N50,000 presidential grant: 100,000 small businesses benefit in first phase – Newstrends
Connect with us

Business

N50,000 presidential grant: 100,000 small businesses benefit in first phase

Published

on

N50,000 presidential grant: 100,000 small businesses benefit in first phase

A total of 100,000 small businesses across the country have so far received a presidential grant of N50,000 under the first phase of the Trade Grants Scheme.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, disclosed this, adding that one million nano businesses would benefit from the scheme.

A report by Saturday Punch quoted the minister as saying this through her aide, Terfa Gyado, in an interview with the newspaper.

Newstrends notes that the grant aimed at driving sustainable economic growth at the grassroots level will be disbursed with 70 per cent going to women and youths, 10 per cent individuals with disabilities, and five per cent senior citizens, and the remaining 15 per cent allocated to other groups.

Bank of Industry (BOI) was appointed as the executing agency for the funds.

The minister said the disbursement which began a few weeks ago would be distributed to 1,291 nano businesses in each of the 774 local governments in the country.

The Federal Government in December announced the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme to empower small businesses as part of the Presidential Palliatives Programme.

It said a total of N200 billion would be disbursed through the BoI to support manufacturers and businesses across the country.

Aniete, giving an update on the scheme, said all verified applicants would receive their grants in subsequent phases.

The minister said, “The Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme kicked off a few weeks back and disbursement has been made to the first batch.

“Each grant applicant gets N50,000 while the applicants are judged by the criteria of owning a nano business and being verified using their Bank Verification Number and their National Identification Number.

“So those who were successfully verified on the nature of their business and all other criteria have been able to get some of the initial disbursement.”

The minister said the grant was paid directly to beneficiaries’ accounts after proper verifications with a target to reach one million small businesses in the 774 LGs and the six council areas in the Federal Capital Territory.

“The target is for one million nano businesses across the 774 local governments across the federation and that works out to a total of 1,291 nano businesses per local government and that is how the spread is going to be.

“So far, the disbursement has hit about 100,000 small businesses and they have got the initial disbursement and the target remains one million. “Disbursement is still ongoing and we are still waiting for data from across all the states and it is an ongoing process.”

Advertisement

Business

BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

Published

on

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released new operational guidelines for Bureau De Change, directing existing operators to reapply for new licences and are given a six-month deadline to meet the new minimum capital requirements.

The new guidelines introduce two categories of BDC, Tier 1 and Tier 2, with minimum capital requirements of N2 billion and N500 million respectively.

The new guidelines were released on Wednesday in a circular to all BDC operators and stakeholders in the financial services industry

Among other things, the new guidelines limited the foreign currency holdings of BDCs (Net Open Position, NOP) to 30 per cent of shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses. It also limited total borrowing to 50 per cent of shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses.

Titled, “Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for BDC Operation in Nigeria”, the circular was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

READ ALSO:

The circular stated: “As part of reforms to re-position the Bureau De Change (BDC) sub-sector to play its envisioned role in the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued the Draft Operational Guidelines for BDC Operations in Nigeria in February 2024, for stakeholder comments/inputs.

“Following the conclusion of the stakeholder consultations and in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 56 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the CBN hereby issues the attached Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau De Change Operations in Nigeria 2024 for compliance by all operators and promoters of proposed BDCs in Nigeria.

“The Guidelines, amongst others, introduce new licensing requirements and categories of BDCs as well as revise the permissible activities, financial requirements, corporate governance requirements and AMUCFT/CPF provisions for BDCs.
“All existing BDCs shall; Re-apply for a new license according to any of the Tiers or license category of their choice as provided in the Guidelines;

“Meet the minimum capital requirements for the license category applied for within six (6) months from the effective date of the Guidelines.”

BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

Continue Reading

Business

EFCC arrests 200 BDC operators for alleged forex fraud

Published

on

EFCC arrests 200 BDC operators for alleged forex fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested over 200 suspects in connection with foreign exchange scams and manipulation of the financial markets.

Sources privy to the development but were not authorised to speak to The PUNCH on Wednesday that over 200 suspected Bureau De Change operators were in EFCC custody across the country.

One of the sources revealed, “Over 200 suspects have been arrested by the EFCC for forex scam and currency speculation. Not all the arrested suspects are in Abuja or at our headquarters because they were arrested in various states across the country.”

Another source noted, “I can confirm that we have arrested over 200 people for foreign exchange scam and manipulation of the financial markets; they are all being interrogated by our investigators to determine the degrees of their involvements. Most of them were arrested in Abuja, Lagos, Rivers, and Kano States.”

Also, a third source stated, “The clampdown on the forex scammers would yield positive results. Many of them have been arrested, and they will face the consequences of their actions.”

The PUNCH reported last week that the EFCC expanded its clampdown exercise on BDC operators, arresting traders in Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.

The raid of the BDC operators is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to tame the free fall of the local currency.

READ ALSO:

The government blamed the actions of speculators in the forex market and digital marketing sphere for the significant depreciation of the naira.

On Friday, May 17, operatives of the Uyo Zonal command of the EFCC arrested five suspected forex speculators at the Ama-Hausa mosque, along Hospital Road, Aba in Abia State.

The arrested suspects are: Hassan Umaru; Haruna Umar, Badamasi Abdullahi, Auwal Muhammed and Kasimu Muhammed.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, in a statement, revealed that the suspects had different currencies in varied sums at the point of arrest.

Oyewale said, “The recovered currencies are: 23,000 Won (Korean currency), 52 (Yuan Chinese currency),  $6, 500 Nippon Ginko, 40 notes of Dalawampung Piso (Philippines currency), 20 Gambian Dalasis, 20 Swaziland currency and N382,000.

 “Other recovered items from them are seven mobile phones, one power bank, one air pod, and one ATM card.

 “They were arrested by operatives of the command, following weeks of surveillance and credible intelligence. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”

READ ALSO:

In another development, Oyewale revealed that the Enugu Zonal Command of the EFCC arraigned Daniel Chukwuka Koussou, a forex broker, before Justice C. O. Ajah of the State High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

He was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on criminal conversion and stealing of N112.8m.

The lone count charge reads: “That you, Daniel Chuwuka Koussou sometime in July 2022, in Enugu, Enugu State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your use the sum of N112, 800, 800.00 (one hundred and twelve million, eight hundred thousand, eight hundred naira), property of Chinedu Igbokwe and thereby committed an offence.”

The offence is contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 30 of the Laws of Enugu State and punishable under Section 353 (1) of the same Law.

The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him and was thereafter remanded at the Enugu State Correctional facility pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.

Oyewale disclosed, “Koussou was arrested following claims of a petitioner, who alleged that he sent $276,000 to the defendant, a supposed agent for Providus Bank, to convert into naira and return same.

 “According to the petitioner, on July 6, 2022, Providus Bank paid Koussou the full money in naira but the defendant sent part-payment of N21,759,771 to him (the petitioner) and diverted the rest for his personal use.  All efforts made to get him to pay up proved abortive.”

EFCC arrests 200 BDC operators for alleged forex fraud

Continue Reading

Business

BREAKING: CBN raises interest rate to 26.25%

Published

on

BREAKING: CBN raises interest rate to 26.25%

The Central of Nigeria Monetary Policy Committee has raised interest rates by 150 basis points to 26.25 per cent from 24.75 per cent in March to tackle rising inflation.

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso disclosed this on Tuesday at the 295th MPC press briefing in Abuja.

The apex boss said the decision to raise the interest rate was to tame the country’s soaring headline inflation which increased to 33.69 per cent in April.

READ ALSO:

CBN had continued tightening of monetary instruments to bring down inflation.

The 295th MPC meeting is the third since the appointment of Cardoso in September last year.

In May 2023, Nigeria’s interest rate stood at 18.75 per cent.

BREAKING: CBN raises interest rate to 26.25%

Continue Reading

Trending

Skip to content