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Border reopening: NCS advises Jibia communities on business opportunities



Seme: Jibo gets Kudos over Customs' Sustained Onslaught Against Smuggling

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has advised Jibia border communities in Katsina State to utilize the business opportunities in the area, following the recent reopening of the border.

The NCS Zonal Coordinator in Charge of Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, ACG Umar Garba, gave the advice on Wednesday during a familiarisation visit to the Nigeria-Niger border in Jibia Local Government Area (LGA).

The newsmen report that the Jibia border was reopened on April 25 after its closure in Aug. 2019.

He explained that the reopening of the border had made a lot of businesses booming in the area, adding that many residents were now benefiting.

“I wish to advise the people of the communities around this border to think of legitimate businesses since the border had now opened.

“Doing so will assist in improving the economy of the area, the state and the country in general.

“As I told them, the government doesn’t want anything illegitimate such as smuggling, Child trafficking, proliferation of small and light arms.

“If all these things are taking place, there would be no economic development.

“Therefore, they should please use the reopening of the border as an opportunity for them.”

ACG Garba further disclosed that a process was underway to provide modern scanners on the way to ensure that other illegal items were not transported into the country.

He further expressed satisfaction with the existing good relationship among the border communities, customs officials, other security agencies and also the Niger Republic’s officials.

In his response, the Secretary of Jibia LGA, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal, commended the Federal Government and the NCS for reopening the border.

He added that since its reopening, so many collapsed businesses were gradually returning across the communities.

Lawal further appealed to the NCS to assist the people of Jibia who were displaced by banditry activities in the area.



FEC approves N24.2bn for free Internet facilities in Airports, Markets



FEC approves N24.2bn for free Internet facilities in Airports, Markets

Nigeria’s cabinet has approved N24.2 billion for the provision of Internet facilities at 20 airports, some institutions of learning and markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will spearhead the provision of Internet facilities at the designated airports and institutions.

He said: “The Federal Executive Council has approved two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  a parastatal under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

”In these memos, certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the NCC.

“Internet will be provided in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning as well as some markets to support micro, small and medium enterprises.

”A contract was awarded for the provision of broadband in some selected airports. 20 of them are going to be covered in the first phase of the project.

”You have three airports in each geo-political zone.

”In South-West, you have two in Lagos State, one in Ondo State; South-East you have Imo, Anambra and Enugu States will benefit; Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States for South-South.

”North Central has the Federal Capital Territory and Kwara States; Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi States will benefit from the North-West, while Borno, Adamawa and Gombe States will benefit from the North-East Region.”

According to him, the Internet broadband will be provided for free for use by passengers coming to the airports, adding that a sustainability model has been developed for effective maintenance of the facilities.

He also announced that 43 higher institutions of learning would be linked to the Internet facility.

Some of them are universities, some polytechnics and the price for the contract which covers the airports and institutions of learning is N18.95 billion.

”The second approval was for the provision of broadband to some selected markets, at the cost of N5.25 billion.

”The total for both memos is N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” he explained.

Also addressing the correspondents, the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abdullahi, revealed that the Council approved N41.4 billion for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration in Kana Local Government Area of Rivers.

He said: ”I presented two memos, one was for the award of contract for the construction of a centre of excellence for environmental restoration in Kana Local Government Area of Rivers State in the sum of N41,472,263, 848.60, with a completion period of 24 months.”

According to him, the centre is to facilitate an efficient and cost-effective approach to contamination management and environmental restoration as well as provide training on environmental remediation.

The centre will contain an admin block, auditorium, research building as well as male and female dormitories, library and clinic, among others.”

The minister added that the council also approved N18.3 billion for the construction of a specialist hospital for the people of Ogoni in Rivers.

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Afreximbank boss proposes creation of Domestic Financial System’’ for Africa’s development



Afreximbank boss proposes creation of Domestic Financial System’’ for Africa’s development

Prof. Benedict Oramah, President/Chairman, Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has proposed the creation of a Domestic Financial System that would allow Africa develop, prosper and earn respect.

He made the proposal at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Lecture with the theme:  “Unlocking the Constraints to Africa’s Economic Transformation: Insights into the Power of Capital’’, on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to him, Africa may be rich in natural resources, however, leveraging that wealth is determined by those who control the capital required to bring them to market.

He said: “it is therefore important that we build a Domestic Financial System that welcomes foreign banks but which, as a deliberate policy, must have the strong participation of Africa-owned banks.’’

The Afreximbank boss said,  however, that why there was a need to welcome foreign banks, the space must not be completely ceded to them if we (Africans) hoped to drive development in our desired direction.

Oramah questioned why Africans were still hooked on grants and begging all the time, despite over 60 years of independence.

He also wondered why Africa’s money was being  spent outside Africa and by who.

He said although Africa had about 500 billion dollars, which is about half of Africa’s external debts today, stashed away in foreign banks but the same countries (African countries) could not borrow from the same foreign banks  holding the resources.

he said the excuses of compliance complication and country risk constraints that were hardly mentioned when the funds were being deposited, had made it impossible for Africans to borrow from the same foreign banks holding the resources.

Oramah said: “It is in the context of this foregoing that the topic of today’s lecture “Unlocking the Constraints to Africa’s Economic Transformation: Insights into the Power of Capital’’ is apt and opportune.

“Without any doubt, capital represents the foundation on which a viable economic transformation can be built and why ownership of capital is necessary, it is its control that provides the sufficient condition for capital to become an effective factor of production that can deliver development.”

Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank said in his goodwill message that for Africa to achieve the restoration that she needed to prosper, she would require the cooperation of all stakeholders.

“Africa needs to wake up. Nobody knows Africa other than Africa, Nobody will take risks in Africa other than Africa, and nobody will know the corners other than us, Africans.

“I think he (Oramah) brought before us a huge challenge in a way, he took a swipe on the banking industry as a major anchor for accumulation and circulation of capital.

“But, I think the banking industry will not be doing this on its own, we need the cooperation of all the stakeholders to achieve this,’’ he said.

Dr. Ken Opara, President/Chairman of CIBN, noted that unlocking the constraints to Nigeria’s economic transformation would certainly impact the entire continent as the country was considered Africa’s biggest economy,

“Currently, Nigeria is considered Africa’s biggest economy, and this is why some people believe that Africa’s chances of prosperity completely lie in the hands of this country.

“ As economies around the world continue to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring food and energy prices, surging inflation, debt tightening, climate change, etc., unlocking the constraints to Nigeria’s economic transformation will certainly impact the entire continent.

“As we already know, the African continent represents 20 percent of the earth’s surface and is home to about 1.3 billion people which will likely reach 2.53 billion people by 2050.

“It boasts of 60 percent of the world’s arable lands, large swathes of forests, 30 percent of the world’s reserve of minerals, and the youngest population in the world,’’ he said.

Opara said despite these riches and impressive demography, many African countries were still characterised by widespread poverty and inequality, coupled with mixed effects of limited access to quality education, health, nutrition, technology and innovation.

According to him, failure to tackle these issues can deprive a generation of Africans the opportunities to maximise their potentials.

Afreximbank boss proposes creation of  Domestic Financial System’’ for Africa’s development

The  highlight of the event was the CIBN execution of a collaboration Memorandum of Understanding with Afreximbank Academy to run joint Capacity Building and Certification programmes in the area of Trade and Finance

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LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas



LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas

The Lagos State Government has reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’ in 10 Local Government Areas, (LGAs) and 15 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDAs) in the metropolis still persists.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa declared this at the weekend, while on tour of some restricted areas within the state, where large numbers of motorcyclists (okada riders) had resumed operations.  

Reaffirming the State Government’s ban on okada in the Local Government Areas which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them which are; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker Aguda. With others at; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo, the Transport Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.

He implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to 3 years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

While soliciting support on government policies by all and sundry, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant riders have refused to take advantage of them.

Highlighting some of the viable alternatives made available for the operators by the State Government, Giwa stated that the; Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); (vocational training), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment; (internship programmes), Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) are all trade support for the riders.

He also said the State Government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimize the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.

Giwa averred that the position of government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.

He added that the Security formations who have been partnering with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.

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