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FirstBank and Azuri Partner To Bring Solar To Millions, Deepen Financial Inclusion In Nigeria

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology, today announced a unique partnership that will help deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria while bringing affordable, reliable and clean power to millions of Nigerians.

Under the partnership, Azuri’s solar home TV product will be co-branded and co-marketed by FirstBank and Azuri. Pay-as-you-go customers will be able to pay for their solar via FirstBank’s Firstmonie agent network and mobile payment solution. Firstmonie agents are positioned within rural and semi-urban locations across the country and provide basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals and bill payments.

More than 60 million of Nigeria’s roughly 200 million people do not have bank accounts and as little as 6% of people have a mobile money account. (World Bank figures 2018).

Speaking on the partnership, Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth and FirstBank CEO Adesola Adeduntan stated the partnership was a positive step in providing much needed energy and enabling access to financial services in rural, low-income areas.

“This partnership combines the reach of FirstBank with Azuri’s technology and pay-as-you-go solar expertise to bring next generation power to off-grid consumers in Nigeria” said Azuri CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth.

“Azuri and FirstBank share the vision of a level playing field where all consumers have the ability to benefit from modern financial and digital services, regardless of where they live and this agreement is another step in making that vision a reality.”

According to FirstBank CEO, Adesola Adeduntan, “Financial inclusion is a priority with FirstBank and we are excited that with this partnership, our customers are able to access a wide range of services that address real problems such as access to power. With our over 16,000 Firstmonie Agents spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria, our customers are at an advantage in enjoying seamless financial services from the Bank that puts them first.”

From solar home lighting to solar satellite TV, Azuri systems are designed to deliver world class performance at an affordable price for all customers that experience irregular power supply. Customers make small weekly or monthly payments to unlock their system and power.

Pay-as-you-go solar is transforming lives by providing energy for lighting, phones and TVs while helping boost local economies with new employment opportunities and connecting off-grid households to financial and digital services that are helping improve productivity and increase income. 

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GTBank Releases Q1 2019 Unaudited Results…Reports Profit before Tax of N57.0Billion

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its unaudited Financial Results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.

The Bank recorded positive performance across all financial metrics with gross earnings for the period growing by 1.2% to ?110.3billion from ?109.0billion posted in March 2018. Profit before tax improved to ?57.0billion from ?52.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of March 2018, representing a growth of 8.3%. Customers’ deposits also rose by 6.0% to ?2.410trillion in March 2019 from ?2.274trillion in December 2018, whilst the Bank’s Loan book grew by 1.6% from ?1.262trillion as at December 2018 to ?1.282trillion in March 2019.

Balance sheet remained strong with the Bank closing the quarter ended March 31, 2019 with Total Assets of ?3.556trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ?627.2Billion. In terms of Assets quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk closed 7.03% and 0.05% in March 2019 from 7.30% and 0.34% in December 2018 respectively. In addition, coverage for NPL stood at 90.12% while Full Impact Capital adequacy ratio remained very strong, closing at 22.25%. On the backdrop of this result, Post Tax Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) closed at 32.79% and 5.76% respectively. These indices are pointer to GTBank’s strategic positioning in Nigeria and other Countries where the Group operates.

Commenting on the first quarter results, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “Going into 2019, we knew that it would be a challenging year, but our strategy and unwavering focus on delivering value for our customers and shareholders continues to underpin our ability to consistently deliver solid results despite changing market variables. We carried on the momentum of the previous year, posting strong growth in earnings, effectively managing costs and leveraging our digital-first customer-centric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible.”

He further stated that; “Whilst ensuring the long-term growth of our business is the greatest value that we can create for our communities, we are also leveraging our resources, expertise and network to help people thrive. That’s why, from April 28 to May 1, 2019, we are organizing the biggest food and drink festival in Africa to give small businesses in the food industry the platform, network and access to the markets that they need to grow.”

GTBank has continued to be best in class in terms of Profitability, Efficiency and Capital among Peers and other Financial Institutions in Nigeria. This is evidenced by its Earnings per Share of ?1.74, Return on Equity (ROAE) of 32.79%, Cost to Income Ratio of 38.64% and Capital Adequacy of 22.25%. These metrics are a testament to the efficient management of the Bank. In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. Some of the Bank’s recent awards include 2018 Bank of the Year – Nigeria from the Banker Magazine and 2018 Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria from World Finance Magazine. 

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More Culinary Experts Announced for the GTBank Food and Drink Festival Masterclass

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An A-list Food blogger and a Burger King from London, a Sushi Ace from Japan and a Food connoisseur from Ghana –The recently announced line-up for The GTBank Food and Drink Festival Masterclass, is not only culinary diverse, it also cuts across three continents!
 
More facilitators will be announced as the countdown to the Biggest food exhibition and sales event in Africa continues.

The fourth edition of the GTBank Food and Drink Festival is set to hold on Sunday, 28th April, to Wednesday 1st May 2019 at the GTCentre, Plot 1, Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos.


Chef Shota Nakajima
 
Chef Shota Nakajima is the owner and chef of Adana, a Japanese restaurant located in Seattle, Washington DC.

Popular for infusing specificity and nuance in his cooking, Chef Shota began his career as a teenager cooking in Seattle-based Japanese restaurants.  At age 18, he moved to Japan where he attended one of the country’s most prestigious schools, Tsuji Culinary Arts School. After his graduation, Chef Shota worked for the Michelin Star Chef, Yasuhiko Sakamoto.

In 2014, Chef Shota returned to Seattle and opened his first catering business, called Kappo Kitchen. The restaurant enjoyed success at its first year, winning the Seattle round of the World Washoku Challenge. In 2017, he was selected as a contestant on the Food Network’s Iron Chef Gauntlet and emerged as a finalist for the James Beard Award.

Chef Shota will be at the GTBank Food and Drink Festival to demonstrate the Art of Sushi Making.
 

More Culinary Experts Announced for the GTBank Food and Drink Festival Masterclass

Kinorah Awini

Kinorah Awini, is a Ghanaian-based African food connoisseur, food blogger and founder of Telande World, a culinary company which means “Eat with Me”.

Kinorah’s belief in effective presentation of African cuisine and ingredients across borders led her to open Telande World, a culinary company and a community for food lovers. The recipes hosted on Telande, which perfectly mirrors this vision, are made with brevity in mind and are highly experimental for easy practice at home by food lovers.

Kinorah will be at the GTBank Food and Drink Festival on Tuesday, to speak on Creating Evergreen Content for Food.Chris Fynes and Tom Reaney.

More Culinary Experts Announced for the GTBank Food and Drink Festival Masterclass

Chri Fynes and Tom Reaney

Chri Fynes and Tom Reaney, beyond being close friends, are two of the fast-rising names in the United Kingdom’s culinary scene.
 
Chris, a food blogger, photographer and videographer has one of the most popular food blogs in London -We The Food Snobs, which has been named in the London Evening Standard’s Top 20 blogs. His love of food started in his hometown of West England and has led him on an international adventure of food discovery.  Through food, Chris has merged into the travel industry, working with major brands, such as CNN Travel, Samsung, Sony and BMW.
 
Tom, also known as Burger Bear, is one of London’s most popular street food chefs, and the Owner of Burger Bear, home to one of the city’s best tasting burgers. Since its opening in 2012, Burger Bear has enjoyed huge success, making it to the list of London’s Top 10 Best Burgers and solidifying its place as London’s favourite street food mainstays.  Tom is also the owner of three other London-based restaurants: Stokey Bears, The Magic Roundabout, and Burger Bear Bristol.
 
Chris Fynes and Tom Reaney will be at the GTBank Food and Drink Festival to discuss Blogging and Burgers: From Street Food to Global Cuisines


To register for their Masterclass, Click here

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Zenith Bank appoints Ebenezer Onyeagwu GMD/CEO

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Zenith Bank Plc. has announced the appointment of Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu as the Group Managing Director/CEO of the bank effective June 1, 2019, subject to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approval.

The appointment is consistent with the bank’s tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Onyeagwu replaces Mr. Peter Amangbo, whose tenure expires on May 31, 2019. Mr Amangbo leaves the bank at the end of a very successful career spanning over 27 years, with the last five years as GMD/CEO.

Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu is a vastly experienced banker and financial expert, trained in reputable institutions of learning in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and United States of America.

Mr. Onyeagwu is a graduate of Accounting from Auchi Polytechnic where he obtained the Ordinary National diploma in 1984 and Higher National Diploma in 1987. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1989 while he was still undergoing the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) post graduation and was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) in 2003.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Oxford, England, from where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy, and certificate in Macroeconomics. He also undertook extensive executive level business education in Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, the Harvard Business School of Harvard University (all in the United States) and Lagos Business School of the Pan African University, Nigeria.

He has nearly 30 years’ experience in the banking industry in Nigeria. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank. His professionalism, competence, integrity and commitment to the set objectives of the bank saw him rise swiftly between 2003 and 2005, first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank. In these capacities, he handled strategies for new business and branch development, management of risk assets portfolios, treasury functions, strategic top level corporate, multinationals and public institutional relationships, among others.

As Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Onyeagwu has oversight over the bank’s Financial Control and Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Retail Banking, Institutional and Corporate banking business portfolios, IT Group, Credit Administration, Treasury and Foreign Exchange Trading, as well as general administration of the bank, among others.

He was named Executive Director of the bank in 2013, and put in charge of Lagos and South-South Zones as well as strategic groups/business units of the bank including Financial Control & Strategic Planning, Treasury and Correspondent Groups, Human Resources Group, Oil and Gas Group, and Credit Risk Management Group, etc. He was named Deputy Managing Director of the bank in 2016.

Mr. Onyeagwu has been on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Nominees Limited and African Finance Corporation (AFC) within the last six years. In AFC, he serves on the Board Risk & Investment Committee (BRIC) and Board Audit & Compliance Committee (BAAC). At Zenith Bank Ghana, he chairs the Board Credit and Governance Committees.

He brings to his job strategic thinking, inspirational leadership, energetic and entrepreneurial skills. He is married with children.

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