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Corps Members Open 38,000 Businesses – NYSC

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has said that aided by its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, corps members have utilised their acquired skills to establish more than 38,433 businesses.

Yusha’u Ahmed, the director-general of the NYSC, disclosed this during the 2024 SAED stakeholders’ meeting and debriefing of SAED schedule officers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Speaking on the theme, “Deepening the impact of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development – A panacea for graduate unemployment,” he said, the NYSC has provided entrepreneurship development training to more than 3,306,646 corps members, with 565,489 currently undergoing diverse training programmes.

Yusha’u Ahmed expressed satisfaction, noting that 38,463 of them have successfully launched their businesses and are thriving as employers, while 11,881 received financial empowerment from collaborating partners.”

The director-general emphasised NYSC’s commitment to enhancing the functionality of SAED and elevating its status as a leading model for youth empowerment in Nigeria.

“I, therefore, implore all partners gathered here to ensure greater dedication to the empowerment of these youths in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the president,” he said.

Ahmed stated that NYSC, via SAED, has built and transferred fully-equipped Skills Acquisition Centres for the North-East Zone in Gombe, the North Central Zone in Keffi, and the North West Zone in Kazaure, in collaboration with Access Bank plc.

He highlighted that the construction of the southwest centre in Ekiti State is nearing completion, and over 40 hectares of land have been acquired in Umuawulu, Anambra State, for the southeast centre, alongside other notable achievements.

The stakeholders’ meeting aimed to assess programme performance, review last year’s reports, address recommendations, and strategise for a new programme cycle and beyond.

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IMF Predicts 26.3% Drop in Nigeria’s Inflation by 2024

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted a significant drop in Nigeria’s inflation rate to 26.3% by 2024. This projection was part of the IMF’s revised Global Economic Outlook released earlier this week, which also predicted a 3.3% growth for Nigeria’s economy this year.

In its report, the IMF maintained the growth prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2024, with a slight upgrade attributed to Nigeria’s improved growth outlook, offsetting downward forecasts for other countries like Angola.

According to the IMF, Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 3.0% in 2025, a slight decline from its previous projection. The SSA region as a whole is forecasted to experience growth of 3.8% in 2024 and 4.0% in 2025, driven by the gradual improvement in supply issues and the easing of earlier weather shocks.

Additionally, the IMF noted a slight uptick in growth for advanced economies, with projections increasing from 1.6% in 2023 to 1.7% in 2024, and further to 1.8% in 2025.

However, Nigeria has been grappling with persistent inflationary pressures throughout the year. The country’s inflation rate rose from 29.90% in January to 33.2% in March, posing challenges to its economic stability despite the IMF’s optimistic long-term forecast.

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Volkswagen Invests $210 Million in South African Plant

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Volkswagen Group plans to inject $210 million into its South African manufacturing plant in anticipation of launching a new SUV brand by 2027. The investment aims to upgrade various facilities within the Eastern Cape-based plant to accommodate the production of a third model.

Martina Biene, managing director of the group’s Africa branch, emphasized aligning company objectives with the current automotive market landscape in Africa. He highlighted the ongoing demand for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) in the region despite the global shift towards electric vehicles.

The first phase of upgrades to the Volkswagen plant, known as the Kariega Plant, is set to commence by the end of 2024 during a scheduled plant shutdown. The development of the new SUV will be led by Volkswagen Brazil, with input from the Africa engineering team to adapt the vehicle to local requirements such as right-hand driving.

While the specific name of the new SUV remains undisclosed, Biene indicated that it would be marketed in African countries where Volkswagen has a presence. Additionally, Volkswagen plans to introduce its ID.4 test fleet in South Africa and Rwanda as part of its broader strategic initiatives.

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e-Payment Transactions Hit all-time High of N234.4trn in First Quarter 2024

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Electronic payment machines are becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria by 2024.

With the recently resolved cash scarcity issue, Nigerians have adapted to the use of POS for cash payments and withdrawals. This transaction increased to N234.4 trillion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 as more Nigerians went cashless during the period.

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) reported an 89% increase in the value of Instant Payment (NIP) to N234.4 trillion from N123.9 trillion in Q1 2023.

From the beginning of this year to March, there has been a steady rise in the amount of payment transactions carried out via various banks and fintech electronic channels in the country

Though the NIP transaction value rose to N72.1 trillion in January from N71.9 trillion recorded in December 2023, the value of electronic payments increased further to N79.3 trillion in February and by March, the value of electronic transactions in the country had surged to an all-time high of N83 trillion.

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