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Lagos State partners Microsoft to train 18,000 teachers

“We are looking at the pandemic. The main thing for us is safety first, safety second, safety third. If we are certain that our children are fairly safe, we will open school.” – Lagos State’s Commissioner for education

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Lagos state to employ teachers quarterly to replace retired teachers – Commissioner

In a bid to improve the quality of teachers through the adoption of global best teaching and learning practices in the state’s education system, Lagos State Government has partnered Microsoft to train 18, 000 teachers on the Microsoft office suite.

According to Lagos State’s Commissioner for Education  Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, the ministry decided to use the lockdown period to improve the teachers and by so doing, partnered with Microsoft to train the teachers on digital literacy.

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Talking on the Eko Excel Programme, which was part of the administration’s THEMES agenda, Adefisayo noted that it had helped improve the teaching and learning experiences in the classroom between the teachers and pupils.

(READ MORE: Interview with Sam Egube, LASG Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget.)

Regular employment to replace retired teachers

In a related development, the state government is also considering the quarterly recruitment of teachers into the state civil service, given the high rate of retirement in the state. Adefisayo disclosed this during an online show, Covinspiration, which was moderated by Special Representative to the United Nations, and British Council Global Change-maker, Mr Dayo Israel,  and reported by NAN.

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While discussing plans of the current administration for education, the commissioner said that the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has granted the Ministry of Education permission to replace retired teachers and prevent gaps in the system.

“The most important aspect of learning is the quality of teachers and we did not have enough teachers to actualise the set plan for learning in our public schools,” she explained.

Adefisayo added that the state ministry of education is currently in the final stage of recruiting 2,000 to boost primary school education in the state.

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(READ MORE: Lagos State conducts social media poll on whether to lock down or not.)

No date fixed for resumption yet

Adefisayo noted that no date has been fixed for school resumption because the government is still observing the trends, discussing with federal agencies, and putting the needed facilities in place.

“We are looking at the pandemic. The main thing for us is safety first, safety second, safety third. If we are certain that our children are fairly safe, we will open school,” she said.

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The commissioner also assured that online digital classes would not end after schools resume. Instead, online classes would be used to reinforce classroom teaching. She added that the ministry has received devices from donors and would be giving the same it out to the pupils to aid their learning in the coming weeks.

Patricia

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Companies

Seplat gives notice of board meeting, to consider Q2 financial result

The notification is in conformity with the rules of the Nigerian bourse on the obligations of the issuer.

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Seplat Plc, Seplat gives notice of board meeting, to consider Q2 financial result

The indigenous oil and gas firm, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has given notice of its board of director meeting which has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, 2020 through a teleconference in Lagos between 10 am and 3 pm.

This was disclosed in a notification that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on July 3, 2020 and signed by the oil firm’s Company Secretary, Edith Onwuchekwa.

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The notification is in conformity with the rules of the Nigerian bourse on the obligations of the issuer, in this case, Seplat, to notify the Exchange at least 14 days ahead of the due date and time when the board of directors hopes to meet to discuss its financial results.

The notification from Seplat states, ‘’In line with the rules of the NSE on the obligation of the Issuer to notify the Exchange at least 14 days in advance, in respect of the date and time when the board of directors will meet to discuss its Q2 2020 Financial Results, we wish to state the meeting details as follows,’’

‘’Date: Tuesday 28th July 2020, Venue: Via Teleconference, Lagos, Time: 10.00am – 3.00pm’

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(READ MORE: Fidelity Bank announces closed period ahead of H2 financial statements release)

Seplat, in its statement, also said they were going to notify the Exchange of the details of the Board’s decision on the 2020 second-quarter financial results immediately after the meeting as required by the rules.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that following the global oil crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the oil and gas firm, in its released financial statement, announced that revenue declined from $159.5 million in Q1 2019 to $130.5 million in Q1 2020. That represented an 18.2% drop.

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The gross profit dropped from $81.4 million in Q1 2019 to $33.1 million in Q1 2020. This shows a drop of 59.3%. The profit before deferred tax showed a loss of $105.8 million in Q1 2020 as against the profit before deferred tax of $35.8 million that was achieved in Q1 2019. This represented a huge drop of 395.5%.

The company’s CEO, Austin Avuru, said that as part of its strategy, Seplat was shifting focus to its gas business which is less exposed to the oil price drop which is currently ravaging the upstream sector.

The current share price of Seplat on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is N386 per share as at July 3, 2020.

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Energy

Just in: NNPC announces top management appointments as top official resigns

The NNPC has effected a major shake-up to enable the corporation to live up to its expectations.

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The state-owned oil giant, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has effected some major reorganization in the firm. They have announced some new appointments and redeployments as part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen and reposition NNPC for greater efficiency, transparency and profitability in line with the next level agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

This was disclosed in a press release by NNPC on Sunday, July 5, 2020, and signed by the corporation’s Group General Manager Public Affairs Division Dr Kennie Obateru.

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In the statement released by the oil giant, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD), is now the new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream while Mr Mohammed Abdulkabir Ahmed, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC), has been appointed the new Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, following the retirement of Engr. Farouk Garba Sa’id, last week.

Dr Kennie Obateru stated that reorganization includes the redeployment of Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji, the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, to the Ventures & Business Development Directorate as COO, following the voluntary resignation of Mr Roland Onoriode Ewubare, from the position last week.

The top-level staff movement also affected Sir. Billy Okoye who has been redeployed from the NNPC Downstream Company, NNPC Retail Limited, as Managing Director, to replace Mr Tombomieye as the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division; while Mrs Elizabeth Aliyuda, the General Manager, Sales and Marketing NNPC Retail Limited, takes over from Sir Okoye as Managing Director.

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Similarly, Mr Usman Farouk, Executive Director Asset Management and Technical Services at the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC) takes over from Mr Ahmed as Managing Director

The statement from NNPC also explained that President Buhari has accepted the resignation of Mr Roland Ewubare, who was the immediate past Chief Operating Officer, Ventures and New Business Directorate of the National Oil Company while the retirement of the immediate past Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, Engr. Farouk Garba Said had also received the approval of President who thanked the two former COOs for their meritorious service to the corporation.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the new appointments would enable the corporation to live up to the expectation of her shareholders, Nigerians, and give impetus to the ongoing restructuring within the Corporation, which, he said, was in line with the corporate vision of Transparency, Accountability & Performance Excellence (TAPE).

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Financial Services

Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering paying interim dividends despite COVID-19

Analysts earlier predicted that banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs in view of COVID-19.

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Zenith Bank’s board of directors is set to meet on July 23rd, 2020 to consider the tier-1 bank’s audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider “the proposal for recommendation of interim dividend for shareholders,” said a notice that was sent by the company to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In a similar development, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said in a statement to the NSE that “issues relating to half-year dividend may also be discussed” when its board of directors meet later this month.

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Zenith Bank and GTBank, which are two of the most profitable banks in Nigeria, have always paid interim dividends to their shareholders. However, analysts earlier predicted that many banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs, in view of COVID-19 and its attendant economic implications. It is, therefore, fascinating to see that Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering interim dividends nonetheless.

Elsewhere, banks around the world have either been warned not to pay dividends at all or to be careful with dividend payouts. In April, The Economic Times reported that the Reserve Bank of India advised Indian banks to suspend dividend payments in order to conserve their capital amid the pandemic. In a similar development, regulators in Europe also banned European banks from paying any dividend in 2020. In Australia, banks were advised to slash their dividend payouts. Meanwhile, over in North America, the US Federal Reserve announced in late June that it will temporarily restrict dividend payouts by some of the country’s biggest banks, the New York Times reported.

As Nairametrics had repeatedly reported, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to adversely impact different sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the financial institutions. An earlier report by Nairametrics quoted Augusto & Co to have predicted how the pandemic would weaken Nigerian banks’ assets. An April report by PwC also highlighted some of the ways COVID-19 could impact Nigerian banks.

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In the meantime, the Banking Industry Risk Indicator (BIRI) in Nigeria stands at a score of 12.14 out of 100, according to a recent analysis by Fitch Solutions, as Nairametrics reported.


Do note that Zenith Bank Plc has declared a closed period for the trading in its stock starting from July 6th, 2020. The closed period will last until 24 hours after the company’s half-year 2020 financial report is released to the public. In the meantime, all persons with inside knowledge of Zenith Bank’s affairs shall be prohibited from buying and selling the company’s stock during the closed period. 

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