No fewer than 250 persons have benefited from the free eye surgery sponsored by the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN) in Edo. OSN President, Dr Abiola Oyeleye, disclosed this on Wednesday when the executives of the society visited the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
Oyeleye said the free surgeries were part of the programmes for the society’s scientific conference holding in Benin.
”We are willing to do more before the end of the conference.
This visit is to seek the Oba’s blessings.
” We are here in Benin with our partners.
Nigerian doctors in Diaspora and our friends from South Africa,” the president said.
In his response, Oba Ewuare commended the society for the free eye surgeries, saying 250 was a lot in number.
”Like Oliver Twist, we will still urge you to do more for our people.
This is because sight is very important to mankind.
” This is perhaps the reason we say in Benin that, it is only when you have sight that you are beautiful,” he said.
The Oba used the ocasion to urge Nigerians to always read under bright light to maintain healthy sight.
He urged the Federal Government to improve on power generation and transmission, to make electricity available to the citizery.
Security agencies on Wednesday embarked on a show-of-force in Lagos, in display of their readiness to enforce the ban on operations of commercial motorcycles extended to more areas of the state.
The spokesman of the police command in Lagos State, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said in a statement that it was done ahead of the Sept. 1 commencement of the enforcement.
Recall that the Lagos State Government had on Aug.18 announced the ban of commercial motorcycle (popularly known as okada) operations in four more Local Governments (LGs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, said that the ban, which would start from Sept. 1, was the second phase of the plan by the state government to gradually phase out okada in the state.
The government had earlier pronounced the total ban of motorcycle operations in six LGs and the respective nine LCDAs under them, including all major bridges and highways, which had since taken effect from June 1. Oladeinde had said that the state government had directed the police and other security and law enforcement formations within the State to enforce the fresh ban.
He had said they would be complemented by the “Anti-Okada Squad” that would be deployed to the new locations in a bid to stimulate seamless implementation and enforcement of the phase 2 ban in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the initial LGAs affected were Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.
The second phase saw it extended to Kosofe, Somolu, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin LGAs, and their respective LCDAs. Hundeyin said that the state Commissioner of Police,, CP Abiodun Alabi, had warned that violators of the ban would be promptly arrested and prosecuted.
“Law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment or intimidation,” he said in the statement.
Security agencies involved in the show of force include the police, military, paramilitary, State traffic agencies and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
NAN reports that the state government had warned that motorcycles impounded would be crushed, and the process would be made public.
It has said that the individuals (both riders and passengers alike) arrested would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
The government said that this was in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018. www.
Mr Yahaya Adams, the Special Adviser to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Rural and Community Development, has charged heads of government agencies to shun corruption and other vices.
Adams gave the advice during a meeting with Heads of some Government Agencies in Lafia on Wednesday.
The Special Adviser said they should be guided by the principles of accountability, transparency, probity, hard work and commitment to their responsibilities.
He also assured of the state government’s continued commitment to provide more projects to communities across the state.
Adams said that continued provision of more projects to communities would enable the people to enjoy more dividends of democracy.
“This will also improve on the standard of living of our people,” he said.
He said that the meeting was to brief them on some challenges observed during their assessment tour to completed and ongoing development projects across the state.
“This meeting is to rub minds on the outcome of our inspection of completed and ongoing development projects such as roads, across the state,” he added.
He commended Gov. Abdullahi Sule for embarking on people-oriented projects and called for their sustenance.
The special adviser called on the people to support the governor to succeed beyond 2023. Also, the Senior Special Assistant ( SSA) to Gov. Sule on Rural and Community Development, Mr Rilwanu Abubakar appreciated Sule for his concern for the plight of the people of the state.
He said that the projects initiated by Sule had direct bearing on the lives of the people.
Responding, Director General, Bureau for Rural and Community Development, Mr Mustpaha Yahuza and the General Manager, Nasarawa State Electricity Power Agency, Yakubu Suleiman both appreciated the governor’s aides for inspecting rural projects across the state.
They assured of their readiness to ensure effective supervision of projects to ensure that quality works were done.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration deserves more plaudits than it is getting for Nigeria’s 3.50 per cent economic growth in the second quarter of 2022. This, according to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), is because it came at a time that much of the world witnessed a general economic slowdown.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that this was traceable to the same policies that took Nigeria’s economy out of a COVID-19 induced global recession faster than expected.
“Many analysts have continued to express surprise that the Nigerian economy has been showing some resilience after it recorded a 7th consecutive quarter of GDP growth since the recession in Q3 of 2020 at a period of a sustained global slump.
“But for us, it is a reflection of the policies put in place by the Buhari administration even before COVID-19 struck that were targeted at weaning the country off its overdependence on crude oil.
“More than any other administration before it, the Buhari administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria has been deliberate in putting funds into the agricultural sector through various initiatives, including the Anchors Borrowers Programme which has supported nearly 5m farmers and boosted production of 23 food commodities in the country since its launch in 2015. “And lest we forget, there is also the Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) sector which contributed 18.44 per cent to the GDP as a result of the conducive environment for the digital economy to thrive through the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
“So while countries like the United States and Britain which are generally acknowledged as having more developed economies are witnessing a decline as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, Nigeria’s non-oil sector has continued to drive Nigeria’s economic growth like it has done since Q4 of 2020 in defiance of analysts’ estimates.
“In specific terms, the 3.54 per cent growth in Africa’s biggest economy in Q2 2022, compared to a GDP growth rate of 3.11 per cent in the previous quarter, was driven mainly by Information and Communication ; Trade; Financial and Insurance; Road Transport; Agriculture and Manufacturing which jointly contributed 93.67 per cent to the GDP.
“And while we know that the country is not where it should be, especially as inflation and unemployment are still high, we are encouraged by good reviews by financial analysts who see the positive trajectory as good news for investors and creditors”, the group said.
It added that Buhari remains committed to leaving the country better than he met it on assuming office in 2015. ABI
Leadway Assurance Company Limited says the value of its total assets has hit N500 billion while its investment and income stood at N27 billion as at Dec. 31,2021.The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tunde Hassan-Odukale stated this while giving an account of the company’s financial strength at the Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB’s) August edition Members’ Evening on Wednesday in Lagos.
Hassan-Odukale represented by Mr Sola Ajayi, Executive Head of Sales, Leadway Assurance stated that the underwriter admitted and paid claims of N47.7 billion and made a Gross Premium Written of N70.1 billion during the period under review.
He said the company recorded a profit before tax of N12.5 billion, profit after tax of N11.9 billion and shareholders fund of N80 billion in 2021.Hassan-Odukale noted that the brokerage sector were critical stakeholders to the Nigerian economy as they have been the enablers in expanding insurance footprint in Nigeria.
” Your effort in placing local and international insurance businesses with insurance companies and skillfully representing the interest of the insurer and insured has been pivotal and as insurers, we thrive on this.
” According to the World Bank Report, in 2018, the Nigerian insurance industry ranked 62nd in the world with $1.64 million collected in total premiums.
“While we have seen growth in the industry, we cannot rest on our oars as we still have a long way to go because insurance penetration is still very low, ranking less than 0.5 per cent .
“This just goes to say that the progress we have made so far is as a result of the collective efforts of all stakeholders in the industry and deepening the penetration should remain the focus of every stakeholder, “he said.
According to him, the contribution of the brokers to the business of Leadway Assurance is critical to its success and will keep it going.
Hassan-Odukale stated that brokers contribute a major stake to most of the businesses that come from its insurance arm of business.
He said : ” We value the relationship with you as you have contributed immensely to our success over the years and look forward to achieving more together.
” We are also not oblivious of the challenges that are emerging and some that have always existed; irrespective of these challenges, we will continue to find ways around them.
” The best way to overcome these challenges would require collaborative effort, a growth mindset and continuous improvements.
The managing director stated that towards improving customer experience, the insurer had also put in place a technologically driven broker management solution called the Brokers Portal.
He explained that the portal was essentially conceived to simplify the process flow of transaction between the insurance firm and the brokers at ensuring that business is done in real time and providing more value to the brokers.
Hassan-Odukale stated that the insurance industry was a remarkable one, marked with resilience and growth against all odds and presents innumerable opportunities for improving our country’s economy.
” Collaboration as we know divides the task and multiplies the successes.
So, this evening we celebrate our wins and then look forward to more successes because now more than ever, your role and contribution is even more reinforced,” he said.
In his address, NCRIB President, Mr Rotimi Edu, endorsed Leadway Assurance for members of the council due to the consistency of the underwriter with services and claims payment .
Edu stated that the insurance industry needs a rejigging at this period and Leadway Assurance had been at the forefront of driving professionalism, standard and growth of the industry.
He commended Leadway Assurance Limited team ably led by Hassan-Odukale for its exceptional performance in the industry and for hosting the August edition of the council’s members’ evening.
The NCRIB’s president urged all the various arms of the industry to collaborate for the growth of the industry.
Edu said the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Insurance Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) must come to terms with reality that they are cooperators and not competitors for their collective growth.
He noted that the council has been able to achieve a better branding both locally and internationally, more public engagement through various activities such as the maiden lawn tennis competition and the insurance walk.
“We will not relent on our oars until we diligently pursue our vision of an industry that is valued by all sectors, including government, to the delight and satisfaction of members.
” It is on that note that I will like to urge you and seek more of your cooperation, encouragement and suggestions to move our council forward.
“Your attendance and participation in our events are always a source of encouragement, ” he said.
According to him, the Diamond Colloquium and public presentation of the NCRIB 60th Anniversary Book and Compendium of Registered Insurance Brokers to mark the council’s 60th anniversary will hold on Sept. 29 in Lagos.
Edu said Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State would chair the event, while Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State would give the keynote address.
“The theme paper : NCRIB @60: Connecting the Past to the Present, Redefining the Future” will be delivered by the Chairman, Heirs Group, Mr Tony Elumelu,” he said.
Edu lauded the Lagos State Police command ably led by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Alabi for partnering the brokers by educating them with tips on anti-kidnapping, which was a social menace that has attained preposterous height in our country.
Maureen Madu, a former Super Falcons Star and Assistant Coach, says the proposed invitational playing tour for her club, Maureen Kiddies FC Onitsha, may not come to pass because of funding challenges.
Speaking to newsmen at the club’s training ground in Nkpor, near Onitsha on Wednesday, Madu said the team could not make the trip to Denmark earlier this year for the same reason of lack of funds.
She called on the Anambra Government, corporate organisations and lovers of football across the country to assist her make the dreams of the young girls come true.
She said she had been able to secure their visa and paid part of the tickets but needed about N8 million to pay it fully, to take care of logistics, accommodation and feeding.
She said she would not like to see the team miss the trip to Morocco like they did Denmark as it promised to open up doors of opportunity for their career.
“It is a cry for help; we were supposed to go to Denmark but after all efforts we couldn’t make, so I decided to take them to Morocco.
“I have paid for the visa and also part of the ticket because the parents of most of these talented girls are poor.
They depend on me and good members of the public to make their dreams come true.
“We need about N8 million to take care of the remaining bill for their ticket, their feeding and accommodation in Morocco, I am calling on government, firms and individuals to come to their aid.
“It is not about me, it is about their future because I see in them the next Super Falcons, next world champions and great people,” she said.
Madu, a five-time female World Cup veteran and two-time Olympian with over 100 caps for Super Falcons, currently runs the only ‘Ladies Only’ football academy in Anambra.
She also organises an annual summer programme called the Maureen Kiddies Camp for budding female football players in the state.
DigiGirls, an initiative of CyberSafe Foundation, funded through the UK government’s Digital Access Programme, on Wednesday graduated over four thousand women empowered with digital skills.
The British Deputy High Commission’s Office in Lagos made this known in a statement.
The commission said the programme also indirectly benefited over 10,000 additional women through the train-the-trainer programme.
It said the employable digital skills would drive positive livelihood outcomes for beneficiaries, improve their employment prospects and prepare them for digital entrepreneurship.
The commission said the DigiGirls programme aimed at lowering the digital gender imbalance against women in Nigeria by empowering more women and girls with employable digital skills through intensive training mentorship, internship and placements.
It said learning paths for the programme included digital marketing, User Interface, User Experience, graphics design, e-commerce, and data analysis.
Alessandra Lustrati, Head of Digital Development and Global Lead of the Digital Access Programme in the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), commended the trainees on their achievements.
Lustrati said: “Building digital capacity at a local level and testing digital skills development models that work well with specific target groups, like in the DigiGirls approach is central to FCDO overall effort.
“The digital economy can thrive much more and generate opportunities and skilled job only if we make an effort to close the digital gender gap, which in Nigeria is currently estimated at about 25 per cent.
“The DigiGirls project with our partner CyberSafe Foundation, which is a wider UK Digital Access Programme is a great example of how we can help close that gender gap and drive digital inclusion,” she said.
The Founder and Executive Director of Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, commended the UK government for the continuous support in making the programme a success and improving the lives of the beneficiaries.
Staveley said: “Thanks to the UK government through the FCDO, the DigiGirls programme from inception has now directly empowered over six thousand women with digital skills.
The founder urged the beneficiaries to make use of their newfound skills.
Nanka Youth Association (NYA) in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra have embarked on massive monthly clean-up in the community.
The Chairman of NYA, Mr Ken Okoli, on Wednesday in Awka told newsmen that the exercise was inaugurated few months ago by Mr Okey Ezeobi, the General of Anambra Bureau of Public Procurement.
He said the exercise was part of efforts to domesticate the clean-up of the environment policy of Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Soludo recently inaugurated a Special Sanitation Exercise in the state capital.
The governor performed the exercise at the popular Eke Awka Market roundabout with traders.
Okoli said the youths carried out the exercise at the popular Afor-Udo Market which had been generally dirty with heaps of garbage due to high human activities.
He said the youths were determined to provide solution to the deteriorating environmental health menace in the state and the community in particular.
Okoli said drainy were also cleaned around the market while the refuse were evacuated with hired trucks to a designated dumpsite at Ekwulobia.
“We bought the tools for the clean-up with our money and we will be using them subsequently.
“We love Nanka and believe in Anambra; we are willing to participate in community development for the common good of the society,” he said.
The NYA chairman thanked members of his team and people of Nanka community for ensuring the success of the programme.
He said two councilors from the community joined in the exercise and had promised to enforce full compliance with the monthly sanitation.
“Ezeobi, who inaugurated the exercise few months ago, facilitated the removal of huge refuse that was already posing a threat to the health of the people in the market “We enjoyed huge solidarity from Nanka both at home and in the Diaspora and hope they will join to keep their environment clean,” Okoli said.
He added that as part of their community service, a bag of beans was donated to a bean cake (akara) seller to support her and her family.
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Vice-Presidential Candidate of the PDP, has congratulated the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev’d Matthew Kukah, on his 70th birth anniversary.
Okowa’s felicitation is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, on Wednesday in Asaba,He congratulated him for his meritorious service to the church and the nation, particularly as Secretary of National Peace Committee, saddled with the responsibility of ensuring peaceful elections in the country.
The governor rejoiced with Kukah for his diligent and episcopal hard work, which saw him rise grandiosely in Catholic priesthood to the exalted position of Bishop.
He said that Kukah’s outstanding leadership and contributions to national issues had contributed immensely to the growth and development of the nation.
Okowa expressed optimism that Kukah’s wish and constant prayer for the country which he espoused in many ways in a clear and loud voice, would soon manifest within the country and beyond.
He wished the cleric well in the unique patriotic endeavour which he undertook without let or hindrance, even at the risk to his life.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I felicitate with a respected leader in God’s vineyard, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, on the occasion of his 70th birth anniversary.
“As a renowned priest of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Sokoto, you deployed your vast experience and knowledge to bear as the conscience of the nation.
“Over the years, you have remained a voice of integrity, with strong convictions for the peace and unity of this great country for which we owe you an enduring gratitude,” he said.
Okowa, who joined family, friends and associates in celebrating the renowned cleric and national icon, prayed that the Almighty God would strengthen him and grant him good health in his continued service to the church and mankind.
The Nigerian bourse rebounded on Wednesday with market capitalisation gaining N104.54 billion or 0.39 per cent to close at N26.880 trillion in contrast with N26.775 trillion posted on Tuesday.
Similarly, the All Share Index grew by 193.82 points or 0.39 per cent to 49,836.51, compared with 49,642.69 achieved on Tuesday.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are: BUA Foods, WAPCO, FBN Holdings and Accesscorp.
Market breadth closed positive as 20 stocks appreciated while 10 declined.
Guinness Nigeria led the gainer’s table with 9.88 per cent to close at N87.90 per share.
Caverton Offshore Support Group followed with a gain of 9.62 per cent to close at N1.14, while Transcorp Nigeria grew by 8.65 per cent to close at N1.13 per share.
Nigerian Exchange Group advanced by 6.43 per cent to close at N22.35 per share.
LASACO Insurance gained by 5.10 per cent to close at N1.03 per share.
On the other hand, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance led the laggard’s table, depreciating by of 7.69 per cent to close at 60k per share.
Unilever Nigeria followed with a loss of 7.22 per cent to close at N12.20, while Sovereign Trust Insurance declined by 7.14 per cent to close at 26k.
Also, UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust depreciated by 7.04 per cent to close at N3.30 per share.
JaizBank fell by 4.44 per cent to close at 86k.
Analysis of today’s market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up by 5.35 per cent.
A total of 367.34 million shares valued at N3.24 billion were exchanged in 3,725 deals.
Sterling Bank recorded the highest volume with 162.45 million traded shares valued at N238.94 million.
Access Holdings followed by trading 27.7 million shares worth N228.03 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) sold 26. 58 million shares valued N191.27 million.
FBN Holdings transacted 22.4 million shares worth N244.67 million, Fidelity Bank sold 20.17 million shares valued at N63.77 million.