Heritage Bank led by Akinola George-Taylor, one of Nigeria’s lending establishments is once more engulfed in the web of severe crisis shaking it to its very roots.
Fresh information from informed sources at the bank indicates that Heritage Bank appears to have seen better days .Among the catalogue of issues currently hanging around the lender’s neck as the proverbial hangman’s noose includes, a serious boardroom crisis which has seen the edging out of allies of its former Managing Director and Chief Executive, Ifie Sekibo from the board of the moribund bank.
Further investigations by this medium revealed that apart from the issues of “Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and the Liquidity Ratio (LR), the commercial bank is also grappling with many other crises that tend to threaten its survival. One of them is its poor services which are staring its customers in the face. Already, most of the bank’s branches are awash with complaints of unsatisfied customers whose singsong is their plans to close their accounts due to the long hours they experience to get services from Heritage Bank staff.
There are also strong indications that the lender which is currently on life support is only an inch away from the hammer of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a take over from AMCON.
You would recall that, months ago, a banking legend and boardroom guru who was the founder of the bank bowed out upon the expiration of his tenure in line with the directive outlined by the apex bank,CBN.
This medium gathered that since his exit, things have reportedly further degenerated on the watch of the new helmsman, Akinola George-Taylor.
Even though George Taylor is faced with the huge challenge of reviving the fortunes of the ailing bank and drive growth, sources say he has instead, allegedly, instigated multiple internal crisis, in an attempt to rid the bank of those suspected to be loyalists of Sekibo and employ his own people according to an account by a reliable source in the bank.
“Some key members of the board, connived with the MD (George-Taylor) to sideline others who are considered to be loyal to Ifie and as for other members of staff who are in the same category, they have been sacked with immediate effect and that includes, Rilwan Dabiri, head of IT department in the bank and over 70 others”, the source concluded.
On the other hand, another source who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity said, “Although many have been sacked from the Bank, most of them have been indicted in one fraud or the other, thus their sacking by the new management is justified”. The source further stated that only a few who were hit by the mass sacking are victims of circumstance.
It was gathered that Rilwan Dabiri upon exit handed over the IT department to his successor who is simply identified as Akin. Since resuming his new position as head of IT, Akin had allegedly been engaging in serious insider fraud which includes unauthorized transfer of funds from the bank’s coffers into private bank accounts which he secretly operates without the knowledge of his employers.
According to the bank’s structure, only the head of IT has sole access and operates the Finacle Financial Solution platform which is solely used for online transfer of funds in the bank For this reason, Akin who has unfettered access to the platform seized the opportunity to initiate multiple transfers of about N49 billion into six accounts domiciled in six commercial banks in Nigeria.
Upon further interrogation, he was only able to drop one of the six accounts before disappearing and switching off his phones.
It remains to be seen how the new leadership of Heritage Bank Plc under the watch of Akinola George-Taylor intends to steer the lender off troubled waters, but key indicators suggest that things are not good.
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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