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COVID-19 is expected to have a far-reaching and deep impact on our economy. With only a few establishments unaffected by the COVID-19 crisis, almost all businesses are scrambling to respond to the changing environment. All major sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and services have been adversely affected.
In the wake of the lockdown that followed the threatening sporadic spread, commercial bank customers lament over unsatisfactory digital service varying from the failed transaction, double debit, unsolicited bank charges, ATM irregularity charge amongst others.
Amidst the tension faced by the banks at the first ease of lockdown, when banks were partially allowed to work, Access Bank stood out in terms of effective customer service delivery and operational structure.
Access Bank saw the possibility of a fundamental shift in customer behavior, and predicted a possible decrease in the physical branch visits with an immediate increase in online transactions, peer to peer payments, wallet usages, etc.
Access Bank stepped up her game and converted more of these experiences into positive stories for long-term digital adoption.
A major part of retail banking services including deposits, credits, payments, etc. is part of what governments refer to as ‘essential services’, so banks had to continue these services to minimize the adverse effects on people. However, managing all these at a much-reduced employee count can be challenging. Access Bank tackles these challenges by embracing digital banking.

According to National Association of Independent Online Media Publishers (NAIOMP) findings, the Bank took some proactive Strategies for Digital Marketers in Retail Banks.
Access Bank kept all their digital channels open and proactively update their customers much before they feel the need to reach out for help, especially during the time of crisis. It is commendable that despite the lockdown, Access Bank persist to give out soft loans to their customers.
Access bank also took its management to inform their customers about the safety-related precautions such as:
-Hygiene steps are taken to sanitize the branches, ATMs, currency notes, special training to banking correspondents, etc
-Employee-hygiene measures like daily temperature check, usage of sanitizers and protective equipment
-Steps that need to be taken for customers who have no other option than visiting the branch—appointments, maintaining distances in queues, etc
-Special provisions for the old and vulnerable sections
-Possibilities of COVID-related phishing emails, unauthorized KYC requests, etc.

A visit to 15 branches of Access Bank in Alimosho, Ikeja reveals that safety measures start from the entrance. Some of the branches were open only for ATM withdrawals while some were opened to attend to customers across the counter.
The branches opened for ATM clearly made boxes on the floor of the premise, with about 6 m spaces away from every customer.
Access Bank proactively updates its customers about steps taken at the branch level through digital channels. Emphasis was given to drive more visits to digital channels than branches and ATMs.
Like Access Bank, retail banks being one of the main touchpoints and key essential services for millions of people in Nigeria, need to rise above the crisis. Digital banking serves as the best bet for banks to navigate the crisis. Banks need to be more creative with digital services more than ever. Don’t forget that the world will go back to normal one day. Until then, we need to stay digital and stay safe.
We congratulate Access Bank for their delivery.

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NDLEA Recovers N8bn Tramadol In Lagos




The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has busted a mansion in the Lekki area of Lagos State where Tramadol was stored.


NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Monday, said the pills recovered from the mansion were no less than 13,451,466 and worth N8.8bn in street value.


He said the mansion belonged to a billionaire drug baron, *Ugochukwu* *Nsofor* *Chukwukadibia* , who was now in custody.

The statement read in part, “The arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered at least 258.7kg of crystal methamphetamine in a clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested alongside a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him, on September 30.


Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day

“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agency’s watchlist as one of those behind the Tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.


“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the Tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.


“Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet proof jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility.


“Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

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Dangote Cement Allegedly ForgedTax Receipt To Deceive Kogi Getovernment 



The Kogi State Government through its agency Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) has accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt.


The acting Chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe, disclosed this during the ongoing investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly ad hoc Committee on revenue at the Assembly Complex in Lokoja.


Enehe was responding to the claim by the committee that the company had paid over 14 billion tax to the Agency between 2016 till date.


According to the state revenue boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.


He said despite the billions of naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.


Enehe said instead of doing the needful, the Dangote company approached the court to stale payment of taxes that are legally passed by the state assembly and assented to by the governor.


He noted that the lack of tax payment has slowed down the development of the state.


Also speaking, the Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Olofu, said Dangote company has refused to pay for business premises in the last two years.


Olusegun Ogunbanjo, the Head of Accounts of the Company told the committee that the company had paid N14billion tax from 2016 till date.

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