Access Bank emerges biggest winner at 2018 SERAS CSR Awards - Naijaray
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Access Bank emerges biggest winner at 2018 SERAS CSR Awards

In recognition of its exploits and outstanding success in Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Sustainability, Access Bank Plc. emerged the biggest winner with four awards, including the most responsible business in Africa at the annual SERAS CSR Awards.

Access Bank also won other categories such as the Best Partnership for Development, Best Corporate Communications Team and Sustainability Practitioner of the Year, which was presented to Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, the Bank’s Head of Sustainability.

[L-R] Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan; Group Head Sustainability, Access Bank and her Husband, Mr Victor Laniyan, Victor Etuokwu; Executive Director, Personal Banking at SERAS CSR awards 2018 that held recently in Lagos.

Receiving the award, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Victor Etuokwu, stated that it would further fuel the Bank’s passion to do more in sustainability, noting that “At Access Bank, we have stayed committed to ensuring that we place priority on not just being a profitable venture but also one that is deeply concerned about the planet and the people and this award is a testament to how well we have come.”

Victor-Laniyan, while corroborating Etuokwu, expressed appreciation for the awards, noting that the Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations.

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She said, “We are very grateful for such an honour accorded to the Bank and particularly proud of the work that we are doing. However, we choose to see this award as a challenge to do more and we will continue to make sure that we push the boundaries of the practice of sustainability to the best of our ability and for the benefit of our planet and the people’’.

[L-R] Abiola Salami; COO, Abiola Champ, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan; Group Head Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, Joshua Ajayi; Editor, Brand Communicator at the 2018 edition of SERAS CSR awards held in Lagos, recently.

Ken Egbas, Founder, SERAS CSR Awards, explained that the selection was painstakingly made by members of the jury. He described it as an indication that the winner, Access Bank is doing something right and highlighted the same passion with which they launched the projects on sustainability.

The Bank recently organised a weeklong activity at its branches globally in celebration of the remarkable achievements recorded since 2008.

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L-R] Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan; Group Head Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, Abiola Salami; COO, Abiola Champ at the 2018 edition of SERAS CSR awards held in Lagos, recently.

L-R] Patrick Chiazor; Team Member, Corporate Communication, Access Bank Plc, Lynda Onefeli; Chairman, Association of Professionals in Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Mofifoluwa Olawumi; team member, Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan; Group Head Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, Nneota Egbe; Broadcaster and TV presenter, Channels Television, Esther Sunday; Team Member, Corporate Communication, Access Bank Plc, Suleman Ibrahim; team member, Sustainability, Access Bank Plc at the 2018 edition of SERAS CSR awards held in Lagos, recently.

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Herdsmen: Retrieve grazing reserves from farmers – Miyetti Allah tells Buhari govt, states 

A Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal-Hore has called on the Federal and State governments to retrieve lands gazetted as grazing reserves from farmers and hand them over to herdsmen.

The body made the call while insisting that government secure grazing reserves across the country to curb the recurring crisis between farmers and herdsmen across the country.

Speaking during a visit to the Governor of Sokoto State, the National President of the group, Alhaji Bello Badejo said most gazetted grazing reserves have been appropriated to farmers.

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He said, “The Federal Government should bring back our grazing reserves, some are gazetted and some are not.

“We do not know the reason why the government is delaying the preparation of the grazing reserves so that cattle herders can go back to their grazing areas.

“We have the national and the international cattle route, where are they now? This is because the government is not serious about the reserves.

“We are saying that if these ranches are in place, farmers and herders crisis would have been resolved most significantly.”

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Suspected armed thugs allegedly attack two APC chieftains in Ebonyi 

Suspected armed thugs have reportedly attacked some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, inflicting injuries on them.

The thugs reportedly attacked their victims at Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area and Abakaliki area of Ebonyi State.

Briefing journalists in Abakaliki on Tuesday, two of the victims, Mrs Clementina Igwe and Ngozichi Okoro, were reported by the News Agency Nigeria, NAN as saying that the attacks were an act of intimidation, and described the action as barbaric.

Igwe, Women Campaign Coordinator for Ezza North for Sen. Soni Ogbuoji, the APC governorship candidate, said that the suspected thugs swooped on her and gave her thorough beating for refusing them from removing the campaign posters of Ogbuoji pasted on her building.

She said: “On Thursday, Dec. 13, a group of persons suspected to be political thugs armed with dangerous weapons were moving around at the G-hostel area of Abakaliki, removing campaign posters of Ogbuoji pasted on walls and buildings around the area.

“They were tearing and removing the posters and mini bill boards placed in strategic places in the area.

“When they came to my private building at No. 17 G-hostel Road, Mile 50 to tear the posters, I came out and resisted them.

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“They thugs numbering about 13 descended on me, got me thoroughly beaten and inflicted serious wounds on me which you can see all over my body.

“If not the intervention of good spirited individuals who came and rescued me, I would have been left dead”.

She, therefore, called on the police and other security agencies to apprehend the culprits and prosecute them.

Similarly, Okoro, an APC House of Assembly candidate for Ohaozara East State Constituency, said that she was attacked alongside other party supporters, while they were installing solar panel, a constituency project attracted by Sen. Ogbuoji at Okoposi community.

“On Saturday, Dec. 15, while installing solar panels at Okoposi community in Ohaozara Local Government Area, being constituency project attracted by Ogbuoji, the incumbent senator representing the area, we were stopped from installing the panels.

“Seven solar panels worth over N1.7million were vandalised in the process, while the driver conveying the items was inflicted with heavy injuries and many of us received varying degrees of injuries.

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“Two of the suspects have been arrested, we are demanding that all the persons involved in the attack are fished out for prosecution,” Okoro said.
When contacted for comments, Mrs Loveth Odah, the Ebonyi Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) said that the command was yet to be briefed.

“We are yet to be briefed on the incident. We shall make contact with the Divisional Police Headquarters at Kpiri-kpiri and Ohaozara for confirmation of the alleged attacks.

“We will carry out full investigation into the matter and anyone connected with the unlawful attacks will be arrested and prosecuted.

“We want to use this medium to assure all political parties and indeed the general public of our commitment to ensure that adequate security is provided before, during and after the 2019 elections,” Odah said.

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Buhari rejects NASS approval of N488.7bn refund to states 

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the sum of N488.7 billion approved by the National Assembly as refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

Buhari communicated the decision through a letter read by the President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki, at plenary on Tuesday.

The president said he rejected the National Assembly’s approval because it violated the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

He noted that whereas the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a total of N487.8 billion for the purpose, the National Assembly jerked up the figure to N488.7 billion.

He said the amount approved by the lawmakers was N890 million higher than that approved by FEC.

Buhari said a review of the National Assembly’s approval, communicated through a July 27, 2018 letter, also revealed discrepancies in the number of states submitted by FEC and those approved by the lawmakers.

He said, “While FEC approved reimbursement to 25 states, the National Assembly approved reimbursement to 21 states.

“The National Assembly did not approve any reimbursement to four states, that is Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba, whereas FEC approved reimbursement for them.

“And note that the amount approved by the National Assembly for reimbursement to 21 states is higher than the amount approved by FEC for reimbursement to 25 states.”

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The president added that the amount approved by the lawmakers for each of the 21 states was higher than that approved by FEC for each of them, except for Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger.

He urged the Senate to note that the Public Procurement Act 2007 empowers the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to approve vendors for contract sums.

According to him, the amounts presented to the National Assembly for approval were duly certified for reimbursement by the BPP before they were approved by FEC.

“This was after the projects had been inspected through a programme under the chairmanship of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

“Since the BPP is charged with the responsibility of approving contract sums, and there is need for compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007, I wish to request that you forward to us details relating to the amounts approved by the National Assembly for the 17 states in excess of what was certified by BPP, for necessary verification and approval.

“Furthermore, I wish to request for a review of the reimbursement earlier submitted in favour of Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba states,” the president said.

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In the meantime, Buhari told the lawmakers that the Federal Government would proceed with implementation on the reimbursement on certain grounds.

First, he said where the amount approved by the National Assembly is the same as the amount approved by FEC, the jointly approved amounts would be refunded.

He identified the states in this category as Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger.

Second, the president said that where the amount approved by the National Assembly was higher than the amount approved by FEC, the amount approved by FEC would be paid.

The benefiting states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara.

He however said the four states (Bauchi, Delta, Kogi and Taraba) excluded in the NASS approval would not be refunded until their consideration by the lawmakers.

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