Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has encouraged the budding African entrepreneurs of the Next Titan Housemates to talk to small and medium enterprise (SME) desks of banks because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has a policy for disbursing money to banks for SMEs sector.
Sekibo stated this while delivering a keynote address titled: Why African needs new breed of entrepreneurs and why is Heritage Bank championing it, at the premiere of the 5th edition of the Next Titan TV reality show in Lagos over the weekend.
The Next Titan is Nigeria’s entrepreneurial reality TV show where thousands of ambitious young entrepreneurs across the country compete with one another for a grand prize of N5 million and a brand new car to start his or her dream business.
He, however challenged the budding entrepreneurs to stir up their entrepreneurship DNAs in a bid to allow innate ideas to flow and blossom.
According to Sekibo, the entrepreneur is not the risk taker but the person who relentlessly pursue opportunities without recklessness, without regard to not having money, house or car or any strong financial support from family members, remarking that in most cases, he is the one that drops out at of school.
He said during the pre-colonial era in Africa, Africans, (our fore fathers) who were the entrepreneurs of those days in places like Lagos Island and Badagry were engaged in fishing and farming as well as trade across the west coast among themselves under an organised system.
The bank’s boss said during the colonial period, (our fathers) were affected by the culture and traditions of the colonialists a development which affected their psyche, thereby making what is foreign to be more important than what is local.
Sekibo said western tradition became the order of the day as Africans moved away from entrepreneurship to white collar jobs to earn monthly income and the word job came into play, adding that work was no longer defined as the work of a tough man or woman on the farmland but depended on how much of the colonial language one understand.
In order to reverse the trend, Sekibo contended that budding African entrepreneurs should relive the DNAs that their forefathers left for them by uncapping them so that their innate ideas could flow and blossom.
He said Africans burn with ideas but they needed to mine them so that they could blossom, remarking that they need to have mentors that will enable them to achieve their goals.
The Chief Executive also said money is very critical to entrepreneurship and they had to be bold and courageous to get it, adding that there is a spirit behind getting money which is largely influenced by character and integrity. He enjoined them to collaborate to bring down the cost of money.
Sekibo enjoined them to be bold and should not be afraid to fail because failing is not a failure and should not give up because they had failed.
Also speaking, Mr. Folusho Philips, Managing Director of Philips Consulting also listed some factors for successful entrepreneurship. They are competence, character and behaviour, study and steadiness as well as compliant and chemistry of the prospective entrepreneur.
Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi, Permanent Secretary to the office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State noted that entrepreneurship was part of key programmes of the current administration. She encouraged them to be bold and resilient and be prepared to face challenges and also informed them about state’s Ministry of Wealth Creation and the Lagos State Trust Fund (LSSTF).
Mr. Babarinde Abiona, General Manager (Marketing) with Coscharis Motors tasked them to believe in themselves and be focused, adding that Coscharis, a major dealer of Ford Motors in the country will give a brand new Ford Focus to the winner.
One of the boardroom judges, Chris Parkes commended Heritage Bank for investing in the project and noted that judges would be very critical of their ideas because they want ideas that could add value to the country’s economy.
About 60 finalists were unveiled at the premiere out of more than 2,000 contestants that were screened at various auditions in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Abuja and Lagos, however only 16 made it to the house while Heritage Bank used a wild card to add two more contestants: Kalu Sylvester and Ugochi Ogadi to bring the number to 18.
GTBank Releases Q1 Unaudited Results, Reports Profit Before Tax Of N57.0Billion
Zenith Bank Plc Sustains Market Dominance with Improved Profitability
In the first quarter ended 31 March 2019, Zenith Bank Group recorded improved numbers across key metrics, driven by a solid performance in all business segments. This resulted in a Profit before Tax (PBT) of ₦57 billion, representing a 6% growth over the ₦54 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2018. The Group’s on-going commitment to cost optimisation on the income statement and statement of financial position ensured earnings per share increased by 7% to ₦1.60 compared to Q1 2018.
The growth in net interest income and operating income by 23% and 1% respectively mitigated the decline in gross earnings. The effective management of cost-to-income ratio, cost of funds and cost of risk offset top-line declines to deliver an enhanced operating income in the period.
Our risk and asset quality continues to improve as cost of risk dropped significantly by 52% from 0.9% in the prior year to 0.4% for the period. This was achieved as impairment charges declined by 54% (₦2.5 billion year on year reduction). Our cost of funds also improved, declining by 25% from 4% in Q1 2018 to 3% at quarter-end. This was supported by a 22% decrease in interest expense of ₦10 billion over the same period, affirming the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management. Our prudent cost management led to a 5% decline in our cost-to-income ratio by 5% from 53.3% in 2018 to 50.9% in the period with an absolute reduction in operating expenses by ₦2.3 billion year-on-year.
The Group’s retail franchise continues to increase as retail deposits grew by N80bn between December 2018 and March 2019 representing a 9% growth notwithstanding the fact that total customer deposits dropped marginally by 3%. The drop in customer deposits was as a result of rebalancing of the deposit mix as expensive purchased deposits were forgone in favour of cheaper and stickier retail deposits.
The volume and value of transactions across our electronic and digital platforms continue to grow as new customers are being acquired. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen as liquidity ratio is at 66.7%, loan to deposit ratio closed at 43%, and capital adequacy ratio ended the period at 25% respectively and remain above the relevant regulatory thresholds as at 31 March 2019.
Going into the rest of the year and with improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of delivering value to all our stakeholders on our commitments even as we create more opportunities for businesses by supporting them through selective risk asset creation. We shall continue our investments in the retail segment of the market as we consolidate our leadership position in the corporate segment while maintaining a strong balance sheet.
A Woman’s Signature goes on Naira for the first time in 59 years
Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has broken history, as a woman’s signature first time in Nigeria’s 59-year history, is inscribed on the Naira.
Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, who has been acting director of currency and operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been confirmed, substantive director of the apex bank.
She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature has been appended on the naira — breaking another glass ceiling.
Ladi Kwali, Nigeria’s foremost potter, is the only woman on the naira, taking a spot at the back of the N20 note.
Every naira note in the country’s history — save the N20 note — has had the face, name, and signature of a man, up until now.
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