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Africa Promises Good Investment Opportunity, Says Elumelu

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Elumelu

The Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and one of Africa’s top businessman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has stressed the need to change the African narrative while concentrating on the myriad of opportunities inherent in the continent, stating that its economic transformation and stimulation should be the focus of all governments and global institutions. This, he says, is paramount if the continent is to take its rightful position as a strong regional player in the international community, owing to its numerous investment opportunities.

 

Elumelu, who is the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the time had come for governments on the continent to put things in place to ensure that the continent which has great potential, lives up to it; adding that already, there are signals of the greatness all around.

 

Speaking during Richard Quest’s programme on CNN  aired on the sideline of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, he said; “the time has come for us to prioritise our young ones, who are the future of this great continent. These are the men and women who are energetic in Africa and who can perform wonders if the enabling environment is there.

 

“We need to get it right with infrastructure in Africa and with the macro-economic policies and environment. And the good thing is that things are gradually falling in place. I think Africa promises good investment opportunities, the problem has always been creating the right environment for it, and this should be our major focus.” Elumelu stressed.

 

He added that in Zimbabwe, for instance, there have been recent concerted efforts by the government and the people to change the narrative, adding that “I am optimistic about what is happening in Africa right now, because our leaders are getting it right and in fact what has happened in Zimbabwe is also an indicator of great things to come. The fact that they on their own decided to sort things out the way they did, is a new kind of democracy that the world needs to learn from. “There is so much private global capital looking for the right destination, they can go to Zimbabwe as in other African nations, once the right environment is put in place.”

 

While pointing out that the blame game which previously obtained in the continent should be done away with, Elumelu called for increasing support from the private sector as well as key stakeholders to make Africa and African self-sufficient.

 

Throwing more light on this, he said; “We can’t keep talking about missed opportunities. What I keep saying to people is to put an end to the blame game. Let’s begin to fix what needs fixing and get things right. Our government should get it right, the private sector should come forward and we need to support the young African entrepreneurs; create economic hope and opportunities for them.  “We need to think of how to engage Africa in the 21st century because it is no longer about giving grants and aid to Africa, it is more about engaging them in a way that creates self-sufficiency; independence; and reduces the perpetual syndrome of dependence.

 

Continuing, he said “There is promise; it is getting better because the way this year has started in Nigeria for instance, we have seen market indicators showing good promise, so we are optimistic that it will be better year. The Key is to prioritise things that are important to us to help the continent to grow.”

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Richard Quest Visit Management Of Fidelity Bank Plc

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CNN Anchor, Richard Quest (left) engaging with Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo on SME lending and leveraging digital channels to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria… Monday

CNN Anchor, Richard Quest, paid a courtesy visit on the Management of Fidelity Bank Plc on Monday, February 12.

During the visit, he engaged the team on several issues including SME lending and leveraging digital channels to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

www.theoctopusnews.com, presents pictures from the event.

(more…)

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3,000 Undergraduates Benefit From Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme

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Fidelity Bank Plc, has trained over 3,000 undergraduates from various tertiary institution on skills acquisition through its youth empowerment programme. Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s CEO made this disclosure Friday during the closing ceremony of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy (FYEA) held at the Sokoto State University (SSU) in Sokoto.

“The students were drawn from the 5 institutions that have benefitted from the banks youth empowerment initiative that aims to teach vocational and entrepreneurship skills”, he stated.

Okonkwo who was represented by the Head, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Chris Nnakwe called on Nigerian youths to embrace entrepreneurship and create wealth for themselves instead of searching endlessly for non-existing paid jobs.

Organised as part of the bank’s CSR intervention, Nnakwe pointed out that the programme now in its 7th edition seeks to empower the Nigerian undergraduate with skills and enterprise training, which are relevant for self-reliance.

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He stated that the bank had organised the programme in various institutions of higher learning including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Bayero University, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

For the Sokoto edition, Nnakwe stated the bank has expanded the scope of the programme in a bid to accommodate new areas of vocational training. Apart from the typical training on tailoring and make-up, he noted that participants were also provided with requisite skills and first-hand knowledge in Fashion Designing, Cloth Embellishment, Cocktail and Phone Engineering among others. “We in Fidelity Bank have targeted programmes on education, environment and youth empowerment. This one you are witnessing today is part of fulfilling our promises to the society,” Nnakwe said.

According to him, the youths were trained to acquire skills to enable them to become self-reliant and also make them employers of labours even while in school. He disclosed that at the end of the training, starter packs would be given to each participant to enable him or her to commence business.

Also Read:  Elumelu, in US, Says to Clinton & Trump‎: On US-Africa Policy, Something’s Don't Need To Change"

Speaking earlier at the opening ceremony, the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal, thanked Fidelity Bank for choosing the school for the programme. Tambuwal, stressed that as a responsible government his administration has prioritised the welfare of the youths in the state. He enjoined the participants to stay focused and concentrate in order to benefit from the training.

In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor, Sokoto State University, Prof. Sani Dangogo, thanked Fidelity Bank for the gesture, saying the training would go a long way in alleviating the financial burden of the students.

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Nigeria has potential to feed Africa’s 1.2bn people – Ecobank

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Leading pan-Africa financial institution, Ecobank, has revealed that Nigeria has the capacity to feed Africa’s estimated 1.2 billion people if it harnesses the gains of the agricultural value chain.

According to the bank, success in Nigeria’s agricultural sector means the reduction in the demand for foreign exchange to import food items into the country and the development of the agribusiness value-chain with a resultant effect in the creation of a new breed of entrepreneurs as well as jobs for the teeming population.

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), stated this on Thursday at the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit in Lagos. The summit had its theme “Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities Across Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain”

According to Ayeyemi, Ecobank decided to create a platform of a Summit to enable thought-leaders who are passionate about agriculture and its importance to Nigeria’s economy to put heads together and find ways to maximize the significant potential gains of boosting agribusiness in Nigeria.

He said Ecobank works with various governments and businesses within its footprint to provide support in harnessing and mining value from the huge natural resources across the continent. “The success of this Summit and its objectives is therefore important to Ecobank, as we do know Africa remains fully committed to contributing to its economic development – a core objective of our founders”.

Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono affirmed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to issues bothering on food security affecting the country.

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Nanono who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri also stressed on the need for viable synergy and collaboration between relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector, so as to further promote its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country.

“The aim of this submit is indeed very apt as it would contribute on creating a sustainable economy through the development of rural agricultural enterprises. It is gladdening that this forum has brought together small-holders, input dealers, agro-processors, development finance agencies, policy makers and the captains of industries under one roof to discuss the problems and challenges facing the sector, with the view to finding solutions and way forward.

“This summit also marks another milestone attraction in the journey of economic diversification in line with the vision of the economic recovery growth plan of the current administration of his Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, to boost agricultural production prosperity, promote innovative technologies and investment in the agricultural sector, in order to achieve poverty reduction and job creation.

“Nigeria’s potentials and prospects, makes the agricultural sector a pilot for economic stabilization, diversification and growth in the country. Indeed, the sector is a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing about 27 percent to the GDP and the biggest in job creation in the non-oil sector.

“As you are aware, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to addressing the issues of food security in the country, as well as encourage local farmers to produce more and better-quality food for all. The aim was to restore the glory of the country’s agricultural sector, which before the oil-boom was we all know, was the main driver of Nigeria’s economy.

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“Let me also reiterate, that under the current dispensation, the agriculture sector has engineered more farmers for providing the required raw materials for the development of the agro-allied industry in the country.

“With the noticeable growth in production in agriculture, agricultural and food sector, The has been on stimulating agricultural export, to increase our foreign exchange earnings. In doing this, we are giving attention to meeting the requirements of not only the locals, but also international market.

“At present, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting and supporting the development of special agro-industrial processing funds, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB) for value addition, import substitution, job creation and international market. Commitment and support would continue to be given to the areas of promoting foreign and local enterprise to advance level of credit and investment in agriculture as a veritable step to diversify the economy.

“Within the overall sets of policy principles, the federal government is concentrating on providing an enabling environment and enabling playgrounds for stakeholders at all levels, to enhance investment and capital flow into the sector,” he said.

The maiden Ecobank Agribusiness summit in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers had exhibitors and hundreds of participants from within and outside the country in attendance.

Culled:https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/
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