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e-YES to boost digital economy in Enugu

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After weeks of registration and vetting of the intending participants, the Enugu Youth Empowerment Scheme (e-YES) has commenced with training, mentorship and skills acquisition for youths across the state.

Organised by the Enugu State government under the auspices of the Enugu SME Centre and in partnership with Wild Fusion Digital Centre, the scheme opened doors to the first batch of participants on September 28, 2020 at Universal Hotel in Enugu.

In its first edition, the scheme, which is a novel initiative of the Enugu SME Centre, under the Enugu Human Capital Development Loan Program (HCDLP), is expected to run for seven weeks, while training and empowering over 273 participants with digital skills in areas such as: advertising, digital marketing, internet promotion, SMS marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), PPC, and analytics. Others skills in the scheme include: mobile advertising, email marketing, content marketing, among others.

The first day of the training witnessed exciting activities, especially the exposure of the participants to the opportunities in digital marketing and technology, inspirational video messages from industry experts such Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, CEO, ROAM Africa and Ayode Akinfemiwa, Google Agency Business Manager, Nigeria.

As well, Abasiama Idaresit, CEO, Wild Fusion Digital Centre, the facilitators of the training, also shared his inspiring experience with the Baby M project, a marketing campaign success story that attracted members of Google to Nigeria in 2009.

Earlier in his opening remark, the CEO of Wild Fusion Digital Centre reiterated the place of technology and digitization in career and business, noting that they are the new currencies in the world today and hence guarantee employment for the participants.

Idaresit, a digital marketing and technology expert, further explained that the training would run from September 28, till November 6, 2020, and that during the period, the participants would acquire internationally recognized certifications with Google, Facebook, Twitter, among others.

“In addition, they will be trained in all aspects of digital marketing and provided jobs upon completion of the programme”, Idaresit said.

Also speaking at the flag off ceremony, the participants expressed their gratitude to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for making the opportunity a reality in their lifetime. They also expressed their enthusiasm at becoming digital/tech savvy as the world has become digital.

“We are a generation that lives on the internet and the opportunities in here are enormous. One cannot afford to isolate oneself from this but must embrace the opportunities to connect with the world and earn a living”, one of the participants said.

Speaking at the event, Arinze Chilo-Offiah, special adviser, SME Development and head, Enugu SME Center, noted that the training is in line with the development and youth empowerment agenda of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and that the high-income skills the participants would acquire at the training would enable them to thrive in today’s digital-first world, become innovative entrepreneurs and strategic valuable assets to the state and the international community at large.

“Technology will continue to drive change in the workplace, and for one to be a game-changer, one must be able to use technology to solve everyday problems. With this initiative, the Enugu SME Centre is giving the youth an edge, starting now”, Chilo-Offiah said.

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Ban Tomato Importation – Dangote Tomato MD Tells FG

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images 2020 10 23T104030.892 Ban Tomato Importation - Dangote Tomato MD Tells FG

Ban tomato importation – Dangote tells FG
The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing plant in Kadawa, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita has on Thursday called on the Federal government to ban importation of tomato paste like it ban rice importation into the country.
This was as he decried importation of tomato paste which he said was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and Cotonour in Benin Republic.
Kaita made the call while flagging off the distribution of tomato seedlings to 5,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrower of Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday at Kadawa village in Kura LGA of the state.
The MD also dropped hint that plans are underway by the company to ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient and positioned to export tomato by establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
According to him, “We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice.
“The ban is necessary so as to boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient in tomato production.
“the ban on the importation of tomato paste would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country.
“The company had on several occasions visited the Customs Headquarters and met with the Controller General with a view to lodging complaint over the issue but nothing was done to check the ugly trend.
“It is only by putting a total ban on tomato importation that the government can encourage farmers to grow the commodity for the country to be self sufficient.
“The company was working with the Central bank of Nigeria under the anchor Borrower programme to provide tomato farmers with high yield seeds which will enable them to produce a minimum of 40 tons per hectare.
“Similarly, the company is putting a lot of effort to ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient in tomato production by establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
“There are 12 major tomato producing states in the country which if fully cultivated, in the next one year, Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomato.
“The greenhouse which is the largest in Africa, is established to provide tomato growers with high yield tomato seedlings in the country,” Kaita said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Kano State chapter, Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria, Sani Danladi-Yadakwari commended the Federal Government for including tomato value chain in the anchor borrower programme noting that it would go a long way in boosting tomato production in the country.
Some of the items benefitted by the tomato growers include seedlings, fertilizer, water pump and other inputs.

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Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

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images 2020 10 22T134311.286 Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

The scarcity of petroleum products is imminent in Nigeria as some depots have stopped loading-trucks, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, disclosed this to our Abuja correspondent on phone.
He added that the #EndSARS protests and the resultant crises have stopped the marketers from transiting their loaded trucks.
According to him, since petroleum products are highly inflammable, the drivers decided to park their trucks in safe places nationwide.
He explained that since consumers buy fuel on daily basis and there is no replacement, there is bound to be a scarcity of petroleum products.
Maigandi further said the marketers do not hoard products so there will be no reservoirs to turn to upon the exhaustion of available stock.
Asked whether there is any fear of scarcity, he said “definitely, because some of the depots are not loading due of insecurity.
“The ones that have already loaded parked their trucks in the yards so that protesters will not set them on fire. There is no way you can have sufficient fuels in the filling stations because we don’t do hoarding.”
The IPMAN National Vice President urged the protesters to dialogue with the Federal Government for the amicable resolution of the crises.
He asked them to embrace the olive branch because of the economic losses that emanate from the crisis.
His words: “The EndSARS issue is a Nigerian issue so the protesters and government should dialogue over it for a lasting solution. Nigerians (both government and the governed need to have attitudinal change. So, it is better to dialogue. “

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Ease of doing business: FG to use legislation to attain top 100 countries’ status

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images 100 1 Ease of doing business: FG  to use legislation to attain top 100 countries’ status

The Federal Government has said that it was working on the legislative interventions to enable the country move to the top 100 countries on ease of doing business ranking.

Speaking to newsmen on the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES-26), in Abuja, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, noted that Nigeria would continue to initiate business-oriented policies and ensure adequate commitment to their implementation.

“As the nation awaits the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Finance Act and the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enaactment) recently signed by Mr President will transform the business environment and re-energises the private sector as the engine of growth of the economy” she said.

The Minister said that the greatest challenge facing the government is inadequate revenue to execute its numerous projects and other initiatives, adding that co-ordination and cohesion among revenue generating agencies is being improved.

The Minister further said that government was currently developing a Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP), 2021-2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050. The plans, she said, are to address developmental challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life and will be driven by the Organised Private Sector while government creates the enabling environment to facilitate growth and development and aligned to the continental agenda (AU Agenda 2063) and Global Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030.

“The MTNDP 2021-2025 is expected to be formally launched in December, 2020 while the Nigeria Agenda 2050 will be finalised in July 2021” she noted.

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