The Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises is the apex Business membership organization (BMO) in Nigeria that was established to co-ordinate the promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises.
All around the world, gender equality advocates are spearheading a discussion around this year’s theme, #balanceforbetter, pressing for a more gender-balanced government participation, workplace and economic empowerment. Different organisations, associations and groups create awareness for a world where women will have equal rights with their male counterparts. NASME Women (Lagos Chapter) was not left out in this year’s celebration as they organised a two day event in honor of the women’s day which took place on the 7th and 11th of March, 2019.
To flag off this year’s women’s day, NASME Women (Lagos chapter) in collaboration with the Association of Nigeria Women Business Network (ANWBN) organized a walk which took place on the 7th of March in all 36 states of the federation simultaneously.
The Women Leader, NASME Lagos, Otunba Gbemi Oduntan, in her speech highlighted the different ways women are striving hard to deliver beyond expectations in all that they do and how they are not equivalently recognized yet for their efforts. She pointed out that the Theme for this year IWD; ‘Balance for Better’ is so apt in demanding an equitable recognition in reward, remuneration and acceptance in all that the womenfolk do, starting from inclusion of Women in the NASME National Council and other Local and National official positions of Service and Leadership across the country.
In her International Women’s Day message, Dr Jumoke Kassim, the PRO of NASME Women listed their focus for this year’s celebration. She pointed out the fact that women have to work extra, balancing the home front with the office work, just for them to be recognised. She also spoke on the seven point’s agenda charter bill as presented by the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network to the government which includes but not limited to:
- 40% Inclusion of women in government.
- Resolving issues of multiple taxation.
- Patronage of made in Nigeria goods.
- Ease of access to funds for all women.
- Implementation of government policies for women in government amongst others.
Day two of the event was tagged “Gender Balance Drives a Better World”. The event was graced by lots of important personals from all works of life including government officials. Mrs. Funmilayo Ibrahim, Dir. Of Cooperatives, represented the Commisssioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperative; Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, while Mrs. Funmi Blaize, Dir. Of Admin & Human Resources represented the Commissioner for Women & Poverty Alleviation- Mrs. Lola Akande. Mrs. Seriki Bello , Dir. Of Employment, Min of Wealth Creation represented the Commissioner; Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf.
Mr. Solomon Aderoju, the chairman of NASME (Lagos chapter) during his speech as read by Mrs. Victoria Oluwasanya, the Vice President of NASME Lagos pointed out that there is need for better life for women in the society due to their huge contribution to the development and growth in the society. He also said that every woman needs empowerment, care and respect for a better balanced world.
The National President NASME, Prince Degun Adeagbo, in his speech extols the importance and contribution of women to nation building through governance at the Federal and State level, and the micro and macro-economy of the country, especially through various micro and small businesses & manufacturing by the women Team and of course at the home front.
Mrs. Funmilayo Ibrahim, Dir. Of Cooperatives, represented the Commisssioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperative.
Speaking on the first topic, “Let’s Build a Gender Balanced World”. Guest Speaker, Captain Mrs. Bolaji Agbelusi said that Nigeria is really doing well in gender balancing. According to her, in some developed countries, women are still being discriminated in the workplace. They do not receive the same salary as their male counterparts. She connected it to the Nigeria Aviation Industry where there is equal opportunities and expectations for both gender. Women are now in management positions and they are really doing well.
To further buttress her points, she listed out why the society needs to make gender parity, a priority. This is because a meaningful inclusion of women in decision making will bring effectiveness and productivity in the society. Also, women are good decision makers and great marketers.
According to a survey carried out on about 4,000 companies, which says that companies with women on their board and strategic positions makes as much as 36.5% more profit than those without women.
She ended by saying that until Nigeria create a gender balanced society, she will not improve because women have natural calling for birthing not only physical lives but lives into whatever they do.
Speaking on the second topic “Gender Balance Drives a Better Working World”. Mrs Funke Egbemode (MD, New Telegraph Newspaper) contradicted the popular opinion that says that women are being discriminated against by men. She said it is nature and the responsibility to keep the world moving that limits women. If they don’t take time off to make babies, the world will come to a halt and they will be failing God.
According to her, why gender balance drives a better working world is because of the strength a woman brings into whatever she does. There are several positive changes that take place when a woman gets into the system. Women are good multi-taskers, in terms of balancing both work and home front. They are good communicators too. When the issue of gender inequality is addressed, we will surely have a better working world.
The third and last Guest Speaker Mrs. Oluwaseun Adesoye (Group Executive, TrustBanc Group) talked on “Positioning Yourself for Balance”. She pointed out that it does not stop at chanting for more gender balanced world; rather the questions should be whether they are ready to pay the price that comes with it. Have they acquired the right skills that will put them in better positioning that will make them key into the balanced world? She encouraged them to be consistent in whatever they do and to always know that their first responsibility is to themselves.
It was indeed a rewarding experience for all the women in attendance who have been empowered to keep impacting positively on the society.
More images from the event (Cross section of Guests and Speakers)
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LinkedIn: Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Ent. Lagos
Empowering Entrepreneurs is the Route to Eradicating Poverty in Africa – Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu
As Tony Elumelu Foundation Past Beneficiary, Wecyclers, Receives King Baudouin Award African Development Prize
Brussels, Belgium, June 13, 2019—The CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, stated that building and empowering entrepreneurs is the route to eradicating poverty and creating economic transformation in Africa. She said this in a fireside chat in Brussels where she was a guest of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium as one of Tony Elumelu Foundation past beneficiaries, Wecyclers received the African Development Prize awarded by the King Baudouin Foundation.
During her remarks, she emphasized the need for Africans to develop a job-creating mentality, not a job-seeking mentality to catalyze the economic development on the continent.
She linked this to the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its impact on the African continent. Its mission is to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years through its Entrepreneurship Programme. Just half-way through the Programme, the Foundation has empowered 7,520 African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries, providing its alumni with a non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 each, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. To further scale the impact of its work beyond its 10,000-beneficiary goal, the Foundation launched TEFConnect—the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs—late last year. Already, the platform boasts over 500,000 registered users who network, do business and forge partnerships across the continent.
Hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation, the ceremony was in honour of the Nigerian business Wecyclers for their contribution to the development of sustainable recycling and environmental wellbeing. In 2012, Wecyclers received seed capital from the Tony Elumelu Foundation through a partnership with accelerator, CCHub.
Following the presentation of the prize to Olawale Adebiyi, Wecyclers CEO, Mrs. Ugochukwu commended the work of the team. The award represented further credence to the importance and potential of entrepreneurship in Africa in transforming the economy and lives of Africans.
She said, “The Wecyclers initiative is further testament to the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s belief that all of Africa’s problems are businesses waiting to be taken on by the bright young minds we have in Africa”.
Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu closed her remarks by reiterating the commitment of the Tony Elumelu Foundation to supporting SMEs and MSMEs and in turn creating the millions of jobs that the youth population of Africa needs.
Tony Elumelu Foundation
Africa loses $50B annually due to corruption, illegal flows
Ministry of Planning – Youtube
CAIRO – 13 June 2019: The first African Forum for Combating Corruption revealed that the African continent losesan estimate of $50billion annually due to corruption and illegal financial flows, the Planning Ministry said.
The forum,which is held under the patronage of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh, highlighted several issues and important topics in the strategies of African countries and their efforts to confront corruption and illegal financial flows.
The Ministry of Planning, Follow-up and Administrative Reform stressed that the problem of corruption is of the utmost importance to the development priorities in the African continent, emphasizing the need for comprehensive treatment for the matter.
The ministry also expressed its happiness and pride in participating in the session “Sustainability of the African continent’s resources to serve the objectives of sustainable development” as it is the first forum of its kind to be held on the African continent.
The ministry talked about the importance of anti-corruption efforts to achieve sustainable development.
It also pointed out that the national plans and strategies to achieve sustainable development in many countries of the continent, including Egypt,are based upon special axes fighting corruption, indicating that this reflects the centrality of anti-corruption efforts within the framework of the UN, regional and national strategies for sustainable development.
“Corruption negatively affects the revenues of public budgets of states, the economic efficiency of institutions and the efficiency and effectiveness of public administrative organizations as well as its impact on the investment environment in general,” it stated.
According to the ministry, the African countries have stepped up their efforts in recent years to fight corruption and increase regional cooperation in this area, the ministry said, stressing the importance of activating mechanisms and legal and regulatory frameworks developed by the countries of the continent to combat corruption, including the African Union Convention against Corruption and the SADC Anti-Corruption Protocol, as well as ECOWAS Anti-Corruption Protocol.
On the Egyptian anti-corruption efforts to achieve sustainable development in accordance with the vision of Egypt 2030 and at the national level, the Planning Ministry pointed out that the Egyptian State attaches great importance to intensifying efforts to enhance the efficiency of institutions and fight corruption to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.
The Egyptian government is currently carrying out a comprehensive plan for the reform and governance of the administrative system, the ministry said, stating that the plan aims at raising the efficiency of institutions, strengthening governance and combating corruption.
WorldRemit launches new product for business payments to Nigeria
Through the WorldRemit website and app small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now quickly and securely transfer money to pay employees and contractors in 140 countries including Nigeria
LONDON, United Kingdom, June 13, 2019 – Leading digital money transfer company WorldRemit has launched WorldRemit for Business, a new service that enables small and medium-sized business owners to quickly pay employees and contractors in 140 countries worldwide, including fast-growing markets such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The platform will first be available to U.K.-registered businesses.
WorldRemit’s low fees and exchange rates are shown up-front and customers can send money easily via the company’s website and app. By extending its money transfer service to SMEs, WorldRemit will save businesses time and money when they make international payments.
Each year, the UK imports $2 billion in goods and services from Nigeria, where SMEs account https://pwc.to/2Re1abj for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment. WorldRemit for Business will make it easier individuals to receive payment by UK-based partners via bank transfer to GT Bank accounts. While some banks can take up to one week to process payments, WorldRemit transfers to Nigeria are processed instantly.
Customers sending funds abroad can easily track their transfers in real-time on the WorldRemit app and opt-in to receive daily exchange notifications to send money abroad at the optimal time.
Ismail Ahmed, Founder and Executive Chairman at WorldRemit, comments: “When I first started WorldRemit, I was frustrated with the high charges and long delays in sending money abroad both as a business owner and consumer. Over the past 9 years, we’ve made it easier for 4 million people around the globe to send and receive money.
Today, we’re pleased to extend that service offering to businesses, and put an end to the steep fees that many businesses have to pay, especially when sending to Nigeria. We’re committed to making it quick, safe and easy for you to pay individuals across borders, leaving you to focus on growing your own business.”
Shane Lennox, Senior Product Manager for Business, comments: “With more people moving and settling across borders, the nature of business is becoming increasingly global. This new product offering is catering for those in need of a digital service that solves a number of pain points faced by SMEs with international staff and contractors. This new product launch will enable millions of SMEs to benefit from our award-winning convenient service.”
WorldRemit customers complete over 1.4 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 140 destinations using its app or website and remains committed to providing innovative solutions to meet money transfer needs across the world. In addition to partnering with Nigerian Banks including First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc for instant digital money transfers. In April 2019 the company launched international transfers to Paga mobile money accounts.