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NBC, Coca-Cola Present Start-up Equipment to Vulnerable Nigerians

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In furtherance of its efforts to support communities and governments to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, has donated business start-up equipment to women and youths in communities in Aba, Abia State and Port Harcourt in Rivers under its post-COVID-19 community interventions.

The beneficiaries, who had earlier been trained by a local NGO, Genius Hub, received shoe-making and tailoring equipment on behalf of the Coca-Cola System to start their businesses and begin their journey to self-reliance.

The Coca-Cola System, which has always supported its stakeholders and communities with positive and impactful interventions, implemented the program with funds from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

The beneficiaries, who beamed with smiles while receiving the equipment, expressed gratitude to the Coca-Cola System, noting that the gesture would improve their economic status.

“I am very grateful for this sewing machine and other fashion designing equipment given to me, and I want to thank you, Nigerian Bottling Company and Coca-Cola Nigeria. You have not only given us fish, but you have also taught us how to fish,” one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Gift Ejike, said.

Another beneficiary and a community leader, Elder Azubuike Erondu, also commended the NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria for the intervention, describing it as a more sustainable approach to helping communities overcome the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“The NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria have done excellently well for us, and we are grateful. This is a timely intervention, especially for people who are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The pandemic affected businesses and brought untold hardship on many people. But through this intervention, we have gained valuable skills and received start-up equipment and support to launch our businesses and create value,” Erondu said.

According to the Director of Public Affairs and Communications, NBC, Ekuma Eze, the intervention, tagged ‘Making a Difference’, ‘was a continuation of the Coca-Cola System’s support for Nigerians adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are witnesses to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to families, small businesses, artisans and other vulnerable Nigerians. As a responsible organisation committed to the growth of our communities, we believe this initiative will support and empower vulnerable people in our communities to regain their feet post-pandemic.”

“We also recognise the critical role and contributions of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector to the Nigerian economy. Therefore, this intervention will lift the beneficiaries out of their present predicament and also presents an important avenue to stimulate the growth of this important sector.”

Ekuma, who assured that the equipment grant was a precursor to many more rewarding programs to support host communities, commended its implementing partner, Genius Hub, for the diligent execution of the program and reiterated the System’s commitment to welfare of Nigerians.

Also speaking, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said: “Without a doubt, entrepreneurship remains a veritable tool to promote economic empowerment and build a sustainable economy for the benefit of us all. This is why, for the past 70 years, we have remained committed to continually unlock new vistas of opportunities for our people and communities to thrive. “

The ‘Making a Difference’ program is the latest COVID-19 and post-pandemic intervention by the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria. The company launched a food relief intervention to support vulnerable households in the wake of the pandemic. The System also donated over 13 million centiliters of its beverages, including Eva premium table water and soft drinks, to provide hydration and nourishment for patients and healthcare workers at Isolation and Treatment Centres across different states in the country.

Besides, both companies also supported the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC to develop risk communication materials to complement the government’s public education and mobilisation initiatives in the fight against the Coronavirus outbreak.

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Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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CBN Approves BUA Sugar Refinery, Dangote Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company to Import Sugar into Nigeria

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The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday said it has approved BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Dangote Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company to import sugar into Nigeria given their commitment to ensuring the country is sugar sufficient through their backward integration.

This was contained in a statement signed by Dr. O.S Nnaji, Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN.

The decision is in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s plan to encourage and incentivize sugar refining companies in their Backward Integration Program (BIP) for local sugar production.

This will allow the three companies to sustain production while simultaneously building their backward integration in the sector.

However, the apex bank said, “Authorised Dealers shall Not open Forms M or Access foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any company including the three listed above for the importation of sugar without the prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Bank is charged with the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the backward integration programs of all the companies.”

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JPMorgan On A Blockchain Hiring Spree

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JPMorgan is on a hiring spree for its blockchain unit, seeking to fill positions across audit, engineering and marketing, several LinkedIn postings reveal.

The bank — which has been active in the blockchain space for several years — announced in October 2020 that it would bring all of its blockchain-related products and services under a new business unit, dubbed Onyx. Those services including Liink, a blockchain network of hundreds of financial-services firms and corporations, as well as its Coin Systems business, as per its website.

As for the job ads, JPMorgan has plastered dozens of new postings on LinkedIn, including engineering-related roles. One role for a blockchain platform software engineer is looking for someone with a background in proof of stake, Ethereum, and bitcoin and would create a “forum for innovation with the blockchain technology community that drives thought leadership around the digital architecture roadmap and strategy.”

There’s also evidence the firm wants a stronger external presence for the blockchain work being worked on at the firm.

“This individual will drive the Liink marketing strategy by developing a thorough understanding of our strategic objectives, positioning, brand voice, and offerings so that you can create consistent and engaging content across multiple touchpoints,” the ad reads. The person hired would be tasked with creating marketing strategies that “spark engagement — both internally and externally.”

The bank added that they want the person to have a sense of humor that is a touch irreverent.

JPMorgan has already made quite a number of big-ticket marketing hires for Onyx. At the beginning of the year, Ariana Gianacopoulos — formerly VP of global commercial marketing at Conde Nast — joined the firm as a marketing director.

Ray Beharry — previously a marketing executive for IBM’s cloud services division — also joined at the beginning of the year as head of marketing at Onyx, as per his LinkedIn.

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