THE Delta State government has in the last four years, empowered over 3000 farmers in various parts of the states with loans totalling about N600 million through its farmer’s support programme.
Emmanuel Uduaghan, the state governor made the disclosure in Asaba on Tuesday November 5, 2013 while speaking at a workshop organised for medium and small scale enterprises on ‘bankable proposals for loan facility requirements and repayment for enterprise development in Delta’.
Represented by Valentine Okwuchi, permanent secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Uduaghan said the workshop was aimed at assisting farmers to expand their farms, adding that soft loans were given to farmers as well as farm inputs to improve their yields. The governor also said that over 950 youths across the state benefitted from the youth empowerment through the agriculture and farmers’ support programme. He said that the empowerment programme had created jobs for youths in poultry production, fishery, piggery and snail farming. Uduaghan said the government was committed to harnessing the abundant energies of youths in the state.
While commending the Delta association of chambers of commerce, industry, mines and agriculture DACCIMA, for organising the workshop, the governor urged investors to take advantage of the abundance of natural resources in the state. He said besides the various windows designed by the private sector to grow businesses, the government, through various investment friendly policies and programmes was poised to make the state an “industrial and commercial haven of the nation.”
Uju Udeme, DACCIMA president, said that the workshop would equip owners of projects with the techniques of presenting project proposals to potential sources of finance by proving the viability of such projects. He said the workshop would also equip the participants with management skills that would enhance their capacity.
World Bank Loan for Housing Financing
NIGERIA can now access a soft loan of 300 million dollars from the World Bank for housing finance project. The federal executive council on November 6, gave approval for its draw down. Yerima Ngama, minister of state for finance, made the disclosure while briefing journalists after the meeting. He said the loan was meant to meet government’s objective of providing affordable housing for all Nigerians.
“The council has deliberated and approved that we access 300 million dollars from the international development association which is a soft borrowing window for developing countries, offered by the World Bank. This loan is going to be used in order to meet the government’s objective in the proposed Nigeria Housing Finance Project. The Nigeria Housing Finance Project is aimed at increasing access to housing finance by deepening primary as well as secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria.’’
According to Ngama, 250 million dollars of the amount would be devoted to the establishment of mortgage re-finance company. He said that 10 million dollars would also be devoted to capacity building and technical assistance to stakeholders in the mortgage industry. “The remaining money will also be used for three other companies for the Nigeria housing finance project. The establishment of mortgage guarantee product targeted at the low income borrower will gulp 25 million dollars. This guarantee will enable people who otherwise cannot provide adequate collateral to access loans.”
Ngama also said currently the housing demand in Nigeria is estimated to be 700,000 units annually while only 100,000 are being built for now.
Also commenting on the outcome of the FEC meeting, Abba Moro, minister of interior, said the council also approved applications for Nigerian citizenship for 174 persons, 129 of them by naturalisation and 45 by registration. He said the successful applicants were from Mexico, Venezuela, South Korea, Cameroon, Thailand, Singapore, Lebanon and Syria among others.
According to him, the council also approved that the applications for Nigerian citizenship be denied 27 applicants in line with the recommendations of the economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC.
DHL’s Investment Plan
DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, has announced an investment in facility and air infrastructure in West Africa, to meet the demand for express and freight services in the region. The investment includes the launch of a new airside facility in Dakar, Senegal, and the addition of three aircraft – a Boeing 757 and two ATR72s to the regional fleet.
Commenting on the new projects, Oliver Facey, vice-president, operations, DHL sub-Saharan Africa, said the company had recognised the importance of improving its facilities in various parts of the continent. “Over the last few years, we’ve increasingly seen the importance of upscaling our facilities in the various regions within the continent. As multinationals turn to Africa and as smaller African enterprises move towards to trade cross-border trade, regions like West Africa need increased infrastructure and capacity to cope with the rising demand for the transportation of goods across these markets.”
The express operator, which already has a large hub and a gateway in Lagos, Nigeria, opened the facility in early November, to handle transit volumes. The facility will enable the handling of consignments destined for Senegal and transit them through Dakar to help with the improvement of the service quality delivered to a market with ever increasing activities, consistently under time pressure. Facey added that the company had also expanded its facility in Dakar, Senegal as a natural location for feed-in traffic to West Africa. “The Dakar facility receives a new return flight from Brussels and it will be serviced once a week by a Boeing 757 200 SF with a capacity of over 25 tons.”
The two ATR 72’s, each with a capacity of seven tonnes, will connect countries including Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Mauritania. These aircraft are ideal since they have large cargo doors and provide a fully palletized loading capability, making them more efficient for handling.
According to Facy, “These investments mean that we can offer increased dedicated capacity in West Africa and generally have less dependency on limited commercial airlines uplift for volumes along the west coast of Africa. This increased capacity supports both DHL’s express and freight products, especially perishable goods, which have always been one of the easier ways for African businesses to gain access to European markets and now DHL can better support players in this market.”
SkyVision Solutions Package
SKYVISION Global Networks Limited, a leading global communication provider, has announced the launch of a full suite of cloud services and solutions. The official launch of the product will take place at AfricaCom, a telecommunication conference holding in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 12-14, 2013. AfricaCom, an integral part of the company’s ongoing commitment to expanding its activities within the telecommunication market and throughout Africa will be located at booth C14.
Ben Sira, SkyVision’s chief executive officer, said the company’s success in Africa is the result of a comprehensive network of local partners and representatives in Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Morocco.
As a leading service provider in Africa, SkyVision provides viable solutions that help African companies, organizations and service providers develop their information and communication technology capabilities, increase their productivity and profitability, and the level of service they provide to their customers.
The new product will enable customers to reduce overall information technology expenses by deploying new applications without having to purchase additional hardware, software licenses, or be concerned with scaling up or scaling down their computing and storage resources.
In addition, SkyVision will introduce a new mobile application for its voice services. SkyVision’s voice services provide high quality and cost effective international and interbranch voice connectivity. With the addition of the new SkyVision Voice line mobile app, SkyVision customers can now use the same service account at their office, from their laptop using the soft phone application and on the go from their mobile device using the new mobile app.
Ben Sira also said deploying efficient, effective infrastructure and solutions when limited resources are available, is a challenging task and a key enabler for diffusing ICT in developing countries. “We are especially proud to be taking part in this continent-wide event where we can reach out to customers, prospects, policy makers and practitioners in ICT with a viable cloud-based solution. AfricaCom gives us the perfect stage to promote our corporate cloud services, uniquely tailored to meet the needs of e-Governance, e-Infrastructure, and e-Business customers.”
SatADSL’s New Satellite Services
SatADSL, a Belgium based satellite service provider, is set to launch its new range of services for professional users at the AFRICACOM conference, slated to hold in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 12-14, 2013. The new services will allow companies to provide high quality communications and internet connectivity with guaranteed performances to corporate offices, banks, mining sites and all similar medium-size exploitations in Sub-Saharan Africa where terrestrial communication services are either not available, unreliable or too expensive.
The services are offered thanks to the new service delivery platform developed under SatFinAfrica, and ARTES 3-4 Satcom application project co-funded by the European space agency, ESA. The new service delivery platform provides SatADSL with complete control over the definition and enforcement of its service profiles and paves the way for building tailor-made services. The new platform provides to SatADSL the flexibility that is required to serve the complex requirements of the African telecom operators and internet service providers who are offering the service locally and are willing to propose various options that meet their customer specific requirements and budget.
Speaking ahead of the conference, SatADSL chief technology officer, Fulvio Sansone, said the new service delivery platform is a cornerstone in the company’s development. “Companies in sub-Saharan Africa are often confronted to limited coverage and reliability of terrestrial telecommunications means. Outside of urban and coastal areas especially where the population is less dense, telecommunication links may not be as reliable as needed by professional users. That is where SatADSL comes in with specialised, but at the same time, affordable services for the professional market. This market segment requires customised services, often with guaranteed data rates. SatADSL is now in a position to offer a complete range of services and become a one-stop-shop for its customers for services from low-cost transaction-based or back-up to unlimited services.”
The new services have been successfully demonstrated and are now being launched commercially all over Sub-Saharan Africa in cooperation with SatADSL local partners. They allow medium-size offices and corporate branches to get connectivity, internet access and voice over IP with guaranteed performances wherever they are located. Using the same low-cost, self-installable, Sat3Play hardware, users will be able to choose among a wide range of unlimited, contended services, as well as the previously available fair usage policy-based services.
SatADSL delivers and manages customer’s mission-critical communications with end to end solutions, integrated technologies and flexible service options. SatADSL is a premium partner of SES and Newtec respectively leading satellite operator and equipment manufacturer. SatADSL is already offering reliable and low-cost satellite networking solutions and operates close to 1000 terminals across sub-Saharan Africa.
Caroline De Vos, chief operations officer, and Thierry Eltges, chief executive officer, will welcome the visitors, potential partner-distributors and customers at the company stand located at shop P14 in the exhibition area of the conference.
Compiled by Vincent Nzemeke
—Nov. 25, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT