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CBN introduces N500m entrepreneurship grants for graduates, undergraduates

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says it will support youths in tertiary institutions with grants to promote entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment and reduce the trend of graduates seeking white-collar jobs but turn their attention to the creation of jobs.

It said the initiative called Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme, would be executed in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs (gradpreneurs).

It stated this in a circular, titled ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme’, dated October 2021.

The apex bank stated that the goal of the TIES was to enhance access to finance to undergraduates and graduates of polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas.

The CBN stated, “The scheme is designed to create a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates from the pursuit of white-collar jobs to a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.”

The CBN said it would distribute N500 million among the top five tertiary institutions with the best pitch.

“Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows: first place – N150m; second place – N120m; third place – N100m; fourth place – N80m; and fifth place – N50m,” it stated.

The apex bank stated that it ”shall constitute a Body of Experts (BoE) from the private and public sector for the biennial regional and national entrepreneurship competitions to evaluate entrepreneurial and technological innovations submitted by Nigerian polytechnics and universities. The Body of Experts (BoE) shall recommend projects with high potential and transformational impact for the grant award.”

It gave the key highlights of the scheme as projects financed under the Scheme shall be monitored by independent monitors jointly engaged by the CBN and PFI; would be operated for 10 years in the first instance (not exceeding 31st December 2031) depending on the complexity of the project; interest payment and principal repayment should be made on a monthly or quarterly basis by the obligor depending on the established cash flow cycle and in line with the approved repayment schedule.

 

Auto

Excitement as NAJA introduces new categories in auto industry awards, announces date

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The Nigerian auto industry has come alive again following the announcement by the Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) to hold the 2022 edition of its annual awards on Wednesday January 25, 2023 at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Towers, Victoria Island.

Auto industry players are particularly excited about the introduction of new categories including the most popular brand whose products are most visible cutting across different models.

Speaking on the new date, Chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr Rasheed Bisiriyu, stated that it had always been the tradition of the organizers to schedule the award ceremonies to coincide with the end-of-the-year festive period, but it had to be rescheduled for the New Year due to some unforeseen circumstances.
According to him, the NAJA awards which annually reward excellence in the Nigerian automotive industry, has over the years become a great platform to bring together critical stakeholders in the industry.
“One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in the automotive field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector.”
He also said nominated vehicles would be judged based on value for money, pricing, cost of maintenance, depreciation rate, fuel consumption, warranty & dealer access and insurance.
“It will also be judged on design and functionality which will take into account factors such as safety, environment, seating comfort, space, practicality and ergonomics.
“Nominated vehicles will also be selected based on performance such as handling, braking, smoothness and quietness,” he added.
He said once the expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money are applied, the nominees in all the categories would be announced.
“Every year, we adapt the scoring system slightly to consider new global and local market trends to ensure the credibility and objectivity of the awards, ” Bisiriyu said.
In his own remarks, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, explained that the change in the traditional date would not in any way affect the glamour and credibility of the awards.
He said new categories such as Most Popular Auto Brand had been added to the 2022 edition.
He assured stakeholders of utmost objectivity, credibility and integrity.
“NAJA awards present a platform for the automotive industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of manufacturing, assembling, technology, stewardship, franchising and innovation,” he added.

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Railway

NRC will resume Abuja-Kaduna train operations Monday Dec 5 – MD Okhiria

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‘Update mobile app for booking’ – NRC says Abuja-Kaduna train to resume on Monday

The Federal Government says the Abuja-Kaduna train services will commence on Monday, December 5, 2022.

Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, stressing that all was set for the resumption of train operations along that route on Monday

He, however, advised passengers to begin updating their mobile apps as from December 3, 2022, to enable them to successfully book for rides.

He noted that services would commence with two train rides from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa.

Okhiria said, “AK 1 will depart Idu Station at 9:45hrs and arrive at Rigasa station at 11:53hrs. KA 2 will depart Rigasa at 8:00hrs and arrive Idu station at 10:17hrs. AK 3 will depart Idu Station at 15:30hrs and arrive Rigasa Station at 17:38hrs. And KA 4 will depart Rigasa at 14:00hrs and arrive Idu Station at 16:07hrs.

The NRC boss assured passengers of the federal government’s commitment to ensure safety of lives and properties on board its train at all times.

The continued delay in resumption had sparked speculations that services would recommence last Monday.

But on Tuesday, Mua’zu Sambo, minister of transportation, said train services on the corridor would resume within seven days.

The minister said this was to enable passengers to get used to the new requirements (phone number and national identification number) for boarding the train.

 

 

“Your purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile, because that is the beginning of the security checks.

 

“So, at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who is on board.

 

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“If you don’t have a national identification number (NIN) you are not going to board our train. It is as simple as that.”

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Auto

Lagos begins issuance of international driver’s permit

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The Lagos State Government is set to commence the issuance of international driver’s permit with effect from this month, December 2022.

Lagos State Director, Vehicle Inspection Service, VIS, Akin-George Fashola, disclosed this while receiving the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Abdulhafiz Toriola, during an official visit to the head office of the VIS at Ojodu, Lagos, on Thursday.

Already, he said all stakeholders had been engaged, consent sought and the issuance process finalised.

He said the issuance of the international certificates for vehicles and International Driver’s Permits was in line with international requirements as specified in section 326  (U) of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law, (TSRL) 2018, some of which he said include; class or description of vehicle and examination on the vehicle.

He also said private registered vehicles within five years from the date of manufacture would be exempted from the mandatory computerised routine inspection carried out by the VIS as stated in schedule 1, section 326 (10) of the State’s TSRL, 2018, noting that pre-registration inspections (Auto Vin) would have recorded such vehicles for exemption and all that would be required from the owners of such vehicles is to get exemption certificate from the VIS.

Fashola said the exclusion was one of the ways to prevent the computerized vehicles inspection centres across the state from being over clogged with vehicles.

The director also disclosed that the VIS had commenced a clampdown on rickety commercial vehicles without proper documentation and safety standards as prescribed, in section 12 (2) of the State’s TSRL, 2018.

He called for the support of other law enforcement agencies in ensuring that Lagos roads are free of rickety vehicles.

Addressing the vehicle inspection officers, Toriola enjoined them to work in line with the mandate of the VIS by ensuring that all vehicles plying the roads across the state meet safety standards in line with international best practices.

He also urged the directorate to intensify its advocacy and safety drive especially at this Yuletide season.

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