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Heritage Bank, LASG Shows Commitment To Sport Development



Heritage Bank plc has reiterated its commitment to promoting sports in Nigeria, in partnership with Lagos State Government to back the 3rd Edition of the annual Lagos Value Jet Para Table Tennis championship.

The three-day para table tennis championship hosted 45 table tennis games, which held in the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos.

L-R: Alanamu Mustapha. Bronze Medal winner of N25K prize; Osagiede Thomas, Bronze Medal N25K; Ozena Utulu, the Ag Group Head, Corporate Communications; Oshinowo Gbenga, Gold Medal N100K and Akintewe Tolulope, Silver Medal N70K, during the prize presentation of winners at the just concluded 2021 ValueJet Para Table Tennis Open, held in Lagos.

Speaking to the media during the games, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank stated that the bank’s commitment to sports and its partnership with Lagos ValueJet Para Table Tennis resonates from the institution’s brand passion to support sports, especially for the physically challenged that would help in wellbeing, health and by extension nation building.

According to him, Heritage Bank believes in development and having the tenacity to develop Nigerians both young and old, whilst encouraging the physically challenged especially the participants of the para table tennis that this game is capable of helping them to keep healthy and fit.

He commended the Para–division of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Sunday Odebode’s Para Table Tennis Foundation for organizing the competition as well as the Lagos State Government for playing a leading role in the development of sports in the country.

Sekibo who was represented by Ozena Utulu, the Ag Group Head, Corporate Communications also recalled the support it received from the Lagos State government when it organised the Skoolimpics, its signature sporting event with more than 6,000 students from over 600 public and private secondary schools from the six educational districts of Lagos Sate in attendance at the three-day sporting fiesta held in 2017.

Dr. Grace Igbokwe (Representative of 1st lady of Lagos State); Ozena Utulu, Ag, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank Plc and Hon. Durosimi Eti, Chairman Para Athletics Association Lagos State, at the just concluded 2021 ValueJet Para Table Tennis Open, held in Lagos.

According to him, Skoolimpics is an idea conceived to bring into being a national sports festival for young people in secondary schools aimed at helping the country discover young talents who will re-ignite the spirit of excellence in competitive and recreational sports.

“The idea was intended to be a holistic development of young people in order to foster their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. It is a well-known fact that physical education and sports help in character and community building, delinquency reduction, community safety, economic and social development,” Sekibo stated.

In similar manner, First Lady of Lagos State, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu reiterated the government’s commitment to continually put measures in place to play-up the welfare, wellbeing and interests of the physically challenged.

Sanwo-Olu represented by Grace Igbokwe advised the participants to continue investing the right energy and zeal into training, whilst cautioning them to take their education even more seriously and equally draw inspiration from great Table Tennis players who are making waves nationally and internationally.

Coordinator of the tournament, Sunday Odebode, said fans would witness the emergence of new stars in the kind of Christian Ikpoyi, who is rated number 10 in the world, to replace the ageing Nigerian players.


Sterling Bank Revolutionizes Credential Verification for SPPG with Blockchain




Sterling Bank, a leading financial institution committed to driving innovation and progress, has partnered with the School of Politics, Policy, and Governance (SPPG) to revolutionize credential verification through blockchain technology.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in enhancing the efficiency, security, and accessibility of academic credentials in Nigeria.

Acknowledging the pressing need for an effective solution, Sterling Bank has taken the initiative to back the implementation of VX Technologies’ innovative blockchain-based digital certification program. This initiative arose from the necessity for a transformative solution to address the difficulties faced by SPPG in managing and verifying academic credentials through paper-based systems.

“We are thrilled to partner with VX Technologies and SPPG to introduce this game-changing initiative,” said Obinna Ukachukwu, Chief Growth Officer Sterling Bank. “We believe in the power of innovation to drive progress and transform lives at Sterling Bank. By supporting the adoption of blockchain technology in education, we are not only revolutionizing credential verification but also advancing our H.E.A.R.T strategy for Education, which prioritizes Access and Equity.”

Sterling Bank’s investment in this pioneering project underscores its commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change in Nigeria’s education sector. By leveraging blockchain technology, graduates from SPPG will now have access to secure, tamper-proof digital certificates, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of their academic achievements.

As VX Technologies maintains its leadership position in integrating blockchain technology across diverse sectors, their collaboration with SPPG and Sterling Bank underscores the significant impact of blockchain technology on education and beyond.

“We are pleased to acknowledge the impactful generosity of Sterling Bank, who has provided the funding necessary for the initial phase of this project. “ said Ryan Hawkos, Director of Operations, VX Technologies. “This support ensures that thousands of SPPG alumni can access their digital certificates, with the first one thousand certificates being provided at no cost.”

As Nigeria’s education landscape continues to evolve in the digital age, Sterling Bank remains committed to driving innovation and empowering the next generation of leaders. Through strategic partnerships and groundbreaking initiatives like the blockchain-based digital certification project, Sterling Bank is leading the charge towards a future where access to education is seamless, secure, and equitable.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of SPPG, Alero Ayida-Otobo, “Sterling Bank’s commitment to quality and positive educational experiences for people is yet again demonstrated here in their commitment to supporting the adoption of innovative technology across the educational ecosystem.”
“We are one of the first institutions in Nigeria to embrace blockchain for academic credential management, and we look forward to a near future where this is the norm across Nigeria,” he added.

Renowned for its now famous HEART of Sterling strategy; which focuses investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation; its irreverent brand voice and enviable talent management practices, Sterling has been awarded the Most Innovative Bank of The Year for by BusinessDay, been named the Overall Best Place To Work In Nigeria by the Great Place To Work Institute, and has featured on the prestigious top 100 fastest growing companies in Africa, as published by the globally recognized Financial Times, all in 2023.


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Fitch Upgrades Fidelity Bank’s Rating to ‘Positive’




Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on Fidelity Bank PLC’s LongTerm Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Positive from Stable, while affirming the rating at ‘B-‘.

The credit rating agency has also affirmed Fidelity Bank’s National Long-Term Rating at ‘A(nga)’ with a Stable Outlook.

In a statement released on Friday, Fitch said that the outlook revision reflects its, “expectations that the bank’s capitalisation will strengthen in the near term as a result of core capital issuances, including to meet the new paid-in capital requirement of N500 billion for banks with an international licence effective by end-1Q26.”

According to the statement: “Fidelity’s IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b-‘. The VR balances the concentration of operations in Nigeria’s challenging operating environment, very high credit concentration and high Stage 2 loans against a growing franchise, sound profitability metrics, good capital buffers and reasonable foreign-currency (FC) liquidity coverage.

“Fidelity’s National Ratings are driven by its standalone creditworthiness. They balance a growing franchise and good capital buffers against weaker profitability than higher rated peers.”

The rating agency said that Fidelity is Nigeria’s sixth-largest bank, as it accounted for 5% of domestic banking system assets at end-2023, adding that strong balance-sheet growth in recent years has increased bank’s market shares and that it expects these to increase further but remain below those of the five largest banking groups.

On factors that could lead to negative rating action/downgrade, the agency said: “A sovereign downgrade could result in a downgrade of Fidelity’s VR and Long-Term IDR if Fitch believes that the direct and indirect effects of a sovereign default would be likely to have a sufficiently large effect on capitalisation and foreign-currency liquidity to undermine the bank’s viability. However, this is unlikely considering the Positive Outlook on Nigeria’s Long-Term IDRs.”

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Alternative Bank, Niger State Gov’t To Set Record With Africa’s Single Largest EV Fleet




In a landmark deal, Nigeria’s largest ethical banking institution, The Alternative Bank have signed a pioneering deal, valued at over N 14 billion, with the Niger state government to finance the delivery of 5000 electric tricycles to drive social impact, youth empowerment, business growth, and economic prosperity in the Power State.

The landmark deal will see the Niger State government, through its ministries of Transportation, Youth, Women Affairs, and Small and Medium Enterprises, procure the tricycles for the programme,
lease them to beneficiaries, establish an assembly and maintenance plant, and train resident youths of the state as mechanics to service the tricycles. With the charging and battery swap stations for the electric tricycles to be installed at strategic locations such as schools, hospitals and markets across major towns in the state.

The Executive Governor of Niger State, His Excellency, Governor Mohammed Umar Bago, commented by saying that this deal is one step towards the upliftment of the state towards realizing its full economic potential and making Niger a “green” state.

Governor Bago said the choice of the Alternative Bank as the partner for this project is due to its innovative approach towards wealth creation, with the bank taking a joint-investor and partner-inprogress approach to financing projects, as opposed to the traditional commercial model of being just a lender.

Speaking at the deal-signing ceremony, Alhaji Garba Mohammed, Executive Director at The Alternative Bank, said that “This project, as conceived, will provide solutions to aid the economic involvement of the women, youth and small businesses by generating commercial value for the people and the government, safeguarding the environment through the use of renewable and sustainable energy sources as a driver of transportation with the great state of Niger.”

He continued by saying that “This will be the single largest delivery of electric vehicles across the country, and on the African continent.” He concluded by stating that “Unlike vehicles powered by internal combustible engines consuming petrol, compressed natural gas and other fossil fuels, these 5000 tricycles will contribute to the reduction of pollution in Niger State, aligning perfectly with The Alternative Bank’s commitment to wealth creation, social growth, and environmental responsibility.”

This deal comes in swiftly on the heels of the Alternative Bank’s recent delivery of 120 electric tricycles to the Mata Zalla and Yar Baiwa cooperatives in Kano State. The details of the project’s delivery saw the bank deliver tricycles to the women of the cooperatives, train them on servicing and maintenance of the vehicles, as well as create a battery swapping terminal within the Kano metropolis for easy recharging of the tricycles for continued operation.

The outcomes of the recently launched program include economic inclusion and independence for the women, increased transportation options for residents of the metropolis, reduced transportation costs within the vicinity due to the energy cost efficiency of the electric powered, improved security and safety for women commuters within the region, and a considerable net positive environmental impact due to the renewable energy powered nature of the tricycles.


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