The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that reforms initiated by the federal government to clean up years of corrupt practices in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have not completely guaranteed that the state oil firm is now transparently run.
This is coming as a group of civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Nigeria’s extractive industry has accused the international oil companies (IOCs) of complicity in the huge theft of crude oil recorded in the country.
Kachikwu explained that there are still a lot of works to be done to completely transform the corporation and make it accountable and its operations transparent to all Nigerians.
The minister stated this in the October edition of the monthly podcast he released to intimate Nigerians on the status of the country’s oil and gas industry. This edition was recently released in Abuja by his office and he stated in it that the government had though made some efforts in repositioning the NNPC.
“We delivered an open NNPC, we basically opened up our books, we published and tried to be as transparent as we can, but a lot of works still needs to be done there, but for the first time we delivered the kind of NNPC that has never been the sort of NNPC that you used to know,” said Kachikwu, on the results the government had recorded in the last one year.
In a related development, a group of civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Nigeria’s extractive industry have claimed that IOCs in the Niger Delta cannot be totally absolved of the huge theft of crude oil recorded in the country.
They said IOCs had been found culpable of stealing oil from Nigeria, and that oil theft cannot be limited to illegal refining in the Niger Delta.
Rising from a recent workshop on improving CSOs’ engagements in Nigeria’s extractive sectors which they held in Enugu, the CSOs led by Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, also stated that it was difficult to achieve transparent contracting processes in the country’s extractive sectors.
They said in a communique signed by the National Coordinator of PWYP Nigeria, Mr. Peter Egbule, that: “It is difficult to achieve contract transparency in the extractive sector in Nigeria. Although, there are legal frameworks that regulate contracts in the industry, however, they are not always complied with.”
“Nigerians find it difficult to know the exact quantity of crude the country produces. Tax incentives are granted to companies without cost benefit analysis. Oil theft is not limited to illegal refining, IOCs have been found to be culpable of oil theft in Nigeria,” the communique stated.
It further explained: “At the moment, EITI application standards in Nigeria are faced with numerous challenges. Efforts are being often being concentrated on transparency, without adequate attention on accountability.
Experience has shown that transparency alone does not deliver good governance, it must come with accountability.”
They noted that the Land Use Act has become a legislation the states use as a justification for the exploration of minerals without adequate compensation to communities.
In their recommendations, they called on the government to ensure that citizens know the exact quantity of crude produced and lifted daily from the country’s oil fields.
“Besides transparency, environmental and human rights issues must begin to dominate discourse around EITI standards. The civil society needs to demand accountability alongside their strong demand for transparency, CSOs should make sure all facts are crosschecked and are correct before engaging in advocacy,” they added.
Wise Savers Promo: UBA Rewards 20 more customers in Final Draw of Wise Savers Promo as 80 Customers win N120million
Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has again rewarded another 20 customers who have emerged winners in the final draw of the UBA Wise Savers Promo, winning N1.5 million each, bringing the total amount won by 80 customers for the duration of the draw to N120 million.
The electronic raffle draw, which was held at the UBA Head Office in Lagos on Thursday, October 10th 2019, was witnessed by the relevant regulatory bodies including the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Council.
Lucky customers who emerged winners in the fourth draw cut across all regions of the country. They are Lucy C Izunwanne; Agatha N Osifo-Whiskey; Aja-Ukpabi Bridget Ndidiamaka; Ajufo Patroy; Arewa Mathew Oluwatosin; Medline Paula; Olaniyi Joseph Ososba; Odibe Franca Nkechi; Kofo T Ogunsipe; Thany Abdullahi.
Others are Favour Jimmy Ufot; Orok Nsikak Uwem; Enyatam Daniel; Peace Ekemerighe; Yusuf Muhd; Alade Jamiu; Ibrahim Saheed; Ali Sarah; Zainabu A Adamu and Hemen Queen Torkwase.
The just concluded promo, which commenced in September last year, ran till the end of September 2019 and saw a final 20 customers from across Nigeria become millionaires, winning N30 million in the grand finale of the draw.
Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Head, Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) and Telemarketing, Mr. Anant Rao, said that since the promo began late last year, the bank has been impressed at the level of response so far by its customers across the country, adding that the purpose of the campaign is to reward loyal customers while encouraging the savings culture.
He noted that due to the promo, over two million customers qualified for the promo, adding that there has been a remarkable increase in the number of participants in this edition stating that the bank’s objective of helping customers’ save for the rainy day is being achieved.
He said: “It is very easy to spend money but to save is a habit all must imbibe. Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support our customers and to encourage them to save as well.”
The Group Executive, Transformation and Resources, Transformation and Resources, Chiugo Ndubisi, who commended and appreciated customers at the event said, “We had two major objectives for this promo which were to create and encourage a savings culture and to reward loyal customers and we have achieved this. We will be coming out with a bigger promo very soon and we are sure that even more of our customers will benefit from the next promo.
“We will continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and will continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively,” he explained.
Some of the lucky winners that were contacted on phone after the draw were elated, describing their rewards as life changing. “I didn’t expect it and I am so grateful to UBA because this will go a long way to meeting my business needs and charting a new course for my life,” says one of the winners based in Benin, Edo State .
The criteria for qualifying for the draw was to save at least N30,000 in a UBA savings account or in instalments of N10,000 each for a period of three months. customers were able to open a savings account on any of the numerous bank channels, including Magic Banking (*919*20#) and LEO, or in any of the UBA branches across the country, and start saving to stand a chance of winning.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.
UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition 2019 to Reward Schools with Highest Entries
UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has commenced the 2019 edition of its annual National Essay Competition in Nigeria with a call for entries.
Now in its 9th year, the essay competition, targeted at senior secondary school students in Nigeria is organised annually, as part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative which is aimed at promoting the reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.
At the media launch which took place at UBA headquarters in Lagos, the call for entries was announced today. Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said the essay competition, which is in its ninth edition, will provide an opportunity for students in secondary schools across the country to put in their entries and to win prizes in the form of educational grants to study in any university of their choice on the African continent.
Beginning from last year, the prize money increased significantly as the UBA Foundation emphasises that education remains one of the foundation’s key initiatives.
The first prize for the UBA National Essay Competition is a N2 million educational grant, while the second and third prizes are N1.5 million and N1m educational grants respectively.
Speaking to the students and participants at the event, Bola Atta said, “To us at the Foundation, this is our drive to improve the quality of education across the continent. It is also our way of giving back to the society. The competition is a key aspect of our investment drive in human capital, as we seek to improve knowledge base, allow students to express themselves and write creatively. We will continue to sustain the initiative because education is very important to UBA and we are more than committed to providing the necessary support for students in Nigeria and across the African continent,” she noted.
“We are driven by the mantra to do well and do good and we will not relent in our efforts to touch lives through our various projects, and initiatives,” Bola Atta told the excited students.
Explaining the modalities for the competition, she stated that entries received from students for the competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of professors from reputable Nigerian Universities, who will then shortlist 12 best essays for further assessment.
Following this, a second round of the competition will involve the 12 finalists who will write a second supervised essay from which three best essays will be selected as the overall winners from the 12 finalists emerged from the first round of the competition.
Atta explained that the choice of essay for this year’s competition is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students and helps them to be problem solvers. This year, the topic is “What do you think the government should do to control fraud in Nigeria?”
It is important to note that apart from Nigeria, the national essay competition has been taken to other African countries including Ghana and Senegal. More countries including Mozambique and Kenya will kick off the initiative this year. A unique component of this year’s edition is that, schools that turn in the highest number of entries will be recognised and rewarded a special prize by the Foundation.
Also speaking at the call to entries today, the Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, Ogechi Altraide, who spoke on the benefits of reading and writing essays, motivated the students to research into the topics and give it their best shot, adding that there is the need for them to focus on adapting themselves to happenings in their generation, and to have a growth mindset. This she explained, will ensure that they can apply themselves and conquer whatever challenges they are faced with.
According to her, reading and writing go hand in hand, and so it is important for students to keep abreast of how the economy can develop through reading and writing.
An English teacher from Holy Child College, Ikoyi, Mrs Ezechukwu Ngozi, gave the students tips on how to write good essays, and advised them to keep to the proper tenets of essay writing to come out tops in the competition.
As the CSR platform for the UBA Group, UBA Foundation embodies the Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on societies through a number of laudable projects and initiatives.
Each year, the bank donates thousands of books to students in Nigeria and across Africa, under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative to encourage and promote the reading culture in secondary schools.
FIRSTBANK CELEBRATES 2019 CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK, UNDERSCORES THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE THROUGH ITS 125 YEARS
Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2019 Customer Service Week themed “The Magic of Service’. The weeklong event is to be celebrated from 7 – 11 October 2019 across the Bank’s over 700 branch networks in Nigeria and its FBNBank subsidiaries in over half a dozen countries across 3 continents.
The Customer Service Week is an international celebration which highlights the importance of customer service and staff who serve and support customers daily to deliver exceptional service to customers.
With its robust customer service network over the years, cutting across diverse cultures, tribes and races, transcending to its digital channels; FirstBank has since the last 125 years supported its customers’ – beyond the shores of Nigeria – at meeting their individual and business needs, thereby contributing to national growth and development. This, the bank achieves through its innovative, interactive, self-service banking platforms like WhatsApp banking, *894# Quick Banking mobile solution, Firstmobile banking application, internet banking and ATM amongst many others. These electronic banking channels are constantly updated with new and exciting features to put the customers experience and service at an edge in the industry.
According to Taiwo Shonekan, the Bank’s Head, Customer Experience & Value Management “with our dynamic and vibrant customer services operations at FirstBank, we remain committed to rendering the gold standard of services to our customers and stakeholders alike regardless of where they may be across the globe. Efficient customer services forms part and parcel of our DNA, our responsibility at putting our customers first and indeed the centerpiece of our impact since we were founded in 1894.”
“Our robust customer service puts our stakeholders and the public alike at an advantage in meeting their personal and business needs as it underscores the magic of our services through a hundred and a quarter of a century,” she concluded.
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