customers in the next 12 months, participants will receive a commission. This transparent and straightforward incentive structure ensures that participants reap tangible benefits for actively promoting the Moniepoint Personal Banking app. Referrers can also track the total earnings and referral history from their referral in the “Earn from Referrals” icon in the app while earnings can be transferred to the user’s main account once a minimum of N50 has been earned.

Moniepoint MFB has worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria to strengthen the security of the banking industry in the past month, pausing its onboarding. It has now resumed signing up users with a commitment to providing its users with a secure, convenient and rewarding financial experience. The referral program is just one of the many ways the company is innovating to empower Nigerians and make financial services more accessible.

It will be recalled that Moniepoint MFB has in the last few months demonstrated peerless commitment to customer focus and satisfaction as evidenced by the opening of its Lekki Admiralty Road office, as well as the roll out of a USSD code, *5573# which offer users a fast, secure, and user-friendly platform to conduct their banking activities with ease.

According to media reports, Moniepoint Inc. currently processes the majority of the Point of Sales (POS) transactions in Nigeria through its subsidiaries, processing over $182 billion in annualized TPV and as a profitable enterprise, it is Africa’s largest fintech by transaction volume.

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BoI Expands Presence in Akwa Ibom State to Foster Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship

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The Bank of Industry Limited (BoI) has taken significant steps to enhance its reach across Nigeria, with a particular focus on promoting economic growth, financial inclusion, and entrepreneurship development.

This commitment was underscored during the opening of its 32nd state office in Akwa Ibom State.

Olasupo Olusi, the Managing Director of BoI, expressed optimism about the bank’s expanded presence in Akwa Ibom, emphasizing the opportunity to amplify its impact on the state’s business landscape. He highlighted BoI’s ongoing support for businesses in Akwa Ibom, citing loans totaling over N1.92 billion provided to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) projects in the state.

Olusi also lauded the alignment of BoI’s objectives with Governor Umo Eno’s economic blueprint, aimed at driving sustainable growth, job creation, and developmental impact in Akwa Ibom. He revealed plans for further collaboration with the state government to establish a dedicated matching fund partnership, aimed at supporting indigenous enterprises and empowering youth entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, Olusi urged the state government to address challenges related to collateral issuance and registration, emphasizing the importance of improving the ease of doing business for enterprises within the state.

Inaugurating the BoI branch office, Governor Umo Eno reiterated his administration’s commitment to supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as a catalyst for economic development. He commended BoI’s role in transforming Nigeria’s industrial sector and providing essential financial support to SMEs and large enterprises.

Governor Eno emphasized the significance of SMEs as drivers of economic growth and praised BoI’s provision of low-interest, long-term loans to facilitate entrepreneurship and sustainable development. He highlighted the importance of partnership and access to funding in fostering enterprise growth and expressed confidence in BoI’s ability to support the state’s economic aspirations.

The establishment of the BoI branch in Akwa Ibom reflects a strategic collaboration between the public and private sectors to advance economic prosperity, job creation, and entrepreneurship development in the state.

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