Thursday, October 24, 2013


L-R  Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MTN Nigeria, Mr. Michael Ikpoki and Group Managing Director (GMD), Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti during an engagement to formalize a new retail strategic partnership towards the launch of the Diamond Y’ello Account in Lagos.
A comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, to accelerate the launch of a hybrid bank account, the Diamond Y’ello Account that offers an unparalleled combination of financial, telecom, loyalty and lifestyle benefits has been jointly signed by Diamond Bank Plc. and MTN Nigeria. Tagged the Diamond Y’ello Account, the service allows customers to open a Diamond Bank account conveniently from their MTN lines even as the account also offers interest earning benefits as well as access to micro credit. In addition, customers will enjoy friendly call rates and earn loyalty points as they carry out transactions.

Group Managing Director/ CEO of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti said, “One of the major benefits of the Diamond Y’ello Account is that as soon as a customer opens the account from their mobile phones, transactions are done with ease and convenience via their mobile phones. With nearly 100% mobile phone penetration in Nigeria, many more un-banked and under banked Nigerians, regardless of their location, can
now enjoy access to banking with this novel service.”

According to MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ikpoki: “We are absolutely delighted once again to be offering our existing and potential subscribers a new and innovative product that will most definitely change their life styles and the way they manage their finances. We are really excited about Diamond Y’ello Account, and we plan to make use of our existing network and infrastructure all over the country to ensure that we reach as many people as possible especially those who do not have access to banking services.”


(L-R): Executive Director, South Business, Diamond Bank PLC, Victor Ezenwoko
and Financial Markets Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, IFC, Ian Weetman signing
the technical assistance and advisory agreement to build Diamond Bank’s capacity
to increase access to finance for agriculture small and medium enterprises in Nigeria recently.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World BankGroup, has signed a partnership agreement with Diamond Bank Plc for the bank's agricultural financing activities.
The partnership which was sealed on Wednesday at the Bank’s corporate headquarters in Lekki, Lagos is designed to provide advisory services by IFC to Diamond Bank on strategy, product development and risk management, and help develop a financing model to viably lend to small and medium agric-businesses. It will also help the bank increase access to finance in Nigeria’s agricultural sector by up to $33 million (about N5.1 billion) over the next two years, strengthening a vital but severely under-financed sector in Nigeria’s economy and boosting small businesses.

The projected lending will be extended to small and medium enterprises across the sector, including livestock farmers, producer groups, distributors, processors, traders and retailers. It will also target almost 2,000 small holder farmers.

Commenting on the agreement,Dr. Alex Otti, Group Managing Director/CEO, Diamond Bank PLC, said, “Diamond Bank has always demonstrated market leadership in the provision of innovative financial services and solutions to all segments of the society. Through this partnership with IFC, we are better positioned to serve a faster growing share of Nigeria’s newly emerging bankable population in the agricultural sector, and create more growth opportunities for the players as well as the economy.”

Mr. Ian Weetman, Manager, Financial Markets, Sub-Saharan Africa, said the agreement reflects the priority the World Bank group placed on agric development in the African continent. Weetman noted that Diamond Bank was one of the financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa that IFC had maintained a long standing relationship with to create value for SMEs and agriculture. “Increasing growth and employment in the agricultural sector is a critical objective for IFC in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, IFC’s Advisory Services aim to increase access to finance throughout the agricultural and food supply chain. We are very pleased to be working with our longstanding partner, Diamond Bank, in the pursuit of these objectives,” he said.

Weetman said the agreement will help both parties to improve agriculture in Nigeria.

Mr. Victor Ezenwoko, Executive Director, Regional Business-South, said the agreement was another milestone for the bank which would herald a new phase in agricultural development in the country.

Ezenwoko noted that the Bank’s commitment is to see the investment in agricultural development in Nigeria evolve into a truly successful commercial sector and provide employment, export and food for many families in Nigeria.

He noted that the venture would not only provide food for the teeming population but also provide employment opportunities to the unemployed youths in the country. Ezenwoko expressed optimism that the technical agreement with IFC will go a long way towards actualizing the Bank’s dream in making agriculture assume its pride of place in the Nigerian economy.