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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has urged small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria to digitise their products and services to drive business efficiency.

 

The call was made during the 2022 Enterprise Banking webinar organised by Stanbic IBTC, Themed ‘Your Business, Our Business: Accelerating Business Growth’, the webinar featured seasoned experts such as Muyiwa Oni, Head, Research, Stanbic IBTC Bank; Remilekun Ishola, Team Lead, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC; Philip Egbetho, Solutions Manager, inq. Digital Nigeria; Ayodele Ojosipe, Head, Enterprise Business Development, Stanbic IBTC; and Steve Harris, Business Strategist.

 

Speaking on the need for SMEs to digitise products and services, Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, stated that the integration of digital technology into businesses would help SMEs achieve greater business efficiency.

 

He said: “The position of SMEs in the society has been identified as one of the most important catalysts in a nation’s development. In fact, it is the major propeller of development of any nation. A country that needs fast and rapid development should not neglect the crucial role of small-scale industries. However, to attain optimal business efficiency, digitisation of the products and services SMEs provide must be adopted immediately, across all enterprise business sectors.”

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Highlighting the economic overview of the nation, Muyiwa Oni, Head, Research, Stanbic IBTC Bank noted that although Nigeria’s gross domestic product is gradually recovering, 2022, in its third month, comes with heightened political activities, increase in cash flow systems and some uncertainties due to the forthcoming 2023 elections, which is a pattern with electioneering in Nigeria. He advised SMEs to switch to digital platforms to conduct their businesses, and to look for innovative ways to serve their own customers.

 

Steve Harris, Business Strategist, stated that for small and medium sized enterprises to experience growth, there must be an emphasis on branding and packaging to effectively market their products and services. He also mentioned branding strategies for businesses to apply to accelerate their growth alongside worst strategies that businesses should avoid in 2022.

 

Addressing the issue of business growth, Remilekun Ishola, Team Lead, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC, said “One of our key objectives in the Business and Commercial Clients Division at Stanbic IBTC is to actively help businesses with financial solutions and funding that will accelerate their business and expand their capital base. We provide smart loans, SME advances, EZ loans and other credit facilities to augment the working capital of entrepreneurs, who need instant funding to meet up their day-to-day short-term obligations or commercial needs.”

 

Philip Egbetho, Solutions Manager, inq. Digital Nigeria, advocated for more businesses to digitise their products and services for better returns on investment.

 

According to him, “With a click on a computer or tablet, you can order food, purchase items online, buy gadgets, etc. Nowadays, drycleaners even have websites to advertise their services, and many SMEs have POS machines at their shops and stores. No need to go physically to a store to purchase items. This is because Nigeria is gradually transitioning from a traditional position to a modern viewpoint on conducting business activities, a shift to a digital economy. However, the pace at which this transition is taking place is slow, hindered by several impediments. If more SMEs were to digitise their products, more profit will be made and these businesses will be more efficient.”

 

Babatunde Akindele, Head Commercial Client Coverage, Stanbic IBTC Bank, while giving the closing remark, urged all SMEs to embrace digitisation, as that is the future of business.

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NDLEA Recovers N8bn Tramadol In Lagos

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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 

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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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