…. Each Entrepreneur Receives Non-refundable US$5,000
…. 68% Of Beneficiaries Are Women Entrepreneurs
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has selected 4,949 entrepreneurs from across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme.
The 2021 beneficiaries were selected from a pool of over 400,000 applications, based on their innovation, performance, and growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty on the continent. Consisting of both new start-ups and existing small businesses, the 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs have undergone world-class business training, mentorship and coaching and will have a life-time access to the Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni network.
Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu shared, “To you young African entrepreneurs – work hard, dream dreams, and be very disciplined. You must continue to think of impact. The entrepreneurship journey is not linear – there are ups and downs, but by staying focused and resilient, ultimately success will come your way. The future of our continent is in your hands. What you do as entrepreneurs will go a long way in lifting Africa out of poverty. I am happy that our female entrepreneurs are doing very well, with 68% representation this year.”H
He added: “To our African leaders – these young, intelligent, energetic hardworking, resilient Africans are ready to go. We need to keep creating the right enabling environment to enable our young ones to succeed. We must realise that their success is success for all of us on the continent. We must prioritise them because nations and continents that prioritise their people, succeed. To my fellow business leaders, let us realise that in the 21st century and beyond, it is about impact, legacy and about how we work together to power people out of poverty. It is such a great feeling to see 5000 young Africans also commence their own entrepreneurial journeys today.”
Speaking at the event, Director-General, International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, Mr. Koen Doens stated: “I remember very well, a few years ago in Brussels when I first met Tony Elumelu at one of the events his Foundation was organising. Both of us were struck by how there was such a clear match between his vision on how he could support African entrepreneurship and the European Union’s own vision on how we wanted to support African entrepreneurship. Ever since, our partnership has embodied this same spirit that ultimately African growth cannot neglect the huge potential, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that harbours so many Africans, especially young people and women. I am extremely glad our partnership is moving into this active stage, and I am very glad that over 2400 women will benefit from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s training programme, and will get seed capital to support their ideas. I am extremely happy that at the European Union, we are able to be part of this great endeavour and to support it.”
Also speaking at the event, Assistant Administrator, UNDP/Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa stated: “Our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation on youth entrepreneurship is informed by our belief that Africa will only succeed when young Africans are given the opportunity to excel. This is what has inspired us to invest more than $20 million in emerging African entrepreneurs since we entered into our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Our joint ambition is to empower 100,000 young African entrepreneurs over the next ten years across Africa, recognising that entrepreneurship is the only way dreams can be realised.”
Speaking, Secretary General, OACPS, H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti stated: “On behalf of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), I would like to heartily commend the Tony Elumelu Foundation for this extraordinary achievement. We are proud to have partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation and our longstanding partner, the European Union to unlock the potential of 2420 young African women through this TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, providing mentorship and funding, to grow and sustain these small businesses.”
Speaking on the panel with Mr. Elumelu, 2015 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Hauwa Liman, Founder of Afrik Abaya, shared: “I am always proud to say that I am from the inaugural cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. My business is located in Kaduna, Nigeria. I benefitted from this Programme in 2015, and it opened up lots of doors and opportunities. It is not just about the seed capital, but what really fascinates me about the Programme is the knowledge. I call it a mini-MBA programme, because from the ideation stage it teaches you how to really articulate your business, and it gave me my first business plan. The network, visibility and opportunities are endless. My entrepreneurship experience cannot be complete without the Tony Elumelu Foundation. I will start exporting soon courtesy of the Foundation. We now employ ten permanent staff and an additional eight staff on a commission basis.”
Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, concluded the event stating: “Today, we have trained ten times more young African entrepreneurs than we have trained from 2015 to 2019 combined. Today in 2021, we will be paying out a record US$24,750,000 directly to the hands of African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries. This is impact.”
Since its inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has now funded a total of 15,847 entrepreneurs who have created more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs and counting. Through TEFConnect, the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform, it has provided capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages, to over 1.5 million Africans.
The Foundation added : “Applications for the 2022 Tony Elumelu Foundation opens on January 1, 2022, on www.tefconnect.com. For a list of the selected 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs and information on our applicants, please visit the website of the Tony Elumelu Foundation here.”
CBN Retains MPR At 11.5 Per Cent
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that the Monetary Policy Rate remains 11.5 per cent.
Emefiele spoke with journalists after the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Other parameters left unchanged are the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
Announcing the committee’s decision, Emefiele said : “After a careful balancing of the benefits and the downside risks of the policy options, the MPC decided to hold all parameters constant, believing that a whole stance will enable the continuous permeation of current policy measures in supporting the recorded growth recovery and further boost production and productivity which will ultimately rein in inflation in the short to medium term.
“The MPC thus decided by a unanimous vote, the MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”
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Dangote Refinery To Begin Operations Before End Of Third Quarter Of 2022
The Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser projects is set to come on stream before the end of third quarter of this year.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, when Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) led a delegation of the bank to the project site in Lagos.
“The refinery will commence operation by the third quarter of 2022. On the mechanical completion, we are almost finished but we have started hydro testing, almost 70 per cent gone, hopefully before the end of Q3 operation will commence,” Dangote said.
Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said the refinery complex, which includes a refinery, petrochemical plant, a fertiliser plant and a subsea pipeline project, is the largest single-train refinery in the world.
Edwin stated that the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would stimulate economic development in Nigeria.
According to him, Dangote Petroleum Refinery can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Jet), and also have surplus of each of these products for export.
He stated that this would create a market for $11 billion per annum of Nigerian crude and foreign exchange savings/earnings $9.9 billion.
“We have impacted on job creation with 3,580 Nigerian personnel on site, excluding employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the site,” he noted.
Commending Dangote for the initiative, the AfDB President said, “One of the things I admire the most about Alhaji Dangote is that, he actually believes in Nigeria, and he invests his money in Nigeria. He believes in Africa and invests in Africa. Nobody could invest the type of billions of dollars that is here, unless the person not only has the vision but also the commitment and passion for his country. We are extremely proud of you and of your commitment to the continent.
“I am completely blown away with what I saw here today. I can’t believe what I saw. This project will reverse the huge sum the nation spends on foreign exchange. When you look at how much we import, it is about $57 billion worth of different products and we export only about $50.4 billion, so we have to balance that with about $7 billion and talking to them here, they showed us that they can have a domestic market of about $11 billion and that is an incredible market and that will save Nigeria about $9 billion, a year from importing petroleum products. So, this is huge for Nigeria and even for Africa as a continent.”
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AMCON Seizes Ibadan Electricity Company
The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Ltd.
This was disclosed on Friday by the Chief Operating Officer, John Ayodele, in an internal memo to members of staff.
“Further, to the judgment wherein the Federal High Court on the 8th of September 2021 granted preservative orders in favour of Asset Management Corporation, AMCON, (being the Receiver/Manager of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited); the court has appointed Mr Kunle Ogunba Esq.SAN to act as Receiver/ Manager Nominee in the receivership action,” Mr Ayodele said.
Mr Ayodele also disclosed that the receiver appointed, Mr Ogunba, had already held a meeting with the management staff.
The action follows the judgement by the Federal High Court on September 8, 2021, which granted orders in favour of AMCON as Receiver/Manager of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing (IEDM) Limited, IBEDC’s core investor, over defaults in a Loan Service Agreement with Polaris Bank.
The takeover also includes the assets of IEDM, including shares and interests in related companies and entities, in addition to the monies kept in banks.
In 2018, the NERC in an order on June 19, 2018, directed IBEDC to commence the process of dissolution of its Board within 21 days period, citing alleged delay in the repayment of some loans by IBEDC investors.
The loan was granted by IBEDC from funds released to all DisCos by the CBN under the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Funds (NEMSF) for the purpose of improving the networks and reducing aggregate technical, commercial and collection losses.
The IBEDC, led by Tunde Ayeni, responded that the electricity company had completely fulfilled its financial commitments.
In response, the directors of the electricity company sued NERC for its decision to suspend them from the Board of IBEDC.
In July 2020, the Federal High Court in Abuja set aside the order from NERC that removed the Tunde Ayeni-led Board of Directors of the IBEDC.
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