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My Bank. My Wife and The New Social Order

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One thing that attracted me to the firm was its legacy. Its founder, Chief Subomi Balogun was a hero of sorts to young Stockbrokers like myself. He had built the institution from his boot straps to the behemoth it is today with over 50,000 Shareholders.

My first day at work, I was taken in a ride by the then Managing Director Ladi Balogun on his way to a meeting with Aliko Dangote and in those few minutes he perfectly situated the values that drove the institution. Ethical standards and integrity were the words he kept repeating as he stressed the need for me to join as he attempted to reclaim market share in the Local Securities market.

I stayed with the Bank for over 15months and having worked in several financial instutions including about four Banks and several stockbroking and Asset Management Firms, I can safely say that the ethical standards at FCMB stand shoulder high above its peers. The FCMB woman is well regarded, with access to the very top to discuss her issues. They even have the FCMB Woman Platform which seeks to build cohesion and gives the FCMB woman the much needed push to fulfil whatever it is is her career goals.

That said, the news of the alleged dalliance between the well regarded MD Mr. Nuru and the former staff leading to the supposed siring of two kids by him while still in her marriage and ultimately leading to her husbands passing has captured the imagination of Nigerians powerfully.

Daily the keen observer is assailed with all sort of social media commentary, memes and the rest on the matter. I hear an online petition has been in circulation with varied numbers being quoted as signatures asking both the FCMB and the CBN to act on the matter. A memo allegedly sent out by Group Managing Director Ladi Balogun quoting that the issue could derail the achievements’ of the Bank in the just concluded year is leaked, fueling calls for his removal.

All these have thrown up very important questions on the ethical behaviors of Bankers and its effect on the Bank’s public image and much more importantly the profitability of the Bank on the one hand and the safety of public funds in its custody on the other. It is also putting the regulator to task on the issue.

But tarry awhile. Why all these fervor on an unsigned petition innocuously posted on social media. How do we move against a Man based on a mere allegation without anybody coming out to own up to the allegations. Up until this point as I write, I have not seen a signed petition accusing the man of all of these allegations. What we are seeing so far are online petitions from people on the back of the anonymous triggerr post. Should we now then hang a man based on this? Based on public push which is as is the case quite emotional.

The arbitrariness of this matter and others like this especially on social media is scary. What this portends is that if Nuru falls then anybody can fall based on any story thrown up there just by anybody. Before I am castigated, please note that I am not taking a stand as to Mr. Nuru’s innocence or not or if he breeched Banks ethical rules or what not. All I am just saying is that there has been no concrete complaint from either the Mr. Thomas accusing this man of this heinous crime, nor an official complaint from the Woman alleging rape, forceful sex or any type of abuse using his power as a boss over her. We have not even seen DNA certification confirming the parentage of the children. All that is in the public domain are pictures of children who have an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Nuru. Are there sufficient factual and legal evidence to begin to push for the Mr. Nurus head.

In the last five years, Nigerians have witnessed the growth of what some of us have called digital mobs who unlike their physical counterparts who roast with used tyres and bonfires, these ones do thier with words on social media. The arbitrariness and disregard for processes and institutionalized structures for arbitration continues to weaken the levers that hold society together pushing us closer to anarchy.

The FCMB I know have well tested and well-ordered structures for getting relieve if your rights have been trampled. I have gone through it as a boss. I had lost my temper during a heated meeting and unwittingly threw a pencil at a junior staff. She went through the process and I faced a disciplinary Committee and was found guilty. The system didn’t care that as at that time I Was number 3 in hierarchy in our subsidiary and that this lady was very near the bottom in hierarchy, I was made to face the music. Same I am very confident would be the case if there is an official approach to this matter by any complainant even if it is me being Mr. Thomas Landlord.

 

The major issue here is not even Mr. Nuru and his supposed errant private member but our societies’ eagerness to throw caution and common sense into the gutters in matters like this while putting on the toga of arbitrariness in pushing this types of issues. I fear that our institutions for fear of Market share can bow to public pressure and take decisions that would further weaken them and infringe on the human rights of their people.

Please in conclusion, where is Mrs Thomas in all of these for only she can solve this problem. Her position would either indict or free Mr. Nuru, she has to answer some very salient questions – was she in an affair with Mr. Nuru while at FCMB, was she in that affair willingly or not and who truly is the father of the child and where she has no answer to the last question, would she willingly take a DNA test on this matter.

My advise to FCMB is to stand firm by its rules, do not be pressured to take hasty decision by a fickle social media crowd who will move on to the next hot gist, while you would have destroyed not only the career of a man who is possibly innocent and in the same vein destroy the fabrics that hold your institution together. Seek the facts and base your decision on those facts.

I wish you a fruitful review of the matter. But will I close my account with FCMB cos the MD has two children with a married staff? I think not. Thank you

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Nigeria billionaire, Femi Otedola takes over First Bank Nigeria with N30B worth of shares

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The Nigerian billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola on Friday, October 22, 2021, takes over First Bank of Nigeria Plc.

According to an exclusive report monitored by iexclusive News Nigeria on The Wall Street Journal, Femi Otedola has taken over First Bank with his recent acquisition of nearly N30 billion worth of shares, making him the bank’s single largest shareholder.

 

The report explained that Otedola’s position as the largest shareholder means he has the most voting shares and hence has the most authority over the bank’s direction.

 

Otedola divested his 75% direct and indirect share holding in Forte Oil, via a merger of his company Zenon Oil and former African Petroleum in 2019, the decision raised questions as to why he made such a decision especially because of the lucrative nature of the oil and gas sector. He had stated at the time, according to iexclusive News Nigeria, that he intended to investigate and optimize commercial potential in refining and petrochemicals.

Despite having assets in both the real estate and banking industries, Otedola chose First Bank because, unlike other new generation banks, it didn’t have a single person in command, according to the report.

 

Meanwhile, Otedola pounced on the recent leadership crisis at First Bank, which saw both the bank’s chairman, Ibukun Awosika, and the chairman of FBN Holdings, Obafemi Otudeko, fired.

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Dangote emerges most valuable brand in Nigeria for fourth time

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For the fourth time in a row, Dangote Group, a fully integrated Conglomerate and proudly Nigeria brand has again emerged as the most valuable brand in Nigeria while the MTN Nigeria trailed as the Most Popular brand in the new Top of the Mind (TOM) survey conducted among corporate executives in the country.

In rating the brands, seven metrics were deployed, and they include Brand Popularity; Quality Element; Market leadership; Innovation; National Spread; CSR-Environmental friendliness and Online Engagements.

Of the seven metrics according to the report, Dangote brand came atop in five, beating MTN to a distant second. The ratings were made public, over the weekend, at the annual top corporate brand evaluation report by TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA.

The annual top brands league table which has become like a report card with which top corporate brands have a feel of their ranking in the market is done with a special purpose model, the Brand Strength Measurement (BSM Index), a model that tests a brand’s ability deliver on its promise to its consumers from the consumer’s points of view. It is a qualitative, non-financial evaluation of top corporate brands in the country which is done annually.

The Brand Consulting firm’s CEO, Taiwo Oluboyede in his address said, without any doubt, the subject of brand and branding has become central in every corporate setting. And regardless of the sounds of the time, the brand drives and determines corporate placement, particularly at an unprecedented time like these.

“We are glad once again that a Nigerian brand emerged as the Most Valuable for the year. This says a lot about our tenacity and resilience as a people and our businesses, regardless of the situations around us. Even though overall, we have more multinationals, the homegrown brands gave an impressive performance.

“For example, 6 of the top 10 in the league table are Nigerian, most of which have also spread to other countries across Africa and other continents of the world,” he said.

Globacom emerged in the third place, followed closely by Coca-cola Nigeria who enjoys a lot of its global brand appeal.

Others in the top 10 in this annual ranking are GTBank, Airtel, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, and Dufil Prima Foods in that order.

6 brands among the top 10 have maintained top 10 positions for 6 years consecutively-they are Dangote, MTN, Globacom, FirstBank, GTBank, and Coca-Cola. The Banking and Financial Services category had the highest number of entries among the top 10 with 4 brands. This is followed by the telecoms with 3 brands.

Commenting on the top brands ranking, Femi Awoyemi, Founder and Chairman of Proshare Nigeria Limited (Nigeria’s foremost financial information hub), said: “With the thorough evaluation process and degree of attention to detail evident in the report, the list indeed provides a true and fair representation of top brands by strength, popularity and potentials in Nigeria.

“This edition of BRANDNIGERIA’s Top 50 Brands in Nigeria highlighted brands that have demonstrated strong resilience and adaptive capacity to the new normal in growing or maintaining their brands. These brands have been able to maintain consumers’ confidence and market shares as observed by professionals and analysts. A few things stand out.

“First, it is commendable to see that in the evaluation process used in ranking the brands, professionals such as Chief Marketing Officers and Head of Corporate Communications and Reputation Managers. Second, the acknowledgment of Financial Technology (FinTech) as evidenced in the top 10 brands to watch in 2021 where FinTech accounted for about 50%.

“Third is the continued domination of the list of the top 50 brands in 2021 by multinationals, banks, and NGX quoted brands. Dangote came 1st in 5 of the 7 metrics used in the ranking report.

“Seven (7) companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) made the list of top 10 brands in Nigeria. This implies that about 70% of the top brands are listed on NGX, which draws attention to the correlation between brands and markets.”

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TECNO WINS OUTSTANDING MOBILE PHONE BRAND OF THE DECADE

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Renowned smartphone brand, TECNO has received yet another award for its commitment towards excellence. The latest recognition for the brand is the Marketing Edge Award for Outstanding Mobile Phone Brand of the Decade.

This recognition acknowledges the brand’s commitment to providing innovative products and its consistent drive towards achieving excellence in the mobile phone industry. The Award was presented at this year’s Marketing Edge Annual Summit and Brands & Marketing Awards of Excellence, which held at the luxurious D’Podium International Event Centre Ikeja, Lagos.

Receiving the award for the brand, Vincent Uzoegbu, PR Communications and Media Manager, TECNO Mobile, West Africa said;

“TECNO has always shown dedication in its pursuit of excellence through its innovative products. Our hallmark is to continuously reinvent the way we do things to ensure that our products offer outstanding performances and experiences. This recognition is a proof of how much work TECNO puts into offering excellent products and we are highly honored by it.”

In recent times, TECNO unveiled a new brand Slogan “Stop At Nothing”, a testament to the brand’s unwavering determination to venture far and beyond, while recording successes at every turn. The brand has also shown a clear understanding of the need to maintain the tenacity required in the pursuit of excellence, while standing as a source of constant inspiration to its audience.

Now in its 8th year, the Marketing Edge Awards is an initiative of Marketing Edge Magazine and is a demonstration of the publication’s commitment to its vision of ‘Promoting the Brand Ideal’. The Awards event was conceived to reward excellence across the nation’s integrated marketing communications spectrum and had in attendance a large gathering of industry experts, brands and companies.

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