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Nigeria has potential to feed Africa’s 1.2bn people – Ecobank

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Leading pan-Africa financial institution, Ecobank, has revealed that Nigeria has the capacity to feed Africa’s estimated 1.2 billion people if it harnesses the gains of the agricultural value chain.

According to the bank, success in Nigeria’s agricultural sector means the reduction in the demand for foreign exchange to import food items into the country and the development of the agribusiness value-chain with a resultant effect in the creation of a new breed of entrepreneurs as well as jobs for the teeming population.

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), stated this on Thursday at the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit in Lagos. The summit had its theme “Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities Across Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain”

According to Ayeyemi, Ecobank decided to create a platform of a Summit to enable thought-leaders who are passionate about agriculture and its importance to Nigeria’s economy to put heads together and find ways to maximize the significant potential gains of boosting agribusiness in Nigeria.

He said Ecobank works with various governments and businesses within its footprint to provide support in harnessing and mining value from the huge natural resources across the continent. “The success of this Summit and its objectives is therefore important to Ecobank, as we do know Africa remains fully committed to contributing to its economic development – a core objective of our founders”.

Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono affirmed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to issues bothering on food security affecting the country.

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Nanono who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri also stressed on the need for viable synergy and collaboration between relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector, so as to further promote its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country.

“The aim of this submit is indeed very apt as it would contribute on creating a sustainable economy through the development of rural agricultural enterprises. It is gladdening that this forum has brought together small-holders, input dealers, agro-processors, development finance agencies, policy makers and the captains of industries under one roof to discuss the problems and challenges facing the sector, with the view to finding solutions and way forward.

“This summit also marks another milestone attraction in the journey of economic diversification in line with the vision of the economic recovery growth plan of the current administration of his Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, to boost agricultural production prosperity, promote innovative technologies and investment in the agricultural sector, in order to achieve poverty reduction and job creation.

“Nigeria’s potentials and prospects, makes the agricultural sector a pilot for economic stabilization, diversification and growth in the country. Indeed, the sector is a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing about 27 percent to the GDP and the biggest in job creation in the non-oil sector.

“As you are aware, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to addressing the issues of food security in the country, as well as encourage local farmers to produce more and better-quality food for all. The aim was to restore the glory of the country’s agricultural sector, which before the oil-boom was we all know, was the main driver of Nigeria’s economy.

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“Let me also reiterate, that under the current dispensation, the agriculture sector has engineered more farmers for providing the required raw materials for the development of the agro-allied industry in the country.

“With the noticeable growth in production in agriculture, agricultural and food sector, The has been on stimulating agricultural export, to increase our foreign exchange earnings. In doing this, we are giving attention to meeting the requirements of not only the locals, but also international market.

“At present, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting and supporting the development of special agro-industrial processing funds, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB) for value addition, import substitution, job creation and international market. Commitment and support would continue to be given to the areas of promoting foreign and local enterprise to advance level of credit and investment in agriculture as a veritable step to diversify the economy.

“Within the overall sets of policy principles, the federal government is concentrating on providing an enabling environment and enabling playgrounds for stakeholders at all levels, to enhance investment and capital flow into the sector,” he said.

The maiden Ecobank Agribusiness summit in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers had exhibitors and hundreds of participants from within and outside the country in attendance.

Culled:https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/
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Sterling Bank Contributes N250m To Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19

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Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank Plc, has contributed N250 million as part of its commitment to the newly formed Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 created to help channel resources to combat the coronavirus disease under the theme: “We need you.”

 

 

The bank, in an email to its customers, disclosed that it is working with the Bankers’ Committee to lead the effort to raise N120 billion required by the Federal Government to fight the coronavirus pandemic and help achieve the shared goal of eradicating the virus.

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Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman said, “While this will go a long way, more still needs to be done. We have come to acknowledge that this battle will require every one of us to play our part as corporate citizens and individuals.”

 

 

He enjoined other public spirited corporate organisations and individuals to join in the fight against COVID-19 by making a contribution to the Fight COVID-19 Fund (FCF) and help the coalition to defeat the pandemic for good. He said every Naira donated will go a long way in saving the country from the pandemic.

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Suleiman said donations should be sent to:

 

Bank Name:                Sterling Bank

Account Name:           COVID Donations

Account Number:        0076813615

 

He urged Nigerians to show their strength by uniting against the virus, saying a Swahili proverb which translated into English means “Unity is strength; division is weakness,” is needed now more than ever.

 

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Union Bank Partners 54Gene To Raise $500,000 Towards Nigeria’s Fight Against COVID-19

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Union Bank

Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions has announced a US$130,000 (N50million) donation to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

The donation was made into a fund set up by 54gene, an African genomics research, services and development company working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
(NCDC) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will help increase COVID-19 testing capacity in the country by up to 1,000 additional tests a day, by buying testing instruments and critical biosafety materials such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment urgently needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe.

The procured equipment will be installed in general hospitals and laboratories across the country, and will remain in place even after the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic, to be used in the case of future outbreaks.

In addition, there will also be extensive training and support to medical practitioners and volunteers working across the country to curb the menace.

Announcing the donation, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, said: “Community is one of our core values at Union Bank, and there’s no better time to live this value than now. A critical need for the country at this time is to scale up our testing capabilities and give us a better chance of slowing the spread of the virus. We are therefore pleased to be supporting 54gene who is directly collaborating with NCDC and World Health Organisation who are coordinating Nigeria’s Covid-19 response.
While commending Union Bank on its donation, the CEO of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong also said: “The rapid and assured response from some of Nigeria’s most reputable institutions, such as Union Bank, to join us in our fight against this deadly disease is highly
welcome, and we thank them for their unwavering support. They, like us, understand the need for a multi-stakeholder, co-ordinated plan, that can be implemented almost immediately, as we work together as a community, side-by-side, to fight COVID-19 and protect our nation.”

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Last week, Union Bank, which had already been proactive in rolling out stringent safety and  hygiene practices within its branches and service locations, took the lead in activating remote work for its employees, directing more than 70% of its employees in non-service functions to work from home starting Monday, 23rd of March.

Union Bank also announced the launch of a toll-free Customer Care number 0800 700 700 which customers can call free of charge at anytime of the day or night to get help with banking issues.

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These initiatives underscore Union Bank’s commitment to containing the spread of the virus while actively supporting the communities within which it operates.

About Union Bank Plc.

Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions.

The Bank is a trusted and recognizable brand, with an extensive network of over
300 branches across Nigeria.

In late 2012, a new Board of Directors and Executive Management team were appointed to Union Bank and in 2014 the Bank began executing a transformation programme to re￾establish it as a highly respected provider of quality financial services.

The Bank currently offers a variety of banking services to both individual and corporate clients including current, savings and deposit account services, funds transfer, foreign currency
domiciliation, loans, overdrafts, equipment leasing and trade finance. The Bank also offers its customers convenient electronic banking channels and products including Online Banking,
Mobile Banking, Debit Cards, ATMs and POS Systems.

More information can be found at: www.unionbankng.com. Media Enquiries: Email yowonubi@unionbankng.com

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FIDELITY BANK COVOID-19 UPDATE

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In line with the collective resolve to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelity Bank, as a responsible corporate citizen, wishes to join in sharing information with the public as follows;

·Fidelity Bank mandates staff or immediate family member(s) who travel out the country to self-isolate for 2 weeks and obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of our COVID-19 Preventive and Precautionary Measures.

· This process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.

· He was in self-isolation and underwent testing in line with the bank’s policy. The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where he is currently being attended to by health officials.

·We are in constant touch with him and have been monitoring the situation closely. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

·Though the staff has not been at the bank since returning from the UK, he however brought some consignments for two other staff which were delivered to them individually.

·We have self-isolated the 2 individuals and sent them for necessary testing. In addition the office where these 2 individuals work, has been temporarily shut and has been disinfected.   Due to the proactive measures taken by the bank, contact tracing within the bank was very swift and conclusive with no customers involved.

·We have also shut down our Federal Secretariat, Abuja Business Office and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with our policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff.

· Apart from the directive on isolation and testing for staff and family members who have had trips abroad within this period, the bank has in place, several other precautionary measures as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health institutions. They include;

· Body temperature screening of staff and visitors before being allowed access to all our premises

·Wearing of gloves and facemasks by all our frontline staff.

·Reduction in the number of staff expected to come to work. 60% of our staff now work remotely from home.

·Reduction of the number customers allowed at a time into our banking halls to a maximum of 5.

·Encouragement of good personal hygiene and deployment of hand sanitizers at all our office locations.

·Social distancing and abolition of physical meetings and large gatherings

·Deployment of video conferencing and other devices to allow for remote meetings.

Fidelity Bank places a high premium on health and safety. We shall continue to do everything within our means to ensure the health and safety of all, including customers, vendors, staff and indeed everyone who comes into our premises.

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