Zenith Bank Plc and Dangote Cement have both donated towards the Lagos relief fund for victims of the Abule-Ado gas explosion.
Representatives of both corporate organisations paid condolence visits in turns at the State House, Marina.
The two organisations expressed sadness over the incident while announcing the donation of N100 million each to the N2 billion Fund earlier launched by the state government.
Zenith Bank delegation led by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, made a donation of N100 million for the care of victims of the disaster, even as he pledged for more in the course of time.
Representatives of Dangote Cement led by Emmanuel Ikazoboh, an independent non-executive director, announced the donation of N100 million worth of cement for the reconstruction of the damaged part of Abule Ado, which was affected by the explosion.
Ikazoboh said that the visit to the governor was to introduce the new management of the company and to commiserate with him on the sad incident that took place at Abule Ado.
“We are specifically here to inform the governor of the change in the top management of Dangote, the former Group Managing Director, Engineer Joseph Makoju has retired and Michel Puchercos took over from him.
“The other reason is to commiserate with the governor and to pledge our support that we would help in the reconstruction of the damaged part of the site. We have been directed by the management of the company to make available N100 million worth of cement for rebuilding of the damaged portion of Abule Ado.”
On his part, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Onyeagwu, told the Governor, that he was there to reassure him of the bank’s support in taking care of the people affected by the explosion as well as commiserate with the State government on the incident.
According to him, the Sunday incident initially appeared like a movie until it was later confirmed. The visit was also to thank the State government for its prompt approach in handling the traumatic experience, praying that God would comfort the families of those affected by the explosion.
“Zenith Bank is making an immediate donation of N100million. We hope it would ameliorate the suffering of the victims. We pray God would console the families of those who died during the disaster.”
A statement signed by Gboyega Akosile, the governor expressed appreciation for the visit and the donation by both Dangote Cement and Zenith Bank.
He equally thanked Nigerians, Lagosians as well as other corporate organisations for their contribution and donations to the N2 billion Abule Ado explosion emergency relief fund, assuring that the funds would be transparently managed.
He noted that the various donations coming in would enable the committee managing the funds have enough resources to work with, even though “money could never replace everything”.
Spotify podcast listeners set to surpass Apple podcast for the first time in 2021
Spotify’s investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools.
The number of Spotify’s podcast listeners will surpass Apple’s listeners this year. According to a report by eMarketer, 28.2 million U.S. users will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, compared with 28.0 million via Apple Podcasts. This shift will come on the heels of the expected 41.3% in 2021.
Apple was the de facto destination for podcasts for a long time, but in recent years, it has not kept up with Spotify’s pace of investment and innovation in podcast content and technology.
By putting podcasts and music in one app, Spotify became the convenient one-stop-shop for everything digital audio. Unlike Apple that has a different app for podcasts instead of offering a well-integrated experience with music and podcasts in one app.
This shift made more people stick to Spotify for the sheer experience of streaming music and also listening to a podcast on the same platform. Other music streaming services like Amazon, Pandora, etc. also have the seamless experience of enjoying podcasts and music on the same App.
According to the report, Spotify’s investments have empowered podcast creators and advertisers through its proprietary hosting, creation, and monetization tools.
Overall, there will be 117.8 million overall monthly podcast listeners in 2021, a 10.1% year-over-year (YoY) increase. This year, podcast listeners will represent 53.9% of monthly digital audio listeners, surpassing 50% for the first time.
We anticipate that more audio listeners will start listening to podcasts monthly, leading to a 60.9% share by 2024.
This year, $1.28 billion will be spent on podcast advertising, surpassing $1 billion for the first time, representing a 41.0% YoY increase. Podcast advertising is continuing to gain a share of total digital audio ad spending, representing 24.0% in 2021.
What you should know
- Last week, Spotify announced that it will be expanding its service to 85 new markets including Nigeria.
- This new expansion came with other upcoming features and products like the paid podcast subscriptions that will allow creators to publish paid podcast content aimed at their most dedicated fans.
- Spotify is also partnering with WordPress to add a new integration to its platform similar to Clubhouse. This integration will make it easier for bloggers to turn their posts into podcasts, either by reading the blog posts themselves or leveraging third-party text-to-speech technology
Peter Obi urges FG to beg manufacturers, rich nations for COVID-19 vaccines
Obi urged the FG to consider appealing to rich nations, drug manufacturers for vaccines instead of spending billions of nairas to procure them.
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at their stipulated Covid-19 budget and rather, consider begging drug manufacturers and rich nations for the vaccines.
The former Vice Presidential candidate while speaking in an interview on Channels Television, lamented on what he felt was an over-the-top and ludicrous budget for the Covid-19 vaccines and advised that the FG should instead, appeal to manufacturers for the vaccine.
Obi, speaking on the FG Procurement Budget for the Covid-19 vaccine explained that it makes little sense for Nigeria to apportion 80% of its health budget for the procurement of Covid-19 only. He also stated that sufficient Covid-19 vaccine for the country can be purchased for a price way below the figure being put forward by the FG.
“They said they need N400bn. Our Budget for health this year is N547bn and you are saying that you need 80% of that for vaccine procurement. Assuming that’s what we are going to use the money for. I have checked the vaccine we need to have 70% which WHO has stipulated that if they receive it is okay. The quantity we need cannot cost us more than N150bn. It might be less because there are people who are willing to give vaccines for free,” Obi said.
Mr. Obi took it a step further by advising the FG on how to go about the quest to get Covid-19 vaccines at a much cheaper rate. He believes the country should own up to its poor status and demand for help unashamedly. This, he said, will reduce the amount the FG will pay for the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Why don’t we beg manufacturers to donate, saying to them that we don’t have anything. We can go kneel and beg them saying please give us the vaccines. We are from a poor country. Give us a discount. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are poor. It is not a crime. Because you are poor,” Obi added.
Since pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers began discovering and manufacturing vaccines against the novel Covid-19, there have been concerns that the poorer nations might be left far behind in the race to acquire the vaccines.
In case you missed it
- Nigeria received its first batch of Covid 19 vaccines from India today. The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.
- About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.
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