In a bid to boost healthcare delivery to thousands of residents, the Lagos State Government has built and unveiled a new Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Ije-Ododo Community, Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), under the Ojo Council Area of the state.
The facility, which has been under construction since 2021 in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Limited, was unveiled in the community in an opening ceremony attended by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, representatives of the state government, the state Primary Health Care Board, community leaders, as well as traditional rulers of Iba, Ije-Ododo and Ijagemo, among others.
In his welcome address, the governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji, said the opening of the health facility under the SSG’s One Community At a Time (OCAAT) initiative, formed part of activities to herald the inauguration of his second term in office on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Maintaining that the attention being paid to the healthcare sector was deliberate to ensure a healthier populace, he said the state government under his watch would deploy more resources to the health sector for easier access to health services, especially in underserved communities.
He enjoined members of the community to take full advantage of the health benefits that will be provided in the facility and charged them to take ownership and protect the assets and the facility at all times.
Speaking, Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Ibrahim Mustapha, commended First Bank of Nigeria Limited and the contractor for completing the project within the stipulated time frame, but also requested more assistance to make the facility functional by providing equipment and other necessary medical gadgets.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who was represented by Mr. Seyi Oyefeso, expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of the project, adding that it was gratifying to know that no fewer than 10,000 residents of Ije-Ododo and neighbouring communities will have access to primary healthcare services in the facility.
He said as a responsible corporate social organisation, the bank’s intervention in the primary healthcare sector aligned with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach anchored on citizenship, impact management, strategic education, as well as the health and welfare of the immediate and remote communities of Lagos State and other parts of the country.
In his words: “The completion and opening of the primary healthcare centre is to ensure that Ije-Ododo community will become healthier and wealthier since health is wealth.”
In his goodwill message, the Baale of Ije-Ododo, Dr. Abu Jelili Ododo, who spoke in company of the Oba of Iba and Baale of Ijagemo, applauded Governor Sanwo-Olu for the timely completion of the healthcare centre and appealed for the construction of the Ijegun-Ije-Ododo-Abule-Ado road to link the Badagry Expressway, adding that it was high time the Ije-Ododo Community was provided with a motorable road to ease the sufferings of residents.
Responding to the request for the road, Jaji assured that the Lagos State government under Sanwo-Olu was poised to build the road but that the project suffered some setback due to agitations by some members of the community over the location of the project, adding however, that as soon as the governor settles down for his second tenure, construction work will begin on the road.
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Access Holdings Posts 52.6% Profit for the First Half of the Year
Parent Company of Access Bank Celebrates Remarkable Financial Performance in H1’23
Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has reported a 58.9 percent surge in gross revenue to N940.3 billion for the first half of 2023.
The financial services giant also recorded remarkable growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) at 71.4 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively, culminating in N167.6 billion for PBT and N135.4 billion for PAT during the same period.
These financial milestones were unveiled as part of Access Holdings’ Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period concluding on June 30, 2023.
The driving force behind this unprecedented growth can be attributed to a potent combination of factors. A 63.0 percent growth in interest income and a 51.9 percent increase in non-interest income fueled the surge in gross revenue.
Access Holdings also witnessed a 35 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, capping the first half of 2023 at an impressive N12.5 trillion. This remarkable achievement encompassed all business segments, reinforcing the Group’s status as Nigeria’s largest financial institution by total assets.
The company’s total assets grew by 39.0 percent year-on-year to N20.9 trillion while shareholders’ funds surged by 40.6 percent to N1.7 trillion.
These astounding figures underline the Group’s ability to generate value from a diversified business portfolio, spanning banking, asset management, and payment services.
Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, commented on the company’s positive performance, saying, “Our growth plans for the African continent remain firm and clear, driven by the strong long-term growth prospects and trade opportunities seen across many of the countries.”
He went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its 5-year cyclical strategy, stating, “Our primary objective remains to transform Access Holdings Plc into a leading financial and ecosystem player, fostering opportunities for shared prosperity among all stakeholders.”
Naira Struggles as Apex Bank Delays Clearing $10 Billion Forex Debts
The Nigerian economy is facing growing uncertainty as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has yet to fulfill its promise of clearing over $10 billion in foreign exchange debts owed to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
This delay has placed immense pressure on the country’s currency, leading to a challenging situation for both financial institutions and the general public.
Over two weeks ago, the immediate past acting CBN Governor, Folashodun Shonubi, had announced that negotiations on these dollar debts with commercial banks had been concluded and all forex exchange backlogs would be cleared within one to two weeks.
However, multiple top bank executives have revealed that the promise remains unfulfilled, leaving banks in a tight FX liquidity position.
This liquidity crunch has compelled many lenders to temporarily suspend various FX transactions, including school fees and Personal Travel Allowance applications. The situation has also worsened the dollar scarcity at the parallel market, prompting bank customers to turn to the black market to meet their forex needs.
The delay in clearing these forex debts has further eroded confidence in the naira, resulting in a decline in its value to between 990/$ and 995/$ in major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.
Economic experts warn that if the situation persists, it could lead to higher costs of goods and services, causing more businesses to shut down.
Manufacturers, who heavily rely on imported raw materials, fear that the rising costs will lead to unaffordable products and a preference for cheaper imported alternatives.
The appointment of a new CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, comes at a critical time, with the central bank facing significant challenges related to the forex market and currency stability.
As the nation grapples with these economic pressures, it remains to be seen how the new leadership will address these issues and restore confidence in the financial markets.
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