The Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has ordered for 250,000 supplies of test kits and another 150,000 extraction kits to fast-track molecular testing for the deadly coronavirus. CACOVID noted that the reality of the situation at hand was such that efforts must be put together with no stone left unturned in dealing with the scourge.
The coalition also disclosed that no less than 1.7 million households would benefit from its food relief package as part of complementary efforts to help alleviate the effects of the lockdown and restrictions adopted by governments across the nation.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos on the group’s activities in helping the Federal Government to halt the spread of the virus, leaders of CACOVID stated that the coalition has set up isolation centers in five states of Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Borno and Enugu as well as FCT. In the meantime, renovations of hospitals and the provision of medical supplies are being carried out in other states.
Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Zouera Youssoufou, explained that all the partners in CACOVID are ready to roll out in all parts of the country, having commenced building and equipping of isolation centers in some states.
According to her, there are currently three testing platforms for molecular testing in Nigeria, one of which is the “Open PCR machines”, which the Coalition has ordered for 10 units, with eight laboratories certified to conduct COVID-19 tests. Ms. Youssoufou said:
“Open PCR machine is currently the standard platform. Eight labs in Nigeria are certified to conduct COVID-19 testing; 10 new PCR machines and 150,000 extraction kits have been ordered. The other is Roche Cobus Platform with 6 Machines in Nigeria, each capable of testing 960 tests at a time. Nigeria was on track to receive 38,000 but we have ordered 250,000. 10,000 tests ordered by UNICEF have arrived on Thursday, April 16.
“We also have Cepheid Gene Expert Machines – there are 400 machines installed in the country. 250 are expected to be functional with trained lab technicians. Cepheid has developed a COVID-19 testing cartridge that has received FDA approval, and will begin shipping to Africa in two weeks. We have ordered 250,000 cartridges and expect shipment receipt in two weeks.”
In his remarks, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the Coalition right from the onset knew the fight against coronavirus was not going to be easy but would require collaborative efforts of all.
He said the CACOVID-19 is approaching the fight against the virus from three levels, “One, it was clear from beginning that no one institution can go it alone, so we solicit everybody’s cooperation in tackling this scourge. Two, while several measures are being taken to stop the spread, including lockdowns, restriction, social distancing, there is the need to address the hunger. How do we cater for the feeding needs of the people if these measures are to be effective?”
Wigwe explained that the third level was the thought leadership aspect of the plan which is to tackle the post-pandemic aspect. According to him, “a lot of businesses have been badly affected and economies have been disrupted. How do we get them back to life after we might have defeated the coronavirus?”
The Access Bank GMD explained the modalities to be adopted to get the food relief materials to the targeted households, pointing out that it would be done from the bottom of the pyramid, which is the 774 local government areas where the CACOVID partners would be assigned to deliver the materials.
He said he was optimistic that the food relief materials would reach all intended beneficiaries because, according to him, it was a path that has already been trodden by Aliko Dangote Foundation, which has been distributing foods to the vulnerable in the states and has been achieving results.
Also, responding during the briefing, the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdi Moolman urged other private sector organisations which are yet to identify with CACOVID in the onerous task to join hands and make their modest contributions.
Justifying why no organisation could afford to stay aloof, Mr. Moolman said the whole world is not at peace presently and every nation is on its own fighting the battle of COVID-19.
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Cititrust Holdings Plc Wins Global Finance Award
Cititrust Holdings Plc is designated winner of the ‘Decade of Excellence Investment Holding Company Africa 2020’ category.
Cititrust Holdings Plc, a leading African financial services group, has won the 2020 Global Banking and Finance magazine’s award for a decade of offering excellent financial and investment services across Africa.
This was announced by Global Banking and Finance magazine in the 18th edition of its annual awards for deserving financial institutions in seven regions and more than 80 countries.
In the letter of award, Cititrust Holdings Plc is designated winner of the ‘Decade of Excellence Investment Holding Company Africa 2020’ category.
While expressing his joy at the development, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Cititrust Holdings Plc, Mr. Yemi Adefisan, said the award is an acknowledgment of the group’s consistent focus on “strategic and value-driven investments” in financial sector of the economies of the 11 countries, where it currently operates across Africa.
Adefisan said in a statement by the company that the award was particularly gratifying, coming on the heels of winning the prestigious ‘Investment Holding Company of the Year Award’ at the 2019 edition of BusinessDay’s Banks and Other Financial Institutions Awards.
He further noted that Cititrust Holdings was proud to share the same platform with Stanbic IBTC Bank, which also won the ‘Best Custodian Bank’ category of the Global Banking and Finance magazine’s award.
According to Adefisan, over the years, all the subsidiaries of Cititrust Holdings, which include: LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc (formerly Omoluabi Mortgage Bank), Core Capital Ltd, First Options MFB Ltd, FGH Healthcare Ltd, CDP Insurance Brokers Ltd and Bermuda BDC Ltd and others across Africa, have established a reputation for long-term value creation across the financial sector of the economy.
He said the company has also continued to make significant investment in cutting edge technology in order to maintain and improve its excellent customer service delivery.
Adefisan reaffirmed Cititrust Holdings’ commitment to protecting and promoting the interests of its stakeholders across the African continent and making significant contribution to the development of the Nigerian and regional economy.
Cititrust Holdings Plc was founded in 2006 and holds significant investments that cut across commercial and mortgage banking, asset management, stockbroking, and investment banking, currency trading, pension fund administration and insurance services.
Coronation Merchant Bank partners Union Systems to commence full automation of its Trade Finance Operations
Coronation Merchant Bank has continued to make giant strides in Trade financing.
Leading financial institution in Nigeria, Coronation Merchant Bank, has partnered with Union Systems Limited to fully automate its Trade Finance Operations. The trade finance software, Trade-XTM comes with a front-end portal, OptimusTM that empowers corporate clients to initiate and manage their trade transactions from both web and mobile platforms from anywhere in the world.
Earlier this year, the Bank announced its partnership with IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) to provide a $40 million Trade Finance Guarantee facility. In addition to this, the Bank has continued to make other strides in Trade financing such as its recent appointment as a designated bank for the collection and remittance of all Revenue Payments (i.e. Import, Excise and other duties) by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Commenting on the partnership with Union Systems, Banjo Adegbohungbe, Managing Director/CEO of Coronation Merchant Bank stated that, “We are delighted to partner with Union Systems in providing an automated platform to help our trade clients achieve their business objectives. Leveraging this platform, we hope to further improve our clients’ end-to-end experience in their trade-related transactions”. He further stated that, “the launch of the automated trade platform is in line with the Bank’s strategy of becoming a foremost financial institution in trade financing in Nigeria and across Africa”.
Also commenting on the partnership, Chuks Onyebuchi, CEO Union Systems said, “We are very pleased to be the preferred partner to automate the bank’s trade operations using our products, Trade-XTM and OptimusTM. We will be bringing to bear our over 20 years’ experience of successful implementation of trade finance solutions across Africa. Our software will provide a seamless experience to the bank’s clients on all their trade finance activities from the comfort of their home and office.”
About Coronation Merchant Bank
Coronation Merchant Bank was established in 2015 to provide wholesale banking to a long under-served market. The Bank offers Investment and Corporate Banking, Private Banking/Wealth Management and, Global Markets/Treasury Services to its clientele.
This year, the Bank has received numerous awards from international organizations for product innovation, sound corporate governance structures and commendable financial performance. Some of the international awards received by the Bank include Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance Magazine, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by World Finance, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking & Finance Review and Best Investment Bank by Global Business Outlook,
About Union Systems Limited
Union Systems Limited (USL) is an Information Technology Company that provides financial software solutions and professional services to major banks in Africa. The company provides software solutions to financial institutions to enhance their software capabilities, effectively scale processes, improve compliance and drive operational efficiencies.
With headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, the company has a deep understanding of the African market and has a team of highly qualified consultants that have real-world experience in the delivery of complex software solutions. Top banks in Africa rely on Union Systems to deliver growth, profitability and regulatory compliance in financial software applications.
Multichoice Nigeria: How investing $2.1 billion in Nigeria’s media and entertainment value chain impacts national economy
Multichoice’s commitment to enriching lives, as their mantra says, has never been in doubt.
Through MultiChoice Nigeria’s socio-economic investment, for 27 years, the company has made significant contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy. At the heart of this investment is entrepreneurship and employment opportunities through multiple channel distribution platforms and a commitment to the continuous growth of the sports, technology, film and video sectors through infrastructural development.
In 2015, when a set of big goals called the Millennium Development Goals that were set two decades ago reached their ‘expiry date’, with some of the key objectives still unmet, a new 15-year timeline was set for yet another group of goals, this time called the Sustainable Development Goals. From eight goals to seventeen new goals, five years in, the world can say that a major shift seems to be happening.
One clear indication of this is in the way business operations for many organizations around the world have evolved. With many companies becoming more conscious of how their affairs affect the environment, how consumers interact with their products, and how much value they really add to society, corporate social responsibility or value, has moved from being an item on the checklist to become a business core.
Now, while many businesses seem to be playing catch-up, there are others even in Africa, who unknowingly, but with great startup vision, had laid the foundation and built a template for what a socially responsible company should look like.
Established in 1993, Multichoice Nigeria had a 7-year lead time, before the MDGs became a guide and used those years to build a solid business that combines profit and purpose. Today, that business represents what shared prosperity is, having created the right mix of opportunities for its people to grow, while helping to build an industry that ranks as the second-largest in the world and the most loved in Africa.
As people say, if content is king, distribution is definitely queen, and this thinking remains why Nollywood owes a lot of the accolades it gets today to Multichoice Nigeria. Between 2015 and 2019, Accenture in its new report for Multichoice, estimates that about $428million has gone into the local content production business of Multichoice, mostly in developing local creativity and building the production infrastructure to support it. To put this investment in more perspective, it directly translates to 117,459 hours of local content. That’s huge, on both an African and global scale, even huger given that it’s only from 5 years of enriching lives; definitely more if the organization’s 27 years is brought into view.
These sorts of investments rarely occur without a ripple effect on human capital development, but leaving things to chance isn’t the Multichoice way. The Multichoice Talent Factory further drives the local content goal for Multichoice, as they welcome a cohort of 20 students who after one year graduate, are better equipped to keep the African film industry innovative and constantly growing. It is an intentional play at giving equal opportunities to anyone with film and broadcast dreams to pick the skills they require to make a mark in the industry.
On one hand, as Multichoice continues to build more credibility for the entertainment and media industry in Africa, through its investment in local content, future talents, even award shows, it is also ensuring the market for the content they produce grows on the other hand. This process has required a strong supply chain and Multichoice Nigeria has proven equal to the task investing over $1 billion in their distributor, supplier, even installer network in just the last 5 years. With further investment in their 961 employees, in the areas of training and other benefits, it is safe to say they have gone beyond building a business, to building an ecosystem.
Whether this ecosystem model works is a question their recently released socio-economic value report put together by Accenture and covering the last five years of operations answers perfectly. The contribution of an estimated US$2.1bn to the Nigerian economy between that 5-year period, shows that they understand the role they play in achieving a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
In Multichoice’s 27 years of operating in Nigeria, their commitment to actually enriching lives as their mantra says, has never been in doubt. Beyond the strides their video content business has made in employing people directly, creating jobs for even more people in adjacent industries, training talents and building infrastructure; the company has always still found a way to give back to the different communities where they operate.
With a portfolio of grassroots sporting programs, various awards that recognize great work from inspiring Africans, essential care for people with sickle cell disorder and investments in education and educational content, Multichoice Nigeria shows it is more than just business.