- FCMB Disburses N3.6bn CBN Support Fund to MSMEs
First City Monument Bank Limited has given out over N3.6bn to small businesses and women entrepreneurs from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N220bn support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The bank, which is the flagship of FCMB Group Plc, in a statement on Tuesday, said it had been on the lead among other banks as far as the MSME financing was concerned.
To this end, the bank was said to have been recently named as the Best African Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank of the Year by the African Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
The pronouncement was made at the second edition of African International Small and Medium Enterprises Economic Summit and Award 2016, which was held in Aba, Abia State.
The AASME is a coalition of micro, small, medium businesses, associations, operators, owners and individual manufacturers within Nigeria, extended into other African countries but headquartered in Aba, otherwise referred to as ‘the China of Africa’.
Some of the members are entrepreneurship and skill development cooperatives, palm kernel producers, import and export groups, garment, textile manufacturers, dealers, investment and development cooperatives as well as leather and allied products cooperatives, among others.
Commenting on the development, the President-General of the AASME, Darlington Onuoha-Kalu, said FCMB’s pedigree and volume of support for the SMEs over the years was commendable.
“Its speed and positive response in various partnerships leading to the establishment, growth and development of small and medium-scale businesses is commendable. The bank is helping to solve the problem of unemployment, leading to skills acquisition and, in turn, the nation’s economic development,” Onuoha-Kalu said.
The bank had single-handedly funded the Aba Mega Mall, which is the world’s first mall with a dry-port and the first of purpose-built smart mall in Africa.
Acknowledging the award on behalf of the Regional Director, FCMB in the South-East and South-South, Mr. Okey Ezeala, the Vice-President and Zonal Head, Owerri Zone, Mr. Okey Ogelle, commended the organisers and the governing council of the AASME for their commitment, desire and the level of organisation towards realising their main objective of truly transforming and growing small businesses into mega firms.
Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector
Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.
The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.
“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”
He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.
The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”
The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.
“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”
The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”
OctaFX Launches Dual Life Campaign
International Forex broker, OctaFX has launched a socially conscious marketing campaign called Dual Life aimed at simplifying forex trading and helping Nigerians create wealth.
A statement by the organisation on Monday said that the marketing campaign would celebrate the superpowers of Nigerians who committed their time and efforts to two or more jobs and were successful at each one of them.
It stated that the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign had influencers in the Nigerian lifestyle and entertainment space such as Toke Makinwa, Bovi, Denola Grey, Timini Egbuson, and others at the core of the engagements, establishing the other sides of the celebrities and influencers as entrepreneurs.
While speaking about the campaign, the Marketing Manager, EMEA, OctaFX, Ali Nwadike said, “We wanted to position forex trading as that activity young Nigerians and everyone else, can engage in, even while focusing on their careers.
“From findings, most young Nigerians today work two or more jobs to pay the bills and attain financial freedom. But, we don’t get to talk about this often or appreciate the efforts, hence the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign.
“While some see their jobs as a burden, we want people to see it as an achievement; and promote the school of thought that says one, two, many jobs is not bad especially when you are trying to create wealth.”
Nwadike added that more Nigerians would be exposed to the beauty of keeping their regular jobs and careers while making more money from forex trading with the OctaFX Trading App.
The statement also affirmed that OctaFX had made necessary arrangements from assembling forex experts and compiling training guides in the simplest and relatable form.
AfDB Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as its Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The appointment becomes effective from July 1, 2021.
A statement explained that Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior-level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.
Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
“In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 US government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty.
“She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene,” the statement added.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said he was delighted to appoint Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
“Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries,” he added.
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