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FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA, OLUSEGUN OBASANJO IN WAR OF WORDS….. ” I MADE YOU A BILLIONAIRE”-oBASANJO… “YOUR GOVERNMENT FRUSTRATED MY EFFORT AND BUSINESS” -ALAKIJA. MORE DETAILS INSIDE!

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One of Nigeria’s former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo engaged Forbes’ richest African woman, Folorunsho Alakija in a quick trade of words on Saturday.

Obasanjo explained to Alakija that she’s among the 25 billionaires he made during his tenure as President.

The former president made the statement at the 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos. He made the statement while reacting to Alakija’s allegation that the Obasanjo administration frustrated her effort when she ventured into oil business.

Alakija, who spoke before Obasanjo, alleged that the administration illegally took an oil block allocated to her company after her family had invested all their savings to strike oil in commercial quantity.

She said: “This oil block is in 5000 feet depth of water and was extremely difficult to explore.

“It took 15 years from the time that we were awarded the licence in 1993 till 2008 when we struck the first oil

“When this event happened, 60 per cent out of our 60 per cent equity in the business, was forcefully taken from us by the government of the day without due process.

“We had to fight back by going to court to seek redress and it took another 12 years for justice to be served in our favour.

“In all those years it was my trust in God, my perseverance and the support of my family that got me going.”

She used her experiences to charge the 2000 budding entrepreneurs at the event to be dogged, determined and not to give up in the face of challenges.

When Obasanjo spoke, the former president seized the opportunity to reply Alakija’s allegation.

“There is a saying in my part of the world that when a proverb touches you and you failed to reply, then you are a coward,” Obasanjo said.

He explained that the action of the government then was in line with the Mining Act, which regulates oil prospection and exploration.

Obasanjo explained: “For you to come here and say that, for no cause whatsoever, you were denied what was rightfully yours, is not fair.

“I do not know you from Adam and there is no reason I would have denied you what rightfully belonged to you.

“So, you have struggled, and you have struck oil. God bless your heart.

“My delight is to be able to create Nigerian billionaires and I always say it that my aim, when I was in government was to create 50 Nigerian billionaires.

“Unfortunately I failed. I created only 25 and Madam, you are one of them.”

Obasanjo hailed the vision of Mr Tony Elumelu for helping to build African young entrepreneurs with his resources.

He also urged the government to create conducive environment for people to move businesses into the country.

The former president urged government to relax its visa policy and company registration process to encourage investors.

He said the government should create certification centres in the country for easy exportation of agro processed products.

The President of Sierra Leone, Bai Koroma noted that what transpired between Obasanjo and Alakija was part of the challenges and difficulties that leaders lived with in the discharge of their duties.

With limited resources competing for unlimited demands and expectations from the people, leaders were seen to be larger than life, he said.

Koroma also commended Elumelu for his project for African young entrepreneurs adding that his vision resonated with a new Africa development agenda

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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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