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Dangote Builds $1bn Cement Plant in Edo State

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The Dangote Group has started building $1 billion dollars cement factory in Okpella, Edo State, to expand its cement production in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the six million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) Okpella plant and the upcoming six mmtpa plant in Itori, Ogun State will increase the company’s local production capacity to 41 mmtpa annually.

The Okpella project, which is to be constructed within 26 months, will provide 6000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs in the community.

Kayode Fayemi, minister of Solid Minerals, said at the ground breaking ceremony at Okpella on Sunday, April 10, that the cement plant was an evidence that the diversification agenda of the Federal Government was already working.

Fayemi said that the cement plant would be a model that would bring positive changes to the nation’s solid minerals sector in the areas of job creation, foreign exchange earnings and local content promotion.

He said that mining sector was currently contributing 0.34 per cent to the GDP and had potential to contribute over 25 million dollars annually to the economy by 2025.

Fayemi advised other investors to take a cue from Dangote’s commitment and support to transform the nation’s economy through active participation.

Okechukwu Enelamah, minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, commended the expansion drive of Dangote Group through its commitment to liberate the country from cement importation, increased job creation and foreign exchange earnings.

“Dangote Group is the second largest employer of labour in the country, se‎cond to the Federal Government. ‎The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment will continue to partner with Dangote in providing the necessary support for investment growth in the country,” Enelamah who was represented by Aisha Abubakar, minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment.

Aliko Dangote, chief executive officer of Dangote Group, said that local cement manufacturers were saving the country three billion dollars annually through cement import substitution.

“The additional investment in the sector will guarantee that we always meet local demand as well as surplus for export and foreign exchange generation.”

Dangote urged other investors to explore investment opportunities in the country considering the federal government’s readiness to resuscitate the industrial sector through investment friendly policies.

“A key factor that drives investments in an economy is the presence of an investor-friendly business climate.”

Dangote said that economic reforms in the areas of tax, innovations in rural finance and investment in infrastructure created the enabling environment that made him consider investing in Edo State.

Yusuf Dirisu, the monarch of Okpella, commended the commitment of Dangote Group to the establishment of the plant, while pledging the community’s support to provide enabling environment for the investment to thrive.

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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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