CBA Foundation Launches Social Enterprise Initiative To Take Underprivileged Widows To Next Level
CBA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE TO TAKE INTERVENTION AMONG UNDERPRIVILEGED WIDOWS TO NEXT LEVEL
If indications from two separate but related events that were held last December are anything to go by, then one of Nigeria’s most vulnerable groups may be on the verge of experiencing better times.
The events, hosted in two separate states/regions and separated by a 20-day interval, held at a time when self-splurging by many young Nigerians was at octane levels, and saw young men and women behind an NGO that caters to the welfare of underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children, passionately putting the widows’ needs above their wants.
The NGO, CBA Foundation, its dedicated and passionate staff, supporters, and donors came out in their numbers on two dedicated days in December to give widows in selected communities in Lagos and Anambra a treat during the festive season. The Lagos outreach benefitted, in a unique way, widows in six communities in Ibeju-Lekki, namely: Badore, Iberekodo, Museyo, Magbon Alade, Okunola Ilado, and Magbon Iga.
CBA Foundation seized the opportunity of the outreach to launch a new initiative it tagged Social Enterprise Initiative. The Initiative, which is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of all efforts to protect and promote the welfare of widows as well as their children, is to cater to the financial, mental and physical health needs of beneficiaries. The Initiative is to provide comprehensive support, including health interventions, skill acquisition, business set-up, food and drinks, clothes and shoes, and general support for all affected widows.
The Founder/CEO of CBA Foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode-Akinwande explained the reason for the Foundation’s shift to the new Initiative: “We have been doing outreaches and it has been non-stop, but the essence of this Social Enterprise Initiative is for the widows to have something that will sustain them even for a longer period, something that will give them hope, knowing that they have a sustainable source of livelihood and activities that remind them that they need to keep going.”
Continuing, she reveals when the idea for the new initiative began: “When the lockdown came last year , we realised that there was a need again to have something sustainable for these women. With the Social Enterprise Initiative, we identify the skills they need to possess, and what they are passionate about, we also empower them with the necessary training and then set them up with all they need for the business. At the end of the day, they won’t have to wait daily for the CBA Foundation to give them food or clothing.”
Mrs. Bode-Akinwande noted that the Initiative had been informed by a rigorous analysis of the data in their database, gathered over the years on widows whom they have reached out to and the support they have been receiving from both individual and corporate donors. She said that they had dimensioned all the critical issues from widows with critical needs, where the Foundation needed to begin its interventions, to widows who needed to be set up in business, and to several widows’ children who needed to be reinstated back in school.
She also remarked that plans were underway at the Foundation to take the skills acquisition training further, beginning with Adire-making (tie and dye). She announced that the Foundation would have a line of products that would be its Adire pattern, displaying its unique signature. When sold, a percentage of the profit would be ploughed back into the Foundation as a constant stream of income.
The idea, the Foundation CEO stressed, would inspire the widows who show a keen interest in Adire-making as they would be involved and exposed to its value chain which is essential to optimising their execution after their training. So, the Adire-making training followed with tutorials on the step-by-step processes involved in it, materials needed and how to identify them, necessary safety precautions, various tie and dye techniques, packaging and distribution, and how to make a living from Adire-making.
For widows with impaired vision at the event, they were able to have free consultations with an ophthalmologist, get free eye tests, and free reading glasses, courtesy of a partnership between FirstBank and Vision Spring. What followed when beneficiaries had the free reading glasses fitted and could see clearly were scenes similar to ones where people had experienced supernatural miracles. The ecstatic joy was palpable.
Take 59-year-old Hassanat Oyewunmi, for example. Tears of joy rolled freely from her eyes as she remarked that her farsightedness challenge had been addressed. She confessed excitedly that she felt “better, much better now with the glasses, and I can even see everyone clearly. It is good to know that we are not forgotten.”
Olabode Sadiat, 62, could not contain her joy as she wore her glasses and pointed in the distance while indicating that she could see everything in her line of sight. She had suffered from a blurry vision that made reading her Bible difficult. “Nothing is more painful than not being able to read your Bible,” she had noted following the medical intervention.
The widows also received food, drinks, clothing, and other materials that were distributed during the outreach. They were also given a final charge by Mrs. Bode-Akinwande in which she reminded them that they were not alone and could always count on the support of the CBA Foundation.
In all, 165 widows across the six communities of Ibeju-Lekki benefitted on 4th December 2021 when the Lagos outreach was held. The Anambra outreach, on the other hand, benefitted 75 widows from four communities in the Nnewi area of the state. The outreach in Anambra was held on 24th December 2021.
Food items and financial empowerment constituted the bulk of the support CBA Foundation gave the Anambra widows to celebrate the festive season. The Anambra initiative has enjoyed tremendous support from a donor who has been consistent over the past four years. The Founder of the Foundation expressed gratitude to the donor while remarking that the outreach was being embarked on “at this festive season, so the widows can at least have something to eat and share with their loved ones.”
She continues: “We give hope to the hopeless. We are driven to support underprivileged widows to have a positive outlook on life despite the problems they experience by losing their loved one, mostly the breadwinner of the family.”
Both Lagos and Anambra outreaches were in some sense CBA Foundation’s way of giving underprivileged widows a “December to Remember” treat. Of course, that treatment would at best be modest compared to how people who were not in any known vulnerable categories took care of themselves and themselves alone. Even with the best of intentions, CBA Foundation could only work with donations received from donors and supporters at a time of the year when most (young) people were dedicating more resources to the self-splurging that December has come to represent.
While it may not be in one’s place to dictate to others how they should spend the money they have worked so hard to make, one cannot help but try to point them to ways they could better dispense their hard-earned cash that would be in their enlightened self-interest. Or what sense is there in spending on oneself so lavishly and ostentatiously as though spending was going to go out of fashion at any moment only to provoke the have-nots to make one the target of their misdirected anger in a society that is largely dysfunctional?
A similar question should be addressed to the government and public officials: What sense is there in expending huge public resources on projects that have no direct bearing on the welfare of vulnerable groups when it only widens the gap between the haves (including public officials) and have-nots and exacerbates the conditions that heighten security concerns among the haves? At what point will the government, public officials, and the privileged class start acting in their enlightened self-interest by committing genuine efforts to narrow the gap between those who have and those who can only wish?
It is high time public officials and the privileged began building strong coalitions and partnerships with groups and organisations that have been working to protect and support as well as advocate for the vulnerable for years now. They must begin to key into and support the organisations’ laudable initiatives that show great potential in helping to narrow the frightening gap.
CBA Foundation’s Social Enterprise Initiative represents one of such laudable initiatives. It is a well-thought-out initiative capable of transforming the existing arrangement for care and support of vulnerable groups such as underprivileged widows and their children and taking their welfare to the next level. The Government, individuals as well as corporate organisations must join hands with the Foundation if the Initiative is to have any chance of success.
Through its avowed commitment to “touching lives, giving hope…” not in mere words and empty promises but genuine and visible action on the ground (see ample examples captured on its website: www.cbafoundation.org), CBA Foundation has already demonstrated its readiness to do more with more support. It has shown that it is living true to its #CareIsAction DNA and can thus be trusted with more support. The Social Enterprise Initiative, therefore, enlists all to send an email at: email@example.com to partner with the Foundation in the drive to take the welfare of underprivileged widows to the next level where its long-term sustainability is guaranteed.
Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI: Recovery From Cash Crisis Continues In May
By Moninuola Sulaiman
Latest PMI data indicated that the Nigerian private sector continued to recover from the cash crisis in May as access to money improved and business conditions returned to normality. Output and new orders expanded for the second month running, with the latter increasing at the fastest pace in just over a year. Confidence remained historically subdued, however, meaning that firms continued to operate a cautious approach with regard to hiring. Input costs rose sharply again, with output prices up accordingly. That said, the rate of selling price inflation eased to the weakest since April 2020. The headline figure derived from the survey is the Stanbic IBTC Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®).
Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration. The headline PMI posted above the 50.0 no-change mark for the second month running in May, following the two-month sequence of decline seen around the worst of the cash crisis in the first quarter of the year. At 54.0, up from 53.8 in April, the index signaled a solid improvement in business conditions that was the most marked in 2023 so far. With access to cash improving, customer numbers increased, enabling firms to secure greater volumes of new orders in May.
New business was up sharply, with the rate of expansion the fastest since April 2022. Similarly, business activity rose for the second month running, and at a marked pace. Here, the expansion was slightly softer than in April, however. The activity was up across each of the four broad sectors covered, with growth led by wholesale & retail. Although higher new orders encouraged firms to increase their staffing levels for the first time in four months during May, the rate of job creation was only marginal amid signs that spare capacity remained in the private sector. The weak pace of employment growth also partly reflected a relatively softer sentiment regarding the year-ahead outlook for activity. Although business expansion plans and predictions of further improvements in new orders supported positive forecasts, confidence dipped and was the second lowest on record.
More positively, firms increased their purchasing activity at a rapid and accelerated pace, with higher input buying helping companies to expand their inventories. Purchase prices continued to rise sharply, albeit at a slightly softer pace than in the previous survey period. Higher costs for agricultural inputs such as animal feeds, and rising prices for industrial raw materials, were often mentioned. Staff costs were also up as companies offered higher pay to employees to reflect greater workloads. Although output prices rose markedly in response to higher costs, the pace of inflation eased to the softest in just over three years as some firms offered discounts to stimulate demand.
IFC, Partners Support BUA With $500M Facility To Boost Industrialization, Create Jobs, In Northern Nigeria, Sahel
Rashidat Okunlade Writes
International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Monday made its largest-ever investment in northern Nigeria, providing a financing package alongside African and European partners to BUA Cement Plc to help the company part-finance and develop two new, energy-efficient cement production lines that will create up to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.
IFC’s $500 million financing package includes a $160.5 million loan from IFC’s own account, a $94.5 million loan through the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP), and $245 million in parallel loans from syndication partners; the African Development Bank (AfDB) – $100 million, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) – $100 million, and the German Investment Corporation, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) – $45 million.
The financing, announced during the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, will allow BUA, Nigeria’s second-largest cement producer, to develop new production lines in northern Nigeria’s Sokoto State. The plants will run partly on alternative fuels derived from waste and solar power. Each will produce about three million tons of cement annually when complete, serving markets in Nigeria, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Investing in northern Nigeria is integral to IFC’s strategy to promote sustainable development in underserved regions. This includes areas with limited opportunities and a need for increased private-sector engagement. The new plants will provide local developers with a reliable and affordable source of cement, and bolster the construction of essential infrastructure, fostering economic growth and prosperity for the region.
The project is expected to create about 1,000 direct and 10,800 indirect jobs. Direct jobs include those in manufacturing, engineering, and advanced automation systems. Indirect jobs include those in the cleaning, maintenance, mining, and transportation sectors.
“BUA is delighted to partner with IFC and other esteemed institutions in securing this $500 million facility to develop energy-efficient cement production capacity and strengthen our equipment and logistics capabilities in northern Nigeria. In line with our commitment to sustainability and ESG principles, this investment will create jobs and contribute to economic and infrastructural development within Nigeria and the greater Sahel region. We are particularly pleased to have successfully gone through the rigorous process with IFC, AfDB, AFC, and DEG, which validates our responsible business practices. By focusing on greener fuels and enhancing our equipment and logistics platform, BUA Cement is building a foundation for sustainable infrastructure growth and a more inclusive society,” said Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman and Founder of BUA Group.
“We are pleased to join with our partners to support BUA with an investment that will boost industrialization, create jobs and deliver economic growth in northern Nigeria, a region with significant economic potential,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.
The financing package announced by IFC and its partners will also allow BUA to replace some of its diesel trucks with vehicles that are run partly on natural gas, over time producing fewer emissions. As part of the project, IFC will also advise BUA on developing a gender-inclusive workplace strategy that creates more opportunities for women across its operations.
“Following an initial $200 million investment in BUA Group in 2021, we are proud to play another key role in this landmark manufacturing project set to transform the construction sector in northern Nigeria and the entire country. Investing in this project will sustainably build Nigeria’s local manufacturing capacity, empowering local communities and creating employment opportunities. AFC is committed to working with our partners to accelerate development impact through infrastructure solutions that support value addition, industrialization, and job creation throughout Africa,” said Samaila Zubairu, CEO & President of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
“The African Development Bank is pleased to be partnering with IFC and BUA on this expansion project as it is aligned with our priority strategies of industrializing Africa and improving the quality of lives of Africans through the increase in cement production which will lead to the development of additional affordable housing and critical infrastructure in Nigeria and neighboring West African countries while supporting the use of cleaner energy at BUA’s Sokoto facility,” said Solomon Quaynor, Vice President – Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization of African Development Bank (AfDB).
“DEG’s mission is to be a reliable partner to private sector enterprises as drivers of development and creators of qualified jobs. We are pleased to contribute to this transaction together with our development finance partner institutions. Together we support BUA in its transformation towards a more sustainable production by implementing innovative technology. The significant reduction of CO2 emissions and the creation of decent jobs in a region with many vulnerable households are key factors for DEG’s financing,” said Gunnar Stork, Senior Director at DEG.
The investment in BUA is part of IFC’s strategy to promote diversified, inclusive growth and job creation in Nigeria, where IFC supports the manufacturing agribusiness, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, and financial services sectors. IFC has an active investment portfolio of $2.3 billion in Nigeria.
Know More About IFC: a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in over 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In the fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Know More About BUA Group: BUA Group is one of Africa’s leading manufacturing, mining, foods, and infrastructure conglomerates with diversified interests in a wide range of sectors, including but not limited to Cement, Sugar, Flour Milling, Real Estate, logistics, and Infrastructure. Established in 1988 by Abdul Samad Rabiu, BUA Group has consistently grown over the years, establishing itself as a leading player in the Nigerian and African private sectors. As an organization, BUA Group places a strong emphasis on operational excellence, leveraging innovative technologies, and nurturing a high-performing workforce to stay competitive. Beyond its business operations, the group is dedicated to contributing positively to the socio-economic development of its host communities, signifying its commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices. For more information, visit www.buagroup.com
FBN Holdings 2022 Earnings Rises To N805 Billion; Q1 2023 Profit Grows By 55% To N56 Billion
Rashidat Okunlade Writes
FBN Holdings Plc. (FBNH) announces its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023.
Selected Financial Summary
|∆||Key Ratios %||Q1
|Gross earnings||259.5||180.5||+43.8%||Post-tax return on average equity5||20.1||14.5|
|Interest income||179.6||109.4||+64.1%||Post-tax return on average assets6||1.9||1.4|
|Net-interest income||111.8||72.8||+53.6%||Earnings yield7||10.1||7.6|
|Non-interest income||72.3||64.7||+11.8%||Net-interest margin8||6.3||5.1|
|Operating income||184.2||137.5||+33.9%||Cost of funds9||3.0||2.0|
|Impairment charges for losses||16.9||8.8||+93.1%||Non-interest revenue/operating income||39.3||47.1|
|Operating expenses||111.2||92.2||+20.6%||Cost to income10||60.4||67.0|
|Profit before tax||56.1||36.5||+53.6%||Gross loans to deposits||54.1||51.9|
|Profit for the period ||50.1||32.4||+54.5%||Capital adequacy (FirstBank (Nigeria)||15.6||16.0|
|Basic EPS (kobo)||1.38||0.89||+54.0%||Capital adequacy
(FBNQuest Merchant Bank)
|Statement of Financial Position||NPL/Gross Loans||4.0||6.0|
|Total assets||11,094||10,578||4.9%||PPOP12/impairment charge (times)||4.3||5.2|
|Customer loans & advances (Net)||3,949||3,789||4.2%||Cost of risk13||1.7||1.1|
|Customer deposits||7,591||7,124||6.6%||Book value per share||27.9||25.3|
Nnamdi Okonkwo, Group Managing Director commented: “FBNHoldings has sustained its positive performance momentum despite the clearly difficult operating environment. This is a testament to our ability to effectively navigate the challenging business terrain and optimise opportunities. It further demonstrates our disciplined risk management and strong execution capabilities resulting in enhanced revenue generation and improved bottom line.
“Notwithstanding the ongoing progress, we remain focused on innovating and deepening our value propositions and delivery model while optimising operational efficiencies, using technology, to drive sustainable earnings and returns for our shareholders. We are confident that the Q1 performance will be maintained for the rest of the year.”
- Gross earnings of ₦7 billion, up 44.2% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦170.4 billion)
- Net interest income of ₦110.0 billion, up 50.9% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦72.9 billion)
- Non-interest income of ₦67.8 billion, up 10.6% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦61.3 billion)
- Operating expenses of ₦107.6 billion, up 21.0% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦88.9 billion)
- Profit before tax of ₦55 billion, up 57.0% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦34.1 billion)
- Profit after tax of ₦48.0 billion, up 54.8% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦0 billion)
- Total assets of ₦6 trillion, up 5.1% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦10.1 trillion)
- Customers’ loans and advances (net) of ₦3.9 trillion, up 4.5% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦3.7 trillion)
- Customers’ deposits of ₦4 trillion, up 6.64% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦6.9 trillion)
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank (Commercial Banking Group) commented: “The FirstBank Group delivered an impressive performance in Q1 2023, with significant growth across key metrics. Gross earnings recorded a substantial increase of 44.2% year-on-year, demonstrating the Bank’s ability to generate substantial revenue from core operations. Net interest income saw a remarkable surge of 50.9% year-on-year on the back of optimal asset pricing and effective management of interest-earning assets. Increasing penetration of digital and transaction banking offerings supported our Q1 performance in non-interest income by 15.3% growth. The increase of 21.0% year-on-year in operating expense reflects the high inflationary environment but within revenue growth. Overall, the Commercial Banking Group delivered substantial growth of 57.0% and 54.8% in profit before tax and profit after tax, respectively, for the quarter.
The growth in our performance metrics underlies the strength in the core fundamentals underpinning our business strategy and the sustainability of our business model. This year marks our 129th anniversary and these results clearly demonstrate the resilience of our business model and proven ability to transform ourselves to meet the demands of changing times and seasons. Our transformative and purpose-driven strategy, alongside our strong value propositions, enables us to continue supporting our customers across our chosen markets. We are optimistic about the rest of FY 2023 and these results are a sign of better things to come.”
Merchant Banking & Asset Management (MBAM) / FBNQuest
- Gross earnings of ₦85 billion, down 16.4% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦10.5 billion)
- Profit before tax of ₦2.2 billion, down 34.4% y-o-y (Mar 2022: ₦3.4 billion)
- Total assets of ₦7 billion, up 0.1% y-t-d (Dec 2022: ₦495.4 billion)
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