FG Denies Recommendation To Raise N5tn From Sale Of Assets

Assets Sale, Economy Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGPThe Federal Government has distanced itself from reports indicating that it is planning to raise about five trillion Naira from the sale of assets in the next four years.

The government made the declaration on Tuesday in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James.

Mr James noted that some publications had claimed that the projected amount was contained in the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being finalised by the Federal Government.

He, however, stated that there was no recommendation to raise such amount of revenue from the sale of assets.

“It has become necessary to state that the ERGP that is being finalised and which will soon be presented to the public, has no recommendation for raising that amount of revenue from sale of assets.

“To achieve the strategic objectives of the plan, 60 strategies have been developed for implementation with four key execution priorities: stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment, agriculture and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products) and industrialisation focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” the statement said.

Benue Govt. Gives Financial Support To Enterprise Development Centre

Ortom-BenueThe Benue State Government has given financial approval for the completion of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Enterprise Development Centre for the North Central region which has so far trained over 4,000 entrepreneurs.

The approval which was done at the Executive Council meeting Chaired by Governor Samuel Ortom, was in response to the growing demands of youths and women seeking empowerment through Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

The CBN Enterprise Development Centre which would be handed over to the state government in 2018 to continue the growth and expansion of SME businesses in the state, organises an induction programme and exhibition on how to access funding for SME growth.

Some of the participants at the exhibition highlighted funding and machinery as major challenges for growing SMEs.

Governor Ortom, who was represented by Tersoo Kpelai, said that the World Bank has agreed to create a market structure for locally made goods from Benue State.

Report says that the impact and contributions of SMEs to the state’s economy stands at 50% of the total amount of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

Governor Yero Creates Over 14,000 Jobs In Kaduna

yeroGovernor Muhktar Yero’s administration in Kaduna State says it has created over 14,000 jobs and spent over N17 Billion for the payment of pensions and gratuity since inception in 2012.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, Spokesman for the Governor, Ahmed Maiyaki said that the measure was in fulfillment of the promise by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government to provide more jobs in the state.

He stated that 2,000 graduates had been trained under the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) while 1,000 youths were trained and empowered in small scale businesses by the state government in partnership with the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SEMDAN).

Mr Maiyaki also disclosed that the Yero administration has initiated a special intervention in the education sector which informed the recruitment of over 1,800 primary and secondary school teachers and another 2,000 academic and nonacademic staff spread across all the state owned tertiary institutions.

He also explained that 10,000 teachers were undergoing training at the National Teachers Institute (NTI), aimed at building their capacity for optimal result.

Another measure which Maiyaki said the State Government has adopted in creating employment and generating revenue, is the re-opening of the Ikara Food Processing Factory which was shut down for over 25 years, while the State Government plan to revive the Kachia Ginger Company and Zaria Pharmaceuticals Company under a private partnership arrangement.

While stating that over 187 schools have been constructed by the Yero administration in the state, Mr Maiyaki told reporters that civil servants are paid their salaries every month while promotion and payment of leave grants and other allowances are also paid regularly.

Unemployment: Nigeria Needs More Venture Capital Firms – Nweze

Austin NwezeA professor at the Pan Atlantic University, Austin Nwaeze, has urged the Nigerian government to emulate Israel’s system of funding small businesses, which will in turn create more jobs for the largely unemployed populace.

“In Israel, as small as it is, they have close to (between) 240 and 300 venture capital firms. These are the people that can understand risks,” he said, noting that conventional banks do not have the capacity to understand such risks.

Following the recent announcement by the National Bureau of Statistics, about the number of jobs created in 2014, Nweze commended the agency for its pro activeness under the current government, noting that unemployment figures are needed to help the government plan and also make policies to improve sectors providing jobs.

He noted that the informal sector, which had created more jobs in the past two quarters, needed a lot of attention as “government cannot create jobs”. He stressed that it is “entrepreneurship that creates jobs.”

According to him, small business make up the “engine growth of any economy” and if they do not thrive, the economy is headed for a fall.
“So we need to begin to make policies that would make it possible for this sector to grow”, he noted, berating government’s method of “encouraging small businesses to grow.”

He noted that funds were not available to small businesses and the problem of multiple taxation had not been eliminated.

Although President Goodluck Jonathan recently launched the National Council On Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to solve the prevailing problems, Nweze opined that the council would still demand “an arm and a leg” in exchange for loans.

“The thing is that, we are making a mistake by solving a problem by creating more problems. Now, until we begin to recognise the importance of Venture Capital firms, private equity firms.

“These are the people that will help. They have helped create finance businesses, encourage entrepreneurship.


Small Business Owners Tasked On Effective Goals Management

Owners of small and medium scale enterprises have been asked to instil effective goal management within their businesses in order to manage their resources and improve productivity in the year 2014.

According to the CEO of Con-Edge Enterprises Solution Limited, Joel Osebor and the CEO of Kinetic Associates, Mr Edward Esene, who were guests on Channels Television’s programme Business Morning, setting goals play an integral role in ensuring that businesses drive themselves towards their desired level of success and also help improve operations.

“Setting goals for small business owners is “life itself” because goal setting will determine the level of progress made with customers and financial gain for the year in view,” said Osebor.

He added that “you can’t rule it out in terms of you achieving your desired goals as an SME” as it creates direction needed to help gauge one’s performance.

In his contribution, Mr Esene said that an analysis of one’s background, current status and desired destination would help ascertain what goals were to be set by business owners.

In addition, SME proprietors would also need a better understanding of the departments where they are either doing well or are in need of improvement.

These areas range from finance, operations or people management.

“How have we been faring in the past, what’s our current situation and where are we going to; those are some of the things we look at when setting goals,” he noted.

They also advised SMEs owners to tap into the benefits of technology to promote their businesses as well as focus on self-development.  “These are some of the necessary tools needed to drive small businesses to the next level,” they stressed.

Asked why some business owners are unable to achieve their goals, Mr Osebor said it could be as a result of the absence of “staying power.” While Esene added that the difference between a goal and a wish is the discipline to write it down in black and white.