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By David Tarkaa Nigeria is currently at a crossroads over its continued existence as one nation, with agitations for secession and restructuring from different parts of the country. Convener of Fast Forward Nigeria and former president, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Orkuma Hembe, speaks on the restructuring debate, 2019 elections and the 'Atiku Challenge' in this interview with David Tarkaa.  What is the fast forward Nigeria project all about? Fast Forward Nigeria project is an assemblage of young professionals in business, who are both in public and private sector but who are also politically inclined. You cannot do business in Nigeria and avoid politics. Over time, we have come to the realisation that politics influences the business environment a lot and we are not only professionals in our fields, we are also active politicians, so we came together under the banner of Fast Forward Nigeria because as far as we know,...
BY Chidi Nwachukwu, Abuja The Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has entered into a N50billion agriculture financing partnership with Stanbic/IBTC Bank for the 2017/2018 dry and wet season. This is in continuation of its efforts to boost agricultural productivity and modernization by facilitating increased bank lending to the sector. The partnership will cover NIRSAL supported projects in livestock, crops, mechanization, logistics and poultry. STANBIC/IBTC had committed an initial N10billion for the take-off of the scheme, an amount which is to be expanded gradually as milestones are achieved. The first phase of the scheme is projected to create over 92,000 direct jobs, impact about 200,000 lives, boost incomes of rural farmers and complement government’s efforts to drive inclusive economic growth through agriculture. It will also lead to the cultivation of an additional 11,195 hectares of arable land, increase the National Food Output by up to 50,580MT in yield and provide N3.87billion value...
By ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the introduction of sovereign SUKUK offer by the federal government, saying it is geared towards infrastructural development and worthwhile investment. Speaking at a one-day investors’ forum organised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Kaduna on Thursday, CBN’s deputy director of Financial Markets Department, Mr. Demenongu Yanfa, assured participants at the forum of the apex bank’s commitment to the smooth running of SUKUK. According to Yanfa, SUKUK will not only allow Nigerians take ownership of the roads with half yearly rental incomes, but will also fast track the building of road infrastructure in the country. “The world is looking for new areas of investment. As of today, South Africa, Malaysia and some other countries of the world have embraced SUKUK to fund some of the construction and rehabilitation of key sectors of their economies”, he said. He...
BY OUR CORRESPONDENTS The Nigerian Army yesterday declared the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organisation, calling on Nigerians not to join the group. According to the Defence Headquarters, IPOB has not only formed a secret service and a national guard, but its members are also in possession of weapons, blocking public roads and are now extorting money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks. Giving an update on the activities of IPOB, the defence spokesman, Major Gen John Enenche, said the group which now poses a security challenge in the country has been metamorphosing from one stage to the other. He said, “After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organization is non-violent is not true; hence, the need to bring to public awareness the true and current state of IPOB. “In this regard, some of...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja, Sunday for New York, to join other world leaders at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72). In a statement by the special adviser, media to the president, Femi Adesina, the high point of the President’s visit will be his participation in the General Debate during which he will deliver the country’s National Statement. The theme for this year’s Debate is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.” According to him, president Buhari will join other world leaders at the welcoming reception to be hosted by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and also hold a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe. He said, “Equally, the Nigerian leader will hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States of America, along with other world leaders. “During the General Assembly,...
BY Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, ANKELI EMMANUEL, AHURAKA ISAH, JOY YESUFU, Abuja, ACHOR ABIMAJE, Jos and Mathias Nwogu, Umuahia Tension and confusion enveloped the atmosphere in Plateau State yesterday, following unconfirmed reports that clashes have erupted between Northerners and Igbos in Jos, the state capital. To this effect, the state governor, Simon Lalong, has imposed an indefinite dusk to dawn curfew on the state capital. According to a statement by his media aide, Emmanuel Nanle, while the imposition of curfew followed reports of disturbances in parts of Jos, security agencies have been directed to effect strict compliance with the curfew. The statement noted: “Consequently, the governor has directed an immediate imposition of curfew from dusk to dawn (6pm – 6am) within the Greater Jos – Bukuru Metropolis, until further notice. “The deployment of security personnel to all flash-points within the metropolis has also been directed to ensure compliance with the curfew order...
By Abdullahi Olesin, Ilorin, Donatus Nadi, Lafia , Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt, Nosa Eresoyen, Asaba, Abu Nmodu , Minna, Taiwo Omilani, Lagos. The federal government’s attempt to implement some aspects of the National Tobacco Control Act may have been dead on arrival as many Nigerians are left in the dark on the law. On the 31st of May this year, which was the World No Tobacco Day, the minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, launched the implementation of certain aspects of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA), which include the banning of sale of cigarettes in single sticks, and the banning of sale of cigarettes to minors, banning of sale of cigarettes to or purchased by anybody who is less than 18 years old. However, checks across the country by LEADERSHIP Friday, revealed that more than four months after the pronouncement by the minister, tobacco control is still a mirage. In 2015, the...
By KAYODE TOKEDE,  Lagos Federal and state generating revenue service agencies generated a whopping sum of N99.26 billion as tax income from Zenith Bank and 15 other firms in the country between January to June of 2017 (H1), investigation by LEADERSHIP has revealed. A total of seven financial institutions, two industrial companies, four petroleum marketing companies, one conglomerate, one household company and a multinational company were investigated by LEADERSHIP. Of the N99.26 billion revenue paid by these companies, the seven financial institutions contributed about 77.4 per cent or N73.5 billion of the total revenue, as federal government continued to brace up its policies that will enforce tax payment compliance across the country. According to LEADERSHIP findings, the 16 firms had paid revenue services agencies N99.9 billion between January to June of 2016. United Bank for Africa (UBA) leads in the list of financial institutions tax payment in six months of 2017, followed by...
By ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday summoned the minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Aisha Alhassan, over her comments regarding her political allegiance ahead of the 2019 presidential elections. The minister who arrived the national secretariat of the party at about 1:45pm was ushered into the office of the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, where discussions were held behind closed doors. The minister had recently heated the political space when she granted a media interview where she pledged her unflinching loyalty to a chieftain of the party and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, rather than her boss, President Muhammadu Buhari. Briefing journalists after the meeting, APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said the minister apologised for going public to make such comments. He said, “Since the issue of the comment she made came up, the party has not said anything regardless of what individuals may have...
By KAYODE TOKEDE,  Lagos Federal and state generating revenue service agencies generated a whopping sum of N99.26 billion as tax income from Zenith Bank and 15 other firms in the country between January to June of 2017 (H1), investigation by LEADERSHIP has revealed. A total of seven financial institutions, two industrial companies, four petroleum marketing companies, one conglomerate, one household company and a multinational company were investigated by LEADERSHIP. Of the N99.26 billion revenue paid by these companies, the seven financial institutions contributed about 77.4 per cent or N73.5 billion of the total revenue, as federal government continued to brace up its policies that will enforce tax payment compliance across the country. According to LEADERSHIP findings, the 16 firms had paid revenue services agencies N99.9 billion between January to June of 2016. United Bank for Africa (UBA) leads in the list of financial institutions tax payment in six months of 2017, followed by...