Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, yesterday, while receiving the ‘Person of the Year’ award at the Africa Investor CEO Institutional Investment Summit hosted alongside the UN General Assembly in New York, extolled stakeholders in the public and private sectors committed to improving access to power in Africa.
He first acknowledged the staff and management of Transcorp Power, the biggest producer of thermal energy in Nigeria, providing about 18% of national output: “In accepting this award, I want to dedicate it to Transcorp Power staff who remain committed to realizing our dream of improving access to electricity in Nigeria and making our vision of a well-lit, fully powered Nigeria come true.”
Transcorp Power has supported U.S. President Obama’s Power Africa initiative with a $2.5billion commitment. He thanked the broader coalition of investors in the African power sector, as he urged other institutional investors to consider long-term opportunities on the continent. “I also dedicate this to all stakeholders working hard to improve access to power in Africa. I call on others to please join us in this journey to powering Africa out of poverty.”
As the economies of African regional powerhouses like Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Uganda, Nigeria and Angola struggle due to excessive exposure to commodities’ prices caused by limited diversification, Elumelu proffered a sustainable solution to reduce Africa’s historical external vulnerability.
“Africa has been faced with this same challenge, in my view, for far too long. I choose to look at the recent episodes of economic contraction across the continent as opportunities to diversify our economies and invest in building critical infrastructure, especially in power, to reduce our susceptibility to commodity shocks and break out of the perpetual boom-bust cycles.”
He emphasized that to ensure a different type of growth trajectory for Africa – one that does not rely exclusively on the export of primary commodities – there must be reliable, accessible, affordable power to support industrialization. “Industrialization must occur on a massive scale for our countries to be powered out of chronic dependency on commodities. We must power Africa’s next phase of development, by targeting and prioritizing growth of our manufacturing, industries and services. And power is the fulcrum that will make this happen,” he said.
Elumelu revealed that while there is an abundance of private capital available to be deployed to develop the African power sector, government must play its part in attracting these investments. He explained, “While there is huge private capital – local and global – seeking investment destinations, as we know, global private capital goes to where it is most welcome.
Therefore, the challenge before African governments should be how to ensure they create the environment that will attract and retain these investments in our continent.” To the foreign investors gathered at the forum, he advised, “Though there are challenges in investing in Africa, these challenges can be overcome by investing in Africa through partnerships with qualified local partners who possess the right knowledge, requisite capital and technical know how.”
Speaking further, Elumelu urged private and public sector stakeholders to work together in what he describes as “Shared Purpose”. “It is critical for the public and private sectors to work together in “SHARED PURPOSE”, which is a key tenet of Africapitalism – the economic philosophy I espouse which calls for the private sector to play a key role in Africa’s social and economic development by investing in strategic sectors for both economic profit and social prosperity.”
Elumelu, who is also co-chair of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), a community of African energy leaders including Presidents and leading corporates, concluded his remarks by examining the role of power in creating opportunities for Africa’s jobless youth. “In the 21st century, the level of poverty we have in Africa and the dire youth unemployment, to a large extent, can be solved by improving access to power, and by extension other infrastructure deficiencies and deficits. Even though we are making progress, there is still a lot to be done. We need faster progress.”
Customers To Access Up to N3M, Pay As Low As 10% Monthly With New UBA Credit Card
Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has introduced the new UBA Naira Credit Card to its teeming customers in fulfillment of its promise to ease accessibility to funds and improve the overall standard of living.
With the new UBA Naira Credit Card, customers whose salary accounts have been domiciled with the bank for a minimum of three months and are employees of corporates under UBA’s approved counterparty list with a minimum net monthly income of N250,000 are in for a stress-free business and personal lifestyle. They will be qualified to access up to N3m credit, with extremely flexible repayment plans of as low as 10% of their monthly outstanding due.
Specifically, these customers aged between 18 and 57years who apply for the UBA credit card will also enjoy easy access to funds with a revolving line of credit and up to 45 days interest-free credit, flexible repayment options; amazing discounts at select merchant locations including Restaurants, Boutiques, among other mouth-watering benefits.
The UBA credit card also allows ATM withdrawals in Nigeria or abroad wherever the Visa logo is displayed while allowing ease of payment of goods and services locally and Internationally on POS/WEB terminals where the Visa logo is displayed.
UBA’s Group Head, Digital Banking, Sampson Aneke, said that as a bank that is interested in the welfare of Nigerians, UBA is always on the forefront of developing products and services aimed at creating wealth, easing living conditions and meeting the needs of its customers all over the world.
He said, “At UBA, we recognize that access to credit is fundamental to the creation of wealth and value in the economy. Unfortunately, the country has been challenged in this regard with only about 2% of the population presently having access to bank loans.
“It is in addressing these developmental and household challenges that the bank has in recent times developed and introduced a number of unique lending products to the market, with the latest being the innovative UBA credit card.”
Aneke who spoke glowingly about all the benefits that the banks’ customers stand to enjoy from the credit card explained that the UBA Credit card is currently available as Visa Gold card with a card limit of between N75,000 to N1,000,000 and Visa Platinum card with a limit of between N1,000,001 to N3,000,000 and can be used locally and internationally at any ATM or POS outlet which has the Visa logo, WEB (online), and POS terminals.
“There is an interest-free period of 45 days on POS/Web transactions provided 100% repayment is made on the repayment due date and customers are entitled to 30% (annualized) of their monthly salary as credit card limit subject to the existing Debt Service Ratio (DSR). The monthly repayment cycle will run from the 15th of every month to the 15th of the next month and the credit card statement showing transaction details within the period and the amount due for repayment will be sent to the cardholders’ registered email address,” Aneke said.
He explained that to get the card, customers can walk into any UBA branch or visit the bank’s website at www.ubagroup.com to download the credit card application form, fill it and submit to the Customer Service Officer at any UBA branch nationwide.
United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. With a 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.
D’Banj Rape Saga: Former Manager Franklin Amudo Speaks…. My Truth According To What I Know
Renowned artiste management executive and former manager of music star, D’Banj, Mr. Franklin Amudo has come out to clear the air on what he knew about the controversial rape allegation involving the Afro-pop singer and a lady called Seyitan Babatayo.
In a lengthy narrative released Sunday and made available to PorscheClassy News, Franklin explained his relationship with the lady in question and his role in the entire saga.
His full statement reads:
“I have read and observed the events of the past few weeks concerning the rape allegation made by Miss Seyitan against D’banj, who I used to work with as an artiste manager. For the record, I worked with D’banj for three years and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and his craft.
“I chose to be silent on the matter initially as I try as much as possible to avoid meddling in issues in the public domain. More so, I deliberately refrained from making any statement or joining issues with anyone because the narration of my involvement as contained in Miss Seyitan’s petition was as far as I was involved.
“I am, however, shocked when I was alleged to have colluded with Miss Seyitan to blackmail D’banj with the rape accusation, especially with the consequent defamation of my reputation and character by a phantom investigative journalist and other social media proxies. It has become imperative to narrate my own side of the story on the event that occurred 30th of December, 2018, at Glee Hotel, Lagos.
“On that fateful day, I invited Seyitan amongst other people to an All-White-Event at Eko Atlantic Hotel. Seyitan and I were seated in a table at this event with Ajia Mohammed and Oyinda, who are friends of D’banj.
“D’banj was billed to perform at the event and he had accommodation for the night at Eko Atlantic Towers, the venue of the event. I had my hotel accommodation at Glee Hotel, Victoria Island. Ajia also had accommodation at the same hotel. Please, note that Dbanj performed at this event and never sat with us on the table.
“After the event, Seyitan told me that it was too late for her to go home and I offered her my hotel room at Glee Hotel as I already made plans to leave for home because I had an early flight to Accra by 7:00am of the 31st December 2018. I gave Seyitan the Key-card to the room at the car park of the hotel and left.
“Upon my arrival in Accra, Seyitan called, saying that D’banj gained access into her hotel room at Glee Hotel by 3 am and raped her. I was shocked at this allegation because I wondered how D’banj gained access into this room knowing full well that I did not disclose my room number to him and he was not lodged at the hotel.
“Subsequently, I made a call to Ajia to narrate Seyitan’s accusation and he told me not to worry about it that he had given Seyitan $100, though he never told me what the money was for. I called Seyitan back to ask why she was given $100 and why she would claim she was raped by D’banj and she angrily replied in a series of voice notes reiterating the accusation and that she was told not to tell me because they assumed she was my girlfriend.
“She said she had left everything in God’s hands and made it clear that she was not interested in taking the matter to the public. I chose not to discuss this matter with D’banj because he and his wife were also in Accra as this was supposed to be a healing trip to recover from the loss of their son. I thought it was insensitive to discuss such an issue on this trip, as Seyitan had even mentioned that she didn’t want the matter escalated further.
“Fast forward to the series of events of the last few weeks. I received several calls bringing my attention to the allegation of rape by Seyitan on D’banj. Thereafter, I got a WhatsApp message from Seyitan saying that D’banj did not have the right to say “ No To Rape” when he was culpable of such act, which was a reaction to a post D’banj had made on Instagram about rape. At the time, I believed that the two parties would address the issue appropriately.
“A week after the allegation broke, I started receiving calls from strange numbers and messages from social media making spurious accusations as the mastermind behind the whole rape saga. Most confounding was that Kemi Olunloyo, who never called me to hear my side of the narration, claimed that I was in the habit of arranging girls for artistes and that I was being ungrateful to D’banj by setting him up in collusion with Seyitan. I find this act of defamation very unscrupulous, malicious, mischievous, and very damaging to my name and brand. My legal team has initiated moves to earnestly seek redress. The last, of course, has not been heard of this.
“I was invited by the IGP RT team to make a statement in respect of the allegations and I have since done that. The following week, I was invited by a team from the FCID ABUJA to the SFU station at Milverton, Ikoyi. I have since gone there and made my statement as requested. I was re-invited again to come in for certain clarifications on some aspects of the investigation, which I have also done. I was put on the phone with the ACP from the DIG’s office in Abuja and she put me through the entire questioning process again for hours. This experience has been very traumatic and demonstrates a sheer show of power, wealth, and influence, considering that I have gone for questioning more than the accused or accuser.
“I have been harassed, scrutinized, and invited several times by the police. My wife and young kids have known no sleep for the past three weeks due to this unwholesome situation. It has put a strain on my mental health, physical, financial, and the general wellbeing of my family.
“As a father and husband, I condemn rape and as a business owner, I know the devastating effect of false accusations. It is my sincere hope that the police would be honourable enough to thoroughly investigate this matter and clarify the situation.
“Finally, let me use this opportunity to thank my family, especially my wife and kids for their support and understanding, and my dear friends who have stood by me through this arduous time. Thank you and God bless.”
Access Bank Celebrates Recognition Of Tracy Batta As Forbes Africa’s 2020 30 Under 30
Helping female businesses grow through discounted access to finance is one of the many unique value propositions under the Access Bank’s W Initiative. Tracy Batta, co-founder, SmoothieExpress and a W Power Loan beneficiary recently emerged on Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 lists.
Tracy Batta co-owns Smoothie Express, a healthy focused brand known for providing consumers with healthy fast foods. Prior to her recognition under the 2020 class of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, Tracy was recognized under Business Day’s Top100 Fastest Growing SMEs. She has since grown to become a household name in Lagos.
Since its launch in 2018, the W Power loan has impacted the businesses of growing female entrepreneurs with N14bn for expansion whilst seeking opportunities and exposure to the global market.
Speaking on the impact of the W Power Loan on female-owned businesses, Ada Udechukwu, Head, Women Banking at Access Bank says, “Ensuring access to affordable finance for SMEs and opportunities to access new markets is an integral part of Access Bank’s economic ecosystem for SMEs. Since the introduction of the W Power Loan, more women can now sit at the helm of entrepreneurial affairs and grow their businesses to be internationally recognized. We strengthen female-owned SMEs in Nigeria by being a pillar for them to lean on for growth and expansion”.
Access Bank’s support for female-owned home-grown businesses is undeniable and this is evident in the resultant benefits from its discounted financing initiative, The W Power Loan.
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