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Emefiele, El-Rufai, witness groundbreaking of N10.5bn Tomato plant in Kaduna



Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, performed the groundbreaking of a N10.5 bilion Tomato Processing Plant owned by Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Limited.

The CBN-assisted plant which is to utilise raw materials from a 400-hectare tomato farm established by the company is to be commissioned in 2021.

Speaking at the groundbreaking of the plant, Gov. El-Rufai expressed great delight at the multi-billion investment saying that it had already created jobs for the people.

According to the governor, the plant will also take off the burden of insecurity by engaging the youths of the community.

“Today we are delighted that Tomato Jos is expanding its investment footprint in our state by taking a leap from growing tomato and other crops to building a facility to make tomato paste.

With its farm, Tomato Jos has impacted on this community, creating jobs and impacting its out growers with modern farming techniques and roads to the market.

The Kaduna State Government welcomes this latest investment in our state which is endowed with vast arable land. “Kaduna state is the number one producer of maize, tomatoes, soya beans, ginger and sorghum. We are calling on big investors like Tomato Jos to move to Kaduna state and produce more of these agricultural products,” he said.

He said that it is very important to encourage the private sector to invest and provide jobs as government alone could not do the work. El-Rufai added that the likes of Tomato Jos demonstrated why Kaduna state was ranked as the number one place for doing business by the World Bank’s “doing business report for 2018”.

Economic Confidential reports that the Governor commended the MD of the company Ms Mira Mehta for locating the company in Kaduna, stressing that she was very courageous to have done so.

Mira, thank you very much, you are our favourite investor; because we think that you are the most courageous of them all.

This is why we appreciate you and we will keep checking on you; we are very proud of what you have done.

“We thank you for all you have done to make our people here richer and more contributors to our economic growth than dependents.”

The governor thanked the current U.S. Ambassador Mrs Mary Beth Leonard, and her predecessor Mr Stuart Symington, for the support they had given to the project.

He also commended the Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Mr John Coumantaros, for the investments in the state and for encouraging others like Tomato Jos to come to the state.

Also speaking at the groundbreaking, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said that the event marked a milestone in the bank’s intervention in agriculture.

He said that such projects are contributing to actualising the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensuring food security by making sure that the country produced what it eats.

“Tomato Jos is one of the key projects that we are supporting in our tomato value chain and the reality of today’s event is an attestation of the successes.

I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support towards diversifying the economy and creating jobs through focused intervention in critical sectors such as agriculture,” he said.

He said that prior to the CBN’s intervention, the varieties that were being cultivated were low yielding with 12 tonnes per hectare, adding that the newer varieties now cultivated can yield up to 50 tonnes per hectare.

He also identified that the quality hitherto available were not good for commercial processing, adding that new varieties were now better for paste making.

Emefiele disclosed that the country currently had a deficit tomato production of 1.2 million metric tonnes which was costing N2.5 billion on importation, adding that such investments would help bridge the gap.

He added that tomato is among the commodity that plays an important role in the demand for Forex in Nigeria which was why the CBN was championing local production.

The management of Tomato Jos has performed creditably by flagging off this processing plant here in Kaduna which has the potential of creating employment for hundreds of Kaduna indigenes and other Nigerians.

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Polaris Bank Boosts Government’s Fight against COVID-19, Provides 400 specialized beds and Accessories



  Polaris Bank has given a boost to government efforts in the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19). Polaris Bank has acquired 400 specialised hospital beds, complete with mattresses and accessories. The beds according to the Bank, will be handed over to the Lagos State Government; being the state most hit by the pandemic, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other State Governments. 
The Bank also announced that it would be partnering with the Nigeria Coalition Against COVID-19 (NCAC), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Health Institutions and State Governments in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering additional materials to cover the areas of testing, isolation, treatment and training.

The Managing Director/CEO, Polaris Bank, Tokunbo Abiru, who disclosed this in a letter to the customers and stakeholders of the Bank, explained that the Bank, working with relevant partners and government, remains committed to “doing everything possible to keep our environment safe for all”.
“At Polaris Bank, we will continue to devote all necessary resources to contribute to the safety of our esteemed customers and our environment as a whole, while maintaining all of the banking services you need to stay safe.”
The Chief Executive Officer also affirmed his commitment to the total well-being of Nigerians and the fight against COVID-19 noting that “as new developments emerge,the Bank would continue to share information about safety of its staff and working environment as well as the efficiency of its operations and service to stakeholders.
Polaris Bank had in the wake of the outbreak of COVID 19 activated its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) which ensures that it can maintain its operations and enable financial transactions, even during critical incidents “The Bank had suspended all corporate events, travels, and outdoor activities as well as enforced social distancing which ensured that all staff who have just returned from travels outside Nigeria are placed on self-isolation.
Polaris Bank in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Policy has continued to integrate social and environmental issues into its business operations intervening in the activities of its stakeholders, including staff, customers, government and local communities. 
Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank and a member of the United Nations Environment    Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) which seeks to engage the private sector and the global financial sector to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impact.  

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Why Access Bank is Asking Customers Who Visited One of its Branches to Self Quarantine



As the dreaded Covid-19 continues to take its toll on human lives and businesses, Access Bank Plc has announced the temporary closure of one of its branches in Lagos State after a customer tested positive for coronavirus

According to a Daily Post report, a the bank has confirmed that one of it’s customer, who visited its Ligali Ayorinde branch in Victoria Island, Lagos tested positive for Coronavirus.

Consequently, Access Bank in a statement advised anyone who came into the bank for transactions in the last 14 days to self-quarantine.

Nigerian Centre for Disease Control on Monday announced the first fatality of the disease on Nigerian soil. The center also confirmed 36 cases of patients with COVID-19 as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The first person to have died of coronavirus as announced by NCDC is now known to be a 67-year-old man who returned to the country following medical treatment in the United Kingdom, UK

The victim’s identity was revealed to be a former Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu.

A statement from Access Bank reads : “We have confirmed that an individual who visited our Ligali Ayorinde branch on Monday 16th March 2020, has tested positive for Coronavirus.

He was symptom-free as at the time of visit and he is currently being monitored at an Isolation Centre in Yaba.

“It is advised that anyone who visited the branch in the last week should self-quarantine for a period of 14 days starting immediately. Persons who had any contact with the concerned individual are currently in isolation.”

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