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US Journal Announces Dangote as World’s 11th Greatest Leader

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has been ranked 11th in the club of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders for this year.

The rating was announced by Fortune, a multinational business magazine based in New York City, United States. It focuses mainly on privately-run businesses and how their promoters have used them to impact their society positively.

The magazine, which had its maiden edition published in February 1930, said the world’s greatest leaders (both men and women) are transforming the world and inspiring others to do so in business, government, philanthropy and the arts.

It said: “These thinkers, speakers and doers make bold choices and take big risks – and move others to do the same.”

It was learnt that Fortune magazine was recognising and including Aliko Dangote in the annual ranking for the first time. Specifically, Dangote having popped up in the magazine’s radar earned nomination after being adjudged as having used business to acquire wealth and converting the wealth into impactful philanthropy through his Aliko Dangote Foundation.

The top 10 greatest men and women, according to Fortune are: Bill and Melinda Gates; Jacinda Ardem (Prime Minister, New Zealand); Robert Mueller (Special Counsel, Department of Justice); Pony Ma (Founder and CEO, Tencent); Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft); Greta Thunberg (Student and climate activist, Sweden); Margrethe Vestager (Commissioner for Competition, European Union); Anna Nimiriano (Editor-in-Chief, Juba Monitor); Jose Andres (Chef/Founder, World Central Kitchen); and Dough Mcmillon and Lisa Woods (CEO; Senior Director, Strategy & Design for U.S. Benefits, Walmart).

Dangote’s rating as one of the greatest business leaders has attracted comments by eminent persons around the world, who described him as worthy of the nomination going by his business acumen and philanthropic gestures.

Global business giant and founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gate, extolled the efforts of Dangote in making businesses play roles in provision of sound public health through his various interventions in health care issues, especially in the fight against malnutrition and routine polio.

Gates, who tops the list of World’s Greatest Leaders, said: “Aliko Dangote, through his leadership at the Aliko Dangote Foundation, is a key partner in the Polio eradication effort, strengthening routine immunisation and fighting malnutrition in Nigeria and across Africa. Aliko bridges the gap between private business and public health in a unique way and our shared belief that Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive drives our partnership.”

Renowned activist and co-founder of ONE, Paul David Hewson (popularly called Mr. Bono), said he was not surprised at Dangote’s feat globally, describing his vision “as big as the African continent”.

Bono, a global campaigner on taking action to end extreme poverty, especially in Africa said: “Aliko has a vision just the size of his continent, but with humility of somebody who has just started his first job. It’s no surprise to me that Fortune would recognise his leadership because we have seen first-hand, through his service on ONE’s Board, the benefits of his wise counsel and grace.”

Also, economic analyst Bismark Rewane, stated: “Aliko remains understated but very potent and Africa’s most successful and decorated entrepreneur. He is a global financial and managerial behemoth.”

Dangote as Africa’s richest, with a networth of $16.4 billion according to Bloomberg, and four publicly traded companies under the umbrella of his Dangote Industries now account for about a third of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange.

That wealth is based on a big bet on Nigeria’s economic independence: Dangote’s peers give him credit for helping the country become self-sufficient in the sectors in which his companies compete (cement, agriculture and mining)

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) is the Philanthropic endeavor of the business mogul. The main objective of the Foundation is to reduce the number of lives lost to malnutrition and disease. The Foundation is poised to combat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children, as the core of its programming. It has also resolved to use its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of poverty.

Dangote was last year ranked among 75 most powerful persons on the planet. He was rated ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

He has been named among most powerful persons in the world for the past five consecutive years.  According to the Forbe’s 2018 ranking of the World Powerful people, Dangote ranked among world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump – all of whom were ranked first, second and third respectively.

He was the only Nigerian on the list and one of the only two Africans who made the list with the other being the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was ranked 45th most powerful.

He was named among the 100 most influential personalities in the world in 2018 byTime Magazine, a leading business broadcast organisation. The CNBC had earlier in same year ranked Dangote as one of the 25 people that have had most profound impact on business and finance worldwide.

He was rated the most influential African by Jeune Afrique in their classification of the most influential 50 Africans in 2018, and was also named the 6th most charitable person in the world in the same year according to Richtopia, a United Kingdom-based digital platform. He is, in addition, the richest African, according to Forbes.

Dangote stepped up his humanitarian activities recently spending billions of to build hospitals and critical hospital equipment, the lack of which has promoted medical tourism among the few privileged.

He recently donated a N1.2 billion Business School complex to the Bayero University in Kano and another one for the University of Ibadan Business School. Last month, he donated 10 blocks of hall of students’ hostel with capacity for 2,160 beds to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State

Dangote has, through the Foundation been disbursing N10 billion to vulnerable women across the 774 local governments in the country.

Dangote made a donation of $2 million to the World Food Programme as part of efforts to help Pakistani nationals devastated by floods in the year 2010.

He was made the chairperson of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief, which raised in excess of N11.35 billion, of which Dangote himself contributed N2.5 billion, an amount higher than the entire contribution from the 36 state governors in Nigeria.

The Foundation has spent over N7 billion in the troubled Northeast for the reintegration of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

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Unity Bank Partners RIFAN Mega Rice Pyramid Display, Pledges More Support for Farmers

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Agric-focused lender, Unity Bank Plc has partnered Nigerian rice farmers under the aegis of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN to unveil a mega rice pyramid on the occasion of the National Rice Festival held in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Tuesday.

The event, which coincided with the flag-off of the dry season farming, was used to showcase the gains produced by rice farmers in driving self-sufficiency in rice production through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP.

Speaking to newsmen at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, while going down memory lane on the support of the rice farmers by the Bank since the inception of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP commended the rice farmers for their unwavering belief and collaboration in the implementation of the intervention programme, adding that as the PFI (Preferred Financial Institution) for the ABP transactions, the Bank will continue to support the farmers and ensure that more smallholder farmers get the requisite financial support to boost rice production.

She said: “Our strategic partnership with RIFAN started in 2018 when we financed about 273,000 smallholder farmers. This was the largest single-ticket transaction in that year. This financing cut across 33 states of the Federation including the FCT.

“In 2019, the Bank increased the tally by financing another 146,810 smallholder farmers for the wet and dry season farming. This funding cut across 35 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Additional funding was granted to finance additional 221,450 smallholder farmers of the Association across the 32 states of the Federation including FCT for the wet season and additional 300,000 hectares was financed in sixteen states for the 2020 dry season cropping season.

“As of March 2021, the Bank has financed no fewer than 190,000 smallholder rice farmers across 35 states including the FCT, Abuja.”

Speaking further, she said: “The rice pyramids we see here today is an example of the resilience of the farmers and should be replicated in all states with a focus on the crop they have a competitive advantage.

“As we gear the programme towards deepening its penetration to reach more farmers, we encourage all beneficiaries of the Intervention Programme to always utilize the inputs judiciously in order to key into Federal Government’s goal of attaining food sufficiency, diversification of the economy from oil, job creation for the teeming youth and poverty reduction”.

“We remain optimistic that RIFAN under the able leadership of the National President, Aminu Goronyo, will continue to engage its members to drive higher performance under the ABP.”

Through the strategic initiative of the ABP, Nigeria has made incredible gains in rice production over the past six years raising production to significant levels.

Official reports show that from an average yield of 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare in the pre-ABP era, the initiative has increased the country’s average yield per hectare for rice paddy and maize to about five metric tonnes per hectare.

Similarly, the average capacity utilisation per annum of domestic integrated rice mills has jumped to 90 per cent, from the 30 per cent that was the case in the era preceding the advent of the ABP.

Statistics show that there has been a significant reduction in the country’s rice import bill, from a monstrous $1.05 billion prior to November 2015, to the current figure of $18.50 million, annually. The programme has also created an estimated 12.3 million direct and indirect jobs across the different value chains and food belts of the country.

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Wema Bank Affirms Adherence to Best-in-Class Governance Processes

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Nigeria’s leading digital bank, Wema Bank Plc, has reassured its stakeholders that it continues to operate with best-in-class governance processes.

The bank also faulted the premise on which a non-governmental organisation, Transparency Nigeria Group, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to remove its Managing Director/CEO, describing the call as baseless.

The bank reassured its customers and stakeholders that it has and would continue to operate with the highest level of corporate governance, following all rules, policies, and procedures.

“We have no links to any political party and neither are we agents, allies or proxies of any politicians in the country. We are a financial institution solely committed to financial intermediation to enable and fast track the socio-economic development of the country,” the bank said.

The statement further explains that Wema Bank’s observance and strict adherence to due diligence and extant rules and regulations is why it is the oldest surviving indigenous bank in Nigeria.

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FirstBank Holds Nigeria Economic Outlook Webinar for 2022

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced its “Nigerian Economic Outlook Webinar” convened to reflect national and global economic trends that shaped 2021, whilst forecasting the economic outlook of 2022. 

The virtual event themed “A rearview look at 2021, lessons learnt-Outlook 2022” is scheduled by 1 pm on Thursday, 13th January 2022 via Zoom meeting. Click on the link  https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zrF8VViyTp6wnzED_3IpWw    to register and participate in the event. Registration is Free!!!

The webinar aims to set the tone for the year by providing an opportunity for participants to learn directly from economic experts to stay informed and knowledgeably empowered to make the right decisions in their socio-economic activities in 2022 which will be impacted by the micro and macro-economic activities of the country.

With Nigeria’s economy projected to grow by 2.7% in 2022 as predicted by The International Monetary Fund (IMF) based on an expected recovery in crude oil prices and production, Nigeria will see economic activities normalizing. Key economic activities to watch out for in 2022 include the Global Market trends, removal of subsidies, and floatation of the Naira. However, recoveries in the oil sector and maximization of the e-Naira could help keep the parallel market in check. 

Bismarck Rewane, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited and the event’s keynote speaker will lead deliberations at the event. Other speakers are Ini Ebong, Executive Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited Treasury and International Banking; Opeyemi Agbaje, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RTC Advisory Services Limited, Olaitan Martins, Group Executive, Transaction Banking and Augustine Uddin, the Chief Economist, FirstBank.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 over two years ago, the global economy has witnessed viral economic shocks that adversely affected socio-economic activities. These have left many individuals and businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the economic downturn. As a leading financial inclusion services provider in the country, FirstBank has remained committed to providing products, services and initiatives that have been crucial in mitigating the adverse effects of Covid-19 on individuals and households.  

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications of FirstBank, Ms. Folake Ani-Mumuney said ‘being woven into fabric of the society for over 127 years means that we provide value, support and innovation-driven solutions for our stakeholders regardless of the challenges of the pandemic. Our commitment to nation-building is anchored partly on our thought leadership role designed to relentlessly drive growth and scale for all through engagements that showcase versatile subject matter experts endowed with expertise, knowledge and valuable insights. The webinar provides a platform for cross fertilization of ideas and opportunities to learn and grow.  Nigeria is a country rich in human and natural resources and these have helped in the reforms and resilience reflected in the economy in 2021’.  

The COVID 19 pandemic brought disruption and challenges and largely Nigeria adopted measures to contain it. The pandemic also provided opportunities for rebuilding and facilitating economic transformation to close the gap with the rest of the world. These include innovations in information technologies (IT) which have been critical to ensuring business continuity and productivity among firms that have re-designed their work processes as well as telecommunications and payment systems in the e-commerce sub-sector. 

Whilst many of the current government policies are aimed at absorbing the shocks induced by the pandemic, it is important to note that an economy that seeks to recover and build resilience should be one that focuses on innovation and creativity in driving its goal.

The event is for everyone as discussants will have the economic outlook for 2022 dissected so participants are knowledgeably equipped to make the right decisions thereby better planning their business and financial activities.

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