Business

CACOVID APPEALS FOR CALM OVER LOOTING OF COVID-19 PALLIATIVES

…Explains its process for procurement and distribution of palliatives.

1. Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.

2. The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.

3. Over the past few months, the Private Sector, through CACOVID, has been working with all State Governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, to procure, deliver and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner, with States classified in three timed phases, to enable orderly delivery to the needy.

5. At the time CACOVID embarked on the palliatives effort in April 2020, we decided to procure the food directly from the manufacturers, to avoid a distortion of prices in the market.

The food package was designed such that each of the nearly 2 million vulnerable families received: a 10kg bag of rice, a 5kg bag of garri/maize flour/semolina, one carton of pasta, two cartons of noodles, 5kg of sugar and 1kg of salt.

6. Unfortunately, the very large size of the order, and the production cycle required to meet the demand, caused delays in delivering the food items to the States in an expeditious manner; hence the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the State Governors .

For instance, Rice had to be milled, semolina and maize flour had to be processed, noodles and pasta had to be manufactured, and sugar had to be refined.

As such, the first deliveries could not start until June. However, as of October 2020, a sizable portion of the items had been delivered but yet to be distributed by the Governors. Although various States and the FCT had commenced flag-off of the distribution of the food items since early August 2020, some could not conclude the distribution as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allotted to them. In the interest of transparency and accountability, CACOVID will, in due course, be providing the full delivery schedule and flag-off dates by each state.

 

7. Prior to these events, CACOVID had worked with the States through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to determine:

the number of households per State;
the States and FCT to provide clean and secure warehousing for the food;
the composition of the State and Local Government Committees (including CSOs, religious organisations, LGA Chairpersons, Ward Leaders, media representatives, security services, CACOVID representatives); and
clear distribution guidelines to ensure equitable distribution of the food amongst the neediest.

8. Given that the States and Local Government authorities oversee all relief efforts in their jurisdictions and know their citizens best, we had worked with each Governor and the Minister of the FCT, utilizing a combination of our protocols and their existing structures and processes to ensure food items reach the intended beneficiaries.

We also appointed an independent monitoring team to ensure that the items would be delivered as intended.

9. We are aware that official flag-off and handover of the palliatives has taken place in 28 States and the FCT, and State governments have been distributing at various paces. As of today, October 26, 2020, some States have confirmed completion of their distribution while others were in the process of proceeding with the distribution before these looting took place.

By these looting incidents, it therefore meant that some intended beneficiaries had been deprived the opportunity of benefitting from CACOVID’s good intentions.

10. In line with our earlier promise, KPMG Professional Services, our external auditors are at the verge of completing the audit of all contributions from our donors; as well as a listing of all medical and food items procured with these funds. We will be sharing the external audit reports of our spending, alongside a full report of CACOVID activities, including delivery and planned flag-off dates of our donations to Nigerians.

11. It is very unfortunate that various States, including States that have concluded the distribution of their allocations, are seeing their warehouses and other premises being raided. It must also be noted that not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated with the CACOVID donation, given that the States themselves, the Federal Government and other organisations have also made donations.

12. In light of these unsavoury developments, we would like to appeal for calm, and for States to be allowed to proceed with their palliatives distribution peacefully, even as each State will undoubtedly keep its citizens abreast of the distribution process to ensure transparency, accountability, and equity. We urge all to be law-abiding, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and to end the raiding of these warehouses”.

13. The Coalition disavows, and urges the public to disregard, any unauthorised source of information regarding the current issue. CACOVID confirms this platform as the only one authorised to communicate on behalf of the group.

Heritage Bank to engage 774, 000 jobs Special Public Works Programme November 1st

Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service providers is set to commence the account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for the earmarked 774,000 participants of the SPW Programme in their branches, throughout the 774 Local Government Areas.

The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 (Twenty thousand Naira) only, monthly and the programme is to kick off from 1st November 2020, and a total of 129 LGAs have been assigned to Heritage Bank Plc.

Heritage Bank to engage 774, 000 jobs Special Public Works Programme November 1st

The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement 774,000 Jobs in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, for a period of three (3) months.

As part of the modalities of the programme, the 6 participating banks, Heritage Bank inclusive have been mandated to open accounts for all the beneficiaries and capture BVN. Also, a special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s Bio-data for this exercise.

In a bid to align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo disclosed that Heritage bank has prepared seamless process flow for the commencement of the BVN enrolment/ account opening documentation of the assigned shortlisted beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, he noted, “For locations that the Bank does not have physical presence, the Agency Banking Team has engaged Super Agents to cover these areas and ensure smooth on boarding in such locations.”

He stated that Heritage Bank would definitely adhere strictly to the beneficiary list forwarded to the Bank from the Federal Government for account opening/BVN enrolment to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Ibidapo reiterated the bank’s success stories and legacies in similar exercises sustained through various entrepreneur schemes in the support for economic growth, which had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Recall that 1,000 participants were drawn each from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria for the Special Public Works Programme. In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed the fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, stating that it has gotten assurance from the banks that even in places where they have no physical presence or branch, registration centers would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.

The minister said, ‘‘The banks assured us that even in LGAs where they don’t have branches, temporary registration centers would be opened in such LGAs so that the participants would not have to travel far to open their accounts”.

Explaining the core areas of the SPW programme, Kenyamo said, “Special Public works department is one of the four (4) core focus of the NDE. It seeks to identify and optimize employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organizing the skilled, un-skilled and semi-skilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works.”

OSCARS: PIDGIN ENGLISH NOW APPROVED AS A NON-ENGLISH RECORDING DIALOGUE FOR OSCARS SUBMISSION

The Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards® IFF Submissions) NOSC previously known as the Nigeria Oscars Selection Committee chaired by the Filmmaker, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi announced the approval of Pidgin English by the Academy as a non-English (Foreign language) recording dialogue in films.

As with every submission in the International Feature Category this year, the minutes and percentage of all individual languages in the country-selected film will be required by the Academy.

In addition, this is in line with the Academy’s rule and definition of an international film as a feature film with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track”.

Anyaene confirmed that the request for approval started in December 2019, after which she visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 following a meeting scheduled between herself and representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives.

She added that the outcome of that meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix.

Anyaene has then been having a series of conversations with the Academy to secure quicker approval as the 93rd Oscars an award was already knocking. This was a major concern for her recall of the NOSC 2019 submission of ‘LionHeart’, which was disqualified primarily for not satisfying the language requirement.

“This approval as secured by the NOSC is a new feat for the industry and It is untrue if any other individual or entity claims such achievement as this is beyond mere writing to the Academy without knowing the approval intricacies” she ended.

Anyaene concluded that following this approval, the NOSC might consider re-opening the portal for submission, which was closed at 11:59pm on the 2nd October to allow over 5 other filmmakers with Pidgin English films to submit their films.

She affirmed that this would only be a one-time opportunity as individual countries have their respective deadlines, which is always earlier to accommodate other processes so as not to miss the Academy’s deadline stated 1stDecember 2020.

Burna Boy declines Sowore’s invitation to join RevolutionNow protest

Popular Nigerian singer, Burna Boy has turned down an invitation by convener of the RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, to join the march planned for 1 October.

The October 1 protest is planned to hold in all 36 states across Nigeria as well as in London, Sweden, Netherlands, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Germany and Canada.

Burna Boy declines Sowore’s invitation to join RevolutionNow protest lailasnews

Omoyele Sowore earlier today made the call for Burna to join the movement in a message he shared on social media earlier today.

According to the former presidential candidate, many describe Burna Boy as a revolutionary musician and he has been likened to the late afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

He wrote on Instagram;

“@burnaboygram everywhere I turn people describe you as a revolutionary musician, the foreign media even celebrate you compare you to Fela Kuti, but I am yet to see you lead anyone to a police station carrying a coffin for head of state! Join -Oct1stProtest”

Burna Boy, however, flatly rejected the request, stating that all Nigerian politicians are the same and he trusts none of them including Sowore. He wrote;

“Everybody is a Fela fan and supporter now that he is dead. Humans are so Funny, You politicians are ALL the same (especially in Nigeria) and Frankly I don’t trust none of [email protected]

Taking Care of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – The itel, Lagos Food Bank Example

Waking up to a special meal or choice gift is the best feeling ever. Hundreds of children in Mushin, mainland Lagos, had a filling taste of this feeling for the October 1st celebrations. It’s an experience they will remember for a long time.

Taking Care of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – The itel, Lagos Food Bank Example

Being one of the most responsible corporate citizens around, celebrating Independence Day was always going to be on the radar for itel Mobile. To make this possible and memorable, the brand got to work in earnest. The focus of the work was picking the best way to commemorate the 60th independence anniversary of the most populous black nation on earth.

The efforts soon paid off through an impact-driven partnership with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative. With the arrangement, both partners considered a couple of activities capable of affecting communities positively and bringing smiles to people’s faces in Lagos. At the end of the exercise, taking care of children, the leaders of tomorrow, in the commercial city secured the highest votes.

With the decision, itel Mobile set about making this happen. Not surprisingly, the decision was influenced by giving children the means to excel and prepare them for leadership and nation-building, for them to enjoy better life. For the good of their immediate family, community and the Nigerian society.

Idiko, Mushin, a suburb of mainland Lagos, was chosen as the benefiting community. And the partners strategically reached out to the beneficiaries, children and families, with gifts of love, care, happiness and support made possible by the itel Love Always On CSR initiative.

Over 1,000 families benefited from the gesture as well as 600 children, and each one of them received food packages to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day commemoration.

Speaking on the event and itel’s Love Always On CSR Initiative, Oke Umurhohwo, itel’s Marketing Manager said, ‘We wanted to mark this year’s Independence Day celebrations differently, and that is why we did something so momentous for our children. Children are the backbone of any longstanding community, and as such, we are proud to be able to give back and support them on their journey as leaders of tomorrow and for a better life.’

To meet the demands of the memorable event, 30 volunteers joined the customer-centric brand and the Lagos-based NGO to share smiles, and to convey just how important it is to love and take care of today’s children who will ultimately become leaders of tomorrow.

With the thoughtful activity, there are insights for everyone, from the government to citizens, on partnerships that are capable of making life better for children. Indeed, itel Mobile and the Lagos Food Bank Initiative have offered a great template on bringing this to reality.
See more pictures from the CSR event: