By Ebitonye Akpodigha
During the campaigns ahead of the 2015 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) reportedly promised to pay N5,000 monthly to poor Nigerians. This was hailed by many and caused the party to be massively voted for by the electorates.
However, nearly two years after gaining power, Nigerians have continued to ask when that campaign promise would be fulfilled.
Almost a year ago, November 2015 to be precise, the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, reminded President Muhammadu Buhari of his campaign promises to Nigerians, including the N5000 monthly pay to unemployed youths in the country.
“The ruling APC government must fulfil their campaign promise of paying unemployed Nigerians a sum of 5000 Naira monthly,” he had said on the floor of the Senate Chambers during plenary.
But that promise is about to be fulfilled as the Federal Government has released the sum of N65 billion to address that (monthly stipend) and other National Social Investment Programmes it promised, including the school feeding programme and jobs for unemployed graduates.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the N65 billion was part of the N150 billion approved by the steering committee of the programme.
The Minister pointed out that for now, N25 billion has already been released for these programmes, while “another N40 billion was in the process of being released into the account.”
Speaking on the N5,000 monthly stipend, Mrs Ahmed said the money would be paid to extremely poor and vulnerable in Nigeria and would be for two years.
She explained that this is under the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme of the National Social Investment Programme of the government.
“Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed to providing as many as possible in the North Eastern part of the country where a lot of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the Minister said.
One the school feeding programme, which is another phase of the scheme, Mrs Ahmed told newsmen that, “The School Feeding Programme has started in some states like Kaduna and Osun. The Federal Government is only adding its resources to it.
“The Federal Government will handle from primary 1 to 3 while the states will handle from 4 to 6.
According to her, the school feeding Programme will target 5.5 million primary school people in all the states of the federation from primary 1-3.
She added that 11 states were set to fully start the scheme which would involve feeding 3.5 million school children.
Also, the Minister said the job creation programme aims at training 500,000 university graduates, who would be deployed to work in their local communities as teachers, agriculture workers and health support workers.
She said the graduands would be receiving a monthly stipend of N30,000 for a period of two years.
Mrs Ahmed disclosed further that for the Enterprise Promotion Programme, which is essentially the loan scheme to be handled by the Bank of Industry, 1.66 million people, made up of market women, traders, artisans, small businesses and youths, they would be given loan from N10,000 to N100,000.
She said the repayment period of the loans would be three to six months with administration cost of five percent.
EFCC Declares MBA Forex Owner Wanted Over N231bn
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Mr Maxwell Chizi Odum, the founder and chief executive of MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited, otherwise known as MBA Forex, has been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed this development on Wednesday.
According to the anti-graft agency, the self-acclaimed investor is wanted for allegations bordering on fraud to the tune of N213.0billion.
Members of the public with vital information that could lead to his arrest have been urged to make them available. His last known address, the EFCC said, was in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The general public is hereby notified that Maxwell Chizi Odum, a.k.a. Mba Trading And Capital Investment Limited, whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an alleged case of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering to the tune of N213,000,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Thirteen Billion Naira) only.
“Odum is a native of Ikwerre in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. His last known address is at 7, Odum Street, Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the commission in its Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, Sokoto, Gombe, Maiduguri, Makurdi, llorin, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices or through these numbers 09-9044751-3, 08093322644, 08183322644, 070-
26350721-3, 070-6350724-5; its e-mail address: email@example.com or the nearest Police Station and other security agencies,” the statement stated.
Recall that about nine months ago, MBA Forex claimed it has been unable to refund funds of investors to them because of the actions taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The firm, which is involved in foreign exchange (forex) trading and investment in capital investment, said the banking sector regulator in Nigeria “suspended any dealings in our [bank] accounts.”
According to the chief executive of the organisation, Mr Maxwell Odum, “All other payment gateways we normally use for the easy payout of funds have also [been] blacklisted.”
He disclosed that this has made it quite difficult for some investors to get their money back from the company.
Mr Odum explained that the apex bank said it blocked the company’s bank accounts “to carry out some checks to ensure that we have been acting lawfully.”
However, the MBA Forex chief assured that those who invested in the firm would get their funds back as the “process has already commenced while some have already received their funds.”
AfDB 2021 Electricity Regulatory Index Ranks Nigeria 21
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s electricity sector emerged as the 21st best regulated across a number of key metrics, according to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2021 Electricity Regulatory Index.
The 2021 Electricity Regulatory Index, an annual report, covered 43 countries, up from 36 in the previous edition, and assessed their impact on the performance of their electricity sectors. The index covered three countries in the North Africa region; 14 in West Africa; 6 in Central Africa; 7 in East Africa; and 13 in the Southern Africa region.
According to the report, Nigeria has an index between 0.600 to 0.799 which indicates a substantial level of regulatory development. This means that many elements of a supportive regulatory framework are established, although there are weaknesses that do not permit the regulator to have a strong capacity, legal and institutional structures.
Meanwhile, the Ugandan electricity sector is the best for the fourth consecutive year while other strong performers include East African neighbours, Kenya and Tanzania, as well as Namibia and Egypt.
Among the 2021 report’s key highlights are that regulatory independence is one sub-indicator where African countries have room to improve: in 93 per cent of sampled countries, governments, and stakeholders exercise influence over regulatory authorities.
In terms of regulatory substance, participating countries scored lowest on the adequacy of their tariff setting and frameworks, as well as licensing frameworks when compared with best practices.
According to the report, the average performance of economic regulation has continued to decline since 2018. A third of countries surveyed indicated they lack methodologies to determine tariffs; another 40 per cent rely on tariff methodologies that do not include key attributes such as automatic tariff adjustment and tariff indexation mechanisms and schedule for major tariff reviews.
Speaking on this, Mr Kevin Kariuki, the AfDB’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth said, “The unprecedented participation of so many countries shows the commitment to strengthen the countries’ regulatory environment with a view to improving the performance of the respective electricity sectors”.
On his part, Mr Wale Shonibare, AfDB Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation, commended the top-performing country.
“Uganda topping the rankings consecutively for four years comes as no surprise to many, as the regulator spends significant time on consultation and analysis, including regulatory impact assessments of key interventions and follow-through to ensure full implementation,” he said.
Outside stakeholders also viewed the report’s results positively with Mr Abel Didier Tella, Director General of the Association of Power Utilities of Africa, saying, “It is interesting that the utilities in most of the top-performing countries in the Electricity Regulatory Index are listed on their national stock exchanges, which requires compliance with transparency in information sharing and good governance practice.”
Since its launch in 2018, the Electricity Regulatory Index has highlighted aspects of electricity regulation that need reform, identified appropriate areas for intervention, and encouraged stakeholders to be proactive in addressing challenges. Since then, the index has been widely adopted by regulators and other stakeholders across the continent as a benchmark for the regulatory environment as well as for ongoing reforms.
Housing Deficit: Sanwo-Olu Promises Developers 50 Hectares
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised developers within the state 50 hectares of land for the construction of housing units, as part of efforts to reduce the housing deficit in the state.
Mr Sanwo-Olu made the pledge on Tuesday at the opening of the second edition of the Lagos State Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibitions themed Lagos: 21st Century Real Estate Investment Hub.
In reaction to developers’ demand for land, Mr Sanwo-Olu said that the major problem was that a lot of them do not have the capacity they claimed to have.
“We can test you with 50 hectares of land to see your capacity and viability abound.
“A lot of people are holding on and speculating, but the real capacity is the ones that we want. Real people that are ready to hit the ground running are what we want.
“Once you are able to identify these people, I am saying to you here now, that we will work with your association and we will give you workable timelines so that you won’t turn us into speculators.
“Once you are ready, we would also be ready. This is your government that would make sure that we give you everything.
“I believe that the potential of this market is just starting, the potential is enormous, the potential is unbelievable,” the governor said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu commended the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) for its doggedness, noting that the agency was on the right path.
Reacting, Mr Bamidele Onalaja, Chairman, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter said that the association was delighted with Mr Sanwo-Olu’s offer and would not let him down.
“There is little land in Lagos and that is why we want to partner with the government. The government will give us land, we have the money and we’ll get the off-takers to buy the houses.
“It is going to be affordable houses to support the government’s initiative of affordable housing. We are glad the governor has promised us 50 hectares of land to start with,” Mr Onalaja said.
According to him, members of the association will not disappoint the government in its efforts towards reducing the housing deficit in the state.
“When the government partners with us, we will deliver and we will make the governor proud,” he said.
Like Our Facebook Page
Latest News on Business Post
- Ellah Lakes, Enugu Government Seal Rice Processing Deal December 8, 2021
- Sterling Bank Gets CBN Approval for Non-Interest Banking Business December 8, 2021
- Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Rewards Customers December 8, 2021
- Autochek Begins Loan Services for Brand New Cars, Trucks December 8, 2021
- Fake News: WhatsApp Introduces #YouSaid Campaign December 8, 2021
- EFCC Declares MBA Forex Owner Wanted Over N231bn December 8, 2021
- How Retirement Can be Enjoyed, Not Endured: The Imperatives! December 8, 2021
- AfDB 2021 Electricity Regulatory Index Ranks Nigeria 21 December 8, 2021
- FG to Inject N381trn into Economy to Create Job, Tackle Poverty December 8, 2021
- Housing Deficit: Sanwo-Olu Promises Developers 50 Hectares December 8, 2021
Feature/OPED2 years ago
Davos was Different this year
Economy5 years ago
Kwara Disburses N1.7b For Projects
Travel/Tourism5 years ago
Lagos Seals Western Lodge Hotel In Ikorodu
Technology12 months ago
How To Link Your MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile Lines to NIN
Economy5 years ago
How To Identify Fake Naira Notes
Banking3 years ago
Sort Codes of GTBank Branches in Nigeria
Economy4 years ago
NSE Market Capitalisation Sheds N76b as Sell‐offs Persist
Economy4 years ago
FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N655.18b in January