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i-DICE Programme will Redefine Nation’s Digital, Creative Landscape – Shettima

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The Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, has expressed optimism that the $617.7million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) Programme would redefine the nation’s digital and creative landscape.

Shettima said this on Wednesday at the inauguration of a technical committee to kick start the programme, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

I-DICE Programme, a collaborative effort between the government and international partners, including the Bank of Industry (BoI), African Development Bank (AfDB), French Development Agency (FDA) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB), aims to nurture and empower enterprises in the digital and creative sectors.

The National Economic Council (NEC) had, at its last meeting in March, endorsed the implementation of the programme in the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Vice-President, who described the development as the dawn of a new era in Nigeria, revealed that the Ministry of Finance had been mandated to ensure the expeditious disbursement of funds for the iDICE Programme.

This, according to him, will pave the way for its swift implementation.

“We’ll embark on a journey of innovation, collaboration and boundless opportunities

“A journey that holds the power to redefine the trajectory of our nation’s digital and creative landscape.”

Shettima highlighted the significance of the partnerships forged with institutions, describing them as a “convergence of vision and purpose” in pursuit of shared prosperity.

He commended the meticulous preparations undertaken by the Ministry of Finance and partners, affirming the programme’s readiness to unleash its full potential.

“With every condition met, we stand poised to unleash the full force of i-DICE upon the world.”

He applauded the accomplishments of members of the programme coordination Unit, over the past year, including its establishment, procurement of fund managers and engagement with ecosystem stakeholders.

The Vice-President described them as a testament to Nigeria’s indomitable spirit of innovation.

According to Shettima, the programme represents a catalyst for transformation and a beacon of hope for future generations.

Earlier, Chairman of the Technical Committee on the I-DICE programme, Mr Tope Fasua, noted that i-DICE’s substantial financial backing underscored the programme’s potential to drive transformative change in Nigeria’s digital and creative sectors.

Fasua, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, (Office of the Vice-President), disclosed that the selection of fund managers for the programme was being conducted through an open and transparent process.

According to him, the process is guided by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to ensure that the best-qualified firms are entrusted with managing the programme’s financial resources.

He said AfDB had completed all necessary documentation and was ready to disburse funds, subject to agreed terms.

“Similarly, the French Development Agency (AFD) has signed the required documents, pending internal processes.

“The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) is in the final stages, with one last document awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance.

“With the groundwork laid, the committee anticipates the first drawdown of funds on April 15th, marking a significant milestone in the programme’s implementation.”

Fasua expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for the opportunity to serve, contribute and impact society and the nation’s human capital and economic development. (NAN)

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Kano APC Suspends National Chairman, Ganduje Over Alleged Corruption

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The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been suspended as a member of his ward in Kano. Reports says that the Executive members of Ganduje Ward In Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano state announced the suspension of Ganduje over alleged corruption on Monday.

Addressing newsmen in the state capital, the legal adviser of the Ganduje Ward, Haladu Gwanjo said the former Kano state governor is alleged to have committed gross misappropriation of public funds during his time as governor of the state.
According to him, the members decided to suspend the national chairman’s membership after a vote of no confidence was passed on him due to his inability to clear his name from various allegations of corruption against him, which range from the circulated dollar videos where he was allegedly collecting bribe from contractors.
He said the suspension takes effect from today 15 April.A viral video had captured Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollar notes as a bribe from a man said to be a contractor and stuffing them in the pockets of his flowing gown.The video, which garnered widespread attention in 2017, has been the subject of intense scrutiny.Ganduje had denied the content of the video when it first surfaced and maintained his innocence but years after, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s administration of Governor Abba Yusuf revisited the case, vowing the prosecute the ex-governor.The Kano High Court would arraign Ganduje on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 on charges bordering on allegations of bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds, including the purported acceptance of $413,000 and N1.38bn in bribes.The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Haruna Dederi, had said Ganduje would be arraigned alongside his wife and six others.The Yusuf administration, which initiated the criminal suit against the eight respondents, had declared its readiness to present 15 witnesses to testify before Justice Usman Na’aba of State High Court.

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Q1:PTML Customs Rakes N66.9b, Surpasses 2023 Revenue

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The Port Terminal Multiservices Ltd. (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded N66.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of the year.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), PTML Command, Comptroller, Saidu Yusuf, said this at a news conference in Lagos on Monday.

He said that the figure, which was N22.

19 billion higher than the N44.
72 billion recorded same period in 2023, represented 49.
6 per cent increase.

Yusuf described the increase in the revenue collection as a laudable feat.

According to him, the command is committed towards trade facilitation and supports the government’s drive on ease of doing business.

The comptroller thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance.

He reiterated that PTML command, under his watch, aimed to surpass its record of three hour cargo clearance for compliant traders.

“The launching of Time Release Study (TRS), which is ongoing and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General, had contributed to the expansion of terminal space and promoted ease of doing business in PTML.

“PTML command has potentials to achieve two hour cargo clearance and surpass it’s existing three hours record if port users compliance level is improved upon.

“PTML is one of the safest and most secure environments for RoRo(Roll On Roll Off) and general cargoes,” Yusuf said.

He advised importer and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which had contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti smuggling functions of the command.

Yusuf commended the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support toward the realisation of the overnment goal of revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities.

He also expressed optimism that the command would surpass it’s annual target for the year.

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into nneighbouringcountries with the ntent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and act of economic sabotage.

The PTLM customs boss said that the command had the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes.

The CAC enjoined officers of the command to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more revenue for the second quoter.

He reminded the port users of the increased in anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items.

Yusuf said that any discovered infraction would lead to full evoking of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA), where there were spelt out penalties. (NAN)

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EFCC Arraigns 5 for Illegal Crude Oil Deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, charged five defendants before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over an illegal deal in petroleum products.
The defendants are: Mt Vinnalaris (a vessel), Azeez Abubakar, Wisdom Borborley, Samuel Akpan and Freedom Otuagoma
They appeared before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on two counts bordering on unlawful deal in petroleum products.


After the charge was read to them, they pleaded guilty.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr R.A. Abdurasheed, informed the court that the prosecution had filed the plea bargain agreement with the defendants, before the court.
Consequently, the court adjourned the case until April 25, for adoption of plea bargain agreement.

The court, however, ordered that the defendants remain in custody of the prosecution till then.
In the charge, the defendants were said to have committed the offence sometime in 2023, while on the Nigerian maritime domain.
They were alleged to have dealt in 515.8 litres of crude oil without lawful authority.
The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 1(17) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Law of the Federation 2004. (NAN)

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