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Life Beer Gives Additional N3m Grant to 12 Entrepreneurs

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Life Continental Beer, a brand under the stables of Nigeria Breweries, has given additional N3million cash grant to 12 young entrepreneurs within the South-East to boost their business ideas.

 

It would be recalled that Life Beer had earlier given out N3million to 12 young entrepreneurs in its on-going “Life Continental Beer Progress Booster Radio Project’’ about a month ago.

The Head of Brewery, Ama, Mr Abiodun Ajayi, told newsmen last week that the brand had earmarked N14.5 million grant to boost 50 young entrepreneurs, who reside and hail from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.

The 12 second set of winners are: Mr Ekenne Okpadile (Anambra), proposal on domestic and commercial cleaning services; Mr Uzochukwu Okwor (Enugu), proposal on Photography; Mr Onyinye Onyedika-Orizu (Anambra), proposal on DJ Turn-Table and Miss Miracle Akagha (Abia), proposal on mobile small fries.

Others are: Miss Chinwe Ottor (Anambra), proposal on giant snail farming; Mr Maxwell Madubuike (Enugu), proposal on palm oil production; Mr Christian Udeh (Anambra), proposal for paint making and Mrs Chinwendu Nwoye (Anambra), proposal on fashion designing.

The rest include: Miss Ngozi Ogboh (Anambra), proposal on shoe making; Mr Prosper Nduba (Enugu), proposal on soya milk production; Mr Solomon Agabaenwere (Anambra), proposal on commercial tricycle operation and Mr Chukwuemeka Etummu (Anambra), proposal for garment making for wholesale.

Handling over the cheque of N250,000 to each of the 12 winners in Nigeria Breweries, Ama, Enugu; Ajayi urged the winners to ensure that their investment is yielding enough returns to make become employers of labour.

“With this, life has supported 24 talents since the commencement of the programme in May and 26 more to go.

“These young entrepreneurs whose business ideas have been adjudged worthy of Life Progress Booster prizes will each receive N250,000 grant to bring their business ideas to life.

“As you receive these cash grants today, we expect you to succeed in the business line you have chosen. Make judicious investment of the money given you and ensure that your investment is yielding returns and your business capable of making you an employer of labour as you trudge on in your business journey.

“If you succeed in taking your business idea to the next desirable level, you stand a chance of going further to win more money (additional N250,000 to be won each by eight winners). The panel of experts that assessed and judged your business proposals will be monitoring your progress and they will be there to mentor and provide valuable advice when necessary,’’ Ajayi said.

He however emphasized that budding entrepreneur, whose business proposals would be considered, must have a workable business idea, be from the South-East extract, reside in the zone and attained 18 years.

It would be recalled that Life Continental beer in June was awarded Gold in the prestigious Monde International Quality Award 2015; while “the award reinforces that Life beer is a high quality beer and has been recognized internationally with the award of a Gold medal for quality’’.

One of the winners, Mrs Chinwendu Nwoye (Anambra), whose business proposal is fashion designing, said that the grant would enable her buy cloth designing machines and have a good layout display stand in her shop in Awka, Anambra State.

“It would go a long way to assist me stock the latest fashion designing machines; which would make my production more appealing, automated and meet the needs of my individual and corporate customers especially UNIZIK students,’’ Nwoye said.

Another winner, Mr Maxwell Madubuike (Enugu), whose business proposal is on palm oil production, said that the grant would enable him stock more palm fonts and buy latest machines for the business in order to produce more and check wastage.

Captions:

Pictures of 12 additional winners getting N250,000 each in the on-going Life Continental Beer’s Progress Booster Radio Show. The presentation was done at Nigeria Breweries, Ama in Enugu State on Friday.

The programme is meant to empower 50 budding entrepreneurs within the South-East before the end of the year.

Winners – 7: Female winners among the 12 winners in a group photograph. (from left to right) Miss Chinwe Ottor; Miss Miracle Akagha; Mrs Chinwendu Nwoye and Miss Ngozi Ogboh.

Winners – 8: A set of six winners in a photograph. (from right to left) Mr Maxwell Madubuike; Mr Prosper Nduba; Miss Miracle Akagha; Miss Chinwe Ottor; Mr Chukwuemeka Etummu and Mr Ekenne Okpadile,

Winners – 9: A set of six winners in a photograph. (from right to left) Mr Uzochukwu Okwor; Mr Solomon Agabaenwere; Miss Ngozi Ogboh; Mrs Chinwendu Nwoye; Mr Christain Udeh and Mr Onyinye Onyedika.

Winners – 10: The winners, Nigeria Breweries top management staff and the panelists in the conference hall of Nigeria Breweries Ama in Enugu.

Winners – 11: A cross section of the winners at the conference hall while being oriented in Igbo language on the need to succeed in the programme by Nigeria Breweries Regional Business Manager, Enugu, Mr Obiora Okolo.

Winners – 12: The winners having a field time with Life Continental Lager Beer (Gold winner in the prestigious Monde International Quality Award 2015).

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FCMB Manager Arrested For Hoarding New Naira Notes

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A manager of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) branch in Osogbo, Osun State capital, has been arrested for allegedly preventing Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) loaded with cash from dispensing money to customers.

The spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC), Azuka Ogugua, in a statement on Friday said the cash bundles were loaded into the ATMs while still wrapped, and as such, could not be dispensed through the machines

“The ICPC Compliance Team in Osogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State, where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed.

“The Team, therefore, directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly’.

Similarly, seven Point of Sale (POS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during the ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.

Investigations, however, revealed that they got the money from Filling Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.

The arrested persons are helping the Commission with information to assist investigations and bust any syndicates involved in the hoarding or sales of the redesigned notes.

 

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New naira: ICPC arrests Stanbic IBTC Bank manager over sabotage

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), has arrested an official of Stanbic IBTC Bank in Abuja for alleged sabotage.

The ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said the development was in continuation of ICPC’s clampdown on elements frustrating efforts in making the redesigned Naira notes available to members of the public.

The bank official, who is the branch service head of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Deidei Branch in Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) even when the cash was available and people were queuing at the ATM points.

The statement reads: “When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30pm on Friday to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, the team was informed by the branch’s head of operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.

“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash earlier around 11:58am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.

“Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit.

“The ICPC said investigations were still ongoing and the Commission will take appropriate actions as soon they are concluded.

“Similarly, seven Point of Sale (PoS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during an ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.

“Investigations, however, revealed that they got the money from Filling Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.

“The arrested persons were helping the anti-graft commission with information to assist investigations and bust other syndicates involved in the hoarding and sales of the redesigned Naira notes,” the anti-graft agency said.

 

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N24Billion Fraud: Appeal Court Okays Trial Of Ex-Accountant General, Otunla, After Refunding N6.4 Billion To Nigerian Government

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside the judgment of a lower court barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from initiating either civil or criminal proceedings against former Accountant-General of the Federation, AG-F, Jonah Oguniyi Otunla.

In a judgment, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal marked: CA/A/657/2021, on Monday, January 30, 2023, held that Otunla failed to prove that there was actually a non-prosecution agreement between him and the EFCC.

The court upheld the arguments of the lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, and resolved the four issues, identified for determination, in favour of the Commission.

 

Justice Danlami Senchi, who read the judgment, noted that Otunla did not provide any written commitment, except his words and that of his lawyer, that such an agreement existed.

Justice Senchi held that Otunla could not halt his prosecution by merely claiming that there was an agreement, which existence he failed to establish with any credible evidence.

 

“In the instant case, there is no evidence to support the pleading of the respondent (Otunla) that he will not be prosecuted; that criminal or civil proceedings should not be instituted or initiated against him.

“There is no plea bargain or any documentary evidence relating to the President Panel for the Recovery of Funds. On the whole, the appeal is meritorious and it is allowed. The judgment of the Federal High Court, in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/2321/2021 delivered on the 16th day of July 2021 delivered by honourable Justice I. E. Ekwo is hereby set aside,” he said.

 

Other members of the panel – Justices Stephen Adah and Elfreda Williams-Daudu – agreed with the lead judgment.

The EFCC investigated Otunla in relation to two cases: The alleged diversion of about N24 billion meant for disengaged staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the N2 billion allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.

 

In July 2021, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja upheld Otunla’s claim of an existing verbal agreement between him and the then-acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, that he would not be prosecuted if he made a refund to the Federal Government.

Justice Ekwo, in the 2021 judgment on the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2321/2021 filed by Otunla, held among others, that, in view of the assurance given to him by Magu, which informed his refund of the money, he could no longer be prosecuted for his actions while in office between 2011 and 2015.

 

Otunla had, in an affidavit, claimed that Magu promised him that he would not be prosecuted should he return funds traced to him and companies linked to him and his associates.

He stated that sometime in 2015, he was invited by a team of EFCC investigators to probe the alleged diversion of funds from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, pension funds. Otunla said he later met with Magu, in the course of the investigation, when the then acting EFCC chair told him in person to “refund the monies linked to your companies and nobody will prosecute you.”

 

He said, based on Magu’s promise, he had a reconciliatory meeting with the team of investigators, where he immediately undertook to make available some funds as refunds.

In line with the agreement, Otunla said one of the companies linked to him – Stellar Vera Development Ltd – refunded N750 million, another company – Damaris Mode Coolture Ltd – refunded N550 million, while the two firms later made an additional joint refund of N2,150,000,000.00 (Two billion, One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira only).

 

He added at a point, he raised several managers’ cheques for N10 million in favour of the EFCC, which he handed to the Economic Governance Section.

Otunla said, in all, he made a refund of N6,392,000,000.00 (Six Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety-Two Million Naira only) to the Federation Account through the EFCC.

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