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9mobile mentors Jos business owners at Hack business master class



9mobile, Nigeria’s Youth-centric  telecommunications company recently took its mentorship and business seminar, The Hack to Jos, the Plateau State capital to help thousands of young SME owners and operators grow and promote their businesses. The two-day event which featured a business seminar and products exhibition was held at Mees Palace Event Center, Rayfield Resort Road, Jos.

Opening the session was 9mobile’s Head of Brands and Creative Services, Adeola Kayode, who said business is the driving force of any economy and involves turning problems into opportunities to make a profit. He said that at the end of the Hack seminar, the entrepreneurs would be better positioned to expand their businesses and overcome their current challenges.

“We are here to share knowledge and insights with you on how to grow your business and the kind of opportunities that are available to enable you to excel. We have experts to discuss and share knowledge of the challenges faced by SMEs with the view to providing solutions. There will also be a product exhibition by some of the participants,” he said.

Kayode further explained that the Hack which has been to eight cities across Nigeria, was aimed at boosting the business acumen of SMEs. He pointed out that one of the main challenges faced by SMEs is the lack of access to finance and markets, adding that there is a need to show SMEs a framework on what they should do to maximize opportunities and partnerships when they are available.

“Access to Finance and Market is very key for SME operators. Vendors in Jos can have their biggest markets in other cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, or outside Nigeria. Access to partnerships and collaboration is also very important. Some of the challenges small and growing businesses face can be resolved by other vendors through partnerships and collaborations,” he said.

Business Coach and Marketing Strategist (TriciaBiz), Tricia Olufemi Olumide shared business ideas with the participants on the best way Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can grow and promote their products and services in their various locations in the state.

Speaking on the topic “Growing Business by Leveraging Online Sales Channels,” the Marketing expert further explained the need for operators of Small and growing businesses to leverage the various opportunities of online platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram beyond selling their products directly to their customers.

The event featured a presentation by Oluwasegun Daodu, Manager, SME Marketing who said 9mobile is helping SMEs to expand their businesses noting that the present crop of young entrepreneurs is the future of Nigeria’s economy.

Also speaking on “Resourcing for Small Businesses, the Role of People in SMEs Growth, the Head of Human Resources at 9mobile, Sherriff Popoola said the biggest companies today started as SMEs.

According to him, customers are the key element that makes businesses grow, adding that people who want to operate SMEs must understand what they set out to achieve.

The Hack seeks to create a platform to support and promote entrepreneurs in the SME space. It is a business and networking mentorship program facilitated by business experts who share business ideas with participants and groom them to scale their businesses.

The Hack aims to solve specific challenges that entrepreneurs face, with a broad focus on the limitless possibilities in the SME sector.

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Shettima seeks public-private partnership to drive economic growth



Vice-President Kashim Shettima has called for a more robust collaboration between the government and business leaders to propel Nigeria’s economic aspirations.

The spokesperson of the Vice-President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha in a statement on Friday, said Shettima made the remark at the Heirs Holdings Group Directors’ Annual Dinner, held in Abuja.

According to the Vice President, open dialogue, shared insights, and collaborative work between the public and private sectors are necessary tools to develop solutions tailored towards Nigeria’s unique realities.

He called for synergy between the political class and economic stakeholders, emphasising that the two spheres are not opposites but complementary forces vital for national stability and progress.

” Politics is too important to be left to the politicians and enterprises that define our economic destination are too important to be left to the businessmen alone to develop.”

The Vice-President urged conglomerates to serve as pipelines for the administration’s practical economic vision, departing from cosmetic reforms of the past.

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is the ingredients of a thriving economy.

” We must engage in open dialogue and share insights and work together to crop solutions that are peculiar to our realities.

” Whether it is tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, or enhancing education and healthcare, our partnership must aspire to drive sustainable development and create a safe future for all Nigerians.

” Our bragging right will not be about having the most unicorns on the continent but also about our entrepreneurial standing with global comparisons,” he said.

Shettima, who commended the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Group, Tony Elumelu for his achievements, described him as an “enigma and a banking colossus whose entrepreneurial exploits have carved a niche in Africa’s economic landscape.”

He also lauded the Heirs Holdings chairman’s visionary leadership and commitment to empowering young African entrepreneurs.

“Tony Elumelu belongs to the class of wealthy men because he generates wealth and opportunities and is a harbinger of great tidings to the Nigerian people.

” For the dreams you have relegated to help build our nation, we offer our deepest gratitude and a promise to continue playing our part to enable the ease of doing business.”

Earlier, Elumelu, reaffirmed the group’s unwavering commitment to the philosophy of Africapitalism and empowering young entrepreneurs across the continent.

Elumelu, whose business empire spans 24 countries, noted that the annual gathering serves as a platform to review achievements, business practices, and learn from the experiences of over 100 board members.

“Today, we started our Annual General Meeting, and it will continue until Saturday.

” Sessions like this afford us the opportunity to reflect on everything we have done within the year, look at things we should have done better, learn from our past mistakes, and re-strategize on how to accomplish our purpose,” he said

Elumelu added that, at the core of Heirs Holdings’ ethos, was the belief that the private sector must play a leading role in Africa’s development, a philosophy he described as “Africapitalism.”

He stressed the group’s focus on human impact, citing the empowerment of 20,000 young African entrepreneurs with non-refundable seed capital of 5,000 dollars each as their most significant recent achievement.

Elumelu expressed confidence that the collective efforts of the holdings and other business groups would contribute to transforming the African continent and uplifting the black race globally.

The Founding Trustee of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Ltd, Dr Awele Elumelu, described Vice-President Shettima as an exemplary leader committed to public service and nation-building.

” In Heirs Holdings Group, one of our core values is excellence, and our guest speaker embodies excellence,” she said, adding that the group felt honoured by VP Shettima’s presence.”

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Nigeria requests $500m World Bank loan to repair rural roads, combat rising food prices



The federal government of Nigerian is requesting a $500 million loan from the World Bank to repair rural roads, enhance agricultural product access, and combat rising food prices.

The World Bank stated that this loan will benefit 92 million rural residents who lack adequate road infrastructure.

This funding request is part of the final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up, managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The RAAMP-SU project will allocate funds to three main areas including, $387 million for resilient rural access, $158 million for climate-resilient asset management, and $55 million for institutional strengthening and project management.

The project’s total cost is estimated at $600 million, with the World Bank expected to cover 83.33% of the funding. This represents a 79% increase from the initial $280 million commitment for the original project.

According to the policy document, participating states must establish fully operational Roads Funds and Roads Agencies with appointed boards and staff, and allocate administrative costs in their budgets.

The document read, “Rural access is particularly restricted in areas densely populated by the economically disadvantaged. These factorst underscore the imperative to expand and enhance the rural road network, as well as conserve rural road and transport assets.

“While eligibility for state participation under RAAMP required the drafting and placement of Road Fund and Roads Agency bills in the State Houses of Assembly, the new project would require the States to have a fully functional Roads Fund and Roads Agency with appointed boards and staff, and provision for administrative costs made in the state budget. Additionally, RARAs offer an opportunity to foster women’s representation in the transport sector.”

This initiative comes as Nigeria faces rising food inflation, which according to the National Bureau of Statistics, reached 40.53% in April 2024. Experts attribute this to insecurity, high energy costs, and transportation expenses

Report according to the Debt Management Office, however has it that, as of the end of 2023, Nigeria’s total debt was N97.341 trillion, with debt at N38.22 trillion, accounting for 39% of the total debt.

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TotalEnergies shareholders get N8.39bn dividend for 2023 financial year



Shareholders of TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria Plc on Friday unanimously approved a total of N8.49 billion final dividend proposed by the company’s Board of Directors for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2023.
The shareholders gave their approval at the 46th Annual General Meeting(AGM) of the energy firm held in Lagos.
In his address, Mr Jean-Phillipe Torres, Chairman, Board of Directors, TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria, said that the sum represented N25.00 per
share, subject to the deduction of appropriate withholding taxes at the time of payment.
On the company’s financial performance, Torres stated that in spite of the difficult terrain, TotalEnergies Marketing increased its turnover by 32 per cent from N482.47 billion in 2022 to N635.95 billion in year 2023.
He noted that this was possible as a result of patronage by its loyal customers, commitment from its shareholders, board, management and staff of the firm in the face of such adversity.
According to him, the firm’s Profit After Tax(PAT), however, decreased by 20 per cent from N16.12 billion in year 2022 to N12.91 billion in year 2023.
“2023 was a year like no other. It was an extremely complicated and difficult year for your company,” he said.
According to him, the effects of security challenge in the country, the Naira redesign policy, removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the Naira, inflation, among other economic policies affected the overall operations and turnover of companies.
The chairman revealed that in the year 2023, due to unavailability of foreign exchange, TotalEnergies like other marketers did not import PMS.
Torres explained that NNPC maintained the role of sole importer of PMS and TotalEnergies and other marketers purchased PMS and AGO from NNPC.
“During the year, there were several outages of PMS which slowed activities in our stations across the country.
“AGO and Jet A1 remain fully deregulated but access to foreign exchange by marketers continues to be a challenge, inhibiting imports.
“The price of AGO opened the year at N850 per litre and closed as high as N1,200 per litre,” he said.
On the company’s future outlook, Torres assured that TotalEnergies remained hopeful and would continue to invest and deliver top tier services.
The board chairman emphasised the company’s 67-year legacy of providing high-quality products and services, guided by strong ethical standards.

Responding, a shareholder, Mr William Adebayo, commended the board and management for paying dividends amid harsh economic conditions and for improving turnover.

He advised the board to work on reducing administrative expenses and suggested separating figures of technical fees paid to the parent company from management fees in future reports.

Adebayo also urged further empowerment of general managers to boost profitability.

TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria Plc is a marketing and services subsidiary of TotalEnergies, a multinational energy company operating in over 130 countries, committed to providing sustainable products and services for its customers.

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