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1,500 Youth Get N2.5bn CBN Entrepreneurship Loan

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The Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) on Thursday in Abuja flagged off the pilot phase of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) aimed at empowering 1,500 youths with a total of N2.5 billion loan.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele in his remarks said that the inability of Nigerian youths to access funding for businesses had been the bane of entrepreneurship.
Emefiele said that entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths had been hindered by low capacity and funding which has made many of them opt for white collar jobs which are not even available.
“ These challenges have continually made many youths to jettison their laudable ideas in pursuit of white collar jobs.
“Their inability to access funding has been the bane of developing the ideas of many educated and enterprising youths in Nigeria.’’
He said that the programme would address the problem of high and rising youth unemployment and restiveness.
While stressing that it was a loan that would be paid back and not a grant, he said that the single digit interest rate of the loan was to allow the youths to grow their businesses without much ado.
He admonished the beneficiaries to be of good character by repaying the loan when due as the success of the scheme depends solely on this first phase.
“We do not anticipate that they would not pay, we have as collateral their NYSC and Degree certificates and we know that our youths know the importance of their certificates.
“I do not think that somebody who has gone to the higher institution for those number of years to gain gainful employment for a gainful life will abandon those certificates because he wants to collect loan and not pay back.
“As far as I’m concerned I have not looked at the equation of them not re-paying so I want to enjoin everybody who accessed this loan to please pay.’’
The YEDP is aimed at harnessing the latent entrepreneurial spirit among the teeming youths by providing timely and affordable loans to implement their business ideas.
It is also serving as a training sponsored by the CBN for National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members in collaboration with Heritage Bank.
It targets youths between the age of 18 and 35 to create one million direct jobs in the productive sectors of the economy within four years.
Some of the qualified business sectors are agro-allied, food processing and preservation, arts and crafts, construction support and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The Director General, NYSC , Brig.-Gen. Sule Kazaure said that the programme was a milestone for the NYSC because it was in line with the its Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme.
He said under the SAED scheme, over 600,000 corps members had been trained in various entrepreneurship programmes but lacked funding to establish their own businesses.
He urged the corps members to take the programme seriously saying their future and the nation’s may depend on it.
“I urge all corps members, irrespective of their course disciplines, to key into the opportunities provided by these collaborations and become budding entrepreneurs through skill acquisition, self employment, wealth creation and employment generation.’’
The Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, told the youths that their success was important as it might mean that a path to creating a society that is worth our while was being charted.
He urged them to exhibit a flawless character and be tenacious in the pursuit of their goals.
“The spirit of entrepreneurship is not just in word but in the character you exhibit and the tenacity you bring to bear, the ability to follow your dreams despite the challenges.
“ If you don’t bring your character to the table this experiment will not succeed. A tenacious spirit, a never say die spirit, a can do spirit.’’
Mr Success Obi, one of the applicants who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the three organisations for providing such employment opportunity for the teeming Nigerian youths.
He assured that if granted the loan they would do their best to create employment opportunity for themselves  and fellow youth and pay back the loan when st

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Oil & Energy

Partners Execute Shareholder Agreement For Brass Products Terminal

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), along with their partner, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and Zed Energy have executed a shareholders’ agreement for the establishment of a 50 million litre Petroleum Products Terminal in Brass, Bayelsa State.
The N10.5 billion Brass Petroleum Products Terminal project is expected to deliver an automated 50 million litre depot with two-way product jetty, automated loading bay, and 6 automated tanks for storage of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)and 20 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
While speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant strides in the Niger Delta which is making a huge impact on the people of the area.
“I make bold to say today without any fear of contradiction that no President has impacted the people of the Niger Delta like President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside from what we are witnessing today, remember there is also the Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Company, the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and the Oil & Gas Park in Ogbia, all under Mr. President,” the Minister stated.
Sylva added that the establishment of the Terminal further demonstrates Mr. President’s commitment to the enhancement of the livelihood of the Niger Delta people particularly, the riverine communities in Bayelsa State where people purchase products at exorbitant prices due to logistics challenges associated with transporting products to that area.
Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said the Corporation was proud to be part of the project which aside ensuring products availability in all nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, will also guarantee the nation’s energy security and generate employment.
“This Terminal will create 1,000 direct jobs during the construction phase, and over 5,000 indirect jobs during its operation. Considering the potential for employment when completed, this will definitely reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and will also address the problem of illegal refining in the area,” Kyari stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote stated that this milestone was as a result of strong interagency collaboration and public-private sector partnership.
“The NCDMB will continue to drive such partnerships across the industry to bring development in Nigeria,” he noted.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Project and Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti stated that the project would enhance the economics of marine petroleum products distribution.

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Oil & Energy

Senate Hails NNPC’s Drive Towards Profitability

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The senate has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its efforts towards attaining profitability and stamping out corruption from its system.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Abdu Kwari, gave the commendation at a hearing which was held at the national assembly complex, Abuja.
Kwari said it was heart-warming to learn that the NNPC was making great strides towards profitability and urged the corporation to sustain the gains recorded so far for the good of the country.
In his presentation at the hearing, Mele Kyari, the group managing director of NNPC, said the corporation was championing the fight against corruption in the oil and gas industry by placing measures to curb incidences of corruption across its various business portfolios and by enlisting as a partner company of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
He also said that the corporation has reported several incidences of infractions such as products diversion and crude oil theft to the police, EFCC and other investigating agencies of the federal government to stem corruption within the oil and gas industry.
In an effort to clampdown on fuel smuggling, the ministry of petroleum resources launched the operation white project in October 2019 to monitor and track the movement of petroleum products in the country.
Also in February 2021, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) launched the downstream remote monitoring system (DRMS) to track the movement of petroleum products from depots to retail outlets.
“We have created an anti-corruption desk in NNPC that engages the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies on a regular basis,” NNPC GMD said.
“The desk ensures that in all our operations, every staff complies to the code of conduct procedures with consequence management.
“We have established a regulatory compliant governance charter and transparency policy; this is a mark of our compliance to the anti-corruption strategy.
“For the first time in 43 years, NNPC, as a part of the evolving culture of transparency and accountability, published its Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for 2018 and 2019. We are going to publish that of 2020.
“The AFS is the only document that tells how a company does its transaction. We are happy that by the time the 2020 AFS will be published, Nigerians will see the dividends of our accountability.”

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Oil & Energy

Chevron Spends $10bn On Nigerian Suppliers, Service Providers

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Chairman/Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Rick Kennedy, said the company has in the last 10 years spent an estimated annual average of $1 billion on Nigerian suppliers and service providers in line with its commitment to Nigerian Content Development.
Highlighting the opportunities and new approaches to the future of hydrocarbons at the ongoing 2021 NIPS in Abuja, Kennedy stressed the need for robust policies and regulations to address and remedy existing challenges in the oil and gas industry; digital technology/innovations; cost efficiency initiatives; sustained social investments as well as continued support for Nigerian Content Development.
Kennedy, who was represented by Monday Ovuede, director, NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, identified opportunities in lowering carbon emissions and harnessing Nigeria’s gas resources as key enablers in complementing the new approaches to future of hydrocarbons in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in the post COVID-19 era.
According to him, the global community has continued to scale up the collaboration towards lower carbon emissions, adding that Chevron supports global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and is actively investing in operations to improve environmental performance while also working with industry to develop new innovative technology and best practices to achieve these objectives.
He emphasised that CNL’s gas strategy is to end routine gas flaring and build a profitable gas business through a portfolio of projects, and stated that in Nigeria, CNL, with its joint venture (JV) partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has progressively reduced routine gas flaring by over 95% in the past 10 years and remained ahead in terms of maximising supply of on-spec gas into the Nigerian domestic market.
He also highlighted the NNPC/CNL’s Gas Sales and Aggregation Agreements with Egbin Power Plc, Dangote Fertilizer Limited, and Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, while mentioning the positive impact of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) through which Nigeria supplies gas to countries in the West African sub-region – specifically, Ghana, Togo, and Benin – thus, helping to boost economic development in West Africa.
Kennedy also noted that Chevron has joined other energy companies supporting the Methane Guiding Principles to reduce methane emissions from natural gas exploration and production operations through digital innovation and deployment of best practices, which include designing, constructing, and operating its facilities in a manner to reduce emissions from its operations.

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