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‘The Voice Nigeria’ Honours Late Sound Sultan As Race for N10m, Other Prizes Enters Final Stage

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How-6-Finalists-Will-Emerge-from-FirstBanks-Sponsored-The-Voice-Nigeria-Season-3-Second-Live-Show.

…As six vocalists battle for a chance to make the last four on The Voice Nigeria Season 3.

By Bolaji Israel 

Late legendary Nigerian rapper, singer and lyricist, Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi popularly called Sound Sultan who passed on July 11 was honoured with a medley performance of his songs by the celebrity coaches and their talents as a glowing tribute in recognition and celebration of his contribution to the music industry. 

Sound Sultan, a highly influential but jovial and unassuming singer is renowned to have mentored many award-winning musicians andwrote many hit songs.

The grand finale of the Voice Nigeria Season 3 is billedfor this weekend, with the top six talents seeking viewers and fans’ votes towin the N10m grand prize and other mouth-watering gifts. 

Meanwhile, Episode 17 saw great vocalists Anu and Nuel Ayo exit the show while Naomi Mac, Esther, Dapo, Kitay, Kpee and Eazzie continued the race as the last six out of the 25 talents who scaled the Auditions and started the contest.

Kitay in Team Yemi-Alade, Dapo and Naomi Mac in Team Falz, Eazzie in Team Waje with Esther and Kpee in Team Dare all survived by numerous votes from their fans.

The race to the finals of the Voice Nigeria season 3continues to heat up as the six finalists gun for the N10 million cash, a car, and a record deal with Universal Music Nigeria.

During Episode 17 last weekend, the last six vocalists performed various songs and are hoping with their powerful performances to get maximum votes from fans for a chance to remain in the competition. 

Esther opened the weekly show with a beautiful performance of Beyonce’s Love on Top, then Dapo with Michael Bolton’s When A Man Loves A Woman, followed by Kitay with Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing. 

Naomi Mac sang Brenda Fassie’s Vuli Ndlela, Kpee with Fireboy’s Vibration while a very emotional Eazzie closed out with I’m Not Telling You by Jennifer Holiday before Host, Nancy Isime announced that Season4 will be coming soon.

Episode 18 which comes up this weekend will have onlyfour talents perform and fight for the grand prize via the highest viewers votes while the two talents with the least votes are dropped.

To keep their favourite vocalists on the show, viewershave to dial *894*7*talent’s code#.

The voting code of your preferred contestant to win the competition is in the embedded Instagram post below:

Click here to vote https://www.instagram.com/p/CRjP3zwpOzJ/?utm_medium=copy_link

Voting, which opened on Saturday at 9:00 pm, closes at11:59 pm on Thursday (today).

For over three months, with an electrifying mix ofpulsating musical performances, music training, glamorous fashion and awesome entertainment, The Voice Nigeria 3 continues to dazzle to the very grand finale.

UN1TY Limited and Livespot360, producers of the globaltalents reality series, also emphasised that public voting has become very crucial at this final stage to keep participants on the voice Nigeria season 3, as sponsored by FirstBank, Baba Ijebu and Airtel.

Scores of vocalists have performed on the highlycompetitive musical TV reality series but dropped out going through the Auditions, Blinds, Knockouts, Battles and Live Show stages.

Whoever emerges as the winner will automatically make hisor her coach the winning coach of the season.Waje, who has been part of the show since its inception,won the inaugural season.

Apart from versatile singers including Darey, Yemi Alade,Waje and Falz who doubled as both celebrity coaches and judges, Nancy Isime and Toke Makinwa, co-hosts of the show have added great colour to the third season.

The first season of The Voice Nigeria was broadcast on Africa Magic from April 10 to July 31, 2016.

Agharese Emokpae popularly known as A’rese, a 28-year-oldstage actress, won the first season while Daniel Diongoli, professionally knownas Idyl, won season 2.

The music reality TV show is designed to discover andpromote talented singers to actualise their dreams of becoming international stars.

Lead show sponsor, First Bank in a statement by its GroupHead, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, reiterated that The Voice Nigeria 3 is a Reality TV show designed to discover and promote talented singers to actualise their dreams of becoming international stars which aligns with FirstBank’s commitment to providing a platform for nurturing and showcasing talents and driving social cohesion.

The Financial giant added that its support for The VoiceNigeria 3 is a demonstration of First Bank’s commitment to contributing to the projected revenue of US$86m by 2021 from Nigeria’s music industry aimed at promoting a diversified economy in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy.For more details on the show, do visit the Bank’sofficial website https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/the-voice-nigeria/

Money Market

Sterling’s Unify To Digitize Nigerian Higher Education With Africa EDUCare

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Sterling’s Unify To Digitize Nigerian Higher Education with Africa EDUCare

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Africa EDUCare, a disruptive innovation educational and healthcare solutions company, to transform higher education in Nigeria with Unify; Sterling’s innovative education management solution. 

The signed MoU is conceived to deploy Unify to transform education and administrative management, and to enable Africa EDUCare realize its dream of floating the Maranatha Institute of Science and Technology (MiST); a NextGen STEAM university with an innovative curriculum focused on Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Agribusiness, and Medicine curriculum.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Mr. Obinna Ukachukwu, Divisional Head for Business Growth and Transaction Banking at Sterling Bank, said education remains and continues to be one of the five critical sectors of Sterling’s focus under our HEART strategy. The other sectors are Health, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

“We believe that continued investments in these sectors are key to ensuring the nation’s survival, growth, and prosperity beyond this generation,” Ukachukwu said.

Obinna continued by saying that Unify is conceived to transform the administration of education at all levels in Nigeria. He said, “At Sterling, we believe that Nigerian tertiary education needs to be reengineered before it can be empowered to transform industry, and the corporate world, with the kind of adequately skilled manpower required for the desired impact.”

Professor James Makinde, CEO and President of Africa EDUCare, mentioned that the partnership presents great development prospects for Nigeria, saying that “Africa EDUCare proposes to revolutionize education and revitalize the national economy for global impact through tertiary and vocational education that transfers skills that are immediately usable in the marketplace.”

He added that “The strategy for Africa EDUCare is to take learnings from developed and developing economies through the design of impact instruction modules that mirror real-life employability needs, leveraged through technology.”

Sterling’s Unify To Digitize Nigerian Higher Education with Africa EDUCare
LEFT-RIGHT: PARTNER, FUNMI ROBERTS & COMPANY SECRETARIES TO AFRICA EDUCARE, KEMI OLADIPO; TRISTATE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM LTD, PROF. KAMAR ADELEKE; PRESIDENT, AFRICA EDUCARE, PROF. JAMES MAKINDE; DIVISIONAL HEAD, BUSINESS GROWTH & TRANSACTION BANKING, STERLING BANK PLC, OBINNA UKACHUKWU; AND GENERAL MANAGER, CAFE ONE (UNIFY), ADATUGO OYEBANJI, AT THE SIGNING OF MOU CEREMONY BETWEEN STERLING BANK, UNIFY, AND AFRICA EDUCARE IN LAGOS RECENTLY.
In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

Prof. Makinde, also the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Babcock University, concluded by saying that a strategic alliance with an institution of Sterling Bank’s stature and repute will, in the nearest future, transform the education landscape and assist in transforming this vision into reality.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Adatugo Oyebanji, General Manager, Café One (UNIFY), Olufunso Olunaike, Chief Technical Officer, Café One (UNIFY), Prof. Kamar T. Adeleke, President/CEO of Tristate Healthcare System and Executive Vice President, Healthcare for Africa EDUCare.

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