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FG Opens Nigerian Businesses to Rest of World

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FG Opens Nigerian Businesses to Rest of World

By: Michael Mike

Nigerian businesses have been given another opening to the rest of the world as the Federal Government on Thursday launched an online platform that would connect foreign businesses that want to do business with Nigerian businesses.

The government also set up a help desk to attend to Nigerians in diaspora who need information on provision for help.

The Nigeria Global Business Match, NGBM is a real-time online one stop-shop where foreign businesses seeking to do business in Nigeria can transparently conduct end to end transactions with Nigerian registered and verified businesses in a secured and trusted online platform.
NGNM provides a database of registered Nigerian businesses to its foreign counterparts.

The essence is to leverage on the ministry of Foreign Affairs global presence to boost Nigeria’s overall international business, trade and economic relations.

In what may perhaps be described as the parting gift of Geoffrey Onyeama, the ministry also launched two other legacy projects- the Nigeria Global Citizens Help Desk, NGCHD for Nigerians in Diaspora who are in need of help.

Also launched was the Unified Online Presence under Diplomatic Service Digitalization initiative, which is aimed at
seeing all the country’s missions and the ministry in one secure Web space. With this, all the missions and Ministry will now have a uniform naming pattern.

Speaking during the event, Buhari said the projects were targeted towards achieving the mandates given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and would be extremely beneficial to Nigerians abroad.

Buhari who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, appreciated partner ministries, departments and agencies for their contributions and support, particularly those that provided data base access for verification purposes.

He said: “I would like to urge the staff of the Ministry, especially those who will interface directly with this system to utilise them diligently and ensure effective delivery of qualitative service to Nigerian citizens.”

The President further reiterated the need to maintain the legacy projects, as well as improve upon them as innovation permits so that they can compete globally.

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the ministry felt the need to leverage on its physical presence in a hundred countries around the world to promote the portal and direct the attention of the businesses in those hundred countries unto the portal where Nigerian businesses would be able to upload all their information, as well as foreign businesses, in a secure environment as supported by the government, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others.

He said: “Secure environment in which businesses can meet each other. And hopefully, we will be able to have a live match.”

Onyeama further said the portal will be a unique matching tool for businesses as it will open up the world for Nigerian businesses seamlessly.

The Minister said the second initiative was part of the Ministry’s citizens’ diplomacy, saying that there were huge numbers of Nigerians around the world.

“That is one of the reasons why I am also delighted that the Executive Governor of Edo State was able to come here because he has been a champion for the Nigerian trafficking victims around the world and he has been extremely engaged in protecting young, vulnerable Nigerians who had been trafficked or who could be trafficked if the necessary measures are not put in place,” Onyeama also said.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who was at the occasion, said the event was quite significant, adding that the platform provided for Nigerians in the Diaspora and other relevant sister agencies with a channel that provides services where Nigerians can reach out for help, advisory services and also to report in cases of emergencies.

Obaseki added that the recent Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the crisis in Sudan, clearly demonstrated the need for a trusted and dependable channel where citizens can report emergencies and seek help, especially from Abuja and Nigeria.

He noted that: “This service would be of tremendous benefit to our citizens in the Diaspora who, as you are aware, are spread out all over the world.”

FG Opens Nigerian Businesses to Rest of World

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India, Nigeria to Strengthen Business Partnership

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India, Nigeria to Strengthen Business Partnership

By: Michael Mike

Indian Government has revealed its plan to strengthen business partnership with Nigeria, emphasizing that the country remains an important alien.

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, made the revelation on Monday in Abuja at the India-Nigeria Business Forum organised by the Indian High Commission through collaboration with the Confederation of India Industry (CII) business delegation to Nigeria.

The minister, who made his maiden visit to Nigeria, said there is the need for the Business stakeholders to work closely together to improve India-Nigeria businesses and achieve meaningful growth.

Jaishankar said: “We have to keep finding various ways of improving the business enabling climate, there are some banking charges, there could be payment issues, there could be some travel vistas.

“In many cases we have started something but necessarily working, to which there are regulatory challenges, between that could be mutually helpful approach.

“In a way the CII and all businesses can help to solve problems faced by Nigerian partners in India and they in-turn open more doors to us in Nigeria.

“So, we will continue to ease the operation system, motivate business against whatever obstacles, also facilitate and look for new opportunities because there are lots of changes in each country.

“We could harness those business opportunities, a very good example is in the energy sector, it could be in digital field, green energy, I think there are lots of interest in agriculture.”

He promised to build on the mutual relations between Nigeria and India, and also extend such to other parts of Africa.

Jaishankar, who also unveiled the Mahatma Ghandi’s statue at the Indian High Commission in Abuja, said: “For us it is a matter of great fight, because our identity and our bond with Africa that we are displaying to the world.

“I am thankful to all of you for joining us, more than many other countries the Nigerian-Indian community has played very important role in building our relationship and shaping our image.

“So, this will be my one chance to say thank you all for it. But keep contributing to the relationship, keep building the relationship.”

On his part, the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Gangandharan Balasubramanian described the India-Nigeria Business Forum as a platform designed to bring together business community across India and Nigeria
.
He said: “I wish all of you the best and hope that this can be very productive and useful meeting for all of you.

“Something that will strengthen the good and favourable relationship between our two countries.”

The Director-General of CII, Chandrajit Banerjee, expressed the industry’s appreciation to the Minister for driving economic engagement through his leadership and guidance towards Nigeria-India trade and investment relationship to new levels.

He said the CII business delegation forum is to further strengthen economic cooperation, explore business and economic opportunities between India and Nigeria.

Banerjee said: “We have representatives from Energy, Pharma, ICT, Financial Institutions, Infrastructure and defense, besides others in the delegation who are seeking to find business partners in Nigeria.

“India is Nigeria’s leading investor. It is informally estimated that there is around 19.3 billion USD of investment by Indian companies in the country and is home to a large Indian community numbering around 50,000.

“Over 135 Indian companies are currently operating in Nigeria, with Indian owned/operated companies estimated to be the second largest employer.

“As the secretariat of the B20, CII had an Action Council on Africa which had strong participation including a Co-Chair from Nigeria. The Council came out with very strategic recommendations including inclusion of the African Union in the G20,” he said.

The director-general disclosed that the Industry has scheduled the next “CII India-Africa” conclave to hold from Aug. 20 to 21, adding that: “we look forward to a strong participation from Nigeria.”

The event attracted Otunba Adele Oye, National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mr Emeka Obegolu, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), prominent individuals in both Indian and Nigerian business communities and government officials from India and Nigeria.

India, Nigeria to Strengthen Business Partnership

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Nigeria, India Sign MOU to Combat Trafficking in Drugs

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Nigeria, India Sign MOU to Combat Trafficking in Drugs

By: Michael Mike

Nigeria and India have taken a tough step to combat trafficking in illicit drugs between the two countries, with a historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Narcotics Control Bureau of India

Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) who signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria’s anti-narcotics agency said the move represents a robust partnership in the effort to exterminate incidences of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the two countries.

He said: “This bold step taken by the two agencies is an affirmation of our foresight and commitment to the task of ensuring the safety of our citizens and the global community at large. Today’s development constitutes a fundamental step towards positioning the two countries, India and Nigeria, at the forefront of confronting and dismantling transnational drug trafficking networks with brazen capabilities of outmaneuvering legitimate drug law enforcement.

“With our understanding of the changing dynamics of the illicit drug problems, locally and globally, every major organisation around the world working assiduously to curb the menace knows that working with partners greatly helps in addressing the trafficking and abuse of narcotic and psychotropic substances.

“The governments of both countries remain committed to eradicating the problem posed by illicit substances, notably synthetic opioids and Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) which pose a potent threat to our citizens.”

Marwa, while acknowledging the courage exhibited by the two agencies in the course of past meetings that culminated in the MoU, he stressed that the partnership will impact greatly on efforts to prevent “illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, precursor chemicals, and related matters” between the two countries.

In his remarks, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria and Head of the Indian delegation, Ambassador Shri Balasubramanian, who signed on behalf of his country, noted the enormous negative impact of drugs on global financial and political systems, adding that proceeds of drug trafficking are often directed towards terrorism financing.

The envoy observed that drug trafficking does not only affect the health of the individual that consumes it but equally the economy of the country as well as national security. He advised that both countries should take advantage of their similar demographic advantage to address substance use problems.

Balasubramanian noted that the liberal trade relations and educational advantages enjoyed by both countries has been negatively applied to further criminal drug trade, urging that all hands must be on deck to ensure that merchants of death do not succeed in their evil trade. He pledged the commitment of the Indian Government to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of the MoU.

Nigeria, India Sign MOU to Combat Trafficking in Drugs

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CBN to sanction banks dispensing old Naira notes

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CBN to sanction banks dispensing old Naira notes


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has vowed to sanction commercial banks still dispensing old Naira notes ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline for the cessation of the currencies as legal tender.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN stated this on Thursday during a sensitisation campaign on the redesigned Naira notes at Alamis Market in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Represented by Mr Atiku Mohammed-Nasir, CBN’s Director of  Security Service, Emefiele urged the traders and residents of the state to embrace the redesigned notes for their transactions.

He reminded them that the old  N200, N500 and N1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender on Jan. 31, hence all in possession of the old note should take them to the banks.

“Henceforth, When you go to any commercial bank and you are issued the old N200, N500 and N1,000 do not collect because they would become useless as from Jan. 31.

“We will henceforth  sanction any bank found guilty of dispensing the old Naira notes at ATMs or over the counters to customers.

“The CBN has supplied adequate new Naira notes to the various commercial banks. If any bank issue you old Naira notes, report such bank to the CBN for appropriate action,” he said.

The CBN governor insisted that there would be no extension of the Jan. 31 deadline for the termination of the old notes despite appeals for extension by the traders.

He, therefore, urged to traders to make haste and change their monies before the deadline.

Emefiele encouraged traders and other residents to embrace e-banking for their transactions, saying the policy would go a long way to address insecurity and improve the nation’s economy.

Also speaking, Shehu Yakubu, Lafia Branch Controller, CBN, advised the traders and other stakeholders to take the redesigned Naira notes policy seriously by changing their old notes before the deadline.

Yakubu noted that failure to adhere to the instruction, the old notes starched in homes and other places outside the banks would no longer be acceptable and become like toilet tissue paper.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN team also visited some commercial banks in Lafia to ascertain the level of compliance to its directive on the dispensing of new Naira notes through the Automated Teller Machines (ATM). 

CBN to sanction banks dispensing old Naira notes

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