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THE NATIONAL BUDGET: My take… Dr Nicholas Okoye

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I have read the response of the PDP as released by Olisa my brother. I disagree with the PDP position. I think this budget has carefully articulated programs to stimulate development. I will make an attempt to provide an analysis.

The full details of the budget are not yet available but I will take the President’s speech as a bedrock.

The largest share for capital vote went to infrastructure that is power, works, roads and housing. The largest share for recurrent went to education. I love this.

This means the Fed Govt seeks to stimulate growth in the business sectors by investing in infrastructure. And the future of Nigeria is being invested in by the focus on education. In addition the Govt is funding a scheme to employ 500,000 guaduate teachers for states and local govts. I love this too.

It means that the primary and secondary schools can expect a new generation of teachers that are Internet savvy and who belong to the Jet age. The Govt needs to make sure these new teachers are monitored so that standards can be high. The new teachers should also be encouraged to see their roles as a special national assignment so that moral and enthusiasm remains very high. I think giving them a special name or title will help and will go a long way.

The President equally talked about a commitment to private sector led job creation. He said they will fund loans for market women. I like this but I would rather like to see the model and procedure of disbursement of the loans.

I NEVER DID LIKE the YOUWIN program of GEJ as the grants were not repaid and so golden opportunities for repayment recycling were lost. There was no scheme to maintain the beneficiaries in a program for reeducation and sustainable success in business. If asked I am not sure the Fed Govt knows how many YOUWIN entrepreneurs are still in business.

We need to wait to get the break Down from the budget and planning minister and the minister of finance. However I am sure whatever they will say will not be too far from the analysis I have provided above.

If they can equally stimulate foreign exchange inflows by attracting more remittances, more investment and expanding non oil export revenues then the Naira will stop falling. In order to build the Naira back they must find a way to cut down on our import bills and expand away from our import dependent economy. There is no other way.

HIS BIO:

Nicholas is a Leadership Expert.with Core knowledge and coaching skills in all areas of the proven path to success FOR Individuals, Corporations, and Nations. He is a World Class Investment and trade promoter as well as global advocate for reform in youth empowerment, development and entrepreneurship. Nicholas is a Strategy expert with Executive forthsight and strategic direction skills.
Nicholas is a World Class speaker and constantly speaks around the World on key and strategic areas including PEAK PERFORMANCE for professionals and Corporations, National Development Strategy for National, Regional and State Governments and personal success principles and strategies for Entrepreneurs, business people and Professional individuals. Nicholas is a weekly writer on National Strategy for Development, in a four page weekly column in the Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria’s most prestigious and oldest News Publication Group, he also anchors a Radio Program every week that deals directly with solutions for National, Regional and individual success and development.

Nicholas also serves as an Adviser and a Member of several Corporate Boards including the OBIJACKSON Group parent company to Nestoil Plc, the largest Nigerian owned oil and gas servicing companies in Nigeria as well as Impac Nigeria, Century Power, Energy Works,, Neconde Oil owners of OML 42, , Gonowen Oil owners of OPL 917, Hammakopp Construction, Time Power Generation, B & Q dredging etc.

Nicholas is the convener and founder of Nigeria’s largest network of Entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Empower Nigeria, and is the CEO of the Empower Nigeria Fund, an SME targeted debt and equity fund. Nicholas is the founder of the Nigeria Leadership Summit, and President of the Anabel Group.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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