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Bank To Spend $1bn To Boost SMEs In Africa

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Access Bank says it is investing one billion dollars to boost 10 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa over the next five years.
The Executive Director in charge of African subsidiaries, Mr Seyi Kumapayi, said this on the sidelines of a two-day SMEs Immersion Round table in Lagos.
The Tide source  reports that the theme of the SMEs round table is “Enhancing the Capabilities of SMEs Across Africa”.
Kumapayi said Africa had about 1.4 billion people, which was about 17 per cent of the world’s population.
“However, from a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) standpoint, we only have 2.5 per cent of GDP”, he said,
The Executive Director continued that Africa was not producing enough, adding that the SMEs space in the continent was underdeveloped.
According to Kamapayi, “SMEs in Africa are faced with three major problems that are interwoven- access to finance, affordability and the capacity to manage businesses themselves.
“And that is what we are trying to fix over the next five years. We would make an impact in about 10 million SMEs across Africa. There are 90 million SMEs across Africa”.
Noting that the bank is ready to support youths and women entrepreneurs across Africa, he said it has assembled an array of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) that will help build the capacities of SMEs.
Also speaking, Mrs Ayodele Olojede, Group Head, Emerging Business Africa, Access Bank Group, said the bank loves SMEs.and would do everything within its power to support them.
Olojede said the bank had branches in 14 African countries, adding that its support to SMEs would transform the continent.
According to her, “Africa’s contributions to GDP is very low and  the reason to that fact is that SMEs are struggling”.
She said the game changer for SMEs was building their capacity for scalability beyond access to finance.
“We don’t just give SMEs access to finance, but we help them in other areas that will help them to open up their businesses to market opportunities and then go into services that they will be able to access.
“We have found that a lot of SMEs spend 70 per cent of their time in activities that do not add up to their bottom line..
“That in itself tells you that they wont be able to scale up as long as they continue to focus on those activities.
“So one of the ways we can help them is to create a platform where they can access all of those services easily, and so we can crash the 70 per cent of their time to 30 per cent.
“ And so we can help them to spend 70 per cent on those activities that can help them to scale, that for me is the game changer,” Olojede said.

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SMEs

Bayelsa Gives Grant To Small Scale Business Owners

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has commenced the payment of N200,000 each as grant to beneficiaries to boost their businesses.
This, he said, is in line with his commitment to the growth and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state.
The grant, which was given through the Government’s programme tagged, “Women and Youths Empowerment Scheme”, is for beneficiaries of the September phase of the programme across the state.
About 210 women and youths across the eight Local Government Areas of the State benefited from the September edition of the empowerment programme.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the event, the Coordinator of the programme and state Commissioner for Women, Children Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Faith Opene, said the empowerment scheme was borne out of “Governor Diri’s will to support and encourage Bayelsans to thrive in their businesses, and own the state’s local economy”.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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SMEs

Meta Force Unveils Financial Freedom Platform In PH

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A decentralised business platform known as “Meta Force Elite Group” has announced its presence in Port Harcourt for residents and target participants to leverage on available opportunities to achieve financial freedom.
The platform, which was unveiled at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, recently, was led by spokesman of the  “Team Elite Group”, Olusegun Oye, and other stakeholders amidst a massive turn out by members of the public.
Explaining the concept to the participants at the event, the Team Elite group spokesman said the platform “offers a chain of financial and other bussiness packages, and is intended to make millionaires from among ordinary Nigerians without stress”.
He said the move into Port Harcourt  was part of its target to expand its scope of operations to the benefit of more participants across the country.
Speaking further with newsmen shortly after the event, Oye   said the aim is to enable the beneficiaries access the various block chains and components offered by the platform to attain sustainable financial breakthrough and enhance their state of economic livelihood.
He said Meta Force, which operates with the slogan, “creating millionaires”,  has a track record of consistency and sustainability in its service delivery and has fifteen to twenty components for people to earn money world wide, including Non Fungible Token (NFT), which attracts royalty for intellectual creative capital, such as songs, art works, books, etc.
Oye further explained that the block chain, which has created positive impacts on the lives of the beneficiaries, is open to the general populace, noting that the offer and opportunities is still elusive in many parts of the country.
The spokesman said the opportunities of benefiting from the “smart contract” has been taken to various parts of the country with a whopping discount to the participants, particularly the youth and lowly in the society, adding that the target is to raise people above denigrating poverty levels to a strong financial footing.
He described the absence of proper regulations in online bussiness in Nigeria as the bane of trust and sustainable development in the sector, “which makes the operators to take advantage of the populace to make money”.
He urged concerned authorities and agencies to exert adroit check on the activities of online bussiness operators to protect the society from being swindled without punitive measures for the defaulters.

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PRMCSL Harps On Promoting MSMEs 

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The Chairman Board Of Trustee and President of Port Harcourt Revival Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited (PRMCSL), Mr Nwosu Reginald Oguchi, has  said the newly inaugurated organisation will focus on promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), using its members’ subscription.
Oguchi, who said  this in an exclusive interview with  The Tide shortly after the inauguration of the executive officers of PRMCSL, weekend in Port Harcourt,   noted that the Co-operative will  also invest in Agro-business value chain and export in Nigeria.
He stated that the passion of the organisation is to create sustainable enterprises for its members for them to manage same and subsequently realize their economic and social needs.
Oguchi, who is also the MD/ CEO of Noble Queen Oil Nigeria Ltd., revealed that the common practice of every other co-operative society is stiff and loan, but PRMCSL is using their members’ subscription to invest,  especially on best Agro-business and export, and at the end of the day they will raise enough revenue to be  shared among their members.
“You can agree with me that advanced economies progress faster through cooperative  as MSMEs to achieve sustainable development.
“Revival Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited will focuse more on investment, especially on Agro-business value chain and export”,  Oguchi said.
The BOT Chairman  guaranteed forty percent dividend for every member annually, adding that the major challenge of many cooperative societies is funding, “but in PRMCSL,  members will put together their fund, and are not going to borrow it to any institution for interest rate.
“So, all we need to do is to use  that fund usefully and profitable in investment”.
He noted that the co-operative  would be willing to train any member lacking in their businesses, adding “what they do as cooperative is to train the member properly in that particular area and then established him to the micro level and run it with him, after sometime, we handover to him.
“Any of our  members who feel like  establishing  his own cooperative using PRMCSL standard, we will permit him after training and we can allow him to finance our society to start his own. We will also monitor him so that he did not fall below standard at any given time.
“We are going to give Rivers State people special attention because we are doing the business in Rivers state”, he stated.

By; Lillian Peters/Kiadum Edookor

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