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Owerri Chamber Signs MoU With Chinese Businessmen

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The Owerri Chamber of
Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (OCCIMA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of industries in Imo  State with a team of Chinese businessmen.
The President of the chamber, Mr Kevin Mbawuike, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Owerri last Thursday.
Under the agreement, investors from China and their local partners would establish industries in the areas of agriculture, energy, food processing, manufacturing, transport and housing.
Mbawuike said the initiative facilitated by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Viola Onwuliri, was to create employment opportunities for Nigerian youths.
“Owerri is a thriving academic and food sector environment and remains a golden mine for genuine investors who intends to have return of his investment because of the population.
“Unfortunately the private sector in the area is not recording enough government support in term of payment of counterpart funding and this is adversely affecting business,’’ he said.
Mbawuike noted that lack of government support had been a reoccurring problem in Imo, noting that the problem did not start with the present administration.
He blamed the low industrial presence in the state on the difficulty faced by businessmen in assessing funds either from the Bank of Industries, SEMDAN or the CBN.
He added that the chamber was making effort to improve the situation.
“This week, we are paying a contest visit to the Commissioner for Commerce and Non-Formal Sector, and we are hoping that government will start listening to the business community in Imo,’’ he said.
Mbawuike also stressed the need for Imo people to invest in small and medium industries, noting that it would help to engage a lot of young men and women who graduate from schools.
“We encourage our people to put in their resources in industrial activities no matter how little rather than expand monies on luxury life styles,’’ he said.
He said the chamber and the South-East Business Platform (local investors), corporative groups and communities were discussing on areas of advantage for businesses investment.
He further said that officials of the chamber and the Ministry of Economic Planning would soon visit Turkey on trade mission, adding that the efforts were aimed at tackling high youth unemployment.

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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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