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Stanbic IBTC Reiterates Commitment to Quality Education Through Tertiary Scholarship Scheme

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Stanbic IBTC - investorsking.com

In determination to help solve some of the challenges in the education sector, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, recently instituted a scholarship scheme.

The scholarship scheme was targeted at successful candidates in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The scholarship award, worth N34.8 million, was granted to 87 successful beneficiaries who participated in the 2019 and the 2020 UTME drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and included physically challenged candidates.

Stanbic IBTC said the future of any country is laid in the quality of its educational system and added that education remained an effective tool for national socio-economic development, individual socio-economic empowerment and a powerful change agent.

However, the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on parents and guardians, which led to the disruption of the educational development and aspirations of children across the globe. This further exacerbated the inequalities in the awards of scholarship schemes and increased the school dropout rate across the country.

But Stanbic IBTC has expressed its determination to help correct this through its scholarship scheme and other interventions in the education sector.

The scholarship, which reflected the Group’s corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives, was pitched at promoting academic diligence and hard work while bridging the gap in quality education in Nigeria.

Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said the scholarship formed part of the Bank’s commitment to improving the quality of education in the country by rewarding hard work and dedication while noting that the prosperity of the nation and its citizens is hinged on the educational development of the youths.

“The effect of COVID-19 on families and businesses was devastating as the pandemic recorded increased levels of job losses and business closures across the globe. In Nigeria, the case wasn’t different as it affected the spending powers of families and businesses. For some families, the pandemic affected the educational spending of parents and guardians as their wards had to drop from schools, thus the need to mitigate this challenge,” Demola said.

The CE added that education and youth development remained a major concern to Stanbic IBTC, as the future of any nation is dependent on them. “As a firm believer in the future of the Nigerian youth, we appreciate the role of education in national development and as a factor for transforming society. That is why we instituted the scholarship to promote hard work and academic excellence among Nigerian students who desire tertiary education. It is aimed at enabling them to pursue their dreams.”

He noted that the beneficiaries could access the scholarship through the Stanbic IBTC Educational Trust Fund, in line with its commitment to driving corporate social investments and contributing to youth’s educational development. He assured Nigerians that Stanbic IBTC would continue to play a leading role in transforming lives through education.

“Stanbic IBTC is committed to promoting quality education through its scholarship scheme, to enable youths to achieve their aspirations and dreams.”

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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IOCs Accused of Blocking Direct Crude Sales to Dangote Refinery

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Dangote Refinery

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) of obstructing direct crude oil sales to its refinery and forcing the company to use costly middlemen.

This development comes after a statement by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) suggested a “willing buyer-willing seller” dynamic was in place as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of DIL, countered NUPRC CEO Gbenga Komolafe’s claims, stating that IOCs consistently make it difficult for local refiners by pushing sales through international trading arms, which inflate prices and bypass Nigerian laws.

“These middlemen earn unjustified margins on crude produced and consumed within Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

He noted that only one local producer, Sapetro, has sold directly to DIL, while others insist on using trading arms abroad.

Edwin detailed the financial impact, citing instances where DIL was charged a $2-$4 premium per barrel above the official price.

In April, DIL paid $96.23 per barrel for Bonga crude, which included significant premiums, compared to a much lower premium for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.

While acknowledging NUPRC’s support in resolving some supply issues, Edwin urged the regulatory body to revisit pricing policies to ensure fair market practices.

“Market liquidity is essential for fair pricing. We hope NUPRC addresses these issues to prevent price gouging,” he stated.

This dispute highlights ongoing challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector, where domestic refiners struggle to secure local crude amidst complex market dynamics.

The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the refinery’s operations and broader industry practices.

The situation underscores the need for transparent and efficient crude supply systems to bolster Nigeria’s refining capacity and economic growth.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month

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Petrol - Investors King

Aliko Dangote announced on Monday that his long-awaited $20 billion refinery complex will commence petrol sales starting next month.

The announcement came during a press briefing held at the refinery site in Lagos, where Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, detailed the project’s progress and future plans.

“We are proud to announce that the Dangote Refinery will begin selling petrol from August,” Dangote stated confidently.

“This milestone marks the culmination of years of meticulous planning, construction, and overcoming numerous challenges.”

Dangote’s refinery, touted as the largest single-train refinery in the world, is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day once fully operational.

The facility aims to not only meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products but also contribute significantly to export markets across West Africa.

“We have entered the steady-state production phase earlier this year, and now we are ready to begin commercial sales,” Dangote explained. “Initially, we will focus on petrol production, with plans to expand our product range as we ramp up to full capacity.”

The refinery’s launch is expected to alleviate Nigeria’s longstanding dependence on imported refined products, thereby boosting the country’s energy security and reducing foreign exchange outflows associated with fuel imports.

Beyond petrol sales, Dangote revealed ambitious plans to list both the refinery and its associated fertilizer plant on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) by the first quarter of 2025.

This move aims to attract broader investor participation and unlock additional value for shareholders.

“We are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations,” Dangote emphasized. “Listing these subsidiaries on the NGX will not only strengthen our corporate governance framework but also enhance the refinery’s financial sustainability.”

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite celebrating the imminent commencement of petrol sales, Dangote acknowledged challenges encountered during the project’s execution, including delays in securing land for a petrochemical facility in Ogun State, which incurred substantial costs.

“We faced bureaucratic hurdles that resulted in significant delays and financial losses,” Dangote lamented. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing Nigeria’s industrial capabilities and contributing to economic growth.”

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