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Bank Disburses N1bn Under SMEs Scheme

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The Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Dozie, says the bank has disbursed more than one billion naira to small businesses under the Cash Flow-Based Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) lending scheme.
Dozie said this in a statement signed by the Media Relations Officer of the bank, Ezechinyere Anyanwu on Monday in Abuja.
He said the disbursement was one of the bank’s ways of showing support to SMEs and ensuring financial inclusion in the country.
“This milestone is a demonstration of our resolve to develop innovative ways of advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria.
“It is also a signal to many more successes to come as we push through our technology-driven retail focused strategy.
“This strategy is designed to position Diamond bank as the most profitable and fastest growing retail bank franchise in Nigeria by the year 2020,” he said.
According to Dozie, the scheme inaugurated in January 2 017, in partnership with the Women’s World Banking (WWB), features the Cash Flow-based MSMEs Lending Methodology.
He said the scheme had a strategic focus on cash flow, net asset capacity, character and business proficiency of SMEs as a means of determining their eligibility to access credit.
According to the chief executive, the bank under the lending scheme, has been able to disburse N267 million during the pilot phase.
He said the bank also disbursed N750 million between June and August.
“Remarkably, all the loans disbursed under the scheme to the 550 small businesses are performing despite the recipients of the facilities being first-time borrowers.
“We are confident that the future of retail banking belongs to banks with disruptive business models and solutions that deliver superior customer experience through strategic alliances.
“This also applies to those that create life-style-focused products, processes and channels.
“We pride our financial inclusion strategy as the most robust and customer-centric in the Nigerian banking industry and will achieve more milestones through data-based initiatives that are simply beyond banking,” Dozie added.
Diamond Bank Plc is Nigeria’s lead driver of financial inclusion, providing enhanced customer experience through innovation and technology.

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Pipelines Vandalism: NPDC Adopts Modern Technology To Monitor Facilities

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The Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/ND Western OML 34 Asset Management Team (AMT) says it has commenced the use of modern technology for effective monitoring of its facilities.
The company’s Manager in charge of Government, Community Relations and Security, Mr Sheidu Aiguedo, made the assertion at a media briefing in Warri.
Aiguedo decried the persistent attacks on the company’s facilities by miscreants, saying the company had lost several billions of naira to their illegal activities.
“We are employing the use of technology to enhance our monitoring capacity,” he said.
Aiguedo said activities of the oil thieves had caused serious disaster, adding that the company would continue to intensify awareness to its host communities on the dangers inherent in pipelines vandalism.
“The oil bunkerers are destroying our facilities, and their activities are also destroying the environment,” he said.
Aiguedo urged the Federal Government to apply “prevention, protection and prosecution” approaches as ways of curtailing oil theft in Delta.
He also advised the government to establish and increase its presence in the oil communities with a view to reducing theft in the area.

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Nigeria Has Really Favoured Lebanese Firms, Investors -Group

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The Lebanese Nigeria Initiatives (LNI) in Nigeria yesterday said that the country had over the past decades been a nation of blessings to Lebanese companies and investors.
LNI’s Secretary, Mr Ali Safiyyedine, made the disclosure in Lagos at a news conference to announce the organisation’s launch of its first Scholarships and Endowment Fund for young Nigerians.
Safiyyedine said that the organisation had opened an endowment fund in American University of Beirut for young Nigerians as a way of giving back to Nigeria.
“We would forever be grateful to Nigeria for what she had over these years done for us Lebanese.
“And as a way of giving back to this great country, we at LNI have decided to open an endowment fund for young Nigerians in American University of Beirut that will continue even after we are gone.
“So, we have after many interviews and tests, selected the first Nigerian, Mr Olubando Ajibola, as the distinguished young man embarking on this journey for his MBA in the American University of Beirut,” he said.
Safiyyedine said that the organisation came up with the initiative to enable Nigerians study in the university for their Post Graduate degree and come back to contribute to the development of their country.
The Consul General of Lebanon in Lagos, Mr Elias Nicolas, said that the gesture was a further demonstration of the Lebanese interest in the development of Nigerians.
According to him, the Lebanese community are always delighted in contributing to Nigeria’s economic and social development.
“We are very pleased to launch the LNI scholarship and endowment fund for Nigerians today. This will further strengthen our long existing friendly relations in the years ahead.
“The Lebanese community has always conceived itself as part of the social fabric of its host country, and this fund is another sign of its commitment to the educational upliftment of young Nigerians.
“I warmly congratulate the huge effort of LNI’s Chairman, Mr Faisal El-khalil and members of the board of trustees for this laudable initiative.
“Let me also congratulate Olubando Ajibola as the first Nigerian selected for this scholarship programme. We hope you will be an ambassador for promoting our two countries values and interest during your study,” he said.
Mr Olubando Ajibola, a graduate of Petroleum and Gas Engineering from the University of Lagos, commended LNI and its board of trustees for selecting him as the first Nigerian beneficiary of the fund.
Ajibola said he would focus his MBA study on data collection analysis that would help enhance business development in Nigeria in the future.

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Photographers Decry Effects Of Smartphones On Their Business

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Some photographers in Enugu State have cried out against the negative effects of smartphones and social media on their business.
Some of the photographers who spoke during the World Photography Day, yesterday, said they were doing other businesses to make ends meet.
They said that though they were proud to be photographers, they noted that the advent of smartphones and social media had affected their business negatively.
According to them, the business of photography is dwindling as most people prefer to use their phones to take pictures, especially ‘selfies’.
One of the photographers at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Mr Moses Onyeneke, said; “I am proud to be a photographer but the advent of smartphones and social media have dealt a big blow to our business.
“People prefer using their smartphones to take photographs and post on social media instead of going to a photo studio.
“They don’t value hard copy photos anymore but it is the best, it lasts longer and can be used for remembrance purposes.
“Passport photographs are making waves more because people need it for various official engagements,’’ he said.
Another photographer, Mrs Lizzy Achuagu, decried the low patronage of still photographs, adding that before the advent of smartphones, she finished rolls of films in two days.
“People book you for their social occasions but these days, very few people need our service.
“In a month, you can be making more than N30,000 depending on the occasions you cover, but now, hardly do you make N10,000,” she said.
Some smartphones users that reacted to the celebration of the World Photography Day said that the use of hard copy photos was outdated.
They preferred using their smartphones because it was less expensive and stress-free when compared to using a photographer.
They noted that even when they used a photographer to take photos, they preferred to collect the soft copies rather than the hard copies.
One of the smartphone users, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, said that using smartphones to take pictures was better, as it was faster and could be posted to the world at the press of a button.
“It can be used to send message immediately than hard copy photograph. It was seven to 10 years ago when smartphones were not really common that hard copies were valuable.

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