The Chief Executive Officer, UT Homes and UT Financial Services, Mr Ade Adebajo, has urged government to focus more attention on providing affordable housing for all Nigerians much as he called on the public to take advantage of the low cost housing which the company is embarking upon.
The United Kingdom trained financial expert and property guru lamented that many Nigerians are suffering from lack of affordable housing as a result of housing deficits in the country and urged government to come to the rescue.
At the foundation laying/ground breaking ceremony of the construction of 10 units of luxury and affordable bungalows named Campagne De-Maison, by the company in Mowe, Ofada, Ogun State, Adebajo said private investors have important roles in ensuring affordable housing is available to all Nigerians.
“Many Nigerians are still tenants because they cannot afford to own a house. Government should do more to provide cheap and affordable houses for Nigerians as well as provide enabling environment for private investors to thrive. This is the reason UT Homes has embarked on a project of building affordable standard homes for middle and low income earners,” Adebajo said.
Adebajo further said “the project, a fully furnished gated community, is the first phase of what we are doing and it will be sold within the community. We are targeting middle and low income earners. We also have provision for mortages for those who cannot pay once. There is assured security with good sewage system, constant water with excellent finishings. If we go by our projection, the first set of people will move in within the next nine months time.
“So we urge Nigerians to take advantage of this opportunity and buy into this project because government cannot do it alone. It is our own little way of assisting the government. Many of the buildings are already sold out. This is a small development, we are going to do larger one. People can check our website or visit our office at Opebi, Ikeja or Sanusi Fafunwa, Victoria Island office or 09098642205, 09098642207, for a chance in a life time to own their own homes.
Lending credence to the authencity of the project, the company’s Project Manager, Mr. Michael Olaiya, in company of the site Engineer, promised the Nigerian public that they are in for the best of housing revolution, and hinted that it is on first come first serve basis.
It would be recalled that housing for all is one of thepolicies of the present administration, and the Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has remained on top of his game, putting in more efforts to see to the realisation of the quest.
Google, UBA Collaborate to Provide Free Wi-Fi to Customers
Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has collaborated with Google and ISP partner to launch Google Station in 11 key UBA branches in Lagos State as part of plans to roll out 200 stations in the country.
Google Station, a platform for providing free, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places, began in Lagos last year, and extended to Abuja in December in partnership with Backbone Connectivity Network.
This google-powered initiative would allow customers access to internet connectivity within the 11 branches and its environs, thereby facilitating their day-to-day businesses and activities, while ensuring unhindered connectivity.
The 11 branches where the hotspot will be located are: UBA Bank Road, 810-811 Bank Road, Daleko; UBA Matori, 21 Fatai Atere street; UBA Surulere, 152 Ogunlana Drive; UBA Allen, 13 Allen Avenue, Ikeja; UBA Tisco Plaza, Alausa; UBA Apapa, 11-13 Warehouse Road, Apapa; UBA Marina, 55 Marina, Lagos Island; UBA HQ, Broad Street, Marina; UBA Lekki Admiralty; UBA Oke Arin and UBA Aspamda Plaza, Trade Fair.
At the official launch which took place in UBA’s Head Office on Wednesday, UBA’s Executive Director/ Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chuks Nweke, expressed UBA’s excitement over the collaboration, adding that the move will go a long way to present opportunities far beyond the imagination of both organisations.
He noted that the challenges of financial inclusion which the USSD platform has not been able to solve will be eased through the Google Station, as the financially excluded will now be able to access the internet and enjoy the services provided free of charge.
He said, “It is an interesting platform which will ultimately benefit everyone. It is a win-win for everyone. Customers will have ease of doing businesses, especially with the growing use of smart phones, and the 52 million Nigerians who have otherwise been financially excluded will now have access to data through this collaboration and can carry out their transactions with ease.
“Interestingly, SMEs, who previously had challenges with funding can now do other things which they couldn’t achieve before, such as accounting services and others. Also, UBA recently launched an educational app, and so, students will be able to use these Google Station platform to carry out their necessary research from the comfort of their homes, it is an awesome opportunity with benefits for everyone which we are presenting to our customers in line with our customer 1st philosophy.
Group Head, Marketing, UBA Plc, Dupe Olusola said in addition to the 11 locations, the organisations are looking to expand beyond the shores of Nigeria to other African countries where UBA operates. She added that by the collaboration, the initiative will help ease the burden off customers while also presenting them with opportunities to excel beyond boundaries.
Google Station is a simple set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots, and aims to provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi in more places where more people spend time, such as bus stations, shopping malls, airports and public transit stations.
Specifically, the Wi-Fi service is available free of charge and partners leverage Google Station’s business model, which enables venues, system integrators, businesses and ISPs with access to fibre to setup, maintain and monetise their Wi-Fi networks.
Google Nigeria’s Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor noted that the institutions remained focused on providing internet services to users for free.
She said, “With the help of our partners, we are offering high-quality internet access in heavily-trafficked areas like airports, markets, malls and bus stations throughout the country, especially in areas where there were no internet connections before.
“Even with the amazing progress on expanding mobile internet, we are finding that public Wi-Fi remains a crucial step in getting free, high quality internet to everyone,” she explained.
Josh Woodward, Director, Product Management, who spoke generally on the benefits of the high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in public places said the collaboration will aim to solve a basic need and allow customers access to connectivity to assist them in their day-to-day businesses and activities.
He said, “Deploying Google Station in collaboration with UBA and 21st Century is an important step to connecting the next billion users. As a result of the locations enables us to be up-and-running in no time. Even more, their WiFi signal ensures connectivity to Google Station hotspots so users can do a lot of things online and be constantly connected.”
Halogen Security unveils new subsidiary, Avant Halogen
By Babatunde Alaran
One of the largest security markets in Africa, Halogen Security Company has officially unveiled its new identity management and outsourcing solutions arms, named Avant Halogen.
According to the security risk management company, Avant Halogen is a full-fledged subsidiary with specialist focus positioned to innovatively tackle identity management, talent risk, verification and outsourcing issues affecting multinational companies, institutions, parastatals, government security agencies, corporate bodies and the general public.
The company further revealed that Avant Halogen has undergone significant transformation in the past few months. While its corporate identity shares a common emblem that visually integrates all Halogen operating companies, its vision remains that of being the benchmark for biometric verification, background checks, digital aided identity and credentials confirmation as well as outsourcing solutions that cater to all cadres of clients.
Speaking on the new company, Halogen’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Wale Olaoye, said that the new company is a product of the deep transformation and unique talent risk management services at Halogen security adding that it is empowered to deliver best-in-class services in the area of identity management and talent risk solution for the Nigerian and the West African economic landscape.
“We are delighted to announce the birth of a new company from the Halogen Group; Avant Halogen. Avant’s vision will be driven by professionals with track records in the industry. In line with our avowed cardinal principles of professionalism, integrity, passion, and excellence.
FIRSTBANK PARTNERS AZURI TECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
By Stellamarris Ashinze (NAN)
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, last Thursday signed a partnership with the Azuri Technologies to provide solar energy solution for the low-income areas.
The Deputy Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, said in Lagos that the partnership was aimed at proffering solutions to one of the major challenges facing the country today.
Shobo, represented by Tunde Owolabi, the Bank’s Group Executive, Retail Banking Group, Lagos & West, said that the focus is delivering power to millions of Nigerians; while at the same time enabling access to financial services in rural and low-income areas.
According to him, financial inclusion is a priority to FirstBank. “This is why we are excited about this partnership; because our customers will be able to access a wide range of services that address the real problem of access to power.
”This partnership with Azuri Technologies is one out of several of FirstBank’s partnerships. We have a track record of partnering with individuals and institutions to help meet the needs of our customers (children, women, youth, SMEs) and promote sustainable development in our host communities. Our partnerships cut across the Arts, Sports, Education, Health, among others; FirstBank has been at the forefront in ensuring ease of banking and convenience for its customers.
”Our Agent Banking Network (Firstmonie Agent) and digital banking offerings like Chat Banking on Whatsapp, FirstMobile app, Firstonline, and USSD banking, are some of the channels we have put in place to make this happen. We are therefore, very excited about the FirstBank-Azuri partnership and the positive boost it aims to bring to the nation’s economy through inclusive services.”
”Indeed, this is part of FirstBank’s 125 year-long passion for partnerships that are woven into the fabric of society,” he said.
Also, Mr Simon Bransfield-Garth, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Azuri Technologies, said that the company “is a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology”.
Bransfield-Garth said: “Azuri brings affordable, modern consumer goods and services to the millions in sub-Saharan Africa without access to conventional power.
”Of the one billion people who lack access to electricity around the world, over 600 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. Pay-as-you-go solar power is connecting off-grid households to the modern digital world. From home lighting to satellite TV, Azuri-designed solutions deliver world class performance at an affordable price for customers who live away from mains power.”
”Azuri’s vision is to create a level playing field where all consumers can access and benefit from the digital economy, wherever they live” he concluded.
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