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Heritage Bank Partners Silverbird To Empower Young Creative Nigerians

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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria most innovative banking service provider has joined forces with Silverbird Group to empower and deepen its supports to young entrepreneurs in the Nigeria creative and entertainment industry.

This, the bank said, is in line with its culture as timeless wealth partners, which would impact positively on the nation’s socio-economic development, as the graduates are empowered with job and mentorship opportunities at the Silverbird Group.

During the first batch of the Ynspyre Project, Heritage Bank and Silverbird graduated five young talented minds in a three (3) months rigorously internship training programme to equip them with the necessary skills for their future engagements.

Over 3000 people sent their entries but only five were picked and trained in their different field of choice. Amongst the lucky interns are: Derrick Ugwugbu–Reporter/Anchor; Deborah Johnson–Radio Presenter; Oluwasegun Emmanuel Ikoya–Disk Jockey (DJ); Ayomide Solaja–News Presenter and Abayomi Bello–Cinematographer.

Speaking during the handover of certificate of completion, Fela Ibidapo, Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank said as a forward-looking financial institution its strength lays in the ability to spot and mould talents into great professionals.

He noted that the Ynspyre Project was established to train, nurture and arm young employees with the right skills needed to fast-track development and enable talents to flourish.

He urged prospective interns who have an interest in participating in the Ynsprye Project to dial *745# to open a savings account with the chance to be amongst the next set of interns, whilst staying in tune with Heritage Bank’s platform and Silverbird Television.

Meanwhile, Ibidapo explained that the aim of Heritage Bank being at the forefront of youth empowerment is to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths to unleash their support to the growth of the economy.

Ibidapo stated that being at the forefront of investing in human capital development for critical economy recovery, “we will continue to up our game to empower Nigerian youths who is one of the bedrock of any vibrant economy,” he added.

He disclosed that one of the channels churned out in partnering the youths to leverage their talents and contribute their quota to the growth of the economy, was the use of financial inclusion strategy which would be adopted to boost entrepreneurship development, as this is critical to Heritage Bank’s mission to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

Uchenna Mike Olisa, Head, Product Development, Heritage Bank, who admonished the trained entertainers to make good use of their acquired skills, affirmed that platform would enable young creative minds to be more imbued with the requisite talents.

Mike Nwadike, Head, Silverbird Television hinted that lots of resources have gone into the training with series of creative sessions, strategy sessions, brainstorming meetings and re-evaluation, with the aim of ensuring that the participants are grounded in their respective skills.

Iyke Chinke, Head of Programmes, Radio commended Heritage Bank for their continued efforts to empower youths in the country. According to him, it is hard to find banks out there to give young people the opportunity but Heritage Bank has been championing it.

BIG STORY

Report Excessive Price Increases, Unscrupulous Exploitation Of Consumers — FCCPC Urges Nigerians

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said that business that engage in price-fixing will face swift legal action.

It called attention to the burden that this practice places on the financial security and well-being of consumers and exhorted them to denounce such acts.

This was revealed by the FCCPC in a statement that was published on its official X (formerly known as Twitter) handle on Sunday.

The statement read, “The FCCPC acknowledges that the rising cost of essential goods impacts consumers’ well-being and economic stability.

“While we recognise that the commission cannot directly control prices, we are committed to safeguarding consumers’ interests and ensuring fair market practices, necessitating fair pricing.

“Arbitrary price increases stemming from untoward practices like price gouging and conspiracy to manipulate supply violate existing laws.

“The commission will not hesitate to invoke Section 17(s) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 against any perpetrator of such acts. This section prohibits obnoxious trade practices and unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.”

The statement urged Nigerians to stay vigilant and report any unfair trade practices they encounter.

It added, “We encourage consumers to remain vigilant and report unfair trade practices to the FCCPC.

“Consumers can provide details, including the conduct, location of perpetrators, and other relevant information for investigation, through [email protected].

“The FCCPC remains committed to promoting fair competition, protecting consumers, and fostering a regulated marketplace. We appreciate citizens’ vigilance and encourage active participation in reporting any violations.”

Earlier report in February had it that FCCPC closed a popular supermarket in the Garki area of Abuja, Sahad Store, for lack of transparency in products pricing.

Similarly, it also encouraged electricity consumers to report distribution companies that failed to comply with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.

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BIG STORY

Air Peace: Patronise Local Airlines On International Routes — Aviation Minister Keyamo To Nigerians

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Minister of aviation and aerospace development, Festus Keyamo has urged Nigerians to always patronise Air Peace and other local airlines flying international routes.

According to Keyamo, this is the only way regional airlines can withstand the fierce competition from international ones.

The start of Lagos-London flight services by Nigeria’s national airline, Air Peace, on March 30 was a historic event that many Nigerians rejoiced.

Following the achievement, Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema claimed on 9 April that certain airlines were planning to force his company out of business by deliberately undervaluing tickets for the Lagos–London route.

According to the entrepreneur, the foreign airlines’ governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out.

Speaking to TheCable on Thursday, Keyamo said while he cannot currently make a policy statement on what the Nigerian government will do to support Air Peace, President Bola Tinubu’s administration would continue to assist local entrepreneurs.

“The first thing is for Nigerians to fully patronise not only Air Peace but all indigenous airlines on international routes. Before the federal government does anything, let Nigerians patronise him and know that this is our indigenous airline,” he said.

“As for government, I cannot make any policy statement for the government now because I am a minister. Whatever we can do, we will discuss that behind the scenes. But it’s wrong for me to make a policy statement now.

“As I have said earlier, one of my main goals in office is to help Nigeria’s domestic airlines grow and improve, supporting President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda”.

Keyamo added that the federal government would continue to protect Air Peace and other Nigerian carriers that may seek to operate international service.

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BIG STORY

EU’s Investment In Africa Not Felt Due To Over-Reliance On Government — Tony Elumelu

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The chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, claims that an excessive reliance on the government is the reason why the European Union’s (EU) investment in Africa is not being felt.

Elumelu discussed his conversations with EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen on Thursday in a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The businessman from Nigeria claimed that “a faulty intervention mechanism and too much reliance on governments” are the reasons why the union’s investment in Africa is not being felt.

“I have criticised outdated development models, and championed the need to economically empower our young,” he said.

“I also know we Africans must eliminate any sense of entitlement, our own development barriers, and in line with my philosophy of Africapitalism, work collaboratively, our governments, private sector, development partners, and international institutions, to create real change.

“Africa is a thriving continent, with 60% of its population under 35. This is an immense opportunity for growth, innovation, and sustainability; but first, we must define how we all contribute towards building the Africa we want to see.

“And the EU must regard Africa as an equal partner as we progress on this renewed journey.

“We feel the frustrations of the past, but the past cannot provide the way forward. We need to discuss what we do going forward by looking at the problems that have led to all of these and find solutions.

“My interest is creating new generations of entrepreneurs, who anchor communities, do well, and crucially do good, are responsible.

“Let’s also ask the EU, why if the EU is investing significantly in Africa, is it not being felt? We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

“Our people don’t feel the full extent of the EU’s commitment, because of a faulty intervention mechanism.

“There is too much reliance on governments. Is the government the best channel to distribute these resources? I think not. Frankly, too many hands intervene.

“The devastating impact of climate change and the acute unemployment ravaging our young, call for solutions that prioritise our young Africans.

“And we must not just speak to our young, but listen to them. Channel their creative energies, their drive, their entrepreneurship. I see successes every day – I need to see many more. Collaboration is key.’

Speaking further, Elumelu, also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said intervention models that prioritise the youths, ensure delivery to the last mile, and guarantee the intended beneficiaries are the true recipients, should be replicated and scaled.

He also said collaboration with the private sector provides a more effective means of creating economic empowerment and employment.

“Working with local partners with the expertise, track record, knowhow, networks, and insight to ensure that scarce resources are channelled directly to the vulnerable communities in need,” he said.

“Let’s get the money to those who can best deploy it. Let’s measure impact, the impact of young entrepreneurs, SMEs, women, green entrepreneurs.”

The entrepreneur also said a more targeted approach would create economic prosperity,jobs, help SMEs, and bring more women into economic activity.

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