NDIC, ICPC, Others Set To Collaborate On National Anti- Corruption Strategy

NDIC Chairman, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun
NDIC Chairman, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun
The Chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Board, Mrs Ronke Sokefun has called for stronger collaboration on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) towards strengthening the fight against corruption in the country.
Mrs Sokefun made the call in Abuja at a sensitization seminar for Board and Management of the Corporation facilitated by the National Anti-Corruption Strategy Secretariat.
The NDIC Chairman said collaboration through effective sensitization on components of the NACS, particularly the National Ethics & Integrity Policy, and the Freedom of Information Act would go a long way in enhancing the buy-in and ownership of the anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government amongst top echelons of government agencies.
While stressing the total commitment of the Board and Management of NDIC to sound corporate governance, Mrs Sokefun said the drive towards deepening anti-corruption practices in the Corporation informed the invitation of the NACS secretariat to host the sensitization seminar for the Board and Management. She added that though the Board and Management have always strived to uphold the core values of integrity and professionalism in the discharge of the NDIC mandate, nonetheless, it would always be a welcome development to learn new and better ways of enhancing the anti-corruption mantra through the instrumentality of the NACS.
NDIC MD/CE who was represented by the Executive Director (Operations), Mal. Mustapha M. Ibrahim commended the initiative of NACS secretariat at embarking on sensitization of board and senior management of agencies on such an important national policy of the government.
In his presentation on the National Integrity Ethics and Integrity Policy, the Deputy Director, Public Institutions Ethics & Values of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr John Ode lauded the NDIC Board for being the first institution in both the public and private sector to accept and also take the NACS sensitization to the board level.
Mr. Ode said the collaboration with NACS and the emergence of NDIC as overall best agency in the 2021 ICPC Ethics & Integrity Scorecard among over 300 public institutions were testament to the Corporation’s commitment to mainstreaming anti-corruption policies and practices into its operations. Ode who noted that the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACTU) of the NDIC was the most active among other public institutions charged the Corporation to further imprint its anti-corruption campaign messages on all its communication channels as a way of reinforcing the conduct of staff.

Nestle Nigeria 53rd Annual General Meeting

(L – R) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wassim El-Husseini, Chairman Mr. David Ifezulike and Company Secretary Mr. Bode Ayeku at the 53rd AGM of Nestle Nigeria

(L – R) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wassim El-Husseini, Chairman Mr. David Ifezulike and Company Secretary Mr. Bode Ayeku at the 53rd AGM of Nestle Nigeria

(L – R) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wassim El-Husseini, Chairman Mr. David Ifezulike and Company Secretary Mr. Bode Ayeku at the 53rd AGM of Nestle Nigeria PLC.

Fidelity Bank Partners ImpactHER To Empower 1,052 Female Entrepreneurs With Sales Skills

MD/CE Fidelity Bank Nnekai Onyali-Ikpe
MD/CE Fidelity Bank Nnekai Onyali-Ikpe
Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, has collaborated with ImpactHER to support 1,052 female entrepreneurs across the 36 states of Nigeria in addressing the challenges they face in their small and medium-sized businesses. Through diverse training on digital skills and direct business support, beneficiaries from two cohorts have been able to improve visibility for their businesses and consequently, increase sales.

The training, which commenced in January 2022, has had two cohorts that lasted for four weeks each, covering a myriad of topics such as Digital marketing, building your brand and selling online, etc. The participants were also assisted in putting their businesses on Google Maps, thus allowing customers and the global market to easily find and transact business with them.

Commenting on the partnership, Osita Ede, Divisional Head, Product Development at Fidelity Bank Plc said, “It has become imperative that female entrepreneurs in Africa are empowered to overcome the lack of digital literacy which impedes them from fully reaping the benefits of the digital transformation underway across Africa, and the world. We believe providing them this access will help them to thrive in their different businesses.”

According to Efe Ukala, Founder of ImpactHER, “Statistically, women and girls are 25 per cent less likely to leverage digital technology for basic purposes, 4 times less likely to know how to programme computers and 13 times less likely to file for technology patents. This therefore highlights the importance of equipping African women with digital skills that could be leveraged to scale their businesses. Let’s not forget that data shows that Africa can add 180 billion Dollars to its GDP by 2025 if we close the e-commerce digital gap.”

This intervention is critical as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for 2019/2020 highlighted that millions of women worldwide have started businesses over the last five years alone: the highest percentage of these women live in Africa, with approximately 26% of female adults engaged in entrepreneurial activity yet the World Bank confirms through data collected in ten African countries that on average, male-owned companies have six times more capital than female owned enterprises, resulting in monthly profits of female-owned enterprises that are, on average, 38% lower than male-owned businesses.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

The bank boasts of a robust bouquet of products designed to help female-led small businesses run successfully including digital loans and HerFidelity -a proposition comprising exciting features such as capacity development initiatives, access to finance, recognition and networking events, health and wellness programmes, etc, all designed to speak to the yearnings of women.

Clementina Uzogor, the Programs Director at ImpactHER, highlighted the importance of helping women with skills like this to take their businesses to the next level. “At ImpactHER, it is our mission to ensure that we equip these women with tools for their businesses to thrive”, she explained.

She also appreciated Fidelity Bank for working with them to ensure the programme was successful and impactful. “It is important to let you know that this is not the end of this training. We will be deepening our partnership with Fidelity to train and support 5,000 more women-led small and medium sized businesses in the country before the year runs out”, she divulged.

An excited participant from the second cohort, Ms Akinyemi Oluronke, a fashion designer from Lagos underscored the benefits of joining the training for her business, “I’ve been able to build an online presence, people now know my business exists and I get a lot of calls from people who found my business online. I am very grateful for this platform and the overall increase in sales I now enjoy.”

According to Carine Nneka Achokwu, another participant from the January 2022 cohort and CEO of Carine Bakery, a company that produces pastries and cakes in Lagos, Nigeria, “I have been able to increase sales by 40% after using the tools that was provided to me such as “Google My Business” and people have been calling to order from me and I’ve also been able to reach more customers. I am thankful that I can get people to patronize my business just by tapping my phone based on the knowledge I acquired at this training.”

ImpactHER is an impact-driven nonprofit organization that empowers African female entrepreneurs by bridging the gender business financing gap so as to assist them in realizing their full economic potential. ImpactHER has since its inception trained, directly supported with investor-readiness and business scalability skills & tools to over 44, 275 women across 53 countries in Africa.

This partnership also provides follow-up training and support for the participants and is one of the ways ImpactHER and Fidelity Bank help these women scale up their offerings.

Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge: Delta, Rivers Corps Members Listed To Benefit From N10m Business Grant

Unity Bank
Unity Bank

Unity Bank’s flagship Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge, is set to return for the 8th edition across 10 locations in Nigeria, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States.

The Retail lender kick-started the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in 2019, with a launch in Lagos and in three other states, which included Edo, Ogun, and Abuja, but with the increasing traction of the initiative among corps entrepreneurs, the Bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation.

The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna. This edition will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu.

The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the Bank a national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition.

In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500, 000 cash in the business grant.

Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.

So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.

Maritime Security: Nigeria’, JAPAN Sign Exchange Notes On High-Speed Boat To Reinforce Deep Blue Project.

Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba (middle); Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga (left) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh during the signing of an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for the Economic and Social Development Programme in Abuja.
Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba (middle); Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga (left) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh during the signing of an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for the Economic and Social Development Programme in Abuja.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed an Exchange of Note(E/N) with the Japanese Government for an Economic and Social Development Programme involving the acquisition of High-Speed Boat to reinforce services for coastal security in Nigeria, with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, as the implementing partner.

The Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba signed on behalf of Nigeria, while the Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga signed on behalf of the Japanese Government, with the Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh in attendance.

Prince Agba noted that the procurement of the High Speed Boat worth $2.78 million dollars, will greatly enhance the operations of the Deep Blue project. He commended the Japanese government for their interest and interventions in Nigeria for Economic development.

“This project to strengthen the operations of NIMASA will definitely strengthen the partnership between the Government of Japan and Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

“Nigeria also appreciates the recent exchange of notes we signed for Emergency Improvement of Electricity Supply Facilities in Abuja, and the role Japan played in the development of the National Power Development Master-plan designed to guide the Government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for Nigeria”. The Honorable Minister said.

On his part, the Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh, assured the Japanese Government that the Agency working with relevant stakeholders will ensure the sustainability of the recent success in the war against piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

“This High-Speed Boat is a welcome addition in our growing arsenal of platforms and assets to reinforce service for coastal security, not only in Nigeria but also in the Gulf of Guinea, as over 60% of shipping activities in the region pass through Nigerian waters”.

“This vessel will be incorporated into the Deep Blue project which already has 2 special Mission Vessels; 2 Special Mission Aircrafts; 3 Special Mission Helicopters; 10 Unmanned Air Systems and vehicles; 17 fast moving interceptor boats; 16 armoured vehicles and the C4i centre.”

Ambassador Matsunaga Kazuyoshi noted the project is to support the measures adopted by the Nigerian Government to deal with the threat of the blue economy, to prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery, and any other unlawful act against ships in Nigerian waters.

The Ambassador said “in the Gulf of Guinea, as you know, the piracy problem is hindering the economic development of the coastal areas. A slowdown in economic development impoverishes the coastal population, forcing some of them into piracy for their livelihood. We need to break this vicious cycle.”

Economic and Social Development is one of the guiding principles of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD. “The people and Government of Japan hope this project will enable NIMASA reinforce their operations and services for coastal security in Nigeria, strengthen Nigeria’s counter piracy efforts and prove useful for the security of the Gulf of Guinea.

Pantami Storms Minna With Digital Economic Agenda

T

Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami
Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami
he Federal Government’s agenda to transform the country to a robust digital economy, became the focal point in the message of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who was the special guest at the weekend commissioning of a ‘Digital Nigeria Centre’ at the Father O’Connel Science College, Minna, Niger State.
Hosted at the occasion by the college community led by its old student and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada who facilitated the project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, Pantami said through diligent implementation of the digital economy agenda, Nigeria has the potential of critical mass of ‘digital natives’ that can transform the country into a regional and global digital powerhouse.

“With the tools being provided through the DNC, creative Nigerians can play a key role in the creation of digital jobs across all sectors of the country. Such jobs are either based on or are dependent upon Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs),” he said.

The Minister who spoke through the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said the current implementation of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, emphasizes the importance of innovation and startup ecosystem to the development of Nigerian indigenous digital economy. He said the DNC commissioned at the college targets students and youths among others, for skills acquisition in order to increase ICT literacy among school teachers and students; provide a platform for accessing online educational resources; equip students with ICT skills; facilitate ICT adoption in teaching and learning; and increase the pass rates in mathematics, English language and other science subjects.

Pantami who spoke to an audience that included Niger State’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hanatu Jibrin Salihu, who represented the Governor of Niger State, advised the school to effectively utilize the DNC whose four components include ICT Tool component (made up of 40 desktop computers with embedded operating systems, server, printer, remote-controlled projector, high resolution scanner, and e-learning software) as well as the power structure, consisting of an inverter that comes with its charger, solar panels, batteries and automatic changeover.

“There is also a connectivity component, made up of routers, switches, and firewall for network protection, modem, fibre/microwave radio or Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and bandwidth for internet connectivity. Lastly, there is a non-ICT component constitutive of the furniture, cabinet, cooling systems, and allied appliances” he said.

The DNC, formerly known as School Knowledge Centre (SKC), has an overarching objective to carry out the Commission’s statutory mandate of expanding the frontiers of universal access and universal service by ensuring service provision to unserved and under-served areas of the Nigerian economy.

Since the modification of the project from SKC to DNC, the Minna project became the second to be commissioned after the first DNC located at Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State, was inaugurated in January, 2022.

Maritime Media Practitioners Unveil CONMMEP, Seek Stakeholders Partnershi

LCONMEP Logo
LCONMEP Logo
Frontline Maritime Journalists have unveiled a new group known as Congress of Nigerian Maritime Media Practitioners, CONMMEP with the aim to adequately showcase, educate and inform governments agencies, stakeholders and general public of activities in the Maritime sector.

CONMMEP believes happenings in maritime sector are under reported due to lack of synergy between operators and maritime Journalists.
The President of CONMMEP, Alhaji Tunde Umar – Daniah, while Unveiling the new association in Apapa recently, said one of the major reasons the nation’s economy is yet to flourish was because maritime sector has not received the kind of attention it deserves.
According to him, “it is not that the government is deliberately not doing the right thing but because most times some key operators mislead those in authority by not telling them the actual issues on ground.”

Daniah urged maritime stakeholders to always partner with the media so that the right information would get to policy and decision makers and investors.

The CONMMEP President added that the massive water resources made available by God to Nigeria, if properly harnessed, is capable of changing the fortune of Nigeria for good.

“The Maritime sector if adequately and judiciously harnessed has the potential of generating more revenue for the country than oil.
“What the Federal Government needs is to pay close attention to the sector and also engage professionals with requisite experience to champion rapid development of the Maritime industry.

Emphasizing on synergy with industry stakeholders, CONMMEP President said operators in the maritime sector suffer in silence because government does not know what the main issues are since the operators do not open-up to Journalists.
” We need to collaborate with all segments of the maritime community for the growth and development of our nation. Operators should be able to brief Journalists when activities of government agencies are negatively affecting their businesses. Also, agencies of government should partner the media for better stakeholders understanding of their policies. By so doing, there will be peace and positive changes in the Maritime sector.”

Furthermore, Daniah advised operators and Government agencies in the maritime industry to always collaborate with CONMMEP and other Maritime journalists so that the right information on activities and development in the sector would be disseminated to investors and the general public in good time

NDLEA Commended  For Sustaining Fight Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking

NDLEA Commander of the Apapa Special Area Command, Mr. Inelegwu Ameh
NDLEA Commander of the Apapa Special Area Command, Mr. Inelegwu Ameh
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has been Commended for its efforts at steming the tide of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the country.

Participants at the Public enlightenment of the 2022 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking gave the commendation Monday while rounding off the week long activities to mark the day

Some participants who spoke at the conference .such as Chief Osita Chukwu, the President of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders inhis goodwill message applauded the good job the NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa is making in this regard, insisting that “everyone who witnesses what goes on in our society should know that there is actually a tremendous change in the the fight against drug importation, sale and abuse. If other sectors of the economy can do very well like the NDLEA has been doing as at today, we will not be searching for running mates for Presidents and running mates right now because the right key for the right door would have been discovered and we will then be able to be witness a change that will be impactful”.

Cross section of participants at the international day Against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking
Cross section of participants at the international day Against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking

Representative of the Flag officer commanding the Western Naval Committed, Commander Muhammed Dalhatu in his goodwill message also congratulated the NDLEA for organising this year’s drug abuse awareness campaign.

He said “we all know the efforts NDLEA management puts in place to make our society an illicit drugs free society. We have seen it all over the places.

Controller of Immigration Apapa Lagos Seaport and Marine Command ably represented by C.S.O Adewunmi also commended the NDLEA for the commemoration of 2022 International Day against Drug Abuse. According to Adewunmi the NDLEA is doing a great work in trying to eradicate drug abuse in our society.
He bakoned on all to rally round and support NDLEA to make our society a drug.

Dr. Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents while commending the efforts of the agency at curtailing the menace of drugs trafficking, disclosed that his association has been collaborating with the NDLEA in the past two years on the issue.

In his keynote address, Dr. Wale Ige of the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru used graphic and video evidence to illustrate his presentation to bring home the problem of drug abuse. Dr. Ige whose paper is titled “Addressing challenges in health and humanitarian crises in the maritime corridor”, pointed out that health is described as the general condition of a person and that the UN defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and psychological well being and NOT as a mere absence of illness.

Lt.Col. Amajuoyi, Commandant at Bonny Cantonment who wondered why the menace of drug abuse has lingered so long advised the agency on adopting proactive measures in order to solve the drugs problems.

Dr. Ige who delivered the Keynote address noted that humanitarian crisis can have physical, mental and psychological implications on the human person and so should be eradicated. He said that by reason of the participants being mainly those close to the port corridor, a place of transhipment of cargoes, care must be taken to forestall the incidence of drug trafficking, sale and abuse that may lead to a crisis. He admonished parents and leaders to show responsibili c bcty and refrain from engaging in activities that will introduce their children and wards to the dangerous arena of substance abuse.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the NDLEaA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa in his address of welcome at the occasion noted that the day is of utmost importance to the global community in the continuous effort to ameliorate the consequences of abuse of illicit substances and make our world a safer place.
He said the theme for this year which is “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.” highlights an aspect of the drug problem that is critical for Nigeria and indeed the world at large.

The NDLEA Chairman who was represented by the Commander of the Apapa Special Area Command, Mr. Inelegwu Ameh, stated that. “drug abuse health challenges came to the fore in 2021 as the human family was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the crux of the World Drug Report for 2021, which noted that “Drug use killed almost half a million people in 2019, while drug use disorders resulted in 18 million years of healthy life lost, mostly due to opioids. Serious and often lethal illnesses are more common among drug users, particularly those who inject drugs, many of whom are living with HIV and Hepatitis C.” ”

Marwa admitted that the concerns of World Drug Report 2021 were not far fetched because here in Nigeria, there were similar patterns with findings of the National Drug Use and Health Survey in 2018 with the risk of the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases very high and this in turn raises the stake of a public health crisis. Hence, there was no questioning the rationale of treatment for drug users.

“The National Drug Use Survey afforded Nigeria the baseline information needed for the design and implementation of effective prevention, treatment and care services capable of reducing the demand for drugs and also prevent the morbidity and mortality attributable to drug use.” He stated

The NDLEA Chairman affirmed that there were challenges associated with these substances which were obvious and as the report noted: “Two-thirds of high-risk drug users reported a self-perceived need for drug treatment. Around 40 per cent of those reported that they had wanted to receive drug treatment but were unable to access such services.”
Aside from the cost of treatment, the stigma associated with substance use and access to required health services were cited as major barriers to treatment in the country.

AFRIMA Meets ECCAS, UNESCO In Gabon, Discusses Plans To Stimulate Africa’s Creative Economy

From Left) Commissioner in charge of the Department of Gender Promotion and Human and Social Developments, Economic Committee of Central African States (ECCAS), Her Excellency, Ms. Kapinga-Yvette Ngandu; ECCAS President, His Excellency Gilberto Da Piedade Vérissimo; President/Executive Producer, All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Mr. Mike Dada; AFRIMA Associate Producer, Ms Victoria Nkong,  at the ECCAS Secretariat, in Libreville, Gabon.
From Left) Commissioner in charge of the Department of Gender Promotion and Human and Social Developments, Economic Committee of Central African States (ECCAS), Her Excellency, Ms. Kapinga-Yvette Ngandu; ECCAS President, His Excellency Gilberto Da Piedade Vérissimo; President/Executive Producer, All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Mr. Mike Dada; AFRIMA Associate Producer, Ms Victoria Nkong, at the ECCAS Secretariat, in Libreville, Gabon.
As the All Africa Music Awards began its countdown to the 2022 main awards ceremony, Monday, with the call for submission of entries from artistes, the continental awards platform has restated its commitment to uplifting the African creative economy, using music as its tool.

It made this known during a recent strategic stakeholder meeting, in Libreville, Gabon, with the President of Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Gabon, delegates and senior officials from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as well as delegates from Centre International des Civilisations Bantu (CICIBA) who are excited about the AFRIMA initiative.

AFRIMA, which is in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), corroborated UNESCO’s standpoint, on the need to deepen Africa’s creative exports, especially through providing access to training and resources for young aspiring creatives.

According to UNESCO’s representative to Gabon and ECCAS, Mr. Eric Voli Bi, Africa’s creative economy needs more support and opportunities for the youth – who make up the larger chunk of the workforce – to thrive.

He said, “I must thank AFRIMA for constantly projecting the continent in a positive light to the world, and for giving African youths opportunities to be recognised on a continental and even global scale. UNESCO is always interested in youth education and development initiatives, and AFRIMA is one veritable platform to help stimulate potentials among these youths. I believe, with one voice, we can speak louder. That is the way to go.”

The President of ECCAS Commission, His Excellency Gilberto Da Piedade Vérissimo, accompanied by Her Excellency Ms. Kapinga-Yvette Ngandu, Commissioner in charge of the Department of Gender Promotion and Human and Social Developments, ECCAS, welcomed the AFRIMA delegates to its regional secretariat and pledged support towards AFRIMA. He assured that ECCAS will partner AFRIMA to provide capacity building for African youths across the central African region as well as develop its music industry.

Vérissimo said, “Every year, we see our African artistes shine on global levels. It will be retrogressive for us, if we do not invest in them as well. ECCAS, in partnership with the European Union, will continue to invest resources into capacity building for African youths, especially within the entertainment sector. Apart from healthcare and education, the cultural and creative sector of the Central African region is within our primary focus. We are excited that platforms like AFRIMA thrive to give voice to our objectives, and we will pull our weight behind it, for the growth of the continent.”

On behalf of the awards platform, the President and Executive President, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada, assured Africans that the AFRIMA, which has been running since 2014, will continue to prioritise inclusivity in its capacity-building initiatives.

“AFRIMA, and all its supporting initiatives, like the Africa Creative Academy, which we have in the pipeline, is for the entire continent. It is not an East African affair, or a West African Affair. We are one voice and one platform for the African people. So, our capacity-building efforts will cover the length and breadth of the continent and the diaspora. We equally apply this same character in all our campaigns, especially our submission of entries which is ongoing from now till August 5, 2022; it covers everyone across the continent and the diaspora.

“We have done this since 2014, and we are committed to consolidating our efforts this year, with even more zeal, initiatives and twists, to make AFRIMA the pride of not just the African individual, but also every black person and lover of African music out there.”

The main ceremony of the All Africa Music awards will be held from Thursday November 3 to Saturday November 6, 2022. It will feature a 4-day fiesta of music, glitz, and glamour, which commences with a welcome soiree, followed by the AFRIMA Music Village, the host city tour, African Music Business Summit, and the exclusive nominees’ party, before culminating with the live awards ceremony broadcast to over 84 countries around the world.

The submission of entries for the awards is also ongoing for artistes, artiste managers, record producers, recording companies, video directors, disc jockeys and other relevant stakeholders can submit their work or submit on behalf of their clients via the official afrima website at www.afrima.org. All entries must be done in consonance with AFRIMA guidelines, which are also available on the website. Importantly, all prospective entries must have been created between August 20, 2021 and August 5, 2022, being the year-in-review for all submissions.

African music lovers can follow through with the build-up events to the main awards, by engaging the social media platforms (Instagram – Afrima.official; Twitter – Afrimaofficial).

Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes In crosshairs

FXTM
FXTM

Written on 24/06/2022 by Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.

The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets. It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom. Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.

To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.

In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.

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