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Imo Urges Artisans, Business Owners To Access Fund

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The Imo Government has advised artisans, transporters and other business owners in the state to key into the Federal Government’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund to empower and grow their businesses.
The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor on Bureau for the Coordination of Donor/Development Partners Fund, Mrs Amaka Njoku, gave the advice in Owerri yesterday at a town hall meeting organised for artisans and transporters in the state.
The meeting was tagged “MSME Survival Fund: Artisan and Transport Support Scheme Town Hall Meeting”.
Njoku expressed regret that in spite of continous sensitisation by her office, artisans and business men  in the state had refused to access the fund and urged them to take advantage of the laudable project.
She described the fund as a COVID-19 Survival Initiative under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry Payroll Support.
“Imo State has been lagging behind when it comes to accessing funds from the Federal Government. In order to benefit from the MSME Survival Fund, the Imo Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, appointed a focal person in my honour.
“I, therefore, call on Imo Artisans, business owners, companies to remove doubt, fears and biases and come and register with the office because there are a lot of advantages.
“Artisans should not be afraid to release their BVN. This is a good venture from the Federal Government to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic,” Njoku said.
The Minster of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Katagum, said the town hall meeting was to interact with and engage the artisans and transporters in Imo on the various schemes the Federal Government designed to alleviate the effect of the lock down occasioned by COVID-19.
Katagum, who was represented by Mr Ubadigbo Okonkwo, a member, Board of Trustees, Nigeran Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), called on artisans to ensure they benefited from the fund.
“The survival fund is a conditional grant of 30,000, “grant not loan”, to 333,000 Nigerians. For Imo State that is about 9000 beneficiaries of which 45 per cent of them should be women. So they will benefit by a grant of N30,000 each,” Katagum said.
The Desk Officer, Imo State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survival Fund, Kenechukwu Igwesi, commended the artisans and transporters for attending the meeting.
He said the project delivery office of the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NSME) had been working with the state government to ensure the fund reached every artisan and business person in the state.
Igwesi said the MSME survival fund project of the Federal Government was meant to give palliatives to artisans and transporters affected by the lock down of COVID-19 pandemic to cushion its effect.

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Entrepreneur Charges Corps Members On Entrepreneurial Skills

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An entrepreneur, Mr Emmanuel Aondoakaa has advised youth corps members to strive to acquire entrepreneurial skills in order to be self-reliant instead of waiting for white-collar jobs.
Aondoakaa, the Chief Executive Officer of Own Your Enterprise Campaign (OYEC), gave the advice when he delivered a lecture held for 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream 2 corps members posted to Wanune in Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State.
According to him, there are no jobs in Nigeria to fall back to after the service year, as business is the key to financial independence.
“Unemployment rate is increasing among Nigerian graduates every year and the only panacea is business, so that you can be financially independent and even become employers of labour,’’ he said.
Aondoakaa pointed out that the best time to venture into business was at this period of insecurity, saying that all they needed to do was to look for the needs of their environments and venture into it.
Fielding questions from youth corps members after the lecture, he noted that the capital to kick start a business had always been the discouraging factor among young graduates.
However, he said there were many foundations such as Tony Elumelu Foundation and the likes giving grants to young entrepreneurs to encourage self-reliance in Nigeria.
He noted that applying and getting the grant might be difficult but promised to train interested persons on how to apply and get it.
Also speaking, Mrs Ann Adogah, one of the resource persons, advised the Youth Corps members to take the entrepreneurship development lecture seriously, as it would be “Plan B’’ for self-reliance after their service year.

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Rivers Farmers Hail Wike On Anti-Grazing Law

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All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Rivers State branch has hailed Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike for the signing of the anti-open grazing bill into law.
State chairman of the association, Comrade Ofimaobari Igwe who said this in an interview with newsmen in port Harcourt said the law will ensure peace in the state.
Igwe said the development will also lead to massive food production in the state.
According to him, the law will boost the confidence of Rivers farmers as their security is now guaranteed.
He also stressed the need for the government to set up a committee to ensure the implementation of the law. 
Comrade Igwe also called on the government to look at the possibility of assisting farmers who lost their crops to flooding last year in the state.
He said farmers in the state will continue to support all efforts by government to restore security to the state.
The Afan boss also called on farmers to take advantage of the gesture by the government to improve their farming activities.
Igwe also called on them to visit the association office for registration.
Open grazing of cattle has been a source of conflict between herders and farmers across the country.
It was against this backdrop that governors of the 17 Southern States met at Asaba, Delta State to unanimously banned open grazing in the zone.
The anti-grazing law in Rivers State was a follow-up to the Asaba meeting.
The AFAN chairman said the situation would bring peace and boost food production in the state.

By: John Bibor

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FCMB’s CEO Advises SMEs On Corporate Governance

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The Managing Director of First City Monument Bank, Mrs Yemisi Edun, has advised corporate organisations, particularly micro-businesses, to adopt sound corporate governance practices in order to stand the test of time.
A statement from the bank, titled ‘Adopt Corporate Governance, Yemisi Edun charges SMEs’, said she made the call as the guest speaker at the inaugural corporate governance and enterprise development conference organised by H. Michael & Co in Lagos, with the theme ‘Corporate governance best practices: Imperatives for business sustainability’.
Addressing the conference’s physical and online audience, the bank’s chief noted that no business could stand the test of time without sound corporate governance practices.
She said that micro-businesses also required the same to achieve optimum performance and sustainable growth, urging small businesses to imbibe corporate governance practices.
Edun listed the long-term benefits of sound corporate governance practice as strong brand equity, decreasing risks, reducing capital cost, and enhanced performance.
She added that only businesses with solid corporate governance practices could stimulate economic growth and enhance innovation while protecting communities and the environment in their daily activities.
In his keynote address, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, Prof. Sunday Owolabi, described corporate governance as “doing the right when no one is looking”.
Owolabi urged businesses to self-regulate and embrace full disclosure and accountability.
He also advised the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to consolidate the country’s multi-sector codes of corporate governance into a single omnibus document for corporations in the country.
The conference convener, Dr Adeyinka Hassan, a notable enterprise governance advocate, noted that more than 100 companies in Nigeria had fizzled out due to corporate failure

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