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First Bank Drowns In $4.4million Exploitation Lawsuit…………

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First Bank Nigerian Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading banks is currently enmeshed in a 700 million naira (over four million dollars) copyright infringement and exploitation law suit filed by Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).

First Bank has been accused of not applying for or secure a license or any authorization whatsoever before exploiting, communicating to the public, publishing and deploying the musical works and sound recordings of its members and assignors as included in, reproduced and contained in the Sights and Sounds of Carnival Calabar and deployed by First Bank Plc in its marketing, promotion and advertising.

In a sitting held at the Federal High Court, suit No. FHC/CS/L/530/2014 filed on behalf of COSON by Lagos IP lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige of Creative Legal, Seun Omotoba & Co, COSON asked for the award of seven hundred million naira in unpaid royalties and damages against First Bank Plc for copyright infringement with respect to the unauthorized use of several musical works and sound recordings communicated to the public, deployed and exploited as marketing, promotional and advertising materials by First Bank Plc and contained in Sights and Sounds of Carnival Calabar.

Speaking on the development, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, ‘Let it be heard loud and clear, that COSON is determined to sanitize the copyright environment in Nigeria. No one is too big or too small to abide by the law. A lot of young Nigerians are investing their talents, time and money in creating the music which is making Nigeria famous across the world and they deserve to be respected. For anyone to exploit their creative ingenuity, the person must get appropriate permission. If a musician takes a loan from a bank without paying back, the bank will chase the musician to the ends of the world to recover the loan. What right does a bank have to use the property of the musician without payment or authorization?’’

Also reacting on the development, COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, said, “Is it not hard to imagine why after being aware of the appropriate steps to take in the public communication of music, some people just find a way to kick against the law? Music is an investment and nobody treats lightly his investment. COSON will continue to ensure that the music industry in Nigeria is beneficial to all investors, foreign or local. We will see to it that the music pays no matter what tactics some music users may try to deploy in evading their obligations”.

Information reaching us, further reveal that First Bank Nigeria Plc prior to the court proceedings ignored COSON’s attempt to get their attention and resolve the issue. The bank is alleged to have handled the Copyright organisation like a dog without teeth, which further infuriated them.

All efforts to speak with the Head of Corporate Communications, First Bank proved abortive as the numbers were not reachable.

– Society Reel

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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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