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SMEDAN Partners 50 Tertiary Institutions On Entrepreneurship

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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says the agency has partnered with 50 tertiary institutions across the country to prepare their students for a successful entrepreneurial journey.
Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, made this known in Lagos at the opening ceremony of SMEDAN’s Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Programme (TINEDEP) at the PAN Africa University-Entreprise Development Centre (EDC).
Fasanya, who was represented by the SMEDAN Director, Partnership and Coordination,  Dr. Friday Opara, stressed the need for lecturers to have an entrepreneurial mindset to successfully hand-hold their students through the journey of entrepreneurship.
He said the programme was to equip lecturers  with the necessary tools and techniques to prepare students for the fourth industrial revolution, following the paradigm shift in education.
The Director-General said this could only be achieved through an efficient entrepreneurship education and development to bridge the gaps between the university classroom and the field.
He noted that the programme would also give the tools and provide full practical sessions to broaden the knowledge of participants in the learning process.
“In our present educational system, certificates and degrees only prepare students to be job seekers and not job creators.
“The tertiary institution’s curricular must place the needed emphasis on entrepreneurship and vocational training.

“The training prepares the students to become entrepreneurs and job creators, as the future is skill and skill is the future.

“The concept is designed to inculcate into the students the intelligent and intellectual consciousness of their environment to enable him/her maximises their existence and potential.

“It is an adaptable education that will prepare the students for self-employment which must necessarily be the ultimate,” he said.

The Director, Entreprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, said the programme was organised for all lecturers in tertiary institution that taught entrepreneurship.

Bamkole said the initiative was to empower the lecturers to inculcate entrepreneurial mindsets in the students.

He advised the upcoming entrepreneurs to get into a network of like-minded people for ideas sharing within the ecosystem.

“We have about 50 institutions here, and ordinarily, every Nigerian is a born entrepreneur.

“However, there are techniques that will help  to nurture it, so that opportunities are better understood when they come,” he said.

Also, the Head of Department, Business Administration, Arthur Jarvis University, Cross River, DrUduakMbong, commended SMEDAN for organising the event, saying that it would provide a network to enhance the practice of entrepreneurship in the school.

Commenting, the Director, Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Federal University, BirninKebbi,  Prof. Isa Garba, said after the programme he should be able to come out with a modem in teaching entrepreneurship in the university where he lectures.

Garba stressed the need for more collaboration and partnership among participants to enable him to build a better ecosystem in his institution.

 

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Waterways Disaster: NIWA Institutes Insurance Cover For Goods, Barges 

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As a result of heavy losses of lives and properties by the operators of water transportation, the Nigeria Inlandways Authority has announced its readiness to roll out insurance cover plans to ensure that importers who patronize barge operators do not lose their investments.
Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, who disclosed this to newsmen at a media parley in Lagos, said his agency has held discussions with the barge operators for a suitable insurance cover for all goods on board barges.
He noted that this was simply to protect investments of importers who use waterways to transport their goods to their final destination
The NIWA boss described movement of goods by barges as a prime project in order to decongest the nation’s ports and also reduce pressure on the roads.
The roads,  Moghalu said, were not designed to carry as much as they do currently, adding, “if so, there is no way our infrastructure will last.
“So, whatever we can do to reduce such pressure, we do it… in civilized societies, bulk cargoes go on waterways”, he said.
He further explained that having concessioned Onitsha Port, others will follow with time, adding that government will use the same template used in Onitsha concession as a guide to Baro, Lokoja, Oguta and any other river port.
Recall that the former Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, had said that Onitsha River Port has a lot of economic benefits to the country.
Saraki said the port will generate about N23billion to the Federal Government in 30 years as part of the concession agreement.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Bakers Plan Fresh Price Hike, Cite Cost Of Materials 

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Bakers, under the aegis of the Premium Bread-Makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN), have warned of another inrease in prices of bread due to the skyrocketing cost of baking materials.
President of the association, Emmanuel Onuorah, who disclosed this to The Tide’s source in an exclusive interview, said the recent developments in the global marketplace had not translated into a better operating environment for local bakers.
Accordiy to him, the planned hike follows a recent strike action by PBAN, and the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN), which culminated in a 15 per cent hike in bread prices barely two weeks ago.
Onuorah said many members of PBAN had been forced to shut down business operations this year due to the skyrocketing cost of doing business.
“The price of bread is going up again. The millers just increased prices by N2000. Sugar refiners increased by N2000. We had a N10,000 increase between last week and this week. We are increasing prices again.
“Preservatives increased by N2000, and butter increased by N2000. So, we have to respond. For us as an industry, our own is garbage in, garbage out. If the price of wheat comes down today, and the price of fuel comes down, certainly we will look at the price of our products and act accordingly”, he said.
He also urged the Federal Government to open up a forex window for industry players, particularly the flour millers.
This, he said, would significantly address the indiscriminate increase in the prices of flour in the market.
“When we went on withdrawal of services, flour was N28,500. Today it is N30,500,” Onuorah said.
In July 22, 2022, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to free more than 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
The agreement, brokered with support from the United Nations and Turkey, was projected to have major implications on global food security and food prices.
The inability of Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports had severely reduced the supply of food to import-dependent African and Middle Eastern countries.
Before the war in Ukraine, Ukraine had been a bread basket, providing wheat, maize, and barley to countries throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
According to a recent publication by the World Bank, export prices of cereal indices were stable over the past 2 weeks, with the agricultural index closing at the same level as at two weeks ago.
The export index went up by two per cent, but the cereal index went down by one per cent.
The war in Ukraine is having extreme impacts on the world’s poorest countries. The countries at highest risk of a debt crisis are experiencing the additional threat of a food crisis.
A recent World Bank blog described the dire situation that many poor countries had been facing since the start of the war, with surging food import bills resulting from high grain prices caused by the war.
According to World Bank data, import bills for wheat, rice, and maize are expected to rise by more than one per cent for low-income countries at high risk of a debt crisis, more than double the increase from 2021 to 2022.

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Safety Compromise, Reason For Nigeria’s Depressed Economy 

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A retired diver, Engr. Tapenu Tobi, has blamed waterways operators for compromising safety in the waterways, which, he said, has resulted in Nigeria’s depressed economy.
He said the result is that  at the end of the day, it has forced many of them to  defer or skip maintenance, cut corners on mandatory training and operate wooden boats.
Engr. Tobi, who said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Lagos, noted that Nigerian Inlandways Authority lacked the resources needed to conduct a safe water operation in terms of funds, organisation and skilled personnel, a development which he said could make the operators to compromise safety.
He also stated that the regulatory mechanism required to enforce safety rules are non-existent in some States and simply  disintegrating and collapsing in others, as well as absolutely being ineffective in many.
Water transportation, according to the expert diver, is capital intensive as it involves a lot of expenses.
Such expenses, he explained, include ferry purchase/lease payment, high cost of acquisition of new boat, sea crew training (including simulator), and maintenance.
Others are “spare parts to support safe operation, jetties infrastructure facilities, provision of communications, navigational and landing aids and the provision of skilled and experienced manpower for the water safety regulatory body”, he said.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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