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NAPE Seeks Establishment of Special Energy Bank in Nigeria | Business Post Nigeria – Business Post Nigeria

  • November 5, 2021
  • 10 min read
NAPE Seeks Establishment of Special Energy Bank in Nigeria | Business Post Nigeria – Business Post Nigeria

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By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has called for the creation of a Special Energy Bank to finance petroleum exploration activities in the country.
This call was made by the president of the association, Mrs Patricia Ochogbu, during a panel session at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) 2021 Strategic International Conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
The conference themed Petroleum Industry Act: Energy Transition and the Future of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas had robust discussions around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the country’s energy transition plans.
Mrs Ochogbu noted that the PIA had set aside funds for exploration of frontier basins in the country, however, the money would not be available for private sector investors.
She said exploration activities take a long time to mature, which make commercial banks not favourably disposed to granting loans for such purposes.
She said: “We need to have a dedicated bank like the Bank of Industry (BOI) or Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
“They can grant loans for exploration activities at reduced interest rates. So, I believe energy bank is the way to go.”
Also speaking, the Conference Chairman, Mr Biodun Adesanya, lauded the setting aside of 30 per cent of the profit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for exploration activities in the frontier basins in the PIA.
Mr Adesanya said the discovery of oil and gas resources in other areas apart from the Niger Delta was a welcome development that should be pursued with vigour by the country.
He, however, called for the appointment of competent personnel to manage the sector, noting that this was the only way Nigerians could benefit from the country’s abundant oil and gas resources.
Also present at the event, Professor Emeritus of Petroleum Economics, Mrs Omowunmi Iledare, said effective implementation of the PIA was pivotal to the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
She advised the government to collaborate with industry stakeholders and academia to work out modalities on how best to implement the Act.
CBN Engages Gombe Women, Youths to Deepen Financial Inclusion
Heritage Bank Introduces Octiplus all-in-one Digital Banking App
Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has enrolled about 25,000 unbanked women and youths in Gombe State as part of efforts to implement the framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The apex bank also said it was building on its account opening drive to ensure digital financial inclusion in the state.
The Director of Development Finance Department at CBN, Mr Yusuf Yika, while speaking in Deba Local Government Area of the state, stated that the drive would feature awareness creation on financial literacy as well as provide an opportunity for women and the youth in the community to take advantage of the financial products and services.
In December 2019, a pilot account opening drive was held with over 82,000 new accounts opened across six states: Bayelsa (South-South), Ebonyi (South-East), Gombe (North-East), Kano (North-West), Nasarawa (North-Central) and Ondo (South-West).
Represented by the branch manager, Gombe CBN, Mr Shehu Goringo, Mr Yika noted that the programme would be held across five local government areas including, Biliri, Kaltungo, Yemaltu- Deba, Akko, and Dukku.
Mr Yika said, “The financial inclusion drive is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and other stakeholders to improve access of unbanked Nigerians to financial services and this year, we are kicking it off this November as part of the international Financial Inclusion Week celebrated globally.
“This means that throughout this week, financial services providers will be available to help unbanked women and youth make informed decisions about product uptake including savings accounts, micro pensions, micro insurance, BVN registration and NIN registration amongst others. There will also be opportunities to learn about investment opportunities and how to sustainably grow your finances.
“The tag line for the drive; ‘Open account, Get beta Life’ and the proposed target for the number of impressions (women and youth engaged, products deployed to) is 25,000 in Gombe State.”
On her part, Mrs Sophia Abu, of the Financial Inclusion Delivery Unit of the CBN, stressed that the week was geared towards bringing financial operations closer to the people.
“We have brought them to their doorsteps, we brought them here to help these women open accounts, to register BVN for those who don’t have and to register for their National Identity Number because we know that it is one of the barriers to access finance especially for women and youth in access points,” she said
She noted that the week would highlight the importance of getting relevant details like the BVN, NIN, adding that with the inclusion of women and youth, they would be discouraged from dealing with illicit financial operators.
“Essentially, we are trying to build the savings culture because we want to ensure these people save in formal financial services that are regulated so that they don’t go through negative practices from money lenders and others.
“So, they are able to save in formally regulated institutions then it will be easy for them if there are opportunities by the federal government to access those opportunities because like we all know federal government sometimes hands out conditional cash transfers and even interventions. So, if you don’t have a BVN or bank account it will be difficult to access those opportunities,” Mrs Abu added.
Also speaking, Emir of Deba, Ahmed Usman, commended the CBN for assisting his people to be financially inclusive.
He, however, called on the women and youth to take the opportunity provided seriously, adding that “Opening bank accounts will help you conduct business transactions with your partners across the world.”
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By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A mobile application for a robust innovative and advanced digital banking experience called Octiplus has been launched by Heritage Bank Plc.
The state-of-the-art transactional and lifestyle application stands out in the industry, exposing customers to unique features which guarantee users access to relevant financial management tools which facilitate an improved spend and savings culture whilst affording users a borderless transactional experience.
A statement from the lender disclosed that the all-in-one mobile banking app was developed and configured with a wide range of exciting features to meet the needs of the banking public.
The bank-agnostic Octiplus grants users access to a bouquet of financial, lifestyle and social networking features with the added convenience of converging card-based payments within one application irrespective of the issuing Nigerian Bank.
Commenting on the launch of the digital banking app, the Divisional Head of Innovation at Heritage Bank, Mr Ikenna Imo, stated that Octiplus promises an intelligent Omni-channel experience that augments the usual transactional features including bills payment, funds transfer and airtime recharge with its unique ability to facilitate person to person/group interactions which encourage small businesses and a thriving side hustle for young professionals.
He further confirmed that the App is now available for download on the Google and iOS App Stores.
Expressing his delight over the feat achieved, the MD/CEO of the bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo said, “Heritage Bank is a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge as a service organisation in the business of banking and with the introduction of Octiplus, it is indicative that we are driven by the passion to ensure that your financial, business and lifestyle objectives are delivered in a convenient and interactive manner.”
“With Octiplus, we are set to redefine the concept of digital banking for the discerning mobile user, as the app is equipped with several exciting features that reiterate the bank’s commitment to expand its digital architecture and modernize its interactions with the banking public, irrespective of your preferred financial institution,” he added.
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By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Africa’s leading payments technology company, Flutterwave, has been chosen to drive the digital transformation efforts of Standard Bank Group, the continent’s largest bank by assets.
With this development, Flutterwave will enhance digital payments experiences for the lender’s customers in Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire and Malawi.
A statement from the bank said both parties are collaborating to build e-commerce, card issuing, payments, collections, USSD, lending, and buy-now-pay-later capabilities for millions of Africans.
The integration will help customers including individuals, SMEs, large companies and institutions to fully leverage the power of digital payments and e-commerce to grow their businesses.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed how people buy and sell across Africa – enabling a massive shift to digital payments and e-commerce.
According to Statista, digital responses were key to improving services within several sectors such as business, healthcare and education. A shift to digital payments accounted for 33 per cent of all COVID-19 responses by governments and the private sector of Sub-Saharan African countries in 2020.
Institutions, businesses and individuals continue to think of ways to reach their customers using digital channels. With this partnership, Standard Bank will provide agile tech solutions to its customers to help them grow their businesses online and offline. This partnership denotes the unique collaborative relationship that exists between banks and fintechs across Africa where the customers’ needs and satisfaction take utmost priority.
Commenting on the news, Olugbenga GB Agboola, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave said: “We are proud that Flutterwave’s white-label services power digital efforts for top banks in Africa.
“Our partnership with Standard Bank demonstrates that fintechs and banks are not competitors but trusted partners with the key focus being the customer.
“We plan to grow financial and digital inclusion through this partnership and in the long run, we expect to generate more jobs in the digital economy and enable rapid business growth across the continent.”
On his part, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr Demola Sogunle, reinforced the importance of the partnership to Stanbic IBTC’s customers.
“In its over three decades of existence, Stanbic IBTC has a rich heritage of serving customers and contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy. At Stanbic IBTC, we see Nigeria as our home and we drive her growth.
“The selection of Flutterwave as our digital transformation partner reflects our resolve to deliver real impact and opportunities to our various customers. It is also a reflection of our mission to adopt digital strategies to improve our services and processes, being an innovation-driven financial institution,” he said.
Also speaking during the announcement, Eric Fajemisin, Head, Wholesale Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank said: “One of the mandates on our evolution to a client segment-led organisation is to partner with trusted partners in our ecosystem to meet our clients’ needs.
“This partnership with Flutterwave is one that gives credence to that and enables us to connect with our clients via digital platforms further reiterating our well-earned status as their partner as they also transform within their businesses.”
Commenting on the benefits of the Flutterwave partnership to the financial institution’s customers, Olu Delano, Head, Client Coverage, Stanbic IBTC Bank, stated: “Our collaboration with Flutterwave is a testament to a renewed drive and focus on our future-ready transformation ambition.
“With our clients as the focus and centre of this partnership, we are building a platform and payment system to support our customers and their targeted ecosystem across Africa, ultimately delivering exceptional service and enhancing customer experience.”
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