One of the leading oil major ,11plc ,formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc , has raised the bar in social investment with the renovation of  two building structures consisting of  twenty one classrooms at Baptist Primary School ,Marine Beach ,Apapa Local Government Area ,Lagos State as part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives   in its host community.

The multi million Naira infrastructure upgrade which was embarked upon as part of the company’s cardinal programme of giving back to the communities where it operates has been handed over to the state government through the State Universal Basic Education Board [SUBEB] .

The decision of the oil giant to once again intervene in the development of  Apapa  Local Government and its environs followed an appeal from the school to carry out the rehabilitation of their building through Marine Beach Community head ,their counselor in the LG and representative of the LG who visited 11Plc office on the issue


Baptist Primary School  is within Apapa LGA and was   in a very deplorable  state with 80- 90% of the building roofing sheets blown up leaving the upper floor of the three storey structure out of use and the walls in dire need of repainting .

The pupils of the school and teachers alike were also having a hard time coping with the rigors of using the facility thus inhibiting conducive learning opportunities in the school.

The Managing Director of 11Plc, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji said the company took the opportunity to rehabilitate the school on four different fronts namely: giving back to the host community; creating a conducive learning environment for the pupils and other stakeholders; responding positively to the request of the community heads and government agencies; and avenue to the company’s positive contributions to its customers and community to reinforce its brand equity and corporate image.

He pointed out that the school is not only [popular within the company’s immediate community as it is one of the biggest in the LG and operated since the 1960s stressing that the gesture will go a long way in deepening and reinforcing the harmonious relationship between 11PLC  and her host community as well as government agencies .

‘’We are always happy and delighted to give back to our community and the environment as a whole .Without the peace ,cooperation and support of the host communities  I am certain businesses cannot thrive .So as they say charity begins at  home “  the MD noted .

According to Oyebanji, the project is our humble gesture even as we hope the community appreciates to further serve as encouragement for 11PLC to do more.

“We feel glad and satisfied as we know this is a citadel of learning and you cannot imagine what level of good children who come out of this school; will do for the greater good of the society as a whole “Mr Oyebanji pointed out.

In an e-mail statement sent, he emphasized that assisting government to provide good infrastructure to aid quality education delivery is a cardinal aspect of its social investment initiative adding that this also partly explains the fast delivery of the project .

The 11PLC Chief Executive recalled that the company has been in the forefront of contributing meaningfully to the nation’s development through thought out strides as part of social investment after purposeful interactions with benefiting communities on how best the company could impact on their lives.

Mr Oyebanji recalled with deep sense of fulfillment some notable CSR activities undertaken by the company amongst which was the extensive construction and rehabilitation work on the then Malu Road ,now Mobil Road en-route to Boundary market , a project that was handled by Julius Berger .

In acknowledging 11PLC on the project ,the State Universal Basic Education Board said “ the Board appreciates this noble gesture as it complements the efforts of the state government at improving basic Education through the provision of conducive environment for effective teaching and learning activities “ .

The Board through its secretary Mrs Adelaja Abosede on behalf Executive Chairman expressed deep thanks for the project embarked by the company which had already been put in use at the commencement of the 2nd term of the 2018/ 2019 school session in the state.

In a similar vein, the Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Eke Justina said the intervention of the company is a commendable one as it would remain indelible in the minds of both staff and pupils of the school for long

“The gesture will come a long way in the history of the school and your company will be growing from strength to strength and progress to progress “she declared in an emotion laden appreciation letter to 11Plc.

She described the company as a socially responsible organization that cares for the wellbeing of its host communities a lot adding that the facelift given to the school has affected positively the affective and psychomotor domain of the pupils.


GTBank Builds Nigeria’s First Digital Play Centre for Children

Banks only build branches, or so the story goes. Except for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; the foremost African financial institution, which has been at the forefront of several innovative products and services, recently completed and opened the first digital playground for children in Nigeria.

Located in Lekki, Lagos State, the GTBank Play Centre is equipped with a wide range of interactive games that will give kids a fun and immersive digital experience whilst aiding their mental and intellectual development. Open from 10am to 3pm on Weekdays, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, some of the features of the Play Centre include the Sketch Town, where kids can design cars, launch rockets, and bring all their sketches to life. At the playground, children can also use the wide range of bricks available to build whatever excites their curiosity and also express themselves creatively by scribbling, writing and drawing on a digital chalkboard.

GTBank is renowned for designing innovative and personalized products and services that are tailored to customers’ unique needs and which fit seamlessly with their lifestyles. Recently, the Bank launched Habari, a digital platform that gives customers unlimited access to local and international music, and at the same time, allows them to shop online, split bills with friends and take care of their everyday needs, in one place. Habari, like the GTBank Play Centre, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, reflecting the Bank’s digital drive as well as its focus on creating unique experiences for all segments of its customer base.

Commenting on the launch of the Play Centre, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje said; “How and where children play contributes significantly to their cognitive and intellectual development, helping them build better communication and problem-solving skills. Our new Play Centre will give children a tension-free space to build these critical developmental skills, expose them to new and emerging digital technologies, and, most importantly, give them a wonderful time out.”

He further stated that “At GTBank we are passionate about building the bank of the future, and for us, this means constantly leveraging the best of technology to create amazing digital experiences for all of our customers, in a way that adds real value to their lives.”

Guaranty Trust Bank is one of the best run African financial institutions and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also renowned for driving youth empowerment initiatives alongside its business, as seen with the GTCrea8 Account package, which doubles up as a platform for empowering young undergraduates with the resources and networking that they need to develop their skills and talents and build capacity in their careers of choice.

Reduction In Cargo Cost with Stakeholders agreement

L-R: Assistant Comptroller of Customs; Dim Constantine, Maritime Lawyer; Mr Emmanuel Nwagbara, Directories, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate(ICD), Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON), Engr. Obiora Manafa, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello during the seminar on Ethics and Integrity in Shipping Trade in Lagos yesterday.

• Says Nigeria, Not A Dumping Ground For Substandard Goods
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said yesterday that it is targeting a 30 percent reduction in the cost of cargo clearance at Nigerian ports, after it would have signed an agreement with terminal operators and shipping companies operating in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barrister Hassan Bello stated during an enlightenment seminar on “Ethics and Integrity in Shipping Trade”, organized by the Council in collaboration with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos.

He said that by next month when the agreement would have been signed, all the charges will be published for every stakeholder to know what to pay and what not to pay.

Furthermore, he said: “We have to take into consideration the cost of cargo, some costs are not justified, they are not tied to service and that is what we have been calling for, the shipping companies have been very understanding, we have gone through all the cost so that we can have a template”

“We are not going to control cost, but we will not allow arbitrary charges in the Nigerian port industry in the course of clearing cargoes”.

He explained that the Council’s goal is to promote an efficient port system that will encourage healthy competition, enthrone transparency, facilitate trade, reduce cost of doing business and make all players aware of their duties, obligations, responsibilities and liabilities.

He opined that with high ethical practice in place in the port system, vices such as impunity, presumptuous behaviours and ignorance with respect to adherence to procedures, rules and regulations will be minimized.

Bello also warned importers that Nigeria is a not a dumping ground for substandard products.

He maintained that it was important that both the Council and SON came together with critical stakeholders in the sector, to ensure that Nigeria is not turned into a dumping ground.

NSC Boss reiterated the need for the traders and importers to conform to international standards in doing business.

“It is important we come with all the stakeholders and ensure that this country is not a dumping ground for inferior products. We have to conform with the international standard and we have to be very serious about our business standards”, he told the gathering.

Explaining further, Bello said that importation of sub- standard products is dangerous for the economy of the nation, especially now that the nation’s economy is growing.

“It will kill our country; damage our economy and the devastating impact of making Nigeria a dumping ground is better imagined than experienced especially now that Nigeria is on the part of economic growth”, he warned.

He however charged SON to set up standards for importation of goods and also ensure that there is a routine inspection of set standards.

“For importers of products, they must ensure that they meet the international standard. Some importers will import goods and dump them here in the country and that is ruining our economy”, he added.

Bello however said that the collaboration between the Shippers’ Council and SON is timely and instructive, adding that the two agencies will also be bringing in other relevant stakeholders in the cause of time.

“We don’tneedsubstandard goods and therefore our collaboration with SON is timely and instructive. This is just the beginning we are going to go from market to market, we are going to the importers, police and anybody who is important so that we will sound this very important notice. Nigeria can not be a dumping ground for substandard goods”, he said.

CSR: Oba of Lagos commends Dangote on youth empowerment programme

…… Trains 200 Ibeju-Lekki youths

 L-R: Oba of Lagos, HRM, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Group Executive Director, Capital Projects, Mr. D.V.G. Edwin and Chief Operating Officer, Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals, Mr. Surace Giuseppe at the Vocational Training Scheme flag off ceremony organized by Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals for youths across host communities in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akinolu, has commended Dangote Group on its youths empowerment programme within the host communities which commenced six-month vocational training for youths of Ibeju-Lekki on human capital development in various marketable skilled..

Akiolu said this at the official flag-off  of the capacity building programme for 200 youths in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State on Wednesday.

He said that Dangote Group was one of the few indigenous companies that had impacted their host communities even before commencement of operations.

L-R: Group Executive Director, Capital Projects, Mr. D.V.G. Edwin; Oba of Lagos, HRM, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Oloja of Epe, HRM, Oba Kamarudeen Isola Animasahun, and Manager, Project Certification, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Frank Ibi at the Vocational Training Scheme flag off ceremony organized by Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals for youths across host communities in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

According to him, he prayed for the successful completion of Dangote Refineries so that Lagosians as a whole can be beneficiaries.

Akinolu urged the youth to put in their best in the programme by concentrating on what they were learning.

“You have to be very hard-working because Dangote is giving you forever and everlasting skills.

“This is an ever lasting legacy which has not been done anywhere, the people will be benefit tremendously.”

He also urged the leaders of the communities to encourage the people to support Dangote’s programme.

Dangote Industries Ltd., commenced six-month vocational training for youths of Ibeju-Lekki on human capital development in various marketable skills.

The Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Ltd., Mr Devakumar Edwin said that the project was designed to equip young men and women with trade skills.

The programme was organised by Dangote Petroleum Refinery &Petrochemicals and facilitated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

According to Edwin, the company’s focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects are centered on the development and wellbeing of the people, especially its host communities.

Edwin said, “We have executed several projects that are enhancing the lives of the people. We have also provided boreholes for all the communities, classrooms for the local school, and we just awarded scholarships to 51 secondary school students.

“This programme is another level of our intervention as it is targeted at providing vocational skills to the teeming youth population in our host communities.

“The youths are veritable assets in any society and the quality of the youths determines the outlook of tomorrow’s society. Therefore, an investment in developing vocational skills among youths will yield the desired results.

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“The training, to be conducted by the National Directorate of Employment, is meant to prepare the youth with vocational skills that will eventually make them employable or self-employed.

“We have deliberately targeted vocational skills such as plumbing, masonry, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works because of the instant value addition to their lives and communities.

“Our aim in training these 200 youths is in line with Chinese maxim, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The Dangote helmsman said that the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would become the world’s largest single train refinery on completion.

Edwin said that the trainees will be given allowance during the course of their within six-month, while those who excel would be employed.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote who was represented by Mr Frank lbi, Manager, Gas and Refinery, NCDMB, commended Dangote for the landmark initiative towards empowering youths of their host community.

 L-R: Group Executive Director, Capital Projects, Mr. D.V.G. Edwin; HRM, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Oloja of Epe, HRM, Oba Kamarudeen Isola Animasahun at the Vocational Training Scheme flag off ceremony organized by Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals for youths across host communities in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wabote assured that the board would also support in the human capital development, affirming that the board would ensure that the youth would be engaged after completion of their training.

He urged the trainees to be more dedicated, focused and committed to the programme.

“We are confident that you will do well and be employable with the involvement of the NDE. We commend Dangote for the gigantic project in the community; this is a litmus test for bringing local content development to the youth of this community.

One of the trainee, Mr Yesiru Sanni, a mechanic commended Dangote for the opportunity given to the younger generation in Ibeju-Lekki community, urging Dangote to assist the community with library and school to encourage the youths.

The flag-off ceremony witnessed by dignitaries among were representative of the Lagos State Government, Council of Obas, Representative of Vice-Chancellor of University Lagos, the Chairman of Lekki LCDA, Mr Olaitan Ogidan among others.

Utilise capital market to fund budget, experts tell FG

Capital market experts have urged the Federal Government to utilise the capital market to fund the budget.

The experts, who spoke at the 3rd Annual Budget Seminar of the Securities and Exchange Commission, themed, “Budgets, Elections and capital markets: Risks and opportunities in 2019, urged the government to make the capital market the fulcrum of its industrialisation agenda and economic development in a bid to urgently lead the country out of poverty.

The acting Director General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, said the government budget always affected the economy, while the economy in turn would affect the capital market.

She said, “Stakeholders, both local and foreign, are interested in the budget and try to analyse how it affects them. Investors also sit down and analyse the budget and that is why the capital market is looking at the impact of the budget and how the market can aid its implementation.

“The capital market is very important in funding for a lot of projects in the economy. The capital market is important in raising the money to fund the budget. We want to be in the driver seat and contribute to the budget of the Federal Government.

“We are interested in driving and contributing to this economy and that is why we are having this seminar. We believe there are a lot of opportunities for the capital market in this budget. There is a need for us to sit down again as a capital market community and find ways of driving the budget.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Emerging Africa Group, Mrs Toyin Sanni, said there was a misalignment of priorities in the 2019 budget allocation.

She stated that infrastructure development was of optimal importance for the achievement of development of sustainable prosperity, adding that all sectors were dependent on infrastructure to attract investment and ensure the active participation of the private sector.

The Head, Economic Research, SEC, Dr Afolabi Olowookere, said opportunities existed for equities and sub-national issuances and urged state governments to explore the capital market for the funding of their projects.

He urged the Federal Government to lower its domestic borrowing to make room for private issuances.

He stated that some of the ways the budget could be funded were the creation of money market-based instruments and trading, commodity trading and derivatives, investment in eligible companies under tax credit scheme as well as the attraction of restructured oil assets to list.

Speaking on elections, the Head, Department of Banking and Finance, Nassarawa State University, Professor Uche Uwaleke, said a lot of the factors that contributed to the negative performance of the capital market pre-election were still in play.

According to him, uncertainties around the recently concluded general elections are still lingering in the market.

He noted that most stock prices remained low, despite the positive and encouraging earnings report posted by companies.

Uwaleke, however, urged investors to take advantage of the low prices, describing it as a good entry point.