Stories by Omodele Adigun
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) is a scheme established by the Lagos State government to help raise entrepreneurs, from existing operators and people with good entrepreneurial ideas. The state had earmarked N25 billion for the scheme, which is for all residents of the state, including indegenes and non-indegenes alike. The programme is under the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment.
Recall that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on May 29, 2015, established the Ministry to create and promote sustainable wealth for the citizens of Lagos State.
To access the fund, the state said that only youths and residents with innovative and creative business ideas would be considered.
Speaking at a news briefing in Lagos, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, said the fund was to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in the citizens.
He said the Ambode administration was committed to promoting entrepreneurial spirit in Lagosians to proffer solutions to the lingering crisis of unemployment and constraint to wealth creation in the state. He said the government would commit N6.25 billion annually to the fund for the next four years.
He stated: “The fund is to be given out as a loan with moderate interest rate of three per cent per annum to unemployed youths and residents of Lagos State with innovative business ideas.
“The Trust Fund is aimed majorly at reducing the level of unemployment among the youths by making funds available to those who have innovative ideas that can translate into viable businesses.
“It is hoped that this would not only make them self-employed but also employers of labour.”
Durosinmi-Etti said the ministry had established employment centres in the five divisions of the state to coordinate job registration and labour exchange programmes.
He said: “These centres would provide career counselling to aspiring youths so that they can join the workforce with better skills for enhanced growth and development. I urge our youths to take advantage of this programme to help them choose, change and adjust to occupational life.”
To participate in the scheme, some of the criteria to be fulfilled by a potential beneficiary include the following:
First, he or she must be unemployed: And during registration, residents will be expected to provide pertinent information, including education level and skills.
Recently, the state started online registration of jobless/unemployed people to enable it develop appropriate intervention programmes.
The exercise, still under the auspices of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, was mandated to also provide data and profiles of jobless youths, with a view to training them.
The mission of the Ministry is to promote and sustain entrepreneurship and employment through effective use of wealth creation strategies and resources by collaborating with all stakeholders.
How to Apply
Unemployed youths are to register online via the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment website.
CBN plans special forex sale for airlines
The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) on Monday asked banks to submit bids for a special currency auction to clear the backlog of matured outstanding dollar obligations for selected sectors of the economy, traders said on Monday.
The apex bank instructed the banks to submit backlog dollar demand from fuel importers, airlines, raw materials and machinery for manufacturing firms and agricultural chemicals for a special forex intervention. The first recession in the country for 25 years, caused by low global oil prices, has cut the supply of dollars needed to fund imports. Attacks by militants on pipelines in the oil-rich Niger Delta since January have reduced crude output, reducing dollars earned.
Dollar shortage in the Nigeria, whose crude sales make up two thirds of government revenue, has caused many companies to halt operations and lay off workers, compounding the economic crisis. Traders said the central bank plans to sell funded forwards of two to five months tenor dollars to the targeted sectors at an auction ahead of the closure of the forex market for the year.
The bank is expected to close all foreign exchange transactions this Friday ahead of its financial year end and the Christmas period.
Meanwhile the naira has traded around N305.5 to the dollar on the official interbank market since August, while it was quoted at 487 to the dollar on the parallel market yesterday.
PayU, online payment solution debuts in Nigeria
A global online payment service provider, PayU has been introduced in Nigeria with innovations that will continue to make the market more competitive.
PayU Payments Nigeria Limited with trading name as ìPayUî, according to its Country Manager, Juliet Nwanguma, is a recently established payment business in Nigeria and fully approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria in line with its initiative to promote cashless economy. The company which simplifies online payment transactions, forms part of the leading and trusted PayU group of companies (PayU Group) owned by Naspers. Globally, the PayU group of companies provides payment processing and related services to merchants and consumers. The PayU Groupís strength lies in its local approach to payments: valuing local language and culture. By establishing a local presence in Nigeria, this further underscores the Group’s values.
PayU offers simple and secure online payment services to merchants enabling them to accept payments of goods and services using debit and credit cards from their customers and other alternative payment methods as well.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja during the 2016 annual retreat of the Committee of e-Banking Heads (CeBIH), she said PayU is a leading online payment service provider in 16 global markets.
Nwanguma said, “Our objective is to provide simple and secure online payment solutions to merchants and consumers. This objective is in response to the growing market and regulatory needs to take cash payments online and digitise the economy, whilst at the same time ensuring financial inclusion for all.î
“We started operations last year, so we are a young and growing business. Our aim is to look at the needs of merchants in the country and develop innovative payment solution that will solve their problems and grow their revenue in the online space.
And for consumers, offer them a simple and secure means of payments to merchants and businesses.
“For us, our value proposition is based on our technology which enables us to provide superior products offerings and develop innovative payment solutions. We offer various services and solutions to enable different sizes of merchants and businesses to receive online payments with or without a website and also provide automated collections of regular payments from their customers. We understand payment processing from end to end and work with merchants to offer payment solutions based on their needs and requirements. Our payment solutions are innovative, secure and reliable. Another unique value proposition is our culture.”
According to her, “the dynamic and lean nature of our company enables us to provide excellent customer service and support. We are easily accessible and customers can talk to us and get in touch with our executives easily. This gives an edge over competition.”
Nwanguma speaks further on some of the features of PayU payment gateway which is in line with global payment offerings.
“Secure processing of local and international debit, prepaid and credit cards for online and mobile payments with 3D secure and 2-factor authentication, seamless integration options based on the size and need of the merchant or business, pre-integrated plugins to popular shopping carts to enable ecommerce merchants to start selling immediately, tokenisation and recurring features for regular payments to improve collections, additional fraud management services to further securemerchants’ transactions, and easy and flexible reporting interface to view and monitor transactions as they happen real-time.”
PayU offers simple and secure payments solutions whether online, mobile or offline.We give merchants and businesses the right tools to safely accept payments and can tailor their unique payment needs according to their business requirements. Our expertise in payment processing enables us to work with businesses of any size and in any industry to develop a clear payment strategy allowing them to focus on their core business.
DMO seeks advisers for first Islamic bond
The Federal Government is looking for financial and legal advisers as well as trustee firms to organise its first Islamic bond in the domestic market, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said on Monday.
DMO is working on a debut sovereign sukuk but is yet to determine the size of a potential deal.
Already, a government committee to advise on the amount to be raised from the Islamic bond sale, the timing and jurisdiction of the issue has been set.
Issuance of a sovereign sukuk is part of a plan by DMO to develop alternative sources of funding and to establish a benchmark curve.
In a public notice, the debt office said it required the services of banks and an issuing house to serve as financial adviser, a legal firm to serve as a legal adviser and a trustee firm. It said bids for the roles are to be submitted by January 9, 2017.
The advisers are expected to work with the debt office towards the sukuk issue at a date that is yet to be announced.
In October, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued guidelines limiting commercial banks’ investment in Islamic bonds issued by state governments to 10 per cent of the total amount on offer and fixed a maximum tenor of 10 years for the bonds.
Promo: Fidelity Bank rewards customers in special yuletide edition
As part of its corporate social responsibility to promote saving culture, Fidelity Bank will continue to reward its customers for their patronage, its Managing Director, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo,has said.
Okonkwo, who stated this during the presentation of prizes to the Lagos zone winners of its Get Alert in Millions Promo, said the bank would put in more efforts to raise public awareness on financial inclusion in the country.
Speaking through the bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services and Products, Mrs Chijioke Ugochukwu, the bank chief stated that the Get Alert in Millions promo has become one of the bank’s pillars of financial inclusion in the country.
“We are very happy to put in money, manpower and patriotism behind the strategy of continuous education of the public and promotion of the saving culture , using the platform of the different promos that we have done over the years. So for us as an institution, we feel it is part of our responsibility to promote saving culture,” he said.
At the event, Mr Chiemelie Emmanuel Ejikeme got his cash prize of N1 million, while each of the two winners of the consolation prizes went home with generating set and refrigerator
Recall that during its third monthly draw, the Get Alert in Millions promo produced six winners with a total cash prize of N10 million. The draw saw the emergence of Salman Umar Musa, the bank’s customer in the north, as the star prize winner with cash reward of N5 million.
Similarly, Sunday Uzor, from South-South won N3 million, while Peace Chinenye of Ado-Ekiti branch in Southwest and Ise Iboro Peter from Abuja won N2 million respectively. However, Rahama Yunusa Tahir from Maiduguri, Chiemelie Emmanuel Ejikeme from Lagos and Olaide Oladejo from Isugbe in Southeast won N1million respectively. Consolation prizes won by other customers were generating sets and refrigerators.
“For the first time today, in the special Christmas draw, we have the winners of the sum of N5 million and what this means to Fidelity bank is a high honour and a privilege to have a platform like this promo that enables us achieve two very key objectives, which is to improve financial inclusion in Nigeria and as well as to support the living standard of Nigerians at this critical time,” Mrs Ugochukwu said.