AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLM
Sponsored by: H&H
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi says Ecobank has identified with Adire, proving its Pan African nature and reconfirming the bank’s support for the growth of indigenous culture, tourism, and entrepreneurship across the continent.
The royal father spoke during a three-day Adire exhibition tagged: “Adire Lagos Experience”, powered by Ecobank Nigeria in Lagos.
The exhibition which started on Friday June 10, spanned Sunday, June 12. Originating in Southwestern Nigeria, Adire textile is an indigo-dyed cloth made by using different wax resist methods to create dazzling designs. Adire, comes in a variety of texture such as silk, chiffon, cotton, and polyester and are made fashionable in both English and traditional styles.
He said, “I am really impressed with what I’ve seen here today. I have seen real tourism potential that needs to be explored by others. If as a country we look inward, we would discover that our tourism advantages are enormous and desire immediate attention.
We can create exportable merchandise if we join hands to boost our potential, we would not be looking up to foreign currency to boost our economy”.
Further, he noted that “as one of the pioneer promoters of Adire, I am positive that it can boost the county’s tourism industry, because it has what it takes to meet international textile standards.
The unique thing about Adire production is that everything is assembled locally – raffias, ropes, bamboos, chemicals are gotten from our forest. We do not need to import anything”.
Ogunwusi also encouraged other banks and private bodies to emulate Ecobank in encouraging indigenous entrepreneurs, so that more Nigerians could explore locally made investments.
In his words “Our banks and corporate bodies should show their support by displaying our Adire in their banks, make their staff wear them on specific days. Even beyond our Adire fabric, we can promote locally made shoes, wristwatches, bags, cars, jewelry, and several other products,” he said.
Ogunwusi advised traditional leaders to encourage entrepreneurs with financial support and grants. “I advise our leaders to begin to get sensitive and passionate about things that are produced in Nigeria. All other companies and organisations should pick one thing and promote, so that the country can grow organically.
We also need to support our media that are really projecting these potentials to the world by involving them fully,” he said.
The royal father then condemned imitation of Adire by other countries, saying there was great difference between the locally made products and imitation.
“The durability cannot be compared, we have taken up this challenge locally and with the support of our ancestors coupled with our long-standing knowledge, nobody can take away our patent rights from us,” he said.
Several Adire admirers converged at the exhibition venue; Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) to witness, make orders and purchase choices attires in different styles.
Highlight of the event was a practical master class on Adire production, organised by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, a cultural ambassador to Ooni of Ife. At the exhibition, there were different genres of Yoruba music; an infusion of local food; and mild atmospheric branding infusion of a wide variety of Adire into the setting which created a nostalgic mood.
Stakeholders Score Cutix High as Ambassador Nwosu Retires
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
SPONSORED BY: H&H
Stakeholders have scored Cutix Plc for its successful operations in the country in the last 40 years in spite of the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
Cutix Plc is a Nigerian company that specialises in the production and distribution of electrical, automotive and telecommunications wires, cables and related products.
The stakeholders, including eminent sons and daughters of Anambra State as well as leading industrialists and politicians in the country, delivered their commendations at a reception organised in honour of retiring Chairman and Co-Founder of the Company, Ambassador Okwudili Nwosu, in Nnewi, Anambra State.
The Founder, Engineer Ajulu Uzodike remarked that, “ My brother and friend has been with me all through the 40 years and I must admit that it has been an eventful and successful relationship.” Engineer Uzodike, however, expressed the hope that Ambassador Nwosu will continue to be part of the Cutix family.
Responding, the Co-Founder, Ambassador Nwosu expressed his happiness over the success story of the Company, describing the Founder as a brother and friend whose interest in the Company is to create an avenue for all and sundry to create wealth through partnership.
He said the story of Cutix Plc is embedded in trust, adding that he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to Engineer Uzodike and the Company in the last 40 years. “I want to assure you that although I am 70 years old now but whether I am there or not, my spirit will ever remain with the Company.”
Commenting, Presidential candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi, described Engineer Uzodike as an outstanding entrepreneur who has been able to create wealth for stakeholders of the Company as well as a great employer of labour.
Obi lamented that successive governments in the country have not found it necessary to empower and encourage local manufacturers, adding that, “Unless the Federal Government decides to do the right thing by supporting these companies, they cannot go very far and they need support because they are those that create jobs. They are the ones that will turn around the economy and they need government’s support.”
He recalled that as the Governor of Anambra State, his administration and the management of Cutix Plc constructed the road leading to the company. He said Cutix provided half of the cost of the project while the state government provided the balance.
He also recalled being instrumental to the appointment of Ambassador Nwosu as Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi and congratulated him and the Founder for holding the Company’s fort for 40 years.
Also speaking, Anambra State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Wealth Creation, Mr. Christian Udechukwu, described Ambassador Nwosu as a good manager of human and material resources. He said the Anambra State Government, under the stewardship of Prof. Charles Soludo, is creating an enabling environment for small and medium scale enterprises to thrive through improved power supply.
Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi, Elijah Onyeagba, noted that the success story of Cutix Plc is traceable to the diligence and trust between the Founder, Eng. Uzodike and the Co-Founder, Ambassador Nwosu. According to him, Ambassador Nwosu is not retiring but will use his wealth of experience to improve on the industrial sector.
Senator Ben Obi, a former Senator representing the Anambra Central District, said the only way to jumpstart industrial revolution in the South East is to have the likes of Ambassador Nwosu at the helm of affairs. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are the vehicles for growing the economy, he said.
Former Minister of Health, Prof. ABC Nwosu noted that Ambassador Nwosu should see his retirement as yet another call to serve through providing professional assistance to young entrepreneurs and captains of industries for them to achieve optimally in their various fields of endeavours.
Senator Victor Umeh, representing the Anambra Central District, noted that Cutix is a gift to Nigerians in general and the South East in particular, adding that in all his dealings he has always patronised the products of the Company.
He urged the management and members of staff of the Company to ensure that the establishment grows from strength to strength despite the harsh economic challenges.
A gubernatorial candidate in the last election in Anambra State, Mr. Ben Etiaba, congratulated the board and management of the Company for being in business for 40 years. The determination demonstrated by both Uzodike and Nwosu is one that should be emulated by those who are desirous of venturing into the industrial sector, he said.
Union Bank Unveils Annual CSI Report: Driving Inclusive Growth; Impacting Lives, Enabling Success
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
SPONSORED BY: H&H
Union Bank of Nigeria, a leading financial service provider, has released its 2022 Citizenship, Sustainability, and Innovation (CSI) report, outlining the bank’s efforts across three pivotal areas – Citizenship, Sustainability, and Innovation.
The 7th edition of the report, titled ‘Driving Inclusive Growth; Impacting Lives, Enabling Success,’ provides an extensive overview of Union Bank’s ongoing commitment to fostering a sustainable future.
It chronicles the bank’s dedication to embedding responsible business practices and making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities, and it offers an in-depth examination of the bank’s activities for the year in review, shedding light on its strategies, performance, and processes in the implementation of various projects and initiatives.
Aligned with its overarching theme for the year, Union Bank focused its efforts on five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Partnership to Achieve Goals (SDG 17).
These goals served as a guide, steering the bank’s dedication towards positively impacting the lives of its stakeholders and society.
Speaking on the 2022 CSI report, Union Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mudassir Amray, emphasised the bank’s commitment to driving inclusive growth.
He highlighted key partnerships that helped achieve this. He said: “We firmly believe that small businesses are the engine house of economic growth. This is why we entered a $30 million partnership agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.
This partnership aims to enhance access to finance for smaller businesses in Nigeria, supporting increased trade and enabling us to expand lending to businesses in critical sectors, including food, healthcare, manufacturing, and services.”
Amray also highlighted the bank’s efforts in driving financial inclusion. He said: “We are also particularly proud of our financial inclusion initiatives, such as our partnership with Wacot Rice Limited, which enabled us to reach around 7,000 farmers across five Local Government Areas in Kebbi State.
Furthermore, our unwavering commitment to gender equality in lending was evident as we disbursed over 17 billion naira in loans to nearly 16,000 women in 2022.
Our vision remains resolute in building a more robust and expansive bank, underpinned by a digital-centric strategy and elevated governance standards geared toward fostering sustainable growth and contributing to Nigerian society.”
Also speaking about the report, Union Bank’s Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Olufunmilola Aluko highlighted the bank’s collaborative approach to sustainability and corporate responsibility.
She said: “Throughout the year, Union Bank has actively collaborated with partners to enhance our performance, particularly on our material issues. We aim to sustain this momentum by building on partnerships with peers and across industries to support our customers, communities, and society.
Our initiatives aimed at empowering underprivileged populations, promoting education, and advancing gender equality have yielded significant results, positively impacting thousands of lives and nurturing the potential of future generations.”
Consistent with previous editions, the 2022 report adheres to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard and aligns with the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This commitment underscores Union Bank’s dedication to transparency and accountability in reporting on its projects.
HACKAHOLICS DIGITAL SUMMIT 2023: WEMA BANK LAUNCHES AFRICA’S LARGEST GATHERING OF INNOVATORS, DISRUPTORS, REGULATORS, POLICYMAKERS, INVESTORS & CUSTOMERS IN THE DIGITAL SPACE
AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM
SPONSORED BY: H&H
Wema Bank, Nigeria’s most innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has announced the launch of the Hackaholics Digital Summit 2023, Africa’s largest gathering of innovators, disruptors, regulators, policymakers, investors & customers in the digital space.
This groundbreaking summit will serve as a hub for sharing cutting-edge insights, trends, and best practices in the tech industry towards the positive transformation of technology and innovation not just in Nigeria but across the African continent.
In 2019, Wema Bank introduced Hackaholics, a dedicated initiative targeting youth and startups. Its mission is to provide a stage for entrepreneurs and innovators with transformative, tech-driven concepts to bring their ideas to fruition and refine their skills.
The 4th edition of Hackaholics, launched in April 2023, involved several months-long journey to top Nigerian universities to identify and nurture talented students with creative ideas.
These students were afforded the opportunity to collaborate, enhance their skills, and actualize their unique concepts through technology.
The Hackaholics Digital Summit will host both the grand finale of Hackaholics 4.0 and the inaugural edition of the digital summit.
The Hackaholics Digital Summit 2023 is scheduled for October 6, 2023, in Lagos, Nigeria, under the theme “Re-Imagine: Disrupting the Ecosystem for Scale.”
This multifaceted event commences with the launch of the Hackaholics Digital Summit and concludes with the exciting grand finale of Hackaholics 4.0. During this grand event, the standout teams from the competition will showcase their innovations, contending for the prestigious titles of Hackaholics 4.0 winners.
Notably, the winning team will receive a grant of N10,000,000 worth of prizes, the first runner-up N7,000,000 worth of prizes, the second runner-up N5,000,000 worth of prizes, while a special N3,000,000 grant is reserved exclusively for a female-led team. Additionally, a N15,000,000 grant will be allocated to University STEM endowment.
The Digital Summit will further encompass an array of simultaneous master classes, providing attendees with the opportunity to witness the emergence of Africa’s technological future while gaining invaluable insights from renowned experts.
These masterclasses will delve into topics such as “The Future of Financial Services,” “Venture Capital and Funding Viable Innovation for Scale,” and “Strategic Technology for Impact & Societal Change: Transforming Today & Tomorrow’s World.”
Attendance to this prestigious event is by invitation only; however, interested customers and technology enthusiasts can secure a spot at the Wema Bank Hackaholics Digital Summit 2023 by registering at https://hackaholics.wemabank.com/digital-summit.
Don’t miss the chance to be part of this exceptional gathering, charting the course for the future of technology in Africa.
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