EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria acknowledge the 2019 general elections

The European Union Election Observation Mission presented  2019 general elections report in Abuja, yesterday.

According to the Mission’s report,

the elections held under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were marred by serious irregularities and frauds.

Also in 2015 general elections, the elections held under former President Jonathan

were marred by incidents of violence, abuse of incumbency at state and federal levels, and attempts at manipulation.

While in 2019, according to the European Union Election Observation Mission, Nigeria recorded significant improvement in the 2019 general elections that some of the items that were listed for recommendation in 2015 and have been implemented include: the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.

 

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Nigeria: Buhari Bans Palm Oil Import and other 42 items 

President Buhari of Nigeria bans Palm oil Import, as the Central Bank of Nigeria distributes N30bn to producers. He also, directed the apex bank to include palm oil among the banned 42 items and to prosecute firms, owners and management that violated the order by importing the product into the country.

Trading Economics reported that,

imports to Nigeria rose 2.6% year-on-year to NGN 1002 billion in March 2019, boosted by purchases of energy goods (796.3%); manufactured goods (101.3%); solid mineral (70.8%); raw material (46.9%) and agricultural goods (61.3%). Imports in Nigeria averaged 227104.84 NGN Millions from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2209385.78 NGN Millions in August of 2018 and a record low of 167.88 NGN Millions in May of 1984.

It is a constitutional taboo from the executive proclaimation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for any company or individual to import palm oil into Nigeria, so as to boost local production and create more jobs. The presidential directive was disclosed yesterday by the governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele (middle) and others at a press conference yesterday.

Emefiele in a statements made yesterday at a press conference, reveals that, the main motive behind the ban is to grow the economy and provide jobs for more Nigerians,

we must go back to palm oil production explained that he has a new presidential directive to focus on the massive production of 10 commodities: rice, maize, cassava, tomatoes, cotton and so on.

The CBN boss  said that,

the presidential directive mandated the CBN and other relevant government agencies to expand, support people who want to expand the products in Nigeria.

The entire textile value chain, oil palm, pottery, fish, livestock and cocoa in Nigeria, adding that, “this is the programme we will be embarking upon in the next couple of years.

 

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$4.7b Capital Boost Coming for DisCos in Nigeria

The Federal Government is shopping for $4.7 billion to recapitalise the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Managing Director Usman Gur Mohammed has said.

The cash would be raised by the Federal Government, shareholders of the DisCos and private investors. It is all to upgrade power distribution facilities.

Upon the privatisation of the 11 Discos of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) in 2013, the Federal Government retained 40 per cent of the equity in the DisCos and divested 60 per cent to private investors.

But power supply has remained epileptic, with the DisCos complaining about lack of cost reflective tariff and the government’s refusal to activate its stake in the companies. Mohammed, who broke the news of the government’s plans to upgrade the distribution network in Abuja, noted that the

Federal government will inject $1.7 billion into the DisCos. Private investors will pay up the balance that is proportional to their 60 per cent equity.

The DisCos have eight million customers. Going by the plan, each of the DisCos is expected to raise $500 million and also the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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Buhari Salutes Sam Amuka-Pemu at 84

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, felicitated with the Chairman and Publisher of Vanguard Media Limited, Sam Amuka-Pemu, on the occasion of his 84th birthday anniversary. Buhari joined family of the media icon, the media industry in Nigeria and beyond, to celebrate the award-winning journalist, columnist, publisher and elder statesman who has stirred the conscience of the nation for the greater part of his lifetime.

The President believed that “Uncle Sam’s deep understanding and patriotic appreciation of Nigeria, his devotion, sense of duty and leadership in the media industry, are example to all of us.” Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, recognised “the octogenarian’s unrelenting contributions to promoting professionalism in the media industry at a time when disinformation and fake news threaten the very essence of a free and unbiased press in a democratic society.” On behalf of all Nigerians who believe in the values the veteran journalist has championed as a consummate professional in the Nigerian Press, Buhari wished “Mr. Amuka-Pemu good health, happiness and God’s continued benevolence on this special day.”

Congratulations sir, Baba. Respect sir.

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Nigerian government to set up 10 new rice mills across the country

 

According to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), the federal government’s clear interest in agricultural sector development has indeed yielded result, in which the government has approved the setting up of 10 new rice mills across the country as one of its strategy in improving agriculture through the value chain.

In Kebbi alone, under the anchor borrower scheme, FG had injected N60bn from 2015 to date and currently, there are many newly established small rice mills with not less than N2bn capital in Kebbi. Due to the effort of the government to unlock the vast potentials of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, the German Government, with support from the Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation provided 2m Euros for implementation of the second phase of the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) in the country.

 

The first phase of CARI ended in 2015, and CARI 2 is being implemented in Kebbi, Kaduna and Jigawa states to achieve its objective through the use of the Multi-Action Partnership (MAP).

The project would be focused on business linkages in the rice sector to ensure that the producers were well connected with the markets, processors, rice millers, aggravators and input dealers. The aim is to help smallholder farmers to increase their income and the country with high-quality rice.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria set-up the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set up the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee (TRIC) to revive at least 50 textile companies across the country by 2023, the committee would have the responsibility of resuscitating the country’s cotton belt, identify textile clusters, improve cotton production nationwide and boost power supply to textile firms across the clusters as Nigeria loses over $2bn annually to textile smuggling.

The CBN would partner with the Nigerian Customs Service to curb smuggling of textile goods; ensure general reduction of cost of doing business by eliminating multiple taxation; as well as ensure zero per cent duty for machineries needed by the textile industry and CBN has engaged 100,000 cotton farmers to cultivate 100,000 hectares of cotton for the 2019 season.

To revive the country’s cotton, textile and garment industry that would boost the local economy and create millions of jobs. Nigeria remains a big market for the textile industry but currently, the Nigeria cotton/textile industry is the third largest in Africa, next only to Egypt and South Africa, to reclaim this industry from smugglers the government should be ready to fight economic saboteurs because the Nigerian market has been flooded with imported textiles for many years.

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The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in Nigeria (Part 2)

 

Nigeria is fast on its way to becoming the leader in Africa in the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, by feeding over 9.7 Million pupils and still counting.

As of today, 103,992 cooks are on the government payroll, feeding 9,714,342 pupils in 53,715 government primary schools around 31 States. These children are able to eat a balanced diet, towards improving their learning outcomes and the government was able to spend less on nutritious meals by sourcing for all ingredients directly from the farmers, without using middlemen, in which the government is spending about N70 to feed a child under the programme.

Every six months, the government deworms the children benefiting from the programme, to reduce the frequency of infections, likewise, small farmers are smiling to the banks through the programme because the government source from farmers least seven million eggs every week, over 600 cattle, 83 metric tonnes of fish and lots of fruits and vegetables.

The government might be feeding more children in Kaduna State this year as the Kaduna State Government and World Bank have concluded plans to enrol no fewer than 145,000 out-of-school children and almajiris into primary schools across the state by September, out of the 727,000 out-of-school children in Kaduna State.

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Nigerian government generated N1.5 trillion revenue in Q1 of 2019

There is no doubt that the FIRS boss, Babatunde Fowler and the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed are striving hard to make sure that VAT benefits both the federal and subnational budgets, though they have not reached that level, but with the Strategic Revenue Growth Plan that was launched in January and other initiatives introduced by  FIRS and other revenue generating agencies would take Nigeria to the promised land soon, if all hands were on deck to actualise those plans.

According to the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, FIRS generated N1.5 trillion revenue in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, the amount included revenue from non-oil taxes that were 11% higher than what the agency realised from that sector in Q1 of 2018.

The Q1 figure represents 18.7% of the agency’s total revenue target of N8 trillion for 2019 and the agency has already started the enforcement of over 50,000 accounts that have banking turnover of 100 billion and above that have not filed their returns., also, the agency is getting more people into the tax net and deploy more technology by using what its call “Auto VAT Collect”, which basically assists taxpayers at the point of transaction, and the VAT portion is sent straight into the federation account. Buhari should not allow anyone to sabotage his efforts.

 

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