- 20 Nigerian Entrepreneurs To Get $105,000 US Grant
In order to make entrepreneurship the key driver of job growth, economic prosperity and political stability in Nigeria, the United States government in conjunction with the Tony Elumelu Foundation is set to train young entrepreneurs in the country.
This was made known by the United States Consul General in Lagos, Claire Pierangelo, as he disclosed that 20 young entrepreneurs from Southern Nigeria will be trained with a public diplomacy grant of $105,000.
To ensure this, 20 U.S. Consulate/TEF Fellows were selected to receive additional entrepreneurship training to utilise some of the resources of the Young African Leaders Initiative, including alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
“The 20 Fellows were selected from the Consular District with a priority being placed on five key sectors: energy, technology, transportation, agriculture, and health.
“This programme is intended to give these fellows insight to innovative U.S. business models that will help them manage their businesses, market their products or services, seek capital, and develop partnerships.
“That is why the U.S. Department of State supports entrepreneurs all over the world by working with host nation governments and non-government organisations such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
“Through worldwide and regional programmes such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, the Africa Women Entrepreneurship Programme, the Fortune 500 U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership programme, TechWomen, Global Innovation through Science and Technology initiative, International Visitors Leadership Programme and the locally-focused Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs, the U.S. government has demonstrated a sincere commitment to Nigeria’s economic development, through the power of entrepreneurship.
“Our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation promotes our ongoing efforts to advance entrepreneurship in Nigeria and is yet another example of our long-standing commitment to supporting Nigeria as it strives to diversify its economy,” Pierangelo said.
The purpose of the partnership, as noted by the TEF Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, was to build on the novel philanthropy model pioneered by her foundation, which focused on empowering African entrepreneurs.
She further disclosed that the foundation has committed over $100 million to identify, train, mentor and fund over 10,000 African Entrepreneurs across 54 countries in the continent in the last 10 years.
“We aim to create jobs and revenue across Africa, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty on the continent. Our flagship, the pan-African programme has thus far successfully produced 7,531 young entrepreneurs, from across all 54 countries.
“In the past five years alone, we have seen an exponential increase in interest in the programme, leading us to seek strategic partners who can sponsor additional youth, beyond TEF’s commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs.”
Speaking on the population of youth and the rate of unemployment, she said: “To cater to this burgeoning population, entrepreneurship and job creation must be prioritised by the government, private sector, development institutions and all stakeholders, and we strongly believe that this partnership achieves this.”
COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday
Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.
Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.
The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.
OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.
This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.
Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.
“The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.
“President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.
The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.
Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.
According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.
The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.
He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”
He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”
World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020
The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.
The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.
According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.
Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.
“Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.
He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’
“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”
Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.
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