Connect with us

BUSINESS

Ikeja Electric unveils ‘takeover journey, new horizons for growth’ in 2018 Sustainability Report

Published

on

Ikeja Electric Plc (“IE” or “the Company”), Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, has published its 2018 Sustainability Report titled, “Committed to Excellence – Half a Decade of Bringing Energy to Life”, which reflects IE’s performance, accomplishments, challenges, passion for its business and its growth opportunities in 2018.

Being the first and only Electricity Distribution company in Nigeria to produce a sustainability report, the Report covers IE’s sustainability journey post-takeover with the inherent accomplishments including rebranding, infrastructure investments, smart technology investment, business process investment and performance improvement among other successes attained from the takeover period up to December 2018.

The 2018 Sustainability Report is the fourth report published by IE in successive order, and commemorates five years of the takeover of the company’s operation by its core investors following privatization on November 1, 2013.

Introducing the Report, the Chairman of Ikeja Electric, Kola Adesina, explained that “the scope of IE’s sustainability reports has moved beyond merely communicating financial risks to performance reporting aimed at fostering stakeholder confidence, long-term risk management, building the Company’s reputation and refining its corporate vision and strategy. Through the yearly publication of sustainability reports, IE has demonstrated its commitment to accountability, responsibility and transparency, which have unarguably, distinguished the Company in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).”

The Company aims to publish its Sustainability Reports on an annual basis and the intended audience for this Report are key stakeholders, which include customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, government and regulatory bodies. These stakeholders directly impact and are also directly impacted by the activities of the Company.

“Since we took over in November 2013, we have put in place, strategies that will steer the electricity distribution arm of the electricity sector value chain to greater heights,” Adesina added

“We have assembled a strong leadership team with extensive experience, robust industry and consumer knowledge, focused on innovation and growth. In addition, we have reinvigorated our legacy of sustainability with the introduction of customer-centric initiatives, which are geared towards assuring all stakeholders of a business built on accountability, responsibility, transparency and fairness. We have demonstrated that with the right leadership, the Company can continue to grow and improve its performance as expected by all stakeholders.”

Looking beyond the five years, Adesina noted that “sustainability will remain a central focus for the Company and its Board. Our customers and other stakeholders are crucial to the achievement of our goals; and we believe that a business can only be deemed strong and successful when its stakeholders are satisfied with the services provided. Consequently, the Board will continue to support initiatives that promote its sustainability agenda while creating value in the coming years.”

The Report which is developed by the Company’s Governance & Compliance Office, highlights that in 2018, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aided the Company in securing its social license to operate and build the trust of its stakeholder groups. Businesses cannot succeed in societies that fail, and as such, the Company invested in the achievement of SDGs such as; ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages; ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education; promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all; achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.

The Company also contributed to the achievement of the SDGs by providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization; fostering innovation and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. Other contributions include provision of access to justice for all; building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

The Company reported that within the period under review, it established better technology-driven processes, leveraged data to measure performance for a more consistent growth pattern, optimized its network to drive efficiency and enhanced its security management system. It also deepened its Quality Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) processes and procedures through learning and development programs such as “Target Zero” and “QHSE at a glance” which impacted positively on employees, vendors and contractors.

Over the years, the Company has strengthened its stakeholder engagement and partnership to foster better relationships and maintain a social license to operate, whilst building a committed workforce by treating its employees fairly through reward and recognition initiatives put in place to incentivize the excellent performance of employees.

“We do not report data because it is popular, or because others do so. We track our sustainability performance because it helps us make better decisions, helps to de-risk projects, discover new opportunities and deliver real value for our business. We acknowledge that there is still work to be done and we will continue to do all we can to ensure we maintain our brand promise – bringing energy to life.” Adesina states in the Report.

The Company’s 2018 Sustainability Report was organized and presented in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI Standards seek to achieve consistency amongst organizations reporting on their sustainability activities.

Full access to Ikeja Electric’s 2018 Sustainability Report is available on the Company’s website at https://www.ikejaelectric.com/corporate-governance/ or https://bit.ly/2SDQbK6

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

BUSINESS

Heritage Bank to disburse CBN’s N100bn loan to health, sells FX to SMEs, education sectors

Published

on

As part of proactive measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 and revamp the nation’s dwindling economy, Heritage Bank is set to disburse the N100billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This is in line with the apex bank’s policy to introduce another intervention scheme directed to the health sector, which is known as the NGN100 Billion Credit Support for the Healthcare sector (the Scheme). Specifically, the scheme is to provide credit to indigenous pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare value chain players intending to build or expand capacity.

Also, the CBN resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay schools fees and small medium enterprises (SMEs) with plans to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country. In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of over US$100 million per week for both categories.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank serves as a conduit which will assess and channel the profiles of interested applicants to the CBN while using its platforms to create awareness for the scheme.

The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.

To access the N100bn loans provided by the CBN for firms in the healthcare sector, a corporate entity must submit its application to a participating financial institution (PFI) which could be either a Deposit Money Bank or a Development Finance Institution of its choice with a bankable business plan.

It stated in its latest guidelines that the PFI must appraise and conduct due diligence on the application; and upon approval by the PFI’s credit committee, the application would be submitted to the apex bank with relevant documents attached.

The CBN would process and disburse funds to the PFI for onward release to the project, it added.

The CBN stated that the PFI must receive and review applications submitted by its customers; undertake due diligence based on normal business considerations, and bear the credit risk.

They must also issue offer letters and forward qualified applications to the CBN; disburse the released funds to successful applicants; monitor the project and recover the loans from the beneficiaries, and maintain adequate records of all beneficiaries and facilities.

It requires the PFIs to register all movable assets with the National Collateral Registry; forward periodic returns in the prescribed format on the scheme to the CBN; comply with the guidelines, and carry out any other duties as the CBN may prescribe from time to time.

According to the CBN, eligible participants under the scheme comprise healthcare product manufacturers – pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; and healthcare service providers/medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, diagnostic centres/laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres and blood banks, among others.

Others include pharmaceutical/medical products distribution and logistics services; and other human healthcare service providers as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

Eligible activities under the scheme would include manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; establishment/expansion/upgrade of basic and specialised healthcare facilities; and medical/pharmaceutical supplies.

Others are medical/pharmaceutical research and development; distribution of medical/pharmaceutical drugs and supplies; Manufacturing of medical/pharmaceutical drugs distribution technology; and any other healthcare value chain activity as may be prescribed by the CBN.

The CBN said the term loan had a maximum of N2billion per obligor; and the interest rate under the intervention would not be more than five per cent per annum up until February 28, 2021; and that interest on the facility would revert to nine percent as from March 2021.

To access further details on the modalities, interested persons and institutions can logon Heritage Bank’s website (www.hbng.com).

Continue Reading

Banking

COVID 19 Rebound: We are building Entrepreneurs and supporting financial Inclusion through Xpress Point Agents – Ecobank

Published

on

Ecobank Nigeria has reiterated that its agency banking scheme, also known as Xpress Points, is building entrepreneurs and pushing financial inclusion to the large unbanked and under-banked population in Nigeria. The Ecobank Xpress Point enables eligible Agents to carry out financial transactions on behalf of Ecobank (www.Ecobank.com) and earn commission on every transaction processed. The consumer experience is very good as customers can do simple deposit, payment and transfers in their own neighbourhood rather than travel for hours to a bank branch. Ecobank Xpress Points is also a channel that can be used for the deployment of national social intervention programmes of the Government.

The aim of the Xpress Point is to let every Nigerian and household have access to Ecobank services within their neoghbourhood to provide easy banking services.

Speaking in Lagos, Nike Kolawole, Head, Agency Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, said unemployed and retired persons should avail themselves the opportunity to earn extra income by keying into services offered by the bank as Xpress point agents. According to her, the Ecobank Xpress point which are in various neighbourhoods across the country, are well positioned to facilitate basic financial transactions, with the process and services simplified to attend to a broad spectrum of the society.

She further disclosed that agency banking in general, brings about economic and youth empowerment by way of job creation and earning extra income, adding that small savers can easily do their savings at home or near their home. This leads to financial inclusion of the underbanked in the country.

For now, Ecobank has over 43,000 agents across Africa. The agents carry out financial transactions on behalf of Ecobank and earn commission per transaction processed. Xpress Points can also be used as a channel for the deployment of national social intervention programmes, especially at this time that we are fighting the impact of lockdowns due to the COVID-19.”

Kolawole listed the services offered by the Xpress point agents as; cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bills payment, airtime recharge, remittance and account opening, among others. She added that the services are available for “sole proprietors, partnerships, co-operative societies, microfinance banks, companies with large distribution network – like petrol stations, FMCGs, telecommunication companies, super agents, aggregators and unregistered businesses such as petty traders, hair saloon and others.”

Ecobank boasts of a bouquet of digital channels comprising solutions aimed at delivering convenient, accessible and reliable financial services. For instance, users of the bank’s USSD code, *326# carry out transactions without paying session charges. The USSD platform, *326#, makes it possible to open an Xpress account and Xpress Save account instantly. The bank’s mobile banking app, Ecobank Mobile offers the option of generating a virtual card; this comes in handy as customers are continually turning to web payments for their shopping and payments. The Ecobank virtual card offers the flexibility and convenience of creating a shopping card that is not linked to a customer’s account but is fully capable of carrying out online payments. The virtual card can also be shared with loved ones as a gift card for their own shopping.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

Mastercard Builds on COVID-19 Response with Commitment to Connect 1 Billion People

Published

on

Extends effort beyond 500 million financially included over the past five years; Maximizes technology, partnerships to deliver aid, insights and access to businesses and communities; Programs like the Mastercard Farmer Network and Kasha are connecting people across East Africa.

The health and economic consequences of COVID-19 have highlighted the critical need to support vulnerable populations, many of whom are disproportionately impacted. In this time of global crisis, Mastercard (www.Mastercard.com) has expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.

The extended commitment builds on Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 related health and economic challenges facing individuals all over the world, including in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Financial inclusion remains key to unlocking the potential of Sub-Saharan Africa, and will become crucial as we support Governments in driving long-term, sustainable economic recovery. Digital transactions are both safe and efficient and giving access to these for as many people as possible, is an important part of supporting the most vulnerable parts of the population through the current situation. Our focus right now – beyond philanthropy – is to steadfastly continue collaborating  with governments and private sector partners on solutions that are safe, viable, and most importantly, socially impactful for communities across the region,” said Raghav Prasad, Mastercard’s Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa.

At the 2015 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Mastercard committed to bring 500 million excluded individuals into the financial system. It achieved that goal through more than 350 innovative programs across 80 countries.

The Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion (www.Mastercard.us) – the technology company’s first lab focused on financial inclusion – is committed to empowering millions of Africans through the use of public-private partnerships, and the innovation of locally relevant technology solutions. One such solution is the Mastercard Farmer Network, a mobile platform that improves market access, increases price transparency and digitizes payments to connect small farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

East Africa is also served by Kasha, an e-commerce platform optimized for women’s health and personal care. It offers confidential and convenient service, online/offline digital ordering and delivery to both urban and low-income rural areas. In Uganda, Mastercard launched Kupaa in partnership with UNICEF Uganda and the country’s Ministry of Education. It enables parents and caregivers to pay school fees and other school expenses with their mobile phones securely, easily, and in small payments when they are able, easing the burden of lump sum payments.

Mastercard also expanded its partnership with Unilever to create Jaza Duka (fill up your store) – a digital program for micro-merchants in Kenya with more than 18,000 duka owners already registered. The program provides a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), which can then assess a retailer’s credit worthiness and extend credit for stock purchases.

Additional efforts include ongoing work on government disbursement solutions, wage digitization of private sector workers, solutions for gig workers, scaling efforts with fintechs, digital platforms and digital wallets/apps, solutions addressing needs of the financially vulnerable and the expansion of CityKey and Community Pass programs.

This announcement builds on Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to support an inclusive recovery by leveraging the company’s technology, capabilities and reach. That work includes:

  • In the first weeks of the global health crisis, Mastercard committed up to $25 million in seed funding to establish the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (www.TherapeuticsAccelerator.org) in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and others to help speed up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by discovering, developing and scaling-up treatments for deployment around the world.
  • Mastercard has committed $250 million in financial, technology, product and services support over the next five years to small businesses in many markets where it operates, supporting the vitality of businesses and the financial security of their workers.
  • Mastercard is leveraging its network to provide support to governments around the world in a range of areas. This includes providing data insights to inform policymakers about the economic impact of the pandemic; increasing the speed and efficacy of aid disbursements to communities and business segments that need it most; developing donation platforms to enable emergency fundraising; and working with governments to assist business owners and consumers with cyber vulnerability assessments.
Continue Reading





FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Trending