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Apapa Gridlock Worries Senate, Stakeholders

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  • Apapa Gridlock Worries Senate, Stakeholders

Senators have joined the growing complaint over the Apapa, Lagos gridlock.

The Senate Committee on Marine Transport, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and others are worried over the Apapa gridlock, which has cost huge losses to businesses and brought pains to motorists.

At a meeting in Lagos, they said bad roads were killing trade. They frowned at the decision of Julius Berger Plc, which is handling the rehabilitation of Apapa roads, to close the Ijora Bridge, a major artery to Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port, for four months.

The committee plans to summon the company’s officials to justify the closure, which will worsen the gridlock.

A member of the committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, responding to some complaints, said it was in contact with the construction giant and monitoring the road rehabilitation contracts in Apapa.

According to him, the committee will hold a meeting with top management of the company. But with the level of the people’s suffering, the committee is left with no option than to summon the company to explain why the bridge should be shut for such a long time.

“We are taking so many things away from this engagement today; one of them is the closure of the Ijora Bridge. We are scheduled to meet with the management of Julius Berger sometime in January, but as things stand, we will invite them next week to explain to us the reason for the closure of such an important artery to the seaports. We did not know about it before now”, Ohuabunwa said.

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President and pioneer President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Dr. Olisa Agbakoba decried the situation in Apapa.

He said it took about five hours to access their offices in Apapa because of the closure of the bridge, despite that the Wharf Road has been completed.

“We are dying gradually in Apapa and I am telling you the truth. People stay on the gridlock for hours and when you get to your office after several hours, one becomes useless, having spent the better part of the day in the traffic”, he had said.

Chairman of the committee Senator Ahmed Sani said the gathering was to bring the parliament to the stakeholders, brief them on what had been done and take their input to lay a foundation for maritime development.

He told the stakeholders that several maritime legislations had been passed with some at various stages of passage. They include the Anti-Terrorism Bill, National Inland Authority Amendment Bill, National Transport Commission NTC Bill, the Nigerian Ports Authority Amendment Bill, he said, adding that law making is a long and painstaking process.

NIMASA Director-General Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the committee members displayed a high level of patriotism, placing national interest over personal or any other interest.

Speaking with The Nation on the sideline of the event, Peterside said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to fix ports’ infrastructure to revamp the economy.

NIMASA, according to him, is not happy that some measures adopted so far have not yielded the expected result. He promised what he called positive action soon.

Peterside said the quick rehabilitation of the road from Tin-Can Island Port to Oworonsoki area of Lagos was to salvage the economy.

He applauded Dangote Construction Nigeria Limited and Flour Mills Nigeria Limited for reconstructing Wharf Road.

Peterside appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to ensure that the Tin Can Island Port Road was completed on time and to hasten the usage of the trailer park opposite the port.

He urged truck drivers and port users to submit to security checks at the gates into the ports, warning unauthorised truck drivers to stay off the ports and Apapa or face sanctions.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Sterling Bank Partners Helium Health and Ekiti State On Digital Healthcare Service

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Sterling Bank - Investors King

Sterling Bank Plc has partnered with the Ekiti State Government and Helium Health on the installation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in hospitals in Ekiti State for digital health care service delivery to the people of Ekiti.

The bank and the state signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Data Bank Building, Ministry for Health in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Sterling Bank had outlined the health sector as one of the five sectors where it is focusing investments under ‘HEART’ one of Sterling programme in a bid to make an impact in the Nigerian economy. The other sectors are education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.

Group Head for Health in Sterling Bank, Mrs Ibironke Akinmade noted that health care will greatly improve in Ekiti by the time the EMR is fully in place.

“This will bring an end to the practice of carrying files from office to office in hospitals and clinics across the state. She added that mismanagement of data would also become a thing of the past,” Akinmade said.

enjoy better medical attention. Sterling Bank had set aside money for this project six months ago. We had already done it in other states and we plan to go to as many states as possible.

“Health is one of the five pillars of Sterling Bank. It is a sector that is very dear to us as a bank because we are very passionate about the well-being of every Nigerian. Rather than just do our traditional business, we want to enrich lives,” Akinmade said.

Head, Regional Growth, Public Sector, Helium Health, Mr. Abiola Osunniyi said the agreement will enable critical health infrastructure for digitisation of four hospitals in Ekiti that will be used as pilots before expanding to other hospitals.

“The essence is to digitise the patients’ data so that our doctors can access them easily for improved and quick healthcare delivery. One of the core mandates of the state government is the delivery of quality health care to the citizens. So, as a private organisation, we want to support the state government through the provision of technology in hospitals.

“We have done this partnership with Akwa Ibom and Lagos, primarily around bridging the existing gap that exists in patients’ data because there is usually a gap. The old days when patients’ data are kept primarily on papers are over.

“In most cases, patients’ records got lost, but with the provision of this digital infrastructure, their data can be protected. In cases of lost patient data, doctors may ask patients to repeat treatments (operations, tests, etc. ) that might be deleterious to the patients. We plan to introduce an electronic medical record (EMR) system so that at the mention of a patient’s name, the records will be displayed. Accurate health care data and storage can affect healthcare administration positively,” Osunniyi said.

Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani said the project will remove redundancy in hospitals and inject modernity into the healthcare system in the state.

He said technology is a critical weapon that can strengthen the health sector through accurate collection, processing and storage of health care records that will improve the quality of healthcare services by providers.

“Digitisation process in health system all over the world helps to reduce wastages and redundancy as well as inject transparency and accountability into medical facilities. I know there will be a tremendous improvement in the keeping of health care records and significantly improved turnaround time in the delivery of healthcare services in our facilities with this technological intervention,” Filani said.

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BUA Cement Announces 24.6 Percent Increase in Profit to N43.4 Billion in H1 2021

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BUA Cement stock - Investors King

BUA Cement Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturing company, on Thursday reported a 22.7 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Revenue rose from N101.261 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N124.278 billion in the first half of 2021.

The company disclosed in its unaudited financial statements release through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King.

As expected, the cost of sales inched higher by 19.1 percent from N55.539 billion in H1 2020 to N66.158 billion in H1 2021. While gross profit expanded by 27.1 percent to N58.120 billion in H1, up from N45.723 billion.

The cement manufacturing company grew other income by 52.3 percent from N47.653 billion filed in H1 2020 to N72.6 billion in H1 2021.

Administrative expenses rose to N4.17 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 57.9 percent when compared to N2.643 billion recorded in H1 2020.

Operating profit increased by 23.8 percent from N40.809 billion in the corresponding period of 2020 to N50.524 billion in the period under review.

Profit before income taxes rose by 26.9 percent to N49.700 billion in H1 2021 from N39.165 billion in H1 2020.

The company paid N6.3 billion in income tax in the first half of 2021.

Therefore, profit after tax stood at N43.396 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 24.6 percent when compared to N34.819 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.

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Appointments

Seplat Energy Appoints Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company, the company disclosed on Thursday.

Dr. FitzGerald will replace Lord Mark Malloch-Brown who retired from the Board of the Company on 1st August 2021.

Dr. Emma FitzGerald Profile

Dr. FitzGerald is a seasoned executive in Energy & Water, with hands-on experience in transformation through her many years of working at Shell, ranging from building its lubricants business in China to running its Global Retail network.

From 2007-2010, she was accountable for Shell’s Downstream strategy and played a key role in reshaping Shell’s renewables strategy including the creation of Raizen, a game changing biofuels JV with Cosan. From 2013 to 2018 she ran gas distribution and water & waste networks for National Grid and Severn Trent where she successfully
positioned them as sustainability thought leaders in their Industries.

Most recently Dr. FitzGerald served as CEO of Puma Energy International, a global energy company owned by Trafigura and Sonangol, which is focused on high potential developing markets in Africa, Asia and Central America. In 2020 she set up Puma’s Future Energies division to play a critical role in helping customers and communities find the right energy solutions to support the energy transition. Over the last 10 years she has served on various Boards in executive and non-executive capacities and currently sits on the board of UPM Kymmene, an international paper & biomaterials business focused on innovating for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT Energy said: “The Board of SEPLAT Energy is indeed delighted to have Dr. Emma Fitzgerald on board as she brings vast knowledge in important areas such as the energy sector, renewables and sustainability. SEPLAT Energy has a great future ahead and looks forward to the enormous contribution she will make towards its continuing global success.”

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