- NEPC Trains 750 Cocoa Exporters in Cross River
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, in collaboration with the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, has developed the Zero-Oil Plan Initiative, which will lead to the growth of cocoa export.
According to the organisations, the decision is in line with the efforts of the Federal Government to diversify to non-oil exports.
To this end, the NEPC said it trained 750 farmers and export merchants of cocoa beans in Ikom, Cross River State, recently.
The Acting Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu, said available records had shown that cocoa and cocoa products’ earnings were $338.17m, “accounting for 20.8 per cent of the total non-oil exports value for Nigeria in the year 2015; with $242.23m representing 20.13 per cent in the year 2016.”
Sidi-Aliyu, who was represented by a deputy director in the agency, Mrs. Veronica Oriare, noted that cocoa from Nigeria had remained consistently profitable for several decades and rated the best because of its “flavour and aroma.”
He encouraged cocoa farmers to put more efforts to achieve massive production for exports, saying that cocoa production in the country was as competitive as those from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire until 1984.
Sidi-Aliyu stated, “As of 2015, while Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana could boast of a production level of about 1.7 million metric tonnes and 800,000 metric tonnes, respectively, Nigeria’s production still hovers around 220,000 to 250,000 metric tonnes per annum.
“The essence of the non-oil plan is to ensure massive agro products.”
In a key note address, Mr. Afolabi Bello of the NEPC said that the training was targeted at providing stakeholders with a global outlook for Nigerian cocoa, “with a focus on the international market requirements and appropriate pricing templates.”
“The training programme was geared at equipping the target audience with current quality trends and issues that conform to buyers’ requirements in the European and United States cocoa markets,” Afolabi stated.
The President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria/Vice President World Cocoa Producers Organisation, Mr. Sayina Riman, said there was a need for empowerment in agriculture, adding, “If government synergises with the true cocoa stakeholders, the entire country will have good results.”
The Commissioner, Ministry for Commerce and Industry, Cross River State, Mr. Peter Egba, said the state government remained committed to the agricultural projects in the state and meeting the needs of the people.
The commissioner, who was represented by the Director of Administration in the ministry, Mr. Thomas Atem, said the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration had invested massively in agriculture.
“Having a rice city, cocoa processing plant and other projects going on across the state will surely boost the state economy and ensure that the produce are ready for export,” he added.
333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000
FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans
The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.
The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”
Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.
The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.
He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.
He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.
“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.
“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.
“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.
“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.
The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?
“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.
“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.
“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.
“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.
“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.
“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.
Airtel Africa Appoints Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a Non-Executive Director
Airtel Africa has appointed Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a non-executive director, effective from 27 October 2020.
In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the telecommunication giant said Ms. Bayer Rosmarin’s “appointment is by nomination of the controlling shareholder pursuant to the terms of relationship agreement dated 17 June 2019 between the Company, Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa Mauritius Limited, the majority shareholder and an indirect subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, and Bharti Telecom. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin will replace Arthur Lang who will step down as a non-executive director on the same date.
“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin is currently CEO of Singtel Optus and Consumer Australia. She was previously with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where she held several senior positions and varied portfolios, before being appointed as Group Executive of Institutional Banking and Markets. Ms Bayer Rosmarin is recognised for leveraging technology, data and analytics to develop leading customer services and experience. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin was named in the Top 10 Businesswomen in Australia and the Top 25 Women in Asia Pacific Finance and holds a variety of Board and advisory responsibilities.
“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin has, since February 2019, served as an Independent non-executive director on the Board of OpenPay, listed on the ASX. She will continue in that role. Openpay is a payments technology company based in Australia.”
Speaking on the change in the company’s director, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Arthur, who joined the Board in October 2018 and supported the company through its IPO, for his significant contribution to the success of our strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider and wish him well for the future.”
He further stated: “I am delighted that Kelly has agreed to join the Airtel Africa Board and we very much look forward to working closely with her”.
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