The Bank of Industry (BOI) has extended its aggressive plan to make funds available to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across Nigeria to Benue State. The bank on Tuesday signed a Matching Funds’ agreement with the state government. So far, the BOI has signed Memorandum of Understanding with 20 states in an effort to empower small businesses and encourage local manufacturers at the state level. Since the acting Managing Director of the bank, Mr Waheed Olagunju, mounted the saddle eight months ago, the bank has established counterpart funds with Abia, Sokoto and Katsina States. The latest is the two billion Naira matching fund with the Benue State government, which brings the total sum of funds between BOI and different states to 18.2 billion Naira. Benue State, which prides itself as the ‘food basket of the nation’, contributes a large per cent of Nigeria’s food production. It sits quietly by the Benue River in Nigeria’s central region Seventy per cent of its population embraces farming, cultivating a vast array of food and cash crops, like rice, peanuts, soybeans, citrus, yam, and palm, but many believe the food processing capacity could be further maximised. Capacity development as well as introduction of modern techniques and equipment in farming are some aspects experts suggest must be explored, but these require huge funds to achieve. The Governor, Samuel Ortom, who himself is a successful farmer, knows this well. He had invited the BOI to partner with the state. Mr Ortom urged his people to maximise the opportunity. After the dotted lines were signed, the Governor joined his colleagues from Abia, Kaduna, Katsina, and Sokoto, who have in the recent past, testified to the quality of leadership at the bank.
The young Germans have won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup by defeating Chile 1-0.
Lars Stindl in the 20th minute gave the Germans the lead when a momentary lapse in concentration from Diaz let Timo Werner rob him of possession and passed to Stindl, who tapped into an empty net. The goal ensured that Germany for the first time would win the Confederations Cup in the eighth edition of the pre-World Cup tournament.
Despite dominating for long spells, Chile failed to turn 61 percent possession and 20 shots into goals. The South Americans kept the same team which defeated Portugal 3-0 in a penalty shootout. The Chileans gave their all in the game but the Germans would simply not fall. Eduardo Vargas started with a shot on the 11th minute which flew into the grateful arms of Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Vidal’s shot was blocked by Ter Stegen and Alexis Sanchez could not connect with the loose ball.
Chile’s inability to take their chances proved costly as the Germans scored when Diaz error on the edge of his own box allowed Werner to pounce and square the ball to Stindl, who tapped home. Having fallen behind, Chile upped the pressure to force an equaliser but failed as Germany emerge champions.
Werner, Stindl and Leon Goretzka all finished with three goals but RB Leipzig striker Werner took the top scorer’s prize by virtue of also supplying two assists.