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Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu, Others Commend Airtel for Outstanding CSR Initiative

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The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim have lauded Airtel Nigeria for its exceptional CSR efforts at the telco’s season 5 premiere of its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, ‘Airtel Touching Lives’.
The grand ceremony, which held over the weekend in Lagos at Eko Hotel Convention Centre, Victoria Island was attended by several eminent guests, including award-winning writer and novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.
In his keynote address, Yemi Osinbajo commended Airtel for its unswerving efforts in bringing millions of underprivileged Nigerians out of despair and being a beacon of hope through its Touching Lives initiative. He stated, “I really want to laud the effort of Segun Ogunsanya and his team at Airtel for touching so many lives and for doing so in the past five years without fanfare. Listening to the stories of the lives that have been touched must be a reminder of so many others in despair who need our help and comfort.”
Osinbajo went on to expound the Federal Government’s continuous efforts in providing support for more Nigerians in dire need of help by creating social safety nets to the vulnerable, including improved access to healthcare, welfare, housing, among others. He noted that part of the safety net schemes is the feeding of over 9 million pupils across 34 states, however, he stated the efforts still have a long a way to go in providing succor to people in hard-to-reach communities.
“In spite of all these social safety net schemes, we are still very far from touching the majority of those who need our help. We still need more resources because we can’t do it all, and that is why socially conscious organizations like Airtel is so vital in bridging the huge gap between what the Government can do and what is left to be done”, he added.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his keynote address regarded Airtel as a partner in progress, praising the telecommunications giant for going out of its way to impact millions of lives over the years through the initiative. He stated that Airtel’s commitment to touching lives continues to compliment the State Government’s goal of giving a voice to the voiceless. He said: “Companies like Airtel is helping us actualize the reason millions of people stand under the rain and in the sun to vote for us as public officers. We truly appreciate companies like Airtel, who are taking the right narrative and steps to truly impact lives without expecting anything in return.”
Sano-Olu went on to elucidate one of the numerous ways the telco has supported the Lagos State Government, stating, “I can assure you the company has been doing incredible work and supporting us without pressurizing them. I am more than happy to reveal that even in our Security Trust Fund, Airtel gave us over 200 lines for all of our security operatives in the RRS. That for us is critical, as communication is a consequential tool that security operatives need to have to discharge their duties.”
“We are delighted that Airtel and the likes are supporting us to continually ensure that our people are taken out of poverty and Lagos State remains a destination of choice for people to do well, thrive and progress.”
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, , Isa Ali Ibrahim also lauded Airtel for its Touching Lives initiative, citing it as a source of inspiration for not just only public officers in government but one that could permeate the culture of giving among millions of Nigerians. He described Airtel as a corporate entity worthy of emulation by other organizations in the country. He noted that he was moved by Airtel’s unflagging dedication to truly render a helping hand to those in need without being compelled by the law to do so.
The Minister, having been moved by the gesture went on to promise to invest his salary in the purchase of Airtel top-up for others as a way of showing his gratitude and support for the telco.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, called on kind-hearted Nigerians to join in uplifting the less-privileged members of society. He stated that ‘Airtel Touching Lives’ serves as a platform to promote the culture of giving, self-sacrifice, love and charity among Nigerians.
“The initiative is designed to offer practical relief, succour, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged, disadvantaged individuals, families and communities in the Nigerian society”, he said.
He said the initiative had continued to record tremendous success since it was launched in 2015 and noted that the success of the programme over the years has encouraged the telecommunication company to keep the show running.

 

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BUSINESS

Ikeja Electric commissions new 33KV feeders to boost supply, expand network

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Persistent in the drive to optimize its services in the sector, Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric, has commissioned two new Feeders, Igando 33KV and Ijegun 33KV, to further boost supply to customers in the network.

With the completion of these Feeders, beneficiary communities will experience improved power supply, while the project has also enabled better alignment and strengthened network. Areas such as White Sand Joint CDA, Mutairu Alli, Taiwo Olaniran, Boripe, Idi Cashew, Lasisi Ajibade, Harmony, Ire-Akari and environs would benefit from the Ijegun 33KV feeder, while areas including Egan Town, Ajao Jimoh, Imoba 1, Iloilo, Taiwo Along, Abibatu Oseni, Oke as well as Bayas would benefit from Igando 33KV.

Meanwhile, Maximum Demand customers in these areas will also be able to increase capacity within their business for increased production and sales.

Speaking on the project, Head, Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue explained that Ikeja Electric has consistently strengthened its network through new projects designed to boost electricity supply to customers and create exceptional service.

He said: “At Ikeja Electric, improvement of our network and enhancement of operations is a critical requirement because we are committed maintaining about ensuring efficient service delivery. And it will only get better as we roll out this expansion initiatives. We will continue to strengthen our lines, embark on new projects where necessary, in order to ensure that our equipment and installations are optimized, while also reducing downtime supply in order to satisfy our customers.

“These new projects will address issues of fluctuations, load-shedding on overloaded distribution transformers and perennial faults resulting to frequent downtime within the network as well as improve economic activities due to quality power supply to customers within these communities,” he noted.

Resulting from the new project, the company noted that the alignment carried out in the network made the Shasha 33KV feeder to be moved from T3 100MVA to T2 60MVA, Igando Injection Substation now feeds from Igando 33KV feeder, while Ijegun Injection Substation now feeds from Ijegun 33KV feeder and Egbe 33KV now feeds only line loads.

Ikeja Electric appealed to customers to report issues or faults promptly, ensure protection of Ikeja Electric installations within their locality, pay monthly bills on time and avoid assault on staff of the company. The Disco reiterated that its commitment to provision of quality, reliable and exceptional service delivery, remains the focal point.

The company noted that several strategic projects aimed at bolstering the network are ongoing across its six business unit and will be completed in due time.

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Heritage Bank, GEZAWA set to transform Nigeria’s agric sector to huge commercial hub

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The Nigerian agricultural sector is set to witness a huge growth, as Heritage Bank Plc the lead settlement bank for Gezawa Commodity Market (GCMX) has collaborated with key stakeholders to revolutionise agricultural value-chain, aimed at providing fully integrated ecosystem for commodity Exchange.

Heritage Bank was appointed as the Lead Settlement Bank and Transaction Adviser to the Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Ltd and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two firms, whilst over 10, 000 farmers in 3000 cooperatives in the 44 local governments of Kano States were hosted.

The partnership between Heritage Bank and the Exchange would facilitate the ease of agro commodity trading in a more structured way, especially with the closeness to the Dawanu, the largest grain market in Africa.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, who was a panelist at the 2nd GCMX Farmers’ Cooperative Forum in Kano at the weekend, stated that the partnership is targeted to de-risk the sector that would bring about structured and enhanced agro-business and attain food security that leads to economic development.

Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye explained that the partnership which would help bridge the huge gap associated to risk, will fast track effective price discovery mechanism and traceability and enhanced trade settlement services.

Specifically, the bank’s helmsman stated that under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Heritage Bank would provide on-lending funding to aggregated farmers in the 2020 farming season to grow various products that will serve as raw materials to the processors, thereby ensuring market linkages and access to the market as well as reduce importation and conserve Nigeria’s external reserves.

According to him, with its assigned position  Heritage Bank would play a pivotal role in ensuring that there would be an effective and readily available platform for market linkages among players in the agribusiness value chain, involving FMCGs, warehouse operators, collateral managers, processors, farmers’ cooperatives to transact in a seamless way that guarantee quality, quantity, payment and delivery.

Speaking the event, the ED/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo affirmed that the initiative would help foster diversification of non-oil export trade.

He, however, stated that NEPC would ensure that the primary for the signing of the MoU would be achieve, whilst calling for the need to ensure adequate and seamless supply of agricultural commodities for the business to be sustainable.

The Gezawa Project Consultant, Binchang Binfa, Managing Director of Makarios Global Resource, disclosed, “the ultimate goal was to unlock the vast potential of agricultural value chain via partnerships and synergy with likeminded enterprises, organisations and institutions that will mutually create wealth, generate local employment and contribute significantly to the economic growth and GDP the nation.”

He stated that the Exchange would provide services on price discovery and transparency, increase foreign exchange earning capacity, commodity storage and warehouse receipt system, employment generation of 15, 000 direct and indirect jobs, investment opportunities, increase in non-oil export, ease of doing business, weather report, soil test report, as well as 24/7 online trading of commodities on alive trading platform.

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CORONAVIRUS: FIRSTBANK DEPLOYS MEASURES TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

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Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced proactive measures it has taken to control the spread of the COVID – 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The Bank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said “embedded in our corporate strategy is business continuity management that ensures the delivery of products, services and initiatives to our stakeholders and enabling the economy in the long-term with minimal impact.

Therefore, we have employed necessary measures to keep our employees, customers and the general public safe-guarded and sensitised on preventive steps to flatten the curve at the fastest possible rate. These include the deployment of temperature measuring tools; hand sanitisers; face masks and adopting social distancing including utilizing virtual meetings. We have also cancelled owned and partnered planned events in the interim; suspended staff travels and have put measures in place to identify and communicate to staff who are arriving from affected countries to self-quarantine following the established protocols by the World Health Organisation and the government.

In addition, we have been amplifying all necessary official information from relevant health bodies and partners such as encouraging everyone to adhere to good hygiene practices which comprise regular cleaning of all surface areas – for example, tables, door handles – with disinfectants, consistent washing of hands as well as avoiding close contact with people and staying away from crowded environment’’.

Encouraging the use of cashless transactions, Mrs. Ani-Mumuney said; “we implore all our customers to embrace cashless transactions across our self-service platforms like *894# USSD banking services, FirstMobile, WhatsApp Banking, First Online for their needs like funds transfers, various bill payments, credit and internet data recharge and much more. In need of quick loans, these self-service platforms are also designed to meet their immediate needs through our FirstAdvance service”.

For enquiries and complaints, customers are encouraged to contact the Bank’s 24 hours multi-lingual customer care centre, FirstContact, on 01-4485500 or email, firstcontact@firstbanknigeria.com.

She noted that the Bank is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its staff, customers and host communities as together the fight against Coronavirus would be won.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should be reached on its Toll-Free Number: 0800 9700 001 for immediate medical attention and advise.

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