- UNIDO Begins Enterprise Development Scheme in Nigeria
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office has commenced the Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion programme in Nigeria.
The programme, which was set rolling with the first train-the-trainers workshop in Lagos on Tuesday, was designed to develop capacity and foster enterprise and investment promotion through the development of first-rate business incubation management and counselling systems.
One of the facilitators at the workshop, Mr. Afif Barhonmi, said that with the right regulatory incentive framework and frame of mind by entrepreneurs, the Nigerian economy could take a step forward in merging the goals of entrepreneurship development, youth empowerment/engagement, continuous economic diversification, industrial upgrading and technological innovation, to make the nation a more competitive brand in the African continent and the world at large.
He said, “We are starting with the ITPO Nigeria in order to develop capacity for the local team and also a centre for entrepreneurship in Lagos and other regions. This is the first capacity programme and there will be others on developing business incubation management system and counselling.
“This team is a tough team because they are professionals with wealth of experiences.”
Participants agreed that developing the business growth cycle would require assistance schemes and policies, which would contribute to the transformation of the Nigerian economy and its integration.
They argued that it was not only important to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the economy, but also to improve the policy environment.
Another key element highlighted at the forum was the need to create entrepreneurial competencies and self-rating questionnaires, in addition to identifying potential investment areas.
The Director, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Lagos, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, described the workshop as timely, adding that it was the much-needed tool that could deliver the Nigerian economy from recession.
According to him, if both the government and stakeholders do not join hands now to manage the entrepreneurs to excel, then the country would have destroyed the engine room of the economy.
Oyibo said, “Looking at the different models introduced/unveiled at the workshop, we have been able to craft what will work for us as a country.
“The workshop cuts across training the trainers; it helps us to begin to synthesise in our different spaces. We will use the robust discussion to calibrate across different fields, because participants are from different fields.”
The Director-General, Sokoto State Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, Ms. Aisha Hassan, described the first of its kind event as an eye opener for both entrepreneurs and the government.
She admitted that conventional national statistics and methodologies were not enough to impact economic development, but added that attracting the right potential entrepreneurs, absorbing new technologies as well as following international standards of production and global value chains had tremendous implications for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the country.
“The workshop has taught us all that and it is very interesting and exciting. We have learnt a lot and will ensure we develop it to improve our entrepreneurs in Sokoto State,” she said.
The Head, UNIDO ITPO, Nigeria, Mrs. Adebisi Olumodimu, explained that the workshop was conceived to support the Federal Government in its bid to diversify the economy.
According to her, it is time for Nigerian entrepreneurs to explore vast opportunities in the non-oil sector, especially with the dwindling prices of crude oil in the global market.
“Our focus is on enterprise development, because we discovered that investors do not have the desired skill and knowledge of enterprise development. That is the reason we are training entrepreneurs and government agencies, because they are the ones we will be using locally to develop our SMEs,” she said.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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