The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday, October 15, 2020, flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) recently approved by the Federal Government.
During the launch of the application, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said that the NYIF underscored the importance placed on youths by the current administration.
The Minister said that the fund, which is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), would be spread over 3 years to cater to youth-owned businesses and investment needs.
Sunday Dare stated, “I must mention the support we enjoyed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which in line with the President’s directive, provided the initial N12.5 billion required for the Fund to operate in the remaining part of the year 2020.
“We are also grateful that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has on its part, committed to providing the next tranche of the fund in the 2021 budget.’’
The Minister said that the loan, provided under the NYIF, has an interest rate of 5% per annum and a tenor of 5 years with a moratorium of up to 12 months.
He explained that any youth who wished to apply as an individual or a non-registered business could draw up to N250,000, while youth-owned registered businesses could apply for up to N3 million.
Going further, he said, “Our commitment to seeing the youth succeed is such that the loan is bundled with training that will ensure business sustainability for successful applicants.
“It is my belief that the fund will grow to become a permanent feature of our society, where beneficiaries run successful businesses and repay the loans.”
The Minister said that application is available on the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund Application Portal on NIRSAL Microfinance Bank’s site, www.nmfb.com.ng; and the ministry’s website, www.youthandsport.gov.ng or www.noya.ng.
Applicants are expected to provide their Names, Email address, and Website (if available).
Presidency reacts to claims of offering N100 billion to Miyetti Allah
The Presidency has dismissed reports in the media that it offered the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah.
The Presidency has debunked claims making rounds in the media that the Federal Government offered the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The reaction is coming against the backdrop of the media war going on between the Presidency and the Ondo State Government over the quit order on Miyetti Allah.
The denial was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu while appearing on a Television Programme on Channels Television, who said no such amount was given to appease the association over the reported killing by some herdsmen.
What Garba Shehu is saying
Garba Shehu, when asked if the Federal Government offered N100 billion to the association, said, “That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, I have confirmed that in any of those meetings nothing like money was discussed. All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of this group in getting them to prevail upon their erring members and they are many. How do they assist the administration to recover weapons that are widely owned by these elements?’’
According to Shehu, the existence of some miscreants in a group does not entirely mean the entire members of the association are criminals.
He noted that Miyetti Allah is a cultural group just like the Afenifere associated with the Yorubas and the Ohaneze Ndigbo of the southeast.
He said, “The Miyetti Allah group is like Ohanaeze Ndigbo or the Afenifere. It’s just a cultural group. There are criminals with the Yoruba race and you cannot say because there are Yoruba criminals, then Afenifere is a band of criminals.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and some parts of the country came to the fore once again following the 7-day quit notice by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for herdsmen to vacate forest reserve area to curb the spate of kidnappings in the state allegedly committed by criminals hiding in the forest.
- However, in their reaction, the Presidency cautioned the Governor against the action saying that the herders cannot be pushed out of the reserve for any reason. They said the governor does not have any constitutional powers to ask anybody to leave the state.
- The Presidency’s reaction has drawn widespread criticisms from some lawyers and social-cultural groups like the Afenifere, Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, who have expressed support for the Ondo State Governor.
Access Bank rejects Appeal Court’s suspension of injunction against Seplat, approaches Supreme Court
Access Bank has expressed its displeasure over the ruling by the Court of Appeal which lifted the Mareva injunction against Seplat Petroleum.
Access Bank Plc has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, objecting to the suspension of the interim Mareva injunction on the assets of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, by the Appeal Court.
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal had suspended the Mareva injunction, and subsequently ordered the opening of Seplat’s corporate offices.
Nairametrics reported that Access Bank Plc had obtained the Mareva injunction through an Ex-Parte order dated November 13, 2020 to seal offices and freeze the accounts of Seplat, over the indebtedness of Cardinal Drilling Services, a company which Access Bank believes is partly owned by Seplat’s boss, Mr ABC Orjiakor.
After some months of being under lock and keys, respite came the way of Seplat Petroleum on January 22, 2021 when Hon. Justice Ikyegh of the Appeal Court lifted the interim order on Seplat Petroleum assets, pending the determination of the appeal filed by Seplat.
Access Bank’s reaction to the ruling
- Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling by the appeal court, Access Bank, through its Solicitors, Kunle Ogunba and Associates maintained that the learned justices of the court erred in law through the suspension of the interlocutory orders made by the trial judge at the Federal High Court. The solicitors regarded the outcome as an abuse of court process filed to interfere with the due administration of justice.
- The bank in an affidavit maintained that “by discharging the said interlocutory orders, the Lower Court had unwittingly (via a motion) determined the main Appeal which seeks to also discharge the interlocutory orders made by the trial court.”
- The bank is praying that the Supreme Court reinstate the interlocutory orders made by the Trial Court on December 24, 2020, thereby overriding the judgement of the Appeal court en route.
- In the same vein, the Bank is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants, that is Seplat, Cardinal Drilling Services Ltd, Mr. Orjiako, Ambrose Bryant, Kalu Nwosu and/or any other person acting through them from taking further steps towards enforcing, executing or giving any effect to the ruling/order of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal it has filed at the Supreme Court.
- Recall that Nairametrics reported some months ago that Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat over debt owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited.
- The bank also obtained a Mareva injunction freezing the accounts of Seplat in Nigeria and abroad.
- Seplat had appealed the December 24, 2020 decision of the Federal High Court granting injunctions that, among others, resulted in the sealing of its corporate offices in Lagos.
- The Federal High Court had earlier turned down an application by Seplat to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.
- Access Bank is understood to be grappling with a string of bad loans issued under the defunct Diamond Bank and is now stepping up efforts to go after some of the debtors by obtaining several court orders to seize properties.
Digital transformations and AfCFTA as critical imperatives for the rebound of African economies
Digital transformations as well as AfCFTA are considered necessary for the fast recovery of the African economies.
Technological transformations through digitization as well as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are considered as quite critical in supporting the fast recovery of the African economies.
This assertion is contained in the Foresight Africa 2021 report published by African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.
According to the report:
- ”Digital transformation is arguably Africa’s biggest opportunity arising from the crisis.
- “During the pandemic, the continent has accelerated its adoption of ICTs: lockdown conditions have pushed many sectors to raise their online presence and expand their range of digital services, with developments that would ordinarily take years compressed into several months.
- “Significant opportunities remain for digital acceleration in key sectors, particularly government, education, retail trade, and finance.
- The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which also holds promise for accelerating the region’s economies through economic integration and a shift in focus toward high-productivity industrial activities commenced trading on January 1, 2021.
- “With the increased ease of intra-African trade, African businesses will be empowered to transform continent-wide needs into opportunities for entrepreneurship.”
What you should know
- From the hard lessons of the COVID-19, African leaders should prioritize scaling up investments in the physical and technological infrastructures needed as impetus for radical digital transformations.
- The workforce should be appropriately equipped with the requisite trainings to acquire relevant basic and advanced digital skills that would add values in their businesses, from mobile transactions to graphic design and coding, etc.
- Leaders should also encourage digital practices on the small-scale in order to encourage widespread usage of digital tools, as in countries like Kenya and Rwanda that have lowered their transaction charges in digital payments towards boosting adoption.
- Leaders should focus on policies and decisions that would have greater and long-lasting impacts, especially around technological adoption and effective implementation of the AfCFTA.