• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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$617m creative enterprise programme to takeoff in states, FCT

$617m creative enterprise programme to takeoff in states, FCT

…as 16 states submit proposals for state police

The National Economic Council (NEC), on Thursday, approved the implementation of the $617.7 million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) programme in the 36 states of the federal capital territory (FCT).

This is as NEC said only 16 out of the 36 states have so far submitted proposals for the establishment of state police.

According to NEC “20 states are yet to send in report. All states expressed their support for the establishment of state police for the following reasons.

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“States made presentations in support of the creation of state police.”

The states also recommended changes in the constitution and the current policing structure to enable the operationalisation of the initiative.

BusinessDay gathered that the Digital and Creative Enterprises project is to be funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) among organisations that will fund the programme.

A breakdown of the sources of funds shows that AfDB will contribute $170million; IsDB, $70 million; AFD, $116 million and Bank of Industry (BoI) on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), $45.50 million.

Others include Fund Manager (For Equity Fund only), $8.70 million, and private investors, $205 million.

The approval was given at the 140th meeting held virtually Thursday and presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, who chairs the NEC meetings

The vice president told the state governors to nominate persons to represent each geo-political zone at the zonal level and focal persons to lead the implementation of the programme in their respective states.

He, however, assured that as the scheme becomes operational in the coming weeks, implementation across the country will be diligent, committed and forthright.

Shettima specifically noted that prioritising whatever offers Nigerians a means to earn a living with dignity are part of President Tinubu’s eight-point agenda.

“But two things are clear: one, we won’t ever regret paving the way for the acquisition of skills that meet the needs of the global markets; two, our actions today will shape the economic landscape of tomorrow, and so it’s incumbent upon us to ensure that we leave a legacy of prosperity and opportunity for all Nigerians.

“When we empower entrepreneurs and small business owners, we unlock the potential for innovation, job creation, and economic growth. By providing access to financing, training, and mentorship programs, we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that lies within every Nigerian, catalysing a wave of economic prosperity that benefits us all. We cannot achieve this without inclusivity and equitable access to opportunities. This is the ladder we must offer to every disadvantaged citizen”.

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He noted that the government has “moved beyond mere deliberations to the implementation phase” and it is actively pursuing its “short-term goals en route to achieving our medium-term and long-term strategies.

“My confidence in our ability to fix our nation stems from the unity of purpose this council has demonstrated. We have rejected binary thinking, resisted divisions, and relegated self-interest in favour of a shared vision for progress,” he added.