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Corporate Press Releases

Firstbank announces its FirstGem annual conference 4.0

FirstGem has successfully empowered women in states across the geo-political zones in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced the fourth edition of its annual FirstGem Conference, tagged FirstGem 4.0. The 2021 event is themed “The Art of Negotiation” and convened to provide women with insights on the secrets of wealth management, investment and savings. It is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Participants are required to register via the link http://bit.ly/firstbankwebinar

The product, FirstGem, is an account designed specifically to meet the needs of women, aged 18 years and above. The product is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women to promote their business through an array of benefits such as free business advisory services on business funding, specialized training on business development initiatives (online and physical), regular information or insights on business opportunities or openings in various sectors and industries. FirstGem account owners have access to mouth-watering discounts at merchant outlets (spas, salons, grocery stores) that offer lifestyle products and services.

The Guest Speakers at the event are Mrs. Ibukun Awosika – Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Prof Pedro Videla – Prof. of Economics at IESE Business School and Prof Mehta Kandarp, Senior Lecturer, IESE Business School. They would respectively speak on the topics: the theme of the International Women’s Day “Choose to Challenge,” The Current State of the Global Economy and How It Impacts Business Decisions, and Negotiation as a Tool for Winning in Business & Career.

During the event, FirstBank SME customers would be given the opportunity to pitch their business idea and stand a chance to get N1,000,000 seed fund to kick-start their business. The business ideas would be judged by the following criteria; Originality, Feasibility, Good presentation skills and Sustainability.

Speaking on the event, Mr. Francis Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, Firstbank said “The FirstGem 4.0 is the icing on the cake in the streams of initiatives and activities we have organised and participated in March as we join the world to celebrate women for the indelible roles they play in our society. Through these activities, we spearhead the call on the need to promote women inclusiveness in the country as the role they play towards the continued socio-economic growth and development of any given society cannot be overemphasized.”

Shedding light on the impact of the FirstGem account, he said “our FirstGem account is specifically designed to meet the financial needs of women as it offers unrivalled services that empower women to do more and achieve more. It seeks to drive financial development and the empowerment of women through gender engineered programs. At FirstBank, we recognize that promoting female entrepreneurship and empowerment is crucial to a better society,” he concluded.

Since the product launch in October 2016, the Bank has implemented various activities targeted at promoting female empowerment, impact and influence in the economy; through its online portal – designed to provide a virtual online community with over 61,293 members where like-minded women irrespective of where they are in Nigeria and abroad, gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything about lifestyle, motherhood, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family. We encourage all women to join the community by signing up via this link https://firstgem.com.ng/community to enjoy this experience.

FirstGem has successfully empowered women in states across the geo-political zones in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

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Corporate Press Releases

Syngenta, WACOT partner to boost Nigeria’s food security

WACOT and Syngenta would collaborate with farmers and others to sustainably improve the most important factor in agriculture – yield.

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feeding Nigeria’s current and future population

Leading food and agro-processing company in West Africa, WACOT Limited, and leading global agritech company Syngenta Crop Protection are partnering for impact to further boost Nigeria’s food security and ensure sustainable development of the agriculture sector.

This would see Syngenta Crop Protection working closely with WACOT over the next five years to help improve the sustainability, quality and safety of Nigeria’s agriculture with world-class science and innovative crop solutions.

Although Nigeria’s agriculture sector is the country’s highest employer of labour, accounting for 70 per cent, it has suffered low output resulting in poor returns for farmers and massive food import.

The partnership agreement with WACOT Limited, which operates in all 36 states in Nigeria and supports production of crops including rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, cotton and vegetables, will therefore help further Nigeria’s drive towards attaining self-sufficiency in food.

Through this partnership with WACOT, Syngenta would collaborate with farmers and others to sustainably improve the most important factor in agriculture – yield. This will take the form of WACOT supporting the Nigerian farmer on cost-effective agronomic practices, advanced crop protection methods through the usage of yield enhancement products and biological compounds to consolidate the growth of the agriculture sector in the country.

Commenting on the partnership, CEO of the Agri division of TGI Group, the parent company of WACOT Limited, Ramesh Moochikal stated that it desired for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in crop production and would look to enter into strategic partnerships to achieve this goal.

Moochikal said: “We are most pleased with this partnership that would further help us achieve our dream for Nigeria – food security and self-sufficiency. Nigerian farmers are hardworking, and we know that if we can make them aware of better crop production practices and make results of our research and development efforts available to them, things will improve, and the agri sector as a whole would benefit.”

Also speaking, Syngenta Crop Protection West Africa Head, Franck Tokore said the company was proud of its relationship with WACOT and would continue supporting Nigerian farmers.

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He said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with WACOT. Through this partnership, we provide quality solutions to farmers in Nigeria and help support food security and livelihoods in Africa’s most populous country. By supporting farmers in Nigeria to sustainably increase their yields, we are also helping them be more competitive globally, hence reducing the need for imports. Nigeria has huge potential, which we strive to unlock sustainably through this partnership”.

Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, comprising Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds. It aspires to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. Its technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources responsibly.

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Over the years, WACOT has consistently focused on contributing to food security in Nigeria. It has developed a strong portfolio of Agri inputs to fuel the country’s self-sufficiency in agriculture.

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Corporate Press Releases

Edo, emerging role model for digital economy – Ekeh, Zinox boss

The serial digital entrepreneur declared that Edo boasts ready whiz kids who can defend the state and Nigeria in the 21st Century.

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Africa’s foremost digital disruptor and founder, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has disclosed that Edo State has the requisite attributes to become a model for digital economy in Nigeria.

Ekeh made this known on Monday, April 12, 2021.

The Zinox boss was speaking during a smart exploratory visit to Benin, the Edo State capital for likely expansion and investment purposes. The serial digital entrepreneur, who seized the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, expressed his surprise at the massive rate of digital adoption in the state, even as he declared that Edo boasts ready whiz kids who can defend the state and Nigeria in the 21st Century.

‘‘The wealth of Edo State lies not in its current Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile, its population or level of infrastructural development in the state but in its growing army of digitally ready youths, many of whom will become certified and sustained billionaires in the nearest future,’’ Ekeh stated.

The Zinox boss, who was conducted round some of the tech hubs in the state in company of some of his Management staff, expressed amazement at the brilliance of the youths he encountered at the centres, among whom are software developers and coders, digital graphic artists, social media creatives, fashion designers and automobile technicians, among others.

Ekeh, who also addressed specifically the young girls in the hubs, encouraged them to keep up building up their capacities, even as he assured them that they are bound to become global leaders soon as it is now more an extra blessing to have girls than boys in this century, noting that by the second quarter of the century, billionaires would no longer be assessed by their monetary values or gender, but by their future earnings and family values.

The Zinox Chairman hailed the cultured disposition of the young ladies, jokingly noting that if he were to marry today, he will go for a tech-savvy Edo girl already prepared to rule the world.

‘‘This was how I took a decision those old days when I married my wife as a knowledge star with a First Class in Mathematics, a UK-certified accountant with an MBA. Be proud of your state and country of birth and the knowledge privileges you are enjoying under Governor Obaseki and continue to pray for good leadership. Your Governor has made all of you global citizens because you have great value to add to the society as wealth creators and not a burden to the society,’’ he counselled the youths.

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He affirmed that the coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, stating that a state like Edo, for instance, has taken advantage of it to double down on its embrace of technology, while some states may not have been conscious of using digital tools to upgrade the knowledge of their citizens.

‘‘I felt the power of enforced digital knowledge in February when I celebrated my birthday. I received over 12,000 messages through texts, WhatsApp, Facebook, emails, etc. It was impossible to reply all well-wishers. After a few days, I woke up one morning to pray for all persons and organisations that wished me well including Mr. President. It was unprecedented but that reassured me that I did not waste my 36 years of preaching digital democracy and doing IT evangelism.

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‘‘It is obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic and its encumbrances has helped Edo State turn more attention to transforming the state into a digital economy. This is highly commendable. Although the current wave of digital revolution was birthed by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has also dedicated huge attention to the importance of building a digital economy in Nigeria, especially with the renaming of the Ministry of Communications and the appointment of Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, a digitally-savvy professional to man it.’’

Ekeh commended Obaseki for bringing his exposure to bear in building a knowledge base in the state, adding that the state has gone about the initiative without making a noise about it. Further, the Zinox boss disclosed that the benefits of leveraging technology in all facets of human endeavour cannot be over-emphasised in the 21st Century, even as he reiterated that it is the only resource today that can bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

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Also speaking at the event, Obaseki emphasised the determination of his administration to leave a lasting legacy in the state through a deliberate focus on technology.

‘‘While receiving the Founder Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Ekeh, I reassured that my administration will continue to pursue policies and programmes to enhance digital transformation for businesses in the state, so as to increase their competitive advantage, improve performance and boost growth.

‘‘For us as government, our role is to create an enabling environment; an environ for people to be successful. It is evident, over the last four years, how we have focused on the electrification of Edo state, human capacity building and other notable projects to drive the state’s economy,’’ Obaseki stated.

Meanwhile, Zinox, one of the Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) licensed by the Federal Government, is expected to roll out a multi-billion-naira broadband deployment in the entire 95 local government areas in the South East, a project which analysts believe will unleash the sheer human capital potential of the region and transform it into an investors’ delight.

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