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CBA Foundation Launches Social Enterprise Initiative To Take Underprivileged Widows To Next Level

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CBA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE TO TAKE INTERVENTION AMONG UNDERPRIVILEGED WIDOWS TO NEXT LEVEL

CBA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE TO TAKE INTERVENTION AMONG UNDERPRIVILEGED WIDOWS TO NEXT LEVEL

Olushola Okunlade Writes

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 [2020], 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.”

CBA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE TO TAKE INTERVENTION AMONG UNDERPRIVILEGED WIDOWS TO NEXT LEVEL

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: cbafoundationng@gmail.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.

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LAPO Microfinance Bank Bags ITF Award

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LAPO Microfinance Bank Bags ITF Award

LAPO MfB Bags ITF Award

Olushola Okunlade Writes

LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited (LAPO MfB) emerges as the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) “Best Organization in training contributions” among other organizations in Edo State, Nigeria.

The award is in recognition of LAPO MfB’s prompt and consistent contributions to the ITF in 2021; an implicit indication of the microfinance bank’s unwavering support for human capital development.

In a press release, Barr. Faith Osazuwa-Ojo, Executive Director, Operations, representing Cynthia Ikponmwosa, Managing Director, LAPO MfB stated,  “The Management of LAPO MfB is delighted to receive this award from the ITF. The microfinance bank place premium on its people, this is reflective in the quality and value of investments made in Learning & Development. In the last decade, (2012-2021) over Four Billion Naira was expended on staff training.

LAPO Microfinance Bank Bags ITF Award
Left-Right: Amen Akenbor, Head HR, LAPO Microfinance Bank, Sir Joseph Ntung Ari, CEO, ITF, and Faith Osasuwa-Ojo, Executive Director, Operations, LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited.

The Tertiary Education Trust Funds (TETFUND) equally recognized LAPO Microfinance Bank as “The Most Supportive Bank” in 2021, a testament to the bank’s commitment to the development of the Education sector and human capital development.

LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited shall continue to invest in the development of its workforce and seek meaningful partnerships in furtherance of its vision of providing learning and developmental opportunities to Nigerians.

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Stanbic IBTC LATTES; Women Should Be Identify With Goals, And Achieving That Goals -David Borha

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Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition

…Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2.0 – Rising Above Bias

…Women Should Not Be Too Dismissive – Sola David-Borha

Olushola Okunlade Writes

To reiterate its unwavering commitment to ensuring that women have all the support required to be the best version of themselves, Stanbic IBTC on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 held a webinar aimed at encouraging women to excel in their careers and improving their social media presence in Nigeria.

The Stanbic IBTC Ladies At The Table Empowerment Series (LATTES) 2022 edition of the Ladies at the Table Empowerment Series (LATTES), themed ‘Rising above bias – excelling in your career and improving your social media presence was hosted by Ayo Mairo-Ese with the motive to inspire women to achieve their set goals.

Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition
Bunmi Dayo Olagunju
Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc Chairman, Mrs. Sola David Borha

Bunmi Dayo Olagunju in her opening remarks stated that Stanbic IBTC has adopted the theme for March 8 international women’s day ‘Break The Bias’ for today’s round table discussion, she said the reason is to the call for women’s opportunity is mostly around gender equality.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc Chairman, Mrs. Sola David Borha enlightened women by quoting Maya Angelou “Courage allows successful women fail and learn powerful lessons from failure so that in the end she didn’t fail at all’ across boards to embrace corporate governance and subject themselves to their organization’s policies in other to rise above bias in today’s world.

She stated that women must be respectful to whoever they are associating with either low class or high class, with the theme; “Rising Above Bias: Excelling in Career and Improving Your Personal Brand,” where she noted that when fear is conquered one rises above bias both in the private and public sector.

Sola David-Borha advised women to invest in any opportunity they have while continuing to engage all stakeholders and thinking about other people by using their position or office to intervene in other people’s lives.

According to her, women must learn to embrace tasks irrespective of their competence or skill by deliberating and accepting challenges in whatever professions they find themselves in. She maintained that her previous experiences pushed her to accept a role that would have literally passed her.

Click to watch the video https://www.youtube.com/embed/T50ny9yMgDM?feature=oembed

Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition
Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition

Stanbic IBTC LATTES 2022 Edition
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc Chairman, Mrs. Sola David Borha

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Industrial Growth: Dangote Tasks States On Investments Enablers

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World Water Day: Dangote, Others Make Case For GroundWater Protection

INDUSTRIAL GROWTH: DANGOTE TASKS STATES ON INVESTMENTS ENABLERS

Olushola Okunlade Writes

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has challenged state governments to consider as the topmost priority, the provision of enabling environment for investments as a potent means of attracting private sector operators to their state for investments.

The business mogul who was speaking on the sideline during the recently concluded Nasarawa economic summit in Lafia said there is no state in Nigeria that is not blessed with resources that could serve as the potential for industrial growth.

What the states should do, according to him, is to look inward and put in place economic policies that guarantee an environment that would be conducive for investments in the available resources in the states.

“When states provide enabling environment, it will incentivize the private sector to invest and it will be a win-win situation for both the state and the private sector”, he explained.

Dangote recalled how the enabling environment in Lagos had motivated private sector operators to move into the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos to establish companies that are now adding value not only to the economy of the state but also to Nigeria in general.

In the same vein, he stated that such is the enabling environment situation in Nasarawa that made his Dangote Sugar Plc invest in multi-million dollar sugar business in the state.

Dangote reiterated his position earlier while speaking during the opening of the summit that various economic policies including the land reform put in place by the Nasarawa state government were necessary requirements for a state that is committed to promoting enabling socio-economic development, as well as improving the quality of lives of their citizenry.

Dangote commended the state governor Engr. Abdullahi Sule for providing the necessary enablers for the investment summit to achieve its goals. Such enablers, he said include, providing committed and focused leadership and a well-thought-out institutional framework that enables the creation of a sustainable conducive business and investment climate.

Dangote equally pointed out that it was not enough to develop a credible, comprehensive plan that identifies investment opportunities and projects but to back these up with supportive public policies and regulations that make these investment opportunities competitive.

“Here is the good news, I can say with confidence that Nasarawa State has in place all the three requirements that promise to guarantee the attainment of the goals of this summit.

“First, I can say, with all humility, that the state has the lead with the vision and commitment to achieve it,” he said while describing the Nasarawa governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule was one of the visionary leaders that made the success of the Dangote Group possible.

“As the GMD then of Dangote Sugar Plc, he has proven this by positioning Dangote Sugar in the top tier of stock in the Nigerian Stock Exchange as the leading sugar company in Nigeria and also Africa,” Dangote stated.

Also speaking, former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in his keynote address shared some key thoughts on how Nasarawa State can proceed, with the benefit of hindsight, with its investment plan and implementation milestones.

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