Unity Bank Grows Gross Earnings 4% To  N33.9 Billion  In Nine Months, Assets base by 44% 


Unity Bank Plc has declared gross earnings of N33.906 billion for the nine months’ period ended September 30, 2020, and also recorded a 44% asset growth during the period. 

A review of the unaudited Q3/2020 results released to The Nigerian Stock Exchange showed a gross earnings growth of 8 per cent to N33.906 billion, up from N31.256 billion recorded in the same period in 2019. 

The lender’s total assets rose significantly to N420.870 billion in the 9-month period ended September 30, 2020, from N293.052 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a whooping growth of 44% 

This is even as the Bank grew its bottom-line by 6% as Profit Before Tax, PBT moved up to close at N1.710 billion from N1.611 billion in 2019. 

Profit After Tax, PAT equally grew by 6% to N1.573 billion compared to the N1.482 billion recorded in the same period in 2019. 

This performance comes on the heels of the unmitigated impact of the global pandemic on the economy, which lingered throughout the quarter with its attendant headwinds that slowed down economic activities 

The lender also substantially grew its customers’ deposit portfolio to N332.362 billion from N257.691 billion for the same period in 2019, creating a 29 per cent increase affirming the confidence reposed by its wide spectrum of the banking public. The lender, it was gathered, rolled out massive customer-centric products to the public especially in the retail space which accelerated the banking patronage during the period. 

Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun welcomed the steady growth of the balance sheet especially from both assets and liability side of the business and across key performance indices.  

She said that this has had a sustained impact on the bottom-line, even as the Bank continues to innovate in its e-business product bouquet to target and support value chain business with robust technology and thus diversify its earnings base’’.     

Looking ahead, Mrs. Somefun stated that “One of the areas that will define our strategic direction going forward is an investment in alternative channels leveraging further deployment of resources in technology. COVID-19 gave us a chance to test the integrity and scalability of our technology, the IT infrastructure, and the electronic banking channels, and provided us an opportunity to see where we needed to improve and strengthen, knowing that the future of sustainable banking business is in alternative channels”. 

The results can also be attributable to the Bank’s growing brand profile and leadership in agribusiness, especially having provided loans and financing to over one million smallholder farmers especially those in primary production and other value chain businesses in the agricultural sector. 

During the period under review, the Bank enhanced and deepened its collaboration and partnership with major commodity associations including the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, and the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) to finance over 400 smallholder farmers’ crop production with its overall strategic intent of fostering food security, employment generation and aggregate economic welfare of citizens across the value chains. 

The Bank, while providing credit facilities to a large number of input suppliers and vendors through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme. 

In recognition of the above, Mrs Somefun added that the Bank will continue to focus on agriculture while deepening business in various new markets that have been developed alongside to pull more resources and enhance multiple streams of income. 

In the view of analysts, the consistent upward trajectory in the performance of the Bank as shown in Q1, H1, and Q3, 2020 results continue to reinforce growing market confidence as well as demonstrates the commitment and drive of the management to enhance shareholder’s value.                          

Reps Commend NIMASA’s 2020 Budget Implementation, Jamoh’s Vision  For The Agency

Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu (second left); DG, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (second right); ED Operations, NIMASA, Mr. Shehu Ahmed (right); and committee member, Victor Nwokolo, (left), during an oversight visit to NIMASA recently.
Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu (second left); DG, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (second right); ED Operations, NIMASA, Mr. Shehu Ahmed (right); and committee member, Victor Nwokolo, (left), during an oversight visit to NIMASA recently.
The House of Representatives, Nigeria’s lower legislative arm has commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA over its 2020 budget performance status despite the economic and socio-political hiccups caused by the outbreak of      COVID-I9 pandemic. 

Handing down the commendation, in Lagos during an oversight assessment by members, Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration Lynda Ikpeazu said the agency has performed well, especially given the distortions caused by the pandemic. 

Lynda Ikpeazu also revealed that the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act Amendment Bill has gone through First Reading in the House of Representatives.

She expressed confidence in the current management of NIMASA led by its Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh. According to her, Dr. Jamoh had laid down a clear roadmap for taking the Agency to greater heights, and pledged the lower chamber’s support.

Recall that the new DG had on assumption of duty in March launched a three-pronged agenda for maritime industry development focused on Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development.  

The House Committee chairman said by that agenda, “The Director-General has laid a good foundation for the agency and the committee is here to monitor the activities of the Agency for 2020 and see how it has performed so far and further legislative assistance that can be brought to bear in order to generate more revenue for the government.”

She added, “The DG of NIMASA is doing his best to ensure that he repositions the agency to make sure the agency delivers on its core mandates. We will make sure we give the DG all the necessary support he needs because we have seen him moving towards the right direction and, most especially, he has made it clear to us that he wants to address insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea. The issue of security goes a long way to affect revenue generation in the maritime sector.”

The chairman also hinted that the Cabotage Act Amendment Bill, which had gone through First Reading at the lower house, would reflect contemporary issues that would be beneficial to indigenous shipowners in the country.

“A more responsive Cabotage law will stimulate opportunities and policies for giving seafarers jobs and improve on shipbuilding capacity,” Ikpeazu stated.

Jamoh, in his response, thanked the committee for the cooperation and support it had accorded NIMASA. He said on his watch human capacity development in the maritime industry would continue to take pride of place.

The Director-General said, “Human beings are the most important link in the maritime industry and, at the same time, the weakest and most complicated in the industry. This administration will take the issue of training and capacity development of staff serious and we have gone further to maintain a close relationship with the maritime workers union to ensure that dockworkers are properly trained.”

Q3: Zenith Posts 4% Increase In Gross Earnings To ₦509 billion,

Zenith Bank Plc has made public its unaudited results for the third quarter ended 30 September 2020 with a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N177 billion, representing a 1% growth over the ₦176 billion posted in the same period in the previous year. This performance demonstrates the Group’s resilience against the backdrop of a challenging macro-economic environment brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

According to the unaudited account which was presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), gross earnings moved up 4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to ₦509 billion, driven by non-interest income which increased to ₦173 billion from ₦157 billion recorded at the end of Q3 2019, reflecting the Group’s increasingly diversified business model. Profit After Tax (PAT) grew by 6% to N159 billion from N150 billion in the corresponding period last year.
The result also demonstrates the Group’s ability to deliver optimal pricing for its interest-bearing assets and liabilities in a declining yield environment, as net interest income grew by 5% Year-on-Year (y-o-y) to ₦225 billion despite the drop in total interest income from ₦322 billion to ₦319 billion. Interest expense and cost of funds were down 13% and 27% to close at ₦94 billion and 2.2% respectively, reflecting the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management. 

Total deposits closed at ₦5.2 trillion at the end of Q3 2020 up from ₦4.3 trillion in December 2019, dominated by low-cost deposits. Retail deposits grew impressively by 58% to ₦1.7 trillion at the end of Q3 2020 up from ₦1.1 trillion as at December 2019, underpinned by the continuous expansion and improvement of the Group’s digital platforms.

In terms of asset quality, the Group’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio improved to 4.80% (FYE 2019: 4.95%), despite growing loans and advances by 17 % from ₦2.5 trillion as at December 2019 to ₦2.9 trillion at the end of Q3 2020, affirming the Group’s prudent credit risk management. The liquidity and capital adequacy ratios (CAR), at 67.4% (Bank: 52.5%) and 21.5% respectively at the end of Q3 2020, remain above regulatory thresholds of 30.0% and 15.0%. 

Zenith Bank Plc has continued to demonstrate resilience and industry leadership. In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto and Co. The Bank was also recognised as Bank of the Year and Best in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards. More recently, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020, and Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.

Senate Lauds NNPC On Gas Projects, Financial Audit Report

NNPC Towers
NNPC Towers
The Senate Committee on Gas has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the various gas development projects it has undertaken, especially the Ajaokuta- Kaduna- Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project.
Speaking during the 2021 Budget Defense and Performance Appraisal meeting with officials of the Corporation which held at the National Assembly Complex, Chairman of the Committee, Senator James Manager, expressed satisfaction with the various gas development projects embarked upon by the NNPC despite the impact of Covid-19 on the oil and gas industry, saying: “We are proud of the AKK and some of your other projects”.
He said the interface between the committee and the NNPC would have been more frequent but for the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He seized the opportunity to reassure the Corporation that his committee would undertake an oversight visit to the projects for proper assessment soon.
On his part, a member of the Committee, who is also the immediate past Chairman of the Committee, Senator Albert Akpan Bassey, said NNPC under the leadership of Mallam Mele Kyari has taken the Corporation to a new height by publishing the 2018 and 2019 Audited Financial Statements and for reducing losses by over 95 per cent.
“I want to commend the team led by the present GMD, a team of dedicated and passionate Nigerians. If they can reduce losses drastically within such a short time, I am sure the next report will reveal huge profit to the country. We must give them our support and cooperation,” he stated.
Speaking earlier during a presentation, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman, attributed the success of the Corporation in the gas sector to the support and cooperation of the Committee and the entire legislature.
He said gas supply to power has improved significantly, which was evident in the improved power supply currently being witnessed in the country.
“We have significant gas in the network currently, but the challenge however, is transmission,” the COO stated.
On the AKK pipeline project, Engr. Usman told the lawmakers that it was designed to supply 2billion cubic feet of gas per day (2bcfd), stressing that it would be the primary source of gas for the power plants currently being developed in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

Pantami emphasizes Digital Innovations And Entrepreneurship As Tools For Developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

Dr. Isa A. Pantami
Dr. Isa A. Pantami
iThe Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has emphasized the importance of digital innovations and entrepreneurship to developing the nation’s digital economy.

The Minister stated this during a retreat organized by the Ministry for directorate cadre staff with the theme “Performance Improvement and Service Delivery in the Era of Digital Economy” held at the Digital Economy complex, Mbora, Abuja from November 16-17, 2020.

He said digital innovation and entrepreneurship are two prerequisites for developing indigenous digital economy and charged the staff to challenge citizens to come up with innovative ideas that would proffer solutions to societal problems.

Dr. Pantami said, “today we are a consuming nation and our economy will continue to suffer as long as we fail to integrate production in every sector of the economy. As a nation, we must excel in manufacturing and production, which is the way forward. Our day to day activities are to promote digital entrepreneurship and our target is to transform Nigeria into a leading digital economy”

He explained that the Ministry involved stakeholders in the ICT sector, political parties, governors, traditional institutions, and religious leaders in developing digital policies for the nation adding that the policies are not about the present administration but long-time policies for the nation which would outlive the administration.

“We don’t think about the  current administration in developing policies but our focus is about the country. We inherited documents from the previous administration which we implemented; we will also leave for the incoming administration because government is a continuum”.

The Minister stated that leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or members of an organization to achieve specific goals.

He urged the management to work as a team and have analytical thinking so that they could break down complex information or comprehensive data into fundamental parts.

 Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus  had pointed out earlier that the staff need to think outside the box to find solutions to Nigeria’s problems adding that the society would blame the Ministry if it fails to achieve digital economy objectives.

In her presentation titled “Strategy for Improvement on Implementation of Effective Service Delivery, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli commended the management of the Ministry for the retreat to enhance digital economy strategy for the improvement on implementation of effective service delivery.

In her words, service delivery has been given priority by governments in both developed and developing nations. The service delivery gap that exists has to be bridged through the collaboration for effective service delivery.

The Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye represented by Mr. Olayinka A. Aiyegbayo in his paper titled “Ethics and Integrity Compliance in the Workplace” pointed out that accountability and Transparency must be adapted and incorporated into the organization’s culture to enhance good governance, efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity in the workplace.

NNPC Committed To Growing Nation’s Hydrocarbon Reserves

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its resolve to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves to 40billion barrels through reinvigorated exploratory activities in the inland frontier basins across the country.
Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated this while delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) where he was a Special Guest.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted Mallam Kyari as revealing that crude oil has already been discovered in the Benue Trough in commercial quantity, with Nigerian Geologists spearheading the efforts.
He noted that the strategy is to aggressively explore for more oil in the frontier basins in order to grow the nation’s reserve base, in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to hit the 40billion barrels reserve target.
Mallam Kyari said the theme of this year’s conference: “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities” fits squarely into NNPC’s key aspiration, which is to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves, reduce unit operating cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel and improve efficiency across its businesses.
“It is my pleasure to appreciate the good work and resilience of our in-house professionals in the ongoing inland basins exploration activities that culminated in the recent discovery of hydrocarbons in Benue Trough. NNPC is indeed proud that it is NAPE members that are spearheading this effort,” Mallam Kyari stated.
According to him, the NNPC has made significant progress in improving operational efficiency through the adoption of technology and deliberate effort to curtail soaring cost of operations across strategic assets.
“It is instructive to understand that the current market reality cannot support inefficiency and escalated costs of operations. The era of $30/bbl oil no longer exists.
“In today’s Covid-19 defined market, sustaining operations and making progress means that all stakeholders must recognize the need to improve efficiency, reduce costs, eliminate wastages, entrench accountability, act with transparency and embrace technology and innovation to drive performance and value realization across strategic investment portfolios,” he posited.
The NNPC helmsman added that in the face of the energy transition, the Corporation is focused on developing gas infrastructure and deepening domestic gas utilization, stressing that gas is the energy of the future.
The GMD expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill would be passed next year, noting that the fiscal environment proposed would attract more investment into the Oil and Gas Industry.
He assured NAPE and all other industry operators of sustained collaboration from NNPC, saying that the strategy of synergy was required in order to drive down operating cost and survive the emerging challenges in the industry.

Govts. Can Unlock Potentials Through Privatisation – SEC

DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda
DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has stated that the Federal and State Governments have the capabilities to unlock enormous potentials through privatisation.

Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated this on Tuesday at a Webinar organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) with the theme: Privatisation in Nigeria and the Outlook for Subnational Economic Development.

Represented by Mr. Reginald Karawusa Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement, Yuguda said the theme speaks to one of the issues that is germane to financing for state governments. 

He said there is indeed no better time to discuss alternative funding sources at the sub national level given adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to him, the capital market’s primary role in any economy is to facilitate capital formation. By creating a system for allocation of capital, investors are able to price risk efficiently while issuers have the opportunity to raise funds to finance projects. In doing so, issuers may choose to raise equities or debts.

“Sub national issuers in Nigeria have been able to access the debt capital market over the years since 1978, state governments in Nigeria have raised close to N900bn through debt issuances. A significant part of these funds were deployed to finance capital projects across the country. However, the ability of states to continue to borrow in a sustainable manner has been severely impacted in recent times. With the huge infrastructure gap, decreased allocation from the federal purse owing to relatively low oil revenue and the depressed level of internally generated revenues, states are barely able to pay salaries after servicing their outstanding loan obligations.

“Privatisation is an avenue for governments to unlock economic potentials inherent in government owned enterprises. The focus on Nigeria’s journey on privatisation has largely been on the Federal Government. There have been several phases of privatisation exercises in the past with emphasis on enterprises operating in different sectors of the economy including oil and gas, hospitality, mining etc.” Yuguda stated.

The DG said the discourse is crucial in the light of current economic realities as a number of these deals were consummated through the listing of these entities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, some of these companies have been positively transformed and have returned value to shareholders. 

“Several enterprises are still owned and controlled by the government, both at the state and federal levels. A number of these entities have the capacities to generate cash flows and corporate profitability. However, owing to certain inefficiencies, these entities are under performing and in some cases subtracting from value. Perhaps this is the time for state governments to revisit the privatisation value proposition. There are several benefits to privatisation” he stated.

He said privatisation has numerous benefits as the proceeds from the sale of government interest in these enterprises would help augment budget shortfalls and can be applied towards funding critical infrastructure.

“Beyond the funds to be generated, governments will enjoy cost of savings as there would be no further requirements to fund these entities post-privatisation.

“There are further benefits to be enjoyed through the taxes that would be paid in the future by those entities. As they undergo strategic transformation and become positioned for profitability, these entities are able to create jobs and employ residents of their host states, facilitate infrastructure development and further positively impact the economy in other areas” he added.

In his remarks, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema said the NSE is pleased to host the webinar as part of its strategic strive in assisting the states towards economic sustenance.

Onyema said privatisation occupies a critical position in economic globalisation and provides an avenue for raising the bar towards economic development.

“Given COVID-19, there is no better time to re-visit privatisation and cascade this to the subnational levels” he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said the state governments have been constrained to increase spending in a bid to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. 

According to him, “containment is fairly in place but more needs to be done to ensure progress is not lost and that is where privatisation comes in. If the private sector takes over in critical sectors, state governments can focus on education and health among others”.

Fayemi assured that the forum will continue to partner with the NSE to bring in long term financing for infrastructure development

First Bani Unveils KidFirst And MeFirst Account

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the debut of KidsFirst and MeFirst,two variant account products,, created to encourage the right savings culture among children from 0 – 17 years.

The offerings have relevant enhancements including appropriate parental guidance and financial discipline for children as they grow into adulthood.

Both accounts can be opened with zero balance and operated with a minimum balance of N100.00.

KidsFirst Account is designed for children between the ages of 0 and 12 years to sensitise them on how exciting saving can be. The account comes with a trendy gift item for the child when the account is opened with a minimum of N10,000.00. The account is automatically transited to MeFirst account when the child is 13 years old.

MeFirst account, on the other hand, is designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17. This account is created in recognition of the need to help teenagers embrace the culture of financial responsibility and cashless payment as they develop into young adults. They have access to attractive and trendy pre-paid cards through which parents/guardians can credit weekly/monthly allowance and monetary gifts. MeFirst account holders can select from 5 exciting card design options that suites their trendy style.

The Mefirst cards are enabled to pay for micro online shopping as desired – mobile games, apple music, Spotify and local POS transactions as well. Teens are thereby exposed to the cashless culture and electronic payment activities early in life, which is expedient in today’s digital age. Parents and guardians of the child are granted access to track and control the spend pattern.

Speaking on the accounts, Gbenga Shobo, FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director said, “we are delighted with the role we play in promoting financial literacy amongst children and teenagers in the country. Our KidsFirst and MeFirst accounts are designed to ensure that parents and guardians are able to have their wards exposed to the right savings culture and financial discipline as they evolve to adulthood.”

“With these accounts, parents are able to save and strengthen their preparedness for various financial obligations of their children like paying for school fees as they progress with their academic pursuit which is pivotal to securing the future of the children. MeFirst and KidsFirst accounts are essential gifts from parents to their children”.

NNPC Shines At NSE Fellowship Award With COO, Upstream, 6 Staff Inducted


Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye,
Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye,
he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was the centre of attraction at the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ (NSE) fellowship award ceremony with the Corporation bagging a Special Recognition Award and seven of its staff, including the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye, conferred with the prestigious Fellowship award.
The Special Recognition Award was given to the Corporation for its robust contributions to the development of the engineering profession in Nigeria, a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated.
The President of the NSE, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, who presented the award to the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, said the NNPC was the backbone to the visible development of the country and the engineering profession.
He noted that NNPC has remained committed to offering free training to young engineers through the National Engineering and Technical Company Limited (NETCO) in a bid to assist in providing the manpower requirement in the oil and gas industry.
The NSE boss urged the awardees to keep flying the flag of the NSE in their various endeavours positively, stressing that they are duty bound to serve as role models to others in the society.
The NNPC GMD, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Ventures and Business Development, Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, said NNPC would continue to play a major role in growing the engineering profession, which he described as is critical to the success of the Corporation.
He said NNPC will remain focused on key projects such as Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and refineries rehabilitation, to ensure that they are delivered on time, within budget and to specifications.
“This award is in recognition of NNPC’s contribution to the nation’s development and its efforts and drive to improve engineering profession in Nigeria. NNPC as a responsible national oil company will continue to focus on key projects that will deliver optimal value to Nigerians”, the GMD stated.
He applauded the COO and the other staff who were awarded the NSE fellowship, for attaining the peak of the Engineering profession, noting that the Corporation would continue to be a pacesetter in the Engineering vocation as the foremost National Oil Company in Africa.
On his part, the COO, Upstream, Engr. Tombomieye, said the award would spur him to bring his professional expertise to bear on his job by adding value to the Upstream business of the Corporation for the good of the country.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of NETCO, Engr. Usman Baba, said the recognition would spur the company to continue to build the capacity of young engineers in the country and prepare them for the oil and gas industry.
He noted that NETCO offers the young graduates placement and pays them as a way of contributing towards tackling unemployment in the country.
“As the NSE President mentioned, NETCO trains young Nigerian Engineers, as the only indigenous engineering company in the face of this dangerous situation where other companies do not want to train and nobody wants to employ non-experienced staff. So, NETCO has taken the responsibility of training them with pay, so that they can be marketable in the industry. This is one of our major contributions to the industry. As at today, we have brought in about 35 new young graduates of the engineering profession to be trained for the market,” Engr. Baba stated.
Two other NNPC staff who were conferred with the award, Engr. Sagiru Adamu and Engr. Bassey Essiet, described the fellowship award as a dream come true.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the NSE, Engr. Felix Atume, congratulated Engr. Tombomieye and the other Engineers on the fellowship award and urged them to uphold the ethics of the engineering profession for upcoming engineers to emulate.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of the awards by GMD of NNPC, Mallam Kyari, to the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman, Director of Department of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Sarki Muktar and to the COO, Upstream of NNPC, Engr. Tombomieye.
A total of 120 Engineers were conferred with the fellowship awards at the 16th edition of the NSE award and lecture series, with eight others being conferred with their awards virtually.

Heritage Bank Rewards Local Content Language For October 1st “National Pledge” Rendition   

Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service provider has rewarded the winners of the rendition of the October 1st National Pledge in Pidgin English in celebration of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The four patriotic Nigerians, who emerged as the winners are Idowu Ilesanmi (Lagos); Christiana Chukwu (Lagos); Onovo Chukwuebuka (Edo) and Paul Eze (Abuja) received cash prize of N250, 000 each.

The bank slated an online competition for customers to make videos recitation of them presenting the “National Pledge” in Pidgin English and the four best videos were rewarded with total cash prize of N1million.

This was to commemorate the independence and inculcate patriotic spirit in the citizens on the importance to reflect on the past, what led them here and the bright future that awaits Nigerians.

Speaking on the reasons why they participated in the online pidgin language competition, Ilesanmi, one of the winners said having being brought up in Benin City where Pidgin English is natural to them and adopted by all and sundry hence, it was golden opportunity to participate as a patriotic Nigerian.

He commended Heritage Bank for the initiative, as Ilesanmi disclosed that the information of the competition was sourced from a colleague’s page owing to the fact that he was never a customer to the bank.

He advised that, young people should grab opportunities such as this which speaks to something they would do and get rewarded for. “Anyone who is interested in things that will encourage them to do what they have interest in, then Heritage Bank is where they should be,” Ilesanmi stated.

Another winner, Christiana Chukwu also appreciated Heritage Bank for picking her as a winner and she mentioned being fascinated with the Bank’s online applications in the likes of HB Padie and *745#, which has made transactions easier and seamless to her and other customers.

In a statement by the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications/Product Management, Fela Ibidapo said that the bank considered use of Pidgin English as a marker of identity and solidarity, also as means to promote local content use of language.

He affirmed that the importance of reciting the National Pledge in Pidgin English would help invoke in every individual their national pride of love, devotion and sense of attachment to out fathers’ land and alliance with every citizen who share same sentiment. This attachment could be a combination of different feelings relating to the country in terms of socio-cultural, ethnic, political and historical interests.

He reiterated, “We are not just excited, but we are also reflecting on what our commitment as individuals has been to our great country Nigeria. Looking inwards at our journey over the last 60years, we believe as an institution that this is the best time to reflect on the National Pledge and what it means to us as a Nation.”

To this end, Heritage Bank championed the movement to keep our commitment as a nation by rewarding those who recited the “National Pledge” in various creative ways. //End//