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Polaris Bank partners Societal Healthcare to reduce maternal mortality




…trains 50 community midwives and health extension workers in Northern Nigeria

Polaris Bank in partnership with Societal Healthcare Organisation (SHO), has organised a training for community midwives and health extension workers in Northern Nigeria themed: Life Saving Skills (LSS). The 3-day intensive training is part of efforts to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with major causes of maternal and neonatal death in the country.

In his opening remarks, Polaris Bank’s Group Head, North-West Group II, Mr. Ahmed Badru, disclosed that the Bank’s intervention was designed to combat the incidence of maternal deaths in Northern Nigeria. There is an estimated statistic of 546 maternal deaths in Northern Nigeria out of reported 100,000 cases in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Badru explained that in line with the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), strategic focus on health, the workshop set out to train fifty (50) community midwives and health extension workers, randomly selected from 80 percent public and 20 percent private hospitals in Kano state.

“We will continue to work in partnership with relevant organizations like SHO to improve maternal health so that we can contribute our quota to reducing deaths that occur as a result of complications of pregnancy or childbirth,” he added.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of Societal Healthcare Organization, Dr. Mahmoud K. Dankadai, expressed profound gratitude to Polaris Bank for partnering with their organization to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children in Nigeria.

He appreciated the Bank for providing medical consumables comprising Polaris Bank branded bags; umbilical cord scissors; latex sterile gloves; delivery mats; surgical blades; cord clamps; povidone iodine; baby oil; hand sanitizers and facemasks in addition to the intensive training availed the participants.

The Group Head, who represented Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, pledged the Bank’s commitment to improved maternal health in Nigeria.

The training which took place at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research (CIDR), Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano had on its faculty; Prof. Isa Abubakar, Director of CIDR; Prof. Zubaida Farouk of Department of Pediatrics and Prof. Muhammad Abdussalam of Department of Pediatrics, all of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Bayero University, Kano.

Societal Healthcare Organization is an NGO that offers unique community outreach and social services. Its mission is to provide qualitative and effective health to deprived groups, especially women and children in collaboration with stakeholders.

Polaris Bank has been in the forefront of a series of global action to reduce premature deaths among women. It has supported over 30 indigent cancer patients for treatment; free scanning programmes for over 20,000 women and donated cancer screening machines to Care Organization and Public Enlightenment (C.O.P.E) to enhance quality diagnosis and clinical practices serving all classes of women in Nigeria.

Polaris Bank’s consistent support for Nigeria’s health sector was recently recognized as the “Outstanding Healthcare Financial Institution of the Year” by the Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA), the nation’s premier Health Award body.

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

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Why Nigerians In The Diaspora Are Reluctant To Help Those Back Home, Healthcare Trainer Shares Experience





In a conversation, an Ireland-based entrepreneur, accredited training provider, health and social care professional reveals that many home based Nigerians end up victimising the very people who genuinely come to support them.

Dr Olayinka Dixon, is a professional Vocational Education Trainer and Adult Skills Assessor for more than 35 years since 1985, with a first degree from University of Benin in 1983 who taught in University of Calabar during NYSC before travelling abroad.

She retrained into different industry disciplines, several times, across Europe and the USA, including teaching Computing skills, Programming, Hardware maintainance and Software configuration, and health and social care, and she has used her combined skills in the teaching of adults in different UK and some Ireland colleges since leaving Nigeria in 1985. She is also a Journalist and a John Maxwell trained coach, trainer, and mentor.

Dr Dixon has, over several years now, silently run several youth empowerment programs inside Nigeria to support many businesses of young Nigerians from her personal and business income. Recently she set up an NGO in memory of her late father, where she pays school fees, attends to calls for medical support, and other emergencies from people she met on social media. She does not know and has not met many of these people. She supports young women set up their businesses. She said they remind her of her own life.

While discussing in an interview with our reporter, Dr Dixon revealed that a lot is going on in the Diaspora, to the point where many diasporans offering genuine support, end up being duped, cyber bullied, harrassed or blackmailed by some Nigerians they try to support. “Abroad is hard and we work hard but we miss home. So, the smallest we can do is to support the few that we can.”

“I can’t really blame anyone in Nigeria though,” she said, “it can be hard to know who to trust, especially with all the stories of diasporans that do dupe Nigerians. But you must understand that many genuine Diasporans are serially scammed by some Nigerians, and some of them mistake people who are for scammers, based on dubious stories and allegations by aggrieved persons. You can never know the real motive of anyone who is telling you negative stories about others. The truth is that, no matter where you live, you can’t please everyone and no matter how good you choose to be, there will always be those who dislike you forwhatever reason, or wish they could be like you. Those disgruntled ones will therefore, try to bring you down. This is how life is,” she said.

Relating some of the experiences of herself and her business partner, Mrs Isioma Ogonuwe, she recalled a very recent incident of severe harassment and bullying while she was on her sick bed with high blood pressure. Nobody can get away with that kind of harassment anywhere in Europe without being arrested, regardless of the issue. But, Nigeria seems to be a place where people get away with lots of criminally abusive behaviour.

“There was this woman who presented her daughter-in-law for training because she claimed she wanted her to travel to the UK via the UK visa program.

“As you know, the UK was running a Healthcare workers Visa Program which they have merged into the Highly Skilled profram now. This was to address severe staff shortages in the industry. However, many Nigerians and other nationals in the Diaspora were charging up to £17,000 per individual and £27,000 per family. You won’t believe this. Many of them were demanding a deposit of £7,000 upfront for Sponsorship Certificates and jobs that do not exist. Then the people would get to the UK and for many months they didn’t work because, of course, they had no jobs. To make it worse, the remaining £10,000 or £20,000 is demanded from them as monthly repayments over three years. How much is the salary?

“It was Pastor Ossai that alerted us to the danger that people were going through and Isioma and I were really dismayed. “Why are our people like this?” So, between us, we decided to train some people up to Diploma level, in two stages, and help them search for jobs. Once we are able to build their skills capacity, they immediately increase their chances of getting jobs anywhere in the world.

“I remember Isioma said, “If our people are well qualified, they won’t be scammed in this way, and can even get jobs, confidently, in any country, because the jobs are there.” We then agreed to roll out training that will help those who want to avoid Loan Sharks. We discovered that some of those businesses are travel agents, but the pandemic had affected many businesses. So, one can’t also blame those agents. It’s their business, and there was no shortage of people ready to pay.

“We work in the healthcare industry, and some have over 25 years of experience (on and off). We decided to train as many as we can, from absolute beginner levels, right up to Diploma levels, supported with hands on practicals. Our complete program is in two stages, and we decided to help them search for jobs after training first stage and diploma next with job search prepare them for job and visa interviews and help them to settle, after helping them get suitable property when they arrive.

“We extended our business services to be able to do business in the UK and I offered to train my own family first. I told my cousin the package fees for the two stages £2,550 and, £3000. He immediately enrolled three of his children and his brother on the training. He said, “it’s cheaper than searching for £15k to £18k college fees for each of the twins. I plan for my family to go first on our program, and we agreed.

“After we started, I became a Registered Manager on the program we registered for, as an accredited training provider. We are part of a large community of hard-working and dedicated registered managers who are committed to delivering outstanding care. Training forms a major part of this because untrained and unskilled workers have been known to kill patients in their care. Our duty of care is, first and foremost, to the patients. So it’s important that people we recommend are trained. That’s what our business is set up to address.

“They count on us to deliver excellence in care. And that is what we are determined to do. There has been pressure on us to purchase employer “Certificates of Sponsorships” and to assume ourselves as employers. We are not employers. The legal work of being and employer is much and we can’t combine it. We are trainers, and we already work from a database of more than 50 government approved employers. So all we are to doing, is providing a “Win-Win” situation for both the employers and the new healthcare workers.

“Our trainees would be trained and accredited by CPD, coming to the employer. After their probation, if they don’t like to remain in healthcare, they can do a quick retraining, as guided by us, and move into Social Care. That is our setup and that’s what we packaged. Anyone who concludes the first training, which includes the FREE Care Certificate, we offer to Assess, set up with Practical sessions, conduct observations, and 15 modular assessments
After this they could decide not to continue with 2nd stage because we realise that £3000 may be much for some, going into Diploma. They could still get jobs. My cousins preferred the Diploma option because they said it is far cheaper than college fees.

“This is how we started. We did not want to advertise. However, one of my friends, Remsy, in her enthusiasm, apparently announced my approval as a registered manager in a WhatsApp group. Before I knew it, people had started calling my personal number, ignoring the business number. We had to quickly set up application forms for them to fill, and I explained our setup to them befire they pay. We are not employers. That’s how we got three non family members to join our program. One of the ladies, Mrs Naomi Dike, introduced the first two, and then later also, one Mrs Omonori.

“Unfortunately, I developed a severe high blood pressure just as the practical sessions were going on in Lagos, and had to organise almost everything else from my sick bed.

“The last person to join was the one who didn’t believe I was sick. She nearly killed me on that sick bed. She called every minute, sent voice messages, she creamed my pictures from Facebook, and almost harrased the life out of me. I almost died in that harassment.

‘I remember suffering severe blackouts, migraines, fever, and being unable to function normally. Naomi knew it. Remsy, Vivian, Ossai, even Philomena, and the others in the team. Many couldn’t reach me because I was far away, almost across the Irish border.

“Mrs Omonori kept screaming and cursing that she wants her FULL money back. “How can you say you are sick? You’re a scammer, fraudster, 419, ole thief.” Eventually, I told Vivian (Isioma), “Please let’s refund her the full £6000 so that she won’t kill me. Vivian is our business Finance Officer, modular trainer, and internal assessor. She refused because Mrs Omonori’s daughter in-law had concluded the first training. When she realised that my health was declining, she yielded to my please, and agreed that I find out how to transfer the money to the woman so that I could concentrate on my health. That mistake cost us almost £7500 because the pound had fallen then, and we had to source naira from different parts of the world.

“Anyway, my team decided we were no longer going to allow me to make unilateral decisions for refunds. All cards and bank books were taken from me, because they all saw me as “soft hearted and vulnerable.

“Someone even suggested that Mrs Omonori must have used juju on me to collect more than she was due, because she was only due £3000 for the Diploma and Job Search program.

“After more than 12 weeks of agreed initial training plus assessment of all prior learning, underpinning knowledge and compilation of questions and answers, bringing them up to Level 5 Diploma levels, Naomi now also wants her full money back. And just like Mrs Omonori, she’s raining curses, abuses, and shouts on me. Isioma spoke with her for over about hour (we have the recordings) explained that we had started job search. Initially we were hoping to get student admissions for all of them, to fast track their entry, and proceed from there. Naomi and the others agreed with the plan. Dramatically, Naomi changed her mind and started calling for a full refund, just like her friend, Mrs Omonori. Naomi that was nice before, started calling me all sorts of names.

“Our accountant was informed and we booked appointment. After accounting, he advised that we refund Naomi for services that we had not completed or rendered. This came to £954. A Credit Note was raised. Our association supports us with templates of forms. So we sent her one of the association’s standard “Complaints Resolution forms” (with the address of the UK Office of the Financial Ombudsman), which regulates all financial business dealings in UK.
As soon as she received it, she set anonymous callers to harrass me with threats”. Dixon said.

In chat messages and voice notes in the possession of our reporter, both Naomi Dike and some others threatened Dr (honorary) Dixon they would blackmail her on social media through blogs, adding that they are “already talking to Sahara Reporters, to expose” alleged “fraudulent ways,”

One of the chats from a person with no name reads: “We are on it. The bloggers are waiting. We listened to ur discussion wt Naomi this morning. It’s now obvious to us that you are a fraudulent person. We are compiling the names of poor Nigerians u hv scammed. Even the ones u hv refunded their money like Mrs Omonoli. We HV spoken to all of them in Nigery and Diaspora including one Mr Israel. My advice is that u settled with all these people as soon as possible. What you did is against the law. We HV search all information about u and notice that all through ur life it hs be scamming. The law will be on u this time. Just wait and see. It has started. U do t need to reply this message pls.” (sic)

” We are already talking with British and Dublin Embassies in Nigeria. That’s our job. ICPC and EFCC know how to deal with financial prostitutes like u. Check our the story next week. We just finished meeting wt Sahara Report now” “How Dr Olayinka Dixon-Oludaiye a fraudster duped Nigerian seeking jobs in UK Million of Dollars.” (sic)

Our reporter questioned Ms Dixon extensively about these allegations. We also listened to a recorded audio of meeting between Naomi, Isioma and Ms Dixon where Isioma took time to explain to Naomi that all her assessments have been completed, which is why it was possible to award her with CPD certificates for the appropriate levels.

Ms Dixon explained that “Vocational Education is not like Academic Education. There are no exams. We only use every available means to verify the evidence and underpin knowledge of the participants. They don’t always have to be in class because of how we agree to conduct assessments. But assessments are paperwork intensive. In Vocational Education, assessors do most of the work because the aim is to ensure that the participants can demonstrate or explain the subject matter and demonstrate competence at the appropriate level.

“This was explained to all of them, which is why my cousin agreed for his children and brother to participate in the training.”

Our reporter also spoke with Ms Dixon’s cousin, based here in Nigeria, who confirmed her claims.

Ms Dixon mentioned that Clear Choice Careers and Staffing Services is registered in Ireland with offices in Northern Ireland, UK, and we are duly certified as approved training providers offering CPD courses. We are authorised to issue appropriate level of competence certificates. She lamented that she was shocked that Naomi is suddenly claiming ignorance of this process as she then refused to allow them to continue with job search. When pressure for time was mounted on her, Ms Dixon said she asked if they wanted to try the Student option. Some agreed including Naomi. She even sent her passport but changed her mind two days later.
Instead, she is demanding for a full refund after more than 12 weeks of training and CPD certificates and also resorting to employing the same tactics of bulling and blackmailing, like Mrs Omonori did, also could be heard in audio threatening Ms Dixon’s career, and life, while declaring “I am from Delta. I will fight you with everything if you don’t pay me my money in full, I swear to God. You don’t know anything yet.”

“This is why I was reflecting on Why many Nigerians abroad who are in business do not offer to support people back home. It can be quite traumatising. It also deflates your emotions and willingness to support anybody”, she said.

In conclusion, Ms Dixon said: “The sure thing is that my conscience and that of every member of my team is very clear. We have nothing to hide and are working perfectly according to laws of UK and Ireland. All of us have lived, worked, and done business for many years. Our bank accounts are not closed for any shady deals. We know people who engage in nefarious activities. We don’t even know how they do it, and we are not interested.

“So, we welcome the invitation from the EFCC or ICPC, as Naomi’s nameless friend mentioned. My legal team have advised I block him or her because this is the second time I’m getting such spam messages from the person. The EFCC is formed of educated people, not sentimentalists. They too, will use sense to check and to verify. In my opinion, it is also okay for the hired bullies to go to Oriyomi Hamzat, Sahara Reporters and Linda Ikeji as they have threatened.

“However, Yorubas say, “when a wicked person narrates a story, the judges will not always be wicked as well.” What is deplorable in Nigeria that we are all trying to change, is this issue of jungle justice, cyberbullying, gangster harrassments and all underhand forms of criminal defamation. There are laws against such here in Europe, and this is one of the reasons many reasonable Nigerians in the Diaspora don’t want to do business back home. A dry morsel eaten in peace is usually better than rich food eaten in pain. I am not one to shout about injustice done to me. I usually just take the “Flight option”. I am just tired of running away from battles. I told myself that “whoever fights and runs away, will ultimately, return to face that fight or another one like it. But, frankly, I’m tired of running from fights”, said Dr Dixon

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Global New Herbal Life Boss, Funmi Ogidan, Takes Herbal Medicine to New Height





Chairperson Global New Herbal Life, Funmi Lawrence -Ogidan  may not be a regular name everyone readily identifies when discussion is about indigenous medicine. However, that is not to say she is not present. She simply detests joining bandwagon of empty barrel that makes the loudest noise, rather, she holds a strong belief in letting her work speak for her.


As earlier stated, Ogidan may not attract every Tom, Dick and Harry, as alternative medicine dispenser because of the standard she has set, but certainly, she’s adored and appreciated by those who place premium value of professionalism and expertise, which of course are the core watchwords of Global New Herbal Life.

Funmi Lawrence Ogidan

Light skinned and beautiful boss of Global New Herbal Life, Ogidan, didn’t dabble into herbal medicine out of non-availability of what to do, factually, she was doing excellently well in her business as a travel agent. According to articulate and eloquent Funmi, her encounter with infertility made her path crossed indigenous medicine.


“It was a personal experience that took me into it. I had fertility challenges and I did every single thing every woman would do. I did IVF, went into hospitals but realized at the end of the day,i wasn’t able to get anything out it”. Funmi said.


It was at this point she decided to look elsewhere for possible solution and she decided to give herbal medicine a try. Funmi commenced research, the exercise led her to being able to make some herbal medicine which she started drinking, and finally, her exploit paid off as she hit the target. Today, she’s a proud mother of two. Her discovery brought about a strong belief that she could actually do more than just the fertility solution to help humanity. However, she wouldn’t depend on how she did research to get infertility solution, rather, she took steps to broaden her knowledge by going the right way to seeking professional training.

Chairperson Global New Herbal Life, Funmi Lawrence -Ogidan
“I did a couple of trainings in herbal science and drug technology in Cyrillic Herbal School. I also did Advance Diploma in Herbal Medicine in University of Lagos . I also did Homeopathy and Herbal Production with the African/American University, among other trainings and workshops. I also had trainings with the local fathers, the Babas, being the custodians of the herbal heritage. I trained with about four of them, even with Iyaloja. I was able to sit with them to learn identification of herbs and things like that. I basically didn’t limit myself to the classroom, I went to the field for the practicals.” Funmi explained.


With about two decades in herbal medicine, many who have been lucky to come in contact with Global New Herbal Life, sure have lots of beautiful stories to tell regarding their health. Interestingly, the outfit has continued to wax stronger as the leadership has not ceased to update its skills and knowledge. With the state-of –the-art equipment to diagnose and carry out production in the most hygienic form, the herbal medicine company is efficient in taking care of different types of conditions.


Global New Herbal Life boasts of a farm where they source their material, as well as befitting factory. In compliance with the necessary regulations, all of its products are NAFDAC certified. Also, its operations have certifications from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NDLEA and the Customs. Further more, Global New Herbal Life, is the first company around to get the ECOWAS Trade Liberation Scheme, which means its products can be anywhere in West Africa without having to pay any duty no.

With the involvement of this highly educated woman i.e sticking to professional conducts, herbal medicine could be said to have been redefined in a such a way that she bought the confidence of many, like the elites, high profile personalities, who hitherto were scared of subscribing to herbal medicine for obvious reasons but now have a safe platform, Global New Herbal Life, to rest on..

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The Association of Community Pharmacists (ACPN) Commends Polaris Bank for Support to the Health Sector




Polaris BAnk

… Laud Bank’s digitized access to instant credit initiative for Pharmacists

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has commended Polaris Bank for its commitment to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and Nigeria’s health sector. National Chairman ACPN, Pharm. Adewale Oladigbolu gave this commendation at the closing ceremony of the just-concluded 41st Annual ACPN National Conference held in Lagos.  

He thanked Polaris Bank for partnering with the association to host this year’s scientific conference, “especially coming on the heels of the recent MoU between Polaris Bank and ACPN which enables members to expand and run efficient pharmaceutical services.” The MOU, amongst other opportunities, provides digitized access to instant credit facilities for SMEs and business owners in the sector.

Pharm. Oladigbolu acknowledged that “this is the first time the association was having a scientific poster presentation from Community Pharmacists at the conference, which indicates the depth of Community Pharmacy practice as researchers in the country.”

Speaking further on highlights of the conference, the ACPN Chair said that “the conference was very successful as it afforded members opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge of modern pharmaceutical practice; as well as providing them the opportunity to engage in relaxation and networking.”

Polaris Bank’s Group Head, Products and Market Development, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, who spoke at the conference on behalf of the Bank, noted that ACPN is one of the frontline healthcare providers that should be supported with needed funding to grow their businesses and by extension, the industry.

Mrs. Ihekuna explained that ACPN members who wish to expand their businesses can now quickly and conveniently access instant credit facilities of up to N100m via a multi-functional card scheme.

She noted that the process eliminates the challenges that SMEs and business owners usually encounter while processing loans if they process such through VULTe — The Digital Bank by Polaris, especially since the process is digitized to remove barriers associated with obtaining credit.

The 5-day conference themed: “Ajumose Eko 2022” took place at the Festival Hotel, Festac, Lagos, from July 25th to July 29th, 2022.

Against the backdrop of the Bank’s consistent support for Nigeria’s health sector, Polaris Bank was recognized as the “Outstanding Healthcare Financial Institution of the Year” few months ago by the Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA), the nation’s premier Health Award body.

Polaris Bank, adjudged the Digital Bank of the Year, is a future-determining and digitally driven Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products to individuals, SMEs, and corporates.

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