The Bank Of China’s (BOC)Yunnan Branch realised the cross-border RMB settlement business volume of China and Laos, two-way power transmission trade reaching 12 million yuan from July 30 to August 31.It was reported by Chinanews.
com on Monday.
In order to help consume the surplus hydropower in Laos during the rainy seasons, China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Electricite du Laos (EDL) signed a 115 kV power trade agreement in March.
China and Laos agreed to send extra hydropower from Laos to Yunnan Province in rainy seasons, while in dry seasons, CSG would supplement the power supply to northern Laos.At present, BOC Yunnan Branch actively cooperated with China’s power companies to promote the cross-border connectivity of clean energy and the larger scale of cross-border power trade.
It was aiming to provide enterprises with professional international settlement and cross-border RMB financial services.
Also to further realise the complementary advantages between China and Southeast Asian countries in energy sector and promoting the coordinated development of regional economy through clean energy cooperation.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), had supported three Nigerian startups with the sum of $15,000 each to develop their innovative ideas towards becoming entrepreneurs and achieving the digital economy agenda.
The seed fund was given on Tuesday at the Demonstration Day of the first Cohort of the Idea Hatching (iHatch) Startup Incubation Programme.
It wasorganised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in collaboration with JICA in Abuja.
The iHatch programme was championed by Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI),a subsidiary of NITDA.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in March 2022, the first cohort, a five-month programme began with over 5,000 applications that were received, while eight were selected to pitch their ideas.
The winner of the demonstration was Betalife, a health tech startup company that offers 247 real-time blood donation tracking and blood requests.
The second position was won by Xolani Health Limited,an Artificial Intelligence-assisted tool that support clinical decision making for healthcare workers in low resource settings.
The third place winner was Every Farmer,a solution that focuses on accessing funds for agricultural value chain.
Ms Favour James, Founder, Betalife, who was happy said the seed fund would be channeled to marketing and creating awareness for solutions.
“We are going to utilise the money in engaging more professionals and in our marketing strategy, because blood donation is not a popular thing in Nigeria.
“We will also invest in building collaboration between hospitals and blood banks,”James said.
Mr Susumu Yuzurio,Chief Representative,JICA Nigeria, congratulated the startups, while acknowledging that all of them were winners in their respective manners.
Yuzurio encouraged them to sustain the knowledge they had acquired towards building a digital economy for the nation.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa,Director-General of NITDA,at the demonstration by the startups,said that the programme was targeted at refining business ideas of the innovators and developing the digital economy agenda.
“This partnership is in furtherance to the commitment of NITDA in sustaining the promotion and growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship, promotion of indigenous content derived from of the seven pillars of our Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024.“This is to increase the number of Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs) viz- a- viz sustaining the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy.
“The partnership with JICA in the implementation of the iHatch programme is part of our initiatives to strengthen the tech and innovation ecosystem.
”This is for the creation of more IDEs that will invariably contribute to creation of jobs for our teeming youth and the prosperity of our country,” Inuwa said.
He added that programme took the startups through a series of coaching, lectures, and boot-camps to generate scalable and adaptable business models in the country.
Onuwa recalled the selection process assessed the startups’ ideas based on the criteria of profitability, scalability, social impact, idea technique, competitive advantage, experience, and a clearly defined future roadmap.
The DG said that the agency and JICA would be extending the third cohort across the six geo-political zones of the country by the end of the second Cohort that would also span to five months.
He said: “NITDA remains committed to working with relevant stakeholders and partners in implementing programmes and initiatives that will accelerate innovation.
”They will provide the much-needed jobs for our youths, while also nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit to catalyse the Nigerian digital economy to the next level.
”Mr Nao Fuwa, JICA expert, urged the startups to think of why they studied business and why they considered opening a business.
“Brushing up a business model is important, but brushing your passion will attract people to your business,” he said.
The other startups include eDokta, a Telehomecare solution for virtual consultation and home healthcare services,S-Med, a solution that enable patients access their medical records.
They also include Authentic Qrtech, a solution for authentication of fake products,adulteration and counterfeit goods.
Other startups that demonstrated their ideas were Tech and Identity Solution Lab,an automation identity for background check platform and Afrinet Powertech,a cleantech solution that enhances energy efficiency for affordable electricity access.
The Demo Day was the end of the first cohort that was launched in March and lasted for five months and it also held concurrently with the launch of the second cohort.
A Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPC) Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered John Ugbe, the Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd, to produce its 2021 audited financial report on Sept 8 for breaching its restraining order on tariff hike.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Mr Thomas Okosun, in a ruling, also ordered directors of the company to appear on the next adjourned date for appropriate sanctions to be determined.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MultiChoice is the operator of the satellite televisions, DStv and Gotv.NAN reports that the tribunal had, on July 25, fixed today for judgment in the suit filed by the claimants; Festus Onifade, a legal practitioner, and Coalition of Nigeria Consumers, on behalf of himself and others.
The claimants sued the company and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) as 1st and 2nd respondents, shortly after the company, on March 22, announced its plan to increase price of its products from April 1.They prayed the tribunal for an order, restraining the firm from increasing its services and other products on April 1, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated and filed on March 30.The tribunal granted the ex-parte motion, directing parties to maintain status quo ante bellum.
But inspite of the tribunal’s order, the company was alleged to have gone ahead with the price increase on DStv and Gotv subscriptions and other products.
Against this backdrop, the claimants, in a motion on notice asked the tribunal for an order directing the managing director and the directors of MultiChoice to appear and show cause why they should not be committed to prison for willful disobedience of the order of the tribunal granted on the March 30.They also sought an order, directing MultiChoice to pay 10 per cent of its annual turnover for failure to comply with the order in accordance with Section 51 (1) and 2 of the FCCPC Act, 2018 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Onifade, who was the 1st claimant, said he was a loyal and long time customer of MultiChoice with DStv account number: 41353565835.On April 11, the tribunal again ordered MultiChoice to revert back to the old prices by maintaining status quo of its March 30 order, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter, but to no avail.
While delivering the judgment, the tribunal ruled that the MD and the directors should appeared with the 2021 audited financial report of the company.
“The Managing Director and directors of the 1st defendant (MultiChoice) are to appear before this honourable tribunal with certified true copies of their audited financial report of year 2021,” the panel declared.
The tribunal said that the audited financial report would “enable the tribunal determine the appropriate penalty to impose on MultiChoice for being in contempt of the orders of this honourable tribunal made on March.
”But shortly after the judgment, counsel for the company, Jamiu Agoro, informed the court that the firm’s MD and directors were presently not in the country and might not be able to come on Sept. 8.He pleaded that another date should be fixed for the proceeding.
The tribunal, however, said that those invited could be represented by other company’s staff in the next adjourned date.
NAN reports that Section 51 of the CCPT Act states that a corporate body is liable upon conviction for contempt of a fine not less than “N100 million or 10 per cent of its turnover in the preceding year.
”The tribunal, in the judgment, however refused to grant the prayers of the claimants, seeking for an order directing the firm to revert to old price regime.
The three-member panel held that the power to regulate prices of goods and services does not reside in the FCCPC, the regulatory agency.
According to the tribunal, the power to regulate prices of goods and services only resides in the president of Nigeria.
According to the tribunal, only the president of Nigeria has the power to regulate the prices of goods and services under stipulated circumstances which did not exist in this circumstances.
The panel stressed that, not even the tribunal had the power to do so.
The tribunal further stated that it found no evidence of exploitation and anti-consumer activities alleged by the claimants against the company.
“We found no evidence in the argument of the claimants as those who assert must prove,” it held.
The tribunal, which held that the claimants failed to prove that MultiChoice had abused its power of dominance in the market,, said since Nigeria operates a free market economy, the argument lacked merit.
The panel also refused to grant the claimants’ prayer to direct the firm to adopt a pay-as-you-view model of billing for all its products and services.
It, however, ordered FCCPC to investigate if the firm adopts a pay-as-you-view package for its products and services in other countries, especially South Africa, and see how same could be adopted in Nigeria, and publish its findings within six month of the order.
The tribunal also dismissed the claimants’ demand for a N10 million damages for unable to prove how they had suffered psychologically from the company’s act.
The panel, therefore, declared that prayers 1, 2 and 3 of the claimants are not grantable in law as the power to regulate prices of goods and services only resides in the president of Nigeria.
It also said that prayers 4 and 5 of the claimants lacked merit.
The panel, in the judgment, rebuked FCCPC over act of negligence to complaints by the consumers.
“The 2nd defendant (FCCPC) must also improve on its management of complaints from the public that it is established to serve .
“A situation where an aggrieved consumer does not get feed back on a duly filed complaint does not speak well for the country,” it said.
The tribunal, therefore, charged the commission to resolve all lingering issues between MultiChoice and numerous consumers of the products and services of the company.
NAN reports that Onifade, in an amended originating summons, granted by the tribunal on June 20, had sued the firm for N10 million damages.
The lawyer also sought the order directing and mandating MultiChoice to adopt a pay-as-you-view model of billing for all its products and services forthwith.
He further urged the tribunal to make an order directing the firm to make the local television stations in the country free and stop the company from cycled content.
But counsel for MultiChoice, Jamiu Agoro, in a motion on notice, challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the matter as the claimant lacked the locus to institute the action.
Jamiu had argued that the order of the tribunal made on April 11, asking MultiChoice to revert to old rates was made against a completed act, the firm, having increased its tariffs on April 1.The lawyer argued that MultiChoice had already configured all their devices for the increase in tariff to take effect before the tribunal made its order.
Agoro added that there was no evidence presented before the tribunal of damage that the claimant had suffered.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Tuesday inaugurated an electronic platform for the registration and issuance of biometric identity cards to dockworkers.
Its Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh said at the inauguration ceremony in Lagos on Tuesday, that the platform would facilitate full automation of the agency.
He said the platform was opened following the agency’s need to establish an independent, robust, integrated information, verification and communication system.
”It will serve as a system database generation on maritime labour in the country.
” Represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr Victor Ochei, Jamoh said the platform would be of immense benefit to the agency.
”The automation processes will benefit the industry by saving time and building capacity.
It will improve service delivery and boost workforce efficiency.
”I am delighted by the prospect of eliminating the delays in seafarers and employers registration through this e-platform.
”It will promote a seamless registration process through automated issuance of biometric identity cards to seafarers and dockworkers, ” he said.
The D-G said that NIMASA remained committed to building the capacity of Nigerian seafarers and dockworkers in order to improve the rating of the country’s maritime sector.
”The Agency is also prioritising the training of Nigerian seafarers to meet industry needs with emphasis on specialised and advanced trainings,” he said.
Also speaking, the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Mr Adewale Adeyanju, described the e-platform as a good omen and well-intended.
He said the agency had through the automation process, shown its committed to improve labour practices in the nation’s maritime sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the platform inauguration ceremony was attended by major stakeholders in the maritime sector.
The Kaduna State Government has urged youth to enroll into the Federal Government’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T-MAX) programme.
T-Max project is a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) framework designed to equip Nigerians with technical and vocational skills.
The project seek to maximise existing private and public TVET centres and resources across the country.
The T-MAX project announced that its registration portal would open on Wednesday, Sept. 7.The Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology Prof. Kabir Mato made the call on the sideline of a master trainers’ meeting of the project, on Tuesday in Kaduna.
He said the project was in line with the state government’s programme under human capital development, adding that skills development was a focal area of human capital development.
Represented by Sagir Balarabe, Special Adviser to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai on Human Capital Development, Mato said about 2,000 youths would benefit from the programme in the state.
“The ministry in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Educational Intervention have identified training centres for the programme.
“The training portal will be open tomorrow, trainees are expected to log in all their details after which there will be screening and training would commenced,” he said.
He said the trainees would be exposed to automobile; agriprenuership, agricultural processing and packaging, building, leather works and processing as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
According to him, 40 per cent of the trainees will receive starter packs base on their performances while prizes will be presented to best graduates of the training programme.
Also, Mr Garba Hassan, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna Area Office, said the programme was designed to engage only unemployed and out-of-school youths within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years.
He said every eligible youths would be given fair chance, and urged them to apply via: www.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that T-MAX project targeted about 15,000 youths in seven participating states in the country.
They are Kaduna; Gombe, Nasarawa, Ogun, Edo, Enugu and Lagos States.
The African Energy Leadership Center (AELC) of Wits Business School has signed a three-year agreement with the African Energy Chamber (AEC) (https://EnergyChamber.org/) with the aim of promoting the growth and development of the energy sector in Africa, as well as championing access to energy for all Africans in a bid to make energy poverty a thing of the past by 2030.
The deal will, among other things, see the start of an internship/scholarship program for students from Wits Business School who wish to further their careers in the energy sector.
The two parties will also collaborate on energy research projects, as well as conferences and talks.
“We are immensely excited to have this opportunity to work alongside the ACS.
This is a true meeting of minds because we share a vision which is to develop the knowledge, capacity and skills of the African energy industry so that the industry reaches its full potential,” said Professor Lwazi Ngubevana, Director of AELC.
AELC was founded in 2017 and is the first center of its kind in Africa to offer specialized postgraduate programs in Energy Leadership.
It has also established itself as a hub for new research and a platform for solution-oriented discussion between various stakeholders in the sector.
The ACS is a non-profit organization that advocates for an end to energy poverty in Africa by 2030 through increased investment in energy across the continent and across the energy value chain.
To achieve this, the ACS works with organizations, local businesses, governments and global players to foster the growth of the African energy sector that will thrive in free markets and provide job opportunities for communities.
His focus is on investment outreach, industry knowledge, training and skills development, and networking.
AEC Senior Vice President, Mr. Verner Ayukegba, said: “As the voice of energy in Africa, the Chamber collaborates with key industry stakeholders across the continent to drive the industry forward.
Central to our mandate is building capacity across Africa's energy sector through training, research and knowledge sharing.
Our partnership agreement with Wits, one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, will go a long way in ensuring optimal growth of the industry through much-needed research and skills development.” He further pointed out that more than 600 million Africans do not have access to energy and 900 million do not have access to clean cooking fuels, most of whom are women and children.
“It is imperative that we focus on increasing access to energy in Africa to ensure that many more citizens of this continent can benefit from better health care, better employment opportunities, proper nutrition and much more, all of which depend on energy.
be available in reliable and affordable quantities.
For Professor Maurice Radebe, head and director of WBS and a former energy executive, the partnership between EFTA and AEC could not have come at a better time.
“The future of our continent depends, to a great extent, on how we manage the energy sector.
We are on a strong growth trajectory in Africa, but this growth needs to be managed carefully.
Joining forces with the African Chamber of Energy to develop leadership skills and collaborate on research is an important step in solving our energy crisis and ultimately eliminating the scourge of energy poverty in Africa.”
The Federal Government, has commenced distribution of N20,000 cash grants to 9,925 vulnerable people in Kano State under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, disclosed this at the launch of the programme on Tuesday in Kano.The minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Nasiru Sani-Gwarzo.
“Today, we are here to kick-start the Grant for Vulnerable Groups programme (GVG) in Kano State.
”It is a project which was introduced in 2020, first as Grant for Rural Women (GRW), to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“It is consistent with his deliberate national agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“The GVG was designed to provide a one-off grant, a cash grant of N20,000.00, to some of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians in rural and peri-urban areas across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“To empower the beneficiaries to improve their productivity and their commercial activities, mainly aimed at easing them out of poverty,” she said.
Umar-Farouq said that Buhari, through his deliberate social inclusion agenda, directed that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries must be women, while the remaining 30 per cent should be youths.
The minister also said that the president has directed that, at least 15 per cent of the total number of beneficiaries must specifically be allocated to citizens with special needs.
They include Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and Senior Citizens in the state.
“It is on this note that we encourage the Kano State government to note and emulate this gesture and extend similar interventions to amplify social inclusion through it’s policies, programmes and projects.
“While the target of this Cash Grant project is to increase income and productive assets of the target beneficiaries.
“It is highly expected that the beneficiaries will use of the grants to improve their productivity, create wealth, generate employment and improve their living standard,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister also launched digitized payment of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Sensitization of Community Stakeholders of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) in the state.
In his remarks, the Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, commended the Federal Government for the programme.
He said that it would be recorded by history that the administration of Buhari did well in improving the living condition of the vulnerable groups.
Ganduje urged the Federal Government to give special consideration to the state for its high population.
The Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr Joseph Ari, has urged ITF workforce to imbibe reading culture to boost their capacities to be above those they serve.
Ari, represented by the Director of Research and Curriculum Development, Mr Zachariah Piwuna, gave the charge on Tuesday in Jos, when he declared ITF Library Week open.
He said that without reading, the workforce would not have the required capacity to effectively discharge the fund’s onerous mandate to provide, promote and regulate quality training in all sectors.
“ITF is expected to be heads and shoulders above those that we serve, libraries are an absolute necessity if we must be seen to be effectively discharging our onerous mandate.
“Due to their importance, successive managements in the fund have, over the years, prioritised the libraries here at the headquarters and across our 45 area offices and training centres.
“We provide libraries with current books and journals and other relevant reading materials for the benefit of the workforce and its host communities.
“It will not, therefore, be farfetched if I should assert that our excellent corporate performances over the years are a product of our investments in libraries and the resultant exposure of the fund’s workforce to up-to-date knowledge, trends and best practices,” he said.
Ari further said that libraries were vital to us either as individuals, organisations or societies, as they serve as the repository of academic texts and professional journals, a reservoir of knowledge as well as a hub for research.
According to him, efforts have been accelerated to adopt relevant and new technologies, including the e-library to expand the quantum of resources available in our libraries.
He stated that doing was for ease of access to these resources in line with the vision of the incumbent management to fully automate the fund’s business processes.
“Therefore, the choice of Innovation Technologies for the Libraries of the Future as the theme of this year’s library week is very germane as it will allow us to harness ideas for full deployment of new technologies in our libraries for better service delivery.
“This is important, especially now that digital libraries are fast becoming the norm all over the world as they combine technology and information resources to allow remote access to educational content.
“Digital libraries also help in breaking down physical barriers and creating a virtual heritage of information,” he added.
The guest speaker, Dr Daniel Abubakar of University of Jos, commended the ITF for investing in libraries to boost knowledge sharing.
Abubakar said that innovation had come stay in modern library and urge the people to update their knowledge of information and communication technologies or be left behind.
The News Agency of the Nigeria reports that the event featured presentation of books to some staff and guests.
There were goodwill messages from University of Jos and other institutions.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate in 2023 polls, Sen. Bola Tinubu has donated N50 million to flood victims in Jigawa.
Tinubu announced the donation shortly after he commiserated with Gov. Muhammad Badaru, in Dutse on Tuesday.
The presidential candidate called for sustained prayers to end flood disasters in the state and the nation in general.
“Even though I have offered my prayers to the victims through your governor, but I felt coming in person to commiserate with you is important,” Tinubu said.
He was accompanied on the visit by Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau state, APC National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, APC National Women Leader, Dr Betta Edu and ex-Chairman of EFCC, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, among others.
Badaru, who received the presidential candidate said that his visit had brought succour to the flood victims.
“Tinubu had earlier called and commiserated with me when the first flood was recorded in Kafin-hausa, he again called when it happened in Hadejia, Gumel and Malammadori.
“Also, two weeks ago, when similar incident occurred in Birnin-kudu, Gwaram and Dutse, precisely Karnaya, Tinubu called again.
“And today, he decided to come in person in spite of his tight commitments to commiserate with our people over the recent tragic incidents of flood,” Badaru said.
The Chairman, Anambra Central Traditional Council, Igwe Christopher Okpala, has condemned some harmful traditional practices against women and called for a change.
He made the call during a townhall meeting in Awka on Tuesday, saying some negative norms and practices promote violence against women and the girl-child.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was organised by two Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) — WomenAid Collective (WACOL) and Fifty-Fifty, in collaboration with The Ford Foundation.
Okpala said that violence against women such as forceful marriage after the death of a husband by kinsmen had been abolished in most communities of Anambra.
He added that denial of female’s inheritance of their father’s property or forceful removal of women from their homes after the death of their husbands are also condemned.
The traditional ruler of Ezinato, Igwe Timothy Ezenwaka, corroborated Okpala’s claim that harmful practices against women have reduced to its barest minimum.
However, Mr Chinwuba Ayofu, the President-General of Ukwulu Community in Dunukofia Local Government Area, said harmful practices such as prostitution encouraged by parents must be checked.
Ayofu appealed to parents to discourage their children from living immoral lives and embrace hard work.
Mrs Christiana Ezebuilo, the Secretary, Anambra Association of Traditional Rulers’ wives, said that the townhall meeting was resourceful and promised to cascade the lessons learnt to other members of the association.
A Cleric, Prof. Boniface Obiefuna, said that the Church and the society needed to work for the common good of the people.
Obiefuna encouraged parents to go back to the basics and raise godly children which would translate to a better society through proper ways of living.
Mr Tony Okafor, a participant, said that the only way out to harmful practices against women remained in the hands of traditional rulers.
Okafor said community leaders must work toward ending harmful customs that are not in line with present day living.
Mrs Egodi Igwe, WACOL’s Programme Officer and Head of Communication, who addressed the participants on behalf of the founder, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, said the organisation is passionate about women and the girl-child’s welfare and urged participants to pay due attention to the meeting.
She said the essence of the meeting is to ensure that solutions are reached and better life achieved for women and girls.
Prof. Stella Okunna, one of the resource persons, spoke on strategies toward ending harmful norms that promote violence against women and the girl-child.
She said that the role of stakeholders cannot be overlooked and appealed to participants to take home ideas exchanged during the meeting.
Prof. Ogugua Ikpeze, another resource person who spoke on negative impact of harmful cultural norms on community development, appealed to the participants to make the needed changes to improve the lives of women and girls in rural communities.
Ikpeze urged community leaders in attendance to ensure massive awareness in communities to effect the needed change.