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FG to Use MSMEs Rating to Revamp Economy

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Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, Director- General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has stated the Federal Government is determined to use ratings to galvanise Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and revamp Nigeria’s economy.

Radda who disclosed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital over the weekend at the stakeholders sensitization programme of the proposed Small and Medium Enterprises Rating Agency (SMERAN) said the establishment of the agency would ease access of funds for businesses in Nigeria.

“A majority of the MSMEs are operating as informal entities and not do not have the capacity to maintain minimum corporate governance standards. As a result, most of fund providers do not feel confident extending loans to enterprises whose track records are neither known to them nor easily verifiable. Such businesses are therefore perceived to have higher probability of credit default and actually default in most cases.

This contributes largely to the inability of MSMEs to access affordable credit. The establishment of SMERAN is intended to reduce the turnaround time in MSMEs access to funds and other critical resources.”

Radda while commending the roles of the Bank of Industry and NEXIM Bank in achieving the desired result of SMERAN said aside offering rating services information and advisory services, SMERAN would also help to enhance MSMEs business credibility and corporate governance.

Omubo-Pepple Anyam Linda, SMEDAN, Zonal coordinator, South- South, in her remarks said SMERAN is the game changer for the development of MSMEs to expand Nigeria’s economy.

She encouraged every business owner to take advantage of the on-going mass registration of MSMEs to position their businesses to access credits.

Her words: “This is a stakeholder’s programme on the proposed establishment of SMERAN. The government has realised that Nigeria has come to a stage where it needs a rating agency. A rating agency specifically rates activities of MSMEs in order to rate them to for access to funds to build their businesses.

“The challenge most MSMEs face in this country and elsewhere is access to financial resources because whoever wants to give the funds is not confident in doing so. However if there is rating agency independent of the MSMEs that can give global rating which can be used to access funds anywhere in the work.

“The programme to is acquaint stakeholders at this state of the intention of the federal government through SMEDAN, BOI and NEXIM bank. This is to be followed by a mass registration of MSMEs to enable Nigeria have a database. Everybody is encouraged to register business and get the requirement to be able to access funds.”


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TETFund Seeks Increased Annual Research Funding of $1bn

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Thursday, urged the federal to increase its yearly funding for Research and Development (R&D) to $1 billion. This was as it hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion.

Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary of TETFund, speaking at the inauguration of TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee in Abuja, said massive investment in research would bring about the much-needed development in the country.

Bogoro also said it was time for the promulgation of a law that will bring into full place what he referred to as the “National R&D Foundation (NRDF)” to deepen research in the country.

Hear him:”To galvanize our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated.

“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of 1billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this Foundation.

“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.”

Prof. Bogoro, who said the TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee is expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that is suitable for efficient research activities in the country, called for a robust collaboration between researchers and the private sector to bring about all-round development in the country.

“It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it,” he said.

Prof. Bogoro lauded the recent performance of Nigerian universities in the world’s ranking, saying TETFund intervention projects have continued to encourage such feats.

On his side, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while inaugurating the committee, called on members to put their best to the work he described as ‘national assignment.’

Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, Adamu said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria.

“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.

“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT).

“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said the work of the committee would open the windows of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.

Suleiman, represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.

He said, “Research is the gateway of innovation. It is said that while countries like the USA, Korea, and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern.”

He encouraged beneficiaries to take good advantage of the initiative to solve problems for the betterment of the country.

Responding, the Chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch-making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring the robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.

“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” he said.

The standing committee whose membership is drawn from the academic, industry, and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three Vice Presidents.


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UNWTO, Google Host First Tourism Acceleration Program in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected tourism, a sector that accounts for millions of jobs around the globe.

 

While no one can say with certainty when the sector will recover, people are starting to dream of getaways again – whether closer to home or to remote destinations.

 

As more and more people go online to search where and when they can travel, accelerating the digitisation of the tourism sector will be key to helping it adapt and recover.

 

This is why the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Google have partnered to create and host an online Acceleration Program for UNWTO Member States’ tourism ministers, top travel associations and tourism boards to further develop innovation and digital transformation skills.

 

Today, ahead of World Tourism Day, the organisations hosted the first UNWTO & Google Tourism Acceleration Program focused on insights from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

 

Tourism is the backbone of many economies around the world. As data from UNWTO shows, tourism represents 9% of global trade for Africa and 1 in 10 jobs directly and indirectly. Moreover, the sector drives inclusive growth, as women make up 54% of the workforce.

 

Natalia Bayona, UNWTO director of Innovation, Digital Transformation and Investments, said “UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger,”

 

“With the right policies, training and management in place, innovation and technology have the potential to foster new and better jobs and business opportunities for tourism in Africa while improving the overall wellbeing and prosperity of the region”.

 

Africa is home to 30% of the world’s population, adding hundreds of millions of new online users every year.

 

Google Search is one of the places Africans go when researching and booking travel.

 

Doron Avni, Google’s Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Emerging Markets, said “We’re here to help the tourism sector recover from this unprecedented crisis and emerge stronger.

 

“Our travel data insights and tools can help tourism authorities identify and understand the barriers and drivers to visit travel destinations for better tourism planning.”

 

Below are some of the Nigeria travel data insights shared with participants in today’s session:

Nigeria

Since Nigeria announced its intention to reopen its borders to international travel on August 29th, search interest for travel has grown.

This slowdown presents an opportunity to rethink tourism, innovate and further develop the digital transformation of the sector so it can build the foundations for future sustainable growth.

 


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MultiChoice in collaboration with Celestial Tiger Entertainment Launches KIX on DStv

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Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE), the operator of the largest bouquet of pan-Asian channels dedicated to Asian entertainment, and MultiChoice Group, Africa’s leading entertainment company, has launched action movie channel KIX, on DStv.

KIX will launch on Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages in Nigeria from 1st October 2020 at 6:00 pm WAT.

The launch of KIX marks CTE’s first foray into Africa.

Ofanny Choi, president of Celestial Tiger Entertainment, said, “We are very excited to be launching KIX on DStv in Africa with MultiChoice.

“Asian action entertainment has always resonated well with the audience worldwide, and we are proud to work with MultiChoice to bring this popular genre to viewers in Africa.

“With KIX’s proven success in Asia, we are confident we can deliver the best of action movies to our African audience.”

John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, said, “We at MultiChoice are delighted to announce the launch of this brand-new channel KIX, a channel that will expand our viewers content slate, giving them more variety and entertainment.

“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and new collaborations such as this, help us expand their viewing experience”.

Action fans can enjoy a high-octane blend of martial arts, action and thriller movies from the East and West on KIX, all presented in English.

Apart from the latest star-studded blockbuster premieres, KIX will also showcase never-seen-before movies from the various action genres, including kung fu classics from the legendary Shaw Brothers library, action comedies, adventure and fantasy action franchises, and action thrillers.

While fans of Asian action movies will see the legendary Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee in action, KIX also aims to present and delight viewers with movies featuring all other Asian action stars.

With all genres of action movies spanning from the 1960s to the present day, KIX is a one-stop-shop for all action movies entertainment throughout the years, with something for everyone. Viewers can now watch KIX and its catch-up programming anytime, anywhere, on DStv and DStv App!

 

 


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