Former Managing Director of the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank, Chief Roberts Orya, has emerged as the consensus gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Benue.
In his acceptance speech on Sunday in Makurdi, Orya promised the people of Benue free education
He promised to employ qualified teachers for qualitative science and technology education for a better Benue, noting that science and technology were employed as tool for development globally.
Orya stated that left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as he could not actualise his governorship ambition there because of injustice occasioned by the party’s zoning arrangement.
He said the actualisation of his governorship ambition made him to join the YPP.
He condemned the zoning of elective positions in Benue which he said had denied the state of quality leadership, emphasising that he would abolish it if he becomes governor.
“I am coming to address the problems of Benue with a two-point agenda, which is economy and security. If you solve the problem of economy, automatically the problem of security is solved.
“Right now as it is, your state Benue has so much debt, salaries have remained unpaid and pensioners are suffering.
“Benue needs someone that has deep knowledge of the economy; one who has the desire to develop the state; one who has the capability and experience.
“I have experience in banking and in the economic sector and have come to save the state.
Orya lamented that Benue youths engaged in menial jobs outside the state because of lack of employment opportunities in Benue.
“Our children have become slaves to others; labouring as guards in distant lands because there are no jobs for them in their own state.
“My vision is to build Benue that will make youths fully engaged and their destinies will be guaranteed.
“The time has come for you the youths of the state to take your destiny into your own hands. Nobody will give power to you on a platter; you must fight for it,’’ Orya said.
In his remarks, YPP chairman in Benue, Dr Gwadue Hough, said he resigned from his profession as a medical doctor to contribute his quota to the shaping of the future of his children.
He lamented the decay in leadership Benue, stressing that it caused so much suffering to people leaving the young, particularly children without hope.
Hough noted that YPP would not make impact and take over the leadership of Benue and of Nigeria only if the world suddenly came to an end.
The National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area said it hasd begun the development of policies in partnership with relevant export agencies for free flow of trade in Nigeria.
Mr Ogo Chukwura , The Team Lead Export market development, National Action Committee (NAC), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
He said that infrastructure development was imperative to the operating environment of business and a key driver for cost.
According to him, the policies will bring together ministries, departments and agencies that have a role in supporting the growth of trade in the country.
Chukwura said the Commitee was also identifying the opportunities and developing strategies to help boost trade.
He also said the committee was partnering the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to develop a programme that would allow agricultural produce move seamlessly from points A to B.
” We have engaged agencies such as the NIPC, NNPC, NEXIM and core institutions based on the over-all vision and strategy set up to identify the cross-over between the roles of agencies and coordinate to increase ease of doing business for SMEs.
“We are also partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders to ensure security . It is essential to ensure Nigeria is safe or at least tourist sites are safe so as to benefit from foreign exchange.
“We have identified and mapped out the goals, opportunities and challenges while working to proffer solutions for challenges.
“Our focus rests on creating projects and programmes that can reduce cost, increase efficiency and increase the capacity of SMEs to trade and be competitive,” he said.
According to him, power availability for businesses is essential and they are working with relevant ministries and stakeholders to find out sources of power that can be made available to business communities.
He added that negotiations were on-going to ensure pricing was kept within the capacity for business owners to pay.
He said the commitee was working with relevant ministries to engage on logistics in produce of business owners for effective service delivery.
The Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) has expressed further commitment to upgrading the sealink project in the country.
Mr. Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary of the NSC, had this to say when the President of the Sealink Transnational Company, Ms. Dabney Shall-Holma, led a team to visit him on Friday in Abuja.
According to Jime, the NSC is mandated to protect shippers and ensure their ease of doing business in the country.
Therefore, he said the council would do whatever it takes to support the committee responsible for carrying out the sealink project.
Jime explained that the marine link was an initiative put in place to bridge the infrastructure gap in the nation's maritime domain.
He said: “There is no way that a nation can be effective in its trade unless there is connectivity through waterways.
”I would like to praise the vision of those who started this project.
“Advocacy is our responsibility here at the chargers council and this has to do with the fact that the council is essentially to protect the chargers.
”But we are also in a position to engage in the kind of activity that ultimately benefits them. Advocacy is what we're going to do in partnership with you,” Jime said.
He reaffirmed the need for Nigeria to own its vessel and said he would promote the ability of Nigerian shippers to take advantage of the (sealink) infrastructure that would be developed.
On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFA), Jime said that in order to participate effectively in this platform, Nigerians need to develop an infrastructure that responds to this emerging situation.
“And I think sealink has a strategic place when it comes to developing our trade facilitation.
”Help in promoting the operation of inland waterways for bulk commodities towards the commercial diversification of the Nigerian economy.
”Cargo movement is key when it comes to our mandate.
“So anything that builds and enables the environment, so that Nigerian shippers can take advantage of the evolving business environment, we have a duty in the shippers council to engage and fully participate in the process,” he added.
Jime said: “Not only will we (NSC) be partners with you, from now on if there is any effort that needs to be put in place that requires the presence of the shippers council, rest assured we will be there all the time.” way."
Earlier, the managing director of NEXIM Bank, represented advisor, Mr. Hope Yongo, also expressed the bank's commitment to the project.
”NEXIM remains committed to the project and to ensuring that we expand Nigeria's export basket.
“To make sure that as the dominant economy in Africa, we take our place of honor as a major trading partner and that can only happen with connectivity.
”We need the support of the transport sector and that is why we are here for a joint advocate.
“We are hoping to launch the marine link for both inland and inland waterways in June. We want to thicken and expand Nigerian exports,” he said.
Shall-Holma, for her part, said the committee partnered with various stakeholders to ensure the project's completion.
"The shippers' council has always been there during the process, what we want now is for you to actively participate," he said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Monday tasked government revenue-generating agencies with sending 3 trillion naira annually to the federal government's coffers.
Mr. Lawan took the position in a speech to open an interactive session “on the need to improve the internally generated revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the projections of agency revenue contained in the Appropriation Act 2022”.
The meeting was between Senate leaders and members of the Government's Finance and Revenue Generating Agencies Committee.
The President of the Senate, in his speech, said that the purpose of the meeting was to explore means of increasing government revenue.
According to him, one of those ways is for the National Assembly to be rigid about increasing revenue to reduce the country's budget deficit and loans, as well as to avoid unnecessary spending by government agencies.
He assured that the upper house will provide the necessary support through legislation to ensure that revenue agencies perform to meet and exceed their objectives.
He said: “In 2022, the National Assembly has assumed, and rightly so, that our government-owned businesses can generate up to N3 trillion if we have the mindset that we can make it happen and of course we make sure to monitor to stop any chance of unwarranted spending. by government agencies.
“But that doesn't mean in any way that it's going to be some kind of research on what you do, but rather an encouragement of what you have to do.
“In this meeting and the following ones, there should be no restrictions on the discussions.
“When an agency feels that it is hindered in any way from achieving its goal, it should say so, so that we can prescribe the right solutions for it to perform.
“As the National Assembly, let me say that the Senate in particular will be rigid in generating more and more revenue.
“We will be rigid, we will continue to insist, because we believe that this is a safe and guaranteed way to reduce our deficit and indebtedness.
Mr. Lawan explained that the upper house's push to get more revenue into the government coffers would improve the economy and facilitate infrastructure development.
“This Committee is changing, because Senate leaders believe we can do much better and we've seen signs last year when some of the agencies performed beyond what was expected.
“So it is an opportunity for us to save and improve our economy and of course to make Nigeria achieve further infrastructure development, which is the goal of this administration and of all Nigerians.
“We believe that when you (collectors) generate the money, we (National Assembly) appropriate it.
“Prudence is essential here, when we spend our money. And when we get into debt, as the National Assembly has always tried to do, we get into debt to deal with specific government projects and programs,” said the President of the Senate.
The chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, in his welcoming speech, lamented that there were insufficient funds for the implementation of policies and projects captured in the 2022 budget of the federal government.
He explained that the funds were derived in part from revenue generated by government-owned businesses and other revenue sources independent of the federal government.
According to the legislator, "there is an urgent need for everyone to participate in the generation of income for the government, as well as to prevent the misuse and leakage of said income for frivolous purposes not sanctioned by the laws of the National Assembly."
He advised that for the government to reduce and eliminate the budget deficit associated with the nation's budget over the years, an effort must be made to minimize borrowing to finance projects.
Tax agencies present at the interactive session include: National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Federal Internal Revenue Service, FIRS, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Nigerian Postal Service, Teaching Hospital from the University of Lagos and the Nigerian Customs Service.
Others included the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps, the Nigerian Prison Service, the Nigerian Maritime Academy, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the Abuja Geographic Information Office, AGIS.
Also in attendance were the Federal Capital Territory Administration, the Nigerian Power Commission, the Nigerian Administrative Staff College, the Import Export Bank of Nigeria, NEXIM, the Nigerian Ports Authority and the College of Aviation Technology. from Nigeria, Zaria.
By Emmanuel Afonne
One of the popular Nigerian musicians, Oladapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D'banj, advocated the use of intellectual property as collateral for obtaining bank loans.
A statement released on Friday, by Chief Damian Okoroafor, director of D'banj, quoted the artist as saying this in Abuja, during the inauguration of the Women and Youth Export Fund platform (WAYEF ) of the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank for easy access to funds.
Okoroafor quoted D'banj as saying that the creative industry was a bigger exporter of Nigerian goods than the country's crude oil and as such deserved all the attention it needed to thrive.
“Our creative industry is a bigger and better export than the oil industry. Thus, there is the need for better access to stress-free funds for creative industry players, using their intellectual property as collateral.
“When you look around the world, one of our biggest exports is the creative sector, through our music, movies and photos.
"Thus, WAYEF is another opportunity to fully influence the creative industry, through capacity building or access to funds," D'banj said, quoted by Okoroafor.
It will be recalled that D'banj, on March 26, rewarded five talented young Nigerians, in different fields, with one million naira each to develop.
He extended the gesture through his 'CREAM Platform', Nigeria's first creative reward platform, supported by Heritage Bank's YNSPYRE initiative.
The monthly reward goes through raffles organized for participants wishing to develop their talents in the creative industry. The next edition of the draws is scheduled for April 30 (NAN)(NAN)
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) has given assurance that the ongoing dualisation of Abuja-Lokoja-Benin highway would be completed before December 2021.
Engr. Yusuf Jimoh-Adekunle, Director Highways, North-Central in the Ministry gave the assurance on Wednesday in Lokoja while inspecting the level of work by the contractors.
Jimoh-Adekunle said that the project inherited from previous administrations suffered setback due too poor funding.
He however, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration had provided alternative funding platforms such as the SUKUK bond to ensure the completion of the project for the benefit of the people.
“This particular project is enjoying the SUKUK loan apart from the budgetary provisions.”
The director who noted that funding was no longer a challenge, maintained that all that was needed was to ensure that the contractors were working.
“So, this visit is mainly to ensure that quality work is being executed and that is why I have come together with my team,” he added.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress of work so far.
Speaking further on the project, Engr. Jimoh Kajogbola, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi explained that the dualisation of section One of Lokoja-Benin road was in two phases.
“We are on phase II now and it is about 41 kilometres. The total length of both phase one and phase two is about 58.15 km.
“The contractor, CGC Nig. has partially completed phase one which included about 14km Okene by-pass virgin dual carriageway, except for some little issues which will be cleared, although it has been opened to traffic for more than two years now,” Kajogbola said.
He said that the contractor was expected complete deliver the project by December, 2021.
“So, it is now left for the contractor to work harder to be able to access the provisions made for them within budget and from SUKUK funding, We have about N2.5 billion to access this year 2020,” Kajogbola said.
Alhaji Yaba Abubakar, Project Manager who spoke on behalf of CGC Nig. Ltd. assured that they would deliver on the project within the stipulated time given the level and pace of work.
Edited By: Isaac Ukpoju
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday performed the virtual inauguration of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government remained deeply committed to creating a more business friendly environment for MSMEs to thrive, as they were the engine room of the Nigerian economy.
According to the Vice President, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), has in it, a Survival Fund for MSMEs.
“Under the Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50,000 in monthly salaries for up to 10 staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months.
“There is also a N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000.
“The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.
“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times.”
The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses was evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative.
Osinbajo said that the clinics extended business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme was a core component.
“The Eko facility, which was developed through collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organised Private Sector, is an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery and will be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.
“When MSMEs thrive the economy thrives, when they struggle, the economy struggles.
“MSMEs’ Shared Facility Scheme being implemented by the Federal Government under the National MSMEs Clinics seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment, which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost, within a conducive space,’’ he said.
According to the Vice President, the facilities will help to reduce operating costs for users, allowing them to invest the savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, commended the President and Vice President for supporting the scheme.
He said that there were plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.
There are 161 machines at the EKO facility, including 74 industrial straight sewing machines, 10 industrial steam pressing irons, four monogramming machines, eight industrial button-hole and five industrial button tacking machines.
It also has Tinko and Coil machines, heming and industrial weaving machines, among others.
The Facility has a 100kva standby generator and a 2kva solar power system.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Tola Johnson joined the event.
Others were the CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello.
Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives among other government functionaries also attended the event.
Osinbajo had in June, virtually inaugurated and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State.
He had said there were also plans to establish similar facilities in other parts of the country, including in Kaduna, Anambra and the FCT.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
The Bauchi State Government says it will partner with the NEXIM Bank to fast track economic diversification of the state in areas of processing, export of solid minerals and agricultural produce.
Gov. Bala Mohammed made this known during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the state government and management of the bank on Friday in Bauchi.
He said the government was committed to opening new economic frontiers for socio-economic development of the state.
According to him, the state has a lot of mineral resources such as granite, gypsum and many others.
He said the time of relying on oil revenue was over, hence the need to diversify the economy for prosperity and development.
“We are pleased and have accepted the conditions outlined in the memorandum,” he said.
Mohammed said that the institutional frameworks to be applied in actualising the dream were to involve specialists, other relevant ministries and departments in the project.
He warned that the money to be realised from the MoU was not a political largesse.
“We must ensure judicious utilisation of the resources for effective implementation of the programme,” the governor said.
Earlier, Malam Abba Garba, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the NEXIM Bank said the bank’s mandate was promotion and financing of non-oil exports.
He said the MoU was expected to have an inclusive participation of all shades of people like farmers in agriculture and the solid mineral sector.
“We give support to governments to actualise their vision,” he said.
Garba said the bank provides the minimum facility of N1billion on any exportable commodity for those who patronised its services.
“We will make Bauchi to appear on the export value chain.
“We are fully committed to the development of value chain on mineral resources through our presence in Northeast,” he said.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Abba Bello in a statement issued by Mr Tayo Omidiji, Head, Strategy and Corporate Communications said that part of its mandate was to promote non-oil export development in the country.
According to Bello, the MoU will facilitate export-related industrialisation and attract investments that will utilise local resource endowments in the state.
He expressed the willingness of NEXIM bank to make progress i partnership opportunities with the state government to drive the Bank’s economic diversification efforts and to promote the development of exportable agricultural products in the state.
He further explained that the Bank had inaugurated the Regional/State Export Development Fund, whereby, at least one billion naira had been earmarked per state towards developing at least one commodity of export significance.
According to him, the fund is in furtherance of the Federal Government’s objectives under the One State, One Product Programme.
He noted that the proposed partnership would also support jobs creation and economic development of the state.
Similarly, the Executive Director, (Business Development) of NEXIM bank, Ms Stella Okotete, while presenting some of the Bank’s products and initiatives, reiterated the objectives of the State Export Development Programme.
Okotete said that the Bank’s intervention was targeted at developing all aspects of the export value chain from production to processing, under its new philosophy of PAVE, which stands for Produce, Add Value and Export.
She noted that the Bank had observed the great potential of the state in the production of some agricultural commodities, particularly Sesame seed and Gum Arabic.
She said that NEXIM’s objective was to work with the state towards developing related industries for the export market, particularly against the background of the increased opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
In his response, Alhaji Barma Shettima, Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, on behalf of the Yobe State Government expressed the government’s pleasure to collaborate with NEXIM Bank for the development of the state.
Shettima noted that the state had comparative advantage in numerous agro-allied products and vast deposits of premium quality Solid Minerals, of which the government had identified Sesame Seed and Gypsum for immediate development and value addition for export.
He said that both parties would take immediate steps to operationalise the partnership toward achieving the envisaged benefits.
Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
The Nigerian Navy on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), to open up the nation’s inland waterways to boost maritime movement of goods and service.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the MoU aimed to enhance economic trade and movement of goods and services within the country and across the West Africa region for a more wholesome economic and national development
Speaking during the ceremony on Thursday at the Naval Headquarters Abuja, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok -Ete Ibas, said the signing of the MoU would remain indelible in his memory.
Ibas said, “Since it is the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Navy to coordinate all national hydrographic surveys, it is only natural for the Service to be part of this strategic partnership.
”Indeed, today’s epoch signing ceremony will remain indelible in my memory as it marks a new phase in the attainment of Nigerian Navy’s statutory responsibilities regarding the charting and survey of the nation’s maritime areas.”
”Following the Nigerian Navy’s attainment of hydrographic survey and charting capacity with the unveiling of the first and second indigenous navigational charts, we are here today to move to the next phase toward opening up the nation’s inland waterways
”Since it is the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Navy to coordinate all national hydrographic surveys and produce charts for use by Mariners within Nigerian waters,it was only natural for the Nigerian Navy to be part of this strategic partnership,” he said.
Ibas said that the partnership necessitated the drafting of an MoU to guide the engagement between the Service and NEXIM Bank toward actualising the overall objectives of the Regional Sealink Project which the bank was driving.
”As you know, the Sealink Project was initiated to remove the huge logistics challenges and non-tariff measures along the Economic Community of West African states trade corridor.
”I am glad that after series of meetings and interactions, the Nigerian navy and NEXIM Bank have been able to produce an MoU to formalise their partnership.
”I wish to reassure our partners of Nigerian navy’s capacity to support the project to its fruition in order to enhance economic trade and movement of goods and Services both within Nigeria and across the West Africa region for a more wholesome economic and national development,” he said.
Ibas expressed gratitude to all persons who had contributed in making the MoU a reality.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Alhaji Abba Bello, noted that Nigerian is blessed with good waterways.
He assured that NEXIM would efficiently and quickly adhere to all the conditions of the partnership.
”Today is a very auspicious day for us because it will contribute significantly to trade in Nigeria and economic development of the country,” he said.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)