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Foundation Urges Women’s Participation In SMEs

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The founder of Foundation for Skills Development (FSD), Mrs
Omowale Ogunrinde,   says women remain a
potent force in growing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the
country.

Ogunrinde spoke with our correspondent at the venue of a
seminar for women on “Global Business, Improving Profits and Production,’’  last Thursday in Lagos.

She said that providing sustainable and qualitative entrepreneurial skills for women was one of the avenues of economic development.

“I want to encourage Nigerian women to key into programmes
like this and to also tell their friends because only then can the economy
grow,” Ogunrinde said.

She said that her foundation collaborated with sponsors to
empower and expose the participants to global best economic practices.

“Anyone can register to acquire specific skills, which could
be free or paid for in our quest to transform lives through self-employment,”
she said.

Mr Gbenga Ogunjide, Lagos State Coordinator, Small and
Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), said that such seminars availed
Nigerians opportunities to sharpen their management skills.

He said that SMEDANwas committed to providing development
funds to small-scale businesses in the country.

“One of the challenges in the sector is the access to funds
and SMEDAN has plans to open an SME bank,” he said.

Mr Fatai Yusuf, founder of Ola-Ola instant food, in a
keynote address, said that operators of SME’s in Nigeria were more at risk than
those in other businesses.

Yusuf, who lauded the FSD founder, identified infrastructure
as a major challenge to the growth of small businesses.

Yusuf, an award recipient for his contributions to the
growth of SMEs, noted that countries had their peculiar challenges.

“There are business challenges in every country; it is only
advisable to see these challenges as a means of getting a result,” he said.

Celestina Steve-Obiago, a beneficiary of the foundation,
lauded it foundation for providing her with managerial skills.

Mr Daniel Whiteman, a representative of the U.S. Embassy,
said the United Nations Development Progamme had shown that Africa would enjoy
seven per cent growth by 2015.

Whiteman urgedAfrican governments to key into the projection
and increase their tempo of development.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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