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COVID-19: NDDC Calls for Caution as Nigeria Enters Fourth Wave

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1640121307 UK COVID 19 Variant

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerians have been told to take collective responsibility as the country is now experiencing a fourth COVID-19 wave.

This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in a statement.

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“Nigeria has recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country caused by the Delta and Omicron variants,” the statement said.

“As of 19th December 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2985 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The country is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave. The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as NCDC and its partners, are therefore intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of the risk we face and need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus,” it added.

The NCDC said the response to the virus requires a collaborative approach.

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“Therefore, individuals, families and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures,” the statement said.

“Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.

“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission. The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation.

“We strongly recommend outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of facemasks, and provision of handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers. Please make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The government has made these vaccines available for all eligible citizens and booster doses available for those previously vaccinated,” it further said.

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As part of its efforts against the virus, the NCDC said it was launching a Celebrate Responsibly campaign.

“The Celebrate Responsibly campaign which spans from the Christmas holiday through to the start of the new year, emphasises the responsibility of all Nigerians, the government, private sector, institutions, associations, communities, families and individuals in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

“Religious leaders and heads of institutions, organisations and businesses are urged to enforce public compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures in their jurisdiction. COVID-19 continues to threaten the lives and the livelihoods of Nigerians therefore we must not let our guards down this festive season. We urge Nigerians to take all precautions necessary to ensure we and our loved ones live to celebrate many more events and festivities.

“The campaign includes the production of key messages, audio and visual materials for wide dissemination. The NCDC urges all individuals, traditional and religious leaders, business owners, the media, transport workers and other institutions and sectors to join the campaign by adopting the key messages and sharing within their networks.

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“The Celebrate Responsibly campaign calls on all Nigerians to take all necessary precautions for a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year celebration,” the agency added.

Business News

Stanbic IBTC Begins Sale of N20bn Series 3 Commercial Paper

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Stanbic IBTC bank

By Dipo Olowookere

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has commenced the sale of its series 3 commercial paper under its N100 billion multicurrency commercial paper programme.

The financial institution intends to sell N20 billion worth of the corporate debt instrument to interested investors in a period of one week.

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Subscription for the commercial paper commenced on Thursday, January 20, 2022, and will end on Thursday, January 27, 2022, according to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post.

It was gathered that the tenor of the commercial paper is 269 days, maturing on Thursday, October 27, 2022, and it is with a discount rate of 9.00 per cent and an implied yield of 9.64 per cent.

Subscription for the Stanbic IBTC series 3 commercial paper is a minimum of N5 million and subsequent addition of N1 million.

According to the programme memorandum, the net proceeds from the paper would be used solely to support the company’s short-term funding requirements, as part of its asset and liability management strategy for its banking operations.

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As for the payment at maturity, the issuer said only noteholders named in the register as at the close of business on the relevant last day “shall be entitled to payment of amounts due and payable in respect of notes.”

Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC emerged from the merger of Stanbic Bank Nigeria Limited with IBTC Chartered Bank Plc in September 2007.

IBTC Chartered Bank Plc was itself a merger of three institutions (Investment Banking &Trust Company Plc (IBTC Bank), Chartered Bank Plc. and Regent Bank Plc.).

Stanbic IBTC Bank offers its clients a wide range of commercial banking products through its 180 branches spread across every state in Nigeria, and via a range of self-service channels powered by sophisticated technology to bring convenient banking to clients.

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The lender is also a key player in financial inclusion and is poised to take banking to the doorsteps of its clients in different personal and business categories who desire bespoke banking services.

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Bolarinwa Emerges ACAMB President, Vows to Reposition Group

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Rasheed Bolarinwa ACAMB President

By Dipo Olowookere

The Head of Corporate Communications of Polaris Bank, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, has emerged as the new president of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB).

He was among the new executives of the group elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ACAMB held on Thursday, January 19, 2022, at the Bankers’ House, CIBN Building, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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He and other excos will pilot affairs of the umbrella association of communications and marketing professionals working in Nigeria’s banking sector for the next two years.

Others elected were First Bank’s Mr Oze K. Oze as the First Vice President, Mrs Lola Egboh of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) as the Second Vice President, while the new Secretary-General is Mr Sipe Babajide of Ecobank.

The position of Assistant Secretary-General was won by Mr Omede Odekina of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), while Mr Patrick Osilaja of Fidelity Bank emerged as the Financial Secretary.

Wema Bank’s Mrs Funmilayo Falola was elected as the new Treasurer, Mr Abdul Imoyo of Access Bank will serve as the Publicity Secretary, while Mrs Ozena Utulu of Heritage Bank will assume the role of Social Secretary.

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In addition, the immediate past president of the group, staff from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) will serve as ex-officios.

In his post-election acceptance speech, the new ACAMB president assured members that he would reposition the association as a foremost professional body they would all be proud of, adding that his vision also includes innovating a post-retirement strategy that ensures members have a sustainable livelihood long after exiting the industry.

“I will be committed to my vision, which is to reposition ACAMB as a foremost professional Association that encourages and ensures every marketing communications professional in the Banks aspires and attains the highest level of professional recognition and fulfilment on the job while at the same time being assured of a sustainable livelihood long after exiting the industry,” he stated.

Mr Bolarinwa, who served in the past executive as a two-term Secretary-General, restated his commitment to the upliftment of members in line with his electioneering promises anchored on the four-pillar themed PEAL: Partnership & Platform, Engagement, Advocacy, and Learning & Value-addition (PEAL).

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The new President further assured that ACAMB under his leadership would seek partnerships and platforms among strategic institutions and stakeholders with a view to delivering value to members, as well as enhancing professionalism.

He also said his team would embark on advocacy aimed to deepen awareness and knowledge of the banking industry and its contributions to national socio-economic growth.

Earlier, the Chairman of the ACAMB Electoral Committee, Mr Segun Shonubi, said all aspirants for the advertised position had met minimum requirements as outlined in the association constitution and, therefore, qualified to stand for the election.

A 1996 graduate of Mass Communication, Mr Bolarinwa holds a Master’s degree from the University of Ibadan and an MSc degree from the UNESCO-certified Mass Communication department of the University of Lagos.

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He is a member of numerous professional bodies, including Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN); Registered Practitioner, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and Member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

He has also attended several high-impact function-specific and leadership training at top business schools in Nigeria and overseas.

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