Senate Asks FG To Partner With Private Sector, States To Promote Investments

 

The Senate has called on the Federal Government to partner with States, Local Governments and the Private Sector in infrastructure development to promote private investments in Nigeria.

The upper chamber also advocated tax holidays for investors in the solid minerals sector while it urged the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to formalize the operations of illegal miners so as to generate revenue through tax collection.

The Senate further advised the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to collaborate with relevant agencies to push for tax holidays and zero tariffs for import on agricultural and agro-processing equipment.

READ ALSO: Senate Swears In Olujimi After Defeating Adeyeye In Court

These formed part of the resolutions reached by the Senate on Thursday sequel to the consideration of motion on “The need for continuous implementation of policy reforms for the diversification of the Nigerian economy through the Agricultural and Solid Minerals Sectors.”

The motion was sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central) and co-sponsored by 59 other senators.

According to Amosun, available statistics show that the contribution of crude petroleum and natural gas to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined from 14.95 percent in 2011 to 9.61 percent in 2015 while the agricultural sector contributed 23.35 and 23.11 percent, respectively, to the GDP during the periods.

The lawmaker, who noted that Nigeria was endowed with a wide variety of solid minerals in almost all states of the federation, said the solid mineral sector ranked second only to the agricultural sector as a source of export earnings for the country.

Amosun said, “In the last four years of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the government has introduced a number of broad and sectoral policies intended to harness Nigeria’s Agricultural and Solid Minerals potentials in a bid to diversify the economy.”

He identified some of the Federal Government’s policies such as the Anchors Borrowers Programme, the Livestock Transformational Plan, Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, and the Solid Mineral Development Strategy.

Amosun added that the laudable policy initiatives by the Federal Government to reposition the Agricultural and Solid Minerals sectors would not only diversify the Nigerian economy, but also lift one hundred million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.

Over Seven Million Pupils Fed In Nigeria Daily – FG

Senior Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande

 

The Senior Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, has said that the Federal Government feeds over seven million pupils in Nigeria daily.

He said that “We have more than 7.4 million primary school pupils that are being fed every day in 22 states,” of the federation.

Mr Akande who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, revealed this on Monday.

He further reiterated the Buhari administration’s plan to empower more school children across the federation.

Reacting to Nigeria’s ranking by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has placed the nation’s health system 187 out of 191, he called on the Federal Government to increase the budgetary allocation in the health sector.

According to him, “The Government has to increase its own spending, we have to engage the private sector in the area of health,” he stated.

Akande is of the view that the state governments should collaborate with the Federal Government in improving the lives of Nigerians.

Capital Projects

Mr Akande stated that the government spends resources on capital projects despite the amount at its deposal.

“And right now, we are spending 30 percent on capital. The difference is there and in terms of the direction of where we are going, and we will do better.”

He, however, said that the initiative of the Buhari-led government is to create more opportunities for Nigerians.

 

 

FG Will Go The Extra Mile To Support Private Sector – Osinbajo

FG Will Go The Extra Mile To Support Private Sector – Osinabajo

The Federal Government will go the extra mile to support the private sector in its determination to grow the Nigerian economy.

This is just as the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the government is focused on tackling the identified constraints to the nation’s economic growth.

“I want to seize this opportunity to reassert the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to continue with what I will describe as enabling business environment while going the extra mile to directly assist the private sector in steadily growing our economy,” he said.

“Another underlining principle of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and which is, of course, worthy of mention here is our focus on combating the identified constraints to growth.

“Factors like fuel shortages, inadequacy of power, access to foreign exchange, unfriendly business regulations, shortage of skilled manpower etc.; all of these are constraints that we are determined to deal with.”

READ ALSO: We Are Committed To Building A Productive Edo Economy – Obaseki

Professor Osinbajo addressed a gathering on Tuesday at an event to commission BUA cement plant in Okpella, Edo State.

BUA cement plant

He said that President Buhari had clearly stated at the launch of the ERGP that Nigeria’s economic emancipation and growth must be private sector led and driven.

“There is simply no public sector resource that can match the resources, the drive and the commitment of the private sector. So for us as a government, doing all we can to encourage investments of this type is not just a good idea, it is the cornerstone of our economic policy.

“There is no other way to grow this country without the active management and the active participation of the private sector, it must be private sector led. So as a government, we are committed to creating an enabling environment and eliminating the bottlenecks that impede innovation and market-based solutions,” he said.

– Not How Well We Start –

On the achievements of the government in the last two years, Osinbajo said, “Nation building is never judged by the number of new projects or fresh ideas that we begin, we are judged by what we complete and sustain well years after.”

“So it’s not how well we start, it’s more how well we finish and maintain what we have created for the benefit of our people in the years to come.”

The Vice President described the construction of the cement plant as a big boost to the Nigerian economy which he said would create more jobs.

“It means thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs both for skilled and unskilled workers,” he said.

“At the level of production already attained, it also means a consolidation of Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and also a big boost to our export capacity.”

The event was attended by dignitaries including the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Others are Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje; Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanisu II; and former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, among others.

Monitor Your Subordinates To Check Corruption, ICPC Tells Govt. Officials

ICPC, CorruptionThe Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), has advised heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Nigerian government as well as the private sector, to be wary of fraudulent acts by their subordinates.

Addressing participants at a forum in Abuja on Monday, organised by ICPC’s training arm, the anti-corruption academy, the Chairman Mr Ekpo Nta, stated the need for heads of agencies to prevent the perpetuation of corruption through effective supervision of their subordinates.

He, however, admitted that the fight against corruption was not isolated to Nigeria alone while advocating the need for a paradigm shift in the fight against corruption.

The provost of the anti-corruption academy also advised participants to initiate workable integrity management systems, that would check the perpetuation of corruption.

Meanwhile, the anti-corruption war has continued to get the support of some Nigerians.

At a different forum on corruption issues, a coalition of civil society groups, under the umbrella of National Support Groups for Good Governance, expressed support for the fight against corruption in the judiciary.

Some judges were on October 8 arrested by security agencies operatives on allegations of misconduct and corruption.

Although the Department of State Services, which spearheaded the arrest, is yet to arraign any of the judges arrested, the fight against corruption continues to be a top priority of the administration of President Muhammdu Buhari.

Mr Buhari had during the campaign for the election that brought him in, stressed the need for Nigerians to kill corruption, saying; “if Nigeria do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”.

Reps To Investigate Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Policy

Reps, Foreign Exchange, NigeriaIn a bid to find ways to stabilize the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives, is to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bureau De Change, banks and other establishments operating in the sector.

This was one of the resolutions reached by lawmakers when considering a motion on the lingering scarcity of foreign exchange in the country.

The house has also mandated the committee to know the establishments that have obtained foreign exchange at subsidized rates from the Central Bank and how the funds were spent.

According to the report read by a member of the House of Representatives , Ali Isa, despite the “CBN’s weekly release of forex to the BDC’s and banks, the value of the Naira against the dollar and pounds sterling, continues to depreciate, further worsening the economic conditions of the country”.

The continuous weakening of the Naira against the dollar, has “affected the production of goods services and has consequently made life more difficult for most Nigerians,” the report stated.

The committee is however expected to report back in four weeks.

Businesses shut Down

One of such businesses affected by a prolonged scarcity of foreign exchange is Tomato Paste Producer, Erisco Foods Limited.

The CEO of the company, Eric Odinaka Umeofia on Wednesday said he would have to shut down his factories if the situation persists.

He added that his company has been frustrated by the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), Ministry of Trade and Investment and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr. Umeofia like many other business owners said the stifling business conditions would result in him having to lay off 1,500 of his 2,052 employees.

The recession, combined with a shortage of dollars, and short aviation fuel supply have also had a major impact on the aviation sector with airlines winding down operations.

Nigerians Should Change Their Consumption Pattern – Oshiomhole

 Economic Recession, Nigerians, Change, Consumption Pattern, OshiomoleAs part of the measures to get out of the current economic recession, Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole says, Nigerians may have to change their consumption pattern.

Mr Adams Oshiomhole who is of the opinion that the current difficulties the country is facing is self-inflicted, says the only way to address this challenge is the adoption of policies that will enhance local production and reduce pressure on the nation’s reserves.

He said this while on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He also expressed that Nigerians cannot expect change within a short time, when there has been a back log of problems long before the current administration.

“There has to be a time lapse between when you formulate policies on the basis of what you found on ground, and when the benefits of those policies begin to manifest, If it takes 60 years to get to this terrible state we are in, why would anybody think that under 15 months of a new government, we will fix it?”, he added.

The Governor addressing Nigerians, said we must all identify the issues in the system, as everyone had contributed to the current state of rural poverty.

He said “the nation’s consumption pattern has been so distorted by the few who have access to stolen money” such that everywhere you go in the country, we have imported foods.

He reiterates what the government has said that “Nigerians would have to go through a re-orientation, such that we don’t learn to perfect the act of consuming what we don’t produce, particularly those things that we can actually produce”

Oshiomhole further stated that the whole essence of moving the economy from state involvement, towards private sector involvement is so that the private sector could be structured in such a way that they do not have to import all the things they currently do.

According to him, If we are going to move from being a nation that consumes what it doesn’t produce, but is capable of producing, then the government must redirect investors properly to the agriculture sector.

Nigeria In Recession: Government To Motivate Private Sector Investment

Sam Ohuabunwa , Nigeria, Recession, Private Sector, Investment In the bid to proffer solutions to the ongoing recession in Nigeria, Industrialist, Sam Ohuabunwa says the government should motivate private sector investment.

He gave this suggestion while speaking on the Channels Television breakfast program, Sunrise.

Mr  Sam said in order for the economy to be boosted very fast, the government needs to stimulate production. And to be able to do that, the government’s spending has to be supported by that of the private sector.

He said this in response to the reports by the National Bureau of Statistics, that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted by 2.06%.

He also stated that the government should focus on investment as though the life of the nation depends on it. He furthermore suggested that the government should effectively show support to anyone who exhibits productivity.

Government Sector Not Enough To Sustain Economy

Mr Ohuabunwa stressed the need for the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector, as the economy cannot thrive solely on efforts of the Public Sector.

According to him, “Government has to take a definite position as to how to motivate private sector investment, while spending the public sector funds.

“The moment people are doing something that would be productive and linked to wealth creation, let us give them the support.

“A lot of Funding opportunities are being provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture, but the problem is, in implementation, we fall short,” he added.

He further said that there should be a focus on manufacturing and agriculture; and urged individuals as well as the government to do whatever they could, to add value as well as to get the commercial aspect of agriculture activated.

Organized Private Sector Supports Deregulation

private sector, deregulationThe Director-General of the Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, has thrown his weight behind the liberalization of the petroleum downstream sector.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Yusuf, explained that the deregulation of the sector will reduce importation of petroleum products and ease the pressure on the foreign exchange market as well as foreign reserves.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture have also commended the federal government for finally taking the bold step to remove subsidy on petrol.

The President of the chamber, Bassey Edem, expressed optimism that this will put an end to the fuel scarcity being experienced in the country, while reducing the pressure on foreign reserve as a result of huge demand for petrol import.

 

Diversification: Experts Urge FG To Strengthen Private Sector

Private sectorThe immediate past chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group and the Nigeria South Chamber Of Commerce, Folusho Philips, wants government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive in the diversification process.

This comes as Nigerians continue to intensify calls for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy in the face of weakening oil price.

Mr Phillips was speaking at a business meeting in the Rivers State capital put together by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on business opportunities in Nigeria beyond oil.

Meanwhile, the President of the chamber, Emi Membere-Otaji, said that it was time for the government to remove all forms of bottle necks for ease of doing business in the country.

May Day: Osun, Plateau Workers Seek Payment of Salaries

As workers across the world mark the May Day, it was a different story for workers in Osun and Plateau State, as the usual funfair did not hold due to nonpayment of workers’ salary and emoluments for over five months.

Speaking to Journalists in Osogbo, Osun State capital, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Osun State Chapter, Jacob Adekomi, ascribed the ‎”no celebration” to non payment of salaries to the workforce.

Adekomi said that as long as the workers’ salaries and other emoluments remain unpaid for five months‎, there is no basis for any ceremonial outing.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), Osun State Chapter, gathered some of its members for what it termed as a prayer session in spite of the ”no celebration”.

The union said that although they were also in support of the ‘no pay no celebration’, what is required is prayer to help change the trend of things in the nation, particularly as the nation prepares for a transition.

Plateau State

Instead of the usual May Day celebrations, workers in Plateau state gathered at the Labour House in Jos in a solemn mood as salary and emoluments, including outstanding arrears of minimum wage, non release of promotions to workers, non payment of gratuity and pension to retirees, among other issues are still pending.

The NLC Chairman in the state, Jibrin Bancir, in a press briefing, observed that the singular act of bad governance and inhuman treatment of workers over the years by the outgoing regime have put the workers under trauma.

As the workers were reflecting on the situation at hand, another faction that emanated from the national body gathered at the state office of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), led by Anthony Sule John, to address workers and the issue at the national level of the union.

The TUC, with about 12 affiliates comprising mostly senior association members, gathered at their office to also mark the May Day celebrations, with emphases on the plight of Plateau workers.

Kano: NLC Calls For Consultative Committee

KanoAs workers celebrate May day in Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kano State has called for the establishment of Labour-Government Consultative Committee.

Addressing a news conference to mark the 2015 Workers Day Celebration, the NLC Chairman, Ado Minjibir, said that the major concern of the union has to do with Labour casualisation in the private sector.

For some years now, Workers Day has been observed on a low level because of the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern region.

The theme for this year focuses on reviving the workers’ right, especially those who died during service, as the workers in Kano sent their requests to the state government.

The labour leaders said that they would continue to mount pressure on authorities until their grievances are addressed.

We Will Shut Down Unregistered Management DeveIopement Institutions – CMD

cmdThe Centre for Management Development CMD had said it would soon clamp down on management development institutions and consultants who have not registered with the government.

Director General of the Centre, Mr Kabir Kabo Usman told journalist in Abuja that only 48 registered institutions and 200 management development consultants across the country are qualified to build man power capacity for Nigeria’s public and private sector.

Mr Usman also said that the centre would soon embark on a nationwide tour of Management Development Institutions MDI and consultants with a view to giving further accreditation to qualified institutions and individual, while flushing out quacks from the market.

The CMD is a government parastatal under the Ministry of National  Planning, created to provide managerial and technical capacity and training for Civil Servants since 1973.

He added that in line with the government’s decision to restrict oversea training for civil servants, the centre would strengthen indigenous management training institutions and consultants as well as flushing out impostors from the market.

Following this, there is however mixed feelings among technical and management development experts on the decision of the government to restrict oversea training for staff.

The Federal Government spends about 16 million dollars each year for oversea training of staff.