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Sekibo urges entrepreneurs to collaborate with banks’ SME desks for growth

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Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has encouraged the budding African entrepreneurs of the Next Titan Housemates to talk to small and medium enterprise (SME) desks of banks because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has a policy for disbursing money to banks for SMEs sector.

Sekibo stated this while delivering a keynote address titled: Why African needs new breed of entrepreneurs and why is Heritage Bank championing it, at the premiere of the 5th edition of the Next Titan TV reality show in Lagos over the weekend.

The Next Titan is Nigeria’s entrepreneurial reality TV show where thousands of ambitious young entrepreneurs across the country compete with one another for a grand prize of N5 million and a brand new car to start his or her dream business.

He, however challenged the budding entrepreneurs to stir up their entrepreneurship DNAs in a bid to allow innate ideas to flow and blossom.

According to Sekibo, the entrepreneur is not the risk taker but the person who relentlessly pursue opportunities without recklessness, without regard to not having money, house or car or any strong financial support from family members, remarking that in most cases, he is the one that drops out at of school.

He said during the pre-colonial era in Africa, Africans, (our fore fathers) who were the entrepreneurs of those days in places like Lagos Island and Badagry were engaged in fishing and farming as well as trade across the west coast among themselves under an organised system.

The bank’s boss said during the colonial period, (our fathers) were affected by the culture and traditions of the colonialists a development which affected their psyche, thereby making what is foreign to be more important than what is local.

Sekibo said western tradition became the order of the day as Africans moved away from entrepreneurship to white collar jobs to earn monthly income and the word job came into play, adding that work was no longer defined as the work of a tough man or woman on the farmland but depended on how much of the colonial language one understand.

In order to reverse the trend, Sekibo contended that budding African entrepreneurs should relive the DNAs that their forefathers left for them by uncapping them so that their innate ideas could flow and blossom.

He said Africans burn with ideas but they needed to mine them so that they could blossom, remarking that they need to have mentors that will enable them to achieve their goals.

The Chief Executive also said money is very critical to entrepreneurship and they had to be bold and courageous to get it, adding that there is a spirit behind getting money which is largely influenced by character and integrity. He enjoined them to collaborate to bring down the cost of money.

Sekibo enjoined them to be bold and should not be afraid to fail because failing is not a failure and should not give up because they had failed.

Also speaking, Mr. Folusho Philips, Managing Director of Philips Consulting also listed some factors for successful entrepreneurship. They are competence, character and behaviour, study and steadiness as well as compliant and chemistry of the prospective entrepreneur.

Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi, Permanent Secretary to the office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State noted that entrepreneurship was part of key programmes of the current administration. She encouraged them to be bold and resilient and be prepared to face challenges and also informed them about state’s Ministry of Wealth Creation and the Lagos State Trust Fund (LSSTF).

Mr. Babarinde Abiona, General Manager (Marketing) with Coscharis Motors tasked them to believe in themselves and be focused, adding that Coscharis, a major dealer of Ford Motors in the country will give a brand new Ford Focus to the winner.

One of the boardroom judges, Chris Parkes commended Heritage Bank for investing in the project and noted that judges would be very critical of their ideas because they want ideas that could add value to the country’s economy.

About 60 finalists were unveiled at the premiere out of more than 2,000 contestants that were screened at various auditions in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Abuja and Lagos, however only 16 made it to the house while Heritage Bank used a wild card to add two more contestants: Kalu Sylvester and Ugochi Ogadi to bring the number to 18.

 

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Hymnodia: Participants Hurry to Meet January 21 Entry Deadline

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Nigerians gifted in hymns rendition have been rushing to file in their entries to meet the Monday, January 21, 2019 deadline for Hymnodia, an entertainment reality TV show aimed at redefining the perception on hymns and its culture.

Talented Nigerians are required to visit the Hymnodia website, www.hymnodiahq.org, and complete the Hymntestantsor Chorister application forms before uploading their self-videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the hashtag #hymnodiahq.

Kufre Ekanem, Managing Director of Philosoville Limited, the initiators of Hymnodia, said “after the closure of entries, shortlisted applicants will be invited to a physical audition in Lagos.” According to him, the audience across the country would be thrilled with flow of creativity of hymn performances during the 13-week TV show, while the winner would be announced at the grand finale of the contest on April 21, 2019. The winner of Hymnodia will win the ASAPH, N5million and a brand-new car.

Commending Philosoville for the laudable initiative, ace actor and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Richard Mofe-Damijo, said Hymnodia is worthwhile and timely, as hymn culture should be reinforced and the skill nurtured in young Nigerians.

Popularly known as RMD, Mofe-Damijo revealed his favourite hymn as “Lord Dismiss Us with Thy Blessings” which he has cherished since his early days in secondary school and “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as a close second. He affirmed: “Because of their significance, hymns are of immense importance to me because they are dedicated to the Supreme Being who we all owe life to. I don’t think there is anybody in this world who does not like “Nearer my God to thee”.

Hymnodia, which would be an annual initiative, seeks to revive the hymn culture and worship as a critical element of what cohesive societies require. It revolves around members of a world class choir who contest to showcase their skills as singers, writers and hymnodists, while collaborating to render soul-lifting renditions together.

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Heritage Bank promotes sport in partnership with Para-Powerlifting Federation

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Heritage Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to promoting sports in Nigeria, in partnership with Para-Powerlifting Federation to host the Lagos 2019 International Para-Powerlifting Competition.

The competition which about 10 countries have indicated interest to attend is billed for 24th-31st January 2019.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo commended the Para – Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria for bringing the competition to Nigeria as well as the Lagos State Government for playing a leading role in the development of sports in the country.

Sekibo who was represented by Ozena Utulu, Head of Brand Management of Heritage Bank also recalled the support it received from the Lagos State government when it organised the Skoolimpics, its signature sporting event with more than 6,000 students from over 600 public and private secondary schools from the six educational districts of Lagos Sate in attendance at the three-day sporting fiesta held in 2017.

Skoolimpics was an idea conceived to bring into being a national sports festival for young people in secondary schools aimed at helping the country discover young talents that will re-ignite the spirit of excellence in competitive and recreational sports.

The idea was intended to be a holistic development of young people in order to foster their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. It is a well-known fact that physical education and sports help in character and community building, delinquency reduction, community safety, economic and social development.

In her address of welcome, the President of Para-Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria, Mrs. Queen Uboh noted that the Nigerian Para Powerlifters had always made the nation proud by winning medals and most times topping the medals table at every competition they attended.

She said under her leadership within one year, the federation had won several medals and broken new world records at the Commonwealth Games and other major championships and got the hosting right for the first time for an International Para Powerlifting Competition in Nigeria.

Others are the federation being a proud owner of the only Spartan Wheelchair Accessible Van in Nigeria, courtesy of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, makers of Peak Milk, purchased brand new training and competition equipment for the Para Powerlifters as well as secured more corporate sponsors and partners for it.

Also speaking, the Marketing Manager of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, makers of Peak Milk, Maureen Ifada lauded the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalong for approving the partnership between Peak Milk and the Nigerian Paralympics team since February 2017.

She said the company decision to partner with the team was in line with its brand’s promise to enable and empower its teeming consumers reach their peak, regardless of any limitations.

The marketing manager said the company was committed to a three-pronged partnership with the unstoppable team in food nutritional support, gym refurbishment and procurement of training equipment and the amplification of their success story to the entire nation.

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Aliko Dangote Foundation, UNECA and GBCHealth Advocate Public-Private Sector Partnership for Better Health in Africa

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The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector

Top African leaders including Heads of States, Ministers, CEOs as well as representatives from the African Union and United Nations will converge at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) (www.AfricaBusinessHealthForum.com) taking place in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit.

The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

The inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking center stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed to exploring how to maximize shareholder value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.

African business entrepreneurs are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative, with studies showing that by 2030, business opportunities in the health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.

Investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives, prevent life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co- Chair, GBCHealth. “There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare standpoint and we must look to develop a universal plan that shifts the needle as far as healthcare in Africa is concerned. Health must cease being a source of pain, and become a source of prosperity instead.”

The AB:HF is the vision of GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

The Forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform to unlock synergies that will contribute more directly to a healthy and prosperous Africa, enabled by collaboration and business partnerships.

Reiterating the need for business leaders to key into this vision, Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action. We must work together, across industries and with governments and communities, to foster innovation and drive more strategic investments that benefit us collectively. The time is now for a new era of cooperation in Africa that will position its people, communities and businesses for success, now and in the future.” Good health is not only an outcome of, but also a foundation for, development

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UNECA said: “The Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around the financing of healthcare through Public Private Partnerships and the private sector. Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this will also encourage regional transboundary health investments especially in the pharmaceutical sector.”

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