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OONI COMMISSIONS OJAJAMORE, TARGETS MORE JOB CREATION WITH 100 STALLS ACROSS NIGERIA IN 2 YEARS

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The Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, today Friday, September 16 2022 at Ile-Ife, Osun state, unveiled an iconic retail outlet branded OjajaMore, a viable food-chain retail store dealing in groceries and other consumables.

Explaining the initiative at the commissioning ceremony held at the premises of the retail store located at the KM 10, Ife/Ibadan express way in Ile-Ife today, the Ooni stated that the establishment of OjajaMore is in fulfillment of his agelong aspiration to redesign retail activities that will be gainfully driven by the Nigerian youths with a view to creating an enduring legacy for Africa in the global space.

“Today, I am exceptionally fulfilled to unveil the OJAJAMORE, one of the profound and timeless initiatives that I envisioned for the modernization of Ile-Ife, Osun State, and other Nigerian cities. It is a triumph and regeneration of retail economies, a reservoir of seamless opportunities for new agro-commodities markets significantly improving access to B2B value chains, a social sanctuary for groceries and other products, and an iconic global brand name that will leave indelible marks on young people through job creation, resolving commoditization issues, and harnessing the integration of locally built flawless novelty digital transactions.

A rethinking of our approach and values for shopping malls in Nigeria and for Nigerians need to be pioneered and readapted. The vision of OJAJAMORE as an indigenous entity with a modern continental outlook is to play a prominent role in people’s lives as a conduit that provides relatable experiences beyond traditional shopping while driving a robust economic culture. It will broaden the boundaries of business growth, increase efficiency, and incorporate value-added elements that will span a remarkable experience and instill a deeper bond in customers.

The OJAJAMORE is part of my multichannel investment strategies, which will naturally serve the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the OJAJA Arena (a 3,000-seat multi-purpose event center), the OJAJA Hostel (a 2,000-bed hostel facility at Obafemi Awolowo University), and other iconic facilities that I have built in Ile-Ife and the surrounding communities over the last six years. This was a promise that I made at my historic coronation six years ago, and I will stop at nothing to fulfil the truest vision of Ile-Ife as both a symbol of ancient and modern economic powerhouse”. Ooni said.

The Natural Head of the Oduduwa race worldwide stated that he intends to use the new retail store initiative as his deliberate way of getting youths gainfully engaged.

“This is a job creation for the Nigerian youths. OjajaMore simply means where people (consumers) can pay less and get more. It is a combination of royalty and retail to create a different shopping perspective starting from Ile-Ife The Source. The business is structured to allow personalized shopping to grow the retail business which is grossly underdeveloped in Nigeria due to reasons which include proliferation of neighborhood stores and unorganized markets among others.

“While in Johannesburg about 15 years ago on a business visit, I saw so many retail stores, I thereafter realized that as big as Nigeria was and still is, there are only five (5) major malls with no single one in my hometown Ile-Ife that is refined, classy and affordable.

“Like we have names of people branded into companies like this in developed countries, I initiated this project to build the confidence of our younger ones in productive business and investment activities. Youths are the real drivers of economic growth.

“We have started from Ile-Ife because charity begins at home, from here we will cover the entire South West and Nigeria with a chain of over 100 stalls within the next 24 months. It will be first of its kind in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.

“Beyond grooming young minds and serious minded youths in retail business, this initiative will offer over 100,000 direct and indirect employment to our youths across the country, thereby contributing in no small means to human development and capacity building. That’s my target” The Ooni said.

On what Nigerians stand to benefit from patronizing the new outfit, the MD/CEO. of OjajaMore, Mr. Benedict Orioye explained that high-powered technology will be deployed to ensure that customers are treated with respect and royalty as part of value for their money, beyond what is obtainable in similar outfits nationwide.

Orioye said, “Our focus is to have local content as items making up of at least 70 percent of items to be sold here, this is why we are dueling mostly on the farm market. Everything you can think of in the farm will be sold in OjajaMore with decent packaging in line with global standard operating procedure for food handling.

“Aside from fresh and healthy farm produce, the mall will be filled with other retail items as obtainable in other malls around the world but blended with royalty. Our goods are going to be affordably cheap and environment friendly as we have concluded plans to partner the university communities around us to ease the stress of students and other low income earners in shopping.” Orioye said.

In keeping with his unorthodox shift, the Ooni has said OJAJAMORE will be guided by the young people, as they are heroically dedicated to one Nigeria whose greatness and prosperity they are inextricably connected to. As a result, he has intentionally entrusted some of his initiatives and projects to some of Nigeria’s brightest young people. It will be recalled that monarch had on the day of his official coronation in December 2015 dedicated his reign and the throne to the youth. This has consistently seen him engage the youths meaningfully in all his projects and programs both businesses and NGOs.

Apart from Orioye Benedict Gbayisemore, a one time local fisherman from Ilaje Ese Odo area of Ondo state who was appointed MD/CEO of the OjajaMore by the Ooni having discovered him as a well educated and super versatile young man with a Bsc Physics from Obafemi Awolowo University and currently studying for his MSc Business Admin at the University of Ibadan, the super dynamic monarch has also given an array of other brilliant and multi-talented Nigerian youths gainful job opportunities with a lot of them performing creditably well in their various engagements.

Makinde Covenant(DJ Smith) from Ile-Ife, a 3 hundred level student of Dramatic Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University is the one in charge of YAKOYO AFRIKANA an African restaurant which occupies the Gallery section of the OjajaMore established to promote the African heritage using the aspect of our diverse local food and cuisines. There are several other Nigerian youths who have benefited from the Ooni’s G2G platform which he created 4 years ago to drive his Grass-To-Grace aganda for the youths.

A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Oluwaseun Victor Badejo from Ile-Ife is handling OJAJA PARK, a 25 billion naira model city project in Akure while a 30 year old Kamarudeen Adefajo an indigene of Modakeke-Ife with an HND architecture is the one in charge of OjajaMews, another multibillion housing estate project located at Osogbo in Osun state.

A graduate of Osun State Polytechnic who is fondly called Engineer Fisayo has been made to carry out several successful constructions of the Ooni’s projects like the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the 3000 seaters multi-purpose event center called OJAJA ARENA, a 2000 bedded hostel facility OJAJA HOSTEL at the Obafemi Awolowo University, the OjajaMore all in Ile-Ife.

Former president of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Comrade Bello Shagari from Sokoto state is the MD/CEO of Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) a platform set up by the Ooni in 2018 for showcasing and celebrating the talented young leaders who are already great but untapped assets for Nigeria. he studied Business Information Systems & Information Technology Middlesex University, London.

Barrister Habeeb Whyte from Abeokuta, a Law graduate of the University of Ilorin is the
MD/CEO Olofin Products Ltd.
an Ooni’s company Packaging everyday agricultural products for sale locally and exports.

One of the Ooni’s Personal Assistants, Tomisin Olawale a graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada was also recently appointed as Director of Olofin Microfinance Bank, a one-time Ife Community owned bank which has just been succoured by the Ooni for resuscitation. An award winning Inya Sarah Lawal, who coordinates his “Women Owned Micro Businesses” (WOMB).

Others include Olusola Owonikoko, who runs the Royal African Foundation (RAF), Ibidapo Fashina, who runs the Royal African Medical Outreach (RAMO), According to the dynamic king, these young men and women, like millions of others, are a microcosm of his royalty, woven into the fabric of our modernization and industrialization even as history weighs heavily on their shoulders.

While inviting individuals, groups, government and other corporate organizations in Ile-Ife and its environs to join him in the daily patronage of the iconic OjajaMore, the African foremost who doubles as Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) monarch admonished government and well meaning Nigerians to always consider the Nigerian youth as the best partners in progress for the economic liberation of the country.

 

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Business

NNPC Gas Marketing Limited Commissions New Office complex constructed by TILT Energy in Lagos

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NGML one of the core strategic subsidiaries of NNPC commissioned a new office complex at the Ikeja on Monday the 23rd of January.
This is in line with their commitment to providing an enabling environment for workforce which the MD Mr Justin Ezeala described as their greatest asset. It’s also inline with vision of the company of propagating the use of gas a cleaner source of energy across the country.

 

The impressive edifice was designed and built by
Leading integrated energy solutions company, TILT Energy Company Limited
The project, which was completed in the space of one year With no safety incidents in compliance with the extremely high standards of the oil and gas industry ,a testament to the pedigree of TILT Energy as a company.

NNPC and TILT Energy

Speaking at the commissioning Ayodeji Awodiji said that TILT Energy offers a vast array of services beyond just civil construction projects of this standard ,he highlighted the, O&M, pipeline installation and process automation capabilities of the company as an example .
He noted that TILT Energy also has a very strong fabrication base with its fabrication yard situated in Lagos, adding that he was proud to have been part of many flagship projects, including this.
Ayodeji explained that TILT has displayed its ability to work in a live site, where you have gas distribution without any safety incidents.
“We are glad for NNPC gas marketing limited for giving us this opportunity to showcase our core competence.

 

TILT Energy Management

“Like I said we are an EPCI company so civil construction is literally just a small part of what we do,” he said.”
He added that the new office was designed and constructed by TILT Energy on schedule within the stipulated 12 months timeframe.
According to him, “we actually started in December 2021, and we more or less concluded in December 2022, and commissioned in January 2023.”
Also speaking at the event was Mr Justin Ezeala, Managing Director, NNPC Gas Marketing Limited (NGML), who revealed that in spite of the challenges TILT Energy had at the beginning, he was particularly proud of their capacity to deliver on schedule.
The Executive Director Asset Management of NGML Mr Lawrence Chukwu also in his remarks commended the contractor for the outstanding quality of work , their professionalism and safety standards
He said he was happy that the project was situated close to one of their biggest partners Gaslink,
The well attended event had dignaties such as the MD of gaslink, the MD of NIPCO, Falcon Energy and Mtech in attendance (names)
Additionally, speaking on TILT energy’s ongoing projecrs coming projects, Ayodeji revealed that rehabilitation of the steam turbine at the Olorunsogo power plant owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company is expected to be completed by the end of the 1st quarter of this year and would bring on stream an additional 125 megawatts to the national grid when completed

According to him, the Olorunsogo Power Plant project is a very significant milestone for a local company to execute.

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ADEDUNTAN URGES BANKS TO IMPROVE LOAN MONITORING TO PREVENT NPLS’ BUILD-UP

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, has advised financial institutions in the country to be vigilant and improve the monitoring of their customers’ loans in order to prevent the build-up of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the industry as a result of the macroeconomic challenges.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, Adeduntan also urged businesses and their bankers to approach the new year in a collaborative relationship in order to overcome anticipated headwinds in the economy.

Adeduntan explained, “To prevent rising NPLs, businesses and their bankers will have to collaborate more and ensure timely flow of information to prevent surprises.

“Banks on their part will have to improve monitoring of their loan portfolio to quickly identify early warning signals for attention before a full-scale loan deterioration.

“Overall, businesses and their bankers must approach 2023 with a partnership mindset to ensure that a win-win outcome is achieved despite the anticipated macroeconomic challenges.”

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, recently warned that 2023 would be tougher than 2022 for much of the global economy, as the United States, European Union and China see slowing growth.

Georgieva had said 2023 would be a “tough year”, with one-third of the world’s economies expected to be in recession.

The IMF had in October cut its global growth forecast to 2.7 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent forecast in July, amid headwinds, including the war in Ukraine and sharply rising interest rates.

Owing to the anticipated weakening of the global economy, Adeduntan said with slowing growth and elevated inflation rates, the sustainability of foreign debts, especially for developing nations, was likely to call for a re-evaluation by lenders given the increased likelihood of default.

He stated, “When this is juxtaposed with the higher interest rate environment at which these debts are likely to be refinanced, you will observe a scenario where further strain is exerted on the debt repayment capacity of these economies.

“However, this situation does not necessarily translate to an automatic economic doom for developing nations. The actual impact on each developing economy will depend on the economy’s level of fiscal discipline and revenue generating capacity.

“Developing nations, who are able, in the short term, to increase revenues either from taxes or sale/refinancing of idle/sub-optimal assets will be able to negotiate reasonable refinancing terms from lenders and prevent further economic turmoil.

“Nonetheless, all concerned nations need to take the issue of debt sustainability more seriously by limiting fiscal wastages, reducing inefficiencies, growing revenues, and aggressively working down unsustainable debt-to-GDP levels that may worsen the impacts of external shocks.”

Adeduntan also pointed out that expectedly, rising cost of debt and contracting demand would exacerbate the challenges that businesses would face this year, particularly for players operating in small-margins sectors of the economy.

Locally, the surging inflation rate was also expected to reduce disposable income of most consumers and demand for non-essential goods and services may dip, he said.

He, however, pointed out that despite the expected macroeconomic challenges in 2023, there were also emerging business and revenue opportunities that could be exploited by discerning players in the financial services industry.

Specifically, he identified the areas that would provide significant opportunity to players in the financial services industry to include payments, digital security, mergers and acquisition (M&A) opportunities, partnership across segments and consumer lending.

Adeduntan explained, “The Central Bank of Nigeria’s renewed drive on cashless policy has provided an opportunity for players in the financial services industry to enhance existing digital product offerings and create more attractive product offerings that will further reduce frictions in the payment process.

“This will help to reduce the financial exclusion gap, increase fees and commissions revenues, and improve overall viability and stability of the financial system.”

In the area of digital security, the chief executive said, “Increasing adoption of digital payments platforms will necessitate increased requirement for the security of payment channels. Thus, opportunities exist for players in the financial services industry to leverage robotics and artificial intelligence to improve security protocols on digital payment channels.”

He added, “With the anticipated pressures on earnings, opportunities exist for big and liquid players to gain additional scale and market share through outright acquisition of fringe players with the right strategic fit.

“There is also an opportunity for two or more small and/or medium size players to merge their operations/businesses to obtain scale advantage.

“The growing number of Fintechs and licensed Payment Service Banks also presents an opportunity for improved partnerships across various categories of players in the financial services industry for both mutual and industry-wide benefits.

“Tightening financial conditions of the average household will create opportunities for consumer loans in several variants such as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), salary advance, consumer asset finance, etc. The industry is already witnessing a rising trend in the creation of digital consumer loan product offerings. This is likely to intensify in 2023.”

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Another set of winners to emerge in ongoing Polaris Save & Win Promo

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Polaris-Bank

…As Christmas Special Draw holds on December 29

 

Polaris Bank has announced that the third draw of its ongoing Save & Win promo is scheduled to hold on Thursday December 29, 2022.

 

The draw which will be conducted electronically, will hold at the Bank’s Victoria Island, Lagos headquarters, and will be broadcast live on the Bank’s social media channels where winners that emerged will be contacted and rewarded instantly.

 

The Bank has rewarded a total of 162 winners in the first and second draws that held on November 4 and December 8, respectively in a transparent selection witnessed by the relevant regulatory authorities.

 

The Bank in a statement on Wednesday, disclosed that another set of 100 Nigerians will be winners and will take-home cash prize of N100,000 each in the Christmas Special Draw.

 

According to Polaris Bank, customers can still participate in, or increase their chances of winning by depositing a minimum of N5,000 in their Savings account. Also, non-customers of the Bank can participate for a chance to win in the draw by opening a Polaris Savings account with N2,000 and growing same to N5,000 before the draw date.

 

Representatives of the relevant Lottery Commissions, Advertising Regulatory and Consumer Protection Agencies would be present at the draw to monitor and ensure transparency in the process.

 

The general public is invited to participate and follow the draw live on the Bank’s social media handles: @Polarisbankltd on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

Polaris Bank announced that this year’s Save & Win promo will reward over 4,000 Nigerians with cash gifts ranging from N100,000 to N1,000,000 in its monthly, quarterly and special draws.

 

Below are four (4) ways to participate in the promo:

 

 

  1. Download VULTe on iOS and the App store to open a Polaris Savings Account or dial USSD *833*0# on your phone or log into Polaris Bank savings portal at https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/opening/

 

  1. Grow your account by N5,000 or more for 30 days or 3 months to qualify for monthly & quarterly draws respectively; by N50,000 in 3 months to qualify for Xmas Special draw.
  1. If your account is dormant, you can reactivate your account without visiting the Bank by simply logging into the portal:https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/reactivate/, accept the terms and conditions, and update the required details the Bank may need.
  1. Follow the Bank’s handles @polarisbankltd across all social media platforms or visit the website at www.polarisbanklimited.com to stay updated.

 

Polaris Bank, adjudged Digital Bank of the Year 2021 and 2022, is a future-determining Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products for individuals and businesses.

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