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Businesses To Benefit From Abia SME Bank – Adviser

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The Special Adviser to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Social Investments, Mr Chinenye Nwogu, says the government’s Small and Medium Scale Micro-Finance Bank will serve the needs of start-ups for business development.
Nwogu, who said this on Monday, in an interview with newsmen, in Aba, added that the bank unveiled in Aba last Friday, by Governor Ikpeazu, would focus on providing funds for developing small and medium scale businesses in Aba.
He said the idea of the bank was mooted by the governor since he assumed office in 2015.
“The vision for this bank is to hand it over to the citizens to address the bottlenecks that hinder businesses from accessing micro credits, so that they can continue to inject money and grow their businesses.
“So, this bank is a response to the challenge of access to finance in Abia State and in the course of time, the bank will transit to become a bank owned by the people and not the government,” Nwogu said.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kingsley Nwobilor also said that the establishment of the bank was a right step in the right direction.
He thanked the governor for the opportunity to showcase his understanding of what businesses in Abia needed, saying that the bank would provide a number of business credit opportunities for Abia entrepreneurs, to easily access funds within 24 hours and develop their businesses.
Nwaobilor listed the bank’s packages to include Cluster Credit Scheme for traders, Save to Own for tricycle operators and taxi drivers, and Thrift Savings Credit Scheme for traders, especially market women.
Others are the Abia SME Bank Diaspora Investment Fund and Abia Youth Entrepreneurship scheme.
Chairman, Ariaria International Market Traders Association, Emeka Igara  and President, Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMASS), Mr Okechukwu Williams, thanked the state government for establishing the bank.
They observed that the bank would help artisans expand and grow their work.

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PH To Host SME Ankara Carnival, Trade Exhibition

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Port Harcourt would next month play host to traditional fashion carnival/ trade exhibition.
The programme according to the organisers is aimed at prompting the business and rich cultural heritage of Nigerian traditional Ankara material.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Tide, the programme Director of “PH Ankara Carnival”, Dr. Larry Goodwill Ajiola, said that Entrepreneurs in the fashion/designing industry would have the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Dr. Ajiola who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of I.Conntact Connect Communications, Port Harcourt, said, “there will be Ankara trade exhibition, sales of both sewed and materials, in addition to the presence of manufacturers and distributors of Ankara materials.
“The event is meant to reach out to young and creative fashion/designers and models in the industry.
“It is a creativity carnival birth with passion driven vision which tends to influence and change the minds of young individuals about the Ankara clothings. The event would promote young entrepreneurs in the fashion industry”.
Dr. Larry who is also the Chairman of IEBS Matrixx co-operative, Port Harcourt noted that the theme of the event, “The unending Heritage in Africa Traditional Dressing”, has a lot to say about the sustenance of African culture.
He reiterated the need for Mass turn out for the October 10th programme, stressing that Ankara would be sold at an affordable price by the Manufacturers and distributors.

By: Lilian Peters

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SMEs

108 Ogoni Youths To Enjoy Entrepreneurial Training Abroad

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The Ogoni Liberation Initiative says it has concluded arrangement to train 108 Ogoni youths in various businesses and skills development abroad.
The President of the organisation Mr. Richard Douglas Fabeke who said this during the unveiling of a magazine in Port Harcourt, also hinted of the plan by the group for the establishment of a hitech polytechnic in Ogoni land.
Fabeke said the polytechnic which will be the first of its kind in the country will enable students to develop enterprenural skills.
According to him, the organisation has also acquired land for a university, adding that
Ogoni liberation initiative is not political but would focused on the development of Ogoni land.
Fabeke also warned the people against involving in violence, stressing that time has come for the people to focus on making Ogoni the industrial hub of Nigeria and the entire west Africa.
He also criticised the federal government amnesty programme, saying that the programme has not improved the life of any Ogoni youths.
 He said this is the time for the Ogoni to free themselves from economic slavery by tapping into programmes that will improve their lives.
Fabeke also said that Ogoni liberation initiative is registered in four countries adding that the organization is working with international media to spread the cause of the Ogonis across the world.
He said that Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) is the preferred company for the Ogonis.
Fabeke said the magazine will enable members of the international communities to know the true situation of things in Ogoni Land, adding that one million jobs will be created through the magazine.

By: Oribim Ibama & Inimgba Victor

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NIRSAL Trains 700,000 Farmers, Others On Agribusiness

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The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) has trained 700, 000 farmers and other agricultural value chain actors across the country, in its ongoing efforts to improve the capacity and productivity of Nigerian farmers.
“Since its inception, NIRSAL Plc has provided training on Good Agronomic Practices to over 700,000 farmers and trained over 2,600 mid-management and Agric desk officers of commercial banks,” the organization, disclosed in a statement, yesterday.
It said that it has just concluded a series of training sessions under the NIRSAL Strategic Business Support Services (SBSS) which were held in the six geo-political zones .
The agency described the programme as a continuation of efforts targeted at achieving a key component of NIRSAL PLc’s mandate: de-risking of the agricultural value chain in order to encourage more investment in agribusiness by the financial sector,
It addressed NIRSAL’s Technical Assistance pillar which aimed at building the capacity of value chain actors for improved production, handling, processing and marketing of agricultural commodities.
The sessions focused on 10 Commodities of Interest (COI) that have ecological and economic advantages in each region.
The commodities were: Rice, Ginger, Maize, Fresh Fruit & Vegetables (FFV), Cassava, Beans, Aquaculture, Oil Palm, Livestock and Cotton.
According to the organization, the choice of the selected commodities was informed by the NIRSAL Agricultural Commodity Ecological Area (ACEA) map which it developed and obtained validation for from relevant research institutes. NIRSAL Plc believes that ACEA-compliant agricultural investments hold the highest chances for success in terms of production and sale.
In the North-Central, the Benue State SBSS focused on Rice, Ginger and Maize, which are NIRSAL COIs that possess the highest factor productivity in the state.
“Consequently, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the SBSS trained operators in the FFV Value Chain. The rationale for selecting FFV is hinged on the FCT’s urban consumer market. The training sessions took place in Kuje, Nyanya, Mararaba, Apo, Lugbe, the Municipal, Gwagwalada, Dei-Dei, and Abaji.
“In the South-South, the Rivers State SBSS focused on FFVs as well, in addition to Aquaculture. Stakeholders were trained in Rumuola, Wenpey, Aluu, Enekah, Elekahia, Eleme, Mgbuoba, Elelenwo, Igwuruta, Eliozu, and Rumuodomaya.

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