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FirstBank Hits 27,000 Banking Agents, Deepens Financial Inclusion

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it now has over 27,000 agents on its Firstmonie network.

This feat, according to a statement from the bank yesterday, reinforces its steering role at promoting financial inclusion in the country.

The over 27,000 Firstmonie agents are present in almost all Local Government Areas across the country, it explained.

In line with the financial inclusion objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring financial services closer to Nigerians, Firstmonie Agent Network is a channel designed by the bank to solve the challenge of access to financial services. Firstmonie agents are empowered with secured digital channels to provide basic financial services such as account opening, cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, airtime top-up, and bill payments to customers across the country.

“FirstBank, through this Financial Inclusion drive, is making very impressive impact on job creation, women and youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship development – fundamental pillars of overall economic development,” the statement added.

Alhaji Bashir Aliyu Muhammad Rimin-Gado, a Firstmonie Agent operating from Rimin-Gado area in Kano State, was quoted to have said: “I have been with Firstmonie since they started and I can say that it has been a life changing experience, I have been able to build trust of the communities around me as many workers in my area have forgotten the last time they visited any bank branch for basic banking services. I am a proud employer of labour and as a result my staff are well paid and comfortable.

On the back of its drive to deepen inclusion through Agent Banking, FirstBank had also partnered with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

First Bank is also in partnership with Azuri Technologies Limited, an off-grid power distribution company to make access to off-grid power easy, especially in rural communities, as well as other institutions, who are seeking to provide resources to cushion the effects of economic and social shocks on low income individuals.

According to Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, chief executive officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “Our Firstmonie Agent Banking network, spread across the nook and cranny of the country, is a demonstration of our resolve to promoting financial inclusion and business in the country.

“This indeed has been achieved with the concerted effort and commitment of our partners and registered Firstmonie Agents to taking banking to Nigerians regardless of where they are. With them, we are committed to leave no stone unturned at bolstering the economic involvement of many more Nigerians, especially through our robust electronic services.”

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E-Financial

CBN Gives 3 New Banks Nod to Start Operations

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the licensing of three new banks by adding them under different lists published on its website.

 

The new operators are Titan Trust Bank Limited, TAJ Bank Limited and Globus Bank Limited.

 

Though Titan Trust Bank Limited and Globus Bank Limited started operations earlier, the addition to the list of  Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and financial holding companies operating as on July 23, 2019, by the CBN has cleared every speculation.

 

The list also indicates that the regulator has issued a Non-Interest Banking license with regional authorisation to TAJ Bank Limited. While two of the newly licensed banks will operate as commercial lenders, the third one, TAJ Bank Limited was licensed to operate as a non-interest bank.

 

Before the banking reform of 2005, instituted by ex-governor of the CBN, Charles Soludo, Nigeria has as many as 89 banks operating as commercial and merchant banks. With the reform, which hiked minimum capital base to N25 billion from N2 billion, the number reduced to 24 universal banks.

 

However, subsequent alignment and take over by the regulators led to further consolidation in the operations of the banks, leading to a downward reduction in the number of operators.

 

The newly licensed TAJ Bank Limited has joined Jaiz Bank as only two operating as non-interest banks in the country.

 

Though details of the newly licensed lenders are still scanty, industry watchers revealed that Titan Trust Bank has as its Chairman, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Tunde O. Lemo, and Mr Mudassir Amray as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO).

 

Titan trust bank was established in 2018 but officially obtained its license in April 2019 as a national bank and started operations. The Executive director is Adaeze Udensi. The bank’s operations include Small and medium-scale enterprises (SME) banking, Digital banking and Commercial banking

 

Also, Globus bank limited obtained its regional banking license in 2019 and begun operations on May 2, 2019.

 

Available records show that the executive director of Globus Bank Limited is Elias Igbinakenzua. Igbinakenzua has had stints as an Executive Director of Zenith Bank and Access Bank respectively

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NDIC Pays N593.8m to Shareholders of Banks In-liquidation

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on Tuesday revealed that it paid the sum of N593.78 million to shareholders of some banks in-liquidation in 2018.

 

NDIC said this amount was paid to 48 shareholders of the affected lenders.

 

“The NDIC paid the sum of N593.78 million to 48 shareholders of Alpha Merchant Bank, Rims Merchant Bank and Continental Merchant Bank in 2018,” the report titled NDIC 2018 Annual Report.

 

It stated that the cumulative liquidation dividend paid amounted to N3.30 billion to 679 shareholders of six Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in-liquidation as at December 31, 2018 against N2.71 billion paid to 631 shareholders of DMBs in-liquidation as at December 31, 2017.

 

“However, the total liquidation dividend declared for shareholders of DMBs-in-liquidation stood at N4.04 billion as at December 31, 2018,” the report added.

 

The NDIC further said in the report that during the year, it paid the sum of N1.52 billion to uninsured depositors of 20 DMBs in-liquidation.

 

In total, the agency said it has paid the sum of N100.39 billion as liquidation dividend to uninsured depositors of closed DMBs as at December 31, 2018.

 

The report stated that through sustained and diligent liquidation activities, the NDIC has realized assets to fully pay the deposits of the customers of 17 out of the 49 DMBs in-liquidation.

 

“In effect, all the depositors of the 17 defunct banks who came forward to file their claims have been paid all their monies (both insured and uninsured) that were erstwhile trapped in such banks,” it said.

 

On the asset management activities in the year under review, the NDIC said it ensured the efficient conversion of assets of closed financial institutions to cash for the payment of liquidation dividend to uninsured depositors, creditors and shareholders.

 

“Overall, the NDIC realised the sum of N777.03 million from the disposal of risk assets, physical assets and investments for the DMBs, MFBs and PMBs in-liquidation during the year ended December 31, 2018,” it added.

 

Commenting on the major challenges faced in asset management activities in 2018, the agency said they were majorly inadequate documentation of borrowers’ information by failed banks; unwilling attitude of high net-worth debtors of failed banks to liquidate their debts; preponderance of uncollateralised loans; problems associated with identifying assets of judgment debtors; protracted legal processes due to frequent adjournment of cases; large outstanding insider-related debts usually characterised by poor documentation and insider abuse; and difficulties to repay loans induced by economic realities, policy inconsistencies as well as issues relating to moral hazards.

 

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Ecobank Takes Over Shoreline Power Company over N4.6Bn Debt

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Taiwo Ogbara, a receiver-manager appointed by Ecobank Nigeria Limited, has been empowered by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to have unrestricted access to one of the debtors of the financial institution, Shoreline Power Company Limited, into its premises.

 

The power firm was said to owe the lender about N4.6 billion and that when the bank appointed a receiver to take over the company, it resisted, which prompted a court action and Justice Chuka Obiozor restrained the firm’s management, including Orikolade Karim, Tunde Karim, Yinka Karim, Marc Hasenclever and Graeme Stout, from interfering with or obstructing Mr Ogbara in the course of his duties as receiver-manager, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

 

According to reports, the judge granted an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from tampering with or disposing of the firm’s assets and properties covered by a Deed of All Assets Debenture of March 18, 2013 between Ecobank and Shoreline Power Company, registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

 

In his ruling, Justice Obiozor directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and his officers and men to assist the receiver-manager in carrying out his duties over the firm’s properties and equipment and further granted an order of interim mareva injunction restraining all Nigerian banks from accepting or honouring any mandate or cheques presented by the defendants for the withdrawal of any sum kept in Shoreline Power Company’s account, pending hearing of the motion on notice.

 

The banks were also directed to file the company’s statements of account with them within 48 hours and to transfer such funds into a receivership account as may be requested by the receiver-manager.

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