Access bank urges Nigerians to embrace digital banking to prevent COVID-19 spike 



Access Bank Plc on Tuesday urged Nigerians to embrace digital channels for their monetary transactions to ensure safety and reduce cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Mr Victor Etuokwu, the Executive Director, Retail Banking Division made the call at the opening of a new branch office in Awka, Anambra.

Etuokwu, who was represented by Mr Charles Oguibe, South East Regional Sales Director, said that digital financial services served as a preventive measure in the light of the global pandemic.

“We believe in the safety of our customers, especially during this pandemic and so we encourage everyone to transact digitally via our USSD code – *901#, mobile applications or the ATM.

“Customers can bank from anywhere by utilising digital channels to easily access their bank accounts, make payments, transfer funds, process salaries and carry out other banking transactions without visiting branches.

“This is part of efforts to ensure physical distancing which will help to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“The opening of this new branch in Awka is to get closer to our customers, provide comfortable and conducive environment where customers can feel safe and transact with ease,” he said.

The Igwe of Awka Kingdom, Dr Gibson Nwosu said that banking promotes rural development, enhance rural productive activities and improves economic status of small-scale businesses.

Nwosu, who was represented by the traditional Prime Minister of Awka Kingdom, High Chief Benjamin Okoye urged the bank to continue to contribute to the development of the host community.

Mr Jude Emecheta, the Managing Director, Anambra State Signage and Advertising Agency urged the bank to initiate loan products to help business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)


Shippers Council visits bonded terminals, reviews operational efficiency



Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Tuesday said that the council would be posting its staff permanently to terminals to ensure operational efficiency.

He spoke during a visit some bonded terminals to review their operational efficiency.

According to him, the posting is to make sure that weekly, they can have a report of charges, how long it takes a container to exit and difficulties experienced.

Bello visited the Kachicares Resources Ltd. Container Terminal and Denca Bonded Terminal both located in Lagos.

The NCS chief said delays were  dangerous to cargo evacuation, and told cargo operators and shippers that things would not be the same again, as the council was looking into issues closely.

“We are reviewing the operational efficiency of terminals and you know the main terminals are the seaport terminal and offdock terminals.

“These ones visited today are offdock terminals and they are having some problems.

“Recall in July this year, we issued some circulars which talked about two things; no cargo will be stamped to any terminal except that which has been nominated by the shipper himself.

“Also, all charges accruing out of the transfer should not be borne by the shipper, this is international practice and standard.

“I am happy to say that there has been substantial compliance and we are going round to see if shippers are being charged or not and if terminals are complying.

“We are having a meeting with the terminals to make sure that all the charges are streamlined and are linked to the service they are offering, and that is why we are doing this on the spot assessment today,” he said.

Bello said that the review of the terminals to see how things were, the operational deficiencies and ways to tackle them, were also to ensure that cost of shipping was brought down considerably.

He said that in Kachicares Resources Ltd. Container Terminal, there was substantial compliance, but there were other issues.

Bello said there were other issues like delays, poor access to terminals, and charges, of which they had yet to refund about N3.4 million to shippers.

He said that as regards equipment, NSC was looking at frequency and capacity, noting that they had a capacity of 28,000 Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).

As regards the Denca Bonded Terminal, Bello said he was not happy with what was happening there, claiming that N40million shippers charges had not been refunded.

He said that there could not be an informal arrangement whatsoever in the terminal, warning that they would take very strict measures which would include sealing off  the terminal if need be.

Bello said that going forward, they would work with Nigerian Customs to ensure proper situation, location and geographical availability to be considered before a terminal was situated.

In his response, Mr Lawrence Eboji, Head of Operations Kachicares Resources Ltd., Container Terminal said that the terminal had enough cargo handling equipment to handle any issue.

He said that as regards charges, the terminal was not giving any abnormal charges.

Eboji said that most of the complaints of customers was gotten from the mother port.

Also, Mr Tony Asiadiachi, General Manager, Denca Bonded Terminal said that containers sent to them came with bills and they carried storage.

He said that they paid for it and in turn passed it to customers.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Interest rate cut: Stock market advances by N42bn



Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday rebounded further by 0.31 per cent, just as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) reduced interest rate by 100 basis points.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MPC of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of two-day meeting slashed monetary policy rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, said the committee retained the cash reserve ratio at 27.5 per cent due to inflationary pressures driven by structural policies.

Speficially, the market capitalisation rose by N42 billion or 0.31 per cent to close at N13.407 trillion against N13.365 trillion achieved on Monday.

Also, the All-Share Index which opened at 25,574.35 inched higher by 80.55 points to close at 25,654.90 following gains posted by MTN Nigeria and eight other equities.

Accordingly, the month-to-date gain increased to 1.3 per cent while the year-to-date loss moderated to -4.4 per cent.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd,. attributed the rally to the outcome of the MPC meeting.

Omordion who commended the interest rate cut expressed optimism that there would be movement of funds from money market into the stock market due to higher return.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTNN, Red Star Express, FBN Holdings, Dangote Sugar Refinery and Trans-Nationwide Express.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to persist in the market.

Red Star Express led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.80 per cent to close at N3.25 per share.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance followed with 9.68 per cent to close at 34k, while Trans-Nationwide Express rose by 9.33 per cent to close at 82k per share.

Lasaco Assurance rose by four per cent to close at 26k, while MTNN appreciated by 2.41 per cent to close at N123 per share.

Conversely, Union Bank of Nigeria topped the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 6.54 per cent to close at N5 per cent.

Cornerstone Insurance trailed with 6.25 per cent to close at 60k, while Linkage Assurance lost five per cent to close at 38k per share.

Mutual Benefits Assurance, Chams and Courteville Business Solutions shed 4.76 per cent each to close at 20k per share each.

In the same vein, the volume of shares traded rose by 33.62 per cent with 262.05 million shares worth N4.39 billion achieved in 3,254 deals.

This was in contrast with 196.12 million shares valued at N1.73 billion exchanged in 3,542 deals on Monday.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 45.88 million shares worth N766.27 million.

FBN Holdings accounted for 24.14 million shares valued at N119.50 million, while Transcorp sold 20.97 million shares worth N12.55 million.

FCMB Group traded 20.53 million shares valued at N42.28 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 20.33 million shares worth N516.43 million.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Work hard for brighter future, Agency urges students



The Oyo State Agency for Youth Development has urged graduating students of Ibadan Grammar School to work hard for brighter future through diligence, under good guidance and counselling.

A Deputy Director at the agency, Mrs Nancy Muraina, stated this at an empowerment and equipping summit for the outgoing senior class of 2020, in Ibadan on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the two-day summit was organised by the Ibadan Grammar School Old Students’ Association in North America (IGSOSANA).

Muraina, who spoke on the topic: “Beyond Now and Here”, said that the students should be a solution and be ready to correct things that were negative around them.

“Do everything with moderation; don’t spend too much time on the internet, chatting. Cut off time waster; dedicate yourself to your study.

“Be mindful of peer influence; bring your friends closer to your parents and let your parents know them.

“Self-control is the root of all virtues in life. Develop life skills that will set you apart and make sure you stand out.

“Major five building skills you need as a young person include making value clarification, setting goals for yourself that are realistic, specific, smart, time-bound, measurable and attainable.

“Be firm in your decision making; don’t turn yourself into a waste bin. You must be able to negotiate your way in life and be assertive,” Muraina said.

Also, Mr Tunji Adepeju, an old student of the school, in his address, said that about 460 students passing out of the school were being trained on information technology and career counselling to excel after leaving the school.

He said that this was imperative, as most public schools were now overpopulated, while some parents were not showing commitment towards their children’s education.

In his lecture, Mr Ademola Bello, also an old student and counselling psychologist, said that many factors should be considered before choosing a career, if one was to succeed in life.

“When we talk of a career, it is a sequence of experiences; it is cumulative and developmental, hence it has a lot to be considered before settling for a career,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the President of IGSOSANA, Dr Adebayo Laniyonu, said that the school was noted for producing outstanding leaders in all areas of human endeavour, adding that such was expected from the 2020 set.

He commended the students for pulling through in spite of the challenges of Ebola virus, which delayed their resumption to school in 2014 and the COVID-19 pandemic as they were passing out in 2020.

Laniyonu stated that the old boys of the school in North America had instituted a scholarship award, named Engr. Seke Somolu for the best graduating boy and girl.

In his remarks, the Principal of the school, Mr Oladele Olajire, appreciated the organisers for organising the programme geared towards equipping and empowering the outgoing students.

He urged the outgoing students to make decisions that would make them to excel in their different endeavours.

“Take your choice; everybody in life has to make choices, as your destiny is in your hands after God. Hold the training you have received dearly in order to become successful in life,” Olajire said.

He advised the students to always think of what they could give back to their alma mater as they become successful in life.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
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Edo: Ogbeh advises Obaseki to run an all-inclusive govt



Chief Audu Ogbeh, a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has advised the re-elected Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo to run an all-inclusive government.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, he congratulated Obaseki, urging him to involve the opposition in his government to re-unite the state.

Ogbeh who is one of the founding members of APC, called on the governor to work hard for the people of Edo and Nigeria especially in the area of growing the economy.

“I knew Obaseki was going to win because people have accepted him and he has done well in the state.

“Now, I just want to congratulate him, wish him well and ask him to work hard for the people of Edo State and Nigeria especially in the area of growing the economy.

“Every government must know that when there is this kind of situation, it is the government that should lead the people into economic growth.

“Government must lead the people into economic growth and revival; individuals do not have much capacity especially in creating the rural industries, bringing the youths and women into productive activities.

“We wish him well and ask him to bring everybody along including the opposition so that Edo can be re-united,’’ he said.

Obaseki polled 307, 955 votes to defeat his closest APC contender, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who polled 223,619 votes.
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