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AfDB obtains $110,000 grant to support Ekiti’s electricity initiative



The Ekiti State Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, who made this known in Ado Ekiti, stated

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, who made this known in Ado Ekiti, stated that the funds were secured from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

According to him, the fund approval was made possible after the state requested a grant to support the establishment of the Power Sector Reform Desk in his Ministry for mainstreaming decentralised renewable energy solutions.

Aluko explained that the funding approval, secured through the Africa Energy Sector Technical Assistance Programme (AESTAP), would sponsor three delegates from the state to participate in a hybrid training course on power sector regulation at the Africa School of Regulation (ASR), in addition to consultancy services.

He assured that the Ministry would leave no stone unturned to ensure a steady supply of electricity, potable water, responsive fire services, and an efficient telecommunication system in the state.

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Naira gains at official window, depreciates at parallel market



Black Market Dollar (USD) To Naira (NGN) Exchange Rate Today 10th April 2024

The naira depreciated to N1,510 against the dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday. The current FX rate signifies a decline of 0.33 percent from the N1,505/$ reported on May 22.

Currency traders, also known as street traders, in Lagos, quoted the buying rate of the local currency at N1,485/$ and the selling rate at N1,510/$ — leaving a profit margin of N25.

At the official window, the naira appreciated by 0.19 percent against the dollar from N1,485.66/$ on May 23 to close at N1,482.81 on Friday.

According to FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official window, a dollar was sold as high as N1,511 and at a low rate of N1,400 during trading hours.

The daily foreign exchange market turnover was $556.25 million.

On May 23, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the pains caused by ongoing monetary and fiscal reforms will soon be over if Nigerians remain focused on supporting the policies.

“As the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, I remain committed to repositioning the bank to deliver meaningful data-driven and sustainable solutions with a clear positive impact on the livelihood of all Nigerians,” he said.

“However, addressing these challenges requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders, especially the monetary and fiscal authorities working in harmony.”

Cardoso said the CBN will continue to implement bold reforms to make the economy work for all Nigerians, and the apex bank has started tightening monetary policy to combat inflationary pressure and produce favourable outcomes

Sources: The cable

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Tax evasion: Absence of Binance official, stalls proceedings as Court adjourns to June



The Executive Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Christopher Zakka Maikalangu, has declared war on tax evaders, warning that residents who connive with fake revenue collectors to defraud the Council will face the full wrath of the law.

Speaking at a world press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Maikalangu expressed disappointment that some residents, despite being aware of the importance of paying taxes, still engage in tax evasion.

He noted that while some residents complied with the Council’s revenue campaign, others colluded with fake revenue collectors to defraud the Council.

Maikalangu emphasized that government at all levels functions effectively when citizens pay their taxes, and urged residents to discharge their civic responsibility by paying their revenue, taxes, and levies into designated AMAC accounts.

The Executive Chairman warned that tax evasion is a serious offense and a crime that deprives the Council of much-needed revenue for providing basic amenities and infrastructure.

To curb tax evasion, the Council has adopted severe measures, including a public awareness campaign and the establishment of a revenue task force to sniff out tax evaders.

Residents who have not paid their taxes since 2021 are advised to do so voluntarily to avoid legal action. Those who paid into wrong accounts or to fake revenue collectors will be required to pay twice, the Chairman said.

Maikalangu warned revenue fraudsters that their days are numbered, and the AMAC Revenue Task Force will clamp down on their activities, apprehend, and prosecute them immediately at the nearest mobile court.

He urged the public to confirm properly before doing business with any revenue collectors and assured that the Council is committed to delivering on its campaign promises.

In conclusion, Maikalangu emphasized that together, residents can make AMAC great by paying their taxes and supporting the Council’s efforts to provide basic amenities and infrastructure.

Source: Champion news

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Tinubu’s ministers to account for one year in office starting today



On the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, President Bola Tinubu will on Tuesday, April 23,

President Tinubu’s ministers will, today, begin to give an account of their performance in office since their appointment in August 2023.

Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday during the ministerial sectoral update.

According to Idris, the objective is to bring Nigerians up to speed with the achievements of the Tinubu-led government in its first year.

“The deeper sectoral briefing will begin tomorrow. We will have all the ministers come in here to discuss what they are doing in their various ministries to assist the policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Idris said.

The serial ministerial briefings are expected to form part assessment of the cabinet members who had, following a three-day Cabinet Retreat last November, signed a performance bond to unfailingly demonstrate diligence, innovative thinking, commitment, and an unrelenting focus on results.

Tinubu had told the ministers to work hard on the huge expectations of Nigerians and equally asked his Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, to immediately reactivate the tracking system to enable Nigeria to monitor their performance.

While speaking further at the press meeting, the information minister also announced that Tinubu’s first anniversary which comes up next week will be celebrated low-key with emphasis to be placed only on the sectoral briefing.

“There will be no ceremonies heralding the one year in office but sectoral briefings by various ministers and this is consistent with the policy of President Tinubu to improve efficiency and ensure that government expenditure is kept for the good of the people,” he said.

“President Tinubu has always insisted that information should flow from the government to the people because it is the people that elected this government. So all the time, he has directed that we must continue to ensure that information that is useful to the people is provided to the people honestly, timely and responsibly.”

George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that President Tinubu’s policies to revamp the economy have recorded great success within his one year in office.

Akume highlighted that a key achievement has been the implementation of policies that have successfully attracted foreign investments, curbed inflation, and generated employment opportunities across multiple sectors.

Those policies, according to him, include “the decentralisation of the power sector has dismantled monopolistic control, empowering state governments, corporations, and individuals to generate, distribute, and transmit electricity,” Akume said.

“The Presidential assent to the 2023 Electricity Bill, a move that dismantled monopolistic control over electricity generation, transmission and distribution at the national level and granted authority to State Governments, Corporations and individuals to generate, distribute and transmit electricity, thus decentralising the power sector.

“Assent to the passage into law of the Nigeria Data Protection Bill 2023 that established a legal framework for safeguarding personal information and promoting data protection practices in Nigeria,” he added.

Akume said “The challenging but very necessary removal of fuel subsidy, a longstanding policy notorious for fostering corruption, inefficiency and imposing significant fiscal strain on the government annually, and primarily benefiting the affluent and smugglers, rather than effectively aiding the general populace.”

He also highlighted the President’s commitment to enhancing the nation’s infrastructure as evident in the completion and ongoing execution of several projects, notable among which are the extensive road networks, improved rail systems, and the modernisation of the ports, which are vital for boosting trade and connectivity.

Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and economic planning who also co-briefed the press noted that lack of investments in the various sectors of the economy has continued to undermine the nation’s economic prospects.

According to him, the President Tinubu-led administration, upon assumption of office, embarked on some macroeconomic reforms necessary to boost the nation’s position as a viable destination for investors, which are yet to yield the much-desired results due to a lack of investments.

“That is why we are not even producing crude oil in the quantity we used to before or as allowed by international convention, which is our OPEC quota because of underinvestment, whether in the physical infrastructure itself, or security, and so on and so forth,” Bagudu said.

“Our infrastructure is not catching up with our dreams, our educational system, our health system is suffering from underinvestment. In addition to our other sectors, the creative economy, digital economy, the steel sector, creative economy.

Source: Businessday

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Lagos govt. attracts over N50bn investments in a year



Lagos State Government has met all criteria to qualify for the first phase of the World Bank funded State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) programme on the Ease of Doing Business.

The State was adjudged and emerged successful on Four Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) covering Improved land administration and land based investment process (DLI1);.

The state also mproved investment promotion environment (DLI2); Increased transparency of official fees and procedures (DLI3); and Increase transparency of fees and levies for inter state trade (DLI4).

Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade & Investment, Folashade Ambrose Medebem revealed this while giving the report of her Ministry at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first year, second term, of Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu’s administration at Alausa, Ikeja.

According to the Commissioner, the State also completed successfully the reforms for additional stage comprising Eight DLIs for the first year cycle of the SABER programme, and it is fully on track to meet all subsequent evaluations by the programme.

Her words: “The SABER programme is designed to assess the whole processes of doing business from registration, to obtaining approvals, setting up and actual running of the business and the outcome for Lagos demonstrated the determination of Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu’s administration, to continuously formulate enabling and supporting policies, executing infrastructure intervention, and designing trade expansion programmes and projects to improve the ease with which businesses operate in the State.”

While assuring that State will leave no stone unturned to accelerate the economic development of the State in line with the THE.MES+ Development Agenda, the Commissioner affirmed that the sincerity and commitment of the Sanwo Olu administration to business prosperity has yielded over fifty billion naira in investment through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) in the last one year.

“The new multi billion naira investments, one of which is the Twinings Ovaltine Nigeria Limited (TONL), owned by the Associated British Foods Plc, would expand the State’s productive base, generate employment and improve its economy. TONL, which formerly imports from China and package into retail units here has now committed to fully manufacture its products in Lagos with the acquisition of an industrial site in Ogha.

“The N38billion valued investment will employ 112 people directly and over 200 others as distributors by 2025, while generating over $8million in exports to West African countries.

“Other investors in healthcare, retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), education, financial services, cybersecurity, agriculture and manufacturing are also coming into Lagos, while many Trade

Missions have gone from Lagos to the United Kingdom (UK) with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) to explore new trade opportunities,” she said.

Ambrose Medebem maintained that the State’s participation in investment and business summits across the world actively seeks to retain and bring investment opportunities available in the State to the attention of potential investors, with the aim to attract capital, skills, innovation and technology to create more local jobs, increase productivity and generate higher revenue.

Speaking further, the Commissioner also revealed that the State Government and the Bank of Industry (BOD has concluded on two billion naira matched production and trade funding to be accessed by Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs), with exportable products, to scale their businesses and earn foreign exchange.

“This is a bold move to internationalise and empower our NMSMEs to grow their productive ventures, bolster regional and global trade and increase the State’s contribution to the nation’s non oil export. The funding will complement our current engagement with the Nigerian Arabian Gulf Chamber of Commerce (NAGCC) to facilitate agricultural products and value chain to the six Gulf States through the Nigerian Trade House in Dubai,” she stated.

She assured that the State Government will continue to engage, collaborate, support and work with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to ensure conducive environment for doing business in the State

Source: Champion Newspaper

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FG blames Nigeria’s dwindling oil production on insufficient investment



The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, on Wednesday blamed Nigeria’s dwindling oil production output on under-investment in the sector.

Nigeria’s daily crude oil production had maintained a steady decline in 2024 as it dropped to 1.23 million barrels per day in March.

The country’s production has been on the decline since the start of the year from 1.42 mbpd in January.

The figure dropped further to 1.32 mbpd in February before the decline to 1.23mbpd in March.

It however increased to 1.28 mbpd in April, which is a far cry from the government’s 2024 Budget projection of 1.78 mbpd.

Reacting to the dwindling output, the minister said the government initiated a microeconomic reform as part of the renewed hope agenda to address the root causes of low investment and revenues.

He said: “We embarked as part of the renewed hope agenda on microeconomic reform because that was what was responsible for low investment, low revenues, and our economy size was shrinking. It was too small compared to our needs.

“That is why we are not even producing crude oil in the quantity we used to before or as allowed by international convention, which is our OPEC quarter, because of underinvestment, whether in the physical infrastructure itself or security.”

The minister said aside from the oil and gas sector, other sectors are also experiencing underinvestment, noting that the nation’s infrastructure was not aligning with the government’s dreams.

He listed the affected sectors including education, healthcare, creative economy, digital economy, and steel.

Bagudu also advocated a macroeconomic environment to stimulate investment and generate revenues for the economy.

“Food security, despite our potential, we are underinvesting. Most of our farmers are one-season per-year farmers.

“Our infrastructure is not catching up with our dreams. Our educational system and our health system are suffering from underinvestment.

“The answer to all this is to restore macroeconomic stability that will ensure that domestic and international investors put their faith in our economy once again,” he stated.


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Labour Agrees To Attend Tuesday New Minimum Wage Talks



FG to Labour: We will resume payment of N35,000 wage awards to workers

The Organised Labour has agreed to attend the ”negotiation” meeting of Tripartite Committee on the Minimum Wage slated for Tuesday.

Mr Etim Okon, the Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), gave the confirmation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC had walked out on the negotiation meeting as the Federal Government proposed N48,000 as new minimum wage for workers in the country.

“The proposal falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations,” the unions said.

Labour also accused the government of failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation and lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process.

”The federal government has apologised and the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and we are going to appear and present our demand.

“We will still be presenting the N615,000. It is what we presented before we walked out, though our submission was not rejected by the government.

“We only rejected the N48,000 that the government presented. Because they did not show us how they arrived at that amount.

“That is taking cognizance of transportation, housing, food, utilities, health, and education among others which are basic needs of the people.

“So the government should come out clearly with what they are offering with the indices and variables and also how they arrived at that. This is all what we are saying,” he said.

Also, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) told NAN that he hoped that the Tuesday meeting on the Tripartite Committee would be successful.

Oyerinde said that the federal government had prevailed over what happened at the last meeting as labour had walked out of the negotiation process.

“I am happy the government had prevailed on the issue and they would be coming back to the table for the actual negotiations.

Source: The Daily Trust

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