FirstBank Branch, Head Office, Not Sealed

FirstBank HQ
FirstBank HQ

FirstBank has refuted claims of the closure of it’s heafoffice branch office.
A statement from the bank reads “Our attention has been drawn to the news reports online with the conflicting claims that FirstBank branch or/head office has been sealed.

Please be informed that the referenced story is a misrepresentation of the facts and misleading. Neither our branch nor head office was sealed. On the 4th of August, 2022, there was an unlawful enforcement at the Bank’s Coomassie House Branch of a garnishee order issued by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which order the Bank is still challenging in court.

While the Bank has taken appropriate legal steps to deal with the situation, we wish to reassure our customers of unhindered banking services and unique customer experience in all our branches and through our numerous alternative channels.”

Energy Transition: Seplat Energy Commits To Providing The Right Energy For Nigeria’s Growth

Seplat Energy logo
Seplat Energy logo

Leading indigenous energy company, Seplat Energy Plc has expressed the resolve to supply the right mix of energy to support Nigeria’s growth, noting that this is the greatest business opportunity ahead of it,

In doing so, the company said it remained committed in making positive social impacts and contributing to Nigeria’s achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Effiong Okon, the Director, New Energy at Seplat said this while delivering a keynote at the 45th edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) themed: ‘Operationalising a Clean Energy Transition for Sustainable Development in Africa’ on Wednesday.

Okon, who represented Mr. Roger Brown, CEO Seplat Energy, said for a successful energy transition in Africa: “We must support the goals of the Paris Agreement and align with society’s objective to get the world to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not before.; as lower-emission hydrocarbons, particularly gas, have a role to play during energy transition by replacing diesel generators and biomass.

“Though hydrocarbon export will continue to be a mainstay of the Nigerian economy and will fund Nigeria’s growth as well as its energy transition, the Oil & Gas Industry has a role to play as a responsible steward of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets, including those that might be divested.”

According to him, in the longer term, the reality and threat of climate change requires the decarbonisation of energy systems in Nigeria, but sustainability and transparency must be at the heart of business operations and decision making.

Speaking on ‘just transition’ Okon noted that there is the need to balance decarbonisation with development, adding that: “Global warming and climate volatility are existential threats to humanity and nature. The world needs to accelerate efforts to achieve net-zero and mitigate warming effects. Africa’s climate, agriculture and people will suffer most in the coming decades. The problem has been caused by emissions from developed-world countries that have enjoyed their ‘carbon privilege’ and built strong economies on fossil fuels.

“However, we need to consider the reality in the continent. Poverty, hunger, unemployment, population growth abound here. Africa contributes just 3.3% of global emissions. Most Africans (600 million) lack access to reliable energy, which hampers development. Use of inefficient and costly diesel / petrol generators saps financial resources, drains foreign exchange and creates pollution.

“Biomass use for cooking causes deforestation, health problems and nearly 0.5 million premature deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa every year. The developed-world’s drive to impose decarbonisation on Africa will constrain development.”

Making the case for gas, the Seplat Director said the developed-world pressures to abandon fossil fuels are being pushed back by recognition of the need to drive development with reliable energy.

COP27, he explained, would focus on how best to achieve this balance for the benefit of tomorrow’s 2.5 billion Africans, of whom 500 million will be Nigerian, adding that given current low emission levels, Africa can achieve a disproportionate improvement in living stands through a globally small increase in emissions from cleaner gas for power and cooking.

He called on players in the continent to leverage oil and gas revenues to cash flow transition, but also tap international transition funding where available, hence the need for good corporate governance.

The Seplat Energy executive therefore urged industry operators to focus on quick wins first, which are: decarbonising the upstream and focus on producing ‘advantaged’ low-carbon barrels with low Scope ½; end routine flaring and redeploy gas to power operations and local communities; and deploy renewables to power operations where possible, and share with local communities.

He added: “We need to develop gas as transition fuel (Gas-to-power to replace diesel, move along value chain into power, e.g. business parks, large buildings; hybrid gas-to-power / solar offerings; and bottled gas products for domestic use. In addition, we can expand into renewables (hydro, wind, geothermal, blue/green hydrogen; and develop and monetise carbon capture and storage.”

Firstmonie Agents Executes Over 1 billion Transactions, Reinforcees FirstBank’s Leading Role In Promoting Financial Inclusion In Nigeria

FirstBank logo
FirstBank logo

The Bank’s Firstmonie Agents play a critical role in promoting financial inclusion in the country
The Bank currently has over 180,000 Firstmonie Agents spread across 772 Local Government Areas in Nigeria
Since 2020, FirstBank has economically empowered thousands of its Firstmonie Agents with over 100 billion naira credit facility

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider has announced that its agent banking network – Firstmonie Agents – spread across the nook and cranny of the country has collectively processed transaction volume in excess of 1 billion, amounting to over 22 trillion naira. The Bank currently has over 180,000 Firstmonie Agents, spread across 772 of the country’s 774 Local Government Areas.

Firstmonie Agents have been integral to bringing financial services closer to the underbanked and unbanked segment of the society, providing convenient banking services that are easily accessible, thereby saving time and travel costs for individuals in the suburbs and remote environments with no access to financial services.

Popularly referred to as the ‘Human ATM’, Firstmonie Agents are empowered to reduce the reliance on over-the-counter transactions while providing convenient personalized services. Amongst the services carried out by the Agents include; Account Opening, Cash Deposit, Airtime Purchase, Bills Payment, Withdrawals and Money Transfer.

Through various empowerment and reward schemes implemented to put its Firstmonie Agents at an advantage to economically impact their immediate communities whilst importantly having their business sustained, the Bank’s Agent Banking scheme has remained a toast to Nigerians, irrespective of where they are in the country. Amongst these schemes is the Agent Credit – launched in 2020 – which has had the Bank provide credit facilities to the tune of 238 billion naira to its teeming Firstmonie Agents.

Expressing his appreciation to the Firstmonie Agents, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “since the relaunch of our Agent Banking scheme in 2018, our Firstmonie Agents have played a vital role in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country, as many more people have been able to undertake various financial and business transactions in cost-effective ways, thereby saving a lot of time and money in travelling over long distances for basic banking services.“

“We are delighted by the giant strides of our Firstmonie Agents in promoting financial inclusion and commend them for their efforts in taking banking to the doorsteps of Nigerians – irrespective of where they are – in a very effective way”, he concluded.

Research Funding: NCC Restates Resolve To Commitment More Funds At VCs Roundtable

L-R: Prof. Kayode Adebowale, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan; Prof. Bola Oboh, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics & Research, University of Lagos; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Board Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Ms. Josephine Amuwa, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC; Prof. Adenike Oladeji, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure; Prof. Owunari Gengewill, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt; and Prof. Kolawole Ajanaku, Director, Research, Covenant University, during a two-day Regional Roundtable with the Academia, Industry and other Stakeholders by the NCC which commenced in Lagos on Wednesday.
L-R: Prof. Kayode Adebowale, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan; Prof. Bola Oboh, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics & Research, University of Lagos; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Board Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Ms. Josephine Amuwa, Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC; Prof. Adenike Oladeji, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure; Prof. Owunari Gengewill, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt; and Prof. Kolawole Ajanaku, Director, Research, Covenant University, during a two-day Regional Roundtable with the Academia, Industry and other Stakeholders by the NCC which commenced in Lagos on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, has restated the commitment of the Commission to commit more funds to research and prototypes resulting from grants from the Commission to the academia.

This is coming at the backdrop of the recent revelation that the Commission has committed more than N500 million in funding research across the Nigerian universities.

Akande told a gathering of vice chancellors and professors from universities in the southern parts of the country at a roundtable conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, that the Commission acknowledges the importance of working with stakeholders to engender innovations and build indigenous technological capabilities that would strengthen the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ecosystem.

“We want to use this opportunity to assure you that the Commission will continue to give support to the educational sector in the interest of national development. We will also continue to encourage research and innovation in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions,” Akande said, explaining that the essence of the roundtable was to dialogue with the academia, industry and other stakeholders on how research efforts and prototypes can be transformed into commercially-viable products that solve real-life problems.

“Consequently, the Commission will continue to allocate the requisite resources to research, development and innovations necessary for the industry to continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” Akande said.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, represented by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of the Commission, Josphine Amuwa, said academia is a key driver of innovation in all spheres of human endeavour.

He said this is why his leadership at the Commission is determined to not only give grants to the academia but also support the commercialisation of the prototypes developed to deepen the indigenous technological capabilities which would support the overall development of the industry.

NCC Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska, who was represented by Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at the Commission, Bako Wakil, revealed that the Commission had, so far, awarded a total of 49 telecom-based research grants to the academia out of which 10 prototypes have been successfully developed.

“We are hopeful that these sessions will culminate in the development of a common framework that would facilitate the commercialisation of the existing prototypes and future research outcomes (prototypes) for the benefit of the economy and the industry,” he stated.

Coming shortly after a similar roundtable in Kano for the northern region, the event organised by the research prototypes and Development R&D Department of the Commission, was aimed at bringing together Resources persons, business savvy industry experts, the academia, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), entrepreneurs and renowned individuals who have successfully commercialised their inventions to brainstorm on the way forward for research output commercialisation.

NAICOM Chief, Thomas, To Chair Business Journal Public Presentation

NAICOM logo
NAICOM logo

The Commissioner for Insurance/CEO, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Mr. Olorundare Sunday Thomas will Chair the public presentation of Business Journal newspaper on Friday, September 16, 2022 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja (Lagos).

The NAICOM letter to Business Journal which was dated July 18, 2022 and signed by Mr. Rasaaq Salami, NAICOM’s Head of Corporate Communications and Market Development read in part:

“Accordingly, the Commission wishes to convey the Commissioner for Insurance/CEO acceptance to Chair the public presentation ceremony of Business Journal Newspaper with theme: “The Media in National Development: Successes, Challenges and Prospects.”

Commenting on the development, Prince Cookey, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Business Journal said:

“The decision of the CFI/CEO of NAICOM, Mr. O. S. Thomas to CHAIR the Business Journal newspaper public presentation event represents a positive milestone in our journey to become the leading business/financial Media Group in Africa. The newspaper segment joins the already existing online and magazine segments on a tripod of value creation for stakeholders across key sectors of the Nigerian economy-for the benefit of decision-makers in the public sector and professionals in the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

Over the years, Mr. Thomas has carved a niche in the insurance industry as a great leader of men and materials to deliver credibility and stability for the market as a regulator. The trajectory of his impressive and impeccable career is anchored on humility, progress and professionalism. We are indeed grateful to him for this great honour.”

Cookey stated that more details of the event would be made available in due course.

The theme of the Business Journal newspaper public presentation is: The Media in National Development: Successes, Challenges & Prospects.”

Capacity Development: NIMASA Reviews Sponsorship Of Cadets Training .

DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (middle) flanked by some Cadets in training
DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (middle) flanked by some Cadets in training under the NSDP

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in line ith its committment to the welfare of all NSDP beneficiaries is currently reviewing the cost of direct sponsorship of Nigerian cadets undergoing foreign training under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

The Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh explained that the review of ongoing sponsorship cost has become necessary due to the global inflationary trends which is very pronounced in the Philippines, India and some other countries where Nigerian cadets are undergoing Certificate of Competency (CoC) Examination training under the NSDP programme. The sponsorship covers training leading to obtaining a Certificate of Competency, CoC.

“We are not unmindful of the unforeseen global inflationary trend which has affected the cost of sustaining our cadets who are on sponsorship in some schools under the NSDP programme. Though NIMASA paid the tuition fee, examination fee and the original cost of feeding and accommodation in full, with allowance for extra funds as pocket money, however, it’s obvious that cost of living has increased particularly in the Philippines due to the global inflation. The Agency is working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines to address the challenges associated with the unexpected price increases.

We have put in place immediate and long term arrangements to minimize the effect of inflation on their living standard during the programme. The Management of the Agency has approved an additional $2,000 dollars for each cadet, as extra fund due to inflation. This is a short term measure to cushion the effect. I am sure the Nigerian Embassy will get in touch with the students immediately the funds are ready to be disbursed. It is a well coordinated arrangement through the embassy.

While working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines to establish appropriate extra funds that may be required, NIMASA Management is deploying a team on fact finding to interact with the students currently in the Philippines, officials of the Nigerian Embassy, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippines, some Licensure Examination Training & Review Centres (TRCs).

146 cadets have acquired the Philippines sailing license through the NSDP programme with 134 currently undergoing the Programme and a further 170 being prepared to proceed to the Philippines for the examinations.”

The Agency has also made firm arrangements to ensure those cadets who have spent the stipulated 6 months approved for the CoC programme in the Philipines return home immediately. NIMASA urged the cadets to ensure they conclude their CoC examinations as scheduled.

NIMASA initiated the Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP) in 2008 with the aim of addressing the dearth of Nigerian seafarers on ocean going vessels and the need to meet the indigenous manning requirements of coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage regime).

The programme is designed to train Nigerian youth to become seafarers and Naval Architects in some of the best Maritime Training Institutions (MTIs) across the World.

So far the Agency has trained 2,241 cadets from inception of the programme, with 841 graduates having obtained sailing licenses (Certificate of Competency) from Maritime Administrations of various countries. Out of this number, around 388 are now gainfully employed in maritime related organizations, while others are in their final stages of the Programme.

LIRS Set To Launch Whistle-Blower Initiative August 5

Exec. Chairman, LIRS, Ayodele Subair
Exec. Chairman, LIRS, Ayodele Subair

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) is set to launch its Whistle-Blower initiative, a state-wide project, introduced to provide a platform for employees, stakeholders and the general public to report any observed violation, misconduct, or unethical behaviour across the state on Friday, August 5, 2022.

In a public notice signed by the LIRS Executive Chairman, Ayodele Subair, the Whistle-Blower initiative is a public policy of the State Government to encourage reporting of illegal actions or financial crimes, through the appropriate channel, with a view to correcting the violations or non-compliance.

According to the LIRS boss, “In line with the LIRS core values of integrity and accountability and our commitment to uphold the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability in our dealings with stakeholders, the platform is anonymous and confidential and it is independently managed by Deloitte, a globally accredited company.”

“The objective of the Whistle-Blower initiative is to guarantee transparency, accountability, and confidentiality to all taxpayers and stakeholders in general.

“The policy is designed to protect whistle-blowers from victimization and to encourage them to freely report without fear,” Subair submitted.

The launch of the Whistle-Blower initiative is scheduled to take place at the Protea Select Hotel, Assibifi Road, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos.

NDIC Warns: Investment With Fund Managers Is Not Covered By Us

NDiC logo
NDiC logo

With the recent increase in investment channels arising from innovative products, there has been an increase in illegal fund managers who have been using different platforms soliciting public to invest their funds with them, promising excessive returns on such investments.
In order to protect unsuspecting depositors, it has become necessary for the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to continue sensitizing the public on the high risk associated with investing funds with illegal funds managers.
Accordingly, as the deposit insurer, the NDIC would like to inform members of the public that contrary to claims by some of these funds managers, the Corporation does not insure investments with them.
The NDIC insures ONLY deposits of financial institutions licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to accept deposits from the public.
To confirm whether a financial institution is covered by the deposit insurance scheme of the NDIC, please visit our website at www.ndic.gov.ng and click on Who We Cover for the complete list. You can also address any other enquiry to the Director, Communication & Public Affairs Department, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Members of the public are also advised to report any entity suspected to be involved in illegal deposit mobilization to the law enforcement agencies.

NCC Stakes N500m For Research In Nigerian Universities

L-R: Mr. Ismail Adedigba, Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Caroline Alenoghena, Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Federal University of Technology, Minna; Mr. Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director, 9Mobile; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, during the Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and other Stakeholders hosted by the Commission in Kano recently.
L-R: Mr. Ismail Adedigba, Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Caroline Alenoghena, Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Federal University of Technology, Minna; Mr. Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director, 9Mobile; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, during the Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and other Stakeholders hosted by the Commission in Kano recently.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has committed over N500 million to the Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta who disclosed this at a two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders which ended in Kano at the weekend, said the funds have been committed to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities in salient areas to drive technology development.

Danbatta said the Commission is now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches as this is relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of our country.

He said the roundtable organized by the Commission was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally- developed telecommunications innovations which NCC has been sponsoring.

“The Commission collaborates with the Academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive possible success of these endeavours, ” Danbatta said.

Danbatta said these efforts has enabled the Commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these are fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes.

On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanate from the academia are required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity.

Danbatta said appreciable impacts had been achieved since the Commission reinvigorated research grants for telecommunications-based research innovations from Nigerian academics, focusing on successful commercialisation of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerians.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the Commission, has so far awarded 49 telecom- based research grants to the academia out of which 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders.

He said the R&D efforts of the Commission were aimed at actualising some of the 8-point Pillar Eight of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, focusing on Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

The event, which featured series of panel session discussions, particularly focusing on sub-themes that addressed the overarching theme of the stakeholders forum from different perspectives, drew participants from the academia, telecoms industry stakeholders, financial services sector and other critical sectors or the economy.

Participants deliberated on understanding commercialisation and entrepreneurial model within the university and industry perspectives as well as brainstormed on investment/ funding opportunities for prototype development, sustainability and the sale of new products in the market place.

NIMASA, NITT Sign MoU On Research and Training

DG, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh (right) and DG, NITT),Dr. Bayero Salih Farah during the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) hinged on research and training with a view to enhance local content and boost the quality assurance of the NITT in Zaria.
DG, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh (right) and DG, NITT),Dr. Bayero Salih Farah during the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) hinged on research and training with a view to enhance local content and boost the quality assurance of the NITT in Zaria.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, on research and training towards enhancing maritime safety and security in Nigeria.

The Director General NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, and his counterpart at the NITT, Dr. Bayero Salih Farah, signed the MoU over the weekend in Zaria which is hinged on research and training, with a view to enhancing local content and boosting the quality assurance of the institute. This is a follow up on earlier agreements reached between both Agencies of government in their quest to further domesticate specialized training programmes at management cadre in the maritime sector.

Dr. Jamoh described the MoU between both parties as a mutually beneficial partnership, aimed at supporting the core mandate of the NITT, while also in line with his administration’s commitment to capacity building for NIMASA staff.

According to him, “the MoU is to formalize and strengthen the existing relationship between NIMASA and the NITT in terms of research, training and capacity development in general. We appreciate your visit to NIMASA sometime ago and we are glad that much progress is being made in terms of our collaboration”. We hope that your institute willconduct detailed research to determine gaps in the implementation of our core mandate and develop training programs to close such identified gaps”.

On his part, the NITT Director General, Dr. Bayero Salih Farah, thanked NIMASA for its longstanding support to the institute through direct financial assistance and by utilizing the training services provided for the Agency’s staff over the years.

He added that the NITT will work closely with NIMASA to ensure that the Institute provides training and research services that are of globally acceptable standard.

NITT provides trainings to personnel employed in all modes of transport, leading to the award of various certificates; Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Transport and Logistics.

NIMASA has continued to embrace capacity building as a tool to enhance maritime development in Nigeria, while also engaging in all forms of viable collaborations towards achieving its mandate, which cuts across shipping development, maritime safety and maritime security.