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FG Reiterates Commitment To Industrialisation

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The Federal Government has reiterates its commitment to realisation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enalamah, said last Friday at the inauguration of the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP) that the government was poised to realise the NIRP through its commitment to the development of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Represented by Mr Edet Akpan, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Enalamah said the MSMEs would be given serious attention because of their role in economic diversification.
He said the project sponsored by the European Union (EU) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), would complement other government initiatives.
“Nigeria is endowed with human and natural resources, and for the country to attain its full potential, we cannot afford to ignore the MSMEs and their contribution to the economy.
“As a developing nation, we are making effort to transform the economy by initiating programmes and policies that will help improve the standard of living,” he said.
The minister also said that government was working hard to promote social and political stability especially with the ongoing programmes on economic diversification.
Speaking at the event, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Karlsen Ketil said the union in collaboration with the GIZ had, in support of NICOP, earmarked about 10 million euros for MSMEs development.
Ketil noted that the support for the development of MSMEs became pertinent due to population growth and the alarming rise in unemployment in the country.
“There is no better way to create jobs in Nigeria than to produce our own goods, this is better than sending raw materials abroad and importing the finished products,” he said.
Economic Development Cluster Coordinator of GIZ-Nigeria, Hans-Ludwig Bruns, said that NICOP was a four-year project commissioned by the German government and co-funded by the EU.
“NICOP will assist MSMEs to add value to and migrate towards new and higher level tasks along selected value chain such as tomato, pepper, chilli, ginger, leather and garments.
“It is also aimed at promoting structural transformation, overcoming coordination and linkage failures as well as improving access to regional and international market,” he said.
He further stated that NICOP would provide support across three major pillars such as technical, access to finance and investment.

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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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