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Buhari Vows to Halt Job Exports Through Local Production

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday, that his administration would not allow Nigeria return to the days of exporting jobs through the importation of food and clothing items which can be produced locally. 

The President noted that the textile and garmenting sector had the potential to create millions of jobs and would remain one of the priority sectors for the administration.

Buhari said this during an audience with the National Executive Council of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers (NTGTW) led by its President, Comrade John Adaji, at the State House, Abuja.

He assured that his administration would continue to support policies and programmes in the years ahead, adding, “We owe this to the over 200 million Nigerians.

Referring to his recent directive to all Government uniformed institutions to use locally produced garments, President Buhari said unbelievable number of jobs will be created when the military, police, para-military organisations including the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), fully patronise local industries.

He said that the priority of his administration “is to create as many jobs as possible.”

The President said that in the last four years, the Federal Government deployed limited resources to job-creating sectors like agriculture and mining.

Lamenting the closure of textile factories especially in the North which gave rise to crimes, he said, “we promoted policies that will support local industries such as import restrictions. We introduced programmes that provided affordable and accessible capital to both large and cottage industries.”

He added that, “We also introduced Executive Orders that encouraged the procurement of Made in Nigeria goods and services.”

The President urged State Governments to buy into this policy for their schools, hospitals and other institutions.

On the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which Nigeria recently signed, Buhari said, “we have developed a comprehensive strategy to fully optimise the benefits” with necessary safeguards in place. He stressed that “Our priority remains to create jobs in Africa for Africans using a large proportion of African raw materials.”

Speaking on behalf of the Union, the General Secretary, Comrade Issa Aremu, commended President Buhari for being the first Nigerian leader to grant the 41-year-old body an audience, and making the revival of the textile industry a campaign topic.

Bemoaning the closure of hundreds of textile factories which used to employ “millions of workers more than the workforce of the Federal Government in the 70s and 80s,” he also saluted the textile-friendly policies of the administration such as the interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Executive Order on the use of local garments by uniformed organisations among others.

Pledging to support the administration to “keep our youths out of the streets,” the Union urged that the incidence of smuggling be checked in order to maximise the job-creating benefits of the textile industry.

President Buhari was decorated as the Life Patron of the Union in appreciation of his textile-friendly efforts.

Aremu said that revamping the textiles industry in the country would addressed largely the current security challenges in the country.

He attributed lack of employment opportunities for the youth as major factor responsible for increasing security threats in the country. 

Economy

SEC Approves Commencement of Access Holdings N351bn Rights Issue 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the commencement of the N351 billion rights issue capital raising programme of Access Holdings Plc.

A statement made available by the Holdings to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos confirmed this.

The group said that the approval marked a significant milestone in its previously announced capital raising programme, which aimed to generate up to $1.

5 billion.

It also said that the rights issue was strategically structured to boost Access Holdings’ financial position and support ongoing working capital needs.

According to the holdings, the programme will also provide funding for organic growth across its banking and non-banking subsidiaries.

“The approved rights issue offers 17,772,612,811 ordinary shares of N0.50 each at a price of N19.75 per share.

“The offer will be issued on the basis of one new ordinary share for every two existing ordinary shares held as of June 7, 2024,” it said.

The lead issuing house for Access Holdings’ rights issue is Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Ltd., while Atlas Registrars Ltd. will serve as the Registrars to the offer.

The offer will open on July 8 and close on Aug. 14.

It noted that the rights circular would be distributed to shareholders by Atlas Registrars Ltd., and application forms would also be available on its various websites.

The holding company advised its shareholders to contact their stockbrokers for more details about the offer.

Access Holdings said that it remained committed to its strategic vision of expanding its footprint and delivering exceptional value to all its stakeholders.

It noted that the successful execution of the rights Issue would further solidify the group’s position as a leading financial services provider in Africa and beyond.(NAN)

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Business News

Nigeria Spends $600m Annually on Palm Oil Importation

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The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN), says Nigeria spends 600 million dollars on palm oil importation annually.

Mr Alphonsus Inyang, National President of the association stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He  described the expenses as unhealthy for national development.

Inyang said the samount could be saved and injected into the economy if the palm oil sub-sector was given due attention by successive governments.

The president said that Nigeria  which was self sufficient in palm oil production in time past,  now spends  huge amount to import same product.

Inyang said in the 60s, Nigeria was number one in palm oil  production and exportation globally, controlling over 60 per cent of world palm oil.

He said that the reverse was the case at the moment as over 50 per cent of what “we consume are imported,”he said.

Inyang said at the moment the country occupies fifth position in the league of palm oil  producing countries after Indonesia, Malaysia,Thailand and Colombia.

According to him, Nigeria may lose the position to smaller countries who are investing heavily in the sector.

He said  Indonesia occupies the first position,  producing 50 million metric tons, Malaysia second with 19 million metric tons, Thailand 3.28 million and Colombia 1.9 million metric tons.

The president attributed the challenge to the negelect of the sector by successive governments.

Inyang said based on the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, Nigeria currently occupy fifth position in the league of palm oil producing countries with 1.5 per cent or 1.4 million metric tons of the world’s total output.

“Nigeria was overthrown as the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter by Malaysia and Indonesia in 1966.

“Currently Nigeria is the largest consumer of the product in the continent, consuming approximately three million metric tons yearly.

“Domestic production stands at less than 1.4 million metric tons, leaving a deficit of over 1.6 million metric tones,’’ he said.

Inyang urged government, specifically the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to support NPPAN members  with seedlings to develop 250,000 hectares per year.

“Our members can plant up to 250,000 hectares per year through the association’s National Oil Palm Strategy Development Plan , all we want are inputs.

“Government does not need to give and develop land for us, we need seedlings, fertilisers, logistics and implements to close this gab within four years.

“We will also create new millionaires in 28 states of the federation, “he said. (NAN)

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Economy

Nigerian Banking System is Stable, CIBN Assures Nigerians

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Wednesday reassured Nigerians that the banking system remained “safe, sound and resilient,” dispelling fears of bank liquidations.

Its president, Prof. Pius Olanrewaju, gave the reassurance in a statement in Lagos to correct misinformation and fake news that licence of more banks would be revoked.

Olanrewaju emphasised the importance of clarifying rumours that additional bank licenses would be revoked, following the regulatory action taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against Heritage Bank Plc on June 3.

“We would like to allay the fears of bank customers and the general public that the assertion is false and misleading.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have debunked the claim,” the Chairman of Council, CIBN, stated.

He added that the ongoing recapitalisation process announced by the CBN aims to further strengthen the resilience of banks and their capacity to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Consequently, we urge the public to continue conducting their banking services without hesitation or apprehension,” Olanrewaju said.

According to him, CIBN is committed to promoting best practices and ensuring that the sector remains safe and sound, in collaboration with other stakeholders in the ecosystem. (NAN)

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