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Business News

FG approves 60% debt forgiveness for licensed radio and television stations  

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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FG providing platforms where businesses can thrive - Lai Mohammed, COVID-19: FG inducts committee for creative industry palliatives, LICENSE, FG reiterates commitment to implement reform of broadcasting code , Economy: FG restates commitment to border closure, FG releases new broadcast media regulation to affect DStv’s monopoly , Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting will transit to a private-sector-driven enterprise - Lai Mohammed, FG needs to explore nation’s tourism as a panacea for unemployment

The Nigerian government granted a 60% debt forgiveness to all licensees indebted to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The move was an additional step to the 2 months license fee waiver granted to the industry as a palliative to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the measures were put in place as a result of the report submitted by the post-COVID-19 initiative committee for the creative industry. 

READ MORE: Why telcos are very worried by this NCC directive

He added that many radio and television stations remain indebted to the government to the tune of N7.8 billion. 

The Minister added that the debt forgiveness will not apply to pay-TV service operators but to only terrestrial TV and radio stations in the country.

He added that the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for the debtor to pay 40% of their existing debt within 3 months. Any station that is unable to pay the 40% indebtedness within 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity. 

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Existing license fee is discounted by 30% for all open terrestrial radio and television services effective July 10. 

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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Business News

FG to support MSME contribution to economy to boost development – Minister

The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans, FG says 174,574 successfully register for N75 billion MSME survival fund in 48 hours

The Federal Government declared that it is working with stakeholders to improve MSME participation in the economy through improving the business climate which will create jobs.

This was disclosed by Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, at the 7th EMPRETEC Global Summit,  on Tuesday, themed “The Role of Entrepreneurship, MSME and EMPRETEC in post-COVID-19 Resurgence.”

The Minister stated that the MSME sector of the economy is the growth engine of any economy which contributes to its development, job creation and export, amongst others.

“An MSMEs survey indicates that Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 percent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 percent of employment. No doubt, the sector is pivotal to Nigeria’s growth, including reducing poverty and unemployment levels.

It has, therefore, become more apparent that supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses by creating opportunities for MSMEs to thrive is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, and boosting our economy.

This is why the Government is working with stakeholders across all sectors, to create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs to ensure that they grow now and into the future,” she stated.

On economic sustainability

The Minister said that the FG has schemes aimed at improving the post-pandemic climate for SMEs in Nigeria. She also disclosed that the FG launched the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a framework for the resolution of the challenges faced by the sector.

The programmes launched by the FG includes the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes, operated by a Steering Committee in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

“The Government of Nigeria had, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, initiated the MSMEs Clinics scheme as a strategy, aimed at providing support for the MSMEs in the country.

At the clinics, operators in the MSMEs space are engaged by regulators and business advisory experts, on issues ranging from entrepreneurship, skill development, finance, quality & standards, and on how to facilitate and grow their businesses and enterprises,” she added.

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What you should know 

Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 rose to 33.3% from 27.1% recorded as of Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1%. This means that 33.3% of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by our definition in Nigeria.

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Business News

Amazon to open its first African office in South Africa

Amazon already launched its data centres for AWS in Cape Town but its eCommerce services had until now, not been available in Africa,

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Amazon- More than 19,000 workers got the Covid-19 virus

Amazon, US retail giant has announced that it would be opening its first African office in South Africa with a real estate investment of over R4 billion. This announcement is coming a week after Twitter choose to open its first African office in Ghana.

Authorities in Cape Town noted that Amazon would be occupying a new development in River Club, a prime section of the city. This new development will create 5,239 jobs in the construction phase alone. Along with 19,000 indirect and induced jobs.

The 15-hectare parcel of land will cost R4 billion and include two precincts. Authorities said the first precinct of 60,000sqm will occupy different layers of development; while the second section of 70,000 will hold Amazon headquarters in Africa.

Cape town city officials noted that “US retail giant, Amazon, will be the anchor tenant, opening a base of operations on the African continent. The development is envisaged to take place in phases, with construction set to take place over three to five years.

It is clear that this development offers many economic, social and environmental benefits for the area. We are committed to driving investment to revitalize the economy, which is slowly recovering following the impact of Covid-19.”

What you should know

Amazon already launched its data centres for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in cape town but its eCommerce services had until now, not been available in Africa.

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