In what has been termed a major move to bridge the gap in helping small businesses access much needed funding and capacity development initiatives, leading financial institution -Fidelity Bank Plc – has announced a strategic partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN).
At a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony held in Lagos recently, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said the partnership reinforces the fact that the bank is a leading supporter of SMEs in Nigeria.
“For us at Fidelity Bank, supporting SMEs is in our DNA and for more than two decades we have been creating multiple platforms to help them thrive. These include the numerous products we have pioneered for the sector, our collaboration with the Lagos Business School to host the Export Management Programme, the Fidelity SME Academy and our weekly SME Forum radio programme where we have had successful business owners and even SMEDAN share tips on running thriving ventures with listeners.”
“This partnership is therefore another step in our journey of helping entrepreneurs grow and compete favorably in any market they operate and we are very happy to have SMEDAN join us”, commented Onyeali-Ikpe who was represented by the Executive Director, Lagos and South-West, Fidelity Bank, Dr Ken Opara.
On his part, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya thanked Fidelity Bank for facilitating the partnership emphasizing that the MOU was particularly significant not just to the Agency but to the MSMEs ecosystem.
“Fidelity Bank is one of the few commercial banks in Nigeria that have shown immense interest in providing support to the large MSME community. I am very aware of some of your products purposely designed to serve the MSMEs. This explains why the Agency is very excited entering into this relationship that we believe will help change the narratives of the sub-sector”, commented Fasanya.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.
Trade minister, Uzoka-Anite launches NATEP, targets 50 Million jobs for youths
The minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite has launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) in a bid to position Nigeria as a talent export hub designed to create not less than one million jobs in the next five years.
The Minister performed the launching on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, United States of America.
In her opening remarks at the launch of the initiative at the Microsoft office in NewYork, the minister highlighted the need to ensure Nigeria takes the lead in exporting global talents that are doing well across the world which will also drive a huge investment in training and also attracting more investment in talent exportation.
According to her, the initiative is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda to diversify the Nigerian economy, create sustainability opportunities and generate about 50 million jobs for the youths over time.
“NATEP is an initiative that will serve as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to position Nigeria as a leading global hub for service export, talent sourcing and talent export.
“As part of our strategy towards achieving this, President Bola Tinubu whose agenda is job creation, we have initiated a National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) for Nigeria, which targets the creation of one million jobs across Nigeria with a target of five years in line with the theme of this year’s UNGA, which is rebuilding trust and igniting global solidarity, accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all”, the minister said.
Uzoka-Anite further informed the large gathering comprising of world leaders and other giant tech companies across the globe like; Amazon, World Economic Forum, Microsoft group, Flour Mills Nigeria, Meta, Google and a host of others, that the global talent sourcing industry is valued at $620 billion as at 2020 and industry pundit have forecasted it will be valued at about $904 billion by 2027.
“Nigeria can supply top talents for the global service export and outsourcing business. With over 1.7 million graduates from higher education institutions entering the workforce annually, this will reduce the burden of unemployment and over-dependence on the government for jobs”, she explained.
The Minister further noted that NATEP was specially created to arrest the bottleneck facing the talent and service sector export industry, which will enhance competitiveness, and innovation, and drive sustainable development growth, empowerment and training through trade and value chain exchange.
She added: “Nigeria is ready to become a global hub for talent export, as the government is ready to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) to penetrate the huge continental market and target job opportunities.
“As a country, we have a significant value proposition for regional and global markets for the export of services. We will actively target Greenfield and brownfield job opportunities in the United Kingdom, Europe, China, Canada, the United States of America and a host of other countries”.
The Minister For Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, while addressing participants at the launch disclosed that launching NATEP was timely, adding that to drive the mandate for Nigeria to be positioned as one of the global talent export hubs in Africa and the world will see Nigeria benefit more in terms of generating huge revenue, digitalization of the economy, more robust data protection opportunities and also avert the massive brain drain within the youth demography.
According to him, Nigerians in the diaspora are doing great things in the tech world, adding that it’s time for Nigeria to benefit by making more money and develop other youths to maximize their potentials.
“With a youthful population and over 1.7 million graduates from higher educational institutions joining the workforce each year, Nigeria has the potential to provide high-quality talent for the Global Service export and outsourcing industry. We must first identify them, train them and make the world see the stuff they are made of. We will not only create jobs but also empower them with the basic skills of survival and pass them on to the next generation” Dr Tijani said.
The Disappointing State of Customer Relations Among Instagram Merchants
By Otunba Deoye Otukoya
In today’s digital age Instagram has become an indispensable platform for businesses to connect with customers and promote their products or services. With the increasing popularity of Instagram stores it is essential for merchants to prioritize good customer relations. However a prevalent issue that deserves attention is the lack of professionalism and poor communication exhibited by some Instagram merchants. Many customers have reported incidents where the merchants provide their phone numbers on their timelines but fail to respond adequately or display unpleasant attitudes when contacted. This article aims to shed light on this concerning trend and the implications it has on customers and businesses alike.
1. Accessibility Matters:
One of the fundamental aspects of ensuring good customer relations is the accessibility of the merchant. By voluntarily providing their phone numbers merchants convey the impression of being available and open to customer inquiries. However the reality often falls short of this expectation. Too frequently customers are left frustrated and inconvenienced when their attempts to contact merchants go unanswered for days or are met with dismissive responses. This lack of availability undermines trust and damages the overall customer experience.
2. Unprofessional Attitudes:
Another significant concern is the unprofessional conduct and negative attitudes displayed by certain Instagram merchants when interacting with customers. The success of any business hinges on creating a positive relationship with consumers. However some merchants who put their phone numbers out for public use have been observed to have a lackadaisical approach towards customer engagements. Instances of rude behavior impatience and unhelpfulness have been reported leaving customers feeling disrespected and discouraged from engaging with that particular merchant or even shopping on Instagram altogether.
3. The Ripple Effect:
The ramifications of poor customer relations go beyond individual experiences. When customers have negative encounters with Instagram merchants they are likely to share their frustrations with friends family and online communities. Word-of-mouth plays a crucial role in shaping a merchant’s reputation and negative reviews can quickly spread damaging the business’s credibility. Consequently merchants who fail to prioritize customer relations may find themselves losing potential customers and hindering their long-term growth prospects.
4. A Call for Improvement:
To address this issue it is imperative for Instagram merchants to recognize the significance of good customer relations and take proactive steps to improve their interactions with customers. Some crucial measures include:
a. Prompt Responses: Merchants should aim to respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner ideally within 24 hours. This showcases attentiveness and professionalism fostering positive customer relationships.
b. Polite and Respectful Communication: Merchants need to maintain a respectful tone even when faced with challenging or repetitive customer inquiries. Good customer relations require patience and understanding.
c. Training and Empathy: Merchants should invest time in training their customer support staff emphasizing the importance of empathy and effective problem-solving. Understanding the customer’s perspective can go a long way in providing satisfactory resolutions.
d. Feedback and Improvements: Merchants should actively seek feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement. This feedback loop can assist in refining their customer relations strategies and forging stronger connections with their target audience.
The alarming lack of good customer relations displayed by some Instagram merchants is a disheartening trend that affects both customers and businesses. By prioritizing accessibility professionalism and respect in their interactions merchants can foster an environment of trust and loyalty. Overlooking the importance of good customer relations may lead to a decline in sales and reputation. Ultimately developing strong customer relations on Instagram will not only boost customer satisfaction but also drive growth and success for merchants in the long run.
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