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Access Bank, Others Begin Facebook Programme For Female Entrepreneurs

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Access Bank Plc, in partnership with She Leads Africa, have concluded the first phase of a Facebook programme to assist female entrepreneurs leverage digital platforms to drive growth in their businesses.
Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi disclosed this in a statement in Lagos, yesterday.
Okobi said that the programme, which had the theme: “#SheMeansBusiness’’ was aimed at scaling up the skills of small business owners to leverage social media platforms in accessing more markets in Nigeria and beyond.
He said that the training which kicked off in June was held in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu and Ibadan with over 500 female business owners in attendance.
Speaking on the programme, , Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Victor Etuokwu said the bank was always at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive emerging businesses.
“The idea behind this partnership and empowerment programme is to give our SME customers an opportunity to expand their access to market and increase their visibility to potential customers.
“There are over two billion people on Facebook globally and over 65 billion WhatsApp messages exchanged globally on a daily basis.
“With the right knowledge, our customers can showcase their products to large audiences as well as get leads that will take their businesses forward,” he said.
Also, , Regional and Sales Director, Lagos Mainland of Access Bank, Chigozie Onyeocha, said the bank believed that if SMEs were well supported, the country’s economy would benefit in return.
“We have millions of SME businesses in Nigeria in this category, employing over 60 million Nigerians presently.
“For us, we believe if we support the SMEs sector right, we will have a better economy,’’ he said.
Onyeocha added that the bank initiated the programme because of its belief that women were better managers.
“Women are better managers, and if we engage them well and provide them with the necessary materials and opportunities to grow their businesses, it will help our mission which is to boost the nation’s economy.
“We have loan facilities for women at a low-interest rate, encouraging them to do their businesses right.
“Our goal is to have more empowered women which we believe will deliver a better economy,’’ Onyeocha said.
Also, She Leads Africa’s Digital Marketing Trainer, Adeyemi Adedayo, said the programme was designed for women to upscale and boost their businesses, using Facebook’s family apps, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Adedayo said feedback from the business owners engaged thus far had been tremendous, adding that the initiative had birthed futuristic businesses that would drive the economy.
He lauded Access Bank for keying into the objective of Facebook’s human empowerment to achieve a robust economy.
One of the participants, Bolanle Alabi, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Easy Flight Travels, Lagos, said the training taught her to locate and attract her target audience, give direct information and create the right profile.

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NCC Reassures On Protection Of Customers

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has assured telecommuication consumers that they would continue to get the right value for their money
It also said that it would continue to address challenges in the industry.
The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance at NCC Day at Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Tafawa Balewa Square.
He said as the regulator of the industry, the commission is aware of the huge responsibilities of safeguarding the interests of all the stakeholders.
Represented by the commission’s Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Ismail Adedigba, the NCC boss said the forum was specially organised to strategise with the consumers to seek and proffer solutions to various telecom issues confronting them.
He said: “The NCC as the telecom regulator is aware that this feat of telecom being central to our daily life could not have been achieved without the consumers and as such identifies the consumer as a very important stakeholder in the telecom industry.
“This is evident in the Eight Point Agenda  of the commission where the empowerment and protection of the consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services is emphasised.”
Danbatta  said the NCC as a regulator has devised ways for subscribers to lodge complaints when they are dissatisfied with the services provided by operators, adding that the commission will also apply appropriate regulatory measures and sanctions against erring service provider.
He said one of the issues affecting telecoms consumers which the commission has proffered solution to is the issue of telemarketing, commonly known as unsolicited text message.

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Human Capital Dev, Key To Mining Sector – Minister

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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite says human capital development is key to growing the mining sector.
He said this yesterday in Abuja when he visited the  Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to inspect some of its facilities.
The minister said developing human capital in the mining sector was necessary to build the right expertise to do things like certification of minerals locally, rather than going to South Africa and other countries to do same.
“If we do certification of minerals here, things will be easier and people can even come from other countries to have their minerals certified in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a great country, and I am sure we have the resources in terms of human capital, let us train our people so we can achieve this.
“I have no doubt that we can do it, and I know that the NGSA is doing well and I will like us to keep it that way,’’ the minister said.
Adegbite also expressed concern that the engineering profession was currently dominated by men, saying that there was the need to encourage women into the profession.
According to him, girls in universities should be given career talk to encourage them to take to the profession.
The minister also tasked Nigerians on the need to be patriotic and to always have the interest of the country at heart, as this was critical to ensuring its greatness.
“Let us all have Nigeria’s interest first and foremost at heart, if we do that, Nigeria will be greater, and we will all leave peacefully.
“When Nigeria is great, it is able to provide for more.
“All this banditry we are having all over the place is because the growth that Nigeria has experienced has been exclusive, a lot of people had been left behind.
“And when people are left behind, the result is desperation and this had led to banditry, kidnapping and others vices,” he said.
Adegbite charged the management of the agency to feel free to come up with ideas on how to move the agency forward.
The minister also inaugurated the agency’s Mineral Museum and Customer Service Centre.
Earlier, NGSA Director-General Dr Abdulrazaq Garba said the museum was established for the archiving of Nigeria’s scientific breakthroughs and geological heritage.
Garba said the agency‘s geological museums and collections were a great national asset that contributed to culture, research, scientific education and public engagement.
He added that it had also formed an intrinsic part of research carried out in the past and played a key role as a source of evidence in exploration of the nation’s natural resources.
Speaking on the recent persistent earth tremors experienced in parts of the country, especially around Abuja, Garba said proactive measures were being taken to predict, detect and monitor earth movement and earthquake related activities.
According to him, the agency has procured and deployed earthquake monitoring equipment in form of high sensitivity volksmeter II in some parts of Abuja and Kaduna.
The Director General said the agency was collaborating with various institutions both locally and internationally with a view to adding value to its activities.

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MOSOP Plans Template On Oil Production In Ogoni

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The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), says it will soon set up a template for discussion around the issue of oil production in Ogoniland.
President of the movement, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pgagbara, who disclosed this at the 24th Ogoni Martyrs Day in Port Harcourt, recently said the resumption of oil production in Ogoniland must involve a broad based discussion with the people.
“Our points remain that any resumption of oil production in Ogoni must involve a broad based discussion with the Ogoni community taking into account that the oil industry and Ogoni had been in dispute and the issues surrounding this dispute have not been settled” he said.
The MOSOP president also stressed the need for the people to find a united platform that will protect their interest.
Also speaking the president of KAGOTE, Dr Peter Mede, said his organisation and MOSOP were working together to advance the common interest of the Ogonis.
Dr Mede also said KAGOTE was in support of the move by the Federal Government to conduct a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He said the 24th commemoration marked another milestone in the Ogoni struggle and used the occasion to pass a vote of confidence on the Lgborsi Suro Pgagbara led MOSOP.
The chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ben Naanen, said the Ogonis lost a whole generation to the struggle.
He, however, commended MOSOP for keeping the memories of Ogoni heroes alive.

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