Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as the Best Bank in Nigeria in the recently released Global Finance Magazine World’s Best Banks Awards 2020.
The awards, published in the May 2020 edition of the Global Finance Magazine, was based on the performances of the banks in their respective regions and countries over the period from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.
Global Finance’s “World’s Best Banks Awards” are recognised amongst the world’s most influential banking/finance and corporate professionals as the most coveted and credible awards in the banking industry.
Winners were chosen in more than 150 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe.
Founded in 1987, Global Finance regularly selects the top performers among banks and other providers of financial services and the awards have become a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.
“This award is a clear demonstration of the bank’s market leadership, occasioned by our superior product offerings, best-in-class service and top-of-the-range technology which create value for our teeming customers.
“Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices.
“The bank, with a knack for setting the pace and raising benchmarks, is a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels,” Onyeagwu said.
Zenith Bank recently announced an impressive result for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, with profit after tax of N208.8 billion, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian Bank to cross the N200 billion mark.
Zenith Bank was ranked as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.
The bank was also voted as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.https://nnn.ng/global-finance-2020-zenith-bank-emerges-best-bank-in-nigeria/
Climate change effects more dangerous than COVID-19 – minister
Climate change, if not addressed, will make COVID-19 pandemic a child’s play, the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has warned.
At a one-day tour of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos, on Tuesday, Abubakar called on Nigerians to give adequate attention to mitigation of climate change effects.
According to him, COVID-19 can only kill humans, but climate change can kill humans and their environments.
Abubakar said that the present administration was committed planting 25 million trees annually to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to raising Nigeria’s biodiversity ranking through increased forestation and other strategies.
He said that the flagging-off of the government’s Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project in Ogoni, Rivers, and erosion control projects across the nation, showed the country’s seriousness in environmental protection.
The minister said that the Federal Government had an environment master plan reviewed regularly to meet climate and environment realities.
He said that the ministry had concluded a national policy on plastic that would be presented to the Federal Executive Council
In his address of welcome, the Director-General of NCF, Dr Muntari Aminu-Kano, described the minister’s appointment as putting a square peg in a square hole.
”This is one of the few times we have had an environmentalist appointed as the environment minister,” Aminu-Kanu said.
He lauded the minister’s efforts in environmental protection, and pledged the support of NCF in protecting Nigeria’s environment.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the highpoint of the visit was tree planting in commemoration of the minister’s visit.
Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
Obaseki’s victory rekindles people’s hope, place in democratic process — Don
A Political Scientist, Dr Charles Eghweree, says Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s victory in the just-concluded Edo governorship poll has rekindled the hope of many Nigerians in the democratic process.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday, Eghweree noted that the outcome of the election has reinforced the vital place of the people in the democratic process.
Eghweree, a lecturer in Department of Political Science, University of Benin, said that the expressed wish of the people was reflected in the outcome of the Edo election.
Eghweree added that the outcome would help galvanise docile politicians to action since any docility would mean being sacked during the next election.
“Run up to the election, a lot of boasting by political gladiators, made many doubt that the process would be free and fair.
“The outcome proved many wrong and to that extent, it shows we can get it right if the so-called ‘federal might’ will allow the process to be free from any form of interference.
“Edo election has wiped off god-father politics in Nigeria’s political culture and has shown us that power belongs to the people,” he said
The political scientist then urged INEC to fully embrace electronic voting and deepen deployment of technology in order to avoid dissappointment in the forthcoming elections.
Eghweree, who expressed dissappointment at failure of card readers in many polling units, advised the Commission to fully embrace electronic voting.
“This is unacceptable, considering the huge sum invested in that technology.
“It is high time the commission embraced electronic voting. It’s not rocket science, we can achieve it if we are committed to it.
“For Ondo elections, there is need to test run the card reader days before the election to avoid disappointment,” he said.
Eghweree advised Obaseki to keep politics aside and embrace the onerous business of governance.
“The governor-elect should commit to uniting the political class and the people to get needed support to govern effectively in the interest of all.
“Obaseki has a role of uniting Edo to achieve his ‘Make Edo Great Again’ agenda,” he said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Commercial disputes: Stakeholders canvass for virtual Court hearings for speedy resolution
Stakeholders on Tuesday called for the amendment of relevant rules and regulations to allow virtual Court hearings for speedy resolution of commercial disputes in Nigeria.
They made the call during a virtual dialogue organised by the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP).
Participants also said that it would boost ease of doing business in Nigeria.
NICOP is an European Union (EU) co-financed initiative under the West African Competitiveness Programme, aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Nigeria and to enhance it’s integration into the regional and International trading system.
Ms Katrine Thomsen, Head of Economic Section, EU delegate, said Nigeria is a leading trading partner with the EU.
She said that Nigeria’s partnership with the EU is highly cherished and had continued to improve daily.
“To support that improvement and trading partnership with Nigeria and West Africa in general, the EU has committed 125 million Euros to improving the competitiveness of West African economies,”she said
Thomsen said that the objective of NICOP is to stimulate and improve competitiveness of Nigeria in some selected value chains and to support the business climate in the country.
She said that a proactive legal system is critical to improving investment and business climate.
According to her, if we must diversify the economy and improve the country’s ranking in the ease of doing business, reforming the court system especially for contract enforcement and commercial dispute settlement is critical.
“We welcome NICOP and other stakeholders, joining voices with the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo who recently advocated for new set of directives to enable virtual Court proceeding in the country.
”I am sure that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had ruled and confirm the legality of virtual Court hearing.
“To this end, Nigeria is demonstrating leadership in the new normal,”she said.
Also, the Head of Programmes, NICOP, Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, said that virtual Court hearing would strengthen Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and address key issues in business areas.
Wauschkuhn said that the idea is to improve the business environment and investment climate in the country.
According to him, NICOP had supported capacity development for commercial dispute resolution in focal states of Kano, Plateau, Ogun, Kaduna.
The Managing Partner, Law Future Partners (LFP), Mr Elvis Asia, said that the COVID-19 experience had presented an opportunity for Nigeria to fix the state of commercial dispute resolution which take almost forever.
In a paper titled “Opportunity for Contract Enforcement and Commercial Disputes Settlement Reform”, Asia said that it has serious negative effects on investors.
He said that transfer of Judges and calling off of hearing which contribute to the delay in serving justice would taken care off by virtual hearing.
Asia said virtual hearing would make recording easier, eliminate time wastage and corruption and fast-track quick delivery of judgment.
According to him, more members of the public can participate in any case of their interest from anywhere in the world.
He, however said that though there is no express provision for virtual Court hearing in the Constitution, it empowers Heads of Courts to make regulation for effective proceedings.
The legal practitioner said that there was need to amend the Evidence Act to clearly give credence to electronic copies of documents in the court.
He also called for the creation of a commercial Court division with requisite technology and skill acquisition for legal and paralegal practitioners.
In her contribution, Justice Olutoyin Ipaye of the Lagos State Judiciary, said that virtual court hearing had come to stay.
She recommended that virtual Court hearing should not be limited time-bound cases but should be expanded to cover all disputes.
Ipaye said that virtual hearing has tremendous advantages that will further enhance the justice system in the country.
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mrs A. J Offiah, said that life is becoming more virtual than physical, saying that there is the need to address disputes virtually.
Offiah, who is the founder and principal partner of OBRA Legal, said that many heads of courts were already tilting towards virtual hearing.
She said there was need to create link between the database of all relevant government agencies with the Judiciary to enable easy access to authoritative documents.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza
NIGCOMSAT to host ‘ACTINSPACE’ innovation competition in Abuja
The Nigeria Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd says it plans to host the 2020 edition of ‘ACTINSPACE’ innovation competition in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NIGCOMSAT, Mr Adamu Idris in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the ACTINSPACE is an international competition targeted at students of tertiary institutions, IT startups and entrepreneurs to create new applications using technologies, satellite data and/or licenses.
Idris said the 2020 edition of the competition was being organised in collaboration with NIGCOMSAT, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, African Aeronautics and Space Organisation (AASO).
“The competition entry which opened some weeks ago is expected to end on Oct. 8.
” Applicants from the ages of 18 to 35 years are expected to come up with solutions that are space-related for submission for the contest.
“The contest categories are New Space Player, Everyday Life Business and Space for Earth and Humans,” Idris said.
According to the Chairperson, local organising committee for ACTINSPACE Nigeria , Mrs Alma Okpalefe, participants are expected to devise solutions that could help to run their businesses, support humanitarian causes as well develop applications based on space technology.
Okpalefe said that the competition was open to all.
“Entries are accepted only through the NIGCOMSAT official website (www.nigcomsat.gov.ng)
” The second phase of the competition is the Hackathon where selected applicants will present their business ideas to judges and mentors over a two-day period, “she said.
Okpalefe said finalists and runners up would emerge at the end of the Hackathon of which the first place winner would represent Nigeria at the global event in Paris, France, in 2021.
“We are expecting to see Nigeria win at the global technology innovation challenge.
“To achieve this however, we must showcase the best of what we have to offer,” she said.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa