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Pastor Omowumi Popoola, 1st Female SAN, Chief Folake Solanke; 1st Female Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; 1st Lady of Zamfara, Hajiya Asma’u Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar; representative of the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Niyi Adeseun, Executive Director, Service Bank; Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Wife of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Chief Onikepo Akande, President of LCCI and Miss Oluwotoyi Abdukadir, all awardees at the 5th Oyo State Officials` Wives Association (OYSOWA) National Women`s Summit 2016 held in Oyo State.

Oyo State Government has recognised and awarded Heritage Bank Plc for its commitment to women empowerment.
The bank was bestowed with the special appreciation award at a summit organised under the auspices of the Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA), under the leadership of the governor’s wife, which is the 5th edition.
The three-day summit entitled: “The Ultimate Woman at a Time Like This,” was held at the Emeritus Theophilus Ogunlesi Multipurpose Hall, Opposite UCH Gate, Ibadan.
MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Dr. Ifie Sekibo in appreciation of the award, stated that the bank’s supports toward women entrepreneurs reinforce its belief in small businesses and their importance to economic growth of the country.
He said: “Heritage Bank recognizes the importance of women in the society, especially in the economy, and this informs its commitment to women empowerment. Our mission is to help women succeed in business and in life.

“We believe that with the right motivation and resources, more women in Africa and in Nigeria can achieve the enviable success that many women across the world have achieved.  At Heritage Bank, we have committed ourselves to providing these capacity and resources to empower and motivate women across the country.”

Women empowerment, according to him, was informed by the need to advance the Nigerian woman’s confidence and also teach her to find a balance between living the life she wants and securing her financial future.
The hostess and leader of OYSOWA, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, described the summit as a landmark for two reasons: “The first is that this is the fifth edition of the summit and it is so amazing that this small idea that was conceived a few years ago has become a reference point.
“The second is that just this year, the Violence Against Women Law 2016, was passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly to the glory of God. I recall that during the first summit in 2012, I mentioned that steps were being taken to pass this bill into law and there was even a session on passing a bill on violence against women during that summit. This summit gives us an opportunity to celebrate this achievement for Oyo State that now, we have a law that protects us (women) specifically.”
She noted that over the last five years, several programmes have been organised with a view to producing ultimate women in the society. She also advocated upward review for the roles of women in nation building.
Nkechinyere Okorocha, wife of Imo State Governor, who advocated greater recognition for women, noted that the change that Nigerians desired and believed has finally come to the country.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, emphasised the need for Nigerians to pray for their leaders and why women should be supportive to their husbands and play their own quota in the growth and development of the country.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, and his counterparts from Lagos and Osun, Akinwumi Ambode, Rauf Aregbesola, called for increased support for women to ensure that they overcome challenges limiting their potentials.
The three governors noted that in this period of economic recession, the leaders at every level should ensure that the water does not become too hot for women, and that the future of every society is determined by the quality of women in that society.
They also called for empowerment programmes capable of preparing women economically for any emergency situation in the country and on the home front.
 

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Abuja Aglow As World Presidents, Dignitaries, Celebrities Set For Africa’s Biggest Event #TheUBAMarketPlace2019

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is set to host over 20,000 visitors, 100 small and medium enterprises and leading private and public sector players from across Africa, at the continent’s biggest entrepreneurial fair tagged #theUBAmarketplace2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The event, which will be held on July 26th and 27th 2019, on the sideline of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest gathering of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa, will host businesses and business owners in various industries including food, fashion, beauty, home/interior, and gadgets.

The epic event will offer plenary sessions and discussions on the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) sector and the relevance of financing. The plenary sessions will highlight the entertainment and music industries. Likewise, fashion, a big cultural and revenue attraction on the continent, will be showcased with the designs of 10 leading African labels.

At the master-class sessions to be held during the UBAmarketplace2019, small and medium scale businesses will have the opportunity to network and get solutions to some of the challenges they face in running their businesses. Also, entrepreneurs who are beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation will be presented a platform to pitch their businesses with a grand prize of a grant, courtesy of UBA.

The Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, speaking about the event, stated “UBA has always been at the forefront of entrepreneurship across Africa, undertaking many projects aimed at contributing to supporting Africa’s growth and economic integration. The birth of the UBAmarketplace and this entrepreneurial fair is a testament to our commitment to African SMEs”

Uzoka added that with the fair, UBA seeks to touch base with small business owners while positively affecting the lives of entrepreneurs doing business in its countries of operations and beyond’.

“I think everyone realizes the fact that we need to prioritize the private sector. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and youths. This is the driving factor and the major reason why we are organizing an event of this magnitude’ he said.

UBA’s REDTV will light up the Redzone at the UBA marketplace with entertainment featuring Africa’s star boy Wiz kid; DJ Cuppy and many more.

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Access Bank UK Balance Sheet Up 36% As Polo Day Pledges N350m For Children In Education

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Access Bank UK used its’ annual Access Bank Polo Day at Guards Polo Club Windsor on Saturday 13 July to post results showing another year of outstanding international business growth.

2018 was the year that it joined the three key UK clearing systems, and collected the best African Trade Finance Bank Awards from both International Finance and CFI.

All four strategic business units returned double-digit growth and in only its second year of operations, the importance of its investment in Dubai was demonstrated by a 200 percent increase in income. For the eleventh year running it was able to report having no ‘non-performing loans.’

With Corporate Responsibility and exemplary Corporate Governance playing a key role in the growth of the Bank, the Polo day is the culmination of a yearlong programme, with part of its fundraising in partnership with UNICEF for education projects in northern Nigeria in particular.

A total of N350 Million was pledged during the day to build and equip 70 new classrooms, for children’s education in Northern Nigeria. Since the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative was started in 2005 it has built schools in Kaduna and, kept more than 8,000 students in continuous education.

At the same time, new school blocks and a computer literacy building all in a more secure and friendly school environment have been developed. The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes for water, and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai is committed to matching the building programme which will see another 70 classrooms built in the coming year and another 2500 children in education.

The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, and celebrates reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internally displaced persons. In partnership with 5thChukker and based in Kaduna, Nigeria, the tournament is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and generates funds and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative across Africa.

According to the Managing Director, Access Bank UK, Jamie Simmonds “we are a bank where our growth has been fueled by the strength of customer relationships. It enables us to develop innovative products and financial solutions with rather than just for our customers.

“Becoming a UK clearer is a major landmark for us and differentiates us from many of our competitors in the market place. We also manage our retail deposit offering in-house for greater control with both initiatives forming part of our strategy to future proof the bank” “

We have offices here in the heart of the City of London, Dubai and Lagos and are building our presence in China through a representative office there.” “We invest significantly in attracting, retaining and developing professional staff in order to ensure customers always deal with an expert who is familiar with their business and personal financial needs.

Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, says “the successes in completing the first decade of trading for ACCESS Bank UK has been a major milestone. Growth has been sustained at the same time as earning a reputation for innovation and flexibility”

“Together our continuing support for the Fifth Chukker -UNICEF initiative is predicated on our view of our role as a change agent in Nigeria and Africa that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice, social initiatives and environmental consideration.”

Wigwe added “we continue to look for ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children. We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing.”

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Apostle Suleman, His Views And The Nigerian Challenge

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A frequently raised objection against Christian engagement with politics is that anything besides explicit preaching and teaching of the Bible is a distraction from the mission of the church. But, to a clerical intellect like Apostle Johnson Suleman, this is a limited understanding of the kingdom of God and contrary to examples in Scripture.

Thus far, the Edo State, Nigerian born pastor’s innovative and sustained contributions at the societal level, suggests the Christian worldview provides a comprehensive understanding of reality, as he grasps at every opportunity available to speak to all areas of life, including political engagement. Of course, he is not drifted, for the Bible speaks about civil government and provides examples of faithful engagement.

Between when he held the last two day ‘Open Heavens’ crusade in Dublin Ireland on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th of July, 2019, Suleman aired his views on vital national issues, underlining reasons Christians have a duty to care about politics, in particular.

It is relevant to note that Apostle Suleman is not just a preaching pastor; he is also a working pastor. He is an entrepreneur, an owner of high-potential businesses that provide jobs and contribute to economic growth. Outside the church podium, Suleman runs vast business enterprises in real estate, oil, and gas, banking, media, mining, hospitality. This places him in good stead to speak on politics and policies of government because he is in the league of people, the entrepreneurs, who make creative leaps to help the government solve problems, unemployment being a major one.

Suleman, who is the president of the Omega Fire Ministries (OFM) worldwide, recently on his social media handles, did speak on a number of issues affecting the polity. Though his views are focused primarily on security, they are holistic messages with implications for all areas of life, including how Christians engage the political process.

Apostle Suleman shared deep thoughts on the government-initiated but suspended Rural Gracing Area (RUGA) initiative, the attacks by herdsmen on communities outside their geographical regions, the reported Islamization agenda by the government of the day, the high taxation narrative, and more. The servant of God stressed an instance when his church suffered victim of the herdsmen’s impunity. He told how his church headquarters in Auchi was invaded by four wandering Fulani herders who were arrested by church members but were reportedly made to escape from the police custody the next day.

Government derives its authority from God, to promote good and restrain evil. This mandate is expressly stated in the Holy Book, Romans 13:1-7. In Apostle Suleman’s words, good government encourages an environment conducive for people living peaceably, whereas bad government fosters unrest and instability.

As he moves the next two-day ‘Open Heavens’ conference to London on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, the firebrand minister of God maintains that Christian leaders must be resolute against the political challenge in Nigeria and elsewhere, as withdrawal opens a moral vacuum liable to influence political leaders to move outside the scope of righteous governing assigned to them. Therefore, because of what the Bible teaches and the inevitability of its effect on people’s beliefs, Christians must care about politics.

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