The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba has stated that the federal government planned to take 35 million Nigerians out of poverty through the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021- 2025.
Speaking at the 2021 African Statistics Day celebration in Abuja, he said the plan also envisaged broad-based economic growth of about 5 per cent on average as well as create about 21 million full time jobs.
He said the NDP would also seek to increase the federal government’s net revenue at all levels to 15 per cent of GDP by 2025.
The minister said, “The Plan seeks to achieve these laudable goals in the medium term by expanding economic growth, growing an inclusive economy, leveraging on its young workforce and enhancing execution capacity at the national and sub-national levels.”
He said the plan envisions Nigeria being a leading industrialising and reforming nation in Africa, that will focus on building its institutional capacity and capability as well as fostering a private sector-led growth to help address the critical issues of job and wealth creation and poverty reduction.
Agba said,”Nigeria has an enabling investment climate and business environment, underpinned by a motivated, capacitated, well-resourced, world-class civil service that drives open, transparent, high performance governance at all levels.
“The country is now moving decisively towards the reforms required to unlock local content development, sub-national economic diversification, competitiveness and growth, making moderate, incremental progress in poverty reduction and job creation in the medium-term.”
Also speaking at the occasion, Statistician-General/Chief Executive, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Simon Harry, said the need to produce high quality sociocultural statistics for Africa’s regional and economic transformation cannot be overemphasized.
He said the 2021 celebration was in line with an aspect of the vision of the present administration, which is devoted to raising awareness on the importance of reliable statistical production processes and usage for evidence based policy decisions.
He expressed satisfaction that Nigeria had over the years taken advantage of the declaration to promote the use and production of statistics.
He said, “I must commend the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for the consistent and efficient arrangement it has been making to ensure that all African countries celebrate this important day with some common activities through the use of a general theme. In this connection, perhaps it is pertinent to mention that the choice for this year’s theme, “Modernization of National Statistical System to Support Sociocultural Development in Africa is timely in view of the important role statistics plays in the current development efforts of African Countries.”
He said sociocultural integration will enhance economic growth and development adding that it remains a key strategy for strengthening intra-regional trade, and expected to produce considerable economic gains for Africa.
He added that the progress of sociocultural integration must be supported by high quality, timely and comparable social statistics.
Air Traffic Controllers 2-day strike leaves Passengers stranded
Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers, ATCs, commenced two days disruption of early morning domestic flights across the country to press home their demands for better working conditions.
The disruption is expected to last for three hours each day between 6 am and 9 am.
The action has already affected the flight schedules of many airlines as they had to reschedule.
The action of the Traffic Controllers is coming after another ATC, Mr Aniekan Effiong Inuk, died in the early hours of Monday, November 22, 2021 while on duty at the Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A statement issued by the Controllers yesterday read: “That commencing from 0600 UTC today, 23rd November 2021, ATC units nationwide should operate flow control. That all departures should be spaced at 20 minutes intervals. That all international flights are exempted.”
“That all ATCOs should endeavour to be on high alert should there be a need to escalate this exercise beyond flow control, we are ready to further such actions. That this exercise will be for two days and will be strictly executed at the four major airports with strict coordination from adjacent aerodromes before any start up is issued”.
Speaking further on the grievances of the Controllers and action to be taken in another statement titled: An SOS On Poor Air Traffic Control Working Conditions And Staffing, signed by Abayomi Agoro, President of the association and Rev. Agbonlahor Felix, General Secretary, the union said: “Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) rose from an emergency meeting conveyed over the tragic, painful and avoidable exit of one of our diligent and dedicated colleague Mr Aniekan Effiong Inuk in the early hours of Monday, November 22, 2021.”
“The council observed that within the last two years, Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association has lost nine of her members on active service due to stress-related health complications which seem associated with poor working conditions and inadequate staffing. “
“Several appeals to management and other stakeholders in the industry and inactions by appropriate managers on communiqués from the Association’s past Annual General Meetings had failed to address the issues. “
“The death of Mr Aniekan Effiong Inuk on active duty at Abuja airport whose sad event is not unconnected with the unavailability of operational vehicle to move him to a hospital in record time amongst others is one too many.”
“Hence, Air Traffic Controllers are embarking on a three (3) hours flow control for two days, 23rd and 24th November, 2021 from 0600UTC to 0900UTC to register our displeasure and call the attention of relevant authorities and the public to quickly address our concerns without further delay.”
Meanwhile, Some airlines have sent messages of flight delays and adjustments to their customers who were already at the airport while some have cancelled flights outright blaming the action on ATCs.
A Green Africa Airways flight scheduled to depart Lagos for Akure at 1.34 pm was first cancelled, then rescheduled to 4.45 pm and then another notice of delay was sent to customers.
“Flight 318 from QOW to AKR scheduled for 23 Nov 2021 04:45:00 has been cancelled. This is due to an ongoing industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause you.”, the message to passengers read.
“Please be notified that your flight 307 from AKR to LOS will be delayed due to an industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers at some major Airports in the country today.”, another message reads.
The ATCs are, amongst other demands, asking the government to “approve and implement a 500% upward review of the annual ATC medical allowance to enable ATCOs to carry out comprehensive medical assessment among other stuff.”
“That all Air Traffic controllers be enrolled in an enhanced comprehensive health and life insurance schemes that will meet their health needs. “
“That standard medical emergency kits be provided at all ATC units and yearly Health Safety Environment (HSE) training programs for ATCOs be conducted,” amongst other demands.
We Don’t Have Control Over Cooking Gas Price ― FG
The federal government on Tuesday said that it has no control over the price of cooking gas because the product is fully deregulated in the country.
The minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, who made the declaration in a chat with correspondents however noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is worried about the hike in the price of cooking gas.
The minister was at the presidential villa, Abuja to introduce to the president the CEO, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA,
Engr. Faruk Ahmed and the CEO, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe.
He asserted that gas prices are determined by the global market, even though he indicated that government will everything possible to bring down the price of cooking gas especially during the Yuletide season.
He said, “We must understand that cooking gas is not subsidized. It is already a deregulated commodity. So the price of cooking gas is not determined by the government or by everybody in the industry. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally.
“And you all are aware that in Europe, today, gas prices have gone up. There was even a crisis in Europe relating to gas prices. So the pricing of gas internationally now affects also the price of gas in the country.
“Apart from that, there are some issues around VAT charges on imported gas, and of course, taxes on imported gas, which we are handling. But of course, quite frankly, these taxes on imported gas, you must also juxtapose it side by side with the local producers of gas.
“So, if you incentivize the importance too much, then you will also kill the local industry. And also, you don’t want to incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, because if incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, then you will not have enough gas produced within the country.
“So, these are the issues of balancing that the midstream and downstream regulatory authority are handling and I want to assure you that we are quite concerned.
“Mr. President also is very concerned. He is aware that the price of cooking gas is high in the market, and we’re doing everything trying to see how we can bring down the price of gas especially as we approached the Yuletide.”
Sylva also disclosed that the president has directed him to proceed to Nembe, Bayelsa State to investigate the level of damage caused by the recent gas spillage in the area.
The minister stated that he will visit the affected communities on Wednesday to assess the situation.
He said; “And the question which is on the spillage in OML 29, we are quite aware of it. Unfortunately, it has happened. It is also one of the issues I discussed with the president as a minister and he has actually asked us to go and visit the site to assess the situation and report back.
“Definitely, we are quite concerned with what is happening in Nembe and will be going there very soon tomorrow. In fact, to go and look at what is happening and report back.
“Mr. President is very personally interested and we have discussed it and he said we should go there and come back and report to him because environmental degradation issues are things that we are not going to condone but of course we’ll work with the operators of OML 29 to ensure that this spillage is brought under control as quickly as possible.”
On the resurgence of fuel queues in parts of the country, the minister directed the CEO of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ahmed to answer it.
The NMDPRA CEO explained: “You see intermittent queues in some parts, maybe of Abuja and maybe the environs, basically what happened is that some of the depot owners are selling PMS, above the official ex-depot price of N148, they are selling at N156, N157.
“And the reason they adduced is that they are paying for their logistics like shipping in US dollars, they’re paying for NPH, port charges and NIMASA charges in US dollars.
“They have to go to black market to source these US dollars. And that differential between the official and the black market they buy, that is why they added about N9 to N10 to N15 and it depends on whether you are in Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt, or Oghara.
Now, we had a meeting the week before last on Tuesday, the 9th, and the NPA was there represented and the DG NIMASA was there as well NNPC, major marketers were all there and we all agreed and resolved that NNPC excess capacity of their shipping their vessels will be chartered to all marketing companies. We will be charging in Naira so that NNPC now will go and source for converting US dollars through the CBN.
“As for the NIMASA and NPA charges, it was all agreed that they will revert to their supervising ministry to get direction on the receipt of these charges in Naira rather than US dollars and I understand the process of that engagement with their supervising ministry has already commenced.
“Once the NNPC from the 15th of this month, they have already converted to charging Naira instead of dollars for their excess capacity charter to all marketing companies. So, I believe with this, there will be no reason for the depot owners to increase their price beyond the official selling price of N148 naira.
“Now, we have been working tirelessly in the past few years to sensitize our people to start using LPG for example. And they were making an effort to do so. People are now interested in are working towards utilization of LPG, but then the production is not commensurate with the demand.
“And this is why we want to focus on investment in the area. Now, a lot of major oil companies like their IOCs want to invest, but the pricing framework is an issue for them. So, we’re working with the guidance of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to ensure that we put the pricing framework that is attractive enough for the investors but at the same time is simple enough for the consumers, whether it is power, or industrial base, or the commercial sectors.”
Binance challenges The Nigerian Stock trading apps by offering U.S stocks
Nigerian stock trading apps with exposure to foreign stock listing face a herculean task as Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange recently disclosed it will list three new stock tokens over the coming weeks, following the launch of stock tokens that gauged the performance of Coinbase and Tesla Stocks in early April.
The Hong Kong-based exchange in a statement released today said that such tokenized stock offerings will include MicroStrategy, in addition to tech juggernauts Apple and Microsoft.
The tokens will permit its customers to trade fractionalized units of the share tokens, at cheaper transactional fees when compared to traditional trading apps.
Fast-rising fintech trading platforms like Chaka, Trove, Bamboo, and Risevest already offer Nigerians such platform in purchasing foreign listed stocks amid the recent clampdown of such services by the Nigerian Securities Commission.
What you should know about Binance Tokens
Binance Stock Tokens are tokens of stocks (i.e., shares of public companies) that trade on traditional stock exchanges.
Each Stock Token represents one ordinary share of the relevant stock. These Stock Tokens are fully backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities held by CM-Equity AG, Germany (“CM-E”). Holders of Stock Tokens will qualify for economic returns on the underlying shares, including potential dividends.
Blockchain technology is already revolutionizing financial system services. This technology has made the need for a third party unnecessary in transactions or access to the stock market. Conventionally, buying stocks usually required a stockbroker, paperwork, or a long list of financial assessments.
Unlike regularly traded stocks, tokenized stocks do not require any sort of paperwork or the need for a stockbroker as a middle-man, which makes them free from the stockbroker’s fees.
Tokenized stocks are derivatives assets. This simply means that the price of a tokenized stock is determined by the price of the company’s stock. If a particular asset is traded at a certain price on a stock market, the same price or a little difference in price will be traded on different exchanges.
Tokenized stocks are digitalized forms of a company’s stock traded on secondary markets. What this means is that Tesla, Apple, Facebook, etc. stocks can be traded on a crypto exchange. Trading Tesla’s stocks, for instance, on crypto exchanges makes it easily accessible to purchase anywhere.
Creative: South African woman makes dress from recycled KFC packaging
The Internet has transformed the world into a global village today. Within a minute we get to know news from a thousand miles away and feel connected. Social media platforms also keep us informed and entertained. People are finding new ways these days to get noticed on these online platforms by doing something unique. A female fashion designer and blogger from South Africa is a recent example of this, having garnered the attention of social media users for her creative take on sustainable clothing.
The young fashion designer, who goes by the name NokuzothaNtuli on Twitter, has shared images of a beautiful dress made from recycled KFC packaging that has left people stunned.
Showing her love for KFC, the fashion designer, in a caption, explained that the dress was made out of recycled KFC packaging. She also tagged KFC South Africa in her post. The pictures were an attempt by the designer to win KFC’s Superfan contest, which had the grand prize of a year’s supply of the brand’s fried chicken products.
Take a look at NokuzothaNtuli’s post:
Since being shared, this tweet has grabbed over 13,000 likes and a plethora of reactions by Twitter users. Enjoying the attention on social media, the fashion designer has it pinned on her profile at the moment.
After viewing the photos of the dress on Twitter, KFC South Africa themselves were pretty impressed and responded to the woman’s idea on the social networking site, saying that, “All this fresh drip, we were never ready”.
The word drip is an urban slang word for chic and fashionable clothing.
Not only KFC South Africa but social media users also appreciated the creativity of the fashion designer. Several users found the dress very innovative and commended the fashion designer on her skills.
Some people rooted for NokuzothaNtuli to win the Superfan contest.
Others were impressed by the talent of the designer as well as the free marketing that KFC got through her.
Some people also shared their own experiences with clothing made out of recycled paper.
Now its your time, how creative do you think this dress is?
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