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Economy

Bank of Industry, others move for healthier SMEs

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  • As Growing electric vehicle adoption threatens Nigeria’s oil exports

The Bank of Industry (BoI), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), commercial banks and other financial institutions, yesterday at the Funding Space 2017 business gathering proffered solutions towards financing businesses and organisations.

The event, which took place at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, had in attendance business tycoons, entrepreneurs and hosts of financial institutions.

Chairman, Funding Space 2017 and the co-founder, African Women’s Development Fund, Dr. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, described the gathering as a platform for innovators, investors, donors and other financial organisations to engage one another to not only provide solutions to the problems of funding but to also decipher initiatives towards propelling small scale ventures in the country.

Also, Managing Director and the CEO of BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, who encouraged upcoming business outfits to get adequate funding from the bank, said: “Provided you have your genuine proposals, necessary equities and required documents, you can always apply for loans from the BoI.”

Pitan, who however downplayed the intuition that BoI is a charity organisation for all and sundry to just have the “share of the national cake,” stressed that for BoI to help businesses grow, the organisation must be alive by taking deposits and regulating helps given to different enterprises.

Also, Liberian peace activist and a Nobel laureate, Mrs. Leymah Gbowee, in her address, urged the youths to break out of their shells and start formidable business enterprises to compete among their counterparts in other countries of the world.

Gbowee, who canvassed a change in the orientation of women in Africa towards owning and controlling business outfits in the country, challenged the women and youths of Nigeria to show formidable vigour in affecting the continent positively.

The event, which continues today, is on course for providing a platform for meeting investors and donors, financing agriculture outfits, creative industry, promoting SMEs, youths and women, and creating jobs.

In the meantime, India, China, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom bought a total of 24.4 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in May this year, almost half of the nation’s total exports for the month, the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed.

But the countries are now pushing ahead with plans to stop the use of oil-powered vehicles as part of efforts to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, a development that could spell trouble for Nigeria’s oil exports in the coming decades.

According to the NNPC, India bought 7.673 million barrels of Nigerian crude in May; France imported 4.783 million barrels; the UK bought 6.016 million barrels; Netherlands, 3.96 million barrels; and China, 1.95 million barrels.

In July, the UK followed France in announcing that new diesel and petrol cars would be banned by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Netherlands has mooted a 2025 ban for diesel and petrol cars, while Germany, another major buyer of Nigerian crude in Europe, aims to have one million electric cars on the road by 2020.

India, the biggest importer of Nigeria’s crude, is considering even more radical action, with plans to support electrifying all vehicles in the country by 2030.

“We are going to introduce electric vehicles in a very big way. We are going to make electric vehicles self-sufficient like UJALA. The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country,” the then Power Minister, Piyush Goyal, said in April.

Earlier this month, China announced that it was looking to ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans.

Energy specialists at Ecobank Capital said if more countries followed the same path, the development could translate to a structural shock to crude oil demand globally, especially in developed countries.

They said countries with excessive dependence on crude oil revenue would experience some prolonged economic shocks from gradual moderation in crude oil demand.

“While the shift to electric/hybrid cars casts a major cloud over an already challenged crude oil market, the impact on oil producing countries in middle Africa could be much worse,” said the Vice President/Head, Energy Research, Ecobank, Mr. Dolapo Oni.

“Countries like Nigeria and Angola, which have paid lip service to diversification, will either have to credibly implement structural reforms or be forced to take action as government’s income dwindles.”

Guardian with additional report from Punch

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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