Aso Villa Reads for 1/6/18
Every day, we bring you the best stories the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria.
Punch reports that Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2018 and over the medium-term is very positive. This was noted by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma who indicated that the government was rolling out initiatives, such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan focus labs, aimed at attracting sufficient private sector investments to ensure that the country would achieve the growth target of seven per cent by 2020. The minister also explained that as part of the implementation of the ERGP, there had been substantial increase in capital allocations to priority sectors such as infrastructure and agriculture, with capital releases of over N1.2trillion under the 2016 budget, and almost N1.5trillion under the 2017 budget.
The Naira yesterday appreciated by 105 kobo to N362.97 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window. The appreciation, the biggest in three weeks, was prompted by 11 percent increase in volume of dollars traded (turnover) which rose to $ 634.05 million yesterday from $570.81 million on Wednesday. According to Vanguard, investigations also reveal that the increased volume followed intervention of the CBN in the window yesterday. Similarly, the naira appreciated by N1 in the parallel market yesterday as demand for dollars weakened in response to dollar sale by CBN to bureaux de change (BDCs).
President Muhammadu has signed the “Not Too Young to Run Bill” into law thereby enabling Nigerian youths to utilise the opportunity provided by the new law to leave their mark on the political space. The bill was signed in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in the presence of young men and ladies from various states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He listed components of the Act to include the reduction of the age of eligibility for election into the House of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years and from hitherto 40 to 35 years as the eligible age to seek election into the office of the president. The president who discovered that the Act retains 35 years of age for eligibility for election into offices of governors and senators, expressed hope that the provision would be revisited in future, adding that the Nigerian youth is actually the country’s greatest resource and that it is the intelligence, talents and energy of the youth that will develop the country after the transition of the current leaders. This Day reported this.
According to Punch, the Nigerian Air Force says it has provided jobs to over 7,000 personnel in three years with the goal to flush out all regrouping militants in the country, starting with Lagos state. This was according to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who said that the NAF will continue their efforts in enhancing security across the country. In his words, “we have been in Lagos, Taraba and other states in the country. Very soon, something is going to be worked out which will involve not only the Air Force but all military formations. Our commanders are giving us all the inputs. Just like we flushed them before, we are going to continue to flush them with the support of other security agencies.” The Chief of Staff also added that new helicopters and aircraft have been acquired for this objective, emphasizing the need to keep Nigerians secure and able to go about their business without fear.
The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) has announced that an anti-dumping rule has been negotiated as part of protectionist measures to avert dumping of goods in the country and in preparation to the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The Director General, NOTN, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, stated this, adding that he has also gone ahead to negotiate counter failing duties, global safeguard agreements on the annex of rules of origin that would assist regulators and negotiators mitigate trade risks. In his words, “the African continental free trade area would establish a single market for trading goods and services although there are risks that would be attempted to tranship or dump in the African market, not limited to Nigeria alone. Guardian reported this.
Punch reported that the International Organisation for Migration and the European Union have evacuated 186 more Nigerians from Libya. This revelation was made by the National Emergency Management Agency, South-West Zone, who said the returnees arrived in two batches at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday and Thursday. According to their spokesperson, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, he said, “within 24 hours, NEMA has received 186 Nigerian returnees from Libya on two different flights at the MMIA, Lagos. The flight with 154 returnees arrived at the airport at 8.45pm on Thursday aboard a chartered Libya Airline with registration number 5A-DMG. They were received at the Cargo Wing of the airport. The other 32 returnees arrived via a commercial flight, which landed at the International wing of the airport on Wednesday at 3.45am.” According to him, the returnees comprised of 99 female adults, 75 male adults, four children and eight infants and involved those based in Libya but voluntarily decided to return home when opportunity came from IOM because of the current volatile state of the North African country. He further disclosed that IOM had started training past returnees in batches in order to reintegrate them into the society.