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Indigenous Oil coy impacts 80,194 persons in eye can see initiative

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No fewer than 80,194 persons across Edo and Delta has so far been impacted in the free eye care medical services provided by Seplat Energy PLC, operators of the NPDC/SEPLAT joint venture.

Dr Chioma Nwachukwu, Director External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat disclosed this in her remarks in Benin, on Tuesday.

She was speaking at the nineth edition of the annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) programme of the company tagged “Eye Can See Initiative” at the palace of the Oba of Benin.

Nwachukwu explained that the figure was from the commencement of the programme nine years ago.

According to her, Seplat has, through the programme, impacted 80,194 persons; dispensed 35,755 reading glasses, and performed 3,456 cataract and related surgeries.

She noted that ensuring sustainability of the communities where Seplat operates remains top in the agenda of the company particularly the health and well-being of their people.

“We are committed to partnering with our host communities with the view to touching lives. The Eye Can See programme has been on since 2012, and every year, the company brings a dedicated team of medics to ensure it makes the right and needed impacts.

“Our focus on the good health and well being of our people is unwavering, and this is in line with Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing of all at all ages”.

She revealed that the programme which witnessed large turn out of people from within and outside of Benin commenced last Thursday.

She added that those who showed up would have their eyes checked, obtain prescription glasses or get operated upon to remove visual impairing cataracts.

“The programme will be deployed in different centres across Delta and Edo states.

“Thousand of Nigerians will be screened for eye ailments, surgeries performed, and eye glasses dispensed”, Nwachukwu said.

Welcoming the company and dignitaries to the palace, Chief John Oviesoge, the Eribo of Benin Kingdom, representing the Oba of Benin, Eware II.

He lauded Seplat for supporting and enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of members of its host communities and pledged his kingdom’s support to the Company and its activities.

He also commended the Company’s resolve to continue to invest in its areas of operation, saying the move had helped to boost the fortunes of the areas.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Eye Can See programme was in addition to other yearly social programmes deployed by Seplat in her areas of operation.

Some beneficiaries of the programme received free eye screening and treatment with and had their sights restored following surgery.

They commended Seplat for bringing hope to their lives and giving them the opportunity to maximise their potential.

The programme, which offers free premium optical care is open to anyone that comes to any designated venue whenever it is being deployed. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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NEPC, 13 trade promotion organisations shortlisted for WTOP award

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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has been nominated along side 13 other Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) for the 2022 World Trade Organisation (WTPO) Awards for Excellence in Trade Promotion.

A statement released on Monday by Ndubueze Okeke Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, it said Nigeria is poised to clinch the “Best Use of a Partnership”.

He said the NEPC has been shortlisted along with Apex Brazil, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Qatar Development Bank-Tesder and Saudi Export Development Authority.

The WTPO Award which is scheduled to hold on 17th May, 2022 in Accra, Ghana is open to all national TPOs.

The statement also said, “NEPC acknowledged WTPO as it recognizes excellence in providing trade support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to become competitive in international trade.

“In 2018, Nigeria, through NEPC won the award for the ‘Best initiative to Ensure that Trade is Inclusive and Sustainable”.

The NEPC won that category with its Zero to Export initiative which builds capacity of would-be exporters and SMEs on export procedures and documentation as well as provide practical training on product sourcing and market access.

The NEPC said that the initiative had trained 560 SMEs.

The International Trade Centre Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said, “At a time when small firms have been hit by supply chain disruptions, climate change crises and other socio-economic challenges, it important to show inspiring models that connect small firms to Trade opportunities that are Inclusive and sustainable”.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak will represent Nigeria at the Award Ceremony.

The statement further said, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania is competing in the “Best use of Information Technology”, while Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, Netherlands and Zimbabwe will compete for the “Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category”.

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Skils acquisition: ITF, Sightsavers train 32 physically challenged on 8 set of skills

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In fulfilling its mandate of promoting skills acquisition in the country, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in partnership with Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization that promotes disability rights have trained and graduated 32 Nigerians on different skills.

The skills include, computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.

Sir Joseph Ari, Director General of the ITF, at the graduation ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, said that the agency has made the training of physically challenged persons a priority.

He said “Among the the 34 that started the training only 2 couldn’t continue, therefore making the graduands 32.

“There is a physically challenged Act today in Nigeria, therefore as an agency thatt caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition, we have decided to focus on our attention on the physically challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development because we believe there is ability in disability,”

Yahaya Manu, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna, who reppresented Ari, also charged the graduands to make good use of their start up parks provides to them by the agency.

“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy it into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment,, and the agency is always committed to support the physically challenged in any capacity” he further stated.

On his part, the country director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said the rationale behind their partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system to be disability inclusive.

“We are building the disability confidence of employers, job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure their programs promote disability inclusive economic empowerment.

“While we have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities on soft and digital” skills, preparing and connecting them to formal job, we decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and prepare them for entrepreneurship,” he said.

He said the courses were carefully selected for the disability persons due to its relevance to the labour market while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during the training to start their business.

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