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NGX Group’s Revolutionary e-Offering Platform Goes Live Following SEC Approval

Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) has unveiled NGX Invest, a groundbreaking digital platform designed to streamline Public Offerings and Rights Issues in the Nigerian capital market.

The platform, which has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is now live, promising an efficient, convenient, and seamless experience for managing primary market transactions.

NGX Invest represents a significant leap forward in improving stakeholder experience within Nigeria’s capital market. Building on the success of the country’s first digital public offering in 2021 – which attracted over 150,000 new retail investors, 75 percent of whom were female and 85 percent under the age of 40 – NGX Invest enhances transparency and accessibility in primary market transactions.

The launch of NGX Invest comes at a crucial time, coinciding with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Banking Recapitalisation directive, which has prompted numerous offers for subscription and rights announcements by Nigerian banks. Both the CBN and SEC have provided robust regulatory support for this initiative. Investors can now access the platform at https://invest.ngxgroup.com. Access Holdings Plc, FCMB Group and Fidelity Bank Plc are already utilising the NGX Invest APIs to distribute their offerings to retail investors. More banks are in the process of onboarding to leverage this platform.

Dr. Emomotimi Agama, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, commended the initiative, stating: “The e-Offering Platform aligns perfectly with our objective of futureproofing the Nigerian capital market. By digitalising and automating financial intermediation processes, we are fostering a more efficient, transparent, and inclusive capital market. At the Commission, our focus is on creating an enabling regulatory environment that promotes innovation without compromising compliance and investor protection. I commend NGX Group for its strategic investment in advancing our capital markets.”

Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga, Group Chairman of NGX Group, commended the regulators, stating: “The supportive regulatory environment has provided a solid foundation that enabled the swift delivery of the platform. This reflects our mutual commitment to market development and will undoubtedly contribute to boosting the participation of retail investors in the capital market.  As we strive for the market to play a larger role in Nigeria’s economic development, the integration of technology, strong partnerships, and collaboration, alongside a positive policy environment, will be essential”.

Temi Popoola, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group), expressed enthusiasm for the new platform noting its significance in NGX Group’s digital transformation journey and ability to enhance market access and foster economic growth. “We sincerely appreciate SEC and CBN for their strong support and leadership. Our intermediaries and partners, including the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), have been instrumental in achieving this success. This platform demonstrates our commitment to innovation and strengthening Nigeria’s capital markets, particularly as we support the banking sector’s recapitalisation efforts.”

Popoola emphasised that NGX Invest is designed to significantly enhance the efficiency of public offering subscriptions and rights issue processes, streamlining operational workflows to better support issuers’ capital-raising efforts.

Jude Chiemeka, CEO of NGX, underscored the platform’s transformative potential: “NGX Invest addresses the demand for a more efficient and transparent process in managing public offers and rights issues. It will expedite reconciliation and allotment processes, reduce unclaimed dividends, and boost investor confidence. All stakeholders – including investors, registrars, issuing houses, brokers, banks, and regulators – stand to benefit significantly from this innovation.”

Commonwealth Short Story Award Winner Releases The Talent Coach

Dr. Frederick Mordi, a Commonwealth Short Story Award winner, who wrote The Familiar Stranger and Other Stories, has announced the release of his second novel, The Talent Coach.

Published by New Africa Book Publishers (NABP), The Talent Coach is a tour de force that adds a new perspective to the nature versus nurture debate. The novel tells the compelling story of Dr.
Joe Jordan is highly sought after by many high-profile clients including CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, heads of state and athletes.

Dr. Jordan visited Nigeria recently at the invitation of a leading new-generation bank. While in the country, the celebrated orator, who is often described as a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, met with Nigerians from all walks of life.

As he had done in the 62 other countries across all the continents of the world that he had visited, Dr. Jordan helped many Nigerians to re (discover) their hidden talents and taught them how to mine their natural endowments to become successful in life, using the 12 principles that he had carefully curated.

The pulsating novel has a length of 206 pages, divided into a prologue, 12 topics, each with a striking quote, which drives home the message intended for the reader, and an epilogue. There
is also a workbook at the end of the novel that Dr. Jordan had developed to help people carry out a critical self-assessment of their talent and become a better version of themselves.

From debunking the myth that talent is exclusive to a select few, to exploring the intricate relationship between nature and nurture, Dr. Jordan expertly guides readers on a journey of self-realisation and shows them how to unleash their innate potential.

In the first topic, “Everybody Has Talent,” he emphasises the universality of talent and dispels the notion that it is confined to a lucky few, while the second topic “Nature or Nurture” delves
into the long-standing debate surrounding the origin of talent.
The Talent Coach offers indispensable advice on the need to focus on one’s strengths and stay committed to a chosen path, in the next topic: “Remain In Your Field”& “The Icarus Parado” looks at the challenges some talented individuals often face in sustaining stasis in stardom.

In “Practice Makes Perfect,” he highlights the undeniable role of deliberate practice in honing talent, while “Dealing With The Impostor Syndrome” equips readers with the tools to overcome self-doubt and embrace their accomplishments. Dr. Jordan guides readers on how to build their emotional strength to enable them to bounce back from setbacks in “What Is Your Adversity Quotient?”

These are just a few samples of the interesting concepts that the novel, which is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking personal and professional growth, offers readers. The author’s engaging writing style and adroitness in the use of dialogue will hold the attention of readers to the end.

The Talent Coach has received rave reviews and endorsements from acclaimed experts. According to Fela Durotoye, an executive coach, leadership expert, global speaker, and nation builder: “Through the pages of this brilliant book, the ultimate talent coach himself, Fred Mordi, helps us to unravel the mystery of TALENT, as the secret place of our greatness.”

Professor Emurobome Idolor, FANIM, first to obtain a PhD degree in Music from a Nigerian university, said: “The factual content of this book makes it all-important for parents and children to own.”

For Olakunle Kasumu, Presenter/Producer, Channels Book Club Show, “All the recurrent questions about talent, natural abilities, acquired skills, and nature versus nurture, are answered as you read a story that is, in itself, captivating.”

The Talent Coach is available for purchase in leading physical bookstores across Nigeria, and in digital bookstores such as Amazon, Lulu and Selar.

Dr. Mordi, the author of the book, is a corporate communications practitioner with over two decades of experience cutting across journalism, public relations, government affairs, stakeholder management, change management, and reputation management.

NAICOM, NFIU to Strengthen Partnership on Financial Regulation

From Left: Mr. Ahmed Adamu Director, Innovation & Regulation NAICOM; Dr. Usman Jankara Jimada Deputy Commissioner, Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, Commissioner for Insurance/CEO, Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, Chief Executive Officer, NFIU; Mr. Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Nuhammed Jiya Chief Operating Officer Emerging Technologies & Innovation NFIU, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Charles Director Supervision, NAICOM.

The Commissioner for Insurance/CEO of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, along with his management team, welcomed the Management team of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) led by its Chief Executive Officer, Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, during their courtesy visit to the Commission on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

The Commissioner for Insurance in his opening remark, expressed gratitude to the NFIU for the ongoing collaboration, highlighting the significant benefits that NAICOM has reaped from this partnership. He commended the NFIU for their co-ordination and the progress made by institutions in meeting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements and ensuring compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards.

Additionally, he praised the joint inspections, training sessions, awareness creation initiatives, and the improved compliance levels demonstrated by insurance companies. Also, the CFI Olusegun Ayo Omosehin emphasised the need for continued periodic training and examination of regulated entities to maintain and enhance the integrity of the financial sector.

The Chief Executive Officer, NFIU, Hafsat Abubakar Bakari reiterated the pivotal role of the NFIU as the central national agency in Nigeria, responsible for receiving, analysing, and disseminating financial intelligence to competent authorities. She underscored the purpose of this engagement which is to gather feedback on enhancing collaboration with various financial agencies, with the goal of removing Nigeria from the grey list and establishing a sustainable and effective AML/CFT framework.

The meeting concluded with a shared commitment to strengthen the partnership between NAICOM and NFIU, ensuring robust financial regulations and safeguarding the integrity of Nigeria’s financial system.

Sterling One Foundation, United Nations Nigeria Unveil Africa Social Impact Summit 2024

The official press conference for the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS 3.0) 2024 hosted by the Sterling One Foundation and the United Nations Nigeria was held recently in Lagos.

Present at the press conference were Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation; Mohammed M. Malick Fall, Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator, United Nations in Nigeria and Abubakar Suleiman, MD/CEO, Sterling Bank.

Others are Odunayo Sanya, Executive Director, MTN Foundation; Hauwa Adeeyo, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Commerce, Co-operatives, Trade and Investments, and Dr. Mories Atoki, CEO, ABC Health, among other key stakeholders and partners.

ASIS, which started in 2022, has grown into a significant platform for driving social impact across Africa. The summit aims to bring together various stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, and development ecosystem to create effective partnerships and advocate for impactful policies.

In her opening remarks, Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation, stated: “The Africa Social Impact Summit has three major goals: to galvanise effective partnerships across the public sector, private sector, and the development ecosystem; to advocate for policies that will attract investments in major development sectors; and to ensure impactful investments in those sectors. We are pleased to announce that over 40 percent of last year’s participants have received various levels of investment.

“One significant example is the MTN Foundation’s investment of over 3 billion Naira to support primary healthcare centers across the country in partnership with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria. This year, we will host an investors’ roundtable on July 24 at the Eko Convention Centre as a pre-event engagement before the summit on July 25 and 26.

“We invite stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and representatives from the private and public sectors, to join us in reimagining progress and designing a new blueprint for sustainable growth in Africa.”

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Nigeria, Assistant Secretary – General Mohammed highlighted the urgency of the summit’s goals, saying, “We have discovered that we are behind on several indicators, and this comes at a time of numerous global challenges, including economic downturns.

“With only six years left to achieve the 2030 SDG targets, it is time to double our efforts. This gathering is crucial for galvanising partnerships, as the SDGs are designed in such a way that no single sector or entity can meet these goals alone. The theme of this year’s summit, ‘Reimagining Progress: A New Blueprint for Sustainable Growth in Africa,’ resonates deeply with the UN, prompting us to support and partner with the Sterling One Foundation in co-convening ASIS 2024.”

Abubakar Sulieman, MD/CEO of Sterling Bank and member of the Board of Trustees for Sterling One Foundation, expressed confidence in the summit’s collaborative potential, stating, “As I walked into this room, I realised that our collective effort can achieve our goals. The institutions represented here demonstrate that we are well on our way to success.

“At Sterling Bank, we have always believed in using our trusted position to solve problems by galvanising partnerships. In the social impact scene, we are many but often weak due to being distributed and disconnected. Size matters, and the beauty of what we do at Sterling One Foundation is our willingness to partner, co-convening with the United Nations.”

The Africa Social Impact Summit 2024 is crucial for sustainable growth across the continent. It aims to address pressing issues through innovative solutions and strategic partnerships. This year’s theme, “Reimagining Progress: A New Blueprint for Sustainable Growth in Africa underscores the need for collaborative efforts to tackle Africa’s development challenges effectively.

Registrations are currently on-going for the ASIS summit, which will take place on July 25th and 26th at Eko Hotels.

Entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and representatives from the private and public sectors are encouraged to participate and contribute to shaping a sustainable future for Africa.

Access Holdings: Facts Behind the Offer Session at NGX

L-R: Morounke Olufemi, Group Chief Financial Officer, Access Holdings Plc; Temi Popoola, Group CEO, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group); Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc; Umaru Kwairanga, Group Chairman, NGX Group; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman, Access Holdings Plc; Ahonsi Unuigbe, Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Limited and Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, during the Facts Behind the Rights Issue Presentation by Access Holdings Plc at the NGX in Lagos.

Universal Insurance Targets N20bn Premium Income in 2024

L-R: Managing Director/CEO, Universal Insurance Plc, Dr. Ben Ujoatuonu; Chairperson, Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE), Mrs. Nkechi Naeche-Esezobor and Company Secretary/Corporate Communications Manager at Universal Insurance Plc, Mr.  Chinedu Anthony Onyilimba, at the 2023/2024 NAIPE Annual General Meeting held at Insurers House, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday,  July 9, 2024.

Despite the harsh operating environment in the country, Universal Insurance Plc has projected a premium income of N20 billion for the 2024 financial year.

Managing Director of Universal Insurance, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu made the revelation at the 2023/2024 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) hosted by Universal Insurance Plc in Lagos.

According to Ujoatuonu, all the company indices are showing positive signs and we will continue to sustain the tempo, adding that the Company has grown its Asset from N11 billion in 2022 to 17 billion in 2023.

He said: “I was here last year to brief NAIPE on what we have done, our projections and what we intended to do. I am here today to let you know that all that we set out to achieve for the end of the year 2023, by the grace of God, I will say we achieved 98 percent of them. The branches we intended to open, were opened and I told you that we expected to end the year with a premium income of about N10 billion. However, we ended the year with a premium income of N9.3 billion with profit of over N530 million.

“This year 2024, we started out with very high expectations. We are also looking forward to opening more branches in 2024. In 2024, we are projecting to end the year with a premium income of about N20 billion. It may interest you to know that as at today, we are doing about N9.3 billion in premium income. We are very optimistic that we are going to achieve it before the end of 2024.

“Our asset will also increase from N11 billion to about N17.5 billion and our shareholders fund will increase from about N9 billion to N12 billion. So-all the indices for us are showing positive signs and we will continue to sustain it.”

Ujoatuonu stated that Universal partnership with NAIPE has added a lot of value to the company and they value it a great deal.

He said: “For so many years, when we go out into the market, one of the challenges we had was people asking, “Is universal still existing? That was a question we were getting then. But today with your cooperation, the projections and what we’ve been able to do in Universal as a brand, people now want to be part of it. People now want to identify with our company and we are grateful to NAIPE for putting us out to the public.

“Due to NAIPE’s support, we are getting into partnerships with a lot of groups and in various states and we are very hopeful that they will create the level of value we are looking forward to.

“At the end of the day, we are meeting our claims obligations and stakeholders are happy. In April when we had the brokers evening, it was very clear that the NCRIB endorsed universal insurance as a company to deal with in terms of service delivery and claims payment. We are sustaining that level of relationship with brokers. And we are very hopeful that it will continue to add the level of value we expect.”

Ujoatuonu added that Universal Insurance admitted three new directors into the board of directors from various backgrounds and diverse experience, stating: “We hope that their entrance into the board will also create the level of value that will expand our frontier in terms of business generation, among the rest of them. So- we are on the move. And I believe that our partnership will continue to afford you the opportunity to dish out to the public what we’re cooking so that they will be able to feed from the abundance of good things coming out from Universal insurance. So- we’re very grateful for this partnership. And we thank you for giving us the opportunity to come around.”

Unity Bank Empowers 400 Fresh Graduates, Invests Over N100m in Corpreneurhip Challenge

No fewer than 400 fresh graduates have benefited from Unity Bank’s entrepreneurship development initiative, also known as Corpreneurship Challenge over the past five years.

This reflects the bank’s commitment to driving economic growth by supporting the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Launched in 2019 with pilots in 4 states – Lagos, Edo, Ogun, and Abuja and scaled to 10 States in 2020, the Corpreneurship Challenge initiative is promoted in partnership with the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED. The initiative features a business pitch presentation where participants, who are mostly fresh graduates participating in the one-year compulsory NYSC service, get the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win business grants.

The bank recently increased the prize money to N16 million per stream, allowing participants who emerge winners in the business pitch to win N800,000, N500,000, and N300,000 business grants for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions respectively as against the previous editions in which the sum of N500,000; N300,000 and N200,000 were handed out to respective winners in the Corpreneurship Challenge.

Reflecting on the impact of the initiative, the Divisional Head, Digital Banking and Fintech Partnerships at Unity Bank, Mr. Olufunwa Akinmade, who led the pioneer team that designed the initiative and launched the pilot, said: “The Corpreneurship Challenge has proved to be a viable enterprise development and empowerment initiative due its high-level of success in supporting budding entrepreneurs in the target demographic, as well as the size of the problem it is designed to solve for the Nigerian economy.”

Olufunwa expressed satisfaction with Corpreneurship Challenge’s rising profile as one of the leading sector-agnostic business incubators in Nigeria and said the Bank is committed to sustaining the programme to attain even greater impact required to boost job creation, with young entrepreneurs leading the charge.

Also speaking, the Divisional Head of Retail and SME Banking, Mrs. Adenike Abimbola said: “We have seen the positive impact of the Corpreneurship Challenge over the past five years because of its innovative approach to youth empowerment and job creation, including a holistic strategy of supporting budding entrepreneurs with mentorship, and skills development, besides the financial backing.”

Since its launch, the Corpreneurship Challenge train has criss-crossed the length and breadth of Nigeria, making a stop in 10 States per stream to turn the dreams of fresh graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs into reality, thus supporting the growth of the SME sector in Nigeria.

The latest edition was held across 10 States, including Taraba, Kogi, FCT, Lagos, Yobe, Ogun, Ebonyi, Enugu, Adamawa, and Imo State, with three winners emerging in each State to make up 30 winners for the edition.

Five-Year Milestone: AIICO Insurance Surpasses ₦200bn in Claims, Benefits Payments

AIICO Insurance Plc, a leading composite insurer in Nigeria, has been acknowledged for its exceptional performance in prompt claims and benefits payment, surpassing N200 billion in settlements over the past five years.

This milestone reflects AIICO’s unwavering commitment to providing financial security and peace of mind to its policyholders.

A comprehensive review of AIICO’s claims and benefits settlements from 2019 to 2023 reveals that the company has consistently prioritised the timely disbursement of claims to both retail customers and corporate clients. The breakdown of the claims paid is as follows:

2019: N30.6 billion

2020: N31.6 billion

2021: N47.3 billion

2022: N44.9 billion

2023: N46.5 billion

AIICO’s robust claims management process and customer-centric approach have solidified its position as a trusted partner in safeguarding the financial well-being of individuals and businesses alike.

Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, Managing Director/CEO of AIICO Insurance Plc, emphasised the company’s dedication to customer satisfaction and service excellence.

He stated: “At AIICO Insurance, our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We exist to serve and protect them, ensuring that their genuine claims are settled swiftly and fairly. This five-year profile is a testament to our commitment to delivering on our promises and maintaining the trust that our customers place in us. We remain dedicated to continuously improving our processes and services to meet the evolving needs of our valued policyholders.”

AIICO Insurance Plc’s impressive track record in claims settlement underscores its core values of integrity, professionalism, and customer-centricity. The company understands that timely and fair claims payments are critical to customers’ financial security, especially during challenging times.

Mr. Fajemirokun further added: “AIICO Insurance Plc will continue to leverage advanced technology and innovative solutions to enhance its claims processing capabilities. Our goal is to provide an even more seamless and efficient experience for our customers, ensuring that they receive the support they need when it matters most.”

Founded in 1963, AIICO Insurance Plc has a 60-year record of delivering quality service to its clients. The company offers a comprehensive range of products including life and general insurance, health insurance, and investment management services, aimed at creating and protecting wealth for individuals, families, and corporate customers.

Sovereign Trust Insurance Hosts Annual Eponymous Ikoyi Club 1938 Table Tennis Tournament

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is set to host another edition of the company’s annual Ikoyi Club 1938 Table Tennis competition for members and their spouses. The week-long competition will see members compete for laurels in the various categories as provided for in the event programme.

The event is scheduled to hold from Monday, July 15 through Friday, July 19, 2024 at the Table Tennis Section of the prestigious Ikoyi Club1938. The tournament which is in its over a decade old edition promises to be more entertaining and exciting than the previous editions. The sporting event provides a conducive platform for relaxation, entertainment and bonding for family members and friends of the club who will be participating in the table tennis tourney as well as the invited guests.

The chairman of the Table Tennis Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Mr. Dare Olude thanked the Management of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc for its continued annual sponsorship of the tournament and also appealed to other corporate entities to follow suit. In his words “the least that any corporate organization can do is to be socially responsible by contributing the little that they can to the development of their immediate community and the nation at large.”

According to him, “Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has consistently shown their commitment to the promotion of sporting activities and the development of young talents to further enhance the human capacity in the sports industry.” Conclusively, he expressed profound gratitude to the Management of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc for their credible support to sports development in the country and beyond.

The Head of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Segun Bankole said that the underwriting firm will continue to support the promotion and development of sports being one of the elements that the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility is hinged on in achieving a healthy society and at the same time contributing to its advancement. He further informed that all protocols have been put in place to ensure a successful and entertaining tournament.

The Managing Director/CEO of the Underwriting Firm, Olaotan Soyinka in his remarks appreciated the General Committee of Ikoyi Club 1938 and in particular, the Chairman of the Table Tennis Section, Dare Olude for granting the organisation the platform to showcase the STI brand to a unique set of community who he believes can collaborate with the organization with regards to insurance products and services under the stable of the Underwriting Firm.

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is known for its unflinching commitment to the promotion and development of sports at the grassroots, national and international levels respectively.

NNPC GCEO: Nigeria’s CNG Journey Has Commenced and is Irreversible

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo (3rd left) cuts a tape to commission an NNPC Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Station in Abuja, as part of the 12 CNG Stations commissioned in Lagos and Abuja. From the Minister’s left are the Board Chairman, NNPC Limited, Chief Pius Akinyelure and GCEO, NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari while on the Minister’s left are the Chairman House Committee on Gas, Hon, Nicholas Mutu; Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Jarigbe Jarigbe and Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari has declared that the drive to bring Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) closer to Nigerians has since commenced and is irreversible.

Kyari, who disclosed this on Thursday during the simultaneous commissioning of 12 CNG stations in Abuja and Lagos, said in addition to the massive deployment of CNG stations nationwide, the NNPC Limited and its partners would also build three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) stations in Ajaokuta.

“There is simply no way to turn back on delivering CNG for all Nigerians. It is the right thing to do. Is it late? Yes, but we will make progress, we will cover the gap in order to ensure that the volatility we see with Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) does not apply to gas,” Kyari stated.

The GCEO commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for providing the needed support to drive domestic gas utilisation aimed at delivering cleaner and cheaper source of energy to Nigerians.

While assuring that the NNPC will continue to deliver more strategic gas projects for the benefit of Nigerians in line with the Presidential CNG Initiative of bringing prosperity to all Nigerians, Kyari reaffirmed the determination of the NNPC to guarantee the nation’s energy security.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited, Mr. Huub Stokman revealed that in the next one year, NNPC Retail would have launched over 100 CNG sites, including 16 NNPC Gas Marketing and NIPCO Gas JV sites.

“CNG provides Nigeria with affordable alternatives to existing available fuel products. It will be about 40% cheaper than petrol in Nigeria and with continued investments, it will become a significant part of our energy mix,” Stokman added.

In his remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo said the commissioning of the stations will not only provide economic benefits by creating jobs and stimulating local economies, it will also contribute significantly to Nigeria’s national goals of reducing emissions and combating climate change.

On his part, the Chairman of the NNPC Board of Directors, Chief Pius Akinyelure said increased CNG adoption will foster economic benefits by reducing fuel costs for consumers and businesses alike.

Following the removal of fuel subsidy and the declaration of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) initiatives, NNPC Limited has taken the lead in the deployment of Auto-CNG Stations across Nigeria.

Already, NNPC Gas Marketing Limited, a subsidiary of NNPC Limited, in partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited has developed an Auto-CNG rollout plan for construction of thirty-five (35) CNG stations across the various geographical zones of Nigeria.

Polaris Bank Partners NCF on Land Restoration, Tree Planting

Polaris Bank ED, Chris Ofikulu, & TASUED Dep VC, Prof. Adekunle Adeogun receiving the 3 tree species from the NCF Project Officer in Ijagun, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

In pursuit of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), Polaris Bank Limited, is partnering the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), on land restoration through tree planting initiative.

The bank’s initiative, kicked off recently with a tree planting project at the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

At the event held in front of the university’s council chamber, the institution’s Vice Chancellors, Prof. Olumide Banjo, represented by his deputy, Prof. Adekunle Adeogun, was full of praises for the bank’s support for the school.

Speaking at the event, the Polaris Bank Executive Director, Chris Ofikulu, said the tree planting initiative, was borne out of the institution’s commemoration of the World Environment Day in June 2024.

According to Ofikulu, the 2024 theme focuses on “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” which aligns with the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

He said: “In support of this, Polaris Bank has committed to sustainable practices and land restoration by planting trees nationwide in regions affected by erosion, such as Ogun State.

“It is noteworthy to mention that we are commencing this initiative with Ogun State.

“At Polaris Bank, sustainability is not just a catchphrase. It is our ethos. It is a journey in which we are committed to walk in with conviction.

“Our sustainability practices involve promoting responsible banking, empowering people and society, addressing environmental issues, and sustainable economic growth.

“We aim to ensure that every decision we make, from investments to operations, is guided by the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

“Our choice of TASUED as the starting port for the bank’s tree planting project is borne out of our long-standing relationship with the University, which commenced with the erstwhile SKYE BANK in 2007.

“The relationship has today remained very cordial and mutually beneficial to both organizations.

“Today’s tree planting exercise at Tai Solarin University of Education in collaboration with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is a testament to our commitment to these sustainability principles.”

Ofikulu said the bank shares its dedication to encouraging sustainable economic growth and appreciating the importance of environmental preservation.

His words: “This project aligns perfectly with the World Environment Day, in addition to reducing carbon footprints and enhancing our natural ecosystem. It also aims to promote public awareness regarding the importance of environmental preservation.

“The benefits of our tree-planting initiative cannot be over-emphasised.

It will contribute significantly to the restoration of degraded areas, the prevention of soil erosion, and the enhancement of overall environmental health.

“This tree-planting project signposts Polaris Bank’s way of giving back to the society through dedication to environmental stewardship and community well-being, promoting a greener future through Corporate Responsibility.”

While stating that the initiative would involve planting of 500 trees, Ofikulu, said 250 seedlings would be planted in the university while the remaining 250 would be planted in another part of the state that would be determined later.

Speaking at the event, the TASUED Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwole Banjo, said Polaris Bank had contributed immensely to the development of the university.

The vice chancellor represented by his deputy, Prof Adekunle Adeogun, appealed to Polaris Bank to give more support for TASUED promising that the relationship shall be for mutual benefits.

In his address at the occasion, Ayodele Alamu, Senior Manager, Partnerships, NCF, said the whole essence of the initiative is to achieve afforestation and restore the forest cover in Nigeria.

Alamu said the vision of the NCF is to achieve at least 25% of forest cover in the country.

He said: “Today, deforestation is a big challenge such that our forest cover which used to be 30 percent years back is now in between 6 to 8 percent and the consequences of this is land degradation, erosion, among others

“However, efforts such as this tree-planting project being done in partnership with Polaris Bank and TASUED will really help to arrest this challenge and enhance sustainability of our environment.

“It is what everyone of us must get involved in to fight the climate change and the attendant negative consequences.”

Other dignitaries at the event were Mrs. Bukola Oluyadi, Group Head Customers Experience and Value Management, Rasheed Yusuf, Group Head, Ondo/Ekiti, Abiodun Daramola, Group Head Ogun/Oyo and Yemi Akinrelere, Head, Sustainability and Consumer Protection among others.

Committee on Insurance of Public Buildings Meets on Compliance

From Left: Mrs. Adebola Odukale, DG, NIA; Mr. Ahmed Adamu, Ag. Directo, Research & Statistics, NAICOM; Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon, who serves as the Committee Chairman and Mr. Rasaaq Salami of NAICOM.

As part of the on-going initiatives spearheaded by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Olusegun Ayo Omosehin, the 2nd Meeting of the Insurance of Public Buildings and Buildings Under Construction Committee took place on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, in Abuja.

The Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon, who serves as the Committee Chairman, welcomed the committee members representing various stakeholder institutions. In his opening remarks, he emphasised the importance of the committee’s national assignment: developing a methodology to ensure compliance with the insurance of public buildings and buildings under construction. This effort aims to enhance the uptake of insurance in these sectors.

The day’s deliberations focused on identifying and exploring synergies with stakeholders, liaising with State Governors and Houses of Assembly to domesticate insurance laws for better compliance, researching similar policies in other jurisdictions, and sensitising stakeholders on the importance of adherence to compliance with compulsory insurances.

Fidelity Bank Affirms Industry Leadership with Publication of ISSB-Compliant Sustainability Report

In demonstration of its leadership in the Sustainability space, leading financial institution – Fidelity Bank Plc – has emerged the first bank to publish its 2023 ISSB-Compliant Sustainability and Climate Report in the Nigerian banking industry.

Hosted on the bank’s website on June 30, 2024, the report provides insights into the Bank’s Governance, Strategy, Risk Management, Metrics and Targets around Sustainability and Climate-related risks and opportunities, Human Capital, Community Efforts, amongst others in the 2023 financial year.

“2023 marked a pivotal point in our sustainability journey. We became a signatory of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP). These associations go beyond mere statements of membership – they actively integrate sustainability and climate-related goals into our core business strategy and daily operations.

“We believe innovation and transparency are essential for building trust in our strategies and achievements. As we progress towards sustainability, we remain committed to our diverse stakeholders including our dedicated workforce, esteemed shareholders, and valued customers”, remarked Mr. Mustapha Chike-Obi, Chairman, Board of Directors, Fidelity Bank Plc in the report.

The document, which was prepared in accordance with the requirements of IFRS S1 and S2, highlights the bank’s achievements and aspirations as pacesetters within the financial services sector.

Speaking on the bank’s strategy on Sustainability and Climate change, Mr. Kevin Ugwuoke, Executive Director/Chief Risk Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, stated, “Our 2023 Sustainability and Climate Report details our commitment to continually situate ESG and Climate-related risks & opportunities considerations at the core of our business operations and activities as we constantly explore means of meeting our corporate objectives in a manner that significantly reduces the negative environmental and social effects. We are glad to be the first bank to publish its report as this emphasizes our market leadership in the Sustainability space and we commit to do more to increase our positive impacts in all aspects of sustainability.”

It will be recalled that Fidelity Bank was recently listed amongst the top Nigerian banks in ESG performance according to a survey commissioned by the Independent Project Monitoring Company (IPMC) Limited.

To access the Fidelity Bank 2023 Sustainability and Climate Report, please visit https://www.fidelitybank.ng/documents/Fidelity_Bank_Sustainability_Climate_Report_2023.pdf

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank with over 8.3 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

 

NNPC: Logistic Challenges, Flooding Cause of Fuel Queues, Vows to Restore Normalcy

The NNPC Limited wishes to state that the fuel queues seen in the FCT and some parts of the country, were as a result of disruption of ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, between Mother Vessels and Daughter Vessels resulting from recent thunderstorm.

The adverse weather condition has also affected berthing at jetties, truck load-outs and transportation of products to filling stations, causing a disruption in station supply logistics.

The NNPC also states that due to flammability of petroleum products and in compliance with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) regulations, it was impossible to load petrol during rainstorms and lightning.

Adherence to these regulations is mandatory as any deviation could pose severe danger to the trucks, filling stations and human lives.

Similarly, the development was compounded by consequential flooding of truck routes which has constrained movement of PMS from the coastal corridors to the Federal Capital, Abuja.

The NNPC Limited is working with relevant stakeholders to resolve the logistics challenges and restore seamless supply of petrol to affected areas.

Already, loading has commenced in areas where these challenges have subsided, and we are hoping the situation will continue to improve in the coming days and full normalcy would be restored.

The NNPC also calls on motorists to avoid panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products.

NAICOM Announces Promotion of 5 Staff as Directors

The Governing Board of the National Insurance Commission, at its meeting held on 21 June, 2024, approved the promotion of five (5) staff to the grade of Director following the promotion exercise conducted on 27th March, 2024. The new Directors are:

  1. Mr. Ajibola Bankole – Director, Inspectorate
  2. Mr. Ahmad Ibrahim Adamu – Director, Innovation & Regulation
  3. Dr. Talmiz Usman – Director, Legal, Enforcement & Market Development
  4. Mr. Kamaludeen Barde – Director, Finance & Accounts
  5. Mr. Rasaaq Salami – Director, Human Resources & Administration

The Governing Board also approved the updated organisational structure of the Commission to enhance its efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. This restructuring ensures that the organisational structure aligns with the Commission’s strategic goals and objectives, aiding the executive management in achieving its mandate. The new directorates are:

  1. Inspectorate
  2. Supervision
  3. Market Conduct & Complaint Bureau
  4. Innovation and Regulation
  5. Legal, Enforcement & Market Development
  6. Human Resources & Administration
  7. Finance & Accounts
  8. Technology, Strategy & Research