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Olam Agri Reaffirms Commitment to Food Security, Meets Minister of Finance

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The leadership of Olam Agri in Nigeria (left) comprising Ade Adefeko, the Director Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, Olam Agri in Nigeria, and Anil Nair, the Managing Director, Olam Agri in Nigeria, during the meeting with Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of the Economy (middle).

Lagos, Nigeria, April 16, 2024 Olam Agri in Nigeria, an agribusiness in food, feed and fibre has reaffirmed its commitment to helping Nigeria achieve food security. The company made the pledge during a recent meeting with the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun. The meeting which is part of the agribusiness strategic engagements with critical stakeholders had in attendance the Managing Director of Olam Agri in Nigeria, Anil Nair, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Zacchaeus Adedeji, the Accountant General of the Federation Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, and the Director Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Olam Agri, Ade Adefeko. The latest engagement came on the heels of a courtesy visit to the Vice President of the Federation, Sen. Kashim Shettima (GCON), and a tour of the agribusiness rice farm and mill by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari. Speaking during the meeting, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, implored Olam Agri to leverage its impressive scale with presence in the Rice, Sesame, Animal and Fish Feed, Wheat Milling value chains as well as biscuits confectionery and culinary product manufacturing. He spoke on government reforms to curb inflation, particularly food inflation, and called on the agribusiness to continue deploying its scale, global expertise, and deep resources to engender wider access to quality food and nutrition to the teeming population in a bid to achieve food security.

In response, the Managing Director of Olam Agri in Nigeria, Anil Nair, said, “Our commitment to driving food security is evidenced by the sprawling investments we keep making to raise productivity in the rice, animal feed and protein, wheat and flour milling, sesame, and edible oils value chains. We consistently scale this investment as well, as we expand involvement in various out-grower programmes, research & development, partnerships, collaborations, and the integration of smallholder farmers into various empowerment initiatives for the betterment of Nigeria.” “We do realise that deepening partnership and collaboration with other stakeholders in the economy is crucial to maintaining and sustaining the government’s food security agenda. We are fully aligned with the ongoing fiscal reforms of government and only seek support for an enabling policy framework, and regulatory environment that will not only enable us play our part but stimulate the development of the agricultural value chain,” he added.

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FBNQuest Trustees Champions Estate Planning in Ibadan.

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Lagos, Nigeria – May 2024 – FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBNHoldings, and a leading provider of trust solutions to individuals, corporate entities, and government institutions, recently held its first Estate Planning Clinic in Ibadan, Oyo State. The event aimed to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the essential steps and actions required to preserve and manage their properties and legacies for future generations.

L-R: Head, Treasury & Investment at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Yosola Odunaiya;  Regional Head at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Abimbola Ajinibi; Private Trust Specialist at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Mutiat Olatunji; Head, Marketing & Business Development at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Babajide Fetuga; Private Trust Specialist at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Thelma Jiakponna; and Head, Private Trust at FBNQuest Trustees Limited, Rotimi Obende, at the Estate Planning Conference recently held in Ibadan.

The event, themed “Preserving Legacies Across Generations,” offered valuable insights on the importance of Estate Planning and intergenerational wealth transfer to the residents of Ibadan and its surrounding areas. Industry experts from FBNQuest Trustees shared insights and provided attendees with in-depth knowledge on the benefits of having a well-planned estate. Participants learned how to prevent costly court battles, plan for unforeseen incapacitation, and ensure that their loved ones are well taken care of. This event equipped attendees with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about their legacy and ensure that their wishes are respected for generations to come.

In his message, the Managing Director/CEO of FBNQuest Trustees, Adekunle Awojobi, represented by the Head of Business Development at FBNQuest Trustees, Babajide Fetuga, underscored the importance of a well-drafted estate plan. He highlighted how FBNQuest Trustees, with their expertise and experience, can guide potential clients in this crucial process. This ensures that assets are properly allocated to the right individuals at the right time, thereby preventing future disputes or legal issues among family members. He shared examples of unfortunate situations that have occurred in families of prominent Nigerians who lacked estate plans. He also emphasised the importance of seeking guidance from professionals at FBNQuest Trustees to establish a comprehensive blueprint for estate planning that benefits future generations. Understanding the actual value of your legacy is crucial to preserving it. Your legacy extends far beyond material possessions, encompassing our positive impact on those around us and the values we uphold.’ He added.

At FBNQuest Trustees, we are committed to educating individuals on the importance of effective estate planning. We have successfully hosted various estate planning clinics in Nigeria. Through our Legacy Series Campaign and Legacy Room podcast, we continually emphasise the importance of having a well-thought-out strategy that preserves your legacy across generations.

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Rising Stars Shine at Ecobank’s National Schools Team Chess Championship

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  • Unilag, Daysprings School, Marvelvine Montessori School Top List; Cart Away Millions in Prize Monies

Lagos, May 28, 2024 –   University of Lagos (UNILAG), DaySpring School, Lagos and Marvelvine Montessori School, also in Lagos, have emerged winners in the tertiary, secondary and primary schools’ categories of the 2024 Ecobank National Schools’ Teams Chess Competition at the Pan African Centre in Lagos over the weekend.

The Chess Competition which has been described as the largest gathering of chess players in Africa attracted over 1200 players from over 250 schools across 18 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Right: Vice President, Nigeria Chess Federation, Prince Adeyinka Adewole; Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Bolaji Lawal with one of the winning schools

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Vice President, Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Prince Adeyinka Adewole, expressed excitement that the Championship which was introduced last year when the International Chess Federation (ICF) started the World Schools Team Chess Championship has grown in leap and bounds. He noted that the 2024 edition attracted over 1200 participants, describing NCF’s partnership with Ecobank as a shining example of the public-private partnership needed for the advancement of sports in Nigeria.

“118 primary schools, 86 secondary schools, and 42 tertiary institutions participated and jostled for prizes of over N15 million at the three-day tournament which took place between Friday 24th and Sunday 26th at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Victoria Lagos. At the end of the highly competitive tournament, University of Lagos came tops in the tertiary school category and was followed by University of Benin and Chess in Slums Africa (CISA) while DaySpring School, Platforms School, Ireti Senior Grammar School came first, second and third respectively in the secondary school category. For the Primary school category, Marvelvine Montessori School came first while Scholars Academy, Ibadan was second best and followed by Okikioluwa Junior in the third position”. He stated. Further, he said, “When we introduced this Championship last year, only 15 schools participated but today we have over 250 schools. This is a remarkable accomplishment for us in the Nigeria Chess Federation, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the unwavering support of Ecobank. We’re deeply grateful for Ecobank’s generous support and unwavering commitment to empowering young minds and fostering intellectual growth. Your sponsorship has made this event possible, and your dedication to the development of chess among Nigerian youth is truly commendable.” He reiterated the Federation’s delight in providing a platform for young participants to horn their skill and become world champion, stating that the championship is a celebration of strategic thinking, the relentless pursuit of excellence, and the future of Nigerian chess.

Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Bolaji Lawal, said the decision of the bank to sponsor the Chess competition was to further showcase Ecobank’s commitment to supporting intellectual and sports development in Nigeria, being part of Ecobank’s strategic human capital development drive. “The winners here today are ‘rising stars. And I must say this is in line with our objective of supporting children and youths as the next-generation of changemakers. This sponsorship aligns with our overall long-term vision of building a world class Pan African bank that contributes to the economic and financial integration of the continent. We are also using the opportunity of this competition to introduce and empower them with convenient, affordable, and accessible digital financial services they can access anytime and anywhere they are. Arrangements are in place to make our partnership an annual event, as it is exciting and fulfilling for both the children and undergraduate students”. He stated. In his comment the Minister of Sports Senator John Owan Enoh, represented by the Director, Federal Ministry of Sports Liaison Office in Lagos, Ms Ikana Mbora, said the ministry is proud of the NCF. He commended the students for their resilience and determination to win as “this represents the Nigerian can do spirit”.

It would be recalled that Platform Schools, Ikeja, Lagos emerged as the national champion at the first National Schools Team Chess Championship held last year earning the honor to represent Nigeria at the World Schools Team Chess Championship in Kazakhstan. The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) is the national governing body for chess in Nigeria. It was established in 1975 and is responsible for promoting, regulating and developing chess in Nigeria. The NCF is a federation under the Federal Ministry of Sport Development, and it is affiliated with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and follows its rules and regulations. The objectives of the NCF include organizing national and international chess tournaments, training and selecting chess players to represent Nigeria in international competitions, and promoting the game of chess at all levels, from grassroots to elite. The NCF organizes various chess events throughout the year, and has also been successful in producing strong chess players who have represented Nigeria in international tournaments. These players have achieved notable successes, including winning medals in African Chess Championships and participating in Chess Olympiads.

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FINANCIAL INCLUSION, KEY FACILITATOR TO POVERTY REDUCTION AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY – 9PSB CEO  

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Lagos, Nigeria, May 2024. 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Nigeria’s digital payment service bank, focused on financial inclusion, has re-emphasized that financial inclusion is the key enabler to poverty reduction and economic prosperity in Africa at the Regtech Africa Conference held recently in Lagos.

The event themed: Harnessing Partnerships for Africa’s Prosperity – Bridging the Data Trust Gap, is a convergence of financial experts and thought leaders in the digital financial service industry across Africa, aimed at sharing knowledge and proffering strategies to increase data trust in the last mile digital financial service delivery.

Delivering a keynote presentation, the Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Branka Mracajac stated that financial inclusion remains a key focus in Nigeria and in Africa. It plays significant role in reducing poverty and fostering prosperity of the people. Achieving the desired results requires conscious effort by players in the industry to make financial products and services available, accessible, and affordable for all unbanked and underserved individuals and businesses, regardless of their age, gender, geographical region, and social economic status. It also aims at empowering people with knowledge through financial literacy programmes and providing them with tools such as savings account and other payment options to participate in formal financial systems.

L-R: Group Head Business Development & Strategy, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB) Akeem Salam; Team Lead, Marketing & Communications, 9PSB, Inemesit Ekong; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka, Mracajac and Head, Sales Distribution and Strategic Partnership, 9PSB Kunle Isiaka at the 2024 Regtech Africa Conference and Awards held recently at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“A survey conducted in Nigeria in 2008 by EFinA revealed that about 53 per cent of adult were excluded from financial services, furthermore, financial inclusion as a vehicle for economic development have notable positive impact in Nigeria, it decreased the exclusion rate from the initial 53 per cent of about 40 million of adults to 36 per cent which today means about 29 million of adult Nigerians. 59 per cent of households in Nigeria are income providers, while most of the income providers are women, unfortunately, they are the ones that are mostly excluded from formal financial services, since Nigeria has about 26 per cent of adult Nigerians that are financially excluded, the target for this year as mandated by the Central Bank of Nigeria is to attain 25 per cent inclusion figure,” Mracajac added.

L-R: Managing Director, Regtech Africa, Cyril Okoroigwe; National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), Fasasi Sarafadeen Atanda; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Branka Mracajac; Head of Strategy and Business Integration, Rand Mutual (RMA), Johannesburg, South Africa,  Chuma Qwalela; Managing Director, Palmpay, Chika Reginald Nwosu and Director, Partnership Regtech Africa, Graham – Olusanmi Lawal at the 2024 Regtech Africa Conference and Awards held recently at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

‘As we strive to grow financial inclusion, lack of access to financial services, low financial literacy among the populace, prohibitive cost of financial services and lack of trust in financial institutions are standing as roadblocks. Therefore, stakeholders and various industry players should begin to adopt localization of financial literacy and education, reduce minimal cost of accessibility for the people, simplified products, and processes. She remarked.

The 2024 RegTech Africa Conference had a line-up of stellar speakers, case studies, panel discussions, engaging discussions, unique presentations providing access to a wealth of industry-leading knowledge, sharing best practices and experiences, spotlighting trends, information exchange, cutting-edge insights, and outlooks with actionable takeaways.

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