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NIPOST Assures SMEs of Support

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Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) will support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through its digital platforms, according to Bisi Adegbuyi, postmaster general of the federation.

 

According to him, “There are several ways how we can use the post to enhance and promote small business owners. We can address the challenges associated with SME business in Nigeria such as lack of access to funds, lack of access to market and inadequate logistics, through our innovative platforms that are now digital.”

 

Determined to assist the SME business, the e-Commerce department of NIPOST recently went into partnership with technology savvy Nigerians to create the NIPOST market platform that aggregates the products and services of SMEs and internationalise it by taking such products and services to online for the world to see and have access to them, using the NIPOST wide network, the Postmaster General added.

 

“We are aware that access to credit facilities is a major challenge to SMEs, which is linked to identity management of the small business owners. To address this challenge which has denied SMEs the opportunity to credit facilities, NIPOST is leveraging existing technologies to deploy state-of-art hyper specific addressing system that will help SMEs have genuine identity that could give them access to loans for business expansion.

 

“With a smartphone with internet connectivity, SMEs can go online and download NIPOST Addressing System from the Google Play Store and they will be given digital address system free of charge, and it comes with the fully digitalised post code,” Adegbuyi said.

 

He explained that Under the Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative of commercial banks, SMEs with addressing system and post code, could easily be identified and have quick access to soft loans. The NIPOST Address Verification System is ready and will be launched soon. In the past, postal order were used as a means of exchange of money but all that are no more.

 

“But with technology innovation, we have come up with a robust e-money order that will replace the old manual postal order and it will soon be launched to the public, which we believe will help to further deepen cashless economy and bring in more SMEs into the CBN financial inclusion strategy.

 

NIPOST, according to him, has the widest network because of its presence in all the 36 states and all the 774 local government areas of the federation, and that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted NIPOST an international money transfer operator’s licence, that will enable NIPOST start with inbound remittances to drive SMEs businesses in the country. We have equally signed an agreement with Western Union and they will be using the post offices as payout. Remittances drives development and our plan is to use the post in sustain the country’s developmental goals, especially those geared towards SME business, Adegbuyi said.

 

Mrs. Tayo Taye Ajayi, general manager, EMS, the courier arm of NIPOST,  said NIPOST, through its courier arm, has made mail delivery a lot easier.

 

According to her, the volume of mail traffic has improved over the years, reaching above 350,000 mails for speedpost in 2018. She said delivery within West African countries now take only four days and five days for other African countries. In the area of volume of sales, Ajayi said in 2017, EMS raked N1.8 billion in revenue but that the sales volume dropped in 2018 to N1.2 billion.

 

Dr. Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, recently directed the Postmaster General of the Federation to stop cash payments across the counters of NIPOST offices nationwide. The order, according to Pantami, was meant to curb corrupt practices of some staff of NIPOST who were in the habit of collecting money from customers without remitting same to government.

 

In a statement signed by Mrs. Uwa Suleman, spokesperson to the Minister:  the Minister said: “It has come to the attention of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, that some unscrupulous elements, have been taking undue advantage of the cash payment system under the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), to engage in corrupt practices.

 

“In line with the anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari and the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Honourable Minister hereby directs the Post Master General, to with immediate effect, suspend all existing cash payment plans within its establishments nationwide. The Post Master General, is to ensure that all its offices revert to Point of Sales (PoS) and bank teller transactions immediately.”

 

According to the statement, “The general public and all customers of NIPOST, are hereby encouraged to insist on Point of Sales (PoS) or bank teller transactions, when conducting business with NIPOST. This directive is a temporary measure in the interim to tackle corruption, as we are currently working on fully automating the systems as a permanent solution to the challenge.”

 


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Verve Rewards 600 Customers in Good Life Promo

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Africa’s leading payment technology and card brand, Verve International, has rewarded 600 customers so far after the third weekly draws in the ongoing Verve ‘Good Life’ Promo.

Verve rewarded the lucky cardholders at prize presentation ceremonies held in various locations across the country recently.

Amongst the 300 lucky cardholders that emerged winners of the N10,000 cash prize in the weekly raffle draws that have held three times were: Adeleke Moshood, a student from Oyo State; Adeogun Shakiru, an automobile specialist and Rashidat Abolaji, a businesswoman, both from Lagos State.

Another set of 300 Verve cardholders emerged winners of airtime worth N5,000, bringing the total amount won so far to N4.5 million Naira.

Speaking during the draws, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, expressed her delight about the number of cardholders that have been rewarded lately.

Eromosele reiterated Verve’s resolve to continue to provide secure, convenient and reliable payment solutions for its cardholders.

She said: “Because our cardholders are of priority to us at Verve, beyond providing them brilliant payment solutions, we are rewarding them for their loyalty with the expectation that the reward helps them achieve the good life, whatever the good life means to them”.

Verve recently launched a nationwide promo tagged The Verve ‘Good Life’ Promo which kicked off on September 1, 2020 and will run till November 29, 2020.

The promo seeks to enable Verve’s loyal cardholders to live the good life, whatever the ‘good life’ means to them.

The promo is targeted at rewarding over 2,500 Verve cardholders nationwide, with over N27million Naira in cash and airtime, during the course of 12 weeks duration of the promo.

With three weeks concluded out of the twelve weeks of the promo, Verve cardholders have eight more weeks to keep transacting with their cards and standing the chance to win.

Other Nigerians presently without Verve cards but have the desire to enjoy the good life, can take advantage of this eight-week window to ask their respective banks for a Verve card in order to start transacting, to qualify to win from an array of exciting prizes.

The prizes have been categorized into four segments, with their respective qualification requirements as follows:

Weekly Prize category 1 – N10,000 cash for 100 winners weekly, requires at least 3 transactions weekly. Weekly Prize category 2 – N5,000 for 100 airtime every week, requires at least 3 transactions weekly.

Monthly Prize category – N50,000 cash for 50 winners every month, requires at least 12 times monthly Grand Prize category – N1,000,000 cash for 2 winners, requires at least 36 transactions from now till the end of the promo.

Prospective winners of the Verve ‘Good Life’ promo should consistently use their Verve cards within the next eight weeks, across payment channels such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Web and agent banking centers.


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World Cleanup Day: Coca-Cola Partners NGOs, Recovers Over 900kg of Plastic Waste

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World Cleanup Day, celebrated globally on September 19, 2020, saw diverse people come together to combat the solid waste problem through numerous community cleanup activities.

 

To mark this day, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited partnered with two local NGOs – African Cleanup Initiative and Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), on cleanup activities across Lagos and Ibadan.

African Cleanup Initiative held cleanup activities across numerous locations in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. This outreach saw more than 200 volunteers gather to collect over 1,500kg of solid waste materials and about 300kg of recyclable waste materials.

 

At the Lagos event, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mrs Belinda Aderonke Odeneye, applauded the programme.

 

She expressed the Lagos State Government’s delight at being part of the cleanup activity. Odeneye, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Sanitation Services Department of the Ministry, Mrs Toyin Oguntola, went further to encourage citizens to be environmentally responsible.

She stated, “The government can only perform excellently with law-abiding citizens. We all have a role to play in waste management and ignoring those responsibilities will make all the efforts of the government futile”. 

 

Similarly, the International Coastal Cleanup held at Bonny Camp Coastline by Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC) also produced outstanding results with about 600kg of marine plastic waste materials recovered and over 250kg of marine debris sent to the landfill. The outreach saw participation from over 100 volunteers.

 

These activities are in line with Coca-Cola’s vision for a World Without Waste and the company’s commitment to doing business sustainably.

 

Speaking on its World Without Waste initiatives, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “We all have a responsibility to keep our environment clean and Coca-Cola is not left out as we remain committed to promoting a sustainable environment through our plastic recycling and recovery activities, as well as other environmental initiatives”. 

With the award of grants of over $800,000 by The Coca-Cola Foundation to multiple local NGOs, several recycling and women empowerment programs are being implemented to help address the issue of environmental protection while simultaneously empowering women who remain significant pillars of the environment.

 


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TETFund Seeks Increased Annual Research Funding of $1bn

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Thursday, urged the federal to increase its yearly funding for Research and Development (R&D) to $1 billion. This was as it hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion.

Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary of TETFund, speaking at the inauguration of TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee in Abuja, said massive investment in research would bring about the much-needed development in the country.

Bogoro also said it was time for the promulgation of a law that will bring into full place what he referred to as the “National R&D Foundation (NRDF)” to deepen research in the country.

Hear him:”To galvanize our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated.

“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of 1billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this Foundation.

“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.”

Prof. Bogoro, who said the TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee is expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that is suitable for efficient research activities in the country, called for a robust collaboration between researchers and the private sector to bring about all-round development in the country.

“It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it,” he said.

Prof. Bogoro lauded the recent performance of Nigerian universities in the world’s ranking, saying TETFund intervention projects have continued to encourage such feats.

On his side, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while inaugurating the committee, called on members to put their best to the work he described as ‘national assignment.’

Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, Adamu said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria.

“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.

“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT).

“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said the work of the committee would open the windows of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.

Suleiman, represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.

He said, “Research is the gateway of innovation. It is said that while countries like the USA, Korea, and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern.”

He encouraged beneficiaries to take good advantage of the initiative to solve problems for the betterment of the country.

Responding, the Chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch-making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring the robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.

“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” he said.

The standing committee whose membership is drawn from the academic, industry, and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three Vice Presidents.


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