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FG announces cash reward for 200 Ogun MSME exhibitors

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced a N150,000 cash reward for every exhibitor at the 2nd edition of the national Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

A grant of N100,000 will also be given to over 200 owners of new stores at the Modern Adire Shared Facility at the Adire International Market, Asero, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima disclosed this on Tuesday at the 2nd Extended National MSME Clinics.

He further disclosed that the national Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic would serve as a bridge between the people and the government, adding that the clinics would serve as lifelines for enterprises in the state and the country as a whole.

The national MSME clinic serves as a bridge between the people and the government, we desire to bring the government near the people by placing all regulatory agencies under one group.

He said: “Each exhibitor present at the clinic today stands to gain from our MSME instant grant of N150,000 each, courtesy of our esteemed private sector and His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“I hereby announce that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed that almost 200 new applications within this market be granted free of charge to small business traders for one year and each of them should enjoy a grant of N100,000.”

Senator Shettima noted that Ogun State is not only the industrial powerhouse of the nation but a committed supporter of the federal government’s efforts to support enterprises and empowerment.

As the keeper of its words, the federal government has transversed the length and breadth of the country to fulfill its pledge to the people across diverse sectors, he said.

He said his coming to Ogun State signifies the need to support businesses and transform ideas into commercially viable ventures, saying the 2nd phase of the Expanded SMSME Clinics is a strategic intervention to fortify the foundation of small businesses, which commenced in Benue State early this year.

“The clinics serve as a link between the people and government. Small Businesses are now afforded platforms to present their business challenges, and seek timely intervention of monetary agencies all in an attempt to eliminate the task of navigating from one agency to another in their efforts to build the next unicorn out of Africa,” Shettima said.

The Vice President emphasized that the clinics would serve as a lifeline for enterprises as it would offer immediate financial support to the exhibitors and provide small businesses the opportunity to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission and get their Certificates within a day.

Senator Shettima thanked Ogun State and the governor for their support to the federal government to bring the nation’s economy back on track.

Also speaking, the host governor, Dapo Abiodun, said his administration has launched the Small and Medium Enterprises Industrial Land Acquisition Scheme (SILAS), stating that the scheme is a 1,000 Hectares Industrial hub provided with needed amenities like good roads, power, among others.

“The SME park is aimed at providing incentives to SMEs way below the market rate. There will be many incentives through industrial ownership and accelerated processing of their CoO which can be used as collateral for further financing.

“Other benefits of the park will include rebates on taxes and levies such as Land Use charges, building permits, land processing fees, etc.

“This park will cover agro-allied, agro-processing, home and personal care building materials and chemicals, food processing,” the governor said.

To support the federal government in repositioning the nation’s economy, Governor Abiodun said the State would offer incentives like conditional grants of N100,000 to 10,000 MSMSE, N500,000 given to 2,000 SMEs, and N50,000 to 5,000 market women in the State.

Special Adviser to the Vice President on Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Tola Adekunle Johnson, acknowledged the working relationship between the federal and the state governments, staying at the clinics was a means to create jobs for the people, especially the youth, naming Ogun and Benue as the two states to benefit from the programme so far.

In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, maintained that the clinics were meant to address the challenges facing small and medium enterprises in the state to find solutions to them, calling on participants to leverage on the various issues that would be treated to grow their businesses.

The Vice President had earlier commissioned the Modern Adire Shared Facility at Adire International Market Asero and the National MSME Clinics, Ultra-Modern Fashion Hub, Ajebo Road all in Abeokuta.

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Ebonyi denies borrowing from World Bank, IMF

The Ebonyi State Government has denied that it  borrowed from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund contrary to a report by the Debt Management Office.

The DMO had reported that the Ebonyi State under the current administration led by Governor Francis Nwifuru, was among the 17 states that had borrowed $125.1 million (N111.24 billion) from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Debunking the report, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Leonard Uguru, said  Nwifuru had not borrowed from either internal or foreign creditors since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

He said:  “Since the inception of this administration, the Ebonyi State Government has not borrowed any money, whether foreign or domestic loans. So, any organisation that’s writing that Ebonyi is among the states that have borrowed money, I don’t know where they are getting their data.

“Among the South East states, Ebonyi is still the least in both domestic and foreign debts. Even though we have a trace of debt, which is the 150 million dollar loan from Africa Development Bank and Islamic Bank inherited from the past administration in the reconstruction of Ring Road, which is what made the loan increase, it is worth it as the road cuts across various local government areas of the state. Outside that, I don’t think there’s any other debt owed by the previous state government.”

 

 

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Dangote refinery reduces price of diesel to N1,000

Diesel hits N350/litre, surges by 56% in one year

In an impressive move, Dangote Petroleum Refinery has announced further reduction of the price of diesel from 1200 to 1,000 naira per litre.

While rolling out the products, the refinery supplied at a substantially reduced price of N1,200 per litre three weeks ago, representing over 30 per cent reduction from the previous market price of about N1,600 per litre.

This significant reduction in the price of diesel, at Dangote Petroleum Refinery, is expected to positively affect all the spheres of the economy and ultimately reduce the high inflation rate in the country.

Recall, Aliko Dangote, on Wednesday, in Lagos, said Nigerians should expect a drop in inflation given the reduction of diesel pump prices by two-thirds.

“In our refinery, we started selling diesel at about ₦1,200 for ₦1,650 and I’m sure as we go along this can help to bring inflation down immediately,” Dangote told journalists after he paid Eid-el-Fitr homage to President Bola Tinubu at his residence.

The businessman said his petroleum refinery had been selling diesel at ₦1,200 per litre, compared to the previous price of ₦1,650 – ₦1,700.

He expressed hopes that Nigeria’s economy will improve, as the naira has made some gains in the foreign exchange market, dropping from ₦1,900/$ to the current level of ₦1,250 – ₦1,300.

Dangote said this rise in value has sparked a gradual drop in the price of locally-produced goods such as rice and flour, as businesses are paying less for diesel.

Therefore, the reduced fuel costs would drive down inflation in the coming months, he asserted.

“I believe that we are on the right track. I believe Nigerians have been patient and I also believe that a lot of goodies will now come through. There’s quite a lot of improvement because if you look at it, one of the major issues that we’ve had was the naira devaluation that has gone very aggressively up to about ₦1,900.

“But right now, we’re back to almost ₦1,250, ₦1,300, which is a good reprieve. Quite a lot of commodities went up. When you go to the market, for example, something that we produce locally like flour, people will charge you more. Why? Because they’re paying very high diesel prices.

“Now, in our refinery, we started selling diesel at about ₦1,200 instead of ₦1,650 and I’m sure as we go along, things will continue to improve quite a lot,” Dangote stated.

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NCAA suspends three private jet operators for operating commercial flights

N46bn debt: NCAA threatens to withdraw airlines’ licences

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the permit of three private jet operators for engaging in commercial flights.

Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that after issuing a stern warning to the PNCFs in March, the authority deployed its men to monitor activities of private jet owners at airport terminals across the country.

He said that consequent upon the heightened surveillance, three private operators were found to have violated the annexure provisions of their PNCF and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2023.

“In line with our zero-tolerance policy for violations of regulations, the Authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitize the general aviation sector, I have directed a re-evaluation of all PNCF holders to be carried out by April 19, 2024, to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements. All PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours.

“This directive also applies to existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilize aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

“It is important to emphasize that only aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorized for use in providing such charter services. Any AOC holder wishing to use aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it in the AOC operations specification.”

The NCAA reiterated to the traveling public not to patronise any charter airline operator lacking a valid Air Operator’s Certificate issued by the NCAA when seeking charter operation services.

NCAA also encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to promptly report the activities of such unscrupulous elements to the authority for necessary action.

 

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