No fewer than 30 women Chief Executives are undergoing a six-day Entrepreneurship Training Workshop sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The training, based on a course content developed by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is being conducted by international master trainers certified by the United Nations agency.
Speaking on Day 1 of the Workshop, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, noted that women entrepreneurs were disproportionately few in the oil and gas industry and that the entrepreneurship development programme would equip women with critical skills to participate effectively in that sector and in other endeavours.
Represented by the Manager, Capacity Building, Mrs. Angela Okoro, the NCDMB boss said the training would place women entrepreneurs in a better position to benefit from the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF), established by the NCDMB in collaboration with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
According to him, “One of the reasons for getting this programme done is to ensure that women that participate in oil and gas business can have access to the [gender-based] Fund, “explaining that the strategy is, “Teach them entrepreneurship; let them be entrepreneurs, so they’ll be able to apply.”
A pool of funds totaling US$40 million, generated by the NCDMB and NEXIM to the tune of US$20 million each, is available to women in oil and gas under the NCIFund.
He noted that it is customary for the NCDMB to carry out entrepreneurship training alongside its other youth training programmes.
He stated that “one of the things we always do with our Human Capacity Development (HCD) programmes is to train the participants on entrepreneurship, to ensure that if they don’t get any form of employment, they can do business on their own. In 2022, we trained 150 persons in different skillsets, and about 50 of them are now entrepreneurs in different fields. Some of them are watch repairers, some of them are dressmakers, caterers, phone repairers. We have someone in Yenagoa, who currently has over 20 employees”.
The workshop tagged “Entrepreneurship Development Training for Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs” is designed to teach how to “Identify your entrepreneurial potential; develop your personal entrepreneurial competencies, and identify new business opportunities.”
In their introductory lessons on Day 1, two facilitators, namely, Dr Lemmy Omololu Omoyinmi, a Director of Empretec, an UNCTAD-certified training organisation, and his colleague, Mr.Osei Kwaku Agyekum, highlighted pitfalls that participants have to guard against.
Dr Omoninmi said an entrepreneur has to evaluate his motivation; he should ask himself: Why am I in business? According to him, the primary purpose of business is to serve human and societal needs. Profit, he explained, is “a function of quality of what you are offering to the market.”
He said, “The operational objective ought not to be profit,” and that entrepreneurs “driven and intoxicated by the lust for profit act contrary to the principles of economics,” and that their activities are injurious to the collective good.
Mr. Agyekum, in his own presentation, explained that the training programme is designed “to inculcate behaviours and competencies in participants,” and that “mindset change” is a critical factor in business success.
The Workshop continues in Port Harcourt at the Gardenia Resorts in Elelenwo.
Why Tinubu’s administration prioritises investment in human capital — Shettima
Vice-President Kashim Shettima says President Bola Tinubu’s administration is prioritising investment in human capital and related areas because the greatest asset of the country is its people.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice-President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha, in a statement on Monday said Shettima stated this at an event in Abuja.
Shettima spoke at the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA) Annual Lecture and Awards ceremony.
The theme of the lecture was, “Expand the horizon for a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges at the meeting point between the citizen and the State.”
Represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Office of the Vice-President, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Shettima commended the organisers for the choice of theme for the lecture.
The vice-president said that the direction Nigeria was heading would be determined by the quality of the country’s human assets.
According to him, Nigeria is burdened by its past and current challenges which will take huge efforts to overcome.
Shettima said, “We are also beckoned by greatness for which we have been well prepared by our huge endowments in human and other resources.
“The difference in which direction we go will be located in the quality of our human assets.
“The choices we make today will be critical in determining whether we just continue to grow a population, or we build a strong economy to support and add quality to the life of a huge citizenry.
“Because we have invested in developing the quality of our population through good and relevant education, health services, and informed access to developing opportunities in technology and growing our natural resources.”
Shettima, who stressed the need for good governance and a secured country, sought the support of Nigerians.
He assured that in return, the Tinubu administration would strive to build a less challenging economy.
Shettima added, “We have to ensure good governance and security as priorities, not least because these are vital to inclusive development, the growth and development of the democratic process.
“From where we stand, Nigeria has no choice than to think and act boldly. We need the support and trust of all Nigerians.
“In return, we have pledged to lead the nation towards building a less challenging economy, in spite of the current hardships which we wish were avoidable.
“Nigeria’s greatest asset is its people. We have to rediscover and teach our young wholesome values like service, honesty and hard work. As an administration, we have very clear priorities we believe must be achieved.”
He expressed optimism that the nation would overcome its current challenges and “lay the foundations of sustainable growth and security under President Tinubu’s watch.”
“We have to compete with what we have. If we will win the battle to be a great nation, we cannot afford to be discouraged by setbacks and limitations imposed by our past and current circumstances.
“We are a resilient and resourceful people, but we have to put these qualities to use in building a strong economy and country our young will be proud of.”
PDP heads to Supreme Court to challenge Sanwo-Olu’s victory
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State has refused to concede defeat even as it has resolved to challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal, affirming Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as winner of the March 18 governorship election.
The Lagos State PDP Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Hakeem Amode, disclosed this in an interview on Monday in Lagos.
Recall that the party had earlier said that it would review the ruling of the Appellate Court before taking further action on the matter.
According to Amode, justice has not been properly served in the PDP’s governorship candidate, Dr. Olajide Adediran’s (popularly called Jandor) petitions against Sanwo-Olu’s re-election.
“We are challenging the ruling of the Appeal Court, affirming Sanwo-Olu as winner at the Supreme Court. In a couple of days, our petitions will get to the Supreme Court,” Amode said.
He said that the justices of the Court of Appeal had failed the party by not seeing the merit in Adediran’s petition.
“Looking at some of the Appeal Court’s rulings, there have been so many inconsistencies in its stand on pre-election matters.
“We, as a party, feel justice is yet to be served in our petitions against the outcome of the March 18 gubernatorial election in this state.
“We have a strong belief in the Supreme Court to look at the crux of the matter and make a statement that will serve as precedent.
“The party and our candidate are not deterred; we have reviewed the Nov. 15 Appeal Court’s ruling and decided to pursue justice at the Supreme Court,” Amode said.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Nov. 15 dismissed issues raised by the PDP’s Adediran and the Labour Party candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Viviour, against the judgment of the election tribunal.
The appellate court dismissed Adediran’s 34 grounds of appeal against Sanwo-Olu’s victory.
On the alleged non-qualification of Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, the court had ruled that it could not litigate the issue because it was a pre-election matter.
It held that the appellants failed to prove the allegation that Sanwo-Olu forged his West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) certificate.
The tribunal had earlier, on Sept. 25, dismissed Adediran and Rhodes-Viviour’s petition against Sanwo-Olu’s victory.
An appeal to the Supreme Court should be filed within 14 days from the date of the ruling, and the apex court then has 60 days to hear the case and make its ruling.
FEC pegs $77.96 crude benchmark, N750/$ exchange rate for 2024 appropriation bill
…Approves $1bn support loan from AfDB
…Tinubu to present budget to N’Assembly today
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has pegged its 2024 projections for crude oil and the dollar to naira exchange rate at $77.96 and N750 respectively.
This new projection is a deviation from the earlier projection announced by Atiku Bagudu, Minister of budget and planning in October.
Bagudu had earlier stated that the FEC established a reference price of $73.96 per barrel for crude oil and an exchange rate of N700/$ as key assumptions for budgetary planning.
“Now, it was presented on the background of the commendable measures that have been taken since June in order to restore macroeconomic stability by particularly the deregulation of petroleum prices, in which we maintained that subsidies are gone and indeed the regulation of the foreign exchange market,” he said.
Nigerian NewsDirect however gathered that the projected crude oil price benchmark by the Federal Government is below the $94.91 projection of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the $100 a barrel forecast by Goldman Sachs for next year.
This raises questions to the projections of the government to avoid a huge deficit by 2024 when the budget is being implemented.
Speaking with journalists after the FEC on Monday approved the 2024 budget, Bagudu revealed that the new budget is N1.5 trillion higher, than the initial N26 trillion earlier approved by the Council before the passage of the Medium Term Framework and Fiscal Policy document, by the National Assembly.
He disclosed that the Council also approved a revised Medium Term Economic Framework and Fiscal Policy document which will be represented to the National Assembly alongside the 2024 Appropriation Bill, describing the budget as “a process until it is signed into law.”
The council also approved a concessionary budget support loan of $1b from the African Development Bank ( AFDB).
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, made this known.
Edun said that the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms committee headed by Taiwo Oyedele, briefed the Council on its recent report presented to the President.
He noted that the committee has affected the economy, helping to boost the fiscal position of the government and assisting to increase tax revenue to GDP, to 18 percent in Nigeria, from the current 7.5 percent.
Meanwhile, Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday barring any last minute changes.
The Secretary, Research and Information Department at the National Assembly, Dr Ali Umoru, confirmed this to journalists.
It was gathered that the number and category of persons to be given access into the National Assembly Complex will be restricted on the day due to space constraints and security.
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