Aso Villa Reads for Thurs. April 8, 2021

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

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will continue to provide opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to access loans without difficulty at single-digit rate as part of efforts to entrench a vibrant economy. CBN has remained consistent in initiating loan schemes covering agriculture, the entertainment industry, small scale business owners, among others at a single-digit interest rate to achieve Federal Government’s drive to economic prosperity. [Business Day]

The Federal Government has said that it is dealing with the challenges of compensation payment and relocation of services slowing down Lagos-Ibadan Expressway rehabilitation and reconstruction project. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babangida Hussaini, said this during a technical inspection of roads in Lagos. While noting that the speed of work on the project was impressive, he assured that the project would be delivered on schedule in December 2022. [Punch]

Despite widespread opposition to the deal, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Tuesday signed the $1.5 billion contract with Italian firm, Tecnimont Spa for the complete rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery. Criticisms had trailed the decision of the Federal Executive Council to approve the sum for the rehabilitation of the 210,000 barrels per day refinery, with many calling for the outright privatization of the refinery. [Vanguard]

Royal Dutch Shell, the parent company of the Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited, says it paid a total of about $3.2 billion to the Nigerian government in 2020, according to its latest sustainability report released on Wednesday. The payment is the largest payout from a total $13.1 billion the company said it made to about 24 host-governments covering countries where it has exploration and production activities around the world. [Business Day]

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, has appealed to the resident doctors to call off their strike in the interest of patients that needed care at this critical time. Ehanire made the call at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja to commemorate World Health Day, celebrated every year on April 7, sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other related organisations. [Vanguard]

The Federal Government has said it will inaugurate visitation panels to its universities, polytechnics and colleges of education next week. Education Minister Adamu Adamu is expected to perform the inauguration at the National Universities Commission (NUC) office in Abuja between April 12 and 13. The panels to the polytechnics and colleges of education will be inaugurated first, while that of the universities and inter-university centres will follow the next day. [Nation]

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has presented provisional licenses to twenty new private universities recently approved by the Federal Executive Council. The new universities, which were approved by the Federal Executive Council in February, 2021, bring the total number of the nation’s private universities to 99. [VON]

Nestle Nigeria, in collaboration with the federal government, has launched a campaign to address iron deficiency in Nigerians, especially women and children. The campaign, ‘Live Strong with Iron’ (LSWI), was launched in Abuja on Wednesday to mark the World Health Day 2021. The partnership involves the ministry of health, ministry of women affairs, ministry of agriculture, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), office of the first lady, among others.[Cable]

The Federal government says it will access about 700m Dollars facility to establish Agro Industrial Processing Zones in six states to reduce unemployment and Insecurity in the Country. About 500m Dollars will be sourced from African Development Bank, and 200m Dollars from International Funds for Agriculture Development by the Federal government on behalf of the states.[Radio Nigeria]

Terminals, Apapa, has acquired seven new forklifts to facilitate customs examination and improve on movement of heavy materials at the terminal. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Nigeria’s leading container terminal operator, Apapa, Mr Steen Knudsen said that the new equipment, including six 5tonns and one 16tonns forklifts, would enhance efficient performance of tasks at the customs examination bay and other units without having to share forklifts with other teams. [Guardian]

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