Aso Villa Reads for 30/10/2019

Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make special funds available for the local production of textiles and garments in Nigeria. Mr Buhari gave the instruction after declaring open the 31st National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja. The theme of the conference is “Labour and Industry in the Next Level”. The president who was represented by the Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Segun Ajiboye, called on the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to facilitate the training of textile industry workers to sustain current efforts at improving local garments production in the country. He said his administration demonstrated its committed to improving industries in the country with the signing of the Executive Order 003. The president said the CBN had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian military and paramilitary outfits, as part of efforts to revive the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) sector in Nigeria. Premium Times reported.

In what may be described as a piece of good news to the commuting public, the Federal Government has scheduled November 30 as the date for the commencement of free train ride from Lagos (Ebute-Metta) to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The development will ease movement during the yuletide season, as well as reduce the gridlock on the the Lagos/Ibadan expressway. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure, Monday, during the monthly inspection tour of the multi-million dollars Lagos-Ibadan rail project. According to him, the free ride will commence with two executive coaches, in the first instance, pending the arrival of more trains from China. While speaking on the progress of work on the rail corridor, the minister explained that the new policy introduced by the Chinese firm, will hasten the completion of the project. His words according to Business Day: “It was good that they changed all their policies. Before now, they bring all materials from China and they have to wait for it to be imported before they start work despite their readiness to work. “They have said that all materials will be gotten locally. Why do they have to import doors, windows from China? With the change of policy, the progress of work will improve”. He said. Amaechi stated that, in signing the agreement between Nigeria and the Chinese company, Nigeria agreed with the Chinese government that, they should produce most of the materials they need locally and they said it would be a bit difficult for them. So we reached an agreement that they should start assembling wagons.

As reported by NTA, The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Stakeholders have been urged to provide every necessary incentive that would boost the efficiency of Corps Members in their places of primary assignments. NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim stated this in his keynote address at the meeting of NYSC Management with representatives of State Governments held in Abuja. He however commended some State and Local Government Councils for prompt payment of Corps Members’ monthly stipends. Ibrahim added that part of the responsibilities of State and Local Governments as spelt out in the NYSC Act is the provision of accommodation with some basic facilities. “We are aware that some States and Local Governments have left many Corps Members with neither accommodation nor sufficient rent subsidy in lieu of accommodation, this would hinder them from discharging their selfless and patriotic service”. “It is gratifying to note that Orientation Camps in several States have met the minimum standards while general renovation and upgrade of facilities are on-going in others, meanwhile, the condition of some camps across the country are unfit for human habitation”, the DG said. Speaking further, lbrahim stated that NYSC Management places high premium on stakeholders’ involvement in the running of the Scheme as it has made it a policy to carry out sustained advocacy on the statutory roles of all key players as enshrined in the NYSC Act.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday announced its approval of N19.18 billion to finance the refurbishment of nine ginneries processing plants to boost cotton and textile production in Nigeria. The Nigerian cotton, textiles and garment sector has faced challenges of rising operating cost, weak sales due to high energy cost of running factories, smuggling of textile goods as well as poor access to finance which has led to the closure of over 150 textile firms as well as loss of over 2 million jobs in Nigeria. According to Business day, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the central bank, while speaking in Abuja, said that efforts were ongoing to provide improved access to finance at single-digit interest rate as well as provide linkage between cotton farmers and ginneries, by ensuring that ginneries are able to off-take the high-quality cotton produced by these farmers. “Approval to a tune of N19.18billion has been granted to finance nine (9) ginneries with a view to retooling their processing plants, while providing them with improved access to finance at single-digit interest rate. This is to help sustain their operations and improve their production capacity, the same support will be extended to the textile and garment firms,” he said. The governor spoke as the uniform services and Nigeria textile and garment manufacturers association, as well as national cotton association of Nigeria and Ginners association of Nigeria signed the memorandum of understanding, said that the smuggling of textile goods was estimated to have cost the nation an import bill of over $4billion annually on textile and apparel as a large proportion of clothing materials are being imported from Asia and countries in Europe.

After launching a recent reform of the broadcast industry, the federal government has announced plans to regulate the social media space in Nigeria. Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information and Culture who announced this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday said there has been a call by Nigerians to “sanitise the social media” after president Muhammadu Buhari recently approved stiffer penalties for broadcast breaches and other reforms in the broadcast industry. “I can assure you that we are also working on how to inject sanity into the Social Media space which, today, is totally out of control”, Mohammed said. “No responsible government will sit by and allow fake news and hate speech to dominate its media space, because of the capacity of this menace to exploit our national fault lines to set us against each other and trigger a national conflagration”, he added. The minister also recalled that he had set up a committee on the implementation of the recommendations that have already been approved by the President to “inject sanity into the nation’s broadcast industry, following the unprofessional and unethical conduct of some broadcast stations, especially before and during the last general elections.” He maintained that the federal government is not going back on implementation. Business Day reports.

The Federal Government has again given an indication that it will review Nigeria’s Foreign Policy to meet with the demands of contemporary times in international relations, especially to protect Nigeria’s vital national interests in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive. As reported by Business Day, the Minister of state, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, made this known in his remarks during a public lecture organized by the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) in Abuja on Tuesday under the chairmanship of former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar. The minister noted that President Buhari on assumption of office had issued Nigeria’s foreign policy framers a nine-point agenda to be executed at the ministry, with the major aim to review of the country’s foreign policy. “The presidency has directed us to review the country’s foreign policy as part of the nine mandates given to the ministry,” Dada said. He added that the directive to review the country’s foreign policy was as a result of global dynamism, and the need for the country to change with time.

In its commitment to the diversification of the productive base of the Nigerian economy, away from the oil sector, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council NEPC on recently held a one day capacity workshop to position the oil palm sub sector in cross River State. Olusegun Awolowo, executive director of the NEPC said in the country imported 450,000 tons of palm oil to the tune of N116.3billion in 2017, which he noted is worrisome because of Nigeria’s previous position in the commit of global oil palm producing countries.According to Business Day, Awolowo said this in a keynote address at a one day capacity building workshop to encourage oil palm export in cross River State. The chief executive officer who was represented by Emmanuel Etim, trade promotion advisor, Calabar office at the event said the annual oil palm demand of Nigeria currently stands at about 2.5 million metric tons whereas local production stands at 1.25 million tons, leaving a gap of 1.25 tons. He says it was on that note that about N30 billion is being made available to stakeholders by the central Bank of Nigeria CBN to develop the sector. According to Awolowo, apart from the ever growing demand, oil palm produce are highly priced globally, especially in non-producers. He added that Cross River has huge oil palm potential across the 18 local government areas, stressing that the crop is category ‘A’ strategic export produce in the priority sectors in the zero oil plan.

As reported by Punch, The Federal Government has urged the National Assembly to pass a bill that will allow Nigerians in the diaspora to participate in local elections from any country they are in. The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made the plea in Abuja on Tuesday when she appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs to defend the commission’s 2020 budget proposal. The NIDCOM boss said, “Diaspora voting is in your hands and I think it will be a legacy that you can leave. It does not have to be in 2023 but put a timeframe to when they can vote. It is something we owe Nigerians in the diaspora. “We are also hoping that you are going to amend the law to make electronic voting possible, at that point in time, diaspora voting, you can make it a reality.”

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it would scale up the number of those to benefit from the TraderMoni programme from 2.5 million to five million annually. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said this when she visited the Command Centre of the programme at the Bank of Industry Building in Abuja. The TraderMoni Programme being implemented by the Bank of Industry allows each beneficiary to get an interest-free loan of between N10,000 and N15,000. The loan is part of the social intervention programmes under President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. Statistics from the Command Centre on Tuesday showed that N19.6bn had been disbursed to about 1.95 million Nigerians under the programme. A total of 4.6 million people have been enumerated out of which 2.57 million have been verified. Farouq described the implementation of the programme as a huge success, adding that through it, the government would be able to achieve its objective of reducing the level of poverty in the country. She said, “We are proud of the BoI for putting up this centre and I must commend you for that. I must also use this opportunity to reiterate the President’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty. “This is one of such programmes geared towards making sure that millions of Nigerians are lifted out of poverty.” Punch reports.