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Tony Elumelu Foundation, UNCDF sign African Youth Entrepreneurship agreement

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…Memorandum of Understanding signed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly

The Tony Elumelu Foundation and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) today signed an agreement to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa, with a specific focus on historically under invested areas within African frontier markets.

In bringing together the expertise, experience and boots-on-the-ground presence in African markets of The Tony Elumelu Foundation and UNCDF, the two organisations will work towards reaching and empowering the most promising youth entrepreneurs on the continent.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed at the offices of UNCDF on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. The agreement was signed by Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation; and Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of UNCDF.

“In Africa, we feel the harsh impact of youth joblessness. As African leaders, we must do something. As global leaders, it is important that we work together to address this issue. If we don’t deal with these challenges today, the world will not be a good place for all of us,” said Tony Elumelu, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“In Nigeria alone, about 60 per cent of our young ones, who account for half of our population are not employed. This is a problem that we need to resolve collectively. I want to say thank you Preeti, your colleagues, and the entire UNCDF, for supporting this kind of partnership. We know what our young ones in Africa need, we know how having access to finance can help change the trajectory of their lives. I hope that what we are about to do today with this partnership signing will help to expand and scale what we do at TEF. Last year, we partnered with the European Union to empower 3,000 young African women entrepreneurs, because they share our belief that if you empower a woman, you empower an entire community. We hope that this initiative helps us to touch even more lives across the continent,” he said

“LDCs face a stark demographic challenge, as their population is projected to double to 1.7 billion by 2050. The LDC youth population aged 15 to 24 years is expected to soar to 300 million by 2050, when one in four youths worldwide will live in an LDC. We cannot embark on this journey alone, as the challenge is daunting and requires a concerted effort. This is why we welcome collaborating with like-minded organisations working in the same direction,” said Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of the UN Capital Development Fund.

“The TEF is one like no other, a leading champion of young entrepreneurship in Africa. UNCDF is thrilled about the endless possibilities for collaboration in the field of youth entrepreneurship, leveraging the strengths of both organisations.”

The agreement is intended to leverage the distinct capabilities of the two organisations. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs, serving all 54 African countries. UNCDF serves as the UN’s catalytic finance entity for the world’s 46 least developed countries, which it sees as the frontier economies of today and the growth markets of tomorrow.

As part of the mission to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa, the MOU will call on the two organisations to mobilize resources for youth-led enterprises, including enterprises operating through joint-programmes between The Tony Elumelu Foundation and UNCDF.

The two organisations under the MoU will also look to create platforms that will connect such enterprises with critical resources to support their business models; including financial capital, access to networks and markets and technical assistance.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. Our objective is to empower women and men across our continent, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation. We believe the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the private sector must create both social and economic wealth. Founded by African investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, and representing his personal commitment to creating a new generation of entrepreneurs, through his investment company, Heirs Holdings, the Foundation is active in all 54 African countries.

UNCDF offers ‘last mile’ finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local development finance, which capacitates localities through fiscal decentralisation, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobiliation.

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NDIC sustains fight against corruption with inauguration of ‘Anti-corruption & transparency unit’

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has inaugurated its Anti-corruption & Transparency Unit.

“NDIC has a culture of zero tolerance for corruption, which is further strengthened by its core values of Teamwork, Respect and Fairness, Integrity, Professionalism, and Passion,” said MD/CE, NDIC Mr. Bello Hassan.

He was represented by NDIC Executive Director, Operations Mr. Mustapha M. Ibrahim during the inauguration of the Corporation’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) by officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commi ssion (ICPC) at the NDIC headquarters in Abuja.

He said, the NDIC ACTU has strengthened the Corporation’s operational system through the implementation of various compliance measures to ensure ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in the workplace.

He explained that the specific measures include robust Internal Controls, regular Risk Assessments, strict adherence to regulatory guidelines, and comprehensive training programs for employees.

Mr. Hassan described the inauguration as a significant step in the Corporation’s ongoing commitment in the fight against corruption and enhance transparency. He emphasised that NDIC Management remains committed to supporting ACTU activities, recognising the unit’s critical role in ensuring the Corporation’s operations are conducted with integrity, free from corruption, and fostering public trust.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu who was represented by ICPC Acting Director System Study and Review, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, praised NDIC Management for their dedication and active support in establishing and advancing the activities of the ACTU to address corruption issues and foster ethical practices.

He applauded the efficiency and diligence of the NDIC ACTU in fulfilling its mandate, resulting in the Corporation retaining the first position for two consecutive years on the annual ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard.

He urged the new ACTU members to see their nomination as an opportunity to build on the good legacies of the previous members and to complement Management’s efforts in promoting the core valu es of the Corporation through their assigned duties.

He stressed the need for the NDIC Management to sustain its commitment and support to ACTU so that the Unit can perform optimally and remain a veritable tool in embedding laid down ethical standards amongst staff and sustaining a positive image for the Corporation.

Ten (10) members of staff were sworn in as members of the NDIC ACTU during the inauguration. Their key functions include annual sensitisation of staff against corruption; Conduct of System Study & Review and Corruption Risk Assessment to strengthen internal systems; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation, co ordinating whistleblowing platforms, identifying and rewarding outstanding members of staff amongst other responsibilities.

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IPMAN hinges erratic petrol availability on allocation issues from NNPC 

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says petrol availability has been erratic because of the small allocation currently allotted to its members by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

IPMAN National Vice-President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Fasola said the allocation issue has led to haphazard operations by its members, who now buy from third parties (private depot owners) at prices they can no longer afford.

According to him, NNPC has been the one bringing the product to the country and sharing it with major marketers until the involvement of the private depot owners.

He added that there had been a shortfall in the supply of the product because NNPC would naturally supply its retail outlets first.

“That is why you see a kind of on-and-off situation from the independent marketers’ filling stations.

“We still get some trucks directly, but very inadequate to the number of marketers we have.

“We are waiting for when the product will be available, especially through NNPC depots, the Port Harcourt refinery, and by the time Dangote comes up with its petrol, that is PMS.

“We believe that all these problems will be solved,” he said.

However, he said the association would continue to engage NNPC because it had been a long-term partner.

 ”We are very positive that when things come to normal, they will be giving us our due allocation,” he said.

On the issue of subsidy, Fasola said he believed there was no more fuel subsidy because the government had said so.

Many filling stations are not selling due to the unavailability of the commodity.

Others, who open for business intermittently, sell between N620 per litre to N700 with NNPC retail outlets selling at the official rate but with long queues.

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Finance Ministry launches digital incentives, evaluation platform 

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By Matthew Denis

In a significant advancement to streamline fiscal management, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has announced the integration of the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP) into the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) programme, thereby allowing for enhanced monitoring and evaluation.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammed Manga Director, Information & Public Relations of Federal Ministry of Finance and made available to NewsDirect on Tuesday.

“The IDEC programme strategically reduces import duty burdens for priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, stimulating economic growth and national development.”

The statement stressed that integrated into the IDEC framework, the newly launched IMEP ensures that only eligible entities benefit, rigorously enforcing compliance and optimising tax expenditures to reduce waste, block leakages and enhance economic equity.

“Key features of the IMEP include an automated claw-back mechanism for recouping waivers from defaulters, real-time e-report generation and a centralised database that enhances the efficiency of our verification processes.

“IMEP aims to ensure that tax incentives are rationalised to deliver maximum economic impact, aligning with the government’s commitment to reducing waste, blocking leakages, and fostering a robust and equitable economic environment. IMEP’s precise monitoring capabilities will significantly enhance the strategic allocation of exemptions and support the government’s objective to  ultimately reduce tax expenditures.”

To acquaint all stakeholders with the upgraded IDEC framework, the Ministry of Finance will host a webinar on April 25th, 2024, by 12 noon (WAT). Key industry participants, including manufacturers, importers, and representatives from MDAs and NGOs, have been invited to engage in this session to understand the enhanced features and benefits of the IMEP. Details for the webinar will be available on the Ministry of Finance’s official website and the IDEC YouTube channel.

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