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BOI to make provision of N400 million to local manufacturers

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In a bid to promote locally made products that of international standards, the Bank of Industry (BOI) has made provision of N400 million that would be available quarterly for local manufacturers.

The Development Finance Institution, through a recently launched Aba Finished Leather Goods Cluster Financing Programme, would make the funds available quarterly to over 300 members of the Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMAAS).

The scheme targeted at over 150,000 artisans, will see beneficiaries accessing the funds for the procurement of materials for expansion and to improve production which is expected to boost import substitution.

“By providing low interest, non-collaterised loans, the Bank has provided flexibility for qualified members of LEPMAAS recommended by their lines and zonal chairman to access up to N300,000 towards the procurement of materials to expand and improve their production activities”, the Managing Director of BOI, Olukayode Pitan said of the scheme.

The funds would be disbursed through the Fidelity Bank Plc while the Ford Foundation would be providing other technical support.

BOI is fulfilling its mandate of providing financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects, as well as their expansion.

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Recall that the financial institution, had in June, 2018, unveiled a ₦1 billion fashion fund aimed at supporting fashion entrepreneurs.

The unveiled fund is specifically designed to benefit those involved in the production and marketing of fashion items such as clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry/accessories etc. It will also support initiatives that can improve financial literacy and industrial entrepreneurship development for players in the fashion industry.

The BoI fashion fund, which comes in the form of loans, targets three categories of fashion entrepreneurs which are -retailers, wholesalers, and distributors.

In July, 2018, Promasidor Nigeria Limited (PNL) secured a N5.6 billion loan facility from the BOI. This was confirmed by the company’s Finance Director, Per Kristensen who said the secured loan facility will accelerate the company’s growth.

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According to Kristensen, the BoI loan would be used for additional machinery, and factory expansion which would create jobs for Nigerians and positively impact on the country’s economy.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Appointments

Buhari reappoints Bala Usman as MD of NPA, reconstitutes the Board

President Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the MD of the NPA for another term of 5 years.

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NPA discovers new method Apapa businessmen use to avoid port duties

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for another term of 5 years.

This follows the expected expiration of the tenure of Usman, who was first appointed as the Managing Director on July 12, 2016.

This disclosure is contained in a series of tweet posts which was issued by the Presidency on its official Twitter handle on Thursday. January 21, 2021.

READ: COVID-19: NPA, NCDC disagree over new cases in Lagos

The Presidency in its statement also announced the approval of the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye (representing South-West zone) as Chairman.

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The statement from the Presidency partly reads, ‘’President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for an additional five-year tenure.

‘’Also approved is the reconstitution of the Non-Executive Board of the NPA, with Emmanuel Adesoye (from South-west zone) as Chairman.’’

READ: Nigerian Aviation: Exchange rate, 7.5% VAT suspension and other factors to determine survival – Experts

Other members of the reconstituted Board include Ekenyem Nwafor-Orizu (representing South-east zone), Akinwunmi Ricketts (representing South-south zone), Ghazali Mijinyawa (representing North-East zone), Mustapha Dutse (representing North-West zone), and Abdulwahab Adesina (representing North-Central zone).

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READ: Haulage cost increases by more than 50% in a week as Apapa gridlock bites harder

What you should know

  • Hadiza Bala Usman was born on January 2, 1976, in Zaria, Kaduna State and has a B.Sc. Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and a Post Graduate in Development Studies from University of Leeds, the UK in 2009.
  • She worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) from July 2000 to August 2004 as Enterprise Officer and hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) from October 2004 to January 2008 as Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Implementation.
  • Ms Bala Usman worked, between 2011 and 2015) as Director of Strategy of the Good Governance Group, a non-governmental organisation founded by Kaduna State State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his friends.
  • Ms Bala Usman, one of the founders and conveners of #BringBackOurGirls, a campaign group pushing for the rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, was also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Anti-Corruption.
  • Prior to her appointment as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, she was the Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir  El-Rufai of Kaduna, apposition she was appointed to in 2015.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Africa records higher death rate than the global rate

Africa’s coronavirus death rate is now higher than the global average according to Africa CDC.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

Africa’s coronavirus death rate has been reported to be higher than the global average as the continent struggle with a shortage of oxygen and other resources during this second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The continent’s fatality rate currently stands at 2.5%, which is higher than the global rate of 2.2%, a departure from earlier in the pandemic, when the death rate in Africa was lower than that at the global level.

READ: African Union secures 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from drugmakers

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, during a press conference.

While describing the trend as alarming experts, the continent’s CDC boss pointed out that earlier in the pandemic, Africa’s death rate had been below the global average.

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READ: FG alerts that Nigerian hospitals are running out of facilities as Covid-19 spreads fast

He said, “The case fatality rate is beginning to be very worrying and concerning for all of us.’’

Nkengasong also said that 21 African countries are now recording Covid-19 death rate of above 3% as the number of countries in the continent with a higher fatality rate than the global average continues to grow.

Some of the countries include Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and a host of others.

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READ: Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

What you should know

  • Africa has so far recorded 3.3 million cases of the coronavirus infections with 82,000 fatalities as at Thursday.
  • These figures represent a small fraction of the global total, but cases have been reported to have increased by 14% each week in the last 1 month.
  • According to data from Africa CDC, over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased by 10%.
  • The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases.

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Cryptocurrency

Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin

Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.

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Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.

Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.

Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.

The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.

“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.

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The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.

“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

What you should know

  • A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
  • Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
  • Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.

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