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Lancaster University Honours Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels



–University Vice Chancellor – He Makes Alma Mater Proud

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, was on Friday conferred the award of a Distinguished Alumni of the Lancaster University. The award was conferred on him at a special convocation ceremony of the university held at its Ghana Campus.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mark Smith, who spoke during the event, praised Ozigbo for his laudable achievements recorded over the years since he graduated from the university.

He said, “Your extraordinary achievements in both the banking and luxury hospitality industries are impressive, as is your passion for promoting youth empowerment through initiatives such as youth leadership forums.

“This award is therefore to appreciate these achievements as we believe that your contribution to your field will be an inspiration to current Lancaster University students and their parents,” he noted.

Ozigbo who expressed delight over the honour accorded to him by his alma mater, commended the ideals of the school, which according to him contributed immensely towards molding him to the heights he had achieved till date.

He said, “My studies at Lancaster University laid a solid foundation in my life for the progress I achieved, because soon after my graduation, I started off with then Standard Trust Bank (which became United Bank for Africa), and was charged with the responsibilities that had global outlook in nature, including managing investment banking clients, embassies and multilaterals and later on global expansion.

“So, the fact that this was a top international University and the specialized discipline I majored in, among others, contributed to the decision to work in these international areas. I excelled in each of these areas because Lancaster University exposed and prepared me well. Therefore, I give credit to Lancaster University for my modest achievements,” he said.

Ozigbo, a Chevening Scholar, graduated in 2004 from the Lancaster University Management School England with an outstanding Masters Degree in Finance, with Distinction. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Accounting (1994), emerging the best Student in the faculty, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Banking and Finance (2000), both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He is a fellow of many professional bodies, notably Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Since leaving Lancaster University in 2004, Mr. Ozigbo has achieved a lot in both professional, personal and community life. He spent a total of 17 years in the banking industry rising to the level of General Manager before transitioning to the hospitality industry where he led the positive transformation of Transcorp Hotels Plc for over 7 years, winning many awards locally, regionally and globally, including Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality CEO of the Year Award (presented at a global event in Spain).

Ozigbo is also known for his youth empowerment works. Apart from leading the effort, with another friend of his in donating books from Lancaster University to the University of Nigeria, where they first graduated from, he has been involved in a number of mentorship, youth empowerment and community development initiatives.

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Airtel Customers to Get Free Data in New Recharge Plus Offer



In line with its commitment to bridge the digital divide as well as empower more telecoms consumers, leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has unveiled a new offer that will gift customers 250MB data weekly if they recharge their lines.

Under the new Recharge Plus offer, customers are encouraged to dial *479# to view their weekly recharge status and as soon as a customer recharges up to the specified amount, he/she is instantly gifted with 250mb complimentary data with no terms and conditions attached.
Airtel says the Recharge Plus offer, which is in line with its ‘Data is Life’ thematic campaign, is an innovative way of empowering telecoms consumers to do more, achieve more, become more productive and to succeed in their professional and personal endeavours.

“At Airtel, we are always looking for ways to reward and delight our customers in line with our quest to bridge the digital divide.

“With this new offer, our customers can always stay connected with those that matter to them via social networks/web and will be further empowered to be more successful,” said Dinesh Balsingh, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria.

“All you need to do to enjoy this offer is recharge your line up to a certain amount and then get the 250MB free data instantly. To know more, dial *479#” he added.

As part of the offer, unutilized data value from the complimentary weekly 250MB cannot be rolled over to the new week; customers are expected to exhaust the complimentary data on or before Sunday Midnight.

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Kufre Ekanem departs Nigerian Breweries, kickstarts Philosoville Limited



After five years as Corporate Affairs Adviser and member of the Executive Committee of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kufre Ekanem has resigned from the brewing giant with effect from October 1, 2018.

According to sources close to the respected communications expert and poet, Ekanem completed his notice period on September 30 and has since commenced his consulting dream with Philosoville Limited, a Culture, Marketing and Public Relations consultancy company.

In a pre-exit send-forth bar party organised for him, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, while thanking Ekanem for his impactful service to the company, said: “In his five-year career in Nigerian Breweries, Kufre introduced a proactive, non-crisis stakeholder relations programme to the company which ensured that NB had a robust, solution-focused relationship with government, regulatory organisations, host communities and media across all authority levels around the country.

“Under his leadership, NB enjoyed positive media narratives across platforms and channels year on year, suffered no community-based disruption of operations and faced zero penalties from regulatory investigations or infractions.

“He also drove a fresh dimension to the company’s storytelling on ‘Winning with Nigeria’ internally and externally via diverse media.

“He was a critical driver to the brewing industry’s work on the tax optimisation area, especially the change of excise model in Nigeria earlier this year.

“Kufre has been a resource person within Corporate Affairs, globally and regionally, mentoring other Heineken Corporate Affairs teams particularly on Brand PR strategy, responsible consumption partnerships and stakeholder engagement.

“He served as a member of the five-person committee that developed the Heineken global Corporate Affairs competences.”

According to company sources, Nigerian Breweries has already signed up as the first client to Ekanem’s Philosoville Limited to provide Corporate Affairs support to the company.

Ekanem is a widely-travelled, broad-spectrum corporate executive with a track record of performance delivery covering over two decades in diverse multinational environments including Heineken, Kraft Foods, Mondelez International, Cadbury West Africa and SO&U SAATCHI & SAATCHI.

Ekanem is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, a Member of the International Public Relations Association and an associate Member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.

Ekanem is the Chairman of Rosemary’s Group of companies and he sits on the advisory boards of several small and medium scale enterprises.

He is a graduate of the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria where he emerged Best Graduating MBA in 1993 and holds further certification from the London Management School.


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Lifeforte Wins Loya Milk Secondary Schools Swimming Competition




Lifeforte International School has emerged the overall winner of the first phase of the season three of the Loya Milk Secondary School Swimming Competition held in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Lifeforte, which hosted the competition tagged Loya Milk Swim Meet, won five gold, one silver and one bronze medals in the six events competed for by 10 secondary schools in the state.

The International School, Ibadan came second with a gold and bronze medals. Lead City International School, Valencia College and Bethel American International School also won medals, out of a total of 18 medals and cash prizes.

The competition, sponsored by Loya Milk, a premium brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, was officiated by members of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation.

A member of the Federation’s Technical Committee and coach at the University of Nigeria, Jimi Adebanuwo commended Promasidor for the sponsorship, saying such competitions were important for reviving the interest of the younger generation in school sports.

He noted: “As a coach, this is one of the moments I look forward to. Events like this prepare young talents to be better swimmers than some of us who have been there. I am very impressed that this is coming from a corporate organisation.

“We need more private organisations to come to the rescue. This gives hope, taking into consideration that swimming in Nigeria does not get the required recognition. This is a catch-them-young programme, and as the contestants grow older, they will surely get better and more passionate about the sport.”

Category Manager (Dairy), Promasidor, Mr. Vincent Olayinka said there is a strong relationship between Loya Milk and swimming.

He explained: “Swimming is a 360-degree sport. It utilises a lot of energy and every part of the body is engaged when swimming while Loya is fortified with calcium and other essential nutrients required for a rigorous exercise such as swimming. It will interest you to know that Loya contains 50 per cent more calcium, which makes it the choice for strong bones and teeth.”

According to Olayinka, Loya Swim Meet is part of the brand’s contribution towards helping the country to identify and nurture young talents.

He believed that as the competition, which started in 2016 in Lagos, grows bigger, more schools would discover young talents who might want to pursue careers in swimming.

According to Olayinka, other locations scheduled for this season include Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos.

Loya Swim Meet started in Lagos in 2016 with 10 schools participating. It was held in both Lagos and Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the following year.

Besides Loya Swim Meet, Promasidor is engaging Nigerian youths through Cowbellpedia Mathematics TV Show and Promasidor Harness Your Dream, a career awareness workshop for secondary schools.




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