Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital will play host to about 2,000 delegates for the Annual National Conference/General Meeting of the Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria (ISMN) slated for July this year.
Chairman, ISMN, Rivers State chapter Sir Davies Okarevu, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, at as weekend during the inauguration of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) ahead of the 2020 ISMN National Conference.
The brief, but colouful inauguration ceremony was presided over by the 1st National Vice President of ISMN, Alex Ndudi Enebeli.
Okarevu said the institute’s annual national conference provides a platform for critical analysis and deep intellectual discussions that seeks holistic and practical solutions to issues of national importance,
He said, “The event is being hosted by Rivers State chapter this year, having demonstrated and proven itself as a formidable chapter with years of commitment to the development and advancement of the strategic management professions in Rivers State and the generality of the South-East, South-South regions of the country.
“The ISMN is the premier institute promoting the strategic management profession in Nigeria and Rivers State chapter is the most successful, vibrant and highly performing chapter. This year’s conference promises to be a memorable event, bringing together about 2000 delegates of our members and visitors across Nigeria to the city of Port Harcourt.”
The chairman further said the Rivers chapterwith its years of proven record in hosting high stakes event, strong membership support, an enduring government goodwill is primed to deliver a memorable national conference.
“In more than ten years of the chapter’s existence, it has hosted high profile events attracting large audiences and dignitaries across all spheres of our society. From our records, we have consistently provided a platform for the Institute to showcase its intellectual and professional capabilities and shape the policy thrust of both the government and the organized private sector.”
While soliciting the support of government, the organized private sector and other critical stakeholders to sponsor the different component of the events, he charged the LOC to ‘deploy all human and material resources at its disposal to plan and execute a memorable event that will beat any national conference ever by the institute.’
In her remarks shortly after the inauguration, the LOC chairperson, Mrs. Lyna Okara said Port Harcourt would witness business boom as a result of the coming conference, saying, “It is going to bring businesses here because people will use the hotels and facilities that Rivers State and Port Harcourt has to offer.
“It is a time of interaction, a time of opening of new businesses because when these people come in it is going to help market Port Harcourt because people are living and doing business here and the place is safe. There has been too much negative publicity about Port Harcourt.
“But when people are coming in and seeing how welcoming residents here are to visitors, then visitors will see that there are opportunities to explore further and businesses will continue to build because the State is safe for them to come. We are expecting about 2000 delegates and this town will be vibrant with business, she stated.
By: Dennis Naku
COVID-19: CBN Grants Two-Week Market Holidays To BDCs
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted a two- week market holidays to the Bureaux De Change operators.
This followed a request by the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria to the CBN for the regulator to grant it market holidays, given the ongoing challenges faced in local and global economies due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic.
In a notice to BDC operators and directors, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the CBN’s approval meant that sales of foreign exchange to BDCs is now suspended till further notice.
Gwadabe also advised the public not to go into panic buying, hoarding and partronasing the street traders as the CBN has enough reserves to sustain supplies when the BDCs return to operations.
The CBN had also acknowledged the contributions of BDCs in promoting stable exchange rate in recent months despite challenging circumstances facing the Forex market due to drop in crude oil prices.
Gwadabe advised members to observe strict guidelines on the preventive measures on the dangers of the COVID 19, wear their mask, gloves, and frequent washing of hands.
“We also want to advise members to strictly comply with their regulatory obligations on their daily operation. If you are trading, be cautious not to fall under the hand of security agencies. Don’t be involved in giving black market rates,street trading as doing so might create regulatory breach,” he said.
Gwadabe said that CBN/NFIU were tracking large movements of funds within the financial sector and noted the need to be cautious.
“Once again, accept our continuous assurances on serving you better as we continue to ponder on lasting solutions to the growing challenges facing our operations amongst them, crowd management, expansion of scope of our buisiness, lesser penalties, automation, among others,” he stated.
…Suspends Cheque Clearing Amidst Lockdown
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended clearing of cheques until further notice following the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspension was announced in a circular to Deposit Money Banks and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) by the Director of Banking Services at CBN, Mr Sam Okojere.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Sunday ordered a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT with effect from 11 p.m. on Monday, March 30 FCT), as a response to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The bank explained that in view of these developments and in furtherance to the Bank’s effort to ensure hitch-free clearing and settlement activities, the CBN had therefore suspended it until further notice.
The apex bank further stated that the clearing of cheques instruments in the Nigerian clearing started from March and for the avoidance of doubt, no fresh cheque instrument would be allowed to pass through March 31.
The CBN noted that only returned cheque would be treated on the said date.
“However, settlement activities for electronic instruments will continue to hold during this period of suspension”, it said.
Nigeria’s Economy Fragile Before COVID-19 Pandemic –Finance Minister
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian economy was already fragile.
She said this in a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Communication, Mr Yunusa Abdullahi, on Monday in Abuja.
Ahmed, according to the statement, said this during her meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly where she spoke on implications of the global economic crisis on Nigeria.
The coronavirus pandemic had led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, a sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, the lockdown of large swath movements of persons in many countries, among others.
These outcomes have had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.
But the finance minister said that prior to the outbreak which had led to decline in crude oil prices, the Nigerian economy was already fragile, vulnerable and deteriorating.
She said the global economic downturn had forced international oil prices to drop to as low as $22 per barrel.
The minister said international travels and trade had been severely disrupted, while demand for goods and services is deteriorating as a result of the social distancing policies.
This, she said had led to financial markets uncertainty which had resulted into capital flows’ reversal from emerging and frontier markets such as Nigeria.
She said, “Increasing pressure on the naira and foreign reserves as the crude oil sales receipts decline and the macroeconomic outlook worsens.
“Central Bank of Nigeria, just as in other countries, has resorted to quantitative easing, by reducing interest rates to support economic activity and governments announcing fiscal stimulus plans for healthcare and social safety nets.”
She said the government was working on a fiscal stimulus package to cushion the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable individuals and communities.
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