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Economy

Nigeria, India set to expand cultural relations

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…As Minister says Nigeria accounts for about 57℅ of world Shea production***

Nigeria and India are set to enhance their cultural relations as they mark 60 years of diplomatic relations, the representatives of governments of both countries have said.

The representatives, who spoke at a culture event to celebrate 70 years of India’s independence in Abuja on Tuesday evening, added that plans were underway to expand the countries’ relations.

Nigeria and India have cooperated in various areas, including   agriculture, defence, trade, capacity building, healthcare, infrastructure and socio-cultural relations, over the years.

The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the upcoming 2018 International Arts and Craft expo would explore India’s cultural diversity and promote partnership between India and Nigeria.

Runsewe added that exchange programmes aimed at promoting cultural relations between both countries would begin in 2019.

“We are going to have exchange programmes between both countries which will commence from next year and it will showcase the strength of our cultural beliefs as a people.

‘’And I believe that will open a new door to the collaboration and the culture, arts and tourism aspects between both countries,” he said.

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nagabhushana Reddy, said that culture event was part of activities to celebrate India’s 70th anniversary and to usher in 60 years of India-Nigeria diplomatic engagement.

Reddy said such events were also planned to showcase India’s cultural diversity and explore ways to promote cultural relations with other  countries.

“More importantly, we are trying to bring to the larger audience of Nigeria the celebration of Indian states.

“We have these new series of celebration of Indian states launched by the prime minister in India so that the inherent talents and capacities of the state governments and their engagements with the external world (can be seen).

“The foreign ministry plays an important role in showcasing their inherent art as well as opportunities that exist in the states.

“It is part of that series we have brought today, organised a celebration on Indian states,’’ Reddy said.

In the area of trade relations, the envoy reiterated that India remained Nigeria’s largest trading partner globally and Nigeria India’s largest trading partner in Africa.

He added that plans were underway to organise a joint trade meeting between the ministries of commerce of both countries to identify “how to further expand trade opportunities”.

“As you know, we have 435 Indian companies all over Nigeria, engaged in diverse activities and some of them truly promoting made in Nigeria and manufacturing things in Nigeria, for the Nigerian market and export.

“I look forward to a positive year of bilateral trade because the trend that we have seen so far, from April to October 2017, the trade has increased more than 20 per cent compared to the previous year.

“This only shows that the Nigerian economy is fully recovering and it augurs well for India and Nigeria bilateral trade.”

The highpoints of the culture event were a traditional Kathak dance performance by Indian classical dancer, Surabhi Singh, and her group, and the launch of a book,  “The Beginning of Everything Colourful’’ by Nigerian author Onyeka Nwelue.

In the meantime, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiah Aisha Abubakar, has said that Nigeria accounts for about 57 per cent of the world Shea production.

Abubakar said this at the introduction of the upcoming 11th Annual International Shea Conference themed: “Shea 2018” focused on “Going Further Together” on Tuesday in Abuja.

She said that Nigeria stood to benefit immensely from the Shea Industry if the informal sector was properly harnessed.

The minister said that the industry would boost employment generation, alleviate poverty, create wealth, sustain the environment and attract foreign investment.

“Nigeria accounts for about 57 per cent of the world Shea nut production of which the global Shea market for chocolate value is approximately 117 billion dollars while that of the cosmetics industry stands at 382 billion dollars.

“The 2018 conference no doubt explores the meaning of an African proverb that states “if you want to ‘go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” Abubakar said.

She said that the conference would afford Nigeria an opportunity for business linkages with the rest of the world, reduce trade barriers and also achieve sustainability.

“The country would be on the right path to diversifying its economy through strategic focus on the commodity’s export business.

“Shea butter has the potential to eradicate poverty, improve rural economies and also provide richness to our teeming youths,” she added.

On collaboration, she said that the ministry would collaborate with the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NCA) and the Ministry Agriculture to organise the 16th annual International African Cotton Congress.

Abubakar said that the congress would focus on mechanised cotton farming as an essential equipment to boost African cotton production.

She said that the county was blessed with fertile land for cotton production.

Abubakar said that the conference would provide Nigeria with International best practices as well as new technologies in line with cotton farming.

On Made in Nigeria franchise, Abubakar said that the ministry would champion franchise business development services for Made in Nigeria business access around the world.

According to her, the scheme is aimed at franchising scalable local businesses that have proven their mantle to other countries.

The Managing Consultant, Franchise Business Development Services Limited (FBDS), Mr Chiagozie Nwizu, said that all over the world, businesses were leveraging on the opportunity provided by franchise.

Nwizu said the essence was to build and expand brands, adding that Nigeria cannot be an exception.

He said that the venture would help enhance the economy through local production and by extension, the GDP.

“Countries like India, South Africa and the United States have had success stories and we feel that we can benchmark and replicate same for Nigerian businesses.

“Majority of foreign businesses in Nigeria today are franchised and we think that we can leverage successful businesses in Nigeria just like we have the likes of Shoprite, Donmino Pizzas, and so on,” Nwizu said.

Responding, the minister pledged the ministry’s support and enthusiasm for promotion of Made in Nigeria products.

She said that there was need for the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the franchise bill that had scaled through the second reading to provide the legal framework for the scheme.

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Economy

Unstable Economy: UK Firm Presents Solutions To Nigerian Business Leaders

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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

Nigerian business leaders are to benefit from the programme of United Kingdom-based leadership development organisation TEXEM UK on how to win despite the exodus of staff, very high inflation and turbulent operating landscape.

TEXEM’s Director of Special Projects, Caroline Lucas, said on the organisation’s website, www.texem.co.uk, that the programme with the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success” is slated for April 24 and April 25 in Lagos.

According to Lucas, in today’s volatile and disruptive business landscape, organisations face numerous strategic challenges.

“TEXEM’s programme, “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success,” offers tailored solutions to address these pressing issues.

“Senior leaders grappling with skyrocketing costs, high currency risks, and disruptive technologies require practical insights and tools to navigate uncertainty effectively.

“This programme provides actionable strategies for sustainable success amidst turbulent times,” she said.

Lucas asserts that exceptional crisis management skills are essential in the face of staff exodus and geopolitical disruptions.

“TEXEM equips participants with the necessary leadership capabilities to lead through crises, ensuring organisational excellence even amidst adversity.

“Innovation becomes imperative in turbulent waters.

“TEXEM’s programme fosters a culture of innovation and provides guidance on harnessing adversity as a catalyst for profitable growth,” she said.

According to her, participants will learn to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustained profitability.

Lucas said resilience and effective risk management are crucial in today’s volatile landscape.

She said through interactive sessions and case studies, TEXEM helps senior leaders develop unshakable qualities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and confidently mitigate risks.

“Optimizing resource utilisation is paramount amidst soaring costs.

“TEXEM offers insights on managing resources efficiently, ensuring optimal impact even amidst cost pressures. Decisive problem-solving is paramount.

“TEXEM enhances participants’ decision-making capabilities through peer learning and observation practice, empowering them to make better decisions that drive organisational success,” Lucas said.

She said that beyond the curriculum, networking opportunities with industry peers enrich the learning experience, abound.

“Professional exchange provides valuable insights into different approaches to overcoming challenges, enhancing overall learning and impact.

“TEXEM’s programme aims to develop leadership strategies for optimum performance in an era of uncertainty.

“By helping participants understand how to manage and deploy resources more efficiently, it equips them with the skills needed to thrive in turbulent times,” Lucas said.

Saying that adversity is the mother of innovation, she added that TEXEM empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in volatile times, fostering innovation and sustained profitability.

“At the end of the programme, participants can expect to develop leadership skills for better decision-making and possess survival skills to navigate crises effectively.

“Through its comprehensive approach and proven methodology, TEXEM ensures participants unlock their potential, foster innovation, and drive sustained profitability in today’s challenging environment,” Lucas said.

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Economy

Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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