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Let’s eliminate Malaria with adequate funding- Dangote

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Hepatitis

 

…FG tasks Dangote, others industrialists on malaria eradication

 

Stakeholders in the task of eliminating Malaria by 2020 code named ‘Malaria to Zero’ yesterday in Lagos launched the Private Sector Engagement Strategy against Malaria (PSESM) making a case for the Organised Private Sector to join the movement and save lives of Nigerians and spare the nation of an estimated annual economic loss of $2.4 billion.

 

The launch of the document in Lagos spare-headed by the Dangote Foundation saw the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, making a passionate appeal to the Private sector operators to help the government out in the efforts at stamping out malaria in Nigeria totally, because the government alone could not succeed without the assistance of the corporate firms.

 

The collaboration with the OPS, he stated became imperative given that over 30 million insecticide treated net used in Nigeria yearly as well as over 80 per cent of the anti-malaria medicine in the country are imported, hence the need to look inward and get the medications manufactured locally.

Said he; we have engaged in series of advocacy which has yielded results, but advocacy is not enough, many people would have been beaten before coming under the insecticide treated net we need research and we realized we can’t do it alone, that is why we are engaging the private sector.

“We need their discipline and efficiency and in the local production of the medicine because that can generate employment in the country

Nevertheless, The Minister explained that over the last decade, substantial progress has been made in the control of Malaria in Nigeria through significant investment from government and development partners. Also supply and distribution of anti-malaria commodities has increased nationwide.

According to Prof Adewole, over 100 million long-lasting Insecticide treated Net were distributed within the last seven years to protect over 28 million out of the 33 million households in Nigeria.

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In his remark, Chairman of the Foundation Aliko Dangote lamented the effect of the malaria scourge to the nation and her economy saying “in addition to direct costs to business and the economy, it indirectly damages the economy through the deterioration of human capital, the loss in saving, investments and tax revenues. This is clearly too high of a cost to society and to the economy.”

 

Dangote stated that Nigeria’s transition from malaria control to elimination provides a compelling opportunity for Nigeria to reflect on its aspirations, take stock on progress and inspire bold, innovative approaches and complementary public private partnerships to disrupt poor malaria outcomes, adding that the private sector can play an important role in mobilizing domestic resources, capabilities, innovation and advocacy platforms to catalyze progress in achieving Nigeria’s malaria pre-elimination agenda.

 

To lead by example for the private sector active participation in achieving the task of eradicating malaria from Nigeria, Dangote who is the National Malaria Ambassador said he was committed to using his conglomerate, the Dangote Group of companies, as an example of what companies in Nigeria should be doing.

 

He then disclosed that henceforth, there will be “malaria education for my staff at all of our business locations, distribution of prevention tools and supplies to our workers in the factories and in the fields.”

Dangote said he co-founded the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), which is focused on mobilizing the private sector, across one coordinated platform, to leverage private sector capabilities, advocacy, innovation and resources to complement government efforts in advancing health outcomes.

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Other prominent people he had brought on board according to him includes Mr. Bill Gates and other prominent business leaders in Nigeria including Mr. Jim Ovia (Co-chair), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (founder, Access bank), Mr. Herbert Wigwe (CEO, Access bank), Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate (Co-chair), Mrs. Sola David Borha and other companies have joined me in support of PHN.

The foremost entrepreneur then called on more private sector leaders and companies to join the ‘malaria to zero’ campaign to pool resources to have impact at scale that is greater than underlying corporate initiatives against malaria.

 

Dangote promised that he would continue to use his voice to bring attention to the fight against Malaria, disclosing that he had recently accepted an invitation from Bill Gates and Ray Chambers to join them on the End Malaria Council.

The Strategy document titled “Engaging the Private Sector to Eliminate Malaria in Nigeria was unveiled by all stakeholders including captains of Industries, representatives of health organization agencies, Nigerian Medical Association as well as NGOs in health related works.

 

The document which highlighted the problems of malaria with statistics and how the private sector can collaborate in eradicating malaria has its mission as to provide equitable, comprehensive, cost effective, efficient and quality malaria control services ensuring transparency, accountability, client satisfaction, community ownership and partnership.

 

Those present at the unveiling were unanimous on the fact that while the National Malaria Strategic Plan (2014-2020) is a good one, the gains of the past years must be sustained, care must be taken to ensure transition from malaria control to elimination in the country, which of course could only be achieved with adequate collaboration between government and private sector.

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PSN Honours Fidelity Bank At Annual Awards

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Left to right: Executive Director, Lagos & South-West, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe receiving on behalf of the bank, an award for supporting Pharmacists and the Healthcare Value Chain in Nigeria, from Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Mr. Elijah Mohammed during the Annual Dinner/Award Night organised by the Board of Fellows, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Lagos … Wednesday

  ***Pharmacists Commend Bank For Excellent Support

Fidelity Bank Plc, top Nigerian lender Wednesday received accolades for its unwavering support for the healthcare value chain in Nigeria. The Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) made the commendation at the Society’s Annual Dinner & Award Night in Lagos when the Bank won the Excellence Award in Healthcare Value Chain in Nigeria.

Receiving the award on behalf of the bank, Executive Director, Lagos & Southwest, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali- Ikpe thanked the organizers for recognizing the contribution of the Bank to the sector. Specifically, she said that the award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Board, Management and Staff of the Bank in making financial services easy and accessible to customers, thus changing the face of banking in Nigeria. “Fidelity Bank is perhaps one of the few banks in the country that supports the pharmaceutical industry. Our Fidelity Pharmacy Support Facility supports eligible Pharmacists to meet working capital needs by helping them purchase stock” she said.

Whilst restating the bank’s commitment to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, Onyeali-Ikpe promised that the bank will continue to explore new areas of opportunities in the healthcare value chain with a view to building a virile and sustainable industry.

Speaking in the same vein, the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed commended the bank for its support to the industry’s growth and development. “I Fidelity Bank has done very well in terms of service delivery”, Mohammed said.

The PSN Award of Excellence is not only bestowed on deserving corporate organizations for their contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria but also in appreciation of their efforts towards harnessing the great potential inherent in the country. The bank was honoured alongside other public and private organisations such as Air Peace, Beloxxi, Bank of Industry (BoI), amongst others.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS EVENTFUL TO SUPPORT SMEs IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

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Fashion

As part of efforts to provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry, First Bank of Nigeria Limited partnered with Eventful Nigeria Limited on its event, fashion souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

The Runway

Speaking at the event held in Lagos recently, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said the bank has over the years, since its founding, been very supportive of the entrepreneurial space and SMEs, adding that the role of the bank is that of an enabler.

“FirstBank has been involved in every sector of the economy since 1894, so if you think about that there is no sector we have not been involved in, in fact this particular fashion souk, we are the pioneer sponsor and we sponsored it right from when it started.”

Zaccheaus, Osibanjo and Ibru

Ani-Mumuney explained that the fashion industry over the years has grown incredibly and added that it has helped to grow other businesses.

According to her, “Just like Nigerian music, the fashion industry is still in its infancy. We have great talents and potential in the fashion industry. Let’s consider the developed fashion industry of Italy for instance and the entire value chain of fashion, it tells you that there is a lot to be done. We still need to have fashion zones in core Cities and States, so that within a particular zone, you could have the cutters, button hole creation and others.

“The great thing is that we have a market here, but beyond that is that we could easily become the fashion hub for Africa, especially its export across continents. The fashion industry is diverse and versatile with many roles carried-out by individuals with uniquely different skill-set. Some persons could focus on finishing; some could focus on sketching, garment making and other areas. Indeed, Nigeria are fashion freaks, with a large and diverse market.

Also at the event was Nollywood actor and producer Kunle Afolayan whom had his clothing line Ire Clothing, displayed. Afolayan, the Chief Executive Officer of Ire Clothing said he started the clothing line with just the Kunle Kembe, and presently, it has expanded to about five, six collections.

He also stated that what inspired Ire clothing is because of his love for arts and anything that deals with the Nigerian cultural heritage and helps to document culture, “so with Ire clothing, we use Africa fabrics, Anakara, Adire and others.”

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Afoloyan explained that he has modified the old Yoruba Kembe style to something that is now pop culture so that the younger generation can also wear it, adding that there are T-shirts and Kunle’s Dansiki which is a bit smaller than the traditional Dansiki, and face caps.

According to him, “The brand story we are trying to tell is that we want people to embrace their own culture and tradition; use it to their advantage and use it to the world. I think the fashion industry is striving and it’s been here for a very longtime and it is doing better because a lot of our people are exporting our clothing abroad.”

In his remarks, veteran comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as Ali baba, said the fashion souk is a platform of opportunities and a collage of business ideas, providing a platform for people to network and express business innovations.

According to Ali baba, “To expand the frontiers of the fashion industry, there is need for exposure and the social media is helping a great deal to improve the employment needs of Nigerians. Once the employment statistics increases there will be higher purchasing power and people will tend to invest and spend more in fashion. In a country of about 200 million people, one should be able to do one million sales in months. But I think we will get there someday. We need to grow our textile industry and revamp the textile companies, which implies that we have to revive the production of cotton so that players in the industry can have access to raw materials, thereby cutting down production cost.”

Also speaking at the event, popular television presenter and model, Uti Nwachukwu, expressed satisfaction with the event, commending the organisers for creating an avenue to convene fashion vendors under one roof to provide their wares at discounted and affordable rates, while giving customers the opportunities to patronize their brands.

He further stated that the fashion souk gives the vendors an opportunity to showcase what they have to sell and creates opportunity for them to advertise their products.

Nwachukwu added: “A lot of vendors and customers here are happy. It is a give and take situation that works well. The fashion industry in Nigeria is the most underrated industry; there is so much potential, and greatness in the fashion industry.

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“We have great designers that will shine in any part of the world. It is a great gesture the bank is making by supporting the industry. I just wish the bank can help these designers to get to international level of exposure. Our designs are wonderful, African prints are in fashion in different parts of the world. Finance and exposure are the key challenges facing the industry, if it is properly addressed, things will work out well.”

About FirstBank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading banking services solutions provider in Nigeria for 125 years. With some 15 million customer accounts, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services with over 750 business locations. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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Zenith Bank Launches Style By Zenith 2.0

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Zenith Bank

Leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, has announced the launch of Style by Zenith 2.0.

Style by Zenith 2.0 is the second edition of its flagship lifestyle fair dedicated to intentionally celebrating the ‘small’ things that make ‘big’ differences in our lives.

The concept which was first launched in 2018, was created with the objective of supporting and creating value for customers by focusing on various aspects of their lifestyle.

This year, Style by Zenith 2.0 themed “Style the Life you Desire” is aimed at encouraging Nigerians to live their best lives and be extraordinary. The platform seeks to inspire people to be authentic while showing them that with ordinary talent and extraordinary effort they can thrive and make a real change in this world.

Speaking on the rationale behind Style by Zenith 2.0, Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc., Dr Temitope Fasoranti, said: “Banking, for Zenith Bank means going that extra mile to be present in the lives of our customers. Driven by a culture of excellence and providing cutting edge solutions, the bank is championing this cause to enable individuals and businesses to grow wealth.”

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He added that “beyond providing financial solutions, Zenith Bank Plc seeks to be a reliable partner to her customers, ensuring that they excel on every front. With Style by Zenith 2.0, the bank continues in her commitment to empowering individuals and entrepreneurs by celebrating real talents. We will be helping people do what they know how to do best and repositioning them for greater levels of success in their various endeavours.”

This year’s programme includes an interesting line up of activities all culminating in the 3-day Lifestyle Fair taking place at the end of 2019.

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Kicking off the array of activities is the Style by Zenith 2.0 Fitness Walks to be held in conjunction with Mass Medical Missions, a non-profit organisation, and Venus Medicare Ltd, a leading health management organisation in the country.

The fitness walk will serve as a platform to promote Mission Pink Cruise – a project of Mass Medical Missions supported by Zenith Bank, aimed at taking holistic cancer prevention and health promotion to various communities across the country using Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) nicknamed Pink Cruises, the first of its kind in Nigeria.

Scheduled to hold in August, these fitness walks and cancer screening exercises will hold in five cities across Nigeria – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Onitsha.

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