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Govt, banks mull new funding mechanism for SMEs

IF the latest pronouncement from the Federal Government on the issue is anything to go by, then small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country would soon receive a much-needed lifeline in the form of easy credit facilities from banks.
Minister of …

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AgangaIF the latest pronouncement from the Federal Government on the issue is anything to go by, then small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country would soon receive a much-needed lifeline in the form of easy credit facilities from banks.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, gave that much assurance yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the desk managers in charge of SMEs in banks.

Aganga stressed that the problems associated with funding for small businesses would soon be a thing of the past in the country.

He directed the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to take up the challenge of training and re-training of SMEs to ensure that they become more competitive and attractive to funding.

He disclosed that his ministry had initiated a partnership with commercial banks in the country to fashion out a new funding mechanism that would give SMEs access to cheap funds.

Aganga stressed that the new initiative would remove factors stopping banks from lending to SMEs as part of renewed efforts to increase their capacity to create jobs, generate wealth and transform the country’s economy.

His words: “The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is becoming alarming. There is no gainsaying in the fact that the best way to checkmate the situation is to have a virile Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sub-sector. The recent survey conducted by SMEDAN, in conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics, revealed that we have close to 20 million MSMEs in Nigeria .

“The figure represents over 80 per cent of the total number of enterprises in the country and accounts for 75 per cent of Nigeria’s total employment base. If we don’t create an enabling environment for this important sub-sector to thrive, we will all suffer its negative consequences.”

Aganga added: “The MSME community has been complaining bitterly of not being able to access cheap funds from the banks. They have also said that where services are available, it takes the banks ‘forever’ to process them. The vision of the Ministry of Trade and Investment is to increase the contribution of SMEs to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product from 10 per cent to 30 per cent and increase export earnings through SMEs from three per cent to 25 per cent within the life-time of this administration.

“To be able to achieve this, we have identified commercial banks and development finance institutions and are partnering them to come up with SME-friendly products or re-design existing products to enhance access to finance by SMEs.

“We want to partner the banks to remove the barriers inhibiting them from lending to SMEs at a reduced interest rate.”

The minister also disclosed that SMEDAN was currently carrying out an SME rating project to minimise the risks associated with SMEs by training and re-training them to become more competitive and attractive for funding by commercial banks.

He stated: “I am aware that banks’ problems with SME operators border on perception of SMEs as high risk largely due to their informal nature; inability to prepare bankable business plans; poor record keeping and discriminatory cultural practices, among other things. SMEDAN is championing the SME rating project, which will minimise the risks usually associated with the sub-sector.

“Though SMEs are known to be high risk areas, they also hold the key to sustainable banking if properly understood and funded. We are prepared to take up the challenge of training and re-training MSMEs to ensure that they become more competitive and attractive to funding.

“To this end, SMEDAN is being refocused to constantly monitor and provide business development support services to MSMEs to ensure that they conform with conditions attached to loans.”

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.

Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.

Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.

Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew

The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.

Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.

“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.

“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest

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Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.

The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.

“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”

Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.

He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.

“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.

“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”

Sahara Reporters

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says

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Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.

Lekki, Ikoyi tolls will rise on February 1 – LCC - Ivory NG

According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.

Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.

Read the release report below;

Image

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Govt, banks mull new funding mechanism for SMEs

IF the latest pronouncement from the Federal Government on the issue is anything to go by, then small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country would soon receive a much-needed lifeline in the form of easy credit facilities from banks.
Minister of …

Published

on

AgangaIF the latest pronouncement from the Federal Government on the issue is anything to go by, then small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country would soon receive a much-needed lifeline in the form of easy credit facilities from banks.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, gave that much assurance yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the desk managers in charge of SMEs in banks.

Aganga stressed that the problems associated with funding for small businesses would soon be a thing of the past in the country.

He directed the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to take up the challenge of training and re-training of SMEs to ensure that they become more competitive and attractive to funding.

He disclosed that his ministry had initiated a partnership with commercial banks in the country to fashion out a new funding mechanism that would give SMEs access to cheap funds.

Aganga stressed that the new initiative would remove factors stopping banks from lending to SMEs as part of renewed efforts to increase their capacity to create jobs, generate wealth and transform the country’s economy.

His words: “The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is becoming alarming. There is no gainsaying in the fact that the best way to checkmate the situation is to have a virile Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sub-sector. The recent survey conducted by SMEDAN, in conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics, revealed that we have close to 20 million MSMEs in Nigeria .

“The figure represents over 80 per cent of the total number of enterprises in the country and accounts for 75 per cent of Nigeria’s total employment base. If we don’t create an enabling environment for this important sub-sector to thrive, we will all suffer its negative consequences.”

Aganga added: “The MSME community has been complaining bitterly of not being able to access cheap funds from the banks. They have also said that where services are available, it takes the banks ‘forever’ to process them. The vision of the Ministry of Trade and Investment is to increase the contribution of SMEs to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product from 10 per cent to 30 per cent and increase export earnings through SMEs from three per cent to 25 per cent within the life-time of this administration.

“To be able to achieve this, we have identified commercial banks and development finance institutions and are partnering them to come up with SME-friendly products or re-design existing products to enhance access to finance by SMEs.

“We want to partner the banks to remove the barriers inhibiting them from lending to SMEs at a reduced interest rate.”

The minister also disclosed that SMEDAN was currently carrying out an SME rating project to minimise the risks associated with SMEs by training and re-training them to become more competitive and attractive for funding by commercial banks.

He stated: “I am aware that banks’ problems with SME operators border on perception of SMEs as high risk largely due to their informal nature; inability to prepare bankable business plans; poor record keeping and discriminatory cultural practices, among other things. SMEDAN is championing the SME rating project, which will minimise the risks usually associated with the sub-sector.

“Though SMEs are known to be high risk areas, they also hold the key to sustainable banking if properly understood and funded. We are prepared to take up the challenge of training and re-training MSMEs to ensure that they become more competitive and attractive to funding.

“To this end, SMEDAN is being refocused to constantly monitor and provide business development support services to MSMEs to ensure that they conform with conditions attached to loans.”

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

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Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.

Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.

Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.

Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew

The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.

Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.

“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.

“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”

Continue Reading

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest

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Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.

The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.

“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”

Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.

He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.

“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.

“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”

Sahara Reporters

Continue Reading

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says

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Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.

Lekki, Ikoyi tolls will rise on February 1 – LCC - Ivory NG

According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.

Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.

Read the release report below;

Image

Continue Reading

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