Nigeria has secured a
7.8 million dollars credit from International Donors, for the implementation of the National Programme on the Reduction of Emmission from Deforestation and Degradation ( REDD) plus programme.
The programme is an initiative by the United Nations for the protection forests against destructions across the world.
The programme popularly known as cop 15 was initiated by the United Nations in 2009 at Copenhagen Denmark.
The Agreement was signed by Nigeria in 2012 and Cross River State was designated as pilot state, and in 2015, the programme was scale up in Nigeria with the addition of Ondo and Nassarawa States.
The project coordinator for Ondo State, Mr John Akinnuba told The Tide in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt, that the money was second between 2012 and 2016.
Mr Akinnuba specified that four million dollars was secured in 2012 for the implementation of the pilot programme in Cross River State while this year, 3.8 million dollars was granted to the Govenrment to scale up the project in Nassarawa and Ondo States.
According to him, the first phase of the programmes involves building institutional structures and putting of framework, while second phase will involve piloting, field survey and technological mapping, while phase three involves data gathering and analysis and the establishment of reference emission level which is the basis for the payment of carbon credit.
“The Redd plus is a programme of action to mitigate climate change by payments and compensations to governments and communities that protect the forests in forms of credit from carbon generated from the protected forests” he said.
According to him, since carbon dioxide is the major component coursing global warming, the progrmame will ensure that the carbon generated from the forest can be captured, measured and sold in the carbon market, stressing that by so doing. Forest communities will be given livelihood support. Mr Akinnuba said that Nigeria stands to benefit maximally from the programme as its forest resources would be preserved, while employment will be reduced through the unempowerment of communities.
The Environmentalist stressed the need for governments of the Niger Delta States to queue into the programme with the view to protecting its forests and biodiversities from destruction.
LCCI Seeks FG’s Support For EndSARS Looting Victims
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has urged the federal government to come to the aid of the Lagos State Government to rebuild the large number of assets that were destroyed by the hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest.
The chamber said this has become necessary in view of the current challenging economic conditions that the state was already grappling with.
It also said that banks to which some of the victims were indebted should demonstrate an uncommon compassion towards them in respect of their indebtedness.
LCCI, in a statement signed by its President, Mrs.Toki Mabogunje said “as corporate and individual citizens, this is the time to demonstrate our culture of compassion in being our brother’s keeper by supporting, in our various ways, the victims of this unfortunate incident.
“We wish to appeal as follows; that the federal and Lagos state governments should collaborate to provide support in the form of grants, to all the victims of the unfortunate outcome of the protest and the subsequent attacks and destruction of properties and assets; that the families of all those who lost their loved ones should be adequately compensated
“We note the setting up of the Judicial Panels of Inquiry in various states to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incidence with a view to avoiding a repeat of such occurrences in the future. We urge all citizens that may have suffered from all forms of police brutality and injustice to co-operate with the Lagos State Government to bring about restitution and some form of closure on these very unfortunate incidences.
“We believe there are lessons to be learnt by all concerned – protesters, the government, security agencies and citizens.
“We are all in this together and we need the co-operation and support of all to build a Lagos and Nigeria of our dreams. We should sustain the status of our country as the biggest economy on the African continent and preserve the status of Lagos as a leading commercial city in Africa and the commercial hub of the West African sub-region.
“We should collectively strengthen our resilience, build an inclusive economy and deepen citizen engagement. Long live Lagos State, long live Federal Republic of Nigeria! The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) notes with a deep sense of loss and pain, the loss of lives, property and livelihoods arising from the subsequent regrettable events following the recent peaceful EndSARS protests.
“We empathise with the families of all those who have lost loved ones during and in the aftermath of the protests. We share the pain of all investors: micro, small, medium and large that suffered losses as a result of the arson, looting and the destruction of their valuable fixed and moveable assets. We share the grave concern of employees who are at the risk of losing their jobs as a result of these deplorable and debilitating incidents. We empathise with the Lagos State Government over the wanton destruction of public properties around the state.
“The LCCI wishes to reiterate its position on the imperative of peace, dialogue and engagement as major ingredients for social and economic stability that will enable a conducive environment for investments and the prosperity of businesses.
“The LCCI implores all stakeholders [the government and the governed] to prioritise dialogue and constructive engagement. We need to embed in the governance process, the norms and ideals of the democratic process, rule of law, transparency and accountability in political governance and citizen engagement among others.”
SMEs: What Importance To Nigerian Economy?
The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector, in recent times, has suffered many setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protests that are currently rocking the country.
This week, The Tide’s Business Unit takes a look at the importance of the SMEs to the Nigerian economy and why the sector should be given proper attention by the government.
Our senior correspondent, Lilian Peters, went to town to have a chat with some entrepreneurs in Port Harcourt and here is what she came back with.
Chief Executive Officer of BenFather Enterprises, Rev. John Benneth, believes that without the SMEs, the demand and supply of the masses in any society cannot be met.
“The SMEs are the economic hub of the country and play a very important role in revenue generation.
“It is unfortunate that the same sector has not been given the required attention to thrive which will in turn benefit the society.
“Government should provide conducive environment for the SMEs and checkmate the excesses of touts and police who take undue advantage of the sector”, he said.
Rev. Bennett noted that many investors had left the country due to insecurity and lack of conducive business environment.
According to him, the harsh economic reality in the country has negatively affected the SMEs. He said the sector required urgent attention of the government to bounce back.
On the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country, he said, “the youths are fighting a just cause, but unpatriotic Nigerians have hijacked the protests which resulted in the destruction of lives, property and even the business of SMEs”.
Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of GEEPICS International Limited, Mr Gideon Emeh, says SMEs play a major role in the nation’s economy.
“The only way a nation can boast of a sustainable economic growth is by having a stabilised SME which is the backbone of any economy.
“Growth of SMEs is a sign of a good economy because they pay taxes, provide jobs for others and are also responsible for currency flow”, he said.
Emeh who deals on system softwares, security and engineering programming said the Federal Government has not done enough to help the growth of SMEs in the area of stable power supply, good infrastructure and harmonised taxation.
He urged small and medium entrepreneurs to always invest in self development and acquisition of current skills.
“When you do trial and error in business, chances are that you may succeed out of perseverance or fail out of frustration”, he said.
Managing Director of Ogbom Welding & Fabrication Works, Mr Christopher Ogbonna Nduka, says the importance of SMEs cannot be over-emphasised in the society.
SMEs, he noted, play an important role in reducing crime rate, providing services to the masses and also maintaining the systems put in place by the government.
According to him, “just as welding works provide security to properties, so do SMEs secure economic growth for the country”.
Nduka noted in strong terms that any country that wants a sustainable economy does not play with the entrepreneurs who drive its economy.
“Nigeria should make more moves to help the SMEs in the country to develop like other countries.
“Here, government is only interested in collecting one revenue or the other. Nobody cares for our welfare. Whether we make gain or not, we must generate revenue to all the three tiers of government in addition to contending with the touts who are ready to fight and destroy our working tools.
“This is the reason why we have many businesses closed down after the COVID-19 pandemic and now EndSARS”, he said.
Managing Director of DIDI Concepts, Mrs Lilian Ndidi Onuoha, says the SMEs play a very important role in the development of any nation.
Mrs Onuoha who deals on wares said, “the SMEs do not depend on government for employment, but rather create jobs for themselves and even employ people to reduce the level of unemployment that increases the crime rate in the society”.
She however, observed that the SMEs in Nigeria today “are below average compared to those of other countries.
“Government needs to do more in terms of financial support, encouragement and infrastructural development,”
She added that “the #EndSARS protests have also impacted negatively on the SMEs. The initial motive of the protesters was good but hoodlums hijacked it and damaged, looted and burnt businesses that SMEs built, nurtured and grew for many years”.
Access Bank To Assist SMEs, Others With N50bn Loans
Access Bank Nigeria Plc is set to dole out N50 billion through interest-free loans and grants to support communities, the youths and micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the country.
This is coming on the heels of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the hijacked #EndSARS protests that led to the looting of businesses and destruction of properties which has thrown so many Nigerians into debts.
According to the bank, it remains committed to its purpose of impacting lives positively.
The bank said, “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively.
” In the light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with N50 billion interest-free loans and grants. Watch this space for more information.”
Economic experts believe that the show of support from Access Bank will help alleviate and stimulate economic activities as well as produce many positive multiplier effects on the economy.
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