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UNIDO says quality products key to sustaining MSMEs



Mr Jean Bakole, Regional Director of the UN Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) says that production of quality products remains key to the sustenance of  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Bakole made the statement on Thursday at the 2nd project awareness dissemination event of strengthening the capacities of local MSMEs/manufacturers to produce high quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and healthcare-related products, held in Lagos.

He said that the objective of the project was to ensure that MSMEs produced high quality products and also remained in business.

The UNIDO chief added that the project was also to ensure that the future of young people was secured, noting that MSMEs were crucial in economic growth.

”MSMEs constitute a big pillar in which any economy can stand, and production of quality products is important.

“We would like to see the ownership of the MSMEs grow beyond local consumption and also link them to international markets.

“About 162 MSMEs were selected for this project out of about 5,000 that applied and we are working to see the number of products to help project the products.

“We need to think outside the box in order to help the MSMEs.”

Bakole lauded the European Union (EU) for funding the project, saying that the support of the union was fundamental for the MSME project.

Also, Ms Samuela Isopi, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, said that the EU supported the project to help MSMEs produce PPEs to international standards.

Isopi was represented by Ms Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria.

She explained that the project was funded by the EU with 50 million euros through the basket fund to support 73 per cent of laid-off staff, due to COVID-19.

Tassin-Pelzer added that the project was also to help create decent jobs that would focus on women and youths, noting that women and youths were mostly affected by the pandemic.

“We are moving together closely. We are also pleased with the support and the cooperation with UN agencies and government in ensuring that the project progressed to this level.

“The EU will always partner and work with Nigeria, and we look forward to seeing sustainability and benefits in Nigeria,” she said.

Speaking also, Miss Vanasa Phala, the Country Director of ILO, described the project as timely.

She said that MSMEs contributed to job creation and that it was imperative to support the institution to enable them sustain their businesses beyond the project.

Phala emphasized the need to support the institution so that beyond the project, they would be able to sustain their businesses.

She, however, lauded the EU for being in the fore-front of supporting the project.

Also, Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of the Standards Organisations of Nigeria, said that MSMEs were critical segment of the economy.

Salim, who was represented by Mr Ayodele Omotosho, Deputy Director, Laboratories and Chemicals in the organisation, said that development of the sector would contribute to economic growth.

He pointed out that production of quality products by MSMEs remained key in sustaining their businesses.

Salim, however, assured of the organisation’s commitment and readiness to collaborate with UNIDO and other UN partners.

Otumba Francis Meshioye, the Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), lauded UNIDO for the event, describing the project as apt and commendable.

He lauded other UN agencies for their contributions, while also appreciating the EU for funding the project.

Meshioye pledged the commitment of MAN to supporting UNIDO in the manufacturing sector interventions.

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FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets



THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.

“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.

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Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service

The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,

The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).

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DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt



The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real

DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

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