Aso Villa Reads for Mon. 07/12/2020

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

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The Federal Government has launched a Transport Track Fund which seeks to give N30, 000 grants to commercial drivers including bus drivers, taxi drivers, motorcycle riders and operators of ride-hailing cabs such as Bolt and Uber. The Spokesman for the Vice-President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said in a statement on Sunday that the new initiative is a component of the Survival Fund which is under the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan put in place to support small businesses and cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said Nigerians should apply for grants through their registered associations such as the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers, Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Associations and Unions, among others. [Punch]

The Federal Government has disbursed N474.8 million grant to rural women in Imo State having registered 11,697 beneficiaries in 10 of the 27 council areas of the state. This followed its determination to lift 100 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP). Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, disclosed this at the weekend in Owerri at the commencement of the Special Grant for rural women programme. [Guardian]

The Federal Government has deployed solar mini-grids to communities and hospitals in Kogi and Niger states, as well as announced its readiness to revive three major abandoned power projects in Abia State. It deployed a 40kW solar mini-grid to provide electricity to about 1,500 residents of the Goton Sarki community, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State, who were not connected to the national power grid. Punch correspondent gathered on Sunday that the government through its Rural Electrification Agency also inaugurated two hybrid solar power mini-grids to ensure constant electricity at two hospitals in Kogi State.

The air component of Operation Thunder Strike has destroyed a camp and neutralised scores of bandits in airstrikes executed at the Kuduru Forest area of Kaduna State on Saturday. The Nigerian Air Force also provided close air support to the Nigeria Police in a joint offensive operation to clear identified bandits’ hideouts in the Kofa area of the state. Disclosing this in a statement on Sunday, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operation, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, explained that the air interdiction mission at Kuduru Forest was carried out sequel to credible intelligence reports indicating that the heavily armed bandits responsible for a previous attack on troops at Ngede Allah had originated from a camp within the forest. [Punch]

The Federal Government on Sunday said it had commenced the process of reviving its 300 hectares of farmland in Gombe State. It stated this through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, adding that it would engage 400 youths under its National Young Farmers Scheme. The Executive Secretary, NALDA, Paul Ikonne, said in a statement issued in Abuja that his agency was working in collaboration with the Federal College of Horticulture Dadin, Kowa, Gombe State. He said college had also donated 100 hectares of land to the authority as part of its partnership with NALDA to boost the agricultural sector in Nigeria. [Punch]

The Federal Government has executed more than 30 projects across the three senatorial districts in Kwara State from January 2019 till date. The projects, executed by the Special Projects Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, included health centres, blocks of classrooms, solar-powered boreholes and roads, among others. Mr Ibrahim Usman of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing made the disclosure in Babaloma, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara state during a sensitisation tour of some of the housing projects. [Punch]

Nigeria has submitted the instrument of ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area to the African Union, making it the 34th AfCFTA state party. The Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, on Saturday, confirmed receiving the instrument of ratification from the Head of Mission and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the AU, Richards Adejola. He said the continent was ready to deliver a commercially-viable continental market on January 1, 2021. [Punch]

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said it will harness the cashew value chain to generate over 500,000 jobs for Nigerians unemployed youth. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, said this would further improve the economy. He said the promotion of the commodity by the ministry was due to the cashew’s enormous potentials for employment generation for the youth and foreign exchange earnings. According to him, Nigeria’s current national output is 175,000 metric tonnes on a hectares of 150,000, with an average yield of 350 kilograms per hectare as against the global average yield of 1,230 kilograms per hectare. [Punch]

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