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PHCCIMA Strengthens Ties With NDDC On SMEs’ Growth, Others

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It was yet another milestone achievement as the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have strengthened their collaboration on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) businesses, trade missions and trade fair participation, among other things.
Speaking at the courtesy call on the Interim Management of NDDC in Port Harcourt, PHCCIMA President, Sir Mike Elechi, explained that PHCCIMA was the recognised leader of organised private sector in Rivers State, and one of the approved four premier Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria under the platform of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce.
He added that the chamber has the only approved international trade fair status, and also hosts the international trade fair, approved by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for the region.
According to him, “PHCCIMA’s main objective is to promote growth and development of business activities in a conducive environment in the state and Niger Delta region which could be realistic through partnership with government and private sector organisations to execute our people-oriented programmes and make businesses thrive in the state, hence our visit here today is hinged on the age-long recognition of the chamber to NDDC as an interventionist agency saddled with the responsibility of developing the people of the region”.
Elechi, who is also the CEO of Vintage Farms and Products Ltd, intimated the commission on some identified areas of partnership, including micro, small and medium scale business development, saying that the chamber consist of MSMEs, and SMEs representing all sectors of the national economy.
He said that it was for this reason that it was partnering with NDDC on the above development programme to serve as the needed catalyst in developing viable business ventures across all sectors within the region with huge availability of raw materials for small scale cottage industries in the region.
He maintained that youth entrepreneurship and capacity development programme will help in addressing youth restiveness in the region and mentioned that they had successfully collaborated with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in the past to deliver re-orientation and exhibition programme in Port Harcourt, adding that with their wealth of experience and partnering with NDDC would be focusing on human capital development with emphasis on entrepreneurship development to addressing restiveness and reducing unemployment rate.
The National Productivity award winner also added that trade missions participation is one of the major area they would like collaboration with the NDDC to accommodate and promote wider range of participation of government officials, captains of industry and community leaders to also widen their business horizon, even as he proposed to partner the commission in profiling and recommending qualified members across the region to access low interest and collateral free loan from the NDDC micro-finance bank to boost their various businesses.
Elechi further used the medium to woo the commission to participate on the December 6 to 20th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, which according to him, has become a unique meeting point for Nigerian and foreign businesses policy makers, industrialists, manufacturers, suppliers as well as offering opportunities for investment and trade promotion.
In his response, the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Effiong Okon Akwa, thanked the PHCCIMA president and his team on their programmes which are targeted at the development of the Niger Delta region.
He maintained that NDDC was a corporate member of PHCCIMA, and has had representative at the chamber’s events in the time past, just as he used the visit to announce the renewal of the NDDC membership commitment as well as desire to participate in the forthcoming Port Harcourt International Trade Fair and exhibitions.
The NDDC boss promised to partner with PHCCIMA in all their request, including youth entrepreneurship and capacity building, trade missions participation and growth of SMEs, positing that SMEs plays important role in the development of the economy, even as he noted that government cannot employ all the labour whereas SMEs are the highest employer of labour to take away the heat from the government.
The event, which took place at the Conference Hall of the NDDC Headquarters, had in attendance the PHCCIMA President, Sir Mike Elechi, the 2nd Deputy President, Hon. Charles Beke; Treasurer, Surveyor Emmanuel Ogbonda; Publicity Secretary, Pastor Uche Onochie; Elected Council member and Chairman of Trade Missions Desk, Mrs. Florence Nwosibe; Chairman, Economic and Commercial Trade Group, Dr. Maraizu Uche; Chairman, Power and Energy Trade Group, Engr. Tony Nwogbo; the Director General, and Mr. Erasmus Chukunda.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics

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The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.

By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun

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FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms

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The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.

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Over 20 Countries Arrive Abuja For 2022 INAC

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The 2022 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), themed “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, was, yesterday, declared open in Abuja, by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
The 15th edition of the Expo holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotels & Towers has in attendance no fewer than 25 countries and eight states in Nigeria.
Some of the countries already on ground include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea and Tanzania.
States in Nigeria that have arrived Abuja for the annual international event are Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, FTC, Kaduna and Katsina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Runsewe said the aim of the expo is to better project Nigerian crafts to various countries of the world given that our stories are better told by us. It is also to promote cultural exchange programmes and improve inter-country collaborations in music, arts, drama, etc.
The expo, as usual, is expected to amongst other items, feature skill acquisition trainings for young people, free medical examination and care, display of countries art documentaries, exhibitions of countries’ arts, crafts and culture.
Runsewe said: “This is another opportunity we have to showcase Nigerian crafts to the world and to let the world know that Nigeria is a safe place to be. We want Nigerians to know that the creative industry is capable of tackling Nigerian insecurity problems by engaging the youths in our crafts for revenue generation.”
The 2022 expo holds from August 18 to 20, 2022.

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