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Sterling Bank Opens Vault To N5bn SMEDAN Fund With Databanc

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Sterling Bank Opens Vault To N5bn SMEDAN Fund With Databanc

 

Lagos, Nigeria, June 20, 2024 – One of Nigeria’s leading full-fledged commercial bank, Sterling Bank, and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), have launched a groundbreaking platform called Databanc.

The platform will serve as a single source of truth for data on businesses in Nigeria to guide personalized interventions and support from decision makers who serve the MSME ecosystem.

The platform will provide insights which will be utilized by SMEDAN to deliver its mandate on policy formulation, delivery of intervention programmes and other initiatives, including financing, that will support the growth of small businesses in Nigeria.

 

Photo caption:
L-R: Head, SME Products, Sterling Bank, Ms. Bolanle Tyson; DH Retail SME, Sterling Bank, Edward Ogunmekan; Director General and Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, Charles Odii; Chief Product Officer, Sterling Bank, Mustapha Otaru and Lagos State Office, SMEDAN, Dr. Bunmi Kole-Dawodu, at the Sterling and SMEDAN Unveiling Databanc in Lagos recently.

 

 

This platform will also provide unique identification for small businesses and their promoters as well as their business areas/sectors.

This platform and the Sterling/SMEDAN N5 billion single digit loan programme are some of the avenues through which Sterling Bank is working with SMEDAN to jointly grow the Nigerian economy by supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses.

Speaking at the launch of the platform, Executive Director of Commercial and Institutional Banking at Sterling Bank, Tunde Adeola, announced the platform and fund was a materialization of Sterling Bank’s commitment towards growing the real sector of the nation’s economy.

Adeola said “We are delighted to bolster the backbone of our economy with SMEDAN. This initial fund of N5 billion marks just the beginning of what has been and will continue to be a mainstay of our approach to funding businesses to grow at scale, and become the preferred financial partner for businesses, no matter their scale.”

The Executive Director said that over 20,000 SMEs have enrolled on the Databanc platform, with over 80 beneficiaries of the single-digit loan program and further disbursements ongoing. He encouraged all MSMEs in the country to enrol on the platform.

SMEDAN’s Director-General, Mr. Charles Odii, represented by the Director of Agribusiness Development and Access to Finance, Levi Anyikwa, highlighted the programme’s alignment with SMEDAN’s mission to democratize credit access for nano and micro-enterprises. Anyikwa affirmed that “access to finance remains a significant hurdle for SMEs, and we are committed to removing that barrier.”

Anyikwa emphasized the November 2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SMEDAN and Sterling Bank as a pivotal step towards digitalizing and streamlining loan processes.

Bolanle Tyson, Head of SME Digital Products at Sterling Bank, emphasized Sterling Bank’s strategic focus on critical sectors encapsulated in the HEART of Sterling forward strategy: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

Tyson outlined the innovative support package, including access to capital at single-digit interest rates, alongside essential resources such as capacity building, marketing support, and infrastructure development. “We are leveraging data to empower SMEs like never before,” she added.

“Our commitment to SMEs is steadfast,” Tyson asserted. “We recognize their pivotal role in driving Nigeria’s GDP and employment. This partnership with SMEDAN underscores our shared dedication to their success.”

The launch of the Databanc platform chronicles another major milestone in the
ongoing strategic partnership between Sterling Bank and SMEDAN, dating back to June 2023 when both entities signed a partnership to create Nigeria’s largest SME database, which was followed closely in November 2023 with the signing of the memorandum for the N5 billion loan portfolio.

Interested applicants can easily apply for the loan by first registering on the SME Databanc Platform to generate their unique promoter and business IDs at sterling.ng/databanc, and apply for the loan by downloading the Banca by Sterling mobile app from Google Play or the iOS App Store.

//Ends.

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Professor Olusegun Adeyemi Appointed as Member Governing Councils of CUSTECH, KSU

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Professor Olusegun Adeyemi Appointed as Member Governing Councils of CUSTECH, KSU

Professor Olusegun Adeyemi Appointed as Member Governing Councils of CUSTECH, KSU  

 

 

Ife Olukotun in Yagba East LG of Kogi state Born Professor, Segun Adeyemi has been Appointed as Member of the Governing Council of Kogi State University, Kabba and Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara. By the Executive Governor of Kogi State Ahmed Usman Ododo.

 

 

Professor Olusegun Adeyemi Appointed as Member Governing Councils of CUSTECH, KSU

During the inauguration of the Governing Council members,The Governor of Kogi state said the inauguration of these Governing Councils is a pivotal moment in our quest to provide quality education for our youths. We are committed to equipping our universities with the necessary resources and leadership to foster innovation and academic rigor,”

 

Professor Segun Adeyemi began his Career after Graduating with his First and master decree from Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto.

He has Lectured in Bayero university Kano state, Kogi State University Ayingba, Presently a professor of fishery at Federal University Oye Ekiti state.

Professor Olusegun Samuel Adeyemi is also a Member, Technical Advisor Group TETFund.

 

He is a lover of Sport, Prof Adeyemi is a FIFA bagged Referee with 0ver 30years of Experience, He is Married with children.

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PROFILE: JESSICA AMARACHI OKU BY CHINEDU NSOFOR

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PROFILE: JESSICA AMARACHI OKU

BY
CHINEDU NSOFOR

 

Jessica Amarachi Oku is an accomplished Senior Treasury and Finance professional with 12 years of distinguished experience in enhancing liquidity, managing debt, optimizing investments, driving process efficiency, and comprehensive financial reporting for multi-million dollar portfolios. Her career is marked by a proven track record of inspiring finance teams to drive value creation, achieve outstanding results, mentorship and coaching talent within organizations.

Educational and Professional Development

Jessica’s academic and professional development journey showcases her commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. In June 2011, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with an impressive Upper Class (4.1 GPA) from the University of Nigeria, an achievement assessed by the World Education Services (WES). Continuing her educational pursuits, she completed a Project Management Training at Astute Trainers Consulting in June 2014, equipping her with essential project management skills. By December 2020, she had obtained an International Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management from the Metropolitan School of Business and Management, UK, further enhancing her strategic planning and management capabilities. Most recently, in October 2021, Jessica attended the Corporate Treasury Management program at the New York Institute of Finance (NYIF), where she honed her skills in advanced treasury operations and financial strategies. She is also a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and is finalizing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at a recognized institution in Canada.

Awards and Recognition

Jessica’s exceptional contributions to her field have been recognized through several prestigious awards. In June 2020, she was honored with an Award for Outstanding Performance, reflecting her exceptional achievements and contributions. Following this, in April 2021, she received the Professional Achievers Award, acknowledging her outstanding performance and dedication to excellence. Additionally, she emerged as a top linked voice in Treasury Management in 2024.

Professional Trajectory

Jessica’s career trajectory is marked by significant roles and achievements in various esteemed organizations. At Guaranty Trust Bank Plc., from 2013 to 2016, Jessica served as a Commercial Banking Account Officer. In this role, she prepared budgets, income statements, and balance sheets. Additionally, she was instrumental in acquiring new customers, managing client relationships, and providing financial advisory services. Her analytical skills and dedication to customer service paved the way for her next position at Coronation Merchant Bank Limited. From 2016 to September 2019, as a Corporate Banking Relationship Manager and Team Lead for FMCG Sector, she drove business development initiatives with the primary aim of building the banks income, prospected new customers, and managed existing client relationships. Jessica also excelled in financial analysis, preparing cash flow forecasts, and overseeing credit management processes.

In September 2019, Jessica transitioned to Seven Up Bottling Company Limited as the Assistant Treasury Manager, a role she held until 2020. Here, she managed the company’s cash and debt portfolio, prepared financial reports, and forecasted cash flow requirements, maintaining vital banking relationships. Due to her exceptional performance, she was promoted to Head of Treasury, a position she held from 2020 to 2023. In this role, she was responsible for strategic cash flow planning, working capital optimization, and liaising with banks and lenders to structure financing solutions. Her financial acumen and impact investing led her to the Women’s Health Coalition of Canada in Alberta, where she currently serves as the Director of Fund Development since 2023. Jessica leads strategic planning and coordination of fund development initiatives and oversees treasury operations.

Conclusion

Jessica Amarachi Oku’s journey in the treasury and finance sector is a testament to her expertise, dedication, and leadership. Her extensive experience, combined with her continuous pursuit of professional development, positions her as a leading figure in the field. Her ability to drive strategic initiatives, manage complex financial operations, and inspire teams underscores her invaluable contributions to every organization she has been a part of.

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FIRS Expands Tax Net With 170,000 New Taxpayers

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FIRS Expands Tax Net With 170,000 New Taxpayers

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said it has expanded the country’s tax net with the capturing of more than 170,000 new taxpayers through the introduction of new business modules and simplifying tax payment processes.

 

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Dr. Zacch Adedeji, who disclosed this at a media chat in Lagos, noted that the agency recorded a 56 percent, year-on-year (YoY), increase in revenue collection to N3.94 trillion in the first quarter of 2024 (Q1’24) compared to the N2.52 trillion collected in Q1’23.

 

Represented by the Special Adviser on Tax Policy, Femi Olarinde, he noted that FIRS achieved 81 percent of its Q1’24 target.

He stated: “In 2023 FIRS had a target of 11.5 trillion, beyond that target, we were able to surpass it and we achieved N12.3 trillion collections.

 

“In 2024, the government has given us a target of N19.4 trillion, and by the end of Q1’24, we had collected 81 percent of the target for the quarter.

“Tax is somehow, we have the peak period and the off peak period. Q1 is one of the off peak periods. We are going to do better, June is the peak period and we are certain to go beyond Q2 target.”

 

He attributed the 107 percent revenue target achieved in 2023 to hard work and innovations.

“This is by sheer hard work, by making things right, and by making things easy for Nigerians. One of the principles of taxation is making it as convenient as possible to reduce the cost of compliance.

 

“Government cannot function without taxes, so the government needs strong institutions like the FIRS, to be able to contribute to the government and bring that desired infrastructure that the citizens talk about.

“We integrated nine new modules on our novel technology called the Tax Promax, it is a technology we use to administer tax. Was designed that technology in house because we encourage innovation.

“Within one year we expanded that module with nine other modules because of the drastic investment in innovation. We are revolutionalising tax office into the streamlined one stop shop; it reduces the cost of administration and reduces cost of compliance. We have improved customers satisfaction by over 70 percent.

“We achieved remarkable success in simplifying tax processes and we have increased new tax payers by 170,000,” he said.

Earlier, Special Adviser to FIRS on Media, Dare Adekanbi, said: “We cannot talk about nation building without revenue; it is the oil that keeps the economy going”

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