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Edo govt unveils plan to disburse N300m to MSMEs

Edo State Government has explained why it earmarked the sum of N300 million to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 18 local government area in the State.

The Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, disclosed this at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LAPO Microfinance Bank for the disbursement of the money.

He disclosed that the loan which was facilitated under the Edo State MSME Funds, would be implemented by Edo State Skills Development Agency (Edojobs).

Ogie who signed the MoU on behalf of the State Government, commended the Board of Edo MSME Funds, the management of Edojobs and LAPO Microfinance Bank.

While noting that micro finance schemes are the engine room of any economy all over the world, Ogie appealed to all beneficiaries to make good use of the loan facilities.

He, however, warned that as it’s not a grant but a revolving loan that must be paid back.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Advisory Board MSME Fund, Peter Obaseki, who commended the government for its sustained support for small businesses in the State, noted that the mandate of the board was for economic empowerment of small businesses.

Obaseki, who said the loan was part of the social transfer scheme to empower residents in the State, added that it must not be an urban phenomenon but to each political wards and units each of the 18 local government areas of the State.

He said loan which has concessionary interest of 9 per cent is devoid of gender bias.

He said 60 per cent of the funds are for females, 40 per cent for males while a provision of 10 per cent has been set aside for Peoples Living with Disabilities.

Obaseki explained that the loan disbursement was distributed in the ratio of 50 per cent to Edo South, 27.5 per cent to Edo North and 22.5 per cent to Edo Central senatorial districts respectively.

According to him, the MoU with LAPO Mfb made it the third financial partners the State Government is collaborating with to disburse to MSME in the state.

He added that LAPO Mfb was brought in to broaden the reach of the disbursement of the fund as well as monitoring, evaluation of beneficiaries and collection of loan repayment.

He noted that the state government had previously disbursed loan to 1,631 persons through the Bank of Industry and TrustFund Microfinance Bank.

The Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mrs. Gloria Bako, who signed for LAPO Mfb, commended the state government’s commitment to youth development, reassuring sustained partnership with the government.

She, however, appealed to would-be beneficiaries to make good use of the loan for the betterment of their businesses.

“We are humbled by this great task the Edo State Government has given to us, and it is an indication that the government is really concerns about the people that they govern.

“It also showed that the government is concerned not only about empowering business owners but doing a lot for the development of youths in terms of skill acquisitions.

“We want to thank the state government for the confidence reposed in our organization for the disbursement of loans to MSME”, she said.

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NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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Nigeria oil production drops to 1.231m barrels per day- OPEC

OPEC: Russia-Ukraine war causing volatility in global energy market

Nigeria’s crude oil production suffered its second consecutive monthly decline since the beginning of this year, as it dropped to 1.231 million barrels per day in March, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has revealed.

OPEC disclosed this in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024, stating that crude oil production details which it got through direct communication from Nigeria showed that the country pumped less oil in March compared to February.

Data from the report indicated that Nigeria produced 1.322 million barrels per day of crude in February this year, but this dropped to 1.231mbpd in March, representing a plunge of 91mbpd.

The report further added that the country had produced 1.427mbpd of crude in January, but this was not sustained in February as it dropped in that month, while the southward oil production continued in March.

However, OPEC data showed that Nigeria’s average crude oil production in the first quarter of 2024 was 1.327mbpd, higher than the 1.313mbpd average oil production in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Nigeria’s first quarter oil output in 2024 was also higher than the 1.201mbpd average production in the third quarter of 2023.

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Emirates Airlines to resume Nigeria flights soon – Keyamo

Emirates, UAE, has concluded plans to resume flights with Nigeria.

This followed numerous visits from President Bola Tinubu to UAE over the communication breakdown between both countries.

Featuring on Arise Television on Monday, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said the Emirates Airline had already indicated its readiness in a letter sent to the Nigerian Government.

Keyamo explained that what transpired during the earlier visit and resolution was not fake but was presented in a ‘hasty’ manner.

He said: “Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They have gone through all the gamut and they are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they must get an aircraft for that route.

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues.

“That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news.

“They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Apart from Emirates suspending flights to Nigeria, in 2022, the UAE Immigration Department notified its trade partners and travel agencies that it was stopping visa applications from 22 countries, 20 of which are African nations.

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