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PEF Saves N360Bn through e-Loading – Kasali

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Mrs Adefunke Kasali, former executive secretary, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), said the agency saved more than two billion dollars (about N360 billion) through ‘Project Aquila’.

Kasali announced this while handing over duties to the new Executive Secretary, Mrs Asabe Ahmed in Abuja on Thursday.

Project Aquila is a high-tech electronic loading and delivery system introduced by PEF to check leakages as well as enthrone transparency and due process in the system.

According to her, PEF has been able to check fraudulent activities among petroleum marketers. “The initiative, also known as e-loading, ensures the delivery of petroleum products to the right destination.

“The process has checkmated annual loss of N15 billion to the activities of unscrupulous petroleum tanker drivers who engage in unethical activities such as diversion of some petroleum products,” she said.

Kasali added that the agency had taken a bold step to eliminate corruption and ensure prompt payment of bridging cost through Project Aquila.

“We have cleansed the entire system, we have cleansed the downstream system. We went from a manual system of operation where it took between 16 or 18 months before claim was paid to where we pay in two or four weeks.

“The system of giving out 10 or 15 per cent before you collect your cheque is gone. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gave us an award in 2013.

“We were the agency government understudied to direct all Federal Government agencies to commence e-payment because PEF did it and we have been recognised for it,” she said.

She added that through the initiative, PEF had detected and stopped payment of more than N847million in fictitious claims by petroleum marketers.

Kasali said the project had also been able to remove encumbrances such as late payment of bridging claims that caused distortions in the supply chain.

“Just look at the way we designed the business. We saved two billion dollars upfront because we wrote the codes

Kasali refuted claims that the board was underpaying some marketers or delaying their payments, saying that the PEFMB had been consistent in paying the right claims due to marketers.

This, she said, was in accordance with their capacity as approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources. “Those who are complaining are those the robust Project Aquila has blocked their old ways of milking the system and are uncomfortable with the new measures imposed to check past abuses.

“If any marketer said he was not paid, it means we could not confirm that they were loaded. So, if somebody said his claim had been stocked, it meant that they were not loaded.”

Mrs Asabe Ahmed, new executive secretary, lauded the achievements of Kasali and said she was going to build on them. “I can see a team of highly motivated professionals, the efficiency I have seen in the system is due to all of you. I have come to carry on from where she has left off.

“Not a whole lot is going to change in terms of process that is already in place. I can only build on outstanding ones recommended for upgrading,” she said.

She, therefore, called for cooperation of the staff, stressing that the industry was a complex one that needed the cooperation of all the stakeholders.


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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