Connect with us

Banks

Heritage Bank’s 8 years journey of entrenching business of banking in Nigeria

Published

on

Today marks a worthy milestone in the life of one of the fastest growing financial service
provider, Heritage Bank Plc as it celebrates eight (8) years of entrenching seamless
service delivery in the business of banking in Nigeria.
This is a journey that began eight (8) years ago, premised on passion, commitment,
doggedness, culture and hard work amongst others, stands today as a reputable
financial organisation in the Nigeria banking space.
The story began in 2012; a story of hard work and determination when Heritage Bank
Plc emerged from a business combination of Heritage Banking Company Limited
(HBCL) and Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL) after the acquisition of Societe Generale of
Nigeria’s (SGBN) license by IEI Investment Ltd from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
having met all requirements by Nigeria’s apex bank.
Heritage Bank returned 100% of existing SGBN account holders’ funds which were
frozen at the closure of the SGBN. This move brought a lot of smiles to the faces of
former account holders and inspired many of them to open new accounts with Heritage
Bank. In October 2014, Heritage Banking Company Ltd successfully met the
requirements of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the CBN
toward owning 100% shares in Enterprise Bank Ltd., after a highly competitive bid
process. This development firmly anchors the Heritage Bank in a rich legacy of
technology and innovation in the banking industry. SGBN, which was incorporated in
December 1976 and commenced full banking operations in August 1977, pioneered the
introduction of e-banking services including its flagship, the 24/7 Cashpoint through the
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in 1990.
With a management focused on innovation through technology and a unique philosophy
to create, preserve and transfer wealth to its customers, Heritage Bank found itself in a
fiercely competitive banking environment but it remained guided by passion, resilience,
innovation and a brand architecture that exuded quality service, performance and sheer
excellence.
Still, as big a move as it was, it remained just one of the many strategic moves to
change the banking industry and Heritage Bank has made a lot of them and attains
giant strides in reshaping the economy since it began operations in 2013 to drive
improved investment outcome and job creation.
Success stories of entrenching business of banking in Nigeria:
As a catalytic financial institution, Heritage Bank, through its strategic partnerships with
government and private organisations, has continued to make efforts to transforming
the nation’s economy through championing entrepreneurial schemes for businesses
and the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector was not left out, which
have always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as education,
agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and
Communications Technology (ICT).
In recent times, the bank’s response to dealing with the global economic challenge
occasioned by COVID-19, which highly impacted SMEs, Heritage Bank PLC has
continued to deepen its support to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria to grow their
businesses either as start-ups or prospective business owners.
One of such is the last Season of the reality TV show The Next Titan, themed “The
Unstoppable” that was designed to search for business ideas that are immune to any
pandemic, innovations that break boundaries and technologies that can survive any
lockdown. This programme produced a young vibrant entrepreneur, graduate of the
Federal University of Technology Owerri with a Bachelor Degree in Environmental
Science who is the Chief Executive Officer of Josult Oil Processing Company, a palm oil
processing company in Akwa Ibom State, Joshua Joseph Idiong, as he finally emerged
the winner of the Next Titan Season-7, going home with a whooping sum of N10million.
Furthermore, Heritage Bank PLC in partnership with Honourable Fatima Mohammed
(FAMO) Foundation also provided succor to over 300 affected private school teachers
and small medium enterprises (SMEs).
Heritage Bank has continued to blaze the trial on the SME’s space to empower young
entrepreneurs in such schemes as the HB Innovation Lab Accelerator programme (HB-
LAB), Ynspyre Account, Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme
(YIEDP), Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) on Young Entrepreneurship Business
Training Programme (YEBTP), Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant and
Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), Big Brother Nigeria, Lagos Comic Con,
among others.
Last year witnessed the Launch of the Nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold &
Precious Metals which stands to create new opportunities for Nigeria to grow its
potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold.
The Nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold & Precious Metals Buying Centre will fast-
track 10per cent contribution of mining sector to GDP by 2026. Referring to this giant
strides, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo remarked that the launch of this project between Heritage
Bank and ‘Dukia Gold SPV’ would enable Nigeria to mine reserves properly, trade
responsibly, refine locally and boost the nation’s foreign reserves.
Heritage Bank has continued to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a
leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa, The Bank doled out
the sum of $40, 000 grants to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab.
The bank’s commitment is to create enabling environment, resources and support
required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically
improve financial inclusion/intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other
related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.

For the bank’s giant stride of support to tourism, Federal Government commended
Heritage Bank for its commitment to the development and growth of the creative
industry.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the commendation at a
two-day Creative Nigeria Summit.
The bank, aimed at boosting Nigeria’s tourism via creative arts industry supported the
sponsorship of exhibition at the National Museum Benin, at the Exhibition Gallery of
National Museum Benin by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments
(NCMM), in collaboration with the Edo State Government, and the Smithsonian Institute,
United States of America.
Also, efforts are being taken by Heritage Bank Plc and the River State government
during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) to make art and culture a
unifying factor and major earner to the contribution of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of
the country.
Heritage Bank Plc partnered with the organizers of the International Festival of
Contemporary Dance (IFCOD) to host the second edition of One Language, a musical
production of intrigue, dance and drama.
Most prominent of its partnership and supports is the annual Calabar Carnival and
festival, tagged “Africa’s Biggest Street Party,” was created as part of the vision of
making Cross River State the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and other
tourists across the world.
Heritage Bank is not done yet. The bank went further to prove its trend setting profile by
driving seat of the agricultural financing revolution.
In a bid to support the real sector and unlock food potentials, Heritage Bank Plc
provided over N5billion long term facility under the Commercial Agriculture Credit
Scheme (CACS) to Triton Aqua Africa Ltd (TAAL).
TAAL known as Triton Farm accessed the CACS through Heritage Bank, which was
used to set up aquaculture businesses; nursery/hatchery to produce fingerlings and
brood stock in Ikeja and earthen ponds for catfish and Tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and
Gambari towns in Oyo State.
Under the arrangement, TAAL will also help small-scale farms increase their fish
production by making fingerlings available to them.
In the short term, the loan is expected to help Triton double its current production
capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes with a projection to scale it up to 100,000 metric
tonnes in five years.
The bank also has thrown its weight behind Globus Resources Limited, a subsidiary of
Triton Group, to flag off the second phase of afforestation programme in Oyo state.
Nigeria’s demand capacity for fish was estimated at 2.7million metric tons and the
country currently produces 800,000 metric tons.
Triton is now producing over 25,000 metric tons and with them on board, over 25,000
metric tons capacity will be added to our current production, the company’s projection is
to exceed 100,000 metric tons in 5years.

In the state level, Heritage Bank entered into partnership with the Oyo State
government in a multi-billion-naira project to give agriculture a boost.
Under the initiative, the bank supported the Oyo State Agricultural Initiative, OYSAI, a
programme designed to revive agriculture, boost agro-allied businesses and massive
empowerment programme for both youth and women across the state through the
creation of thousands of jobs in the sector.
This huge, albeit laudable, project that is spread across 3,000 hectares of land in 28 of
the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State is in three stages: food crop cultivation,
cash crop/horticulture, and food processing.
Heritage Bank is supporting agro investors involved in this initiative with funds and
advisory services and indications are that the programme has already led to more than
30 per cent increase in food production in the state.
The Bank also supported thousands of small holder farms in Kaduna and Zamfara
states to benefit from the bank’s financial support for rice and soya beans production
under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Further on job creation, Heritage Bank through its establishment of a full-fledged
learning and development institute accredited by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of
Nigeria (CIBN), dubbed “The Refinery” successfully trained and employed about 300
new intakes.
In the midst of the bank’s audacity to dare and succeed, industry watchers have
continued to ask; how are they doing it? The answers may not be far from the fact that
this is one bank whose leadership team continues to exude the charisma of the Midas
touch. With Heritage Bank, the MD/CEO, Ifie Sekibo has proven over and over again
that whatever he touches, turns into gold.

I am Paschal Ogechi Obi Chikero . I have written and published three books , I wrote Festus Keyamo's biography- Lion In Isolation .I have been a Reality TV show Producer/Creator, an Actor and Film Script Writer.