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BoI’s N10bn Entrepreneurship Programme to Create 1,200 Firms

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Bank of Industry

The Federal Government on Thursday launched a N10bn Youth Entrepreneurship Support programme aimed at raising a new set of entrepreneurs in the country.

The YES programme, which is an initiative of the Bank of Industry, is targeted at reducing the huge level of youth unemployment in the country.

The fund will be deployed to support the establishment or expansion of about 1,200 enterprises promoted by youths across the country.

The scheme is expected to create minimum of 6,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs annually, totalling 36,000.

The YES programme is also aimed at developing the entrepreneurial capacity of youths within the age bracket of 18 to 35, with a view to funding their business plans.

Under the scheme, each beneficiary is eligible to access a loan up to a maximum of N5m for the procurement of machinery and equipment as well as for working capital of the enterpise.

According to Punch, the loan is expected to be given out at a single digit interest rate of nine per cent, with tenor of three to five years, and a moratorium of six months.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who launched the scheme in Abuja, said the programme was coming at a time when the Federal Government was working assiduously to diversify the economy.

While commending the youth for their entrepreneurial spirit, the vice president, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said about 1.8 million young Nigerians were entering the labour market annually.

He said the scheme would serve as a platform to address the huge unemployment situation in the country.

Osinbajo said, “These are extraordinary times for us as Nigerians and as a government, as we continue to grasp with the sharp decline in revenue from crude oil, which has been the mainstay of our economy. We must, however, not be unmindful of the opportunity this situation presents.

“It is important we look inwards in this period and look at ways of exploiting the entrepreneurial spirit and zeal of our people. The intense energy of our large youthful population is a strength that we need to exploit by re-orientating them towards positive engagement in entrepreneurship.”

He called on would-be beneficiaries of the scheme to take advantage of the BoI initiative to actualise their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs, noting that the Federal Government would continue to provide incentives that would stimulate the economy and improve the wellbeing of the people.

The Acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, said the scheme would provide a learning platform to train young aspiring people in entrepreneurship, business management and technical skills.

This, according to him, will translate into improved efficiency and productivity, boost the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth as well as act as an incubation centre where business ideas are nurtured to their full potential.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Investment

Nigerian Investors Petitions Kenya Courts to Release Funds Held in Several Bank Accounts

2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

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Investment - Investors King

A petition has been made by more than 2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

These investors claim that they were duped billions of shillings by a sports betting platform (86FB) that used Nigerian and African Fintech company Flutterwave to process payments.

Citing Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws, these investors are demanding that the sum of $12 million is split from the Ksh 6.6 B ($55 M) that was frozen in July in 62 bank accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity Bank, Ecobank, and UBA Bank, as well as in 19 Safaricom paybill numbers.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted permission to freeze Ksh 5.17 B (USD 49 M) in 29 GTB accounts, with the remaining funds held in accounts at Equity and Ecobank in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.

The large sums are alleged to be the proceeds of theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering that were wired under the guise of payments for goods and services.

One of the investors who identified himself as Morris Ebitimi Joseph claimed that he and other investors had filed a new lawsuit in Nigeria to seek the return of their funds.

They argued that a portion of the money belonged to them and have opposed the attempt to forfeit it to the Kenyan government which they claimed were fraudulent proceeds.

In his words, “I believe that the issuance of an order compelling Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank, and Ecobank to deposit the sums excluded in the bank account of our advocates, justice shall be served to the 2,468 interested parties who were swindled of their hard-earned money through the scheme”.

Morris claimed that the investors put money into the investment scheme on the promise of better returns from the betting business, but however, never materialized.

Before the payments stopped, according to them, everything was fine for about six months. He also shared that after conducting research, he came to the conclusion that the operation was questionable, and now wants to join the case and help the court resolve the issue.

The Nigerian contingent is requesting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which declared in July that Flutterwave is not licensed in Kenya, to ask that the court issue an order directing Access Bank, Safaricom, and United Bank of Africa to deposit the excluded amount in the account of his attorneys.

“The claim made by the applicant/intended interested party represents the interest of 2,468 persons, thus occasioning monumental public interest.

Failure to expeditiously determine whether the application is in like fashion constitutes substantive and irreparable injustice,” Joseph says. He contends that there may be more people with an interest in the funds in addition to the 2,468 people who are requesting an injunction.

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AFDB, Others Invest $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital Programme

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

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Akinwunmi AfDB

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Mr. Akinwumni Adesina while speaking at Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held in New York, disclosed that investment in the program would help in the establishment of 451 digital technology SMEs and 225 creative start-ups.

Adding that the enterprises would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors must recognize this and invest.

“The future is not just digital, the future will be driven by digital revolution. Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost $1.4 billion of the total of four billion dollars raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least one billion dollars each.”

Mr. Akinwunmi further stated that $540 million have been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and ISDB to develop Special Agro-industrial processing zones to help unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential.

Noting that the funds will boost food production and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive.

He also called for increased international partnerships in Nigeria, adding that the bank had invested $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years.

Furthermore, Mr. Adesina disclosed that the growth in Nigeria would depend on its ability to fix its infrastructure deficits.

His words, “The National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan shows that Nigeria will need total financing of $759 billion to support infrastructure over a 23-year horizon (2020-2043).

“These covers tackling the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transport infrastructure.”

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Foreign Investors Boycott Nigeria Oil Sector; Capital Inflow Drops By 82%

Capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

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Despite the increase in global oil prices, capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

Investors King learnt that while other sectors such as baking and manufacturing contributed immensely to the country’s economy, oil and gas barely make an impact. 

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that foreign capital inflow into the oil and gas sector accounts for 0.13 percent of fresh foreign investments into the Nigerian economy in Q2 2022, compared to other sectors like the banking and production sector contributing 42 percent and 15 percent respectively.

It is further revealed that the total value of foreign capital investment attracted by the petroleum industry in the second quarter of 2022 fell from $11.3 million in Q2 2021 to $1.93 million in Q2 2022.

Ola Alokolaro, a partner at Advocaat Law Practice (Energy and Infrastructure) disclosed that this is the lowest for Nigeria in 11 years.

He indicated further that the weak foreign investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector started in 2021.  

It is evident that foreign investors are boycotting Nigeria’s oil for other places. Recently, Italian oil giant Eni agreed to acquire two producing fields in Algeria for an undisclosed sum, including stakes in two major natural gas projects, as the company plans divestments away from Nigerian onshore assets.

A French multinational oil company, TotalEnergies has also announced plans to sell its stake in a oil joint venture in Nigeria and invest about $850 million in oil projects in Angola.

Nigeria’s oil production has been facing one of its most turbulent times. Widespread oil theft and poor patronage are some of the prevailing challenges. Investors King had earlier reported that for the first time in five years, Nigeria lost its crown as Africa’s largest oil producer to Angola. 

 

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