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Capacity Development: NIMASA reviews sponsorship of cadets training 

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…We are committed to welfare of all NSDP beneficiaries

By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, is currently reviewing the cost of direct sponsorship of Nigerian cadets undergoing foreign training under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

The Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh noted that the review of ongoing sponsorship cost has become necessary due to the global inflationary trends which is very pronounced in the Philippines, India and some other countries where Nigerian cadets are undergoing Certificate of Competency (CoC) Examination training under the NSDP programme. The sponsorship covers training leading to obtaining a Certificate of Competency, CoC.

“We are not unmindful of the unforeseen global inflationary trend which has affected the cost of sustaining our cadets who are on sponsorship in some schools under the NSDP programme. Though NIMASA paid the tuition fee, examination fee and the original cost of feeding and accommodation in full, with allowance for extra funds as pocket money, however, it’s obvious that cost of living has increased particularly in the Philippines due to the global inflation. The Agency is working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines to address the challenges associated with the unexpected price increases.

“We have put in place immediate and long term arrangements to minimise the effect of inflation on their living standard during the programme. The Management of the Agency has approved an additional $2,000 dollars for each cadet, as extra fund due to inflation. This is a short term measure to cushion the effect. I am sure the Nigerian Embassy will get in touch with the students immediately the funds are ready to be disbursed. It is a well coordinated arrangement through the embassy.

“While working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines to establish appropriate extra funds that may be required, NIMASA Management is deploying a team on fact finding to interact with the students currently in the Philippines, officials of the Nigerian Embassy, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippines, some Licensure Examination Training & Review Centres (TRCs).

“146 cadets have acquired the Philippines sailing license through the NSDP programme with 134 currently undergoing the Programme and a further 170 being prepared to proceed to the Philippines for the examinations.”

The Agency has also made firm arrangements to ensure those cadets who have spent the stipulated 6 months approved for the CoC programme in the Philipines return home immediately. NIMASA urged the cadets to ensure they conclude their CoC examinations as scheduled.

NIMASA initiated the Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP) in 2008 with the aim of addressing the dearth of Nigerian seafarers on ocean going vessels and the need to meet the indigenous manning requirements of coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage regime).

The programme is designed to train Nigerian youth to become seafarers and Naval Architects in some of the best Maritime Training Institutions (MTIs) across the World.

So far the Agency has trained 2,241 cadets from inception of the programme, with 841 graduates having obtained sailing licenses (Certificate of Competency) from Maritime Administrations of various countries. Out of this number, around 388 are now gainfully employed in maritime related organisations, while others are in their final stages of the Programme.

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Nigeria to raise $30bn from inaugural forex bond

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Nigeria targets up to $30 billion from its inaugural foreign currency-denominated bond issuance planned for June, 2024.

Patience Oniha, Director-General of the Debt Management Office, disclosed this recently in an interview with newsmen.

Accordingly, the government authority said the sovereign domestic foreign currency issuance aligns with moves to attract more forex inflows to stabilise the naira, which had suffered immensely from dollar shortages.

“It’s when we appoint the advisers that we can probably do a projection.
Oniha said: “But the assumption is that many Nigerians hold dollars in their domiciliary accounts, and not just individuals but institutions including banks and Nigerians in the diaspora as well.

“So it’s a way of bringing dollar liquidity into the system; the federal government of Nigeria (FGN) will get needed dollar liquidity. The target investors are individual Nigerians and institutions, and if Nigerians in the diaspora want to invest, they can also.”

The development comes as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Wale Edun, recently announced that a debut forex bond is planned for the second quarter of 2024 and will be a short to medium-term instrument.

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UBA America hosts Diplomats, Business Leaders at World Bank Summit

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UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday.

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organisations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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NASENI, Nasarawa Govt, firm to establish tractor manufacturing plant in North-Central 

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…As Gov Sule visits NASENI to facilitate discussions on the project

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), is set to collaborate with Nasarawa state government and Bobtrack Tractors, a division of Saint Bob Motors Limited to start the manufacturing and assembling of tractors in the north-central geo-political zone.

The facilities and infrastructure available at one of NASENI’s Institutes, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), Lafia, Nasarawa state will be used for assembling and manufacturing of the tractors.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, the project which is aimed at creating wealth and jobs for Nigerian youths is in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda of ensuring food security and promotion of mechanised farming and agro-business in the country.

Halilu disclosed this when the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdulahi A. Sule led a delegation comprising of Bob Track Tractors to pay a visit to  the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday, April 22nd, 2024.

Mr. Halilu who assured Governor Sule and the delegation of  NASENI’s readiness to do business with them, said, “the Agency is willing to partner with you and sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) so that in the next couple of weeks we will move into action.”

He disclosed that Mr. President had recognised NASENI as a national brand and its National Tractor Recovery Programme wherein 55,000 tractors would be refurbished for mechanized farming nationwide.

In his remarks, Governor Sule said he aligned with NASENI’s vision of collaborating and promoting made-in-Nigeria goods and also believed that the government’s role is to provide a level playing field necessary for businesses to thrive.

The  objective of his visit, he said, was to introduce the Bob Track Tractors which deals in assembling and manufacturing of tractor and farm implements with offices in Port Harcourt to NASENI so that it could utilise the existing facilities at AMEDI, Lafia for assembling of tractors instead of acquiring a new land for the business.

The CEO of Bob Track Tractors, Mr. Ibifiri A.C. Bob Manuel said, “We are ready to take up the facility that you have in Nasarawa State, create employment and wealth for the youths in the area and also use it as a hub to drive mechanised agricultural vision of the present administration. We are willing to invest in Nasarawa state with the help of His Excellency, his team and NASENI.”

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