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Heritage Bank backs global movement for affordable solar electricity in Lagos

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Heritage Bank Plc has aligned forces with ‘Liter of Light Nigeria’, a global open source movement, to provide sustainable solar electricity for Itomaro community in Lagos State.

Passionate about making cheap and sustainable solar street lights accessible to the impoverished off-grid communities in Nigeria, the partnership, on Thursday, launched 35 units of solar energy-powered street lights it produced for the community. The movement comprises a group of Nigerian students of the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, who is passionate about making a positive difference to the world through the gift of light.

In his remarks to the beneficiary community during the launch, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, who was represented by Ozena Utulu, Head, Brand Management & Sustainability, Heritage Bank Plc, commended the people living in the community for giving access to the joint team of Heritage Bank and Liter of Light Nigeria to execute the project.

He noted that it takes two to tango; stressing that without their confidence in the project the achievement recorded would not have been possible. She therefore commended the youth of the community, who volunteered to participate in the training sessions organized during the two-week period of the production of the street lights.

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Sekibo was confident that with the knowledge acquired during the training sessions, the effective maintenance of the new street lights would not be difficult. Her words: “These youth already have the knowledge required to ensure the street lights are effectively sustained and to produce more units.”

The MD charged those youth to research more into what solar energy can be used for in the contemporary world. She stated: “Read more about solar energy; you never can tell where the knowledge you have acquired under the programme can lead to in the future. My advice for you is try to discover yourself now concerning what you would love to become in the future and begin to work towards achieving the goal.

Sekibo’s words: “Use the knowledge acquired today to create wealth. The power rests with you now. In everything you do in life, challenges can come; but remain steadfast and confront whatever storm of life. With such determination, you will achieve your goal.”

Meanwhile, Enemona Adaji, one of the Project Co-coordinators for Liter of Light, disclosed that the movement was founded with the aim of providing ecologically sustainable street lights. According to him, the easily constructed device consists of a 1-2L bottle fashioned into a solar bulb delivering as much light as a 40 – 60-watt incandescent bulb.

According to him, the team had earlier provided100 sustainable and affordable solar-powered lightings to the Makoko slum, an area which previously struggled with lighting.

Also speaking at the event, Emma Tayou, representative of the University of Nottingham; explained that the institution has culture of charging its students to think about any viable project that can help to positively impact the society.

According to her, a group of Nigerian students of the university decided that they would take on the challenge of lighting up the dark streets of impoverished communities in this country. She said the university bought into the idea and supported them with the take-off grant that set the initial pedestal for them.

She therefore commended the team for the sacrifices each member is making to ensure the mission is accomplished in every community selected.

Among the 25 volunteers, who participated in the project in Itomaro are: Emmanuel Mustapha and Abraham Samuel.

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CNN meets Nigerian footwear designer Kene Rapu

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On this week’s episode of African Voices, CNN International meets Nigerian footwear designer, Kene Rapu to learn more about how she grew her business and became the successful entrepreneur she is today.

Rapu explains how her interest in fashion began at an early age: “I was always, it sounds a little bit cliché, but I was always stylish because I was passionate, people would ask me for advice. Modelling got me into the fashion world [and I] made a lot of connections from working with Lagos Fashion and Design Week over the years… I did some beauty competitions, I was interested in fashion and beauty, but I wouldn’t say that I knew I was going to get into fashion as a business.”

She explains how a career in fashion wasn’t her first choice and that she originally studied law: “As a Nigerian, you always go for something safe and lawyers are safe… I figured out during my law school year that I didn’t want to practice law… I decided I wanted to go into fashion. I went back to the London College of Fashion and got a master’s degree in fashion entrepreneurship.”
Rapu began designing shoes after experiencing limited shoe options. She tells CNN: “I don’t wear heels, so I am very limited in my choice of footwear, and that’s how it really started…

Sometimes you would order abroad and having someone [who is] travelling bring it in, or you would have to go and search for something cute. It wasn’t at your door step… I found there was that need, which I didn’t find anyone filling at the time.”

Speaking about how her company started, she explains: “I started from home. I worked with local cobblers [and] we made the slippers. And I remember, everyone was like, ‘Oh, we love your slippers, where did you get them from?’ And people started placing orders. That’s really how [we] started…. We opened our first store three years ago.”

Rapu explains to the programme how her designs are influenced by her identity and why she’s proud to support ‘made in Nigeria’: “Our styles are also very much a reflection of myself. The brand is my name, so it is intertwined. We work a lot with Ankara print, which is sort of linked to Nigeria, and so that has influenced us… You see a lot of Nigerian women wearing this print, so they’re excited when they see the print in slippers, as well… The Nigerian fashion industry is growing… There was a point where no one really used to buy things made in Nigeria. We would either buy things that were imported from abroad or we would shop abroad … We weren’t really buying Nigerian. Overall, I would say the past ten years, there’s almost been a wave to buy Nigerian [products].”
Since starting her business in 2011, Rapu has continued to grow her company and was chosen to participate in the prestigious Tony Elumelu Foundation Program. Moreover, Kene Rapu was named one of Forbes Africa’s top 30 game-changers under 30. About the honour, Rapu tells CNN: “[It] was exciting, which was a great honour. I was very humbled… When I look back, I think, ‘How did this thing even? You know, this is insane. This is ridiculous. How did you get to this level?’”
In addition to running her footwear company, the young designer also helps inspire others and give back to the community. She tells the programme: “I started a workshop series at the end of last year… And by the time we were done they were so happy. They couldn’t even believe it. They were like, ‘There must be a catch. Why would you tell us all this information?’… I feel like because I have been blessed to have exposure, to have a good education, to have access to fantastic mentors, I think it’s only nice to pay it forward.”

On being a woman in business, Rapu simply says: “I’m a woman, obviously, but I see myself as what am I good at? How can I fulfil my purpose? How can I work my hardest? How can I do what I need to do? I feel like we all really just need to work together, to be the best we can be.”

Credit: CNN

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Nigeria reportedly drops by 3 points in Global Competitive Index

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Contrary to reports that Nigeria improved by 10 points in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, reports has proven otherwise.

Going by the figures above, the country actually dropped with 3 points in the Global Competitive Index.

 

 

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Lagos sets to host Second Nigeria Beer Festival, promises Maximum Entertainment

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As Lagos State is set to host the second edition of the Nigeria Beer Festival from Thursday October 25th to Wednesday October 31st, 2018, organisers of the event has promised to crown the week-long event with maximum entertainment to fun loving Lagosians.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the event in Lagos on Wednesday, Mr. FolaAdeyemi, the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture explained that the festival is in line with government’s agenda to grow the tourism and economy of the state.

He stated that Lagos state is collaborating with beer brewers in the country and their counterparts across the globeto stimulate the economic and tourism potentials in the State.

He enjoined Lagosians to come out in their large numbers to enjoy the ambience of the festival, assuring that the city is safe for fun lovers because of the various infrastructure development by the state such as Light-up Lagos among others.

“Lagos is a city state and in league with great cities all over the world. We are actually moving the state to a 24 hour economy and this festival will be part of the beneficiaries. Lagos is safe for fun and business. We are joining the global tourism world to create impact on the economy of Lagos and Nigeria.” he said.

Also speaking at the event, AkinolaOluwaleimu, General Manager of On and One Events Limited, the organisers of the festival informed that the festival will be held at the EkoAtlantic City, Bar Beach Water front Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos to give it a carnival atmosphere.

He noted that the festival, will promote responsible drinking among drinking-age (18 +) consumers at all its touch points.

According to him, the event, since it debuted last year, has seen Nigeria enrolled into the league of Beer Festivals around the world, and boost the country’s tourism opportunities.

“It will be a gathering of the largest community of beer consumers from across the country and beyond.This year’s edition will be bigger, better and “beertiful”, he said.

He revealed that the 2017 edition attracted over ten thousand beer enthusiasts and consequently the Festival has proven to become a major international tourist event in Nigeria with a potential to compete with other international beer festivals around the world.

“Nigeria Beer Festival will be a carnival week of entertainment, sales and marketing and a gathering of the largest community of beer consumers from across the country to bond and ‘beer’,” Oluwaleimu assured.

He added that the Nigeria Beer Festival will provide a fitting ambience to showcase culture and lifestyle in a carnival atmosphere with various beer brands and other alcoholic drinks in Nigeria connecting with their existing and potential consumers.

Oluwaleimu maintained that the festival, which will commence 4 p.m daily is a big opportunity for major breweries to exhibit and deliver various offerings of beer brands to the teeming consumers to strengthen brand relationship with them. “The timing promises an after work relaxation environment to bond with friends and associates, he said”

He also acknowledged the support of the Lagos State government through His Excellency, Governor AkinwunmiAmbode who found the private driven initiative worthy enough of its endorsement and providing necessary logistics supportin security, health, safety and publicity to ensure a hitch free event.

 

 

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