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Sterling Bank Honoured With Special Recognition Award for Tourism Support

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Sterling Bank Plc has been honoured with the Special Recognition Award for Tourism Support at the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Tourism Awards, also known as The Balearica Awards.

The Nigeria Tourism Awards recognise and celebrate exemplary and outstanding individuals and organisations in the country’s tourism sector.

Presenting the award to the Bank, Efetobo byAwhana, CEO of the Balearica Awards, acknowledges Sterling Bank’s deliberate intervention in the tourism industry in 2020. He said that the Bank’s announcement of a dedicated fund for the tourism sector was timely and similar to stimulus packages of countries like Switzerland, Japan and Mexico.

“The Balearica, named and designed after the Crowned Crane – once voted the national bird of Nigeria, has become the icon of excellence for the Nigerian tourism industry. The Special Recognition Award for Tourism Support honours the non-tourism brand that has had the most deliberate impact on the growth of tourism in Nigeria in 2020,” Awhana stated.

Last year, immediately after the COVID-19 induced lockdown was lifted, Sterling Bank pledged N10 billion as an intervention fund for the domestic tourism sector. The Bank’s CEO, Abubakar Suleiman, committed the funds while addressing players in the tourism value chain at a session organised by the Nigerian Tourism Corporation (NTDC) on reimagining tourism. Months after, the Osun State Government honoured the Bank with the Institution Award of Excellence for its role in the accelerated delivery of the Osun Sterling Tourism vision 30-30 and masterplan.

Receiving the special recognition award, Shina Atilola, Divisional Head, Retail and Consumer Banking, expressed delight that the sector immediately recognises, rewards, and celebrates the bank’s commitment to tourism development.

“At Sterling Bank, we believe the private sector should support the government’s effort to enhance the quality of life of the people, creating jobs, and a future of shared prosperity for all.

“For this reason, we are at the forefront of the private sector drive to revitalise the country’s tourism sector, which has the potential to stimulate economic growth, inclusive development, and environmental sustainability. Tourism is a powerful poverty reduction tool that presents special opportunities to all, including the poor and disadvantaged. Our intervention is stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship that will activate the potential of destinations across the country to attract local and international tourists.” Atilola said.

Nigeria’s potential for tourism is vast. It can exploit its many natural and breath-taking endowments to diversify the economy through tourism, making significant contributions to GDP. Sterling Bank is at the forefront of private-sector-led efforts to make this a reality.

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Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria

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Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.

Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.

This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.

Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.

Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”

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Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector

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Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.

The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.

A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”

Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.

“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”

The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.

Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.

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BUA Cement Donates N10m Worth Of Drugs To 7 PHCs In Sokoto

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BUA Cement Company on Thursday donated drugs and other hospital consumables worth N10 million to seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

The company had earlier built schools, offered scholarships, distributed uniforms to pupils, trained women on business skills and supported health facilities in host communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Presenting the items on behalf of the company, the Director, Marketing Services, Mr Abdulganiyyu Yusuf, said the gesture was aimed at complementing the efforts of the Sokoto State Government in enhancing healthcare delivery.

The Assistant Director, Administration and Corporate Services of BUA Cement, Mr Sada Suleiman said the company was also assisting the state in the provision of potable water, electrification, rural roads, healthcare, education, women and youth empowerment.

Suleiman said the drugs were essentially for children, pregnant women and others, in recognition of the present climatic condition and peoples’ needs.

He said the assistance was expanded to new PHCs in Gidan Bailu besides PHCs in Gidan Kusu, Wajenka, Sabon Garin Alu, Arkilla, Police Mobile Barrack, and Kalambaina primary health centres.

Suleiman assured them that more community support programmes would be undertaken by the company.

According to him, the cement company will partner with the state’s Ministries of Health and Education to identify areas of need for prompt intervention.

“At the moment, we are paying scholarship for students’ schooling in various higher institutions across the country from these host communities,’’ he said.

The Executive Secretary, Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SSPHCDA), Mr Abdullahi Romo said the intervention was strategic as it would enhance access to healthcare services and significantly reduce the burden on families.

He, therefore, warned hospital workers against misusing the items adding that a list of all items would be obtained and track distribution to needed persons in the facilities.

Romo urged parents and guardians to encourage their children and wards to attend school regularly and appealed to other corporate organisations and wealthy individuals to take a cue from the company.

Responding on behalf of the communities, the District Head of Arkilla, Alhaji Aliyu Liman, expressed appreciation for the support, which he said would impact positively on the wellbeing of the people.

Our Correspondent reports that consignment of the drugs was presented to each representative of the seven PHCs, monitored by the Director of Health, Wamakko Local Government A, Mr Sahabi Dance.

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