The National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), said that it will inaugurate one billion Naira Youth and Women Investment and Empowerment Fund in August.
The President and Chairman Governing Council of NASME, Dr Abdulrashid Yerima said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2023 MSME Day.
The day was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Represented by Mr Victor Joseph, the Chairman FCT Chapter of NASME, Yerima said that the initiative was essential in supporting women and youths in entrepreneurship.
“In line with our commitment to youth and women empowerment, NASME will launch the one billion Naira youth and women investment and empowerment fund in Aug.as part of our 2023 youth empowerment conference,” Yerima said.
According to him, the significance of MSME Day cannot be overstated because it highlights the invaluable contributions of the sector to the world economy and the attainment of sustainable development goals.
“Today, we gather here to celebrate the International MSME Day, a day dedicated to recognising and raising awareness about the crucial role of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) as drivers of economic growth, poverty reduction, and job creation.
“The significance of this day cannot be overstated, as it highlights the invaluable contributions of MSMEs to the world economy and the attainment of sustainable development goals,” he said.
Yerima further described the MSME Day celebration as a testament to the critical role played by enterprises in fostering creativity, innovation, and providing decent employment opportunities.
“It serves as a platform to shed light on the challenges faced by MSMEs, such as limited access to funding, quality education, technology, skill development and market opportunities.
“According to the United Nations, MSMEs account for up to 90 per cent of businesses globally, generating 70 per cent of jobs and making substantial contributions to the global GDP.
“These statistics highlight the immense impact that MSMEs have on both local and global economies,” he said.
While highlighting some of the challenges confronting the MSME sector, Yerima emphasised the need to address funding as a major constraint to the growth of MSMEs.
“In Nigeria, our MSMEs face pressing challenges revolving around digital maturity, security, productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, and growth.
“While digitalization plays a vital role, we must also address the crucial issue of funding.
“Despite the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in implementing financial inclusion programs and digitalization initiatives, there is still a significant gap that needs to be bridged, particularly for credit underserved MSMEs.
“Empowering these small businesses is essential for shaping the future of Nigeria,’’ Yerima said.
He canvassed for stronger collaboration among stakeholders with a view to scale up the activities of MSMEs.
“As NASME, we commemorate World MSME Day annually, recognising the immense value that MSMEs bring to our nation.
“Let us continue working together to empower and uplift our MSMEs, fostering an environment where they can thrive and contribute to the growth and prosperity of Nigeria.
“Together, we can build a brighter future for our country and ensure that the contributions of MSMEs are duly recognised and celebrated,” Yerima said. (NAN)
Tax: Kaduna Eliminates Pilferages, Emerges 5th in IGR Collection – Official
The Executive Chairman of the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS), Mr Jerry Adams, says they have eliminated all tax leakages and corrupt practices, where the state emerges fifth in IGR collection in Nigeria.
Adams said this on Saturday in Kaduna at the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Kaduna & District Society’s 2023
Annual Tax Week dinner.
The theme of the week was: “Taxation: A Panacea to Economic Growth and Development”.
Adams, represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, said that KADIRS had enthroned an exemplary record in the collection of taxes.
He said, “Apparently, all our processes are automated and payments can be made online without any hassle.
”Our unprecedented revenue efforts in the past years have yielded positive outcomes and made us became the cynosure of all eyes of states in recent years.”
According to him, taxation is the most elastic and dependable source of government revenue.
Adams added that in the contemporary period, taxes were not limited to the quantum of money collected but used for the purposes of the growth and development of the national economy.
The executive chairman said that taxation was now an instrument of fiscal policy used to accelerate economic growth through the functions of allocation of resources.
It is also used for income redistribution through poverty eradication and provision of public goods like education, health and infrastructure and stabilisation.
Adams commended the immediate past administration of the state for laying the groundwork and the present administration for consolidating and building on those gains which made Kaduna stand out in the IGR collection.
He also commended the selfless and relentless efforts of the members of staff of KADIRS in the performance of their official duties.
Earlier, the Auditor General of Kaduna State, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi, said taxation was not just about collecting revenue.
He said, ”It is about creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, attracting investments, and providing equal public services to citizens.
“It is through effective tax policies and administration that we can bridge the gap between economic development and social welfare, ensuring that prosperity is shared by all.”
Abdullahi advocated dynamism of the tax system, adding that it would keep pace with the changing economic and technological landscape.
“We must strive for simplicity, transparency, and fairness in our tax policies, minimising the burden on taxpayers while maximising revenue for national development.
”To achieve this, collaboration and cooperation between the Government, tax professionals, and taxpayers are paramount.
“By working together, we can create a tax system that encourages voluntary compliance, reduces tax evasion, and fosters a culture of tax payment as a civic duty,”he said .
Abdullahi acknowledged the hard work and dedication of tax professionals who tirelessly navigate the complexities of tax laws, advising individuals and businesses.
According to him, they are also contributing to the growth of the country and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
Also speaking, the Kaduna District Chairman of the CITN, Mr Dalhatu Abdulazeez, said taxation played a significant role in the development and progress of the country.
According to him, taxation is not merely a means of revenue generation for the government, but a mechanism that fosters socio-economic growth, promotes good governance, and ensures a more equitable distribution of resources.
Abdulazeez said that CITN has been at the forefront of promoting professionalism, knowledge, and expertise in the field of taxation.
“As the premier professional body for tax practitioners in Nigeria, the Institute has been instrumental in shaping tax policies, providing guidance to professionals, and upholding the highest ethical standards in the practice of taxation,”he said.
Abdulazeez said that the event brought together professionals, experts and stakeholders in the field of taxation to celebrate the achievements, advancements and challenges faced in the realm of taxation in the country.
He also said the annual tax week featured visitation to orphanage homes, sport competitions and meaningful interactions with past chairmen of the CITN.
Abdulazeez thanked their sponsors and partners for their support, and members of the district for their dedication and hard work.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the event was the presentation of awards to individuals who contributed to the development of CITN in Kaduna.
Those awarded were the Chairman of KADIRS, the Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Hajiya Amina Etsu, Mr Abdulkadir Kayode, Mr Rahmon Obafunso and Mr Theophilus Ashaolu, among others. (NAN)
Lithium tops Negotiations Between UK, Nigerian Officials in London
A comprehensive investment package comprising the lithium value chain topped talks between British Deputy Prime Minister Mr Oliver Dowden and Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake in London.
According to a statement by Kehinde Bamigbetan, Special Adviser to the minister, the talks held on the sidelines of the “Mines and Money Conference” in United Kingdom.
Bamigbetan quoted Alake as saying that Nigeria had large deposits of minerals and was ready to partner with investors from the United Kingdom.
He said that President Bola Tinubu had introduced value addition as a priority policy in the sector.
“Our new policy places emphasis on local value addition rather than export of raw minerals so that the value of our mineral products can increase,” he said.
According to him, if Nigeria is not doing well, Britain should be concerned.
“And if Nigeria is doing well, Britain can benefit from the opportunities,” he said.
He said that the Nigerian team would be willing to sit down with its British counterpart to take the discussion to the next level.
Dowden said the meeting was to kick off discussion between both countries and that officials of the Department of Trade and investors would work out the details of the partnership.
He commended the Nigerian government for the policy on value addition, adding that going up the value chain would create more economic opportunities for partnership between both countries.
He highlighted the importance of the relationship between both countries, observing that if the relations were bad, Britain would not be bothered with the supplies.
“You are right on value addition. If the processing then happens within a third world country that we are comfortable with, that would be good,” he said.
Reports says that Dowden chairs the British National Economic Security Council, which is interested in partnering with Nigeria on energy minerals such as lithium.
Meanwhile, founder and partner of Carousel Bio-Energy, promoters of the project, Jafar Hilali, briefed the meeting on his firm’s plans to intervene at every stage of the lithium value chain in Nigeria, leading to the establishment of a lithium battery production factory.
He promised to assemble a consortium of British companies in power supply, infrastructure, and lithium battery production with a projection to produce lithium battery-powered energy buses for Nigeria’s domestic market.(NAN)
COP28: World Bank Strengthens Commitment on Financial Ambition to Drive Climate Action
The World Bank Group says it is helping people in developing countries better withstand the devastation of climate change and create a better world for their children and grandchildren.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Bank on Friday after announcing an ambitious financing package at the ongoing 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 in Dubai.
The statement said the World Bank was pushing to do more to battle climate change and do it faster.
According to the statement, the bank will devote 45 per cent of its annual financing to climate-related projects for the fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025.
“This increased ambition is more than just a laudable percentage, it’s putting to work more than 40 billion dollars, around 9 billion dollars more than previously programmed.
“In 2021, the bank announced a goal to reach an average of 35 per cent by 2025 and is currently ahead of schedule, running at an average of 36.3 per cent since July 2022. ”
It said in October, the World Bank secured an ambitious and expanded mandate to create a world free of poverty on a livable planet.
“The new climate pledge is a concrete example of the bank delivering on that mandate.”
The statement said in addition to boosting resilience and adaptation among those hardest hit by the effects of climate change, the bank’s project would also focus on safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity.
“This is to help protect the health of people and the planet.”
It said having pledged to squeeze more from its balance sheet to fund the fight against climate change, the bank would continue to deliver on adaptation to help countries devastated by climate shocks.
“The bank will also focus on mitigation to help reduce the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.”(NAN)
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