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MTN ‘Extremely Sorry’ Over Network Outage

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One of Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunications companies, MTN, has apologised for its service failures over the weekend.

Many MTN subscribers had been unable to make phone calls or access the Internet on Saturday.

“We are extremely sorry for the trouble you have faced in accessing our network,” MTN said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Sunday.

“We understand how important remaining connected is for your personal and business needs and your frustration is completely justified.

“We are working tirelessly to restore all connection, as we have also made some progress. Kindly restart your phone if you’re still experiencing a downtime.”

Later, MTN said its “network is now restored.”

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SCOA boss hails Unity Bank, others for supplying N15.5bn trucks, equipment to Julius Berger

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Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of SCOA Nigeria Plc, Dr. Massad Boulos has commended Unity Bank Plc and other banks for facilitating a credit facility of N15.5billion for the importation and supply of 33 MAN Platform Trucks and equipment to construction giant, Julius Berger Plc.

The equipment is to be deployed for the construction of the 380km Abuja-Kaduna-Kano roads.

“I commend Unity Bank, their MD and the members of the Executive Management; and the entire team of banks who have worked closely with us on this project.

“The partnership with Unity Bank and the other banks is like no other considering the parties involved especially SCOA Nigeria and Julius Berger”, he said.

Unity Bank advanced the largest sum of N4.24 billion for SCOA Equipment, which is a portion of the N17 billion total line of credit that the Bank extended to both SCOA Motors and SCOA Equipment.

The other seven Banks – Heritage, Zenith, Providus, Wema, UBA, Union and Coronation Merchant Banks – pulled the total sum to facilitate the deal to be deployed for the construction of roads across the country.

Of the 33 trucks that the total sum covered, 16 trucks were delivered during the first phase and handed over to Julius Berger. The second phase, which will see to the delivery of the remaining 17 trucks will be executed next month.

At the hand over to Julius Berger, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated that the involvement of Unity Bank in the project financing deal was in line with the Bank’s strategic business objective to redistribute resources and channel funds to critical sectors of the economy.

“We looked at the strategic importance of this project and how such infrastructure could contribute to stimulating economic activity and decided that Unity Bank must play its part.

“Unity Bank will continue to provide support to such projects as we have been doing in other critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture,” she said.

Somefun was represented at the ceremony by Mr. Wale Ogunride, Directorate Head, Lagos and South West Zone, Unity Bank.

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Unity Bank boosts capacity building on Blue Economy, empowers 3,000 girls

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No fewer than three thousand girls drawn from Senior Secondary Schools across Nigeria have benefitted from a 3-day capacity building initiative on maritime commerce and National Virtual Maritime Quiz powered by Unity Bank Plc.

The initiative, which focused on Information Communication Technology, ICT, maritime transportation and logistics ecosystem, was hosted by Ocean Ambassadors Foundation to promote the participation of Indigent Girl-Child in maritime commerce.

Unity Bank partnered the programme as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives targeted at the education sector and to draw attention to the imperatives of training the girl-child to participate actively in the relevant sectors of the economy.

This is coming against the backdrop of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the education sector which has affected millions of girls across Nigeria, resulting in “many girls being unable to return to schools and many others becoming child brides,” according to a recent report by the Economist.

The programme coincided with the International Day of the Girl-Child which was marked to highlight how “the pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities”.

Unity Bank Managing Director/CEO, Mrs Tomi Somefun represented by the Chief Customer Service Officer, Mrs Titilayo Abraham officially opened the event.

She said: “Unity Bank has maintained its commitment to supporting the girl child by supporting several advocacy initiatives and investing in the education sector.

“The National Maritime Quiz is yet another opportunity to contribute to the movement to encourage, educate and empower the Girl-Child to participate in the economy while driving access to education.
“We commend the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation for their initiatives aimed at bridging the gender gap in the ICT, maritime, transportation, and logistics sectors in Nigeria.”

Unity Bank has in time past demonstrated commitment to supporting the education sector, especially for initiatives targeted at children.

One of the Bank’s flagship initiatives – One Minute Genius (OMG) and others such as Unity Bank Spelling B Competition, One Day CEO, are annual educational platforms of the Bank aimed at boosting financial literacy among Nigerian children.

Ocean Ambassadors Foundation commended Unity Bank, noting that the sensitization for the Girl-Child to take advantage of career opportunities in the ICT and maritime cannot be over-emphasized.

“This also amplifies the Global Advocacy of the Sustainable Development Goal’s 4, 5, and 14. Gender equality and women empowerment require deliberate transformative shifts, new technological solutions and integrated approaches”, the group said.

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Coca-Cola plans N560b 5-year investment in Nigeria

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• Uplifts Living Standards Of Communities With N9b

As part of its commitment to Nigeria, while celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria – Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, has pledged to invest N560b in the next five years.

The Managing Director of NBC, Mathieu Seguin said: “As we continue to grow, we have been very deliberate about investing heavily to make a positive impact in the lives of people in communities where we operate. We believe that our business is only as sustainable as the communities in which we do business, and this is why we have mainstreamed sustainability into every aspect of our business.

“In the last 10 years alone, the Coke System has invested more than N9b in lifting the living standards of communities where we do business, through relevant initiatives. Some of the areas we have had the most impact have been in education, youth development, women empowerment, water, environmental sustainability, sports and the promotion of commerce and entrepreneurship.”

On his part, the Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, Alfred Olajide noted that anniversaries are an important part of life, as they remind people of important events, both personal and cultural. “So, this celebration not only gives us a chance to look back at the brand’s history but also an opportunity to highlight our plans for the future. This milestone is a testament to the possibilities and shared opportunities we have created in this great country,” he said.

Olajide explained that as the company prepares for more decades of excellence and enriching moments, there are opportunities to learn more, listen more, and continue to tailor its beverage solutions to provide consumers with the brands they love at the different phases of their lives, done sustainably for a better-shared future.

“We will continue to enable economic empowerment for the people who need it most – downstream and upstream of our supply chain to truly uplift future generations. Our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals are embedded in how we operate as a business – it has been the history and legacy of the business in Nigeria, and our consumers should not expect anything less than the promise of quality, personalisation, and the optimism that our beverages inspire.”

Olajide said Coca-Cola has always been at the forefront of corporate support for the development of football in Nigeria, as over 10,000 players from 500 schools and 50 celebrity football coaches have participated in the Copa Coca-Cola programme, which has reached the 36 States and the FCT, Abuja since it was launched in 2009.

He said: “In emphasising our current Real Magic philosophy, we will be kick-starting the Nigerians of Coca-Cola campaign, to tell a visual story of a diverse set of people across key regions in the country with different struggles and positive histories with Coca-Cola. These are people that have directly benefitted from the Coca-Cola System’s sustainability initiatives – from our value system to our key programme areas, such as women and youth empowerment, waste, wellbeing, and water stewardship. Through this activity, we will also highlight the long-term impact these partnerships and initiatives have had on the communities and individuals.”

The 70th-anniversary celebration will run through the remaining part of 2021, with activities designed to celebrate the milestone with customers, employees, partners and the general public for their support towards the growth of the business, which includes the Anniversary Stakeholder Event and consumer seeding/giveback programmes, among others.

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