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2021 YULETIDE SEASON: LAGOS BRIGHTS UP AS ZENITH BANK LIGHTS UP AJOSE ADEOGUN STREET 

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The yuletide season has come to life in Lagos with the 2021 Zenith Bank Christmas Light-Up Ceremony, which held at the Ajose Adeogun Street Roundabout, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Saturday, November 20 2021.

With the theme “Let There Be Light”, this year marks the 15th edition of the traditional Light-up Ceremony at the Ajose Adeogun Roundabout. Following the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which stopped the annual event from holding last year, this year’s ceremony is indeed a momentous and significant one as it signals the return of what could be described as a spectacle that has come to be recognized by not only Lagosians but Nigerians in general as an iconic place and tourist attraction because of the beautiful decorations adorning the length and breadth of Ajose Adeogun Street – home to Zenith Bank’s Headquarters,  during the yuletide season.

The official lighting ceremony, which was performed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, supported by Executive Management, saw thousands of the Bank’s staff and customers joining virtually and through the Bank’s social media platforms.

Speaking during the ceremony, Onyeagwu praised Quantum, the company responsible for the annual decorations, for the very outstanding, gorgeous and extremely beautiful work that they have done this year. In his words, “each year when we come in, and we see the decorations, I keep asking myself what next? Would there be something better than what we have seen and I see that at the end of every season, they come up with innovations and creativity, and they make it even far better and take it to a higher level”.

Onyeagwu expressed his delight that this year’s Light-up Ceremony is able to hold following the cancellation of last year’s edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the EndSARS protests. According to him, “last year was a very unusual year. Covid threw a curveball at humanity, and as a result, it changed the way we engaged and the way we live; it transformed so many other things, and as a country, we had some unique challenges. As a result of those challenges, especially the EndSARS protest, last year we couldn’t light up, not because there was no money. It was because we had to grapple with Covid-19, and again during the EndSARS protest, the fittings that we employ in having this light-up were terribly vandalized, and it required time and resources for us to put it together. We didn’t want to have any undue exposure or create vulnerability. Therefore we had to allow time to put the fittings back, and as soon as we have put it back, here we are today”.

He noted that Zenith Bank is very happy to be able to reconnect with activating the spirit of Christmas, with the return of the annual turning on of the Christmas lighting and the decorations of Ajose Adeogun Street, which can compare and compete with any decorations anywhere in the world – be it in Europe, North America, or Asia. 

Whilst wishing everyone a Merry Christmas filled with joy, love, peace and harmony, he enjoined all to remember that Christmas is also a time for sober reflection when we think about things that we couldn’t do and focus our thoughts on being better people and building a better society and country. He also used the opportunity to remind Nigerians and the whole world in general that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over. He, therefore, appealed to everyone that as “we celebrate Christmas, we should celebrate responsibly, maintain social distance, wear our masks and for those of us who haven’t been vaccinated, please take your vaccine for vaccination is saving lives”.

The Light-Up Ceremony is one of the many Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Initiatives of Zenith Bank, as the Bank continues to lead in corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions and spending by Nigerian financial institutions. Indeed, Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry as an institution that is committed to building a more sustainable and inclusive economy and one that promotes responsible business practices in Nigeria through the integration of sustainability principles in its business operations.

Zenith Bank’s sustainability and CSR initiatives are hinged on the belief that today’s business performance is not all about the financial numbers – the Bank believes that an institution’s social investments, contributions to inclusive economic growth and development as well as improvements in the condition of the physical environment, all constitute a balanced scorecard.

Through its CSR initiatives, the Bank has embodied the overarching objective of the 17 SDGs, which provide a framework for addressing the major challenges confronting our society. Its social investments are targeted at health, education, women and youth empowerment, sports development and public infrastructure enhancement. Overall, Zenith Bank’s total social investments in 2020 stood at NGN3.29 billion ($8.62million), representing 1.66 per cent of its Profit After Tax. 

The Bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of host communities, particularly through community-based initiatives and philanthropy. As a good corporate citizen, it continues to deliver projects that have long-term social and economic benefits for the communities because it believes that its business is only as strong as the communities in which it operates. 

To demonstrate its commitment to creating and expanding opportunities, the Bank regularly makes donations towards the setting up of ultramodern ICT centres in several educational institutions across the country. It also supports various developmental projects, and healthcare delivery causes in Nigeria and contributes to the development of sports in Nigeria through its sponsorship of the Zenith Women Basketball League and the Zenith Bank Delta State Principals’ and Headmasters’ Football Competitions, to mention a few. 

The Bank also demonstrates leadership when its host communities deal with a crisis. For example, following the unfortunate gas explosion incident of March 15, 2020, which led to the loss of lives and properties at the Abule-Ado area in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Zenith Bank made a donation of NGN100 million to the Emergency Relief Fund set up by the Lagos State Government for the victims of the explosion. 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Zenith Bank’s commitment to sustainability has not waned, as the Bank donated NGN1 billion as part of the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector-led initiative to support the Nigerian Government to combat the Covid-19 crisis. 

 

Business

Ganado Farms: Redefining Nutrition, Agric Business In Nigeria

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The quest for the diversification of the Nigerian economy has no doubt hit a chord with many Nigerians, especially young people with an unquenchable thirst for entrepreneurial endeavors. The recourse and adherence to the quest for diversification, from research and daily realities, is more pronounced in the areas of agriculture and agribusiness, an area several Nigerian youths and start-ups are playing hard and smart. One of such start-ups is Ganado Farms, a multi-crop and integrated agribusiness involved in crop cultivation and livestock breeding. The success story of Ganado Farms is one many Nigerians will find inspiring and at the same time, surprising. This is because the reach and scope of the company, which started off in 2017, to say the least, is phenomenal.

Ganado Farms, which no doubt have its hands full, growing crops such as Cassava, Fruits, Vegetables, Ofada Rice, Ginger, Strawberry, Potatoes, Onions, Watermelon, Cucumber, Lettuce, Cabbage, Tomato, Pepper and Carrots, aside livestock breeding, can be described as one of the most diversified companies involved in agribusiness in Nigeria.

Speaking on the operations of the company, it’s Head of Operations, Mr. Tomisin Inumo-Jacobs in a chat, said though Ganado Farms is still a young company, which came into being in April 2017, the company nevertheless have the vision of becoming the pioneer of agro and techno platforms, through organic food, which will help in promoting and uplifting the agriculture sector in Nigeria and Africa at large.

 

He said: “We believe strongly that agriculture is still man’s oldest profession and as long as people and even animals eat, the sky is the beginning.

“Though we are still young, haven started operations precisely in April 2017, we already have farms in Nigeria and Ghana. We are in 3 states across the southwest and Plateau State in the North Central.

“In Jos and Epe in Lagos, we have our fruits and vegetable farms, while in Wasimi in Ogun State, we have the livestock farm. The Ofada Rice and Cassava farms are located in Oyo State, while we also grow ginger, Onions, strawberry and potatoes in Jos.

Speaking further, Inumo-Jacobs said the company focuses primarily on large-scale production of watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, pepper, carrots, vegetables, potatoes, onion and strawberries.

Unlike many other companies that focus only on farming and the production of farm products, Ganado Farms is multi-faceted, as it also offers agricultural training and consultancy.

“We help people who are looking at going into agriculture but probably do not have the time and the experience to get started to generate maximum profit by helping them acquire the land and farming for them based on solid insurance and expertise. We also help sell to our off-takers after harvest.

“So far, we have helped over 1,200 stakeholders maximize great profits through agriculture. Our passion for Agriculture and transparency has helped us to stay on top of our game in the Agribusiness”, the Ganado Farms boss said.

Ganado Farms also prides itself of having a mission that speaks volumes of what has propelled it to the enviable level it has attained in a short while, as the mission statement says: ” to be ever dependable in helping people make a risk free agribusiness decision and healthy living, contributing our quota to the most affordable and organic food production, employment rate and promoting agriculture in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.”

 

Ganado Farms

Though agriculture is believed to be the oldest profession in the world with its practice still largely primitive and manual in this part of the world, Ganado Farms have brought in some innovations, taking advantage of information and communication technology to make its operations less cumbersome.

According to Inumo-Jacobs, these innovative ways of doing things, especially with technology, were informed by the quest of the company to give the general public a more affordable, fresher, cleaner, healthier and more hygienic farm produce directly from their farms.

“We have been able to set up a value chain, reaching the final consumers directly with our products. Buyers can now shop from the comfort of their homes and get it delivered to their doorsteps through our fast and efficient delivery service, Ganado Logistics.

“Farm produce such as 100% stone-free Ofada Rice, Well produced Garri Flakes, Dried Catfish, Tomatoes, Habanero Pepper, Chilli Pepper, Local Pepper, Cucumber, Watermelon, Pineapple, 100% Fruit Juice and Smoothies in all variants. Potatoes, Strawberries, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Pigs and Cows can be ordered online by clicking on http://www.ganadofoods.com and it will be delivered in record time”, he said

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JCI Nigeria partners P&G, donate Sanitary Towels in the Celebration of the Girl-Child

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate and celebrate the Girl Child, Junior Chamber International Nigeria in partnership with P&G paid a visit to Alapere Comprehensive High School to sensitize the Female Students and donate Sanitary Pads. Speaking at the event, The National President, JCI Nigeria – Abiola Olorunnisola encouraged female students to be upright, Diligent, Bold and Be Active Citizens in all their endeavors, adding that the future belongs to the youth.

Olorunnisola further reinstated the organization’s commitment to continuous support and collaboration for the betterment of the youths through education and other initiatives. ‘’We are committed to improving the state of the world by engaging in meaningful initiatives in our immediate environment.

Also speaking at the gathering, the Local President of JCI Ikeja, Tricia Inalu charged the girls to ensure they pay due attention to themselves, their body and take care of their mental health.

Amongst JCI Nigeria delegates that were present at the donation event are Director of Projects, JCI Ikeja – Ruth Oriyomi Idowu; Director of Membership Services and Awards, JCI Ikeja – Wunmi Fakoya and other Members of the Organisation.

The Sensitization was followed by the distribution of Sanitary Towels. The Principal of the School, expressed his profound gratitude for the existing relationship and usual support to the School.

It will be recalled that 10 Blocks of Modern Toilets were also donated to the School in the month of June 2021 by JCI Ikeja. The President of JCI Ikeja, Tricia Inalu assured the Principal and the Students of the Organization’s continuous supports.

JCI Nigeria has been involved in different developmental projects all across the states of the federation, driving and providing development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

The organization is a worldwide platform

of young, active citizens under the age of 40 comprising career professionals, entrepreneurs, and public-spirited individuals desirous of making a positive impact in their communities.

 

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  Siju Iluyomade Begins Distribution of ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ Palliative Across Nigeria

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In a bid to bring succor to the less privileged in the society, Arise Women, led by Dr Siju Iluyomade has put everything in place to begin the distribution of its ‘Pink Bucket’, a food basket to serve as palliatives for millions of people across the country.

The package which consists of a couple of items like Spaghetti, Rice, Tomato paste, groundnut Oil among other things will be the content in a pink bucket, which is now a regular activity of Dr. Iluyomade’s way of reaching out to lots of underprivileged tagged ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ (APB), will commence on December 4th officially.

Though the distribution of the buckets started on 1st of December during Dr. Iluyomade’s championed Handmaidens weekly event at the COD Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victoria Island, were people trooped in to pick up the ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ palliatives, the distribution to Local Governments across the Country later during the week.

Over 3million of ‘Arise Pink Buckets’ are expected to be distributed in many parts of the country in the next few weeks according to Dr. Iluyomade.

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