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Benny Peters declares – I am not part of the “Third Force”

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Oil

DISCLAIMER

My attention has been drawn to a tweet in which I was mentioned as the major financier to a political movement or organization, presumably not even in existence, called the “Third Force”. While I have received calls and messages advising me to ignore the tweet and regard its publication as the handiwork of detractors, the delicate nature of the tweet – having taken into consideration my travails in recent times, fueled largely by the adverse effects of incomprehensible media falsehood –  require that I immediately, authorize the release of a rebuttal, given the malicious, damaging effect the unprofessional tweet is capable of creating.

For the records, I wish to state, categorically and unequivocally, that I am not a financier of the said organisation or any socio-political partisan association or political party in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world.  As an International businessman of repute, I have deliberately kept away from politics preferring, instead, to focus and give my all to the development of my business interests across the African continent.  Corporate Social Responsibility contributions have seen the Aiteo Group, which I lead, provide investment support in Medicine and Medical Research dedicated to seeking cures for several ailments which affect the African continent as well as investment in Sport and Sport as a panacea for the development of Africa’s teeming youth population.

The latter has been particularly evident in the Sport of football where we have major relationships with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF)and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

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This is even as we continue to regularly provide financial support and investments to encourage building the “Nigerian Dream” through multi-dimensional and multi-faceted socio economic interventions.

Neither I, my immediate family or companies in which I have interests would embark on the sponsorship of a movement which is unknown to us.  This would be crass, irresponsible and inconsistent with the commercial prudence that a businessman of my accomplishment would consider.

To, therefore, name me as a financier of such a venture is not only vile and callous, it is insensitive and inconsiderate.  It is a sad reminder of the length that some people, manipulating the malleable, depraved and downright dishonest elements of the media, can go (for reasons best known to them) in their despicable and contemptible attempts to continue to pitch me against the government of the day in Nigeria!

Apart from seeking to impugn my integrity as the publication has done, the authors appear to premise the absurdity of their fabrication on my very well publicized relationship with former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR. I confirm that I know the former President very well.  He is like a father to me.  He was a friend of my father, the late Chief F.B Peters and has a relationship with my family that dates back over 30 years.   In the publishers’ indecent haste to malign the former president and I, amongst others, they demonstrated a shameful shallowness that paid no heed to the very personal nature of our relationship.

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For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, I also confirm, categorically, that the former President has, on no occasion, discussed or mentioned any such plan or intention to me.  This situation very pointedly affirms the irrationality and farcicality of the allegations as a whole.

As unconvincing and implausible as these allegations are, I am constrained to take steps to address these unbridled excesses as a means of protecting my family, my business and I from these unwarranted personal attacks.

Accordingly, I have instructed my lawyers to immediately take steps to obtain a retraction, in the absence of which they are to take all steps available to provide me with protection, remedy and relief.

I ask the general public and well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad, to disregard the tweet and its contents. It is nothing but FAKE NEWS.

Finally, my message to the COWARDS who have, again, sought to use cheap, fabricated publicity and dirty media propaganda to cause me embarrassment, is that no assemblage of hatchet jobs/men or media manipulation can shake my unwavering stand and belief in the fortunes of the Nigerian economy and the success of the “Nigerian Project”. Aiteo as a business endeavour has come to stay and will grow bigger in the years to come.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Signed: BENEDICT PETERS

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10 Years Impact: Tony Elumelu Foundation Enhances Its Flagship Entrepreneurship Programme  

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  • On the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs has enhanced its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme to empower more entrepreneurs across the continent.

These enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020—the launch of the 6th cycle of the Programme—will achieve the Foundation’s mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.

Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee

Most prominent among the enhancements are the new dates in the Programme cycle, its emphasis on providing thousands of entrepreneurs with business training, and its focus on leveraging technology to optimise the application and selection process as well as personalise the journey of each applicant in the Programme tailored to their knowledge and business stage.

The Programme cycle has been updated to place more emphasis on getting more entrepreneurs through the business training. Hence, the announcement of the finalists, who will ultimately be inducted into the TEF Alumni network, will no longer be held on March 22 but will be made at the TEF Forum – the largest entrepreneurship conference in Africa.

Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

Maximising the value derived from the Programme, applicants will now receive instant feedback on their progress to the next stage of the Programme, following their applications. Shortlisted applicants will receive business training tailored to their business stage and for those who move to the next stage mentorship and finally the top performing entrepreneurs from each country will proceed to the business pitching competition, which will determine the finalists to receive seed capital and an induction into the Foundation’s fast-growing alumni network across 54 African countries.

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The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON through his investment company, Heirs Holdings. The Programme has become a beacon of hope for African entrepreneurs, currently empowering 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries with training, mentorship, seed funding and exclusive access to global opportunities as well as a strong entrepreneurial community.

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TEF Alumni such as Ugandan Kwabena Danso who manufactures bicycles and its accessories from bamboo is one of the thousands of beneficiaries whose business has expanded beyond the shores of Africa to a global market, and is one of the success stories and impact recorded by the Programme’s innovative approach to the sustainable development of Africa. Others include Mohammed Dhauoafi from Tunisia, founder of Cure, a  3D printed, biosynthetic prosthesis manufacturing company and Princess Adeyinka Tekenah from Nigeria whose coffee making business has been dubbed Africa’s Starbucks by The Financial Times.

The application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.

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Caption: Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee 

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Caption: Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

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Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020: Jumia Chairwoman, Finance Minister, others to discuss new Finance Act impact on local businesses

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As the Federal Government of Nigeria sets to commence the implementation of the Finance Act 2019, the Chairwoman of Jumia Nigeria, Mrs Juliet Anammah will be joining the Finance Minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed and other experts on Tuesday January 28 to lead a panel discussion on the implications of the new Finance Act at the Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020.

The experts are expected to take a holistic view of the provisions of the Act along the lines of its major components while proffering solutions for an effective administration of the policy.

Joining Anammah and the Honourable Minister are Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Bolaji Balogun; Yomi Olugbenro, Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at Deloitte; Dinesh Rathi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Trade Zone (Tolaram Group) and Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation. The panelists will deliberate on the policy as Nigerians brace up for its implementation.

The panelists will focus on key aspects of the Finance Act 2019 such as digital economy, global competitiveness and remodeling for full VAT system to grow the Nigerian economy. In addition, they will discuss issues around how the new Act affects the Value Added Tax (VAT), Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA), Capital Gains Tax Act (CGTA), Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and Stamps Duties Act (SDA).

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It would be recalled that in 2018, the Nigerian government set in motion an amendment to the existing fiscal policy in the country. A major highlight of the review was the value added tax, which by the 2019 Act has been reviewed upwards to 7.5% from 5%.

Although the enactment of the Act has generated some criticism among Nigerians, the government had maintained that the new Act would serve the country well in terms of its fiscal administration in the long run. The 2019 Financial Act seeks to promote fiscal equity, align domestic laws with global best practices and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The provisions of the policy will also increase government revenues and stakeholders’ investments in capital and investment market through the introduction of incentives.

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About Jumia

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa. It is built around a marketplace, Jumia Logistics, and JumiaPay. The marketplace helps millions of consumers and sellers to connect and transact. Jumia Logistics enables the delivery of millions of packages through our network of local partners. JumiaPay facilitates the payments of online transactions for Jumia’s ecosystem. With over 1 billion people and 500 million internet users in Africa, Jumia believes that e-commerce is making people’s lives easier by helping them shop and pay for millions of products at the best prices wherever they live. E-commerce is also creating new opportunities for SMEs to grow, and job opportunities for a new generation to thrive.

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ZENITH BANK EMPOWERS NIGERIAN SMES, PARTNERS FACEBOOK ON SME DIGITAL WORKSHOP

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Zenith Bank

 

Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to support local Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with the introduction of the ‘Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop’ to provide free digital training for business owners.

The initiative, which is being organized in partnership with social media giant Facebook, will provide free training on how SMEs can use digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to grow their businesses.

Commenting on the initiative, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, noted that the SME ecosystem is a very important component of the Nigerian economy and the digital workshop is expected to assist participants optimally use digital channels to engage potential customers, market their products and increase sales.

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The workshop is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, January 29th and Thursday, January 30th, 2020 by 08:30 a.m. at the following Zenith Bank branches: 23, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; 201, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Ilupeju, Lagos; and 2, Aromire Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop is free for everyone. To register, send an email with the subject “Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop” to smepartnership@zenithbank.com. The email should state the name of the participant and preferred venue of attendance.

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Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS). Most recently, the bank won the Best Bank in Retail Banking and the Bank of the Year at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.

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