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In a display of the value of public private partnership, Lagos State Government and Coca-Cola Nigeria have today jointly presided over a ceremony to handover a fully upgraded sports facility to the Araromi community in the Gbagada area of Lagos State.

The Chief Guest at the occasion was the Executive Governor of Lagos State, H.E Akinwunmi Ambode.

The scope of work realized under this completed project covers; 1000 seating capacity pavilion, equipped with bore hole, water sanitation and hygiene facilities for the public and physically challenged, changing rooms for players and referees, 2 units of VIP lounge and Administrative office; and Constructed an 11 aside football pitch (75×45) equipped with flood lights including 2 sets of dugout for reserved players with 10 man seating capacity each; Refurbished 150 person seating capacity multipurpose hall, Refurbished the Generator house and perimeter fence, constructed a parking lot to accommodate 20 cars, gate house and kiosk.

The Araromi Community Sports Centre, Gbagada is among the several sports facilities in Lagos that have recently been upgraded by Coca-Cola. Other facilities reconstructed in the past by Coca-Cola include the Amoo Training Pitch Agege, Orile Ignamu Sports Centre, Oworon-shoki Playing Field, the Jakande Estate sports terrain, to name but a few.

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Ex-International Football Star, Victor Ikpeba; Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri; Ex-International Football Star, Emmanuel Babayaro; Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe; and Ex-International Football Star, Peter Rufai at the commissioning of the Araromi Community Sports Centre, Gbagada, Lagos refurbished by Coca-Cola Nigeria on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018

At the unveiling of the facility, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri disclosed that the renovation of the pitch is part of Coca-Cola’s vision of promoting sustainable communities through social enterprise.

“For more than 50 years now, Coca-Cola has had a strong association with sports and particularly football in Nigeria. We however realized that to further drive Nigeria’s grassroots football and talent development, we needed to partner with the authorities to upgrade selected sports facilities across the country to give our young players access to world class sports facilities in their local communities.” he declared.

He added that plans are underway to provide talented youth in Gbagada area with exposure and mentorship from some ex-internationals who will volunteer to train young local players in the facility from time to time.

While commending Coca-Cola for its pivotal role in developing grassroots sports facilities, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who represented the Executive Governor of Lagos State remarked that the centre will help to engage the youth in the community meaningfully, as well as empower them to make success of their passion.

According to her, “It will provide a platform for the positive engagement of our youths and the discovery of talented young people who will make career out of their skill, and contribute to the growth of the economy”.

Appealing to other corporate organisations to partner with the State Government in sponsoring the state’s developmental projects as done by Coca-Cola, Adebule remarked, “I believe the funding of local projects such as this should not be the sole responsibility of the government. We need more private-public partnership as this to develop the state.

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Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri; Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule, representing the Lagos State Governor, H.E, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode; and Former Deputy Governor, Lagos State and Chairman of Lagos State Football Trust Fund, Otunba Femi Pedro at the commissioning of the Araromi Community Sports Centre, Gbagada, Lagos refurbished by Coca-Cola Nigeria on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018

She called on the community to take ownership of the centre and put it into judicious use.

On his part, the President of Gbagada Grassroots Sports Association, (GGSA), remarked that the centre will, while fulfilling its sports development objectives, also bring the community together and empower youths within the community to reach for their football dreams.

The Araromi Sports Centre, Gbagada, one of the oldest sports facilities in Lagos State has produced many football stars. Notable amongst them are Obafemi Martins and Segun Fetuga. It is anticipated that with the latest refurbishment by Coca-Cola Nigeria, more budding football stars will emerge from the locality.

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Director, Public Affairs and Communications , Coca-Cola West Africa Business Unit, Clem Ugorji; Non-executive Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, Laolu Akinkugbe, representing the Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, George Polymenakos and Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri at the commissioning of the Araromi Community Sports Centre, Gbagada, Lagos refurbished by Coca-Cola Nigeria on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018

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FBN Holdings Carrts Away World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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By Segun Lawal
FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2019 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award organized by World Finance; the leading financial services group announced today.
The award ceremony was held recently in London Stock Exchange studio by World Finance, renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The annual event is usually organised against a backdrop of a comprehensive analysis of the very best across various areas of business endeavours in each market around the world.

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UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc receiving the Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria award on behalf of FBNHoldings from Paul Richardson, Producer, World Finance at the World Finance Awards 2019 held in London Stock Exchange Studio, London recently.

Elated to receive the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, Group Managing Director of the finance house said; “receiving this award from World Finance basically tells us two things. One: it’s an affirmation of what we are doing in corporate governance, beyond the giant strides we’re making in financial performance. So we see this as an endorsement of the brand, and it’s a bragging right for us. Because again, there are very few institutions in Nigeria that have benefited from this award. We are truly proud to receive this award.”

Since 2007, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels

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At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium. The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

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L-R: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Former Prime Minister of Benin, HE Lionel Zinsou; Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post; and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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Firstbank Commemorates Global Money Week Empowering Over 7000 Students

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By Segun Lawal

Nigeria’s innovative financial powerhouse, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, commemorated the 2019 Global Money Week (GMW) themed “Learn Save Earn”, 25 – 31 March joining over 50,000 global institutions to mark the event.
Representatives of FirstBank imparted nuggets of financial literacy to over 7000 students in schools spread across the 6 geo-political zones of the country which is also in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that each bank in the country teach in selected schools across the 6 geo-political zones. Among the schools visited by FirstBank include the CEO school: Fiwasaye Girls Grammer Sch. Alagbaka Akure.
According to the official website of Global Money Week (GMW); “Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) initiative, is an annual financial awareness campaign built to inspire children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihoods and entrepreneurship” which is akin to FirstBank’s commitment over the years to encourage its key stakeholders, customers, to imbibe savings culture whilst having their children also carried along on the essence of savings through its youth focused products, KidsFirsts (0 – 12 years) and MeFirst (13 – 17 years) carefully designed to meet the financial targets of the given demographics. These accounts ensure the accounts holders acquire the rudiments of banking and financial literacy as they grow into adulthood and they both come with exciting packages to support the financial journey of the children, enabling them learn money management from an early age.
The Global Money Week is in line with FirstBank’s FutureFirst programme, specially designed to equip students with the knowledge of money management, early entrepreneurship skills, and financial independence whilst stimulating in them savings culture at an early age. Commemorating the Global Money Week is consistent with the Bank’s financial literacy initiatives.
Speaking on the Global Money Week, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “interestingly the Global Money Week coincides with the month of the bank’s 125th anniversary celebration which indeed has been filled with activities of telling our story to the world, thereby promoting the need for efficient financial decisions as not just an individual but a business entity. The FirstBank story is one to be exemplified by all, especially the youth at promoting good money decisions towards business sustainability. .
“As the premier financial institution in Nigeria, we are committed to continually promote financial literacy amongst the younger generation as with them, the future of the country is secured, and they would be knowledgeably equipped and guided to make the right financial decisions, critical to improving their lives and venture into the right business activities, consequently influencing the economy.

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