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FG Releases New Details on N200Bn MSMEs Support Scheme

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Federal government has released new details on the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) support scheme being rolled out under the National Economic Sustainability Programme.

FG Releases New Details on N200Bn MSMEs Support Scheme

According to estimates provided, the sum of N50 billion will be used to provide payroll support, N200 billion for loans to artisans, and N10 billion support to private transport companies and workers.

The government disclosed in a tweet on the official handle of the federal government that the support scheme will include a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme for priority products, and an MSMEs Survival Fund.

The first track is a Guaranteed Off-take Scheme which will ensure continued local production and safeguard 100,000 existing small businesses to save 300,000 jobs.

Priority products include processed foods, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, face-masks, face-shield, shoe-covers and pharmaceuticals.

The implementation committee chaired by Ambassador Mariam Katagum, minister of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, will collaborate with private sector MSME associations to verify and screen applications from bidding MSMEs, define quantity and price of products required, and also get participants to join in the procurements.

With a budget of N15 billion, the SME survival fund is expected to sustain 500,000 jobs in 50,000 SMEs.

Major sectors to benefit from the SME survival fund include hotels, restaurants, creative industries, road transport, tourism, private schools and export-related businesses.

The committee will identify eligible SMEs and screening and verification for this fund will be based on company registration, and tax registration.

The implementation committee will approve disbursements through microfinance banks and fin-tech credit providers.

MSMEs that are unregistered will receive support to complete registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and all participants will be expected to make payments based on signed agreements.

The Bank of Industry (BoI) will also join to coordinate the implementation of the scheme.

The scheme will last three months with Ambassador Mariam Katagum as Chairman, while Ibukun Awosika, Founder of The Chair Centre Limited (TCCL), and First Bank Nigeria will serve as the Vice Chairman.

More details are to be released subsequently from the Implementation Committee.

In July 2020, the Federal Government announced plans to roll out a N2.3 trillion stimulus package and survival fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to stay afloat amid the economic challenges imposed by the pandemic.

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who also heads the Economic Sustainability Committee, announced it at the 2020 edition of the Micro MSMEs Awards held virtually in July.

To benefit from the scheme, MSMEs would have to go through a rigorous and painstaking verification process which will be based on certain criteria.

MSMEs that have between 10 to 50 staffs are qualified for this fund.

The businesses must make their payroll available to the government for verification while applying for the fund.

Once qualified, the MSMEs will be eligible to have their staff salary paid directly from the fund for three months.


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Remedial Health Unveils New App with Digital POS to power operations for Africa’s Neighbourhood Pharmacies

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Remedial Health, a health tech startup that develops solutions to make Africa’s pharmaceutical value chain more efficient has unveiled an updated version of its customer-facing app, designed to function as an operating system for neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) across the continent.

The new app comes with a digital POS terminal to support payment collection, virtual business accounts to receive payments, an in-built barcode scanner feature for recording product sales and store-switch functionality to enable the seamless management of multiple stores, as well as inventory management solutions for restocking and easily identifying short-dated products.

The app also offers comprehensive financial reporting to manage profit and loss, and data analytics to inform decision making.

Despite accounting for 85 per cent of retail medicines sold in Africa’s pharmaceutical industry (projected to reach $70 billion market size by 2030), the absence of bespoke digital tools to manage their unique sales and inventory management needs means neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) are unable to run their operations as effectively and profitably as possible.

At the same time, the reliance on paper-based inventory and sales management processes means manufacturers have limited empirical insights into customer behaviour to inform their decisions on production and distribution.

The new Remedial Health app has been designed specifically for healthcare businesses in Africa, with tailored features that have been designed to support effective decision making to drive business growth and profitability.

Starting in Nigeria, healthcare businesses can access vetted medicines, and manage their sales and inventory on one easy-to-use platform, freeing up time and capacity to effectively serve their customers and communities.

The app also enables Remedial Health to provide consolidated, real-time data on market behaviour to manufacturers for increased profitability and better decision-making across the value chain.

According to Samuel Okwuada, CEO, and co-founder of Remedial Health, “Neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs represent the frontline of healthcare delivery in Africa but they have historically been left to their own devices to figure out how to be efficient and profitable.

“Our mission is to empower these essential service providers with the tools they need to manage day-to-day operations and seamlessly run their practices effectively. We spent a lot of time interacting with our customers in the process of delivering this product and the feedback has been great.

“We are excited by the opportunity to get the app into the hands of pharmacies and PPMVs across the country to support their ongoing success, as well as the health and wellbeing of the nation”.

In 2023, Remedial Health sold more than 300 million individual packs of medicines to 7,500 hospitals, neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs across all 36 states of Nigeria.

Its customers also improved their profits by 30 per cent on average, with access to more than 8,000 vetted products at the same, or better than, open-air medicine market prices.

They can also access same-day delivery and leverage inventory financing to minimise cash-flow friction for routine orders and maximise sales opportunities.


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EnterpriseNGR Expands Financial Centres to Three African Countries

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EnterpriseNGR has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up the Africa Roundtable of Financial Centres – a chapter of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres, in Mauritius, Morocco and Rwanda.

The MoU, signed recently in Mauritius, brought together EnterpriseNGR, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, Casablanca Finance City Authority, and Rwanda Finance Limited to foster collaboration, promote investment opportunities, and drive sustainable development within the financial centres of its member countries and Africa at large.ort the exchange of best practices between members, enhance visibility regionally

A statement from EnterpriseNGR said that it was joining forces with the three countries to specifically pursue five key objectives.

These objectives include “Jointly strengthen the competitiveness of financial centres in Africa. Collaborate through projects, research papers, communiques, and events to position the African Continent, demonstrate the myriad of investment opportunities, and showcase the role that financial centres play within the African Continent.

“Conduct joint initiatives to supp and internationally, and provide African financial centres with a unified voice regionally and internationally.

“Facilitate the development of dialogue with major financial centres outside the African Continent and build communication channels with African institutions, including regulators and policymakers, as well as African financial services industry associations, and advocate for regulatory coordination amongst members of the Africa Roundtable to promote cross-border investments and financial services.”

Commenting on this collaboration, the Chairperson of the Africa Roundtable, Mr Ken Poonoosamy, said, “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC represents a pivotal stride in fostering synergy among financial hubs within the African sphere, with the shared objective of catalysing economic advancement across the continent.”

Ms Obi Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseNGR, represented by the Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Mr Lami Adekola, expressed her excitement over the development.

She said, “It is a historic achievement, and EnterpriseNGR fully endorses the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC and is excited for the immense opportunities it represents for Nigeria and the African continent. Our collaboration with the four African countries promises to bolster financial competitiveness on the Continent and amplify Africa’s global presence.

We will leverage this Roundtable to unlock the full potential of African financial centres to drive prosperity and development for our nations and beyond.”

EnterpriseNGR became a member of WAIFC in 2023 during the WAIFC board meeting hosted by TheCityUK in London.

The MoU, which was signed recently in Mauritius, brought together EnterpriseNGR, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, Casablanca Finance City Authority, and Rwanda Finance Limited, to foster collaboration, promote investment opportunities, and drive sustainable development within the financial centres of its member countries.

A statement from EnterpriseNGR said that it was joining forces with the three countries to pursue five key objectives.

According to the group, these objectives include “jointly strengthen the competitiveness of financial centres in Africa. Collaborate through projects, research papers, communiques, and events to position the African continent, demonstrate the myriad of investment opportunities, and showcase the role that financial centres play within the African continent”.

It added that it would enable it to “Conduct joint initiatives to support the exchange of best practices between members, enhance visibility regionally and internationally, and to provide African financial centres with a unified voice regionally and internationally.

Facilitate the development of dialogue with major financial centres outside the African Continent and build communication channels with African institutions, including regulators and policymakers, as well as African financial services industry associations, and advocate for regulatory coordination amongst members of the Africa Roundtable to promote cross-border investments and financial services”.

Commenting on the collaboration, the Chairperson of the Africa Roundtable, Mr Ken Poonoosamy, asserted, “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC represents a pivotal stride in fostering synergy among financial hubs within the African sphere, with the shared objective of catalysing economic advancement across the continent.”

Ms Obi Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseNGR, represented by the Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Mr Lami Adekola, expressed her excitement over the development.

She stated, “It is a historic achievement, and EnterpriseNGR fully endorses the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC and is excited for the immense opportunities it represents for Nigeria and the African continent.

“Our collaboration with the four African countries promises to bolster financial competitiveness on the Continent and amplify Africa’s global presence. We will leverage this Roundtable to unlock the full potential of African financial centres to drive prosperity and development for our nations and beyond.”


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5 Emails You Should Delete Instantly

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Amidst the daily influx of emails flooding into your inbox, it’s crucial to remain vigilant for signs of potential cyber threats. Keep a lookout for these seemingly innocent phrases that could spell trouble for your cybersecurity.

Trevor Cooke, the online privacy expert at EarthWeb, identifies five phrases you can search for in your inbox to weed out dangerous messages.

1. “Urgent Action Required”

Trevor advises, ‘This phrase often indicates an attempt to create a sense of urgency and pressure the recipient into taking immediate action without thoroughly considering the consequences.’ Cybercriminals may use this tactic to trick individuals into clicking malicious links or downloading harmful attachments.

Example: “Your account has been compromised. Urgent action required to secure your account. Click here to verify your login credentials.”

2. “Account Suspension”

Emails claiming that your account will be suspended unless immediate action is taken should raise suspicion. Cybercriminals often employ this tactic to coerce recipients into providing sensitive information or credentials under the guise of resolving a purported issue.

Example: “Your account will be suspended within 24 hours due to suspicious activity. To avoid account suspension, please confirm your account details by replying to this email.”

3. “Congratulations! You’ve Won”

Beware of emails proclaiming unexpected winnings or prizes, especially if you haven’t participated in any contests or lotteries. Trevor says, ‘Such emails often serve as bait to lure recipients into divulging personal information or clicking on malicious links.’

Example: “Congratulations! You’ve won a luxury vacation package. Click here to claim your prize by providing your personal details.”

4. “Click Here For A Special Offer”

Phrases enticing recipients to click on links for exclusive deals or offers should be approached with caution. Cybercriminals frequently use this tactic to redirect users to phishing websites designed to steal login credentials or install malware on their devices.

Example: “Don’t miss out on our limited-time offer! Click here to claim your 50% discount on all purchases.”

5. “Unusual Login Activity Detected”

‘Emails alleging suspicious or unauthorized access to your accounts aim to incite panic and prompt immediate action,’ notes Trevor. However, legitimate service providers typically communicate such notifications through their official platforms rather than through email.

Example: “We detected unusual login activity on your account. Click here to verify your identity and secure your account.”

How To Respond

Trevor recommends, ‘Upon encountering emails containing red flag phrases indicative of potential threats, the best course of action is to delete the email immediately and block the sender. Refrain from clicking on any links or downloading attachments to safeguard your personal information and maintain tight cybersecurity.’


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