Since the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) inaugurated a think-tank to properly define where the party stands on the contentious issue of restructuring, a lot of people have hammared the party on its position on the matter especially the person selected to head the committee, ANDREW ESSIEN writes. It is now an open secret that ahead of the 2019 general elections, one of the major talking points for any serious candidate intending to lead the country will be to articulate, and clearly too, where he or she will stand as far as the subject matter is concerned. More importantly, the governing party is  all the more pressed to explain on which side of the isle it stands on restructuring since interestingly, the subject matter had subterraneanly found its way into its constitution and as such, it had increasingly come under fire to make good its promise on seeing through what it...
By EKELE PETER AGBO The world has moved in terms of technology and innovation. The Nigerian government at the moment does not have the resources to throw at any national identity card project; neither does the economy have appetite for any white elephant project. It is, therefore, best for the government to apply the same public private partnership (PPP) model that was used in taming the e-passport monster in building up the national identity infrastructure. Before now, we had seen a few hiccups here and there with the Nigerian International Passport. For the first time, Nigeria has been able to put together a partnership with private sector to come up with the e-passport which has so far stabilised. Hitherto, government used to appropriate money for passports, now passports generate revenue for government. Importantly, there was a resolution of ECOWAS heads of government on giving all ECOWAS citizens an ECOWAS travel card to...
BY BAYO AMODU and RUTH TENE NATSA, Abuja Nigeria will be saving about N300 billion it spends annually on importation of rice as local production of the commodity has now reached 15 million metric tonnes, the federal ministry of Agriculture disclosed yesterday. The director of Agriculture at the Kano office of the ministry, Muhammad Adamu, who gave the hint, while inaugurating the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) in the state, said in Kano alone, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was produced in 2016. He noted that, with the significant increase in local production and the effort to make the local variety qualitative and more attractive to Nigerians, the country expects to begin exporting rice to West African countries between 2018 and 2019. Adamu said presently, 34 states in Nigeria are producing rice, with most of them now producing three times in a year. He disclosed that investigation carried out by the federal...
By Bukola Idowu, Lagos The Debt Management Office (DMO) has in the past five months raised N5.15 billion through federal government’s savings bond which it launched in March this year. This is even as it has set out to raise N135 billion through the FGN Bonds this month. In an offer circular issued yesterday, the DMO said the bond auction which will hold on August 23, 2017 will be reopening of the 14.50 per cent FGN July 2021, 16.2884 per cent March 2027 and 16.24399 per cent April 2037 bonds. It said it plans to raise N35 billion from the five year bond and N50 billion each from the 10 and 20 year bonds. Despite the rising yields on the FGN Savings Bond interest in the debt targeted at small scale retail, investors have been waning since its debut in March this year. From over N2 billion raised at its debut auction in March, the...
Recently Governor, Dickson issued an order directing opposiition APC in Bayelsa State to quit its Secretariat. Osa Okhomina writes on the politics of the quit notice Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has a way of taunting and ruffling the feathers in the camp of the opposition groups in the State. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governor Seriake Dickson never left anyone in doubt, through open mockery, the heavy blow of defeat dealt the opposition parties including the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the 2016 Governorship election in the state. To his pleasure and to the disconfort of members of the APC, governor Seriake Dickson is at it again. He has issued a quit order to the Bayelsa APC on the building used as State Secretariat of the party. While the fold of the APC was being torn apart by the controversy surrounding the supension and expulsion of the State Chairman, Tiwei...
“China-Africa relations have today reached a stage of growth, unmatched in history. We should scale the heights, look afar and take bold steps”- President Xi Jinping (2015). By Charles Onunaiju More than two years, since Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping summarized the phenomenal level, China-Africa have then attained, and urged for the relations to aspire to new and higher “heights”, Nigeria and China took “bold steps”, last week to nudge the bilateral relation between them to new heights, thereby scoring major success in extending the frontier of Sino-Africa Cooperation. As a work in progress, the China-Africa Cooperation by the range of issues it has covered and the intensity of its engagement, is considerably phenomenal but still at a primary stage of its development, with profound potentials and prospects in the distant future, if both sides continue to “take bold steps and look afar”. Last week in Abuja, between August 10th and 11th,...
BY AHURAKA ISAH, SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja, Abu Nmodu, Minna With the rising cost of governance, lean revenue earnings and little or no funds for infrastructural development, legal experts in the country have advocated the merging of the Senate and the House of Representatives to form a unicameral legislature. This is coming just as former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again taken a swipe on the National Assembly, saying Senators and members of the House of Representatives are fond of cornering capital projects into constituency projects to perpetrate corruption. The legal experts, including constitutional lawyers and members of the inner bar contended that the federal legislature can function effectively as a unicameral legislature just like states and local government councils that are operating unicameral legislature, with only state Houses of Assembly and Councillors respectively at these levels of government. In separate exclusive interviews with LEADERSHIP yesterday, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay...
Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is one man who is much dreaded in the country at the moment.
The federal government yesterday assured the UN of its commitment to respect and safeguard diplomatic status of the organisation’s personnel and property in Nigeria. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by its Acting Spokesperson, Ms Jane Adams, said that the assurance was sequel to the military search of the UN premises in Maiduguri, Borno on Aug. 11. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, had on Aug. 11 expressed concern over the unauthorised search of the UN base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri by security forces. The Ministry expressed Federal Government’s regret over the incident noting that government recognised its obligations under international humanitarian law and principles which protect all humanitarian organisations. “The Federal Government, however, noted with satisfaction  the success  of the collaborative  efforts by  the  Nigerian Army, the  Borno governor and the UN team in Nigeria. It also noted the efforts to re-establish trust, confidence  and cooperation, between the  Nigerian...

Pension Fund Hits N6.5trn

By ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos The nation’s pension funds, under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), grew to about N6.5 trillion as at the end of July 2017, even as the number of pension contributors rose significantly to 7. 6 million, LEADERSHIP has exclusively gathered. As at the end of July 2017, the fund increased to about N6.5 trillion from N6.4 trillion it stood at as at April ending. Moreover, LEADERSHIP gathered that between April and June this year, there were 97,713 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders registered under the new pension scheme, with 77,023 contributors from the private sector. 9,148 workers from the federal government registered under the CPS, while state governments recorded 11,542 contributors, thus, increasing the total number of pension contributors from inception of the scheme till now to 7.6 million. In the same vein, report has it that between April and June, 2017, the pension fund gained about N7.5 billion as private...