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Senator warns on rising population, urges Nigerian govt to release $1m for Family Planning

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Senator warns on rising population, urges Nigerian govt to release $1m for Family Planning

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuosho, has warned of dangers ahead for Nigeria if it does not control its population growth. He called on the executive to release the additional one million dollars meant for Family Planning services.

Mr Tejuosho (APC-Ogun) made the call during the 5th Nigeria Family Planning Conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said FP is a major contributor in the progress of Nigeria, saying it will help reduce the nation’s populace.

“If we continue to allow the families to grow, it means we are heading to doom.

“The most important thing is the “green dot’’ and every woman should be encouraged to walk into any outlet with the green dot to access FP services,” he said.

The lawmaker also said that it was important for the nation to improve on its FP purposes in order to reach its full potential.

He added that investment in FP was one of the smartest investments in achieving demographic dividend.

Mr Tejuosho further said that access to FP services would help reduce mortality rates in society.

He, therefore, admonished the government, private sector and stakeholders to improve on the accessibility of FP products.

(NAN)

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Ministry of Industry to partner Abia for Enyimba Economic City

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Ministry of Industry to partner Abia for Enyimba Economic City

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says it is partnering the Abia State Government and Crown Realties Plc, for the development of Enyimba Economic City in Abia State.

The partnership is one of many under a programme to develop Special Economic Zones in the country, for which stakeholder engagement is ongoing, spokesperson Bisi Daniels said Tuesday.

Other projects under the Public-Private Partnership model, which are to serve as pilot projects are in Katsina and Lagos states.

“The Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan through the manufacturing of goods for exports,” says Dr. Okechwuku Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

“Accordingly, Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports), was envisioned by the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), to develop SEZs to world class standards and position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.”

Project MINE seeks to achieve the following specific objectives:

· Aid structural transformation of the Nigerian economy by increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product to 20 per cent by 2025;

· Contribute to sustainable inclusive growth by creating 1.5 million new manufacturing jobs in the initial phase of the project;

· Increase and diversify foreign exchange earnings by increasing manufacturing sector exports to at least US$30bn annually by 2025;

· Create local models of global best practice in provision of world class infrastructure at competitive costs connecting SEZs to international and regional markets with transport links, uninterrupted power, ICT, water, sewage and other services to ensure smooth and efficient operation of SEZ businesses;

· Promote the “cluster” effect to be gained by locating similar export-oriented manufacturing businesses within the same locality;

· Attract world class investors with strong positions in global supply chains and investors with potential to increase the scale of operations rapidly to set up operations in SEZs; and

· Create an enabling environment for SEZ businesses by instituting best in class legal and regulatory frameworks, using technology and streamlined processes to facilitate movement of people, goods and capital and easy access to government services, approvals and permits.

The first phase of the project is to focus on the development and upgrade of SEZs in 12 states across Nigeria, following which the initiative will be extended to other States in subsequent phases.

This involves, among others, partnering with the private sector to develop new world-class SEZs in Abia, Katsina and Lagos as pilot projects to demonstrate proof of concept and provide models for future SEZ development Nigeria.

In Abia, accelerated pre-development work carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of consultants including Surbana Jurong of Singapore; CBRE, India; Allott Nigeria Limited; Roughton International, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, FBN Quest and a number of others has been completed.

Also, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shandong Ruyi Group of China for the investment commitment of $2bn to the Cotton, Textile and Garment industry in Nigeria through investments in manufacturing facilities in Enyimba Economic City, Abia State; Kano Free Trade Zone and Lekki Free Trade Zone.

The Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited “has executed definitive agreements for the acquisition of 20 per cent of the ordinary share capital of Enyimba Economic City Development Company Limited.

This investment will facilitate the development of Enyimba Economic City in line with government’s policy objectives and have a transformational impact in the entire South Eastern and South Southern area of the country,” says Mr. C Darl Uzu, the Managing Director of Enyimba Economic City Development Company Limited.

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Nasarawa Assembly passes N23.4bn supplementary budget

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Nasarawa Assembly passes N23.4bn supplementary budget

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed a supplementary budget of N23.4bn presented to the House by Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, announced the passage of the bill after Tanko Tunga (APC-Awe North), the Majority Leader of the House, moved the motion.

The speaker said the passage of the bill would enable the present administration complete the ongoing projects before the end of its tenure in May 2019.

“Governor Tanko Al-Makura administration is determined not to leave any project uncompleted at the expiration of his tenure, hence the need for the passage of the supplementary budget.

“Based on the governor’s letter to the House, he said during the preparation of the 2018 budget, some projects were underfunded and because of their importance to the general public it has become necessary to request for additional funds to complete them.

“We have approved N23.4bn as the total supplementary budget for 2018.

“This is made up of N5,292,726,871 billion only for Recurrent Expenditure while N18,100,346,140 only is allocated to fund capital expenditure,’’ he said.

The speaker disclosed that the House increased the supplementary budget by N100million due to omission of International travel, transport, bank charges among others.

Mr Balarabe-Abdullah assured the executive arm and the people of the state of its commitment to pass bills that would have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.

Daniel Ogazi (APC-Kokona East), the House Deputy Majority Leader, seconded the motion moved by the Majority Leader.

The House unanimously passed the supplementary budget.

Mr Al-Makura, on November 29, 2017, presented the 2018 budget proposal of N122.8billion only to the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

NAN also recalls that the House had on January 24 passed the state’s 2018 appropriation bill of N125.4 billion into law by jerking up the budget by N2.6 billion.

(NAN)

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Atiku absent as presidential candidates sign peace accord in Abuja

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70 percent of my appointments will go to youth, women if elected president – Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, was absent at the signing of a peace pact for 2019 presidential candidates in Abuja.

It was not immediately clear why Mr Abubakar, the major challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari, did not turn up at the event.

Mr Abubakar was among those expected at the event.

Spokespersons for Mr Abubakar and the PDP separately told PREMIUM TIMES they were not aware of the event, which began at 3:00 p.m., and promised to make urgent findings and revert.

Mr Buhari arrived at the International Conference Centre to join other candidates in signing the peace agreement, which was drafted by the National Peace Committee.

Abdulsalam Abubakar, a former Nigerian military ruler, is the convener of the committee and the event.

A similar pact was signed by presidential candidates in 2015 and the committee was widely deemed crucial to the peaceful outcome of that contentious election.

Details shortly…

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