- CBN, Sterling Bank Boost Agric With NIRSAL loan
At least 22,000 farmers in Kebbi State are to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme aimed at increasing the cultivation of rice in the country.
The loan, which was anchored under the Nigeria Incentive-base Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending, would be disbursed to the beneficiaries by Sterling Bank Plc.
Speaking during an interactive session with NIRSAL officials in the state, the Head, New Business Sales, Sterling Bank, Mr. Adewale Adebowale, said each of the beneficiaries would get a N250,000 loan.
He said the loan would cover the cost of preparation and supplies of farm inputs needed for rice cultivation within their localities.
Adebowale further said that arrangement had been concluded to engage the farmers in perfecting their account details with the bank, adding that, this would enable them to access the loan with ease.
He said, “Our bank is currently working with other stakeholders to make the programme a success. We are taking banking to the people, as our team members are on ground to engage the farmers in perfecting their account details for the disbursement.
“About 15,000 of them have already been captured. Their accounts are ready to accommodate the disbursement.
“What we need is the update of the remainders using our mobile Bank Verification Number machine deployed to the field. As we engage the farmers, we issue debit cards to them.”
The Sterling Bank official also said that an Extensive Agent Network had also been put in place to ensure that farmers in the rural areas have urgent and easy access to their loans without using the Automated Teller Machine.
According to him, the aim of the bank is to ensure the funds provided to the farmers are properly utilised.
“At the end, what we want to achieve is that the funds are properly utilised. The transaction dynamics are fast and the access to the funds are guaranteed to ensure that farmers have good yields at the end of the farming session,” Adebowale noted.
Also speaking, the NIRSAL Head, Project Monitoring and Reporting Office in the state, Mr. John Kpetsum, said the farmers were expected to engage in three hectares of rice cultivation.
According to him, the ABP of the Central Bank of Nigeria gives loans to farmers at low, single-digit interest rate.
Kpetsum also disclosed that the selected farmers would access the funds through cooperative groups and are expected to make an equity contribution of 10 per cent of the loan amount.
Some of the beneficiaries in an interview commended both NIRSAL and Sterling Bank for ensuring that the disbursement was done before the commencement of farming season.
Alhaji Yusuf Gabi, a beneficiary and Argungu Coordinator of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, noted that with the involvement of Sterling Bank, farmers were confident that their funds would be secure and accessible.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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