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Hilda Baci, Prada Uzodinma, others nominated for Under-30 CEOs awards



Hilda Baci, Prada Uzodinma, others nominated for Under-30 CEOs awards

Hilda Baci, Prada Uzodinma, others nominated for Under-30 CEOs awards

A Nigerian chef and former Guinness World Record holder, Hilda Baci, philanthropist, Prada Uzodinma, and real estate entrepreneur, Bright Shekoni, have been nominated for the Under-30 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Awards.

The Chairperson of the awards Committee, Mrs Mina Obeten, in a statement, on Saturday in Abuja, said the award would be organised by the CEOs Network Africa (CNA).

Obeten expressed the organisation’s unwavering commitment to fostering the growth of young African talents, highlighting the accomplishments of the nominees.

She said that the organisers of the award released the nomination list on Friday, adding that the voting process would be open till December 6.

Obeten said, “As a devoted platform fostering the growth and recognition of exceptional talent, CEOs Network Africa (CNA) invites the public to actively participate in the voting process.

“Nominees, including Prada Uzodinma, Hilda Baci, Bright Shekoni, and others, have been thoughtfully selected for their outstanding contributions as creators and business owners who exemplify unparalleled leadership, innovation, and creativity.”

Obeten, who emphasised the need also for public participation in the voting process, stated that the voting period would provide ample time for the public to engage and have their voices heard.

“By participating in the voting process, you become an integral part of shaping the narrative of success for these extraordinary individuals.

“We believe in the power of the community to recognise and celebrate the achievements of young business leaders,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of CNA, the awards committee Co-chair, Mr Omoja Wada, Founding partner, highlighted the profound impact the awards have had on the African business landscape over the past five years.

Onoh said, “The Under 30 CEOs Awards have served as a beacon, illuminating the remarkable work of businesses and business owners across the continent.

“Witnessing the transformative influence these awards have had on the lives of young entrepreneurs has been nothing short of inspiring.

“The success stories that have emerged from past award recipients are a testament to the resilience and innovation inherent in Africa’s youth.

“It is this impact, this tangible result, that fuels our team’s unwavering dedication to organizing this event annually. ”

He, therefore, encouraged the public to join the organisers in their quest to showcase African talent and hard work by voting for businesses and people they believe deserve recognition.



Nigeria Customs modernisation project to check extortion of traders



The Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), will check the extortion of traders by facilitating the comprehensive tracking of their goods from the beginning of the trade process until delivery.

This is through its Unified Customs Management System(UCMS), a software that would be deployed to monitor all stages of the transactions by traders.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the TMP is the automation of the business processes of the NCS, to simplify and enhance the experience of stakeholders in the trade value chain.

It is also aimed at making it easy to obtain export and import clearances, and in paying duties and obtaining release of goods.

NAN further reports that the customs modernisation project, which has three phases, is a 20-year concession agreement.

It was signed on May 27, 2023, between the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the NCS Board, and The Trade Modernisation Project Ltd.

Chief Superintendent of Customs, Usman Abba, Head, Business Analyst for the project, told NAN in an interview on Thursday in Abuja that by using the software traders would be able to know when and where there were hitches in their transactions for redress.

Abba said the system would eliminate fraudulent intent and expose those who take advantage of clients who cannot properly track their goods with the current system to extort them.

“This is the platform where the trader has access and is able to track all the stages of transactions and know where the challenge or exactly the issue is until the goods are delivered,“ he said.

He said that the service had received numerous reports of agents attempting to extract additional funds from their clients, by falsely claiming that their goods had not been cleared by customs when the process had already been completed.

According to him, the software, which will soon be inaugurated, is designed to have information on all transactions, including payments and goods clearance, to enable the trader to act as required.

He added that other agencies were also being integrated into the system to examine goods according to their constitutional mandates

On the current stage of the development of the software, Abba said that all internal systems had been completed, and final touches were being done on stakeholder integration.

NAN reports that the TMP is targeting to generate more than 250 billion Dollars in revenue over the 20-year concession.

The project is aimed at bringing Nigeria to par with the rest of the world in the deployment of technology to facilitate international trade.

It would also assist the Federal Government in achieving economic diversification by facilitating easier cross-border trading.


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SMEDAN introduces business pitch competition to enhance financial literacy



SMEDAN introduces business pitch competition to enhance financial literacy

SMEDAN introduces business pitch competition to enhance financial literacy

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has introduced a business pitch competition known as “SMEDAN Speed Pitch”.

The Director-General of SMEDAN, Charles Odii, in a statement, said the initiative was designed to enhance financial literacy and provide small businesses with opportunities to access funds for growth.

Odii said the participants would receive training and support to develop and clearly articulate unique business innovations, viability, and potential to unlock opportunities.

According to him, this will include private investments in the country and across the globe.

He said: “The first edition of the pitch competition will take place on May 1, at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos as part of the Nano Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSME) Engagement Series.

“It will be hosted by Ms Jennifer Adighije, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Entrepreneurship and Innovation/Digital Economy.

“This initiative is part of SMEDAN’s ‘GROW Nigerian’ strategy, which focuses on boosting local production.

“It does this by providing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with financial and non-financial resources, including markets, knowledge, mentorship, and tools, to grow sustainably and spread prosperity.’’

Odii said to participate in the first edition, businesses must be female-owned, registered, and in operation for at least three years.

He said: “Applications will open on April 24 and close on April 27.

“Shortlisted applicants will undergo a test to determine the top five performers who will get the chance to present their pitch at the main event in Lagos.

“The winner will receive a prize of one million naira for workforce support, procurement of work tools, and business expansion.

“ Runners-up will receive 300,000 and 200,000 respectively, along with free Business Development support.”

On how to apply, the Director-General urged applicants to upload a three-minute video pitch to social media.

Odii said: “Introduce yourself in the video and showcase your product/service and the problem it solves, and make a case for why you should be enlisted.

“Follow and Tag SMEDAN’s official pages (@smedaninfo, use the hashtag #SMEDANSpeedPitch), and remember that the application deadline is April 27.

“For pitch criteria, you must possess a clear vision and concept, understanding of the target audience, unique selling proposition (USP), short-term and long-term goals and utilisation of the prize (money).

“The judging criteria will include, clarity, market potential, innovation and differentiation and presentation skills.”


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We generated N30.2 bn revenue in three months – Kano NCS Comptroller



Nigeria Customs Service deepens ties with Benin Republic to facilitate trade

We generated N30.2 bn revenue in three months – Kano NCS Comptroller

The Kano Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says it generated N30.2 billion in revenue between January and March 2024.

The Area Comptroller, Mr Dauda Chana, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Kano.

NAN reports that the Kano area command covers Kano State and Jigawa.

Chana said there was a significant increase in the revenue generation profile of the command when compared to the same period in 2023 when N9.5 billion was realised within the same period.

The comptroller said already the area command has introduced more sensitive security measures to prevent all forms of smuggling in the area.

“We have already positioned our officers at strategic locations to deal decisively with all those involved in the illegal smuggling of materials.

“The area command has deployed officers at border posts in Maigatari, Gumel Local Government Area, Jigawa, to intensify efforts at mitigating activities of smugglers.

Read Also: Kano NCS generated N6.9bn in November – Comptroller

“The same applied to officers at the Jeke outpost in Babura Local Government Area of Jigawa.

“We are battle-ready to end smuggling through our various strategies to pave the way for arrest and prosecution of those involved in illegal businesses,” he said.

Chana appealed to traditional rulers and stakeholders, especially those in border areas, for their support and sensitisation of their residents on the negative effects of smuggling on the nation’s economy.

“We have also reached out to youths in the border communities, to assist our field officers with required intelligence that will assist in curbing all forms of smuggling activities.

“The command’s area of coverage is a no-go area for smugglers as officers have been stationed at identified illegal smuggling routes to ensure arrests and prosecution of offenders,’’ Chana said.

The area commander, however, solicited the support of stakeholders in encouraging residents to shun smuggling and embrace the export of locally produced goods.


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