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Nigerian boy, Odumuboni, wins Toyota’s car contest

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A10-year-old pupil of Corona School, Gbagada, Lagos, Oluwademilade Odumuboni, has emerged global grand prize winner of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

He won the coveted prize after beating 782,852 other contestants from 90 countries.

The contest is organised yearly by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan for pupils worldwide, challenging them to draw their dream cars with an inspirational idea.

Master Odumuboni’s waste converter drawing, with the concept of helping countries, especially African communities, in food production and ensuring clean environment, was adjudged the best globally.

He was on Saturday, September 2 honoured and presented with a prize money of $5,000, a trophy, and a certificate at a ceremony organised by Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) in Lagos on behalf of the TMC of Japan.

His school, Corona, was also given $10,000 prize money.

The prize money awarded to Demilade and the school is meant for education.

His Art teacher, Mr Ojeagbega Oserogho, received a laptop for helping the gifted boy to excel.

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Managing Director, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo, said: “We are very excited and elated. Indeed, we are very proud of the feat that Demilade achieved by also placing Toyota (Nigeria) Limited in the forefront of distributors globally.”

He said the star boy’s unique idea and dream had placed him and Nigeria on the global map of one of the largest Global Art Contests for children.

“His unique and truly inspirational idea expressed in an equally creative drawing earned him a global grand prize in the contest beating over 782,852 contestants from 90 countries/regions,” he added.

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Ade-Ojo said while the parent company, TMC of Japan initiated the contest in 2004, Toyota Nigeria keyed into it four years later as a corporate social responsibility initiative to help children express their imagination of a future car through drawing.

The TNL MD declared that his company felt fulfilled with its efforts of 15 years finally crowned.

“Apart from the shield and prize money from Toyota Motor Corporation that Demilade will be going home with, Toyota (Nigeria) Limited will also present a certificate and trophy to him,” he added.

The contest, he said, was also meant to drive the children to imagine a peaceful world full of smiles and to promote a friendly society.

“This way, Toyota is also cultivating a lifetime friendship with all these children while encouraging them to care for our planet and push their imagination beyond limits,” he stated. Ade-Ojo said annually, like other participant countries, three winners are picked in Nigeria from each age category: Category 1 (children not older than seven years); Category 2 (8-11 years); and Category 3 (12-15 years old), making nine winners.

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The shortlisted nine national winners and their drawings are sent to Japan to compete with other drawings received from all over the world.

The Saturday ceremony was attended by parents of the star prize winner, family members, selected pupils from the school and their teachers led by the Head Teacher, Henrietta Eguagie.

Also in attendance were the three judges that shortlisted the drawing in Nigeria for the world competition.

Eguagie commended Oluwadamilade for his remarkable achievement that had brought glory to the school.

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She also hailed Toyota for the initiative of inspiring young people to unleash their creative expression and artistic potential.

“As one of Nigeria’s leading educational institutions, we are dedicated to utilising this prize money in a manner that directly benefits the learning experiences and development of our students,” she said.

Specifically, Eguagie listed areas they plan to invest the money as Toyota Dream Car Endowment Fund, Oluwademilade grant for art, establishment of art gallery and exhibition, digital art studio, art and tech competition, among others.

The star boy expressed gratitude to the TNL and the TMC for the opportunity to express himself through art; as well as his school, art teachers, parents for their encouragement.

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“I appreciate Toyota for this award and for believing in a little child like me. I’m also grateful for the big award shield; I’ll surely display it in my room and admire it every day when I wake up in the morning. This experience has taught me that hard work pays and that we should never give up,” he said.

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FG warns Nigerians against investing In Davido’s Crypto Token, says it’s highly risky

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Davido

The Federal Government has warned Nigerians against investing in the crypto token of music star, David Adeleke, better known as Davido.

Last month, Davido announced the launch of the crypto token or memecoin inspired by himself.

The digital currency, known as “Timeless Davido” ($DAVIDO), sparked excitement among the singer’s fans and supporters.

Davido worked with the main blockchain platforms Phantom and Solana to complete the proposal.

Initially, $DAVIDO skyrocketed, hitting a market cap of $10 million in four hours and gaining momentum on DEX Screener.

The jubilation was however short-lived, as the coin’s value dropped on Thursday.

Hours after being called out by a significant number of disgruntled X users, the former DMW head welcomed everyone who joined the $DAVIDO community early on.

He further said that some people were fortunate enough to win $100 via the Solana platform.

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But in a statement on Friday, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public that investing in the meme coin is highly risky.

The commission pointed out that it does not recognize $Davido as an investment product or investable asset class under its regulatory purview.

“The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (“SEC”) has been drawn to a meme coin known as “$Davido” allegedly linked to the popular Nigerian singer, David Adedeji Adeleke AKA Davido.”

“Generally, meme coins are cryptocurrencies inspired by memes and internet jokes. They are often envisaged as a fun, light-hearted cryptocurrencies promoted through a social media community and sometimes through celebrity endorsements.

“Meme coins are also NOT intended to serve as a medium of exchange accepted by the public as payment for goods and services, or as digital representation of capital market products such as shares, debentures, units of collective investment schemes, derivatives contracts, commodities or other kinds of financial instruments or investments.

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“The general public is HEREBY ADVISED that meme coins lack fundamental value and are purely speculative. The general public is further WARNED that investing in meme coins, including $Davido, is highly risky and should be done with a full understanding of the associated risk.

“Capital Market Operators are by this Notice warned not to associate with instruments that fall outside the SEC’s regulatory purview. Such instruments should not in any manner be distributed or monitored through any capital market mechanism.

“PLEASE NOTE that the Commission does not recognize $Davido as an investment product or investable asset class under its regulatory purview, as such individuals who patronize it, do so at their peril. The Commission will continue to monitor developments within the ecosystem and will not relent in deploying its regulatory powers as and when required.”

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CBN revokes Heritage Bank’s licence

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Heritage Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the banking licence of Heritage Bank Plc, effective immediately.

This decision was made due to the bank’s failure to improve its financial performance, posing a threat to financial stability.

The apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communication Department, Sidi Ali, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

According to the CBN, the bank’s management has been unable to stem the decline despite various supervisory steps taken by the regulator. With no reasonable prospects of recovery, the CBN has taken this action to protect the financial system and maintain public confidence.

“The Nigerian financial system remains on a solid footing.

“We are committed to ensuring the safety and soundness of our financial system, and this action reflects that commitment,” the statement added.

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has been appointed as the liquidator of Heritage Bank, following the Banks and Other Financial Act 2020.

This move is seen as a significant step by the CBN to maintain the stability of the financial system and protect depositors’ funds. The public has been assured that the revocation of Heritage Bank’s license will not impact the overall health of the financial system.

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The statement read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), following its mandate to promote a sound financial system in Nigeria and exercise of its powers under Section 12 of the Banks and Other Financial Act (BOFIA) 2020, hereby revokes the licence of Heritage Bank Plc with immediate effect.

“This action has become necessary due to the bank’s breach of Section 12 (1) of BOFIA, 2020. The Board and Management of the bank have not been able to improve the bank’s financial performance, a situation which constitutes a threat to financial
stability.

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“This follows a period during which the CBN engaged with the bank and prescribed various supervisory steps intended to stem the decline. Regrettably, the bank has continued to suffer and has no reasonable prospects of recovery, thereby making the revocation of the license the next necessary step.

“Consequently, the CBN has taken this action to strengthen public confidence in the banking system and ensure that the soundness of our financial system is not impaired.

“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) is hereby appointed as the liquidator of the bank under Section 12 (2) of BOFIA, 2020.

“We wish to assure the public that the Nigerian financial system remains on a solid footing. The action we are taking today reflects our continued commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and soundness of our financial system.”

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A Promise Fulfilled: UBA Shareholders commend 2023 superlative performance, dividend payout

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l-r Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba: Group Chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu,CFR; Company Secretary and Legal Counsel, Mr. Bili Odum; Group Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Muyiwa Akinyemi; and Non-Executive Director, Ms Angela Aneke, at the 62nd Annual General Meeting of United Bank for Africa (UBA), coinciding with the Bank’s 75th Anniversary, held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, on Friday

…Shareholders give approval to recapitalise as directed by  regulators

 • UBA  pays total dividend of N95.8bn, translating to N2.80 per share in 2023

Shareholders of Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, have praised the board, management and staff of the Bank on the impressive performance recorded over the past years and especially in 2023, culminating in the payout of N78.7bn as final dividend for the 2023 financial year.

The shareholders took turns to express their delight during the bank’s 62nd Annual General Meeting which was held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hotels in Abuja on Friday.

The shareholders overwhelmingly approved the Board of Director’s proposal to raise additional capital through the issuance of securities comprising ordinary shares, preference shares, convertible and/or non-convertible notes, bonds or any other instruments in the Nigerian and/or international capital market.

Addressing shareholders at the event, the Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, appealed to shareholders to participate fully and re-invest their dividends in the bank’s recapitalisation drive as this will ensure that they continue to enjoy even higher returns from their investments.

He said, “I call on you shareholders to re-invest a substantial part of your dividends in our rights issues which will be announced soon, as we will be giving you the first opportunity to own a share in all the countries where we operate, I am advising shareholders, as you get your dividends, reinvest a significant part of it. As for my board members and I, we would be investing 100% of the dividends we get, because If we don’t do so, it means we would be leaving food on the table for others who did not labour for it,” Elumelu stated.

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In the year under consideration, UBA had declared an interim dividend of N17.1bn representing a pay-out of 50kobo per share for the first half of 2023, thus bringing the total dividend for the 2023 financial year to N95.8bn, representing N2.80 per share.

Surprisingly and in another first, dividend payouts were received while the meeting was still on just seconds after the resolution on dividend payments were passed at the meeting by the shareholders, resulting in open excitement from the shareholders.

They also commended the bank’s management over the impressive performance for the 2023 financial year, which resulted in the large payout of dividend to its investors, and highlighted its thriving business in its African subsidiaries, which continues to contribute significantly to the Group’s total income.

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Alhaji Mukhtar Mukhtar, one of the shareholders who spoke at the meeting, commended the Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, and the Group Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, for their concerted effort towards ensuring that the performance of the bank reached unprecedented heights in the year under consideration.

He said, “I want to specially commend the management and Board of UBA, especially the Chairman, Tony Elumelu and the GMD/CEO, Oliver Alawuba, who have been managing activities of this great institution over the past few years.

“We are impressed at the results that you have recorded so far, how you have managed to maintain a well-structured balance-sheet and diversified balance sheet with total Assets growing to over N20trn. The achievement that the bank has recorded under your leadership, especially the sterling contributions of our subsidiaries in Africa deserves accolades,” Muktar stated.

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Another shareholder, Patrick Ajudo, also commended Elumelu for keeping the promise made to shareholders a few years ago to begin to pay increased dividend.

“Our Chairman, Tony Elumelu, promised shareholders a few years ago in this same hall, that he will move from ‘kobo-kobo’ dividends to naira dividends, and he has kept that promise. We are very excited, because, not only have you kept that promise, but you have backed it up by even matching the industry standards. Indeed, we are proud to be associated with such a brand that has integrity, and we highly commend you for this,” he stated.

Barrister (Mrs) Adetutu Siyanbola, another shareholder, took time to commend the bank’s management for its operations over the decades, especially as it celebrates its landmark 75th year anniversary, praising the gender balance and high female representation on the bank’s board, which according to her, is a feat worth emulating by other financial institutions in Africa.

While commending the GMD for wining several awards in the 2023 financial year, she expressed satisfaction that the bank did not incur any penalty in the year under consideration, which meant that UBA had zero infractions and didn’t run foul of any regulations.

At the end of the 2023 financial year, UBA recorded an impressive leap in gross earnings, as it grew from N853.2 billion recorded at the end of 2022 to close at N2.07tn; representing a strong 143 percent growth; total assets also rose remarkably by 90.22 percent, to close at N20.65 trillion up from N10.86 trillion in 2022.

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Profit before tax, also grew exponentially by 277 percent, to close at N758billion, up from N200.88 billion recorded in 2022; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 257 percent from N170.2 billion in 2022, to N607 billion.

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The Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, explained that despite being a year of significant geopolitical and economic challenges, UBA’s strength, the effort and dedication of the team, and its leadership in strategic areas such as innovation and sustainability, helped the bank to grow in a profitable and sustainable manner,

Looking ahead, he said, “The outlook is great because we are diversified. Our African subsidiaries contributed over 55% to the bank’s profit this year, and we will do more. Already, the Bank entered 2024 from a position of strength, with proven resiliency, a powerful brand and a strong capital position.

“As we begin 2024, “execution” will continue to be on the front burner, with an unrelenting focus on market leadership and excellent customer experience at all touch points,” Alawuba explained.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in twenty African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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