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AFREXIM Bank Moves To Facilitate AfCFTA Implementation

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The African Export Import Bank (AFREXIM) says it has created trade financing programmes to facilitate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
President, AFREXIM Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, made the disclosure yesterday at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria – Export Promotion Group (MANEG) in Lagos.
The event was themed: “Leveraging On The African Continental Free Trade Agreement for Export Expansion in Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector”
Oramah, who was represented by Managing Director, Intra Africa Trade Initiative, Mrs Kanayo Awane, said the policies were borne out of the need to upscale the Nigeria’s manufacturing sector in the intra African trade arena.
“Between 1980 and 2018, Asia’s share of contribution to global trade increased from 4.4 per cent to 20 per cent, while Africa’s share fell from 6 per cent to 2.3 per cent.
“The marginalization of Africa in global trade is a consequence of a number of factors.
“Most notably is the continued reliance on the imports of private commodities in a world where global trade is increasingly dominated by manufactured products.
“Private commodities and natural resources continue to account for a significant share of Africa’s total import.
“We have to reposition African economies as competitors rather than collaborators,” he said.
Oramah noted that AfCFTA held phenomenal growth and export opportunities for Nigeria, adding that AFREXIM was working with the African Union to support its implementation in Nigeria.
Oramah, therefore, called on stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to work together to place Nigeria in its rightful place as the largest economy in Africa.
Similarly, the Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mrs Stella Oketete, said the bank had approved over N54 billion since 2018 to support exporters in the country.
“We also developed a programme to support Small and Medium scale businesses called Small and Medium Export Development Fund, she said.
According to Oketete, the bank is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria Financial System Strategy 2020 (CBN) and other key stakeholders to promote the introduction of factoring in Nigeria.
“This is a financial inclusion strategy that would be an alternative financing instrument for small and medium scale enterprises, thereby broadening local trade financing instruments,” she said.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman, MANEG, Mr Ede Dafinone, lauded the Federal Government for the part payment of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) for the 2017 EEG applications.
He, however, expressed optimism that the Federal Government would pay the balance to exporters.
“Total non-oil export earnings data received through the banks as reported by CBN revealed a marginal increase of 1.5 per cent at the end of 2018.
“The low performance would need for a more export friendly government and in particular the need to restart EEG which is on record as the most successful export incentive deployed by the Federal Government,” he said.
Dafinone also urged the Federal Government to consider opening the border soon to facilitate the exportation of goods.

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ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.

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Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company

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Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.

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Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption

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The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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