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The award was bestowed on FirstBank in recognition of the Bank’s role in promoting trade and investment endeavours across the continent.With its subsidiaries across the FirstBank Group, FirstBank has continued to play a leading role in boosting cross-border businesses, including trade and investment opportunities, essential to enhancing trade relations amongst countries.In 2021, the Bank launched its First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative, specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa. First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier banking institution and leading financial inclusion services provider, has won the Financial Institution of the Year Award at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Pan African Business and Development Awards. The ceremony marked the 30th anniversary of Afreximbank as it hosted the inaugural Pan-African Business and Development Awards in association with the Business Council for Africa (BCA), in Accra, Ghana. The award bestowed on FirstBank is in recognition of the Bank as an epitome of the Pan-African spirit through its leading role in promoting trade and investment across the continent which have been instrumental to strengthening the economic and multilateral business relationship across nations. Amongst its role in facilitating transactions across borders, in 2021, the Bank launched its First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative, specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa. The FGT is not restricted to FirstBank Group’s Customers alone but it is also open to every individual resident in the country the funds transfer is originating from.   Speaking on the awards, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said: “We thank the organisers of the event (Afreximbank, BCA) for the recognition as it reinforces our commitment to promoting trade, finance and investment opportunities across borders which have been instrumental to the continued growth and development of the continent and the world. On behalf of the Board and Management, this award is dedicated to all employees at the FirstBank Group for their diligence and hardwork as well as to our esteemed customers for their loyalty and patronage in over 129 years of existence’’ he concluded. Also commenting on the awards, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board, who has been at the Bank for over 29 years said: “Tonight we are recognising outstanding leaders and institutions. Having joined the Bank in 1994, I have been fortunate to have worked with many of them… At Afreximbank, contributing to Africa’s development is a lifetime vocation, as I know it is for all those that we have recognised tonight.”In recognising these leaders and institutions, Arnold Ekpe, chair of the BCA and former Group CEO of Ecobank, said: “Too often our business leaders do not get the praise they deserve. Succeeding in business on the continent is not always easy, but it is rewarding and more importantly it is possible to build strong, profitable businesses that are globally competitive. Our winners tonight have demonstrated this.”FirstBank has consistently been recognised by reputable global organisations for its steady outstanding performance and amongst the streak of recent wins is the award for Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider Nigeria 2023 by Digital Banker Africa as well as Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa by Global Finance. About FirstBank First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for 129 years. With over 800 business locations and over 200,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 41 million customer accounts (including digital wallets) in Nigeria and over 700,000 customer accounts outside the country. The Bank has an international presence with subsidiaries operating in 9 other countries. These subsidiaries are FirstBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FirstBank in The Gambia, FirstBank Sierra-Leone, FirstBank in the Republic of Congo, FBNBank in Ghana, FBNBank in Guinea, FBNBank in Senegal as well as a Representative Office in Beijing, China. The Bank is at the forefront of promoting digital banking in the country and has issued over 12 million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 12 million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on the FirstMobile platform. It is, by far, the leader in the number of digital transactions per minute across multiple channels. FirstBank’s commitment to Diversity is shown in its policies, partnerships and initiatives, such as its employees’ ratio of female to male (about 39%:61%; and 32% women in management) as well as the FirstBank Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and increase the participation of women at all levels within the organization. In addition, the Bank’s membership of the UN Women is an affirmation of a deliberate policy that is consistent with UN Women’s Women Empowerment’s Principles – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Nondiscrimination. Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities available in Nigeria an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner. For six consecutive years (2011 – 2016), FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” eight times in a row, 2011 – 2018, by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards. Notably, in 2022, the Bank took a long stride on its growth trajectory with the Bank’s Viability and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings upgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘ (with Outlooks Stable) by Fitch, a leading global rating agency. This is an indication of the Bank’s strong internal capital generation and the corresponding recession of its risks to capitalisation. Fitch also upgraded the Bank’s National Long-Term Ratings to ‘A (nga)’ from ‘BBB (nga)’, to reflect its improved creditworthiness relative to that of other issuers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Top 100 African Bank rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine revealed FirstBank’s ranking as number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance, Profitability, Efficiency and Return on Risk. Other laudable feats in 2022 include FirstBank’s international recognitions on major indices by Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers where FirstBank was crowned: Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),Highly Regarded: in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions, Notable: in SME Banking. Also, in 2022 International Finance Magazine named the Bank “Most Innovative Banking Product in Nigeria” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria”. FirstBank was also awarded “Best Corporate Banking Western Africa, 2022” and “Best CSR Bank Western Africa, 2022’’ by Global Banking and Finance Magazine. Other notable awards in FirstBank coffers include: “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance magazine – fifteen times in a row; “Best Private Bank in Nigeria-2021” awarded by Global Finance magazine; “Best Internet Banking Nigeria” and ‘’Best CSR Bank Africa’’ by International Business Magazine. In 2023, FirstBank has received notable awards including “Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2023” by Global Finance Awards; “Best Sustainable Bank in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Bespoke Banking Services in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider in Nigeria 2023” by Digital Banker Africa; and “African Bank of the Year” by African Leadership Magazine. Our vision is ‘To be Africa’s Bank of first choice’ and our mission is ‘To remain true to our name by providing the best financial services possible. This commitment is anchored on our core values of EPIC – Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, Innovation and Customer-Centricity. Our strategic ambition is ‘To deliver accelerated growth in profitability through customer-led innovation and disciplined execution and our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence to position You First in every respect.

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Baba Adinni and Iya Adinni: Harmony Gardens Chairman and Wife Inducted into Spiritual Roles

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In a momentous occasion of spiritual significance and community recognition, the Chairman of Harmony Gardens and Estates Development LTD, Hon. Dr. Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa, popularly known as Mr. Ibile, and his wife, Hadjia Aishat Adebimpe, were recently installed with revered titles at an event hosted by the Al-Irshad Islamic Foundation.

 

Hon Saheed Mosadoluwa Ibile inaugurated a multi-billion naira ultra-modern Central Mosque at Ibeju-Lekki immidiately after he got recognized by the West Africa Islamic Council as the AL Mujaddid in Rabbat, Morocco.

 

According to popular Muslim tradition, the term refers to an individual who emerges at the turn of each century in the Islamic calendar to rejuvenate Islam, purging it of extraneous elements and restoring it to its original purity. In contemporary times, a mujaddid is regarded as the preeminent Muslim figure of a century.

 

The concept of Mujaddid is based on a hadith (a saying of Islamic prophet Muhammad), recorded by Abu Dawood, narrated by Abu Hurairah who mentioned that Muhammad said:

 

Allah will raise Mujaddid for this community at the end of every 100 years the one who will renovate its religion for it.

 

Recall that in a grand ceremony attended by distinguished personalities and spiritual leaders, Hon Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa, Chairman and CEO of Harmony Gardens and Estates Development LTD, officially commissioned and handed over a state-of-the-art central mosque in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, on Friday, January 19th, 2024.

 

The auspicious event witnessed the presence of esteemed religious leaders, including Sheik Semiu .A. Opeloyeru, The Grand Chief Imam and General President of the League of Imam and Alfa in Ibeju-Lekki L.G.A. The ceremony commenced with the arrival of Sheik Semiu .A. Opeloyeru, setting the tone for a day of spiritual significance and community celebration.

 

Representing the executive governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babajide Sanwoolu, was Hon. Ahmed Abdulai Jembe, the Special Adviser on Islamic Affairs to the governor, graced the ceremony. The Onibeju in attendance emphasizing the significance of the event in the cultural and traditional context.

 

The event saw the attendance of various traditional rulers, highlighting the communal and inclusive nature of the mosque inauguration. Notably, the newly appointed Lagos NURTW Chairman, Mustapha Sego, drew attention as his presence added an extra layer of recognition to the occasion.

 

However, the prestigious ceremony, held at Monarch Hall in Osapa London Lekki, Lagos State, saw Hon. Dr. Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa bestowed with the title of Baba Adinni, signifying a revered position within the religious community. His wife, Hadjia Aishat Adebimpe, was similarly honored as Iya Adinni, a title of great respect and responsibility.

 

The Al-Irshad Islamic Foundation, under the guidance of its founder Sheik Rasheed Adeleke, who is also the owner of Al-Irshad Travel and Tours, organized the event as a Pre-Ramadan lecture, award ceremony, and Turbaning ceremony. The atmosphere was filled with spiritual fervor and communal joy as community members gathered to witness the momentous occasion.

 

Notably, Abu Abel and other prominent figures, was also present at the event, adding to the significance of the gathering. The ceremony, held on Sunday, February 25th, 2024, brought together individuals from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the exemplary contributions of Hon. Dr. Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa and his wife to both the community and the Islamic faith.

 

The Turbaning ceremony, a traditional rite of passage within the Islamic community, symbolizes a deep connection with cultural heritage and spiritual leadership. The titles of Baba Adinni and Iya Adinni carry great responsibilities, signifying the honorees’ commitment to serving the community and upholding the values of the Islamic faith.

 

As the community celebrates this significant event, the installation of Hon. Dr. Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa and Hadjia Aishat Adebimpe as Baba Adinni and Iya Adinni reflects their exemplary leadership and commitment to the principles of Harmony Gardens and Estate Development LTD. The event serves as a beacon of unity, spirituality, and communal recognition within the Osapa London in Lekki community.

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Squad Powers OmniPay’s Trade Business to Simplify Payments for FMCG Industry

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In a strategic move aimed at furthering its mission to empower African traders with the necessary payment solutions for thriving in the digital era, Squad, a fintech subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), offering comprehensive payment and e-commerce solutions for businesses, has entered a partnership with OmniPay, a subsidiary of OmniRetail Inc.

 

This collaboration has currently benefited more than 65,000 stakeholders, which include retailers, distributors, and manufacturers through improved payment and collection methods using Squad’s Virtual Bank Account without incurring any charges. Additionally, they have gained more accessible and affordable working capital to procure goods on credit for their businesses, contributing to the daily transaction volume exceeding N3 billion, and this figure continues to grow.

 

Adeyemi Atanda, the Chief Marketing Officer, Squad, shared insights on the partnership’s significance, emphasizing, “At Squad, our mission revolves around providing African businesses with the right solutions for effortless payment processes, available at their convenience. We understand the pivotal role small businesses play in our economy. Through strategic alliances like this, we aim to empower even more merchants by granting them access to rapid, user-friendly, and dependable payment solutions that optimize their business operations and, in turn, boost their revenue.”

 

Deepankar Rustagi, CEO of OmniRetail stated, “As we join forces with Squad, we are driven by our shared vision of transforming the digital payment landscape for African businesses. With OmniPay, businesses will gain improved payment methods with zero transfer fees, while retailers and distributors will have easier access to OmniPay’s BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) solution. This partnership aims to empower businesses, streamline payment processes, and enhance record-keeping accuracy through automated reconciliation for orders. This partnership reinforces OmniRetail’s commitment to innovation and financial inclusion.”

 

About Squad

 

Squad is a complete payment solution that is reliable, secure, and affordable, making receiving in-person and online payments simple and convenient.

 

Our goal is to support SMEs, micro-merchants, large corporations, and other fintechs (Tech Stars) with the tools they need to thrive in an evolving digital economy and expand beyond their current market reach.

 

Squad’s current products and service offerings include SquadPOS, Squad Payment Links, Squad Virtual Accounts, USSD, and E-Commerce Storefront.

 

Find out more at www.squadco.com.

 

About OmniPay

 

OmniPay, a subsidiary of OmniRetail Inc., is a company with a mission to simplify payments in Nigeria and provide working capital to trade businesses. OmniPay provides an API-based wallet built to simplify trade payments.

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