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Ogun To Create Ministries Of Energy, Mineral Resources, ICT And Digital Economy, Says Abiodun



Governor Dapo Abiodun

The Ogun State Government is set to establish the Ministries of Mineral Resources, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy and Energy.

This was disclosed by Governor Dapo Abiodun during a meeting with Permanent Secretaries held at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Prince Abiodun also disclosed that the Ministry of Youths would be separated from the Ministry of Sports in preparation for the setting up of the Ogun State Sports Commission.

Abiodun noted that the establishment of the new ministries would avail his administration the opportunity to focus more on the development of those critical sectors.

He said that it is imperative to have full fledged ministerial status for those sectors for the administration to achieve the objectives set forth in those areas.

The governor noted that the prospect of Ogun becoming an oil producing state during his tenure is higher, adding that attention is also being paid to electricity generation following the unbundling of that sector.

On the idea behind the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy, Prince Abiodun described Ogun as the education capital of Nigeria, with many youths in the state being ICT savvy.

The new Ministry, he said, will take care of the needs of the youths in the state on terms of employment.

He spoke further: “I had also mentioned in the course of the swearing-in of the commissioners that we are establishing new ministries.

“We intend to establish about three or four new ministries; the Ministries of Mineral Resources; Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy and we are creating the Ministry of Youths.

“We are removing the Ministry of Sports from the Ministry of Youths because we want to set up the Ogun State Sports Commission. We are also considering setting up the Ministry of Energy.

“The reasons why we decided to set up this new ministries is because those areas are now going to be areas of focus for us and we believe that for us to achieve the objectives that we are setting forth in those areas, it is important for them to become full fledged ministries and have all the required administrative support that will allow them to achieve their objectives.”

Governor Abiodun commended the permanent secretaries and civil servants in the state for their prayers and support, especially after the Tribunal judgement that was in his favour.

Abiodun called for synergy between political appointees and civil servants, adding that it is important to work together for the success of the administration.

According to him, civil servants and political appointees must not been seen to be competing, but complementing each other, adding that such collaboration can only be in the interest of the state.

He added: “It is important for the success of our administration for all of us to work together. There must be cooperation between civil servants and the appointees; commissioners, special advisers and so on because we all have one goal is the overall wellbeing and welfare of the administration and the good people of Ogun State.”

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Smile Communications: Delivering Unmatched Value to Customers With Diverse Data And Voice Plans




A leading telecommunications provider, Smile Communications has continued to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional value to its customers in Nigeria and beyond.

With a wide range of data and voice plans designed to meet various needs, Smile remains a preferred choice for both new and loyal customers.

Diverse Data Plans for Every Need
In an era where connectivity is essential, Smile Communications offers a diverse array of data plans, ensuring that customers have access to high-quality internet service at their fingertips. From daily plans for quick internet access to flexible monthly plans, and even longer-term options like bi-annual and annual plans, Smile caters to the unique requirements of its diverse customer base.

“Smile Communications understands that no two customers are the same,” said ‘Goke Olaleye, Head of Marketing Operations at Smile Communications. “That’s why we offer a range of data plans, so whether you’re a casual user or need constant connectivity for work or leisure, we have a plan tailored just for you.”

Voice Plans for Local and International Calls
In addition to its data offerings, Smile Communications is winning hearts with its voice plans. Customers can enjoy seamless local and international calling experiences, making it easier to stay connected with loved ones and business associates around the world. Smile’s voice plans have become a favorite among consumers who value both quality and affordability.

Accessible Services on Multiple Platforms

To enhance convenience, Smile Communications has made accessing its services a breeze. Customers can choose to manage their accounts and purchases online, through the web, or by using the MySmile app, ensuring that they have full control over their connectivity needs. Additionally, Smile’s services are also available through third-party platforms, making it even more accessible to a wider audience.

“Empowering our customers with choice and flexibility is at the heart of what we do,” added ‘Goke Olaleye. “We’re constantly innovating to make sure our customers can access Smile services in the way that suits them best.”

Smile: Where Great Value Meets Exceptional Service

Smile Communications remains dedicated to providing not just internet and voice services but also an outstanding customer experience. The company’s commitment to delivering great value is a testament to its mission of enriching lives through communication.

Whether you’re a long-time Smile customer or considering joining the Smile family, you can trust that you’ll receive the best in connectivity and customer service.

For more information about Smile Communications’ plans and services, visit or call 07020444444

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Banking and digitization: An opportunity for economic growth in Africa




Some of the biggest banks on the continent to digitize and utilize the latest technology. According to McKinsey, cash is still used in more than 90% of all transactions in Africa. One of the key reasons for this is access to smartphones.

Sim Tshabalala, the CEO of South Africa’s largest bank Standard Bank Group speaks about this issue and how it is changing, “Progress is continuing with more internet connectivity, more fibre being rolled out by the cell phone companies on the African continent. The consequence of that is that the African continent is in a position to leapfrog. And banks operating on the continent are using that capability and that connectivity to meet the needs of their clients, to pay, to move money around, to invest, and indeed to create wealth and pass it on to future generations. So, to put it differently, now is a time that is most exciting for the banking industry.”

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is opening new opportunities for businesses and individuals across the continent. Tshabalala explains, “The African Continental Free Trade Area is going to be a game changer for our continent. Firstly, it’s going to reduce poverty. It’s going to increase incomes, it’s going to increase the ability of people, ideas, knowledge, and capital to move between countries, and therefore it’s going to increase economic activity.”

Looking ahead to the future, Tshabalala says he is excited for Africa’s potential, “The regions that are really exciting on the continent, to be frank, are all of them. Here in southern Africa our business is growing very, very fast, it’s growing in double digits. The Mediterranean-facing countries, as they increasingly integrate themselves into the African continent, provide massive opportunities for financial institutions. And I’m hoping you get a sense from me, as a pan-Africanist, that this’ll be the African century, it is incredibly exciting.”

The development of the financial system in Africa is crucial for economic growth and reduces financial volatility by encouraging long-term investment. FirstRand Group Chief Operations Officer Mary Vilakazi speaks about how fintech companies are changing the banking landscape, “If you look back 10 years ago, there were about two digital banks, and now there are about 21 on the continent. So, competition is fierce. And certainly, the need and demand is there. So, we are still very excited about waking up and understanding the needs of our customers across all the markets and coming up with solutions that are of relevance to them. And certainly, I think trying to keep up with the technological advancements that that I think we’ve been seeing come our way.”

Vilakazi describes what she thinks are the current biggest trends in banking and fintech, “When I think of what technology does, it really enables us to be able to look out for fraud. I think in this day and age we know how cyber risk is top of mind for everyone. And then, the second one is really to remove any friction-costs because I think we always think about reducing customer angst but any things that you can do quicker, and I think you can do a bit more slicker, with technology.”

In Ghana, Giokos meets with Ecobank Managing Director Jeremy Awori. He discusses the bank’s current digitization, “I think banks have moved forward and Ecobank is really trying to move forward even faster. We believe that digital is the way forward. We’re a digitally driven bank. We have a single gateway that you can literally access our 35 markets. So, you know, when we talk about money transfers, it’s real.”

Awori is also a supporter of the AfCFTA, but he says more must be done to implement its goals, “Countries are indicating that they really want to work with one another. Where we are looking forward is, how do we actualise this? Let’s actually see trade increasing. And you know, looking at the non-tariff barriers. How do we eliminate those? How do we reduce those? How do we reduce the friction?”

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Union Bank partners with Women’s World Banking and TGI Group to Implement’Digital Supplier Credit’ Solution




Lagos, Nigeria – In line with its commitment to enabling success for its customers, Union Bank has partnered with its parent company, TGI Group and Women’s World Banking, to introduce the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution under its women’s banking proposition, αlpher.
The ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution is designed to address the financial needs of women-led small businesses in urban centres in Nigeria centres and provide access to credit for stock sustenance, replenishment, and progressive growth, along established supply lines from Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies. Leveraging behavioural science and the Women’s Centred Design methodology and backed by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Foundation, this initiative aims to co-create a sustainable and scalable solution that will significantly enhance access to financial services for women entrepreneurs.

Women’s World Banking is a renowned global organisation specialising in designing and investing in financial solutions, institutions, and policy environments within emerging markets. Their focus on creating economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and communities aligns perfectly with the objectives of the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution. With an extensive network spanning 34 countries, serving more than 160 million women clients through 69 financial services providers, Women’s World Banking has consistently driven impact through scalable, market-driven solutions, gender lens private equity funds, and leadership and diversity programs.
Speaking about the partnership, Vivian Imoh-Ita, Head of Retail Banking and Digital at Union Bank, said:
“We are delighted to partner with Women’s World Banking and our parent company TGI Group to launch the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution. Our commitment to empowering women-led businesses remains unwavering, and we believe this initiative will have a transformative impact on the entrepreneurial landscape in urban centres. Through this collaboration, we aim to foster financial inclusion and catalyse sustainable growth for women entrepreneurs.”
Also commenting on the partnership, Ade Ashaye, Regional Head of Africa, Women’s World Banking, expressed:
We are thrilled to partner with Union Bank and the TGI Group. Globally, 38% of all MSMEs are women-owned yet, according to the SME Finance Forum, there remains a $1.7 trillion gender credit gap. Using our sophisticated market and consumer research we will develop a solution that will not only help tens of thousands of Nigeria’s women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to accessing the vital credit they need to sustain and grow their businesses, but also stand as a model for Banks and FMCGs across Africa and the world. This is an exciting time in the development of effective, women-centered, digital financial solutions.

The Digital Supplier Credit solution reflects Union Bank’s dedication to supporting its customers and creating an inclusive business environment. With its focus set on the future, Union Bank continues to lead the way in shaping a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.

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