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Union Bank Collaborate with Women’s World Banking, TGI Group to Implement ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ Solution

In line with its commitment to enabling success for its customers, Union Bank has partnered with its parent company, TGI Group and Women’s World Banking, to introduce the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution under its women’s banking proposition, αlpher.

The ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution is designed to address the financial needs of women-led small businesses in urban centres in Nigeria centres and provide access to credit for stock sustenance, replenishment, and progressive growth, along established supply lines from Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies. Leveraging behavioural science and the Women’s Centred Design methodology and backed by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Foundation, this initiative aims to co-create a sustainable and scalable solution that will significantly enhance access to financial services for women entrepreneurs.

Women’s World Banking is a renowned global organisation specialising in designing and investing in financial solutions, institutions, and policy environments within emerging markets.

Their focus on creating economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and communities aligns perfectly with the objectives of the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution. With an extensive network spanning 34 countries, serving more than 160 million women clients through 69 financial services providers, Women’s World Banking has consistently driven impact through scalable, market-driven solutions, gender lens private equity funds, and leadership and diversity programs.

Speaking about the partnership, Vivian Imoh-Ita, Head of Retail Banking and Digital at Union Bank, said:

“We are delighted to partner with Women’s World Banking and our parent company TGI Group to launch the ‘Digital Supplier Credit’ solution. Our commitment to empowering women-led businesses remains unwavering, and we believe this initiative will have a transformative impact on the entrepreneurial landscape in urban centres. Through this collaboration, we aim to foster financial inclusion and catalyse sustainable growth for women entrepreneurs.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Ade Ashaye, Regional Head of Africa, Women’s World Banking, expressed:
We are thrilled to partner with Union Bank and the TGI Group. Globally, 38% of all MSMEs are women-owned yet, according to the SME Finance Forum, there remains a $1.7 trillion gender credit gap. Using our sophisticated market and consumer research we will develop a solution that will not only help tens of thousands of Nigeria’s women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to accessing the vital credit they need to sustain and grow their businesses, but also stand as a model for Banks and FMCGs across Africa and the world. This is an exciting time in the development of effective, women-centered, digital financial solutions.

The Digital Supplier Credit solution reflects Union Bank’s dedication to supporting its customers and creating an inclusive business environment. With its focus set on the future, Union Bank continues to lead the way in shaping a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.


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Nigeria’s First Lady Flags Off Women ICT Training Empowerment Programme

The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Oluremi Tinubu CON has flagged off the Women ICT Training Empowerment Programme organised by the Renewed Hope Initiative.

The 5 day training which is in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA is specifically designed for Women in the FCT.

The First Lady who was represented by Senior Special Adviser on Policy, Strategy and Logistics Hon Wahab Alawiye-King noted that Digital literacy is the way the world is going and the women should make good use of the opportunity of the training to improve their knowledge.
She pointed out that Information Technology can be used as a one stop shop for economic growth and emancipation.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu restated her determination and commitment to transform the lives of women in the country.

Speaking earlier, Dr Aristotle Onyemaechi Dir. corporate planning and strategy NITDA said it is the desire of his organisation to build the capacity of youth in digital literacy as to enhance economic transformation of Nigeria.
He noted that Women are pivotal to this and hope the beneficiaries would become ambassadors of RHI and digital literacy in Nigeria.

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NGGA Seeks Collaboration with UNICEF, Others to End Violence Against Women in Nigeria

The Nigeria Girl Guides Association (NGGA) has called for collaboration among stakeholders to end violence and insecurity against women and girls in Nigeria. It urged the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) to partner with it to achieve the goal.

Dr Helen Obi, National Commissioner Training, NGGA, made the call in Awka, Anambra State Capital, on Monday, during a press briefing on the activities lined up for the celebration of the association’s 100 years in existence.

She said, “The NGGA is concerned with the increasing rate of violence against women and girls in the World, particularly in Nigeria and other African Countries.

Obi said at least 300 girls and women from the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones are to be trained on various skills to mark the centenary celebration of Nigeria Girl Guides in Anambra State.

She noted that the association, which began in the United Kingdom in 1909, came to Nigeria in 1919 and was established at St. Monica, Ogbunike Anambra, in 1923.

She said that the training will take place at St. Kizito Umudioka Dunukofia Local Government Area of the State from August 23 to August 27, 2023.

Mrs Obi, flanked by the State Commissioner of the association, Mrs Charity Ezeakunne, the State adviser, Mrs Uche Arakute, and other members of the three-four guides and red cap chiefs, said participants would be taught different skills.

“The participants are expected from all the states of the South-East and South-South geo-political zones, and they will camp at St. Kizito Umudioka, Dunukofia area, where they will be trained on 16 different activities”, she said.
Obi said the vision of the association is to position the girl child towards tackling challenges in society.

“We have vision 2032, and our aim is to seek opportunities for our girls to achieve their potential in life”, she said.

She said that the association has impacted the lives of girls and women, especially through education, skills, and mentorship.
Obi, who used the medium to call on parents and teachers to do more for the upbringing of the girl child, said a lot of challenges are facing the girl child.

“Girl children are still faced with problems of rape, child marriage, domestic violence, child labour, child trafficking, and other socio-cultural norms, which has moved us to seek partnership with UNICEF to end the menace.

She also commended the formal governors of Anambra State, Peter Obi and Willie Obiano, for their support of the body, saying “The duo gave us buses in addition to support from other benefactors.”

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First Lady Visits Former President Mohammadu Buhari

The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Oluremi Tinubu CON on paid a courtesy visit on the former President His Excellency Mohammadu Buhari at his Daura resident in Katsina State.

The First Lady who was accompanied on the visit by the wife of the Vice President Hajia Nana Shettima said the visit is to check on the former president and thank him for the fatherly support he gives always.

She prayed for long life, good health and more support from him not only for the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu but Nigeria as a whole.

.Former President of Nigeria HE Mohammadu Buhari GCFR exchanging pleasanteries with the First Lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu CON, wife of Vice President Hajia Nana SHettima and his son Yusuf Buhari at his Daura home when the duo of the First Lady and wife of the Vice President paid him a courtesy visit recently

In his brief remarks after the visit, the former president expressed appreciation noting that the visit which was to see how he is settling down to life after public office was remarkable.

“As you can all see, she came to check up on me and see that I am doing okay “.

Others who were there with the First Lady were the wife of the Katsina State Governor, Hajia Dikko Radda and the wife of the Speaker, Katsina State House of Assembly Hajia Nasir Daura among other APC women chieftains in the State.


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Nigeria’s First Lady Vows to Work with Women, Stakeholders to Ameliorate Effects of Govt New Policies

The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has restated her commitment to work with women across the country and other stakeholders to ameliorate the effects of new policies of government, stating that women will play a pivotal role in nursing Nigeria back to health.

She was speaking after a closed door meeting with wives of former APC Governors at the State House, Abuja.

The First Lady noted that the visit was to get the support of the wives of the former Governors for the various programs of Government and the Renewed Hope Initiative, RHI, in particular. Senator Oluremi Tinubu said the Former First Ladies will be partnering with the various incumbent in their States in this regard.

“I will also be bringing on board wives of various religious leaders and traditional rulers, the traditional rulers have already visited The President, so we can all find ways to ameliorate the effects of the new policies of Government and make things better for all of us”

“These women are all mothers of the nation in their own spaces, states. It is familiar terrain and since I cannot be everywhere at the same time, I need them to partner with me on this and help nurse the nation back to health”.

She pointed out that this will not encroach on the Incumbent Governors wives but to glean help from the former governors wives.

The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu thanked them for their support during the electioneering period which culminated in the victory of the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others.

She emphasized that this is the time to work for the actualization of all that was promised during the elections and much more, hence “this Strategic meeting”.

Speaking on behalf of the Wives of the Former Governors, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Wife Of the Former Governor of Ekiti State, promised that they would all be working with the First Lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu and wives of the Governors of their various States to actualize the goals and aspirations of Government.

She expressed the appreciation of the Wives of the former Governors saying this meeting as engineered by the First Lady is recognition of the formidable role played by women during elections and the quantum of what they can contribute to nation building especially as very little would be achieved without bringing women on board.

Also at the meeting was the wife of the Vice President, her Excellency, Hajia Nana Shettima, wife of the Senate President, Her Excellency Ekaette Unoma Akpabio and wives of 13 former Governors.

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Sterling One Foundation Launches New Initiative to Support Women Farmers in Flood-Affected Areas 

As part of relief interventions following the devastating nationwide floods in Nigeria, the Sterling One Foundation has launched Project Ladder, in partnership with Whitefield Foundation and Sterling Bank, to provide support for victims whose farms were affected by the floods. 

The project which kicked off in Ndokwa East and Oshimili North Local Government Areas of Delta State is aimed at not only providing relief for the flood victims but providing improved farm inputs with better yield potential than the regular options.

Delta State is one of the 33 states in Nigeria that were affected by the 2022 floods, which started in May and lasted until October, claiming over 500 lives, displacing millions of people from their homes, and destroying about 110,000 hectares of farmland. Following the cholera outbreak in the country’s north-eastern region, several interventions were launched in response to the disaster, many of which focused on providing alternative shelter for the displaced, food materials, and drugs.

Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of the Sterling One Foundation, explained why they started the project, saying that it was important to shift the focus from the immediate survival response that followed the floods to how to help the victims rebuild their lives.

“The floods affected several farming communities, and what we’ve set out to do is support them with resources to regain some self-sufficiency. Project Ladder is not just a flood relief project, but an initiative under our food security portfolio aimed at driving increased yield by supporting farmers with better inputs, and teaching them better farming practises, thus fighting the food shortages across the country,” she said.

For the project’s launch phase, about 100,000 enhanced cassava stems were distributed to women farmers, marking the start of a robust plan to support them all through the planting season in hopes of a great harvest.

Mrs. Funmi Johnson, CEO of Whitefield Foundation, spoke about the project’s impact, emphasising how important it was for the nation’s food security, as most flood victims are farmers who need to be empowered to rebuild their means of livelihood and continue to contribute their quota to supporting the nations.

The project touches on two of the Sterling One Foundation’s five focus areas: food security and gender equality, as well as women empowerment. This year, the Foundation plans to deepen the work done in these areas to cater to more communities and impact more direct beneficiaries.

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How Hilda Baci Broke Guinness World Record for ‘Longest Cooking Time’

Nigerian chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, broke the
Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual, surpassing the current record holder for cooking marathon.

She broke the record after cooking for more than 87 hours, 45 minutes, a record held by India’s Lata Tondon in 2019.

The restaurateur began the competition on Thursday at the Amore Gardens in Lekki area of Lagos after she turned on her cooker at 4pm and surpassed the current world record holder on Monday morning.

By 08:32am on Monday, Hilda Baci had cooked for 88 hours and 32 minutes to equal the record set by an Indian chef, Lata Tondon in 2019.

Consequently, the Nigeria chef has now set a new record for the longest cooking time by an individual after 4-day cooking marathon challenge.

“The journey to the cook-a-thon started five years ago,” Hilda Baci said. “It is one of my biggest aspirations and I am glad that I took the bold step to embark on this adventure. I have taken time to prepare for this psychologically and I am proud to finally take on this challenge.”

“The cook-a-thon is also an opportunity to tell some of the positive stories that come from Africa through the meals that we make.

“This attempt is also proof of the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support. I look forward to receiving support from people across the world to achieve this feat.”

Despite breaking the record, the 27-year-old Nigerian chef is yet to stop her cooking as at the time of filing this report.

Hilda Baci is being cheered by a rousing number of Nigerians, mostly youths who are present at the scene of the record-breaking event.


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Human Trafficking: How Immigration Officers at Alimoso Passport Front Office Burst Girls’ Trafficking Syndicates

Criminally-minded persons in their desperate bid to get rich quick are not relenting in their crook means and methods despite the concerted and tough measures being taken by the federal, state and local governments to rid Nigeria of illicit and criminal methods of material wealth acquisition.

Trafficking in persons especially criminal recruitment and sponsorship of unsuspecting young girls and even sometimes male and female adults to  foreign countries for financial exploitation in disguise of education, work and better life, is one of such illicit trades that has continued to boom in Nigeria.

Luck, however, ran out on some human trafficking syndicates recently when officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) attached to the recently-established Alimoso Passport Front Office in Lagos, apprehended scores of the human traffickers, who came to the office to obtain the Nigerian travel passports for some young girls they planned to traffic overseas for illicit activities.

For instance, the NIS officers, few weeks ago, successfully burst the plan by a suspected human trafficking ring to take two underage girls out of the country.The alleged trafficker – a woman- had taken the girls to the passport office claiming they were her daughters, who needed the international passports to travel out of Nigeria.

But the eagle-eyed immigration officers detected that the woman’s age gap and the ages of the two girls did not match her claim that she gave birth to the teenage girls.

On further investigation, the suspect admitted that the girls were recruited for trafficking abroad, for commercial exploitation. Sources at the NIS revealed that many suspected human traffickers had been apprehended at the Alimoso Passport Front Office since it commenced operation on January 30, this year.

According to the sources, the traffickers might have wrongly assumed that they could have their way easily because the front office was new.

“It seems traffickers think because this passport office is new , they will have it easy. It is not possible here as we scrutinise every form and ensure due diligence.

“We have had instances where people wanted to procure passports for adopted children for the purpose of taking them overseas. Those who have legal documents of adoption were directed to Abuja because only the CGI (Comptroller General of Immigration) has the final say on such issues,” a senior officer, who begged not to be mentioned, said.

The officer added, “For those who did illegal adoptions, they came posing that the babies were their biological kids but were uncovered by our diligent officers. When certain documents were required from them, some of them didn’t come back.”

Confirming the arrest of the latest suspected trafficker,  the Passport Control Officer (PCO), Mrs. Ayoola Malaolu, said several human traffickers, who came to the Alimoso NIS Passport Front Office, had been apprehended upon being detected that they came to obtain the Nigerian travel  passports for unlawful purposes.

She commended the officers for their professionalism and dedication to duty, assuring that her team would continue to work professionally and stop traffickers and others with criminal intentions from getting travel documents with which they can perpetrate their evil work.

Mrs. Malaolu appealed to applicants for passports, whether fresh or reissue,  to always go through the online application process and payment platform, as well as to exercise patience and follow the queue, assuring that they would be courteously attended to.

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Women’s Month 2023: Kuda Celebrates Progress in Gender Equity

To promote equity and raise advocacy for women’s inclusion and visibility, Kuda, the money app for Africans, has announced a month-long series of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is a global event celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point for giving proper attention to the rights of women and issues about their wellbeing such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and protection against violence and abuse. The global theme for this year’s IWD is, ‘Embrace Equity.’

Built around the theme, the goal of Kuda’s IWD activities is to seek more opportunities for women to make progress in their personal and professional lives, as well as to reposition women for economic growth and success in career and business.

The IWD activities planned to stretch the entire month of March include a showcase of the impact that Kuda has made in promoting gender equity from 2022 to 2023. The showcase will also include the company’s further commitment to gender equity.

Speaking on this year’s IWD, Rosie Hewat, the Chief People Officer at Kuda, said, “As an equal opportunity-promoting organisation, we are passionate about promoting a healthy work environment where everyone irrespective of gender can aspire, reach the top of their career and realise their personal goals. We have always been intentional about building an organisation where gender equity is an obvious norm and we are excited to report that we have made progress with reflecting this core essence particularly within our Engineering and Product teams. This is a part of our growth process and we will continue to work towards building the type of workplace we dream of.”

She revealed that over the past year, steps taken by Kuda to promote gender equity include fine-tuning its school-to-workplace internship programme aimed to imbue young engineers and product managers with the requisite skills for career progress. Other steps include the development of a recruitment model that incentivises peer referrals; offering more opportunities for product management trainees to become product managers at Kuda, and the expansion of the Engineering and Product teams to onboard more women into leadership roles. More progressive initiatives are being championed by the company’s woman-led Diversity, Inclusion and Equity committee.

Hewat disclosed further that the company in 2022 bolstered career growth for 20 young women it sponsored to the Africa Girls In Tech bootcamp. The programme in partnership with Africa Agility afforded the beneficiaries opportunity to learn tech and product skills and helped them get internships at tech startups or start freelancing.

“As a result of these equity-promoting initiatives, Kuda remains a workplace of reference. Over the past year, we have increased the number of female hires by 133%, grown the number of women on our Product team by 87% and increased the female membership of our Engineering team by 144%. We’re also proud to announce that the ratio of female-to-male employees at Kuda is now 1:1,” she stated.

Kuda is a fintech company operating in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Co-founded by Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha in 2019, the company is valued at US$500 million and has raised over US$90 million from institutional investors including Target Global and Valar Ventures. Kuda was listed as one of the seven WEF African technology startups in 2021.

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Institute of Counseling in Nigeria Pays Tribute to Hilda Adefarasin

The Institute of Counseling in Nigeria (ICN) has paid tribute to Hilda Adefarasin, the mother of Pastor Wale Adefarasin, the institute’s board President, who passed on at the age of 98 years and was buried in Lagos at the weekend after the service of songs & Tribute Night.


The Provost of ICN, Dr. Tolulope Oko-Igaire said Hilda Adefarasin’s contributions to humanity would be missed as she remains a perfect example for many to emulate.


A statement signed by the institute’s Board Members;Dr. Lekan Ajisafe, Dr. Tola Winjobi, Dr. Micheal Pinder, H.E. Mrs Ibikunle Amosun, Rt. Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago and Mr. Augustine Ebose reads, “The Provost of the Institute of Counseling in Nigeria, Dr. Tolulope Oko-Igaire on behalf of the management, staff, students alumni, and board joined the President of the board Pastor Wale Adefarasin to celebrate the life of elegance, poise, achievement, and impact as lived by Mrs. Hilda Adefarasin.”


The Provost restated that most of the values Pastor Wale holds so dear like integrity, humility, and fear of God were unsurprisingly evident in the life of his late mother.


“Pastor Wale’s love for humanity has made him champion the cause of mental health counseling as he throws his weight behind the institute.


“We celebrate the life and time of this woman of virtue, who has made an impact, and the fact that she left us with a blessing like Pastor Wale,” the ICN statement reads.


Hilda Adefarasin was born on 9 January 1925 and died on 5 February 2023. She was a Nigerian women’s rights activist who was the president of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS). She left her nursing profession in 1969 to concentrate on the professional activities of the NCWS. In 1971, she was the council’s treasurer and in 1987, she became the president.


The Institute of Counseling was founded in 2010 as a not-for-profit independent educational charity. The passion to help people achieve their dreams of becoming professional counselors birthed this vision; the aim is to fill the vacuum of lack of access to professional training in the field of clinical counseling and the inability to acquire professional certificates in the field of counseling and psychotherapy in Africa.



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