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Girls Dominate 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition as Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini is declared the winner .

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It was an all-female top three affair, as 14 year-old Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini of Louisville Girls High School, Ogun State, emerged the overall winner of the 2019 edition of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, winning the grand prize of an educational grant of N2,000,000.00 to study in any African university of her choice.

Oluwatoroti clinched the first position at the Grand Finale of the Competition which was held on Monday December 9th, 2019 at the UBA Head Office, Marina Lagos. Her essay was declared the best out of over 5000 entries received by the UBA Foundation from students of senior secondary schools across Nigeria.

This year’s NEC had12 finalists made up of eight girls and four boys with over 500 per cent increase in participation from pupils across every single state of the federation.

Oluwatoroti who was visibly elated expressed her profound excitement as the winner of the competition, adding that the experience has given her more confidence with which she can face great challenges in the years ahead. She noted that the grant will help in the pursuit of her dream towards becoming a pediatrician.

2019 National Essay Competition 1: l-r: Tutor, Louisville Girls High School, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Mrs Josephine Oladipo; 1st Runner-up and student of Oladipo Alayande School of Science, Oyo, Precious Ifeoma Okey; Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; Winner of 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria, and student of Louisville Girls High School, Ogun State, Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini; Jolaosho’s Mother, Mrs Jaiyeola Jolaosho; 2nd runner-up and student, Beautiful Beginning Academy, FCT Abuja, Miss Aimeé Okoko; and CEO, UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta, at the grand finale of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria, held at UBA House in Lagos on Monday

“This is something I worked very hard to achieve. I read and studied very hard for this competition, and I am very happy that my hard work paid off in the end. I am indeed very grateful to UBA and the UBA Foundation for this huge opportunity and for making me believe in myself, and I would like to encourage other students not to stop trying,” Otokini said.

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Her mother, Mrs Jaiyeola Jolaosho, said, “This grant will go a long way to support my bid for quality education for Oluwatoroti. Now our dream to give her an education at the African Leadership Academy will be fulfilled with this grant. I am so happy about this, because I noticed that she has a penchant for writing, and we are so elated that she won. I will encourage all her siblings to apply for  for this competition going forward.”

The second prize was bagged by Precious Ifeoma Okey, aged 15, of Oladipo Alayande School of Science, Oyo State, who won a N1,500,000 educational grant, whilst the third prize of N1,000,000 went to Aimeé Okoko, 18 years old. Aimeé attends Beautiful Beginning Academy, FCT Abuja. All 12 finalists received brand new laptops from the UBA Foundation.

This year, the Foundation introduced a prize for the school with the highest number of essay entries and the Livingstone College, Lagos came tops. They will  be receiving gifts worth over N1m from the UBA Foundation  for their participation in the competition.

Congratulating the winners at the event, the MD/CEO of UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, commended them for their exceptional brilliance.  “Every student who sent in an entry is a winner. To be confident about your writing skills and ambitious enough to enter a competition to further enhance your educational path is laudable.  For those that did not win, I would say do not be discouraged. Take it as a challenge to perfect your writing skills and enter for the competition again in 2020” she said.

According to Atta, UBA Foundation, being the CSR arm of UBA Plc, makes it a point of duty to give back to communities where UBA operates. Education in any capacity, Atta noted, remains  the Foundation’s focus area as it is the bedrock of any nation.

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In his remarks the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said UBA was very happy to be touching lives and making a solid impact through its Foundation’s National Essay Competition and the grant it gives out annually to those who emerge winners. He specifically commended the fact that more females emerged winners this year, adding that it is in line with the bank’s commitment to women empowerment.

Uzoka who is also the Chairman, UBA Foundation said, “What we are doing today in unique in Africa, we are doing this to continue to encourage our young ones to study hard because we noticed that overtime, the level of education has been going Southward.  For 9 years now, we have been supporting students with grants to further their educational pursuits’.

Uzoka informed the gathering made up of parents, students and the media, that the essay competition has produced well over 100 winners, since its inception in 2011 in Nigeria – many have already graduated, and a few are studying varied courses at Universities in Nigeria and across the African continent.

He encouraged the winners to be of good character, and ensure that apart from striving for academic excellence, to avoid any negative action that might dent the foundation’s image and that of their families as they are now UBA ambassadors.

The judges, led by Professor of English (Gender Studies) and Director of Pre-degree Studies, University of Uyo, Mrs. Ini Uko, stated that they were impressed with the participants who showed great promise, noting that most of the students wrote intelligently and their ideas were well articulated, new and refreshing. She added that the judges were also encouraged by the fact that entries came in from students from all parts of the country.

The UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition initiative has been operational in other countries in Africa including Ghana and Senegal whilst Mozambique and Kenya are expected to kick off in 2020. The initiative .is mapped out to spread to more African countries in the very near future.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has presence in the global financial centres, London, New York and Paris.  UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.

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10 Years Impact: Tony Elumelu Foundation Enhances Its Flagship Entrepreneurship Programme  

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  • On the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs has enhanced its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme to empower more entrepreneurs across the continent.

These enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020—the launch of the 6th cycle of the Programme—will achieve the Foundation’s mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.

Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee

Most prominent among the enhancements are the new dates in the Programme cycle, its emphasis on providing thousands of entrepreneurs with business training, and its focus on leveraging technology to optimise the application and selection process as well as personalise the journey of each applicant in the Programme tailored to their knowledge and business stage.

The Programme cycle has been updated to place more emphasis on getting more entrepreneurs through the business training. Hence, the announcement of the finalists, who will ultimately be inducted into the TEF Alumni network, will no longer be held on March 22 but will be made at the TEF Forum – the largest entrepreneurship conference in Africa.

Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

Maximising the value derived from the Programme, applicants will now receive instant feedback on their progress to the next stage of the Programme, following their applications. Shortlisted applicants will receive business training tailored to their business stage and for those who move to the next stage mentorship and finally the top performing entrepreneurs from each country will proceed to the business pitching competition, which will determine the finalists to receive seed capital and an induction into the Foundation’s fast-growing alumni network across 54 African countries.

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The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON through his investment company, Heirs Holdings. The Programme has become a beacon of hope for African entrepreneurs, currently empowering 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries with training, mentorship, seed funding and exclusive access to global opportunities as well as a strong entrepreneurial community.

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TEF Alumni such as Ugandan Kwabena Danso who manufactures bicycles and its accessories from bamboo is one of the thousands of beneficiaries whose business has expanded beyond the shores of Africa to a global market, and is one of the success stories and impact recorded by the Programme’s innovative approach to the sustainable development of Africa. Others include Mohammed Dhauoafi from Tunisia, founder of Cure, a  3D printed, biosynthetic prosthesis manufacturing company and Princess Adeyinka Tekenah from Nigeria whose coffee making business has been dubbed Africa’s Starbucks by The Financial Times.

The application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.

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Caption: Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee 

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Caption: Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

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Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020: Jumia Chairwoman, Finance Minister, others to discuss new Finance Act impact on local businesses

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As the Federal Government of Nigeria sets to commence the implementation of the Finance Act 2019, the Chairwoman of Jumia Nigeria, Mrs Juliet Anammah will be joining the Finance Minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed and other experts on Tuesday January 28 to lead a panel discussion on the implications of the new Finance Act at the Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020.

The experts are expected to take a holistic view of the provisions of the Act along the lines of its major components while proffering solutions for an effective administration of the policy.

Joining Anammah and the Honourable Minister are Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Bolaji Balogun; Yomi Olugbenro, Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at Deloitte; Dinesh Rathi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Trade Zone (Tolaram Group) and Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation. The panelists will deliberate on the policy as Nigerians brace up for its implementation.

The panelists will focus on key aspects of the Finance Act 2019 such as digital economy, global competitiveness and remodeling for full VAT system to grow the Nigerian economy. In addition, they will discuss issues around how the new Act affects the Value Added Tax (VAT), Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA), Capital Gains Tax Act (CGTA), Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and Stamps Duties Act (SDA).

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It would be recalled that in 2018, the Nigerian government set in motion an amendment to the existing fiscal policy in the country. A major highlight of the review was the value added tax, which by the 2019 Act has been reviewed upwards to 7.5% from 5%.

Although the enactment of the Act has generated some criticism among Nigerians, the government had maintained that the new Act would serve the country well in terms of its fiscal administration in the long run. The 2019 Financial Act seeks to promote fiscal equity, align domestic laws with global best practices and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The provisions of the policy will also increase government revenues and stakeholders’ investments in capital and investment market through the introduction of incentives.

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About Jumia

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa. It is built around a marketplace, Jumia Logistics, and JumiaPay. The marketplace helps millions of consumers and sellers to connect and transact. Jumia Logistics enables the delivery of millions of packages through our network of local partners. JumiaPay facilitates the payments of online transactions for Jumia’s ecosystem. With over 1 billion people and 500 million internet users in Africa, Jumia believes that e-commerce is making people’s lives easier by helping them shop and pay for millions of products at the best prices wherever they live. E-commerce is also creating new opportunities for SMEs to grow, and job opportunities for a new generation to thrive.

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ZENITH BANK EMPOWERS NIGERIAN SMES, PARTNERS FACEBOOK ON SME DIGITAL WORKSHOP

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Zenith Bank

 

Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to support local Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with the introduction of the ‘Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop’ to provide free digital training for business owners.

The initiative, which is being organized in partnership with social media giant Facebook, will provide free training on how SMEs can use digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to grow their businesses.

Commenting on the initiative, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, noted that the SME ecosystem is a very important component of the Nigerian economy and the digital workshop is expected to assist participants optimally use digital channels to engage potential customers, market their products and increase sales.

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The workshop is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, January 29th and Thursday, January 30th, 2020 by 08:30 a.m. at the following Zenith Bank branches: 23, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; 201, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Ilupeju, Lagos; and 2, Aromire Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop is free for everyone. To register, send an email with the subject “Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop” to smepartnership@zenithbank.com. The email should state the name of the participant and preferred venue of attendance.

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Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS). Most recently, the bank won the Best Bank in Retail Banking and the Bank of the Year at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.

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