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Economy

Group Advocates Speedy Passage of Nigeria Startup Bill

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Ventures Platform Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on Thursday called for the speedy passage of the Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) before the National Assembly.

The group said this at a rally in Lagos organised to sensitise residents, especially upcoming startups, on the provisions and benefits of the bill.

The NSB  project is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations.

The bill will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are friendly, clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.

Speaking at the rally, Ms Olufunmi Osho, Lagos State Coordinator, NSB, Bill Project, said it would contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for growth, attraction and protection of investment in tech startups.

Osho said: “While this is our bill; it is managed by the Ventures Platform Foundation and supervised by the Presidential Strategic Advisory Group comprising representatives from the tech-startup ecosystem in Nigeria.”

She noted that government was doing a lot in making the business environment favourable for startups to thrive.

Osho added that the bill would be of immense benefits to the youths in the tech space.

Also speaking, Mr Victor Famubode, Project Manager, NSB, said the bill would create an enabling environment, remove unclear framework and inadequate local content for Nigerian startups.

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Famubode said that if passed into law, the bill, would introduce a lot of incentives for startups such as tax holidays.

He said that it would be a bill that would outlive the initiators far into the future.

Famubode noted that young people in Nigeria had been experiencing various setbacks to economic growth , innovation and development which was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is why the president is working with other stakeholders to create the Nigeria Startup Bill,” Famubode said.

The NSB is different from other bills because it employs a big tent technique that has various stakeholders working together to deliver it. (NAN)

Economy

Zulum Seeks Collective Fund-raising in Recharging Lake Chad & Hawul Basins

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has called for a collective fund raising that would be channeled towards recharging the Lake Chad and the Hawul Basins which have been the major sources of livelihood for about 30 million people before it receded by 90%.

Governor Zulum made the called on Tuesday, when he visited the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

During the meeting which lasted for about an hour, Zulum noted that funds could be raised through collaborations with the United Nations regional stabilization facility, other foreign and Nigerian based development partners such as the Northeast Development Commission, as well as contributions from states within the Lake Chad region.

He noted that the funds would be channeled towards recharging the Lake Chad Basin which was a source of livelihood for about 30 million people before it receded by 90%.

Speaking on Hawul River Basin, Governor Zulum, a professor of Irrigation Engineering, suggested the possible use of distilling and suppressing vacuum techniques to expand the capacity of the basin, while promising Borno Government’s support for urgent measures considered by the Federal Government.

“At our own level, we are ever ready to provide the needed political will to thrive these important projects”, Zulum said.

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Responding, the Water Resources Minister, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, assured the governor of President Buhari’s commitment to reviving the Lake Chad.

He also promised that the ministry will henceforth shift focus from executing fragmented projects to a strategic and ambitious one that can make massive impact on the lives of people in Borno and rest of the Lake Chad region.

Governor Zulum was accompanied by the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engr. Bukar Talba.

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BUSINESS

FG to Inject 10m Gas Cylinders for Sale Nationwide

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The Federal Government says it will inject 10,000,000 cylinders of the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) into circulation nationwide to increase access to the commodity.

Alhaji Musa Ibrahim, the Managing Director of the Nigeria LPG, made this known during a two day sensitization workshop in Bauchi yesterday.

He said the cylinders would be distributed nationwide through registered marketers, saying we would establish micro sales and distribution centers for the cylinders.

“The price of the safe cylinders is affordable as the LPG is capable of improving economic activities of the end users,” he said.

Mr Dayo Adeshina, the senior special assistant to the vice president on LPG, urged the people of the state to embrace the use of the LPG in their households.

He explained that the federal government is considering the possibility of increasing access to the commodity by reducing the high cost of the LPG to expand affordability.

He said the use of cooking gas would reduce instances of deforestation, desertification and soil erosion which contribute seriously to environmental hazards.

In his remarks, Gov. Bala Mohammed, represented by his deputy, Sen. Baba Tela, assured that his government would support the programme to succeed.

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Governor Mohammed called on the national LPG office to develop a means or device through which gas for firing automobiles to reduce carbon emissions will be introduced.

He explained that many Nigerians are ignorant of the potentials of the LPG, stressing that citizens need to be adequately aware of the potentials of the product.

Earlier in his remarks, the state commissioner for natural resources, Nuruddeen Abdulhameed, said government would fully support implementation of the project.

He said the state government would provide a spacious plot of land and the political will to see to the successful take off of the programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day sensitization awareness workshop was tagged “Engaging Bauchi State Towards Sustainable Socio-economic Growth through LPG adoption and expansion. (NAN)

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Economy

Buhari Unveils 1.2m Bags Abuja Rice Pyramids

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By Joseph Amah, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government will do everything to ensure Nigerians enjoy cheap foodstuffs. The President made this promise yesterday when he unveiled a 1.

2 million-bag paddy rice pyramid, in Abuja.

He commended the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for Initiating the Anchor Borrowers Programme, through which the massive rice production was achieved.

In his address at the event, the president said that his food security agenda would drive down prices of food items in the country.

According to him, from a National paddy rice production of about 4.5 tons per annum before the ABP initiative in 2015, paddy rice production rose to over nine million tons by last year.

In his address,the Governor of CBN said that as  at the end of December 2021, his team  had financed 4.5 million farmers that cultivated 5.3 million hectares across 21 commodities through 23 Participating Financial Institutions in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT.

According to him, Thailand alone exported 1.3 million metric tons of rice to Nigeria in 2014.

Mr. Emefiele noted, however,  that the CBN introduced the ABP in 2015 to curtail food import and that since then, Nigeria has witnessed incremental reductions in rice imports from Thailand.

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His words,”By 2016, rice imports from Thailand had fallen to only 58,000 metric tons. As of the end of 2021, they only exported 2,160 metric tons to Nigeria, thereby saving us foreign exchange and helping preserve jobs in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the Governor of Ekiti State, and Chairman of the Governors Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the next agenda of the administration’s food security programme would be to ensure  affordability of food items.

Also speaking, the Gov. of Kebbi State, Alh. Atiku Bagudu, said that rice production has significantly improved  to such a level that a farmer could now earn N400,000 per hectare.

He said that Nigerian rice farmers have become richer than ever before.

He said that the CBN had invested less than one trillion Naira in the ABP and has achieved very much in terms of conserving foreign exchange, employment generation and food security Nigeria.

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