Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeBanking & FinanceSustaining market leadership with tech-driven services 

Sustaining market leadership with tech-driven services 

Zenith Bank Plc has emerged the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, at the World Finance Banking Awards 2022, retaining the award for a second consecutive year.

The tier-1 bank’s ability to embrace digital transformation, best-in-class sustainability and corporate governance practices led  it to stellar business performance in a difficult economic era. Aside leveraging technology to drive its operations, Zenith Bank’s commitment to non-oil export earnings growth enabled it to cement its leadership   in the financial services sector.

Not all banks play big and gain recognitions at the global stage. When such feats are achieved, they present great opportunity to x-ray what makes the winning bank thick. 

Zenith Bank Plc is synonymous with winning. Hence, for   decades, it has received recognitions that cement its leadership prowess in the financial services sector. 

The bank is also taking major steps to support the economy through investments in the non-oil sector and making massive investments in technology to provide seamless services to its customers. 

The seventh annual edition of the Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar with the theme: “Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-Oil Export Business,” was opportunity for the bank to gather stakeholders to discuss ways to grow Nigeria’s non-oil sector.

Zenith Bank’s financial performance shows double-digit growth in gross earnings, improved market share in both retail and corporate sectors despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These milestones enabled Zenith Bank Plc to emerge as the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, at the World Finance Banking Awards 2022, retaining the award for a second consecutive year. The bank was also named as the Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022.

The awards, which were presented to the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Ebenener Onyeagwu at the London Stock Exchange yesterday, were in recognition of the bank’s ability to embrace digital transformation and best-in-class sustainability and corporate governance practices, leading to a stellar business performance in a difficult economic climate.

Commenting on the double recognition, Onyeagwu said: “These awards reflect our strong business fundamentals, resilience and ability to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the market through our innovative solutions, as well as our commitment to global best practices.

“As a member and signatory to various domestic and international sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles, we continue to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating value for our shareholders, customers, clients, investors, communities and the environment through our practices, operations and investments.”

He dedicated the awards to the Founder and Group Chairman, Jim Ovia, for his pioneering role in building the structures and laying the foundation for an enduring and very successful institution; the board for the outstanding leadership they provide; the staff for their commitment and dedication; and the bank’s customers for making Zenith Bank their preferred financial Institution.

World Finance is a leading international magazine providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy. The editorial combines award-winning reportage, covering a broad range of topics from banking and insurance to wealth management and infrastructure investment, with contributions from some of the world’s most well-respected economists and theorists as well as consultants in government think tanks and the World Economic Forum.

Supporting non-oil export growth

At the Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia called for a concerted effort towards diversifying Nigeria’s export base through the promotion of non-oil exports.

Highlighting the importance of non-oil export to the nation’s economy, Ovia pointed out that Nigeria exported cocoa and several other non-oil products for years before oil was discovered.

He cited the example of the 25-storey Cocoa House in Ibadan, which was built with proceeds from cocoa exports. He pointed out that many countries in the world, such as Japan and China have been successful because they are doing a great deal of innovation, production and manufacturing of goods and services.

According to him, Nigeria should also look at promoting the nation’s non-oil export sector through technology to create technological giants like Apple, Tesla, and Google. “And we already have technology companies in this mould in Nigeria, such as Flutterwave, which has a valuation of $3 billion, making it more valuable than some banks in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking further on the enormous potential in Nigeria’s non-oil sector, Ovia highlighted the phenomenal growth of Nigeria’s emerging financial technology (Fintech) companies such as Flutherwave, OPay, Interswitch, Kuda and Paystack, with market valuations of $3 billion, $2 billion, $1 billion, $500 million, $200 million, respectively. According to him, this underscores the enormous opportunity in the Fintech space.

He also noted that the most capitalised companies in the world, such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Tesla, Visa, etc., are not oil companies but are in the technological innovation space.

In his welcome address, Onyeagwu, said the annual Zenith Bank Trade Seminar has served as a veritable platform to deepen the conversation on promoting non-oil export in Nigeria, bringing together non-oil export practitioners and relevant government agencies to interact and explore the opportunities and proffer solutions to the challenges of non-oil export in the country.

Speaking on the origin of the Zenith Bank Annual International Trade Seminar, Onyeagwu said the commodity price slump of 2014-2016 was a watershed moment.

According to him, “when crude oil prices plummeted from $114.55 per barrel in June 2014 to $28.76 in January 2016, with an attendant effect on the availability of foreign exchange, it was time to look towards the non-oil export sector for a more sustainable source of foreign exchange that is not susceptible to external shocks and price volatility.”

Highlighting some of the salient outcomes of the past six Zenith Bank Annual International Trade Seminar editions, Onyeagwu noted that previous editions’ outcomes have found expression and influenced policy initiatives.

For instance, “the extension of the period of repatriation of non-oil export proceeds from 90 days to 180 days and the policy mandating shippers not to carry export without a Nigeria Export Proceeds (NXP) Form Number were recommendations from previous seminars.

“Also, the need to incentivise exporters to repatriate their export proceeds through the official channels and the recommendation to create export terminals across various export hubs in the country were also from past seminars. “Also, previous editions recommended having Export Desks in commercial banks, which has now been instituted.”

He also stated that Zenith Bank has trained over 100 exporters through its ‘Zero to Hero’ programmes which provide a platform for grooming and exposing beginners to become strong exporters by providing training on documentation, product sourcing, access to market and financing. He noted that Zenith Bank would continue the advocacy of promoting non-oil export.

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, commended Zenith Bank and its leadership led by Ovia for its laudable initiative in organising an annual export seminar to explore opportunities in Nigeria’s non-oil export with a view to increasing the nation’s non-oil export base and ultimately increasing its share as a percentage of total export.

 “This is why the theme of this year’s seminar “Unlocking Opportunities in Nigeria’s Non-oil Export Business,” is timely and appropriate. This is because the global economy and structure are changing rapidly before our eyes.

“The previous world economic order underpinned by globalisation and seamless trade possibilities seems to be suffering major disruptions lately. We believe Nigeria has a lot of potentials, and we can harness this for the good of our people and country,” he said. 

He pointed out that the CBN has undertaken several initiatives to promote the non-oil export sector because of its firm belief that the non-oil export sector holds enormous potential to contribute to employment generation, wealth creation and economic growth of the country.

 President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said, “Nigeria’s non-oil export is quite low compared to other African top oil producers. This exposes the economy to oil price/production risks.

“There is much room for growth, and the CBN is helping drive this through the RT200 programme.”

According to him, the CBN RT200 FX programme, which aims to achieve $200 billion in foreign exchange earnings from non-oil proceeds over the next three to five years, has very laudable objectives, including enhancing foreign exchange inflow, diversifying the source of FX inflow, increasing the level of contribution from non-oil export, and ensuring stability and sustainability of FX flows.

Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, enumerated the progress and achievements of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the efforts to improve intra-Africa trade.

Also speaking, President/Chairman of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah, highlighted the efforts of Afreximbank to enhance intra-Africa trade through the implementation of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).

According to him, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System would make it easy and seamless for Africans to trade amongst themselves and receive payment for goods and services in their local currencies, eliminating currency conversion challenges.

Zenith Bank remains committed to promoting the non-oil export sector in Nigeria by identifying emerging opportunities which help stimulate non-oil exports and develop robust financial products and incentives for operators in the sector.

The bank launched the non-oil export seminar in 2017 as an initiative to deepen the discourse on promoting the non-oil export business in Nigeria.

More recognitions 

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, with these latest accolades coming on the heels of several recognitions including being voted as Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards.

The bank also emerged the Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards; and Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020. 

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine and the Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.

Similarly, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020 and emerged winner in four categories at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa.

Zenith Bank Plc was also ranked as the number one bank in Nigeria by tier-1 capital in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine. For the 13th consecutive year, the bank retained its position as the number one tier-1 bank in Nigeria with a tier-1 capital of $2.75 billion, emerging as the 460th bank globally.

- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img

Most Popular

Recent Comments