The Nigerian agricultural sector is set to witness huge growth, as Heritage Bank Plc the lead settlement bank for Gezawa Commodity Market (GCMX) has collaborated with key stakeholders to revolutionize agricultural value-chain, aimed at providing a fully integrated ecosystem for commodity Exchange.
Heritage Bank was appointed as the Lead Settlement Bank and Transaction Adviser to the Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Ltd and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two firms, whilst over 10, 000 farmers in 3000 cooperatives in the 44 local governments of Kano States were hosted.
The partnership between Heritage Bank and the Exchange would facilitate the ease of agro commodity trading in a more structured way, especially with the closeness to the Dawanu, the largest grain market in Africa.
The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, who was a panelist at the 2nd GCMX Farmers’ Cooperative Forum in Kano at the weekend, stated that the partnership is targeted to de-risk the sector that would bring about structured and enhanced agro-business and attain food security that leads to economic development.
Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye explained that the partnership which would help bridge the huge gap associated to risk, will fast track effective price discovery mechanism and traceability and enhanced trade settlement services.
Specifically, the bank’s helmsman stated that under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Heritage Bank would provide on-lending funding to aggregated farmers in the 2020 farming season to grow various products that will serve as raw materials to the processors, thereby ensuring market linkages and access to the market as well as reduce importation and conserve Nigeria’s external reserves.
According to him, with its assigned position Heritage Bank would play a pivotal role in ensuring that there would be an effective and readily available platform for market linkages among players in the agribusiness value chain, involving FMCGs, warehouse operators, collateral managers, processors, farmers’ cooperatives to transact in a seamless way that guarantees quality, quantity, payment, and delivery.
Speaking the event, the ED/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo affirmed that the initiative would help foster diversification of non-oil export trade.
He, however, stated that NEPC would ensure that the primary for the signing of the MoU would be achieved, whilst calling for the need to ensure adequate and seamless supply of agricultural commodities for the business to be sustainable.
The Gezawa Project Consultant, Binchang Binfa, Managing Director of Makarios Global Resource, disclosed, “the ultimate goal was to unlock the vast potential of agricultural value chain via partnerships and synergy with like-minded enterprises, organizations and institutions that will mutually create wealth, generate local employment and contribute significantly to the economic growth and GDP the nation.”
He stated that the Exchange would provide services on price discovery and transparency, increase foreign exchange earning capacity, commodity storage and warehouse receipt system, employment generation of 15, 000 direct and indirect jobs, investment opportunities, increase in non-oil export, ease of doing business, weather report, soil test report, as well as 24/7 online trading of commodities on an alive trading platform.
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.
Access Bank W-Initiative Welcomes New Babies Through Health Financing Scheme
Access Bank adds another feather to its cap through the women market program, The W Initiative Maternal Health Service Support (MHSS) scheme.
The W Initiative is happy to welcome the birth of two new babies to the couples who accessed the MHSS financing for their IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) procedure having waited several years.
Since 2014, The W Initiative through its MHSS health financing program has supported the advancement of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to enable couples to access fertility treatment such as IVF.
Having successfully financed hundreds of procedures including fertility treatments, child delivery, fibroid treatments, surrogacy, bone marrow transplant, and other specialized procedures, The W Initiative remains ever committed to supporting more women and families by restoring hope and saving lives through its health financing scheme.
Women interested in accessing this health financing solution from the Bank can go through their service touchpoints- www.thewcommunity.com, or send a direct email to [email protected] or call 01-2273005
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