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Private Sector Lauds Lagos Deep Seaport, Rice Mill

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Private Sector Lauds Lagos Deep Seaport, Rice Mill

Members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have welcomed the inauguration of the Lekki Deep Seaport and Imota Rice Mill, Lagos.

They described the move as capable of leading to agricultural self-reliance and the actualisation of the country’s industrialisation agenda.

The Stakeholders who spoke separately on Tuesday in Lagos while reacting to the inauguration of some projects in Lagos by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, specifically noted that the Imota Rice Mill, which has the capacity to produce 32 metric tonnes per hour, is the largest in Africa and third globally.

The rice mill is believed to have bright economic prospects due to the huge consumption of rice in Nigeria.

Similarly, the 1.5 billion dollars Lekki deep seaport, a collaboration between the government and private sector, is Nigeria’s largest seaport with a draught of 16.5 meters to accommodate very large vessels.

Private Sector Lauds Lagos Deep Seaport, Rice Mill
Lagos-State-Governor-Babajide-Sanwo-Olu

Dr. Muda Yusuf, Founder, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), said the development was very advantageous to various sectors of the economy seeing that it facilities agriculture and trade.

He said that the seaport which was built to accommodate larger vessels was technologically driven in line with global developments and its positioning in Lagos as the commercial nerve of the country was strategic.

Yusuf added that the Imota rice mill inauguration was in line with the country’s commitment to self-reliance in food production.

“The development means that moving cargo would become cheaper because the size of the vessels means more items can be moved at once and so industrialists should be able to get better deals in terms of costs.

“The technology in cargo handling and other processes is very good for the maritime sector and would drive trade, a critical component of the economy.

Private Sector Lauds Lagos Deep Seaport, Rice Mill
 DG NACCIMA Sola Obadimu

“However, there are concerns about how to conveniently evacuate cargo via the Lekki-Epe expressway that is already congested; the government would have to address it. This is to ensure that the suffering of road users does not become elevated.

“For the Imota Rice Mill, there’s a need to source for adequate rice padding to optimally utilise the capacity of the plant.

“It is also advised that the plant should not be run as a government enterprise, but it should run as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement; managed by private sector to get the desired outcomes from the mill,” he said.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the projects would impact the economy due to its employment generation potentials.

Almona, however, stressed the need for proper implementation to ensure the project delivers on its mandate to reap the economic benefits.

“There’s need to pay attention to all the other utilities and infrastructure such as good road network to and fro the area to make it a huge success.

“It is important that the right road infrastructure is in place as there’s already pressure on the road, particularly at the Lekki axis.

“These things are needed to enable the successful rollout of the projects to reduce pressure on the populace to ensure their standard of living does not drop,” she said.

Mr. Segun Kuti-George, National Vice President, Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI), described the projects as a step further in Nigeria’s quest for economic development.

According to him, the seaport and rice mill will boost international trade (import and export), boost industrialisation and further enhance food self-reliance.

“The rice mill will save billions of dollars in foreign exchange spent on rice importation alone and would generate more employment and create more wealth.

“I congratulate the government for achieving this milestone in our quest for industrial self-reliance,” he said.

Mr. Sola Obadimu, Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), commended the projects while describing them as useful economic milestones to aid domestic production.

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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

…Carpets Governor Adeleke for poor governance***

All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took his message of Renewed Hope to Osun State on Thursday where he assured the people and party supporters of his commitment to create jobs for the unemployed and make credit available for business owners.

Speaking in Yoruba to a mammoth crowd of people who thronged the venue of the campaign rally at Freedom Park Osogbo, Tinubu said his administration would empower the people with the skill that will make them employable while ensuring that the youth will no longer spend years in university due to lecturers’ strike action, stating that his pledge to the people will remain a binding covenant.

“I make a social covenant with you today that the unemployed among you will get jobs. Those with no skill will be provided the relevant skill that would put food on their table. When we get to government, we will make soft loans available for market women and business owners.”

Taking a swipe at the current Peoples Democratic Party government of Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State for poor governance of the state, the APC presidential candidate charged the people that the APC administration will soon return to continue the good work.

“They were given a little opportunity to rule for some months and they started misbehaving, killing and creating unrest in Osun state.”

From his prepared speech which he didn’t get the time to read, Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner by the governorship election petition tribunal.

He praised Oyetola’s tenacity, diligence, consistency and determination, which made him not give up until he got his stolen mandate back.

On his plans for Osun, Tinubu noted that the state, which is highly blessed with diverse resources, should be a destination for business and tourism across the country, promising to help achieve this if he becomes the president.

He said, “Osun is a beautiful state filled with virtuous, industrious and welcoming people. We will support Osun to become a manufacturing, industrial, agricultural and tourism paradise.

“You have fertile soil, abundant mineral resources, and a rich culture and history capable of attracting tourists from across the world.

“A vote for me is a vote to develop all parts of this state and this country. Rural areas will not be forgotten but will be developed to support more economic activities and create better lives for the people.

“At the same time, our growing urban population – you city boys – will enjoy decent jobs and a living wage.”

Tinubu urged the people of the Osun State not to be deceived by the empty promises of Peoples Democratic Party Candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi, saying both have nothing to offer.

While he said Atiku was only interested in stealing the nation’s resources and pocketing them for himself and his cronies, Tinubu likened Obi to the unprofitable servant who buried his talents, saying while Obi was Anambra State governor, he failed to use the state’s resources to develop it, rather saving them for no purpose.

“None of the other major candidates in this election have the capacity, integrity, knowledge or determination necessary to do what must be done. Only I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, am prepared and up to the task of leading this country, our cherished homeland, back toward its best destiny.

“Do not vote for the candidate of the poverty development party, Mr. Privatise, Atiku Abubakar. When, as the Vice President of this country, he had a chance to make a positive difference, he chose the lesser path.

“He chose to use his position to enrich himself, his family and his friends. He sold Nigeria’s most prized assets for a fraction of their value. In the name of privatisation, he stole from your future to enrich himself.

“Worse, he has learned nothing. He has gone everywhere telling the Nigerian people that he is coming back to finish the job. He has promised that this time he will not steal your prosperity.

“You should not believe him or his greedy co-conspirators. The nation does not need the return of its Privatiser-in-Chief. Reject him and his band of foul jesters. They have no serious plans for this country. They resort to cheap and vile antics because they have no substance and no solutions.

“Be equally wary of the false messiah, Mr. Stingy, Peter Obi. This man’s promises are bold and his boasts are plentiful. Yet, when he was given the responsibility to lead just one state, he was overwhelmed by it.

“He could only stash away the money he was supposed to be using to develop the state. All the people of Anambra could hope for was that whoever came next would have better ideas.

“A governor is not a banker, expected to hold fast to his customer’s deposit. Obi was expected to build good roads, schools and hospitals”, he said, emphasizing that Obi rather, saved the money.

In another development, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has that Northern Governors we’re all solidly behind the APC Campaign.

“Let me assure you 100%, the entire Northern Governors of the APC are completely, wholeheartedly supporting the Next President Bola Tinubu…” stated Nasir El-Rufai, even as Gov. Masari says: “Give Me Names of Northern APC Governors Not Supporting Tinubu?”

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MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods

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MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods

 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday in Lagos, warned that Cash-strapping may unwittingly lead, to a 25 percent drop, in the sale of locally-made goods.

The Director General, MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated this, emphasizing the need for the CBN to intensify efforts at ensuring a seamless transition from old naira to new naira notes, as anything to the contrary would be inimical to manufacturing.

He said if the current hardships being experienced in accessing money persisted for the next three weeks, there would be a possible drop of 25 percent in monthly sales of made-in-Nigeria goods.

He noted that as purchases from the retail end, mostly transacted in cash dry up; there would be a sharp drop in wholesale purchases leading to a glut of unsold inventories in factories.

He added that the situation which was no good for manufacturing, for the government and for the ordinary citizen would lead to compounded crippling lack of patronage for the domestic manufacturer.

Ajayi-Kadir also stressed that the development would also deny government the revenue that would have accrued from consumption taxes and result in the disruption of the daily life and need of the average Nigerian.

“To be clear, there is no doubt that the currency redesign is desirable; there are socioeconomic and political imperatives for the change.

“It is a critical element of the CBN cashless economy policy that should have far-reaching positive results for the economy.

“However, the continued scarcity of the newly redesigned naira notes is quite worrisome.

“With our growth prospects heading further south, we can ill afford a downturn in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The negative impact it portends for local producers, the agricultural and distributive segments of our economy is huge.

“It may worsen the bashing our economy has received from both external and internal shocks in recent times,’’ he stressed.

Ajayi-Kadir cautioned that adequate measures should be put in place to ensure a smooth currency transition, particularly in the unbanked areas of Nigeria.

He charged the CBN and Bureaux de Changes to be most engaging at the highest level at this time.

According to him, there is a need for strategic communication and joint operations to ensure widespread and sustained availability and circulation of the redesigned naira notes.

“It is baffling to approach a bank only to be told that there are neither the old nor the new naira notes.

“We hope that the resumption of payment across the counter in the banks and the intensification of the CBN special cash swap arrangement in remote areas will yield positive results.

“I hope that what the country is experiencing is temporary pain and that government will do well to bring the hardship to an end immediately.

“We must make haste to ensure that the price to be paid for this otherwise laudable policy does not outpace the gains,’’ he also cautioned.

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Economy

Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema

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Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – OnyemaDisdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema

…Shed tears, when he saw Nigerian girls forced into prostitution in Libya***

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, says his regret as minister is the disdain with which Nigerians are being treated outside the shores of the country and upon siting their international passports.

The Minister disclosed this in Abuja at the 22nd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023) organised to project the achievements of the government.

Onyema was responding to a comment by a journalist who expressed displeasure about how Nigerians travelling abroad were being subjected to harassment upon sitting on their green passports.

The Minister agreed with the position of the newsman and attributed the challenge to the desperation of many Nigerians who took desperate and illegal measures to travel out of the country.

“If there is one thing that I look back to with the greatest regrets in my seven and half years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is the situation of Nigerians in foreign countries,” he said.

The minister gave some of the instances he had witnessed and had to wade in to rescue trapped victims in the middle of the desert.

“I went to Libya and I actually shed tears when we went to this camp where they were holding Nigerians.

“There is that whole issue of slavery and of course, all the exploitations that go with it and they told us that there were only a hundred or two hundred Nigerians there,”

“So, we went to the yard and it was one of the most touching things I ever experienced.

“We have all these young boys, 13, 14, 15 years old and they all came out, over a hundred of them and they all stood up to attention,” he narrated.

The minister continued: “As soon as they saw us, they started reciting the Nigerian national anthem and tears came to my eyes.

 “We were told that the girls were used as prostitutes at night.

“When we saw them, the girls told us there were more Nigerians and we insisted they should bring them out.

“Lo and behold, twenty minutes after, they brought out another set which was about 200 Nigerians.

“The President gave directives, that we should charter planes in order to get them out and we did.”

Onyema attributed the despicable situation to the push factor leading a lot of young Nigerians to take desperate and ridiculous risks through the deserts and the high seas.

He said when they even finally got to their so-called dream countries, they got involved in drugs and all sort of crimes which made it difficult for Nigeria’s passport to be respected.

“Those of us in government have to blame ourselves, particularly in the immigration and even in foreign affairs,” he said.

Onyema narrated another scenario where the U.S., Ambassador to Nigeria came to show him the list of Nigerians that were issued visas through Note Verbal to go to the U.S. but they never attended the events they were scheduled for, but absconded.

He said he was also shown the list of those who were not respecting their visa deadlines and requirements, including top Nigerians.

The minister said all the illegal acts and sharp practices contributed to the manner Nigerians were being treated with disdain abroad when they cited their passports.

“In order to reverse the situation and ensure Nigerian passport is given the due respect it deserves, we all have to work hard and behave ourselves.

“We are all suffering from this because we have people with genuine missions seeking to travel abroad looking for visas and they are denied.

“It is a challenge for each and every single one of us and it is impacting negatively on our country.

“We all have the responsibility to salvage the situation,” he said.

Onyema said President Buhari had never rested on his oars on the issue because whichever country he travelled to, he stressed to Nigerians in Diaspora to be good ambassadors of their country.

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