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FG Commences Payment Of N30,000 To 333,000 Artisans

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The Federal Government has progressed with payment of N30,000 one-time grants to 333,000 artisans across the country as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, in a statement, explained the payments were being made to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund.
In the first stream of payments starting on Tuesday, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
The President asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to head the committee, which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan.
Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to, among other thing, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.
Applications for the Artisans’ Support Scheme under the MSMEs Survival Fund opened on October 1.
Meanwhile, the enumeration for the second stream of States under the Artisan Support Scheme has also commenced with enumerators in various States compiling the lists of artisans through their association leaders.
All artisans are expected to liaise with their association leaders to document their details.
The registration of applicants for Stream 2 began on the 19th October 2020. States under Stream 2 are: Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Taraba, Bayelsa
In the same vein, enumeration and verification of the documents of applicants under the Survival Fund Payroll Support scheme is still ongoing. Dates for the commencement of payment would be announced in due course.
The application process for the payroll support scheme, which began on September 21, had ended on the 15th of October 2020. Accepted applications are categorized by industry sectors, including Education and Hospitality, among other sectors.
However, there may be an extension for applications for some States that have not met their quota on beneficiaries. The Artisan Support Scheme is to benefit about 9,000 Nigerians per State and FCT.

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Nigeria Set To Host AIO Confab, As Tope Smart Emerges President

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By Sola Alabadan

All arrangements have been concluded for the forthcoming 47th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) holding in Lagos from September 4 to 8.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee Of AIO 2021, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, who addressed journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, said since the conference could not hold last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the AIO Secretariat LOC decided to hold it this year as a hybrid event to cater for those who will not be able to attend physically.
She emphasised that in planning the conference at this time, the organisers  have taken full cognizance of all the health protocols and restrictions on public gathering, hence the decision to make it a hybrid event.
To give further impetus to this decision, she pointed out that “we are limiting the number of physical attendees, while others are being encouraged to take advantage of the virtual conference to participate from their different locations. For physical attendees, all covid-19 protocols will be observed and implemented to the letter.”

She also commended the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Olorundare Thomas for working assiduously and liaising with the various ministries and agencies to ensure that the organisers get the full support from the government.
She equally informed that of the major highlights of the 47th Conference is that the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association and Group Managing Director of NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart will assume office as the next president of the pan African organisation for the next one year.
As Covid-19 pandemic had left very debilitating effects on many economies and there are efforts at addressing these challenges, participants at the 47th AIO conference would be contributing to discussions around how insurance can contribute to ongoing efforts at rebuilding economies seriously impacted by the pandemic.
The theme of this year’s conference is: Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: An Insurance Perspective.

The four other subtopics to address other contemporary issues affecting the insurance industry are:
The new normal: How leaders can reset for growth beyond covid-19
Regulation, innovation and the future of insurance

Harnessing the potential for growth and development in the Nigerian insurance market

AfCFTA and the African Insurer: Prospects and Opportunities

She added that the AIO Secretariat has assembled a strong faculty to deliver the different papers.
The resource persons are: Mr. Jakkie Cilliers, Institute of Security Studies, South Africa, Mr. Belhassen Tanat of Munich re, Mr. Yinka Sanni of Standard Bank Group, Mr. Tawiah Ben- Ahmed of Metropolitan Life Insurance, Ghana.
The AIO conference will also include the Life Seminar and all related activities.
The LOC chairman further stated that hosting the conference is significant to Nigeria, as it will enable her to showcase hee rich culture and hospitality, as well as provide a great opportunity to correct some of the misconceptions about Nigeria and her people.

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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