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AfDB to support tech-based MSMEs with $500m – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to  support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), especially technology-based ones with 500 million dollars in Nigeria.

Osinbajo disclosed this on Sunday at the 33rd Inaugural Lecture of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun.

The institution’s 33rd Inaugural Lecture was delivered by Oluseyi Oduyoye, Professor of Business Administration.

The title of the lecture is, “From Small Business to Big Business: A Future with Little Hope”.

The vice president said that one of the things the Federal Government did with small business during the COVID-19 pandemic and  afterwards was the introduction of the MSMEs Survival Fund.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund gave almost a million businesses support after the pandemic.

“We paid three months salary of several of the MSMEs  especially private schools such as-private primary schools, private secondary schools; we paid for teachers and also for several other businesses.

“I think the statistics will be useful, especially as you further research and work; and so much have been done.

“But as I keep saying, it is a large country; a very big country;  in order to deal with all those issues and in order to support more businesses in a way that they ought to be supported, a lot more money is needed.

“And just one final point on that, the AfDB has agreed to support the government with 500 million dollars for MSMEs in technology in particular; so, we think this is something that will be very helpful in addition to the N75 billion, which the government has set aside for young people in small businesses.”

According to him, support for small businesses must continue as they are the future of the country.

He said that the support given to MSMEs had brought hope, jobs and opportunities.

Osinbajo commended also the Seventh Day Adventist Church for the investment it had made in education.

The vice president said that the church’s gesture was worthy of emulation for other religious organisations.

“The real of work of ministering is a work of ministering to the people, especially those who cannot afford to do many of those things themselves.

“The work that the ministries did was the reason the likes of Oduyoye and I are here.

“Because our college (Igbobi College) was one that was founded by two Christian missions–the Anglican and Methodist missions–and they gave quality education at a cheap rate so that we were able to afford it and several of us were able to go to school and be the people we are today.

“So, I believe that it is very important that religious organisations see this as primary in all of the tasks and all of the things they choose to do.

“So, I want to commend the church for this and again, to congratulate dear brother and friend, Oduyoye,” he said.

Earlier,  in his lecture, Oduyoye said that small businesses constituted a vibrant part of major economies of the world.

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Business & Economy

World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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NEPC, 13 trade promotion organisations shortlisted for WTOP award

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NEPC Headquarters, Maitama - Abuja.
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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has been nominated along side 13 other Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) for the 2022 World Trade Organisation (WTPO) Awards for Excellence in Trade Promotion.

A statement released on Monday by Ndubueze Okeke Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, it said Nigeria is poised to clinch the “Best Use of a Partnership”.

He said the NEPC has been shortlisted along with Apex Brazil, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Qatar Development Bank-Tesder and Saudi Export Development Authority.

The WTPO Award which is scheduled to hold on 17th May, 2022 in Accra, Ghana is open to all national TPOs.

The statement also said, “NEPC acknowledged WTPO as it recognizes excellence in providing trade support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to become competitive in international trade.

“In 2018, Nigeria, through NEPC won the award for the ‘Best initiative to Ensure that Trade is Inclusive and Sustainable”.

The NEPC won that category with its Zero to Export initiative which builds capacity of would-be exporters and SMEs on export procedures and documentation as well as provide practical training on product sourcing and market access.

The NEPC said that the initiative had trained 560 SMEs.

The International Trade Centre Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said, “At a time when small firms have been hit by supply chain disruptions, climate change crises and other socio-economic challenges, it important to show inspiring models that connect small firms to Trade opportunities that are Inclusive and sustainable”.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak will represent Nigeria at the Award Ceremony.

The statement further said, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania is competing in the “Best use of Information Technology”, while Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, Netherlands and Zimbabwe will compete for the “Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category”.

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