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SEPLAT commissions Oben cottage hospital, holds Safe Motherhood Programme



SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc, operators of the NPDC/Seplat JV, has commissioned the renovated Oben Cottage Hospital in Oben, Edo State. The company also held the 2018 edition of its annual Safe Motherhood Programme, which is in alignment with the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) of the UN that promotes good health and well-being. This year’s programme is proceeding under the theme – “Child Spacing”.

The 28-bed hospital was part of the assets acquired by Seplat following the divestment by Shell in 2010 of its interests in OMLs 4, 38 & 41.

The renovated hospital building has the following amenities: Consulting Room, Maternity Ward, Male Ward, Female Ward, Laboratory, Heart-to-Heart Centre, Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Pharmacy, Theatre, Nurses’ Common Room, Labour Room, Records Unit, Outpatient Department (OPD) and Accounts Unit.

The Company’s Operations Director, Effiong Okon led a team from Seplat while the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Edo State (Represented by the Director, Hospital Services/Chief Executive, Edo State Hospital Management Board) Dr. Chris Obaseki, Traditional Rulers and chiefs from the Benin Kingdom, attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Okon said, “The Safe Motherhood programme is one of Seplat’s core social responsibility, which we take very seriously. In fact, our CEO, Austin Avuru, is always talking about giving back to the communities where we operate. That is why we take it very seriously. We have been doing the programme for seven years. What we have done is just a tip of the iceberg. This relationship with the community is not a sprint relationship, it is a marathon relationship. We are committed to making a lot of investment in Oben in the next 10 to 30 years subject to the amount of gas reserves we have in the community.”

Commenting on this year’s edition, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, said that the programme has been “impactful in the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the communities through the provision of safe delivery kits, insecticide treated nets, distribution of supplements and vitamins as well as the one-on-one consultations received by every pregnant woman who accesses the programme.”

The Edo State commissioner for health speaking through his representative remarked that the Edo State government is passionate about good healthcare for its citizens and so is appreciative of the efforts of all towards providing qualitative healthcare delivery to its citizenry.

While thanking Seplat for the gesture of renovating the hospital, he said, “The state government will continue to partner in ensuring that healthcare delivery is not just accessible but also affordable in line with the state government’s cardinal objectives,”

The participants, most of whom were accompanied by their young children, got relevant information on modern safe pregnancy and delivery practices from a team of doctors from the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), who facilitated the programme. So far, over 18, 164 expectant mothers as well as thousands of children between 0-6 years, have benefited from the free maternal health care programme since inception.

Distinguished guests at the event included His Royal Highness Frederick Odoligie Ogiemwonyi, the Enogie of Oben; His Royal Highness Evans Omobugie Igbinigie, the Enogie of Obozogbe N’Ugu; His Royal Highness Festus Ogiefo Iduozee, the Enogie of Umoghun-Zuagbor; Prince S.A Osazuwa (representative of the Enogie of Umoghun-Nokhua); Prince Evans Oguigo (Representative of the Enogie of Ugo); Chief Victor Osa Uzamere (the Obadoloye of Benin Kingdom as well as sundry Community Leaders; Staff of Oben Cottage Hospital and other dignitaries.

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Nigeria’s leading innovative Bank, Wema Bank Plc. has deepened its service to humanity as the bank’s staff made “salary for love” donations to help cushion the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with our corporate social initiatives in the Bank, the “Salary for love” is a one-day basic salary donation which is a voluntary contribution by staff of Wema Bank to assist the Nigerian government and health workers in fighting the spread of the virus.


“As a Bank and a responsible organization, we recognize the need to support the government and citizens of the country at this period,” said MD/CEO of Wema Bank, Mr AdemolaAdebise.

“The “Salary for love” donation will contribute to the cause in helping to fight and reduce the spread of the virus in Nigeria. It is a selfless cash donation from members of staff of Wema Bank PLC, and we are proud of everyone who contributed”

In a statement released by the bank, over four million naira has been raised and used in purchasing palliatives such as face masks, antiseptic soaps, foodstuff among others. The palliatives were shared to families in communities affected by the lockdown.

The bank also created a COVID-19 account to enable members of staffdonatevoluntarily towards the fight against the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

“Last month, we donated palliatives to state governments and communities, and this is something we will continue with the understanding that some of us have had to face harsher economic realities during this pandemic,” Mr Adebise added.

“We believe that our contribution will not only help curb the spread of the virus, it will also help soften the impact of the pandemic on Nigerians.”

Wema Bank remains committed to its responsibility in supporting communities where it operates, creating initiatives and partnering with platforms that work to build human and societal development.

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Develop Homegrown Solutions, Human Capacity and Invest in Agriculture to Rebuild Africa; Experts say at UBA Africa Day Conversations



       Prioritise SMEs Development

  • Advocate Partnerships between Private Sector and Government

African thought leaders and great minds have noted that the development of homegrown solutions and adequate investment in human capacity building and agricultural expansion are key steps that will help to rebuild Africa and put the continent on a stronger footing post Covid-19.


Analysing the theme ‘Domestic Policies, Regional Development and a Global Agenda: SDGs and African Development at Crossroads; the speakers collectively gave this submission during the second panel session of the 2020 edition of United Bank for Africa (UBA) African Day Conversations.


The virtual session, which was moderated by Veteran Journalist and Media Consultant, Eugenia Abu, was made up of thought leaders from across Africa, including the Regional CEO, UBA West Africa, Abiola Bawuah (Ghana); Senior Program Coordinator, Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes, Dr Nalishebo Meebelo (Zambia); Leadership Coach and Chairman, Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Roland Kwemain (Cameroon); Founder and Executive Director, Social Change Factory, Sobel Aziz Ngom (Senegal); Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi (Nigeria); and Social Entrepreneur and Founder, LEAP Africa, Ndidi Nwuneli (Nigeria).


Abiola Bauwah who emphasised how Africa should rely less on foreign donors, said, “There are five areas we should work on more for us to reach the SDG goals; the private sector; rapid industrialization; institutions and the rule of law; develop our human capital; remove the barriers across Africa. We should institute Africapitalism which is an economic philosophy that says that the human and capital resources of Africa are the only ways in which we can develop Africa.”


Nalishebo Meebelo noted that there’s a lot that young people can do along the value chain of manufacturing, transporting, technology and marketing, adding that, “Government cannot do it alone, they need to work with other stakeholders. Cut and paste solutions do not work for us here in Africa, we need to have our own homegrown solutions to fight this pandemic.”


Eugenia Abu, who focused on the huge role that women and youth must play in rebuilding the continent, said that Africa had to work together to provide solutions to its numerous challenges. “Women, entrepreneurial champions, young people and collaborations between African countries are very key to developing Africa,” she stated.


Ndidi Nwuneli who was saddened that the agricultural sector remained hugely untapped, emphasised the need for a change of mindset where people usually equated agriculture to poverty. “This is a $1 trillion industry and we are neglecting it; therefore my charge to you is that we invest in the agricultural sector, prioritize it, leverage it, transform our educational system to prepare our young people for this sector, change the mindset and trade with each other,” she explained.


Sobel Aziz Ngom pointed out the need for the youth to take charge in Africa. “It is time to not just serve young people, but to trust them to lead. The challenge that we have at the domestic and continental level is making the change in our structure and in the political system that give the place to young people to be 100% engaged,” Ngom stated.


In his own submission, Tolu Ogunlesi, said, “All over the countries young people are seizing opportunities, and we need to start thinking about how to make sure that this is not just for the age of COVID but for now and beyond COVID-19. Even if the pandemic was to disappear today, I hope that the lessons we’re learning, we’re not going to forget them and go back to where we used to be.”


For Roland Kwemain, more institutions need to tow the line of UBA in events such as UBA Africa Conversations. “If 100 multinationals in Africa were doing that UBA is doing, we would go far because CSR is an amazing leverage not just for the brand but also for supporting people & women in terms of activities. The truth is that we need partnership between the government, corporates and the civil society,” he said.


The United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Mustapha Deserves Commendation, Not Condemnation



The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, deserves the support and commendation of all for demanding that disciplinary measures in Ministries, Departments and Agencies should follow defined procedures and not the familiar autocratic approach by some of the ministers.

Chairman of Nigerian Collective, a non-governmental organisation in pursuit of good governance, Mr. Adeola Adewunmi, in a statement by the group’s Media Executive Officer, Otunba Femi Davies, said it was shocking that some Nigerians would rather encourage the culture of impunity as against the standard procedures as exemplified in saner societies.

According to him, reports about suspension of Managing Directors or Executive Secretary of agencies of government are becoming almost an every day affair, often times without logical explanation as to why such a person deserves the suspension.

“But a recent decision taken by the federal government through the office of the SGF is not only a breather from this ugly tradition but an indication that Nigerian can actually embrace the right path while addressing our collective challenge.

“It belies logic that some ministers just wake up some day and suspend certain heads of their agencies, even without hearing them out. And this was beginning to look like the new normal before this timely intervention, which is billed to go a long way.

“Take for instance the suspension of Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) boss, she would have lost her international job had the presidency not reversed her suspension, even when there was no defensible justification for her suspension by the supervising minister. For how long shall we continue that way? Does it mean we are learning anything or progressing? No, we don’t think so.

“We are not saying erring heads of agencies should not be disciplined, when they err, our position, which aligns with that of the SGF and the federal government, is that the right procedure should be followed. Let it be properly established the individual in question erred through a properly identified due process and the offence affirmed.

“This is why we are disturbed by the deluge of attacks by certain funny characters, who should know better, calling out the SGF for saving the day and rescuing the country from further embarrassment arising from the typical abuses of Ministers and others. That choice cannot go on and that, the SGF has just done the needful to the matter.”

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