Aso Villa Read for 09/12/2019
According to Punch, the Federal Government has concluded plans to introduce a new visa regime to address insecurity and enhance economic growth in the country by increasing Foreign Direct Investment. The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, said the new electronic visa would be unveiled by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, before the end of the year. The CG said this in an interview with journalists at the 2019 NIS award night/end of the year dinner at the service headquarters in Abuja on Saturday. Babandede said, “We have been operating with visas that did not target our economic growth; that does not look at our security situation, and that is not very transparent. “I assure you, it (new e-visa) will be transparent, it will remove cash payment and ensure no security is compromised. It’s a balance between facilitation and transparency and protection of national security.”
The Nigerian Communication Commission has set up emergency communication centres in the Federal Capital Territory and 17 states. The states are Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo. Others are Cross River, Imo, Enugu, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Anambra and Adamawa. Punch reported that the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Umar Danbatta, stated this at a security and emergency management award event in Abuja, adding that the move was aimed at tackling security challenges in the country. In a keynote address entitled, ‘Leveraging Emergency Communication Centre for National Security’, Danbatta, who was represented at the event by the head of the centre, Chukwuma Azikiwe, noted that the NCC was working to make the country a more secure place. He said the commission had provided a toll-free emergency telephone short code for members of the public to use in emergency situations. He gave the toll-free emergency code as 112.
The African Development Bank has resolved to partner the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to promote the special agro-industrial processing zones targeted at increasing food production capacity and promoting local, regional and international trade. This was contained in a resolution reached at a two-day farm-to-fork dialogue held between December 3rd and 4th in Ilorin put together by Agro Nigeria farmers. The dialogue themed “Eliminating the economic impediments to a prosperous commodity agribusiness”, was aimed at providing long-term solutions to the challenges the agricultural sector is facing in Nigeria. The communiqué issued at the end of the event said women and youths were fundamental to the agriculture ecosystem. It added actors and players in the agro industry agreed that the youths needed to be engaged actively in agribusiness. Punch reported.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite has said that the Federal Government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Russian company by January 2020, for the resuscitation of the multi-billion naira Ajaokuta Steel complex. The Minister disclosed this in Kaduna after embarking on a facility tour of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NRSMEA). According to Adegbite, once the Russian contractors to handle the resuscitation of the Steel Rolling Mill are identified, the MoU would be signed and work would commence in earnest. “This agency is invaluable towards the resuscitation or development of Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mills. As you all know, the President is making sure that we resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel, that Ajaokuta should come back on stream. We have taken the first step. Talks are on with the original builders, a Russian company and MOU Draft is being studied by both sides. And hopefully, sometime in January 2020, we will probably sign the MOU and once the contractors are identified from the Russian side, the funds are already in place, the work will start. While we are still waiting as being promised for the two to three years agreement period to fire up Ajaokuta, there are a lot of activities that must start simultaneously. Vanguard reports.
The federal government has unveiled plans to develop strategies to counter the use of chemical, nuclear and explosive weapons by terrorist groups, notably, Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP), This Day’s investigation has revealed. Experts have raised concerns about the potential use of unprotected and unsafe chemical and nuclear materials by terrorists. There are also known incidents of the use of explosive precursors such as ammonium nitrate by Boko Haram to make Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) in Nigeria as well as incidents of loss of radioactive materials by oil prospecting companies in the Niger Delta. Recently, a team of nuclear experts from China, United Kingdom and Norway, among others, secretly evacuated the Nigeria Research Reactor 1 from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in Kaduna State. The nuclear experts in charge of the evacuation had concluded that material from the reactor could be used to prepare a dirty bomb by terrorist organisations to be used on soft targets, especially.
State House reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of a new board for the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, subject to Senate confirmation. The President nominated a renowned tax consultant, Muhammad M. Nami as the new chairman. The board is composed of a member representing each of the six geographical zones and statutory representatives from a select number of ministries and government agencies. Mr Muhammad, a well-trained Tax, Accounting and Management professional with highly rated qualifications and professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies, has almost three decades of practical working experience in Auditing, Tax Management and Advisory and Management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing, services and public sectors as well as non- profit organizations. He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new business start-ups and management of existing businesses. He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy.