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Sterling Bank supports Cross River on health insurance scheme

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Sterling Bank Plc has assured the Cross River State Government of its continued support and partnership in the implementation of the state’s health insurance scheme tagged ‘Ayade Care’.

It said this on Sunday in a statement titled ‘Sterling Bank assures Cross River on health insurance scheme’.

The statement said the state government recently launched the scheme in Calabar, the state capital, as part of an effort to achieve health insurance cover for vulnerable citizens in the state.

Speaking at the launch, Divisional Head, Education and Health Sectors, Sterling Bank, Mr Obinna Ukachukwu, said the state’s pragmatic approach to the issue of health insurance was commendable as it differed markedly in approach from the norm experienced in the execution of most public service projects.

Ukachukwu said he was elated that Ayade, who was fondly referred to as a ‘digital governor,’ was now working on health insurance scheme in partnership with Sterling Bank – the digital bank.

He started that, “Health is the first pillar of the HEART strategy of Sterling Bank.

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“That is why we are  very passionate about the sector; especially  because of its importance to the development of the economy and to the well-being of Nigerians.”

The divisional head added that the health sector was one of the five key sectors which the bank had focused investments on for many years now, adding that the sectors were collectively referred to as the HEART sectors.

“HEART stands for health, education, agriculture, renewal energy and transportation,” it stated.

He noted that the Cross River Health Insurance Scheme would be the most digitally enabled state health insurance programme in the country as it was running on the internationally proven Rx Health technology platform, which had been made possible through the partnership of the state with a technology consortia that is led by ICT Health Solutions Limited and Sterling Bank Plc as the  scheme enabler.

He reiterated that the bank remained committed to do everything needed to sustain the scheme while urging the State Government to give its maximum support to the scheme so that it can achieve the purpose for which it was established.

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Board Dissolution: FBN Shares Drop By 6.75%

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Board Dissolution: FBN Shares Drop By 6.75%

The share price of FBN Holdings (FBNH) Plc on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in two days dropped by 6.75 per cent following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) dissolution company’s board.

The share price of the holding company depreciated on Wednesday closed at N7.4 but dropped to N6.90 on Friday, according to the daily market report by NGX.

The share price drop of fall 6.76 per cent on Thursday is the highest drop since December 10, as the bank faced a stringent regulatory action by the apex bank.

Meanwhile, the domestic equities market closed transactions for the week on a positive note to extend the previous day’s positive sentiment, as NGX-All- Share Index (ASI) grew by 0.95 per cent and investors’ wealth rose by N195 billion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria Limited (CBN) reconstituted the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

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On April 29, 2021, the Boards of FBN Holdings Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Limited were dissolved and reconstituted, pursuant to its power under Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.

The Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited is now comprised as follows: Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale as Chairman; Tokunbo Martins; Uche Nwokedi; Adekunle Sonola; Ms. Isioma Ogodazi; Mr. Ebenezer Olufowose; Mr. Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo; Dr. Adesola Adeduntan as the managing director/ chief executive officer; Mr. Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director; Dr. Remi Oni, executive director and Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director.

The Bank said that Adeduntan has since resumed work as CEO in line with the directives of the CBN, saying “We can confirm that the Bank is co-operating with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulators while the operations of the Bank are not hampered or hindered in any way and are in fact running smoothly.

“We further wish to reassure the public, customers and stakeholders in the words of the Governor of the Central Bank in concluding his press conference, of its commitment to ensuring the stability of the financial system.

“There is therefore no cause for panic amongst the banking public, given that the actions being taken are meant to strengthen the Bank and position it as a banking industry giant.”

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Speaking on the issue, CEO of Greenville Capital Limited, Azeez Bello said that the timely intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the corporate governance issues within FBNH is quite commendable apparently because it is a systemically important bank.

According to Bello, investors appear to be satisfied with the apex banking regulators swift resolution hence the share price of FBNH was flat at N6.90 at the end of the today’s trading session, April 30, 2021.

“However , it is highly expedient that the CBN work closely with the Financial Reporting Council in the institutionalisation of sound corporate governance practices in our banking institutions.”

Also, the managing director, Highcap Securities Limited, Mr. David Adnori stated that the decline in share price of the Holdco is directly linked to the CBN action.

According to him, what happened with the FBN Holdco shares has to do with price sensitive development and it has taken a toll on devaluation of price because investor’s confidence has really shaken with the CBN revelation.

“In addition to what CBN has done with the removal of Mr. Oba Otudeko, the bank will then need to implement series of decision to restore investors and customers deposits confidence going forward.”

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.

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COVID-19 resurgence, threat to oil demand recovery – OPEC

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The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries is posing a threat to economic and oil demand recovery, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has said.

It disclosed this at the 16th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting of the Declaration of Cooperation, which took place via teleconference on Tuesday.

In a document on some of the deliberations at the meeting, the organisation stated that participants highlighted the continuing recovery in the global economy, supported by unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal support.

They noted that the recovery was expected to pick up in the second half of the year, but observed that the resurgence of COVID-19 across the globe could hamper economic and oil demand recovery.

OPEC said, “The ministerial meeting emphasised, however, that COVID-19 cases are rising in a number of countries, despite the ongoing vaccination campaigns, and that the resurgence could hamper the economic and oil demand recovery.”

The meeting also emphasised the ongoing positive contributions of the Declaration of Cooperation in supporting a rebalancing of the global oil market.

Also Read: Nigeria, now our biggest market –Crypto trading platform

This, according to the organisation, was in line with the historic decisions taken at the 10th (Extraordinary) OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on April 12, 2020 to adjust downwards overall crude oil production, and subsequent decisions.

The meeting further reviewed the monthly report prepared by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, including the crude oil production data for March 2021.

Participants welcomed the positive performance of the participating countries, as they noted that overall conformity to the production adjustments was 115 per cent in March 2021, reinforcing the trend of high conformity by the nations.

OPEC said the meeting expressed its appreciation to the participating countries that performed beyond expectation in March 2021, with total over-conformed volumes of 1.23 million barrels per day.

It, however, noted that some participating countries had yet to achieve the minimum expectation of 100 per cent conformity and to compensate for overproduced volumes.

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Nigeria, now our biggest market –Crypto trading platform

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Paxful, a global peer-to-peer fintech, has said Nigeria is now its biggest market with a volume of $1.5bn.

It disclosed this on Tuesday in a statement, titled ‘Nigeria emerges as Paxful’s biggest market, hits $1.5bn in volume with over 1.5 million users’.

The Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Paxful, Ray Youssef, said, “Our mission at Paxful is to give everyone equal access to finance no matter who they are or where they are so they can control their own money and build the future they want with financial freedom.

“The financial system is failing 99 per cent of the world’s population; it is disconnected and out of date. This means there is no way out of income inequality for a lot of people in the world. With cryptocurrencies, we see an alternative: a way to rest the financial system based on equality.”

He added, “We are on track for a 20 per cent+ increase in volume this year. We are seeing growth in all our markets and especially among groups or in countries where there’s a real need for cryptocurrencies: where the traditional financial system is failing people, whether that is because of extreme volatility, strict capital controls or high transaction costs.

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“People are looking for freedom from these constraints and find that in cryptocurrencies. So, there is a real increase in people using cryptocurrencies for their original purpose – as currencies and not just as a speculative asset.”

Paxful announced that over $5bn had been traded to date on its platform globally, with over six million users.

It said as of April 2021, the top four countries by volume on Paxful aside from Nigeria were China, United States, India, and Kenya.

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