Another set of thirty young Nigerian graduates are ready to gain first-hand work experience and employment opportunity in the corporate world under the fourth edition of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) internship programme and contest, tagged #FCMBFlexxtern. The participants, who are between the ages of 16 and 25, emerged victorious in an online contest organised by the Bank as part of its youth engagement, capacity building and reward initiatives. This brings to fifty, the number of winners produced by the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative since it was launched in 2016.
The latest winners (Flexxterns) were inaugurated and presented with certificates at an event on October 31 in Lagos. Each of them will get a 3-month paid internship and career building experience with either FCMB or one of the organisations partnering with the bank on this capacity building initiative. The thirty beneficiaries also stand a chance of being retained for full employment at the end of their respective internships.
The inauguration provided an opportunity to meet the Flexxterns and introduce them to the organisations they would respectively work with. In attendance were representatives of the partner organisations such as Insight Publicis, Terragon Group, Digiengage and TISV Digital. Other partners were 618 Bees, Lumenave, Sagerock & Associates, Vas2Net, School Kits Limited, Dmastermind as well as Wetherheads.
The 2019 #FCMBFlexxtern contest, which began on September 13 and ended on October 5, was held at Flexxzone, the exclusive microsite built around FCMB’s Flexx proposition and which also provides relevant content to the Flexx target audience on a wide range of areas, including fashion, lifestyle, entrepreneurship. To qualify, interested youths were advised to upload a 45-second video to YouTube with the hashtag #FCMBFlexxtern, explaining why they were the best for the job and invite their friends to vote for them. At the end of the public voting stage, the 60 entries with the highest number of votes were shortlisted, after which a panel of judges carried out an independent rating of the contestants. This led to the emergence of winners.
Speaking at the event, FCMB’s Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Diran Olojo, expressed delight at the quality of entries received from contestants and the passion that Nigerian youths demonstrate when given the right opportunity to positively express themselves.
According to him, “it is very fulfilling to see a lot of young Nigerians embrace and heartily participate in the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative. This is important because it gives students and young graduates the opportunity to gain hands-on workplace and business experience. We realize that many youths have all it takes to succeed, but without the required mentoring, training and insights, it can be a challenge to achieve results. We are excited that the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative has become a catalyst to fast-track the development of a new generation of professionals’’.
Also commenting, the Group Head, Consumer Liability and Segment Management of FCMB, Mr. Shamsideen Fashola, said the Bank recognises the role of youths in building, shaping and driving economic growth.
He added that, ‘’at FCMB, we are passionate about creating opportunities not just for our customers, but all segments of the society. The #FCMBFlexxtern initiative is a value-added offering of our Flexx product for youths. Indeed, this programme is one of the ways we recognise and celebrate the youth as the central force for socio-economic development, and the hope for the future. As a business, we do not take this segment for granted. This informed the development of our Flexx product and proposition four years ago. Certainly, there is more to come from Flexx and FCMB’’.
The new Flexxterns commended FCMB for giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills and setting them on the right path towards the development of their careers through placement in top corporate organisations.
Derin Adeosun, a graduate of Economics from University of Lagos, said, “I am really excited to be part of this initiative. With the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, it’s difficult for a young graduate like myself not to be anxious about obtaining gainful employment after leaving school. But FCMB has just given me the opportunity of a lifetime to start my career on very strong grounds and I couldn’t be more grateful. This is a Bank that truly understands the plight of the Nigerian youths’’.
Another Flexxtern and graduate of Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Oyebowale Rebecca, stated that, “since my third year in school, I’ve always had my eyes set on participating in this remarkable initiative. This is because, I know without a single atom of doubt that kicking off my professional career with FCMB or any of the partner firms would definitely ensure that I am made fully equipped with the necessary skill sets and knowledge base required to make waves in the modern work place. And today, I can say with all the joy in my heart, that I am an FCMB Flexxtern, and for that, I want to say a big thank you to FCMB for providing me with a path that would lead me to achieving my life goals’’.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
See pictures from the launch below:
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has asked residents to stop using the title, ‘Your Excellency’ where he is concerned.
In a statement on Wednesday, the governor said he preferred to be addressed as ‘Mr. Governor’ to deepen the citizen-government relations.
He said “In the last five months that I have been privileged to exercise the mandate freely given to me by the great and hardworking people of Lagos State, it has come to my consciousness to review certain features of citizen-government relations which impede the genuine expression of the democratic spirit of our society and the meaningful exercise of the sovereignty of our people.
The office of the Governor has been celebrated as the paragon of excellence, a temple of perfection and a throne of purity. This demi-god mystique spreads over the entire machinery of the executive arm of the government, symbolizing an authoritarian disposition on the governed. It has deformed the orientation of elected and appointed persons who are paid from the taxes of the people to see themselves as oppressors who can do no wrong and must be served, rather than serve the people.
Whatever might have been the reason for this myth, let us be honest, the office is occupied by a mortal who has been called upon to serve the electorate with humility – and sincerity. The office of Governor is a public trust that calls for sacrifice, modesty, and willingness to add value to the lives of the people.
Fellow Lagosians, I have come to the conclusion that for us to change the narrative of governance, we have to strike down this seeming symbol of executive arrogance that commands popular obeisance and undermines the democratic role of citizens as the masters of those they have elected and appointed to serve.
It is a conviction that I believe will send the right signals to all politicians and civil servants that service to the people has brought us here. It is the duty we are obliged to do. It is the responsibility that we bear wherever we find ourselves; whenever we are called to serve.
Only God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Protector, is the Most Excellent. No man can share His eternal qualities.
Thenceforth, I wish to be addressed simply as Mr. Governor, a title that will constantly remind me that I have been chosen out of so many fellow compatriots to lead a collective salvage of our political economy. A salutation that sanitizes the paraphernalia of office and reminds us all of our imperfections and mortality. To give official effect to this announcement, I shall issue tomorrow an executive order that will formally ensure full compliance with this new policy.
Access Bank Plc, on Tuesday, announced the resignation of Dr Ernest Ndukwe as an independent Non-Executive Director from its board.
This was contained in a statement by Mr Sunday Ekwochi, the bank’s Company Secretary and posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website.
“The Board of Directors of Access Bank hereby announces that Ndukwe has indicated his intention not to seek re-election during the bank’s 2020 AGM.
“Accordingly, he has resigned from the board, effective March 31, 2020, to enable him focus on his current and additional responsibilities.
“Ndukwe has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the board and there are no issues relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the bank’s shareholders or the regulatory authorities.
“The board is identifying the right candidate to fill the resultant vacancy as soon as possible, and further announcement will be made in this regard, in due course,” the statement said.
The board expressed its appreciation to Ndukwe for his “immense contributions to the bank these past years”.
The 2019 edition of the COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament, sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) came to an exciting end on Sunday, November 3, with a commitment by the Bank to sustain its support to initiatives that promote youths, sports and overall national development. This marks the eighth consecutive year that FCMB has sponsored the tournament.
The assurance was given by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank, Mr. Adam Nuru, at the closing ceremony. According to him, the Bank’s intervention in the area of sports using COPA as a vehicle is aimed at developing the minds, body and abilities of the populace, especially youths to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s sports and tourism sectors.
The FCMB MD said, “the COPA Lagos Beach soccer tournament provides a platform to bring our customers, Nigerians, soccer fans, families, local and international soccer beach players and other stakeholders together in an atmosphere of relaxation, excitement and bonding, very important factors for healthy living and nation building. This tournament has become one of the most exciting events towards the end of every year. We will continue to remain a strong supporter of initiatives that will create opportunities and equip our youths for a bright future’’, Mr. Nuru, said.
The 3-day soccer, music and other entertainment fiesta, organised by Kinetic Sports Limited, was held at Eko Atlantic Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos and featured the national beach soccer teams of Nigeria, Brazil, Senegal and England. There was also a Club Challenge involving three Nigerian Clubs, namely Pepsi Football Academy, Kebbi Beach Soccer Club, Gidi Sharks of Lagos and Ghana-based Sunset Sports Club. In the national teams’ category, Senegal emerged champions after winning all three matches to secure nine points. Nigeria came second with six points, Brazil was third with three points, while England was fourth with no point. In the club challenge, Sunset Stars of Keta, Ghana, took home the trophy. The Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Lansana Diassy of Senegal.
Also speaking on the tournament, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs, FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, stated that, ‘’beach Soccer has become more popular in Nigeria, riding on the Copa Lagos tournament. We believe that our sponsorship of the event in the last eight years, has helped to raise the profile of the game going by the large turnout of spectators and dignitaries that watched the football matches and participated in other lifestyle events associated with it’’.
Apart from the excitement FCMB built around the football matches, which went a long way to make the tournament fun-filled and memorable, spectators and other guests had the opportunity to experience the unique banking services of the Bank. The fan zone of FCMB was a beehive of activities with various games and rewards for winners, courtesy of the Bank. There was a music concert organised by FCMB that featured popular hip-hop musician, Mayorkun (real name Adewale Emmanuel), and other top-rated entertainers.
Commenting on this year’s tournament, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos state, expressed excitement at the growing status of beach soccer in Nigeria and the support provided by corporate bodies like FCMB.
Also speaking, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Kinetic Sports, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, commended FCMB for its role in the promotion of sports development. He noted that the involvement of FCMB over the years in COPA Lagos has made the tournament more glamorous.
FCMB has consistently supported sporting activities that have wide appeal across demographic and socio-economic classes in line with its core values as a simple, reliable and helpful financial institution.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
See pictures from the event below:
Viewers on DStv and GOtv saw Ivorian veteran Gervais Yao Kouassi – better known simply as Gervinho – continue his form for Parma in Serie A this past weekend.
The 32-year-old scored his third goal of the season as Parma held Fiorentina to a 1-1 draw away from home on Sunday, a result which leaves them a respectable 10th place on the log and looking good to remain a part of Italy’s top division for the foreseeable future.
In addition to his three goals, Gervinho has registered three assists and boasts both an impressive passing accuracy (84.7 percent) and stamina, having played in 969 of a possible 990 minutes so far in the 2019/20 campaign.
The wiry attacker is clearly a key man for the Gialloblu and has the complete trust of manager Roberto D’Aversa. Given that Gervinho scored 11 goals in 30 appearances last term and was a major factor in Parma avoiding relegation from Serie A, it’s safe to say that he is building quite a legacy at Stadio Ennio Tardini in the twilight of his career.
Born in Anyama outside of Abidjan, Gervinho came through the ranks at ASEC Mimosas before moving overseas for the first time in 2005, joining Begian club Beveren. He gradually built up his reputation with Beveren, as well as Le Mans and Lille in France, before Arsenal came calling in 2011.
The Ivorian spent two relatively unsuccessful seasons with the Gunners before having his first spell in Serie A, where he greatly impressed in his first season (2013/14) with Roma, but fell away somewhat over the next campaign and a half.
In January 2016 he signed for Chinese Super League Hebei CFFC, but his two and a half seasons in the Far East produced just 29 appearances and four goals. In August 2018 he returned to Italy by signing for Parma, and has quickly become a cult figure for the Gialloblu.
On the international front, Gervinho debuted for the Ivory Coast in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and has gone on to rack up almost 90 caps since then. He has represented the Elephants at the Olympics, two World Cups and five AFCON tournaments – including their triumph in 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.
You can see Gervinho in action again this weekend when Parma host Roma at 19:00, LIVE on SuperSport 8 & Select 5.
Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.
Gervais Yao Kouassi – Player profile
Born: 27 May 1987 in Anyama, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2005-2007 – Beveren (Belgium) – 61 appearances / 14 goals
2007-2009 – Le Mans (France) – 67 / 14
2009-2011 – Lille (France) – 93 / 36
2011-2013 – Arsenal (England) – 63 / 11
2013-2016 – Roma (Italy) – 88 / 26
2016-2018 – Hebei CFFC (China) – 29 / 4
2018-present – Parma (Italy) – 42 / 16
Ivory Coast senior team debut – 25 January 2008, Ivory Coast 4-1 Benin – Africa Cup of Nations, group stage
Caps / goals: 84 / 22
2019/20 Serie A statistics:
Minutes played: 969
Yellow cards: 2
Red cards: 0
Shots per game average: 2.3
Passing completion percentage: 84.7
Average passes per game: 16.6
Key passes per game average: 1.2
Dribbles per game average: 1.8
Fouled per game average: 0.6
Offside per game average: 0.9
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Price of mobile data services must go down, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, said on Tuesday.
He directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to work in concert with telecom operators within one week to achieve the reduction plan.
The minister, who spoke in his office, said he had been inundated with complaints by Nigerians who pay so much for data that hardly lasts.
The NCC team to his office was led by its Board Chairman Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.
The Minister spoke in Abuja after NCC’s new Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management), Adeleke Adewolu was sworn in.
He said: “I am urging the management of NCC to work towards reducing the price of data in Nigeria. It is too costly and people are complaining every day.
“If you go to other countries, even countries that are not as largely populated as Nigeria, data prices are not this high. I am also a victim of some of the infractions that are so common in the industry.
“You load your data, but you barely use 20 per cent of it and the entire data is wiped off. Illegal data deduction is one of the issues that worry me badly today.”
The minister said he did not agree with an attempt by NCC to defend the operators.
“I was not fully convinced by the explanation. Please go, sit down and review that issue. It is very important and I want to get your feedback with that report in the next five working days with the decision on it.
“The complaint from Nigerians is beyond what I can handle as it is today. People are complaining. And it happened to me. I recharged my data line and used it, and I believe that what I used was not up to 20 per cent of what I purchased when it was wiped off, so that is an issue that is very important.
“I directed NCC to reduce the price of data downward. It is very important. Go and look at other African countries that do not have population like ours, even 20 per cent of our population; go and see the price of data there.
“As a regulator, the main agenda of NCC is to protect the customers; our priority should be the interest of Nigerians.”
Pantami praised the NCC leadership for its achievements, especially in five per cent broadband penetration and the de-activation of pre-registered and unregistered SIM cards.
He urged the commission to go a step further by ensuring that 3G and 4G technology are expanded in Nigeria.
He urged the new board member to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s programmes, which he said are anchored on fighting insecurity and corruption and lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty as soon as possible.
The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh, says the Commission has suspended the monthly payment of N1 billion to a consultant that collects money from International Oil Companies, IOCs, on its behalf.
Dr Nunieh, who spoke in an interview with newsmen at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, emphasized that the Commission did not need middlemen to collect statutory funds due to it.
She said: “We have a consulting firm engaged as a collection agent. We have another company that also collects three per cent whenever money is paid by the International Oil Companies, IOCs.
“We don’t need a middle man to collect three per cent for gas. The money should just be paid into NDDC accounts with the CBN.”
Nunieh stated that political interference were setting the Commission back, noting that her desk was overflowing with files waiting for payments, even from companies belonging to one individual.
She asked: “How can someone have 87 companies waiting for payment?”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that in spite of the political interference, she was not going to compromise, stating: “That is why I have suspended the contract of a collection agent. We are no longer going to pay anyone N1 billion every month. That is wicked.
“That money can put mono pumps in rural communities in the Niger Delta. It can buy books and set up primary health centres. The three per cent for a consulting firm is over. That is why we are under pressure. But I laugh because those who live in glass houses should never throw stones.”
Nunieh called on Niger Deltans to stand up to protect their region. According to her, “what is happening is very embarrassing. We must all get up and know that these people have taken our commonwealth.”
The NDDC boss said that things were beginning to look up as many contractors have gone back to site since she mounted the saddle as the MD/CEO. “We have about 57 contractors that have gone back to site. I am encouraging everyone to go back to site so that things will be done properly. Those that actually execute their contracts will be paid,” she assured.
Addressing the issue of the legitimacy of the three-man Interim Management Committee, IMC, Dr Nunieh wondered why people were misconstruing the situation, observing that although the NDDC Act was silent on the matter of an Interim Management Committee, IMC, the President had the right to set up the body.
She said: “The NDDC Act is clear on the matter of the Commission’s chairmanship. It says that after Cross River State, Delta State is supposed to produce the Chairman of the NDDC board. If the Act says that after Cross River, Delta should produce the chairman, why would anyone say no?
“When the governors of the South-South states, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, visited President Muhammadu Buhari, he assured them that he would comply with the Act setting up the NDDC in taking decisions concerning the agency.
He said that he would respect the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also directed that a forensic audit be carried out from 2001 to date, stating that it was only after the audit that he would decide what to do with the Commission.”
Nunieh remarked that the NDDC would make sure that everything runs smoothly in the course of the forensic audit ordered by the President. Affirming that the audit would be deep and detailed, she said this explained the panic in certain quarters.
The Acting Managing Director stressed that her focus was on rural development. She explained: “We are trying to see how quickly we can get water to every village before long. We will try to see how we can use existing infrastructure to get water to the villages.
“No big contractors. Get the locals who are plumbers to get the mono-pumps to work. We are going to take development to the people and that is why you no longer see the young men hanging around our gates. We have asked them to go back to their communities and we will meet them there.”
Nunieh said that NDDC would encourage communities to set up cooperative societies to address peculiar challenges. She added: “We are going to give awards for the cleanest villages in the Niger Delta. We are going to see who has the cleanest water fronts. Everyone will take care of their water fronts and the Niger Delta will be green again.”
The NDDC boss promised that the Commission would carry out an epidemiological study in the Niger Delta to find out the prevalent sickness in the region and see what could be done.
She said: “Our people must be helped to stay alive and healthy. Look at the United Nation Environmental Project, UNEP, report which states that one in eight Ogonis would die of cancer. So, you can imagine the situation in other parts of the Niger Delta.”
Edmund Asamoah, a pioneer student of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Class of 2019 who won an internship programme in Bollywood at the inaugural MTF graduation is off to a 2-week all-expense paid trip to India this November 2019.
The internship which was made possible by MTF’s partnership with global consulting and solutions integration company – Nihilent Limited, will give the 27-year-old Asamoah an insight into Bollywood production and movie production in general.
Speaking about the internship programme, MTF Director, West Africa, Femi Odugbemi explained that the internship programme will broaden the film production skills of these young talent. “MultiChoice Talent Factory is about giving upcoming talent the chance to hone their abilities thereby increasing the pool of available talent and world class professionals in the industry” he remarked.
Besides Asamoah, 26-year-old Nigerian – Gilbert Bassey, who emerged Best overall student in the class due to the display of his multidisciplinary abilities during the programme also won a prize to visit the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) in the United States of America.
Other MTF pioneer students who won prizes at the graduation are: Moses Akerele, who won a 1-month internship at Mnet studios in South Africa, Kemi Adeyemi and Salma Saliu who won $2000 seed capital in the CEO Award for Entrepreneurship, Joseph Adeniyi who won a life time AVID Media Composer Licence as the most promising film video editor, while Metong Minwon who emerged the most promising sound engineer also won a life time AVID Pro Tools Licence.
It would be recalled that in October, a new set of 20 students started the 2019/20 academic year with an orientation programme in partnership with Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria.
MTF has over the past 12 months, partnered with government, local and international film industry associations and partners to hone and sharpen the skills of emerging filmmakers and industry professionals.
The federal government has given conditions that ECOWAS member states must adhere to before reopening its land borders.
Geoffrey Onyeama, foreign affairs minister, gave the conditions during the meeting of inter ministerial committee on the temporary partial closure of land borders held in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the conditions were spelt out by the country’s inter-ministerial committee to protect the nation’s economy.
Some of the conditions are:
- Any import coming from outside an ECOWAS region and imported into an ECOWAS member state must maintain its original packaging.
- They must be escorted from the port directly to the designated entry point in the Nigerian border, presented to the Nigerian customs with their original packaging. Compromises will not be tolerated.
- Goods produced predominantly in ECOWAS member states must satisfy the ECOWAS rules of origin to avoid any possibility of downplay.
- Goods must be majorly produced in ECOWAS countries.
- If the goods are coming from outside ECOWAS, the value addition must be over 30 per cent for it to be accepted within the framework of the Economic Trade Liberalisation Scheme that ECOWAS countries have to promote trade among them.
- All warehouses along the shared borders of Nigeria must be dismantled.
- Goods being transported must be put in proper recognized packaging. No longer will we have goods of all shapes and sizes going through the borders. To maintain the best practices of those goods, an accepted condition for packaging will be established.
- In regards to free movements of persons, all persons moving through Nigerian borders must present themselves through recognized entry points and must have recognized travel documents (country passport).
According to Onyeama there should be a tripartite meeting with countries sharing its land borders to be convened within the next two weeks to address the conditions.
Onyeama said the meeting was under the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the border closure, stating that it was the desire of President that the issues be addressed as quickly as possible.
“Within the next two weeks, a tripartite committee is to be convened and hosted here in Nigeria comprising a delegation, a committee of Benin Republic, from Niger, and from Nigeria,” he said.
“Each country will come with the heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance, the Customs, Immigration and NIA, the security segment.’’
On the free movement of persons, Onyeama added that the federal government will now absolutely insist that all persons coming into the country through land borders, must present themselves at recognised entry points.
Onyeama said anyone transiting through the land borders must have and present recognised travel documents which is an officially recognised passport.
He commended the governments of Niger and Benin for the laws they put in place in their countries to stop the re-exporting of rice into Nigeria.
The federal government had closed land borders in August. On Sunday, customs announced that the closure had been extended till January 31.