The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) is set to position the nation’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for improved profitability and sustainable global competitiveness.
The Communications Executive of NACC, Mr Ebuka Ugochukwu, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos that the chamber would achieve the objective through its forthcoming conference and exhibition.
Ugochukwu said that many SMEs in the country have innovative products that could be leveraged upon and serve as catalysts to sustainable growth and economic development.
He said that NACC would hold the third African Food and Products Conference and Exhibition (AFPE) between May 24 and May 25 in Lagos.
He said that its theme will be: ‘Sustainability and Innovation; Pathway to Business Success for SMEs’.
Ugochukwu said that the exhibition was to enhance trade, commerce, investment and industrial technological relationship between the public and private sectors from Nigeria, Africa and the United States of America (USA).
According to Ugochukwu, the United States’ Consul General, chief executive officers (CEOs) of multinational firms and government agencies will attend the event.
He said that the stakeholders would also discuss strategies for scaling up productivity, profitability and competitiveness in the SME sector.
“We are expecting over 2,500 participating companies from Nigeria, Africa and the United States.
“The exhibition will be presenting a viable opportunity for them to boost sales and strike business deals that will run into several millions of dollars,” he said.
Ugochukwu also said that NACC would continue to leverage on its connections toward boosting trade and economic ties among businesses organisations from Nigeria and the US.
Warri safe, good business destination, says Transport coy
Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger–Benue Transport Company (NBTC) Limited, has described Warri as a good business destination and safe for living, advising those companies that left for insecurity reasons to return.
Oluyede gave the advice on Friday in Warri shortly after her inauguration as the new managing director of the company.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that NBTC renders professional services for ship repair and maintenance, ship building, vessels, Chartered and Marine Logistics among others.
Oluyede said that NBTC had been operating peacefully in Warri for the past 60 years.
“Warri is a safe place for doing business, that is while we are still here for the past 60 years. We want those who have left to know that Warri is safe for business.
“NBTC has always been synonymous with Delta; so we are not going anywhere. Warri is a very significant area in terms of servicing the oil and gas industry.
“NBTC is here and will continue to be here to project the good side of the Niger Delta region,” she said.
Oluyede said that the company would utilise graduates of the Maritime University to address its workforce challenges.
According to her, in the past, we have dearth of manpower to man our vessels and this has resulted to people going out to Philippines and other countries to look for workers.
“With the establishment of the Maritime University, it will help to create the workforce that will be employed to handle these machineries and by implication reduce the unemployment rate,” she said.
The managing director that the company was also focussing on fabrication to expand its tentacle in line with the global changes in the oil and gas industry.
“I have been given a task to make sure this company that is 60 years old continues to exist and get the golden Seal of 100 years.
“My challenge, therefore, is to make sure this company keeps floating, making profits and keep legacy of the company that has been handed over to me,” she said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBTC, Mr Moses Taiga, urged staff of the company to give the managing director maximum support to enable her to excel in her new appointment.
Taiga said that the company has a robust relationship with the host community (Ovwian) in Udu Local Government Area of Delta.
“We have a training programme for youths of this community which has been going on for a long time.
“We are also planning to collaborate with the Delta Government to train more youths,” he said.
Edited by: Olagoke Olatoye
Oil prices climb to highest in 3 months on renewed U.S.-China trade deal hopes
Oil prices extended gains on Friday, scaling three-month highs as the U.S. and China moved closer to a resolution to the 18-month trade war between the world’s two biggest economies that has raised questions about global demand for crude.
Brent futures LCOc1 climbed 47 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to 64.67 dollars a barrel by 0730 GMT, its highest since Sept. 23.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was up 34 cents or 0.6 per cent, to 59.52 dollars a barrel, the highest since Sept. 16.
“Risk appetite ran wild after Trump signalled that he made a deal with China and that will only be positive for global demand forecasts for crude,” said Edward Moya, Senior Market analyst at OANDA.
A slump in the U.S. dollar against the backdrop of a strong pound also helped to boost commodity prices, said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets.
Mirroring investor optimism, Asian share markets jumped to multi-month highs on Friday after Wall Street surged to record highs on Thursday.
“If we see even further progress with the U.S.-China trade war, we could see global GDP rise by half a percentage point in 2020 and that would do wonders for crude demand forecasts,” said Moya.
While a trade deal that would end uncertainty could provide a shot in the arm for oil demand in the near term, concerns continue to hover about the demand profile amid ample supplies going forward.
“Lingering doubts about demand will cap the upside on prices,” said ANZ Bank in a note on Friday.
In the meantime, the White House has agreed to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and reduce others in return for Beijing’s pledge to hike purchases of U.S. farm products in 2020, sources said on Thursday.
However, the White House didn’t release any official statement, raising questions about whether the terms had been agreed by both sides.
Looking further ahead, an International Energy Agency report on Thursday pointed to future pressure on oil prices, predicting a sharp rise in global inventories in spite of an agreement by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to deepen output cuts.
That contrasts with OPEC’s own research, which forecasts a small deficit in the market next year due to Saudi Arabia’s supply restraint even before the latest cut agreement takes effect.
Elsewhere, Norway’s oil output in November hit a 32-month high at 1.71 million barrels per day, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Thursday.
“While the current (U.S.-China) trade deal will most probably limit demand devastation, it might not be enough to counter an oversupplied market in early 2020, hence the possible reason we are not seeing a massive bounce in oil prices now,” said Stephen Innes, a market strategist at AxiTrader.
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Ijeoma Popoola
TCN, states collaborate to expand transmission networks
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it is collaborating with state governments on Right of Way (RoW) to expand transmission networks.
Mr Usman Mohammed, the Managing Director of TCN said this at the 3rd Quarter 2019 media briefing in Abuja.
Right of Way is the right to make a way over a piece of land usually to and from another piece of land.
He said that the collaboration had become necessary, given the difficulties in securing RoW.
“TCN under the current management devised a strategy for collaborating with these states for the expansion of transmission networks of 25 meters on both sides for 330 Kilo Volt (KV) lines and 15 meters on both sides for 132KV lines,’’ he said.
“Under similar arrangement, TCN entered into agreement with Enugu State Government under which the 132KV substation by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company over four years was energised within two months.
“After the stringing of the five Kilo Metres (KM) Transmission line off the New Haven -Oturkpo I32 KV line,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that TCN was also collaborating with several other states on substation construction for improved electricity supply.
He, however, warned Nigerians constructing buildings on the RoW to desist from the act, adding that they were exposing themselves to danger.
Mohammed said that the TCN was currently undergoing significant transformation, making it a pragmatic and innovative company aimed at resolving major challenges in the sector.
The TCN boss said that its expansion drive started with the use of in-house capacity to install transformers and equipment across the country.
He said that TCN had also completed some slow and non-performing contracts.
“These have resulted in the installation of 67 transformers across Nigeria which had contributed to increase in its capacity.
Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ese E. Ekama
SMEDAM, NIPC harp on matchmaking of SMEs with MNE to boost opportunities
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, says matchmaking and linkage programmes will enhance opportunities for Small all and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Sadiku made the assertion during a two-day training/matchmaking/ of SMEs with Large Local Corporates (LLC) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).
The event was organised by NIPC and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
Sadiku, who was represented by an Assistant Director of NIPC, Mrs Edit Udofia, said that both SMEDAM and NIPC had been engaging different categories of entrepreneurs on linkage programmes in the last few months.
“The first phase of action plan which was the pilot programme was agreed to focus on agro-industry / agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industry services, and to be later spread to other sectors.
“After signing Memorandum of Understanding between NIPC and SMEDAN in January 2019, a Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated for the implementation of the work plan.
and the Lagos event is what is happening here today,” Radda said.
A former Chairman, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Osun branch, Mr Ali Alabi, commended the efforts of SMEDAN and NIPC in improving the capacities of SMEs.
Alabi said that the programme would enable SMEs markets to be known, adding that it would also improve their productions.
He urged robust networking among SMEs, MNEs and LLCs to enable them to remain in business.
Alabi said that for small businesses to thrive, there should be hand holding from government and big enterprises.
Mr Olarenwaju Oyekanmi, Managing Director of Alagura Farms Ltd., manufacturers of cassava for industries.
hailed SMEDAN and NIPC for organising the programme.
He, however, decried low turnout of big manufacturing companies at the event, and called for fine-tuning to achieve better results.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
NDIC commends media for being part of its 30 years success story
The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has commended the media for being part of the corporation’s 30 years success story.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim gave the commendation in a goodwill message at a workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) on Thursday in Yola.
Ibrahim, represented by Mr Ibrahim Kudu, an Asst. Director said the workshop, was fostering the needed understanding and collaboration between the media and the corporation.
He said that the topic for the workshop with title the ‘Nigeria Banking System Stability-Tackling Emerging Issues’, was in recognition of what the future held for the banking industry.
With the recourse to technology and fintechs, the entire dynamics of banking has been altered to such an extent that it poses serious challenges for both operators and regulators.
‘“Let me at his point restate that the media is crucial to our success story in the past 30 years.
It is to this end that we will not rest on our oars towards sustaining the relevance of the workshop through the choice of robust and informed topics and highly qualified resource persons.
After all, the entire banking landscape has remarkably changed since the time the corporation was established,“ he said.
The managing director urged the media to avail themselves of opportunities provided by the workshop to gain knowledge of contemporary issues in the financial industry.
Edited by: Shuaib Sadiq/Felix Ajide
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