…Ten out of the twelve winners are girls
The UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of the United Bank for Africa, today, held its tenth annual National Essay Competition(NEC) in a virtual ceremony that was attended by high school students from across the nation. The UBA Foundation’s Education initiative has been changing lives for a decade as the tertiary education scholarship programme continues to impact the lives of many students and their communities.
For the fourth consecutive year, the females have led this competition with 14-year-old Eshiet Abasiekeme of Bright Stars Model Secondary School from Akwa-Ibom state taking home this year’s winning prize. Eshiet received an educational grant of N2,500,000.00 to study in any African university of her choice. She will also be supported throughout her educational career and beyond with constant mentoring by the UBA Foundation.
Abasiekeme who had joined the virtual event from her base in Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria, could not contain her excitement as she heard the announcement that she had won the first prize of the NEC 2020.
“I feel honoured to be the winner of this year’s NEC, and I want to appreciate UBA and UBA Foundation as this will help towards my dream of becoming a lawyer,” she said proudly, expressing that she would like to go to university in Uyo in her home state.
The second prize was awarded to 14 year old Mofuluwake Adesanya of Spring Forte-Lead College Lagos State, who won a N2,000,000 educational grant, whilst the third prize of N1,500,000 went to Abdulganiyy Habeeba, 16 years old. Abdulganiyy attends the International School, University of Lagos.
Eshiet and the 11 other finalists, took home their brand new lap top computers to enable them continue to work competitively in a world that is rapidly becoming fully digitalised.
Congratulating all the winners at the final event of the competition, the Managing Director/CEO of UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, applauded all the participants for their exceptional brilliance. She explained that the Foundation had taken into consideration the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on lives and incomes across board and had increased the prize money by 33 per cent this year to help cushion any negative or inflationary effects.
Emphasising the driving force behind the annual competition, she said, “We are passionate about the annual NEC because it changes lives and helps to improve the quality of lives of students and their families. The NEC helps to improve the quality of writing and competitiveness amongst students. We have launched in more African countries this year and would have launched the initiative in 20 countries by the end of 2021. It is not just about writing essays, the ripple effect is really quite enormous, and we are glad that it is cascading to other countries where we operate,” she said.
Also speaking at the opening of the event, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, commended all 12 finalists, expressing that UBA was happy to be touching lives and making a solid impact through its National Essay Competition, which is now in its 10th edition. He was very pleased about the fact that more females again came out tops this year, adding that notwithstanding the constraints and challenges of 2020, the Foundation received the highest number of entries ever, at over 12,000 digital submissions.
Uzoka who is also the Chairman, UBA Foundation said, “The NEC has been changing lives positively for 10 years, and we have awarded scholarships to students not just in Nigeria but in other parts of Africa like Ghana, Sierra Leone and Senegal. Some of these students are already graduates and contributing meaningfully to their communities.”
COP28: We are taking action to slash methane emission — World Bank
The World Bank President, Ajay Banga, says the Bank is taking action to decisively slash methane emissions to help increase agricultural yields and improve health outcomes.
Banga said this in his address at a High-Level Segment Summit on Methane at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, a copy of which was obtained on Sunday.
He said Methane was 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet, making it a major driver of climate change.
“Yet, it is often subjugated to carbon dioxide, receiving less than two per cent of global climate financing. We do this at our peril.
“The good news is not all solutions require a herculean effort or a trillion-dollar price tag. Sometimes, the most impactful changes stem from our willingness to embrace the solutions that are well within our grasp.
“The frontier of methane reduction is one such area where the World Bank believes there are answers at our fingertips.
“That is why the World Bank is taking action, scaling proven and urgently needed strategies that can decisively bend the methane emission curve.”
The president said over the next 18 months, as part of a blueprint for methane reduction, the bank would help inaugurate15 national programmes that aim to slash methane emissions.
Banga said these programmes were built upon successful pilots that delivered transformative results for rice production, livestock operations, and waste management.
He said in Vietnam, rice farmers were embracing new techniques that slash methane emissions, while increasing incomes.
Banga said animal nutrition and breed management in India cut methane emissions and dramatically increased milk production.
“Simply separating organic waste in landfills in Brazil cuts nearly all the methane emissions by diverting it to provide electricity to 200,000 households.
“By deploying proven reduction methods from our blueprint, methane emissions from rice production can be reduced by up to 40 per cent, from livestock by 30 per cent, and waste by 80 per cent. The potential is huge.
“Taken together, this methane reduction blueprint could slash up to 10 million tons of methane.”
He said while these efforts would make considerable progress toward the methane goal, it would not be enough if simple and effective solutions for the emissions from the power sector were not embraced.
“That is why the World Bank has been working with Germany, Norway, the United States, and the UAE alongside the private sector to expand our long-standing efforts to significantly cut methane emissions across the whole energy value chain.”
Banga said in the fight against climate change, too often genuine impact was impeded by intractable challenges, considerable expenses, political challenges, and underdeveloped technologies.
“Methane is one rare, clear area where we know there are low-cost remedies, effective and simple solutions that can be replicated and scaled.
“But hope is not a strategy. We must act, and in doing so we can reduce emissions, enhance agricultural yields, and improve health outcomes all in one go.
“This is one shot that we should not miss,” he said.
AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.
AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.
N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.
The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.
”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.
”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.
”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.
“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.
N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.
“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.
”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.
N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.
“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.
Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.
Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.
”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.”
NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu
The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.
Adepoju gave the assurance while inaugurating a new passport office in Igbogbo community in Ikorodu, Lagos State .
Adepoju said passports would now be processed and issued speedily provided applicants submit all the required details in their applications.
She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.
Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for providing all that was needed to start operation in the area.
“I thank the traditional ruler and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for ensuring the realisation of this project.
“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by some countries,” she said.
Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..
Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode, Commussioner for Home Affairs, said the role of Immigration in any country could not be over- emphasised.
He said that the establishment of the passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration services in line with global standard.
Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations at the new passport front office .
Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was maintained.
“We will also improve our security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.
He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents would no longer have to travel far to obtain or renew their passports.
“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.
“The council will also improve its security architecture to provide adequate security in the area,” he said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in his domain.
He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.
Adeboruwa commended all those who facilitated the establishment of the passport office in the community.
“I cannot say how happy I am today, infact ,this office will put Igbogbo community in world map.
” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this a success,especially the family that donated the land .
“I am glad that Igbogbo passport office has come to stay,” he said.
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