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2023: Lawan, Amaechi, other APC presidential aspirants shun peace meeting with Tinubu

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Uncertainty yesterday enveloped the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Senate president, Ahmed Lawan; former Transport minister and other notable presidential aspirants in the party’s presidential primary failed to attend a peace meeting with the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

It was reported that the reconciliation meeting slated for yesterday in Abuja would create a platform to mend fences among Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osibanj, Lawan Amaechi and others who contested the presidential primary in June this year.

Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to clinch the party’s presidential ticket at the special national convention, which had 23 aspirants, with nine withdrawing from the contest before the commencement of the primary election.

One of the presidential aspirants and convener of the meeting, Dr Nicolas Felix, said the peace meeting was meant to bring all the stakeholders together to brainstorm and “adopt winning campaign strategies that seek to carry every Nigerian along in our bid to coast home to victory ahead of the 2023 general elections.”

Those invited for the meeting include Vice President Osinbajo; Lawan; Amaechi; former Science and Technology minister, Ogbonnaya Onu; former minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).

Others are former Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; former Zamfara State governor, Ahmad Sani; former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha; a former Senate president, Ken Nnamani, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; Pastor Tunde Bakare; Pastor and businessman, Dr Nicolas Felix; former Information minister, Ikeobasi Mokelu; business mogul, Tein Jack-Rich, and the only female among them, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.

A statement issued by one of the aspirants and convener of the peace meeting, Dr Felix, who said the meeting was postponed without given reason for the postponement, noted that a new date will be communicated soon.

“Please be informed that the strategic meeting of 2023 Presidential Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled to hold on Wednesday the 31st of August has been postponed. A new date for the meeting will be communicated soon. Apologies for any inconvenience(s) that this might cause,” he stated.

A source close to one of the presidential aspirants, however, told journalists that most of the key presidential aspirants invited for the meeting did not show interest, adding that a particular aspirant from the North did not even acknowledge the invitation letter sent to him.

The source, a party chieftain who did not want his name in print, said, “It seems some of these aspirants are yet to come to terms with our presidential candidate because some of them are not seen to be rallying the needed support for the party yet.

“All of them are well informed about this meeting. The organisers even issued a statement twice to remind them but some did not show interest at all. I can tell you that only nine of them were ready to attend. These nine aspirants are among the heavyweights we expected to show up”.

Vice President Osinbajo left Abuja for the United States of America yesterday morning to seekglobal partnerships and support for Nigeria’s recently launched Energy Transition Plan.

Another source who spoke on condition of anonymity Tinubu’s romance with leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), especially Rivers State governor is the reason why Ameachi shunned the peace meeting.

According to the source, the Minister, who came second at the presidential primary election, “felt slighted that Tinubu and his men were making overtures to Governor Nysom Wike.”

 

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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