- Forex Scarcity Threatens Leather Factory
Scarcity and lack of access to foreign exchange (forex) is threatening the survival of the multi-billion naira leather factory project in Delta State. This is even as plans are underway to sponsor a handful of Delta youths to Europe, to acquire professional expertise needed in enhance the smooth running of the multi-million Naira state-of-the-art Shoe/Leather Works Factory in the state.
The N1.23 billion (S820,000) counterpart funding) Factory, which was set up partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), was commissioned in May 2015, but has not been fully operational.
Part of the vision was to make the factory one of the biggest in West Africa, as well as reducing the unemployment index of the state, as when completed, would employ about 2,000 youths both skilled and unskilled.
Reacting to the development in a telephone interview the Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Development Agency (DSMSMEDA), Mrs. Shimite Bello, said the persistent rise in the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Naira has been a major setback in the commencement of the planned training exercise for the over 280 trainees (Deltans) proposed to be engaged at the centre.
She said the training is being organised in partnership between the Delta State Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, which is scheduled to commence in May, this year.
She however explained that given the continued scarcity of forex, the training may not hold anytime soon, except the high exchange rate, now at unprecedented highs is resolved.
Bello, in a telephone interview, hinted that aside the approval of the over N81 million for the proposed training, the State Government and UNIDO, had perfected all other necessary arrangements required for the smooth take-off of the training exercise.
While describing the market forces as circumstances currently beyond the control of the partners, she expressed confidence that once the current high exchange rate challenge normalises, the training exercise, which she described as critical to the SMART agenda of the government will commence.
She added: “We got the exchange at N324 to $1 (but) by the time the money came, the exchange rate was N385. Now, it has come down to N345; we have to watch the rate. But, as I speak with you right now, we are on queue at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). You know that a lot of people are waiting for exchange currently, (but) it is not available. Until the money that we have currently can make transaction, we will still wait.”
She added, “I have spoken with UNIDO and have given them evidence that the money has been made available; anybody can go online and see that the exchange rate is really crazy; that is all that has been delaying it.
“Everything that the State Government needed to do have been done as well as that of the partnering agency, UNIDO, but the exchange rate, Naira to dollar is really crazy. We are waiting to ensure that we do good transaction.”
It would be recalled that the proposed training exercise is targeted at artisans in the state particularly, fashion designers and cobblers, among others.
But investigation revealed that the factory premises have been taken over by weeds and rodents with billions of Naira equipment rotting away, one security man at the gate who pleaded anonymity, decried government’s neglect of the factory.
He said: “I’m just here suffering in the midst of rodents and overgrown weeds, the place is completely moribund, the equipment locked inside the rooms are rotting away.”
In a swift reaction, the State Commissioner for Industry, Mrs. Mary Iyashere, who expressed regrets over the state of the factory, however assured of the Government’s commitment to reviving the factory, adding, “it is unfortunate that the factory had not lived up to its expectations, but the State Government will do something about it.”
Lagos State to Support Businesses Looted by Hoodlums
Lagos State to Support Businesses Vandalised and Looted by Hoodlums
Lagos State has announced plans to support businesses looted and vandalised by hoodlums last week.
The Deputy Governor of the stated, Obafemi Hamzat, made this known in a series of tweets put out on Friday.
He directed businesses vandalised in the state to fill a form attached through the link below.
“If you are a Lagos based business and your store got looted/vandalized this week, please fill this form by @LSETF https://t.co/lwPiXvFzTp. Let’s do what we can to support you,” he tweeted.
This was after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state had activated the process of healing the destruction and massacre that happened earlier in the week when security operatives in army uniforms opened fire on armless #EndSARS protesters.
Sanwo-Olu said, “My heart bled after I went out today for a first-hand assessment of the destruction of assets of the Government and private properties. The level of destruction observed indicated that the violence was more than just a peaceful protest and agitations for police reforms. The proportion of devastation is a lot. This is not the Lagos that was handed over to me on May 29, 2019.
“Moving forward from the destruction, we have to continue the process of healing ourselves. We need to stop some of our citizens still using social media to instigate or incite the people. It will not be under my watch that we will lose the city that has the largest economy in the entire black nation. Enough is enough. I have moved around and I saw that our people want peace. On this, we are committed to bringing lasting peace back to the State.”
TVC Resumes Operations in Lagos Office Following Hoodlums Attack
TVC Commences Operations Less Than 72 Hours After Hoodlums Attacked and Destroyed the Company’s Lagos Office
Television Continental (TVC) station has resumed operations less than 72 hours after its Lagos office was attacked by hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest.
The television station was attacked on Wednesday by criminals would believe that the media platform was owned by one of the top Buhari supporters, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The attack followed the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters, who had gathered to protest against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday.
The peaceful protesters were shot by security operatives in Nigerian Army uniform before the commencement of curfew imposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
The killings now tagged Lekki Massacre attracted global attention as global leaders condemned the Federal Government or whoever ordered the shooting and called for an immediate investigation into the matter.
On Wednesday, criminals allegedly sponsored by interested parties to dislodge peaceful protesters took advantage of the situation to wreak havoc across Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos State, as several private establishments businesses were attacked and looted by these unscrupulous characters.
One of the establishments attacked was the National Newspaper also linked to Mr. Tinubu.
The hoodlums stormed TVC on Wednesday morning during a popular morning show, Your View, anchored by Mrs Morayo Afolabi-Brown, the programme did not end before the television station went off air as it was immediately set on fire.
However, Investors King gathered that TVC resumed operations on Saturday morning, although regular programs were yet to resume fully.
As at the time of writing, the station was airing promos of various programmes and from what we gathered, regular programming will return very soon especially from its Abuja office.
Ambassadorial Deal: Puma Names Wizkid as Brand Ambassador
Wizkid is Puma Latest Brand Ambassador
Puma, global sportswear, has named Nigerian superstar, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid as one of its global ambassadors.
Wizkid, 30, is the new Puma x JD ambassador for the relaunching of the Puma Suede Classics range.
Speaking on the deal, Wizkid said “It’s an honour to be the face of the new JD x Puma Suede Classics campaign.
“Puma is a brand I’ve loved and respected growing up, and so the decision to become an Ambassador felt completely natural. The Puma Suede is a classic shoe that can be worn by anyone at any age and I think my fans will really connect with that.”Also speaking on the partnership, Puma’s Sportstyle marketing director, said “We’re thrilled to have Wizkid as the face of the new Puma x JD Suede campaign.
“A truly innovative and exciting artist in the music scene, Wizkid embodies the passion and hustle we look for in someone to represent Puma and we look forward to working with him for the AW20 season.”
Wizkid is a Nigerian musician and songwriter that has worked with Beyonce, Drake, Wale and other international superstars.
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