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Relief is on the way for the estimated over 7 million passengers plying Lagos roads on a daily basis, as Heritage Investment Services Limited (HIS), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tuchi Technologies Nigeria Limited to provide affordable mass transit for commuters in Lagos metropolis, which Heritage Bank Plc is the banker to the project.

Besides HIS and Tuchi, other parties to the MoU are Solola & Akpana, legal advisers; Kedari Capital, financial advisers and Hedgestone Capital Partners Limited, one of the prospective investors in the project.

The affordable mass transit allows passengers to make an e-hailing in order to book for the Lagos State coloured buses in the Lagos metropolis within the state.

In a statement made available by the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of the bank, Fela Ibidapo, said Heritage bank was focused on achieving its primary role of financial intermediation through intervention in the transportation sector, which will create jobs and bring about economic growth for the State.

According to him, this is a milestone achievement for the bank in supporting the commuting experience; challenges inherent in the sector and social well-being of more than 7million of Lagos residents who rely on public transport daily

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos on Tuesday, Mr. Olusegun Akanji, a director of HIS said the company is an investment vehicle that has committed itself to impact investing to support small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to create new set of businesses that are technologically-oriented.

He said technology is the future of the world in terms of employment generation, wealth creation and economic development.

The director noted that, “If you want to see those indications achieved in the world we are going into now, you need to focus on technology, particularly technology that is mobile driven and this is one of the reasons why are partnering and investing in this new initiative under the brand name, Tuchi Technologies.”

Akanji said HIS would make some significant investment in the company to get it off the ground.

Also speaking, Mr. Patrick Atuche, Managing Director of Purpledot Media, promoters of Tuchi Technologies said they came up with the initiative to solve transportation system problems in Lagos State.

He said the new initiative is a transportation system that would enable commuters to move from one place to another conveniently and comfortably, adding that it will operate like the Uber transportation system, except that it will use buses as its means of transportation.

Atuche said commuters would be able to book a bus from one destination to another by logging into the company’s app on their phones to know where the next available bus is and when it would get to their bus stop.

The managing director who described the operations as convenient and reliable added that initially the buses would operate from Ajah to Oshodi and from Oshodi to Ajah before it would spread to other parts of the metropolis.

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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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