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3,000 Undergraduates Benefit From Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme

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Fidelity Bank Plc, has trained over 3,000 undergraduates from various tertiary institution on skills acquisition through its youth empowerment programme. Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s CEO made this disclosure Friday during the closing ceremony of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy (FYEA) held at the Sokoto State University (SSU) in Sokoto.

“The students were drawn from the 5 institutions that have benefitted from the banks youth empowerment initiative that aims to teach vocational and entrepreneurship skills”, he stated.

Okonkwo who was represented by the Head, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Chris Nnakwe called on Nigerian youths to embrace entrepreneurship and create wealth for themselves instead of searching endlessly for non-existing paid jobs.

Organised as part of the bank’s CSR intervention, Nnakwe pointed out that the programme now in its 7th edition seeks to empower the Nigerian undergraduate with skills and enterprise training, which are relevant for self-reliance.

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He stated that the bank had organised the programme in various institutions of higher learning including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Bayero University, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

For the Sokoto edition, Nnakwe stated the bank has expanded the scope of the programme in a bid to accommodate new areas of vocational training. Apart from the typical training on tailoring and make-up, he noted that participants were also provided with requisite skills and first-hand knowledge in Fashion Designing, Cloth Embellishment, Cocktail and Phone Engineering among others. “We in Fidelity Bank have targeted programmes on education, environment and youth empowerment. This one you are witnessing today is part of fulfilling our promises to the society,” Nnakwe said.

According to him, the youths were trained to acquire skills to enable them to become self-reliant and also make them employers of labours even while in school. He disclosed that at the end of the training, starter packs would be given to each participant to enable him or her to commence business.

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Speaking earlier at the opening ceremony, the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal, thanked Fidelity Bank for choosing the school for the programme. Tambuwal, stressed that as a responsible government his administration has prioritised the welfare of the youths in the state. He enjoined the participants to stay focused and concentrate in order to benefit from the training.

In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor, Sokoto State University, Prof. Sani Dangogo, thanked Fidelity Bank for the gesture, saying the training would go a long way in alleviating the financial burden of the students.

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Dangote Cement Woos Investors With N100 Billion Issue

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Dangote Fertilizer

 

Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, is seeking to raise up to N100 billion in fresh funds from the bond market, under its NGN300 billion Debt Issuance Programme.

According to the Investor presentation document prepared by the company and themed: Building Prosperity in Africa, the funds from the  debut offering in the bond markets are to be utilised   to refinance existing short-term debt previously applied towards cement expansion projects, working capital and general corporate purposes.

The bond (medium term debt paper), Dangote Cement is issuing for the first time signifies confidence in business growth and in the Nigerian economy long term growth.

Dangote Cement Plc is a good offer for discerning institutional investors and high networth individuals as it is Nigeria’s largest company by market capitalisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the largest cement manufacturer in Sub-Saharan Africa with an installed capacity of 45.6Mta across its’ operations in 10 African countries and operates a fully integrated “quarry-to-customer” business in 7 of its operations with activities covering manufacturing, sales and distribution of cement.

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The company which is Premium board listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), has a strong corporate governance framework supported by five Independent Directors while its shareholding base is diversified.

Dangote Cement posted an excellent financial performance in 2019 with
EBITDA margins of 44.3 per cent. It was rated ‘Strong financial profile including low leverage and significant operational scale.’ (GCR AA+(Ng) (Jan 20) Moody’s Aa2.ng (Mar 20)

The company has a strong track record in the debt capital markets, having registered a NGN150 billion Commercial Paper programme in 2018, and issued an aggregate amount of NGN300 billion in Commercial Paper since programme establishment.

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It also has a track record in Nigeria’s Debt Capital Markets as it raised an aggregate Issuance of N100bn under the Commercial Paper Programme in 2018, in 2019, raised an aggregate Issuance of N200bn under the Commercial Paper Programme.  These Commercial Papers were systematically oversubscribed.

Certain factors across Africa signal positive long term trends for Dangote Cement. There is an increasing demand for cement as urbanization continues across the continent, demanding more infrastructure, housing and commercial building. As democracy becomes entrenched in African states, it brings increasing political stability enabling rapid economic growth, growth in infrastructure such as roads, housing, schools etc built from cement.

With steady population growth, younger and more mobile population drive the need for building while the emerging middle-class, fuels increasing consumerization
and access to credit.

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Coronavirus: Sterling Bank Launches N1bn Health Workers’ Fund

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Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank has launched a N1 billion Health Workers’ Fund to support frontline healthcare professionals who are taking care of persons infected with the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.

To kick-start the fund, the bank donated N25 million while some public-spirited individuals have also donated N2 million, bringing the amount raised so far to N27 million.

Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, who disclosed this over the weekend while addressing a virtual press conference hosted by the bank, enjoined well-meaning and public spirited Nigerians to contribute to the fund through the website of Giving.ng, a crowdfunding platform. Citing the unusually high rate of cases of healthcare workers infected by the virus in the course of treating patients in countries like Spain and Italy, Suleiman said it is imperative that tangible efforts are made to protect the healthcare personnel at the frontline of fighting the infection, especially given their low number in the country. “There was a particular point in Spain when 14 percent of those infected were healthcare workers, and we felt that if we were to have that level of infection among the limited number of healthcare workers in the country, the effect would be far-reaching and disastrous. So, we decided to intervene.”

According to Suleiman, the bank understands that getting the money with which to pay healthcare workers on the frontline and acquire protection equipment for them is critical.

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Consequently, the bank would be working with people who are experts in public health or connected with the healthcare system to identify the healthcare workers who are deserving of this intervention, he said.

“Combating COVID-19 is beyond the capacity of any single institution or sector. It is a crisis that is stretching the capacity of healthcare infrastructure and personnel world over. And stopping this pandemic requires the elimination of boundaries to resources. One way to do that is by setting funds aside to support brave medical responders at this time,” he added.

Expressing the hope that the fund will trigger a better way to treat health workers in the country, he disclosed that the bank has set up an independent Governance Board made up of seasoned health professionals to administer the fund while the bank concentrates on raising funds from various donors.

“Although we started the process but we have pulled back. We have set up a board that I am incredibly proud of. They will join us in solving this problem which is the most important part and they are highly respected which makes the process credible,” Suleiman said.

Commending Sterling Bank for setting up the Health Workers’ Intervention Fund, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Chairman of the governing board, promised that the board will evolve rapidly to stay ahead of COVID-19 developments and discharge its duty transparently. He assured Sterling Bank, the media and the general public that the board will do its best to ensure that the fund gets to workers at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. He thanked the management of the bank for its decision to focus on the often neglected area of incentivizing health workers. The Health Workers’

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Intervention Fund “is such a good idea and critical intervention, so critical that we must hang on to this by ensuring we expand both the scope and need. You have turned over the stone that will meet many areas of need in the health sector,” he said. Other members of the governance board are Dr. Halimah Sanda, State Technical Lead Programmes at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Kano; Dr. Victoria Omoera-Egunjobi, Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Health; Mr. Obinnia Abajue, CEO of Hygeia HMO; Ms. Oluwatoyin Adegbite-Moore, board member of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), and Mr. Daniel Ikuenobe, chairman of Edo State Economic Management Team and a Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on economic matters

 

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Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Unveils Additional Benefits For Customers Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic

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Prudential Zenith

 

Following the launch of its Coronavirus (COVID-19) initiative, Prudential Zenith Life Insurance has announced some additional benefits designed to address the negative impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives globally.

According to a statement released by the company, the benefits which apply for a period of 45 days – from April 3rd to May 18th 2020 – will ensure that customers who have purchased or who intend to purchase any of the following Prudential Zenith Life products: My Family Protection Plan, My Family Protection Plan Premier, My School Fees Protection plan, PZL Term Assurance, PZL Hospital Plan and My Savings Plan-Premier will enjoy a ‘Diagnosis Benefit’, which entitles the insured who has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus by the State to a cash amount of thirty-eight thousand and a ‘Treatment Benefit’ of nine thousand daily for a maximum period of 25 days to cater for losses or incidental expenses.

The statement further noted that the company has reduced the normal waiting period from 6 months to 14 days for these benefits to apply to any new customer, while for existing customers, these additional benefits apply immediately.

Also, for any customer who has bought a policy from the company and who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is formally retrenched as a result of a business having to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will provide a three-month premium holiday. This means that the policy will not lapse and the customer will still enjoy the protection benefits of their policy even if they are unable to pay their regular premiums during this period. This is in addition to any ‘Death Benefits’ that are payable when due, as the company does not exclude death caused by COVID-19 under any of its policies.

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To avoid any ambiguity, the company stated that it is important to note there are policy exclusions to this offering as listed below:
We are not liable to pay claims if:
1. Treatment is for any reason other than the contraction of the COVID-19 virus.
2. On or after the start of the policy, the Covered Person travelled to any country or area included in the list of “countries/ areas with active community transmission of COVID-19” as announced by the Nigerian Ministry of Health or World Health Organisation at the time of his/her travel.
3. The covered person is in self-isolation or hospitalised but has not been officially diagnosed and hospitalised by the State.

The following shall apply to new clients only:
a. The Covered Person(s) has already officially been diagnosed with or already has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of signing on to the Plan
b. The Covered Person(s) was under mandatory self-isolation in the past 14 days from the time of registration due to close contact with an infected person or having demonstrated COVID-19 symptoms.
Other Important Points to Note
a. The benefits will be provided for all clients that qualify with active policies.
b. Benefit are also available to ALL of our customers who’s employer has taken out a Critical Illness policy with Prudential Zenith Life” to “Group Life policy with Critical Illness rider
c. A claim can only be made once in respect of each Insured Life.
d. Covered Lives refers to all lives covered under the policyholder’s active existing insurance policy (ies) and includes all named individuals covered under a Group Critical Illness policy taken out by an employer of those individuals.
e. An Active Policy is a Prudential Zenith Policy which has not lapsed, been cancelled or terminated and on which premiums are received as stipulated in the contract of that policy.
f. All claim substantiating documents, should be duly stamped and signed by the issuing authority.

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Live life fully covered with Prudential Zenith.

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