Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (1104)


One of the top contenders for the stool of Zazzau emirate, Bashar Aminu, has asked a Kaduna state High Court to remove the newly appointed emir of Zazzau, Ahmed Nuhu Bamali as the 19th emir and declare him as the rightful emir of Zazzau.

In a suit filed in a Kaduna High Court, Aminu, who is also the Iyan Zazzau, said the appointment of Bamalli as emir by the Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai was “unilateral, unlawful.”

It was “irregular, illegal unconstitutional, unjust to inequitable and contrary to good conscience, null and void and of no effect whatsoever,” he claimed in the suit.

The suit has El-Rufai, the Attorney-General of Kaduna state, Kaduna state Council of Chiefs, Zazzau emirate council, the Wazirin Zazzau, Fagachin Zazzau, the Makama Karamin Zazzau, Limamin Juma’an Zazzau, Limamin Konan Zazzau, and the newly appointed emir of Zazzau listed as defendants.

Aminu also wants the court to declare him the duly selected emir of Zazzau based on the selection by the kingmakers which took place on the 24th of September 2020.

“The plaintiff having been selected/elected as the emir of Zazzau by the traditional kingmakers at the selection on 24th September, 2020 is entitled under section 3 of the Chiefs (Appointment and Deposition) law Kaduna state 1991 to be appointed by Governor of Kaduna state as the emir of Zazzau,” the suit reads

“Having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast by the kingmakers and thus selected by the said kingmakers, the plaintiff has thus acquired, vested right to the stool of the emir of Zazzau from the date of his selection henceforth.”

The Iyan Zazzau is also seeking a declaration that the plaintiff is still the emir of Zazzau and is entitled to all rights and privileges pertaining thereto and therefore seeking an order setting aside the “purported appointment of the 10th Defendant (Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli) as the emir of Zazzau.”

It is also seeking an injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants from acting in the installation of the 10th defendant to the throne of the emir of Zazzau and or presenting the 10th defendant with the staff of office until the final determination of the suit.

Daily Trust reports that Iyan Zazzau was among the top three who made the fist list in the selection process by the kingmakers on September 24.

Iyan Zazzau, Alhaji Bashar Aminu from the Katsinawa dynasty had scored the highest.

He was followed by the Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Muhammed Munnir Jafaru from Bare-bari dynasty and Turakin Zazzau, Alhaji Aminu Shehu Idris also from the Katsinawa dynasty.

Kaduna state government through the Attorney-General Aisha Dikko tells Daily Trust she is not aware of the case and was yet to receive court documents.

But aides to the Iyan Zazzau confirm the prince has filed a suit at Kaduna State High Court.

Posted On Monday, 12 October 2020 16:39 Written by

The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police across all formations in the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory.

The IGP, who announced the dissolution of the unit at a press briefing on Sunday in Abuja, noted that all officers and men currently serving in the Unit are to be redeployed with immediate effect.

He said, “New policing arrangements to address the offences of armed robbery, and other violent crimes that fall within the mandate of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad shall be presented in due course.

According to him, “A Citizens and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum will be formed to regularly interface with the leadership of the police at all levels and advice on police activities.

“To deal with the reports of crimes committed against citizens, an investigation team will be constituted which will include civil society organisations for transparency, and culprits will be punished.

“I commend the vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police who are diligently going about their_ duties, guided by the dictates of the rule of law, honour and professionalism. I encourage them to sustain their sense of national service, sacrifice, patriotism and commitment to crime-fighting. Their gallant efforts to ensure the safety of the lives and property of all Nigerians are very much appreciated.”

Posted On Sunday, 11 October 2020 16:55 Written by

By Sanni Onogu, Abuja/ THE NATION

  • 2021 Tax Expenditure statement to be published
  • MTDP 2021-2025 to replace ERGP 2017-2020
  • Fed workers not captured in IPPIS won’t be paid
  • Revenue generation a major challenge
  • Over 800km of roads to be built
  • Ibadan-Kano rail line for completion
  • Govt. to establish 5 tech colleges

Nigeria’s economy which has been projected to go into recession this quarter will return to recovery next year, the President said on Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari raised the hope when he presented the 2021 budget estimates for Federal lawmakers consideration.

He tagged the N13.08 trillion estimates as Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience.

Buhari said: “The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“Real Gross Domestic Product (‘GDP’) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.

“This ended the three-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017.

“I am glad to note that through our collective efforts, our economy performed relatively better than that of many other developed and emerging economies.”

According to the President, the economy may slip because the “GDP growth is projected to be negative in the third quarter of this year. As such, our economy may relapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences”.

He added: “We are working assiduously to ensure a rapid recovery in 2021. We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.”

The President said liquidity of the economy will be boosted with the withdrawal of subsidy and the reforms of the electricity sector.

He said: “The new petrol pricing regime has freed up resources that was allocated to subsidise petroleum products. Similarly, the ongoing IPPIS verification exercise has closed gaps that encourage ghost workers or pensioners. The service reflective electricity tariffs will help resolve liquidity crisis in the power sector and make the sector attractive to foreign investment.”

He noted that since skills’ deficits limit employment opportunities in the formal economy, various skills’ development programmes are being implemented simultaneously to address the problem frontally.

“For instance, the Government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.

“We have also recently introduced the N25 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

“We thank all Nigerians, for your perseverance and continued support during these difficult times. We remain unwavering in our commitment to actualise our vision of a bright future for everyone.”

2020 performance

On the performance of the 2020 budget, Buhari urged the lawmakers to recall that the 2020 ‘Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation’ was amended in response to recent fiscal pressures.

He added: “I am glad to report that these efforts enabled us to effectively respond to the public health challenge of Coronavirus outbreak and moderate economic impact.

“Pursuant to our revised assumptions, the amended 2020 Budget was based on a benchmark oil price of $28 per barrel; oil production of 1.80 million barrels per day; and exchange rate of N360/$.

“Based on these budget parameters, aggregate revenue of N5.84 trillion was projected to fund N10.81 trillion in expenditure.

“The projected deficit of N4.98 trillion, or 3.57 per cent of GDP, is expected to be financed mainly by borrowing.

“In 2020, average daily oil production was 1.88 mbpd up to June, as against the revised estimate of 1.80 mbpd for the entire year.

“However, the market price of Bonny Light crude averaged $40.79 per barrel, significantly higher than the revised benchmark price of $28.

“As at July 2020, the Federal Government’s actual revenue available for the budget was N2.10 trillion.

“This revenue performance was only 68 per cent of our pro-rated target in the revised 2020 budget.

“At N992.45 billion, oil revenue performed well above our budget target, by 168 per cent.

“Non-oil tax revenues totalled N692.83 billion, which was 73 percent of the revised target.”

He said that in order to improve independent revenue performance, he had directed that the cost profiles of Government Owned Enterprises (‘GOEs’) should be scrutinized and limits imposed on their cost-to-revenue ratios.

He said he has also ordered Supervising Ministers to ensure closer monitoring of the revenue generating activities and expenditures of the Government Owned Enterprises.

On the expenditure side, Buhari said a total of N5.37 trillion had been spent as against the pro-rated expenditure of N5.82 trillion as at end of July 2020.

Accordingly, he said that the deficit was N3.27 trillion which represents 66 per cent of the revised budgeted deficit for the full year.

He added: “Despite these challenges, we met our debt service obligations.

“We are also up to date on the payment of statutory transfers and staff salaries, while overhead costs have been significantly covered.

“For the first time in recent years, we commenced the implementation of this year’s capital budget in the first quarter.

“As at 15th September 2020 a total of about N1.2 trillion had been released for capital projects.

“Every Federal MDA has received at least 50 per cent of its 2020 capital expenditure budget, in line with my earlier directives.”

He lamented that revenue generation remained a major challenge to the nation’s economy.

“Nevertheless,” the President said, “Government is determined to tackle the persisting problems with domestic resource mobilization, as there is a limit to deficit financing through borrowing.”

He added: “The time has come for us to maintain a healthy balance between meeting our growing expenditure commitments and our long-term public financial health.”

2020 achievements

President Buhari also spoke about the key achievements of his administration in the 2020 fiscal year.

He said that his administration implemented several priority projects over the course of the year.

Buhari added: “Government has delivered on key policies, programmes and projects in these priority areas.

“In agriculture, we have recorded appreciable success in rice and other crops mainly through the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, anchored by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, respectively.

“We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads around key agricultural corridors to enhance access to market and reduce post-harvest losses.

“These efforts have reduced the adverse impact of Coronavirus on our food availability, prices and security.

“We have made progress on the railway projects connecting different parts of the country.

“The Lagos-Ibadan Line will soon be operational. The Abuja-Kaduna Line is running efficiently.

“The Itakpe-Ajaokuta Line was finally completed after over 30 years since it was initiated and commissioned in September 2020.

“Arrangements are underway to complete the Ibadan-Kano Line.

“Also, work will soon commence on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line and Calabar-Lagos Coastal Line, which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the North, and the South-South as well as South-East to the North, and South-West, respectively.

“The Second Niger Bridge is at about 46 per cent completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023.

“We have awarded several contracts to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct major arterial roads, in order to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activity.

“To bridge the infrastructure deficit, we are also implementing innovative financing strategies to pull-in private sector investment.

“The Infrastructure Company, which I recently approved, will become a world-class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on making critical infrastructural investments in Nigeria.

“This Infrastructure Company will raise funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the Africa Finance Corporation, pension funds as well as local and foreign private sector development financiers.

“Under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, we are undertaking the construction and rehabilitation of over 780km of roads and bridges, nationwide, to be financed by the grant of tax credits to investing business.

“Ongoing projects under this scheme include: Construction and Rehabilitation of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road Section II (Obajana-Kabba) in Kogi and Kwara States;

“Construction of Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway in Lagos State; and construction of Bodo-Bonny road with a Bridge across the Opobo Channel in Rivers State.

“To enhance good governance, we strengthened our anti-corruption agencies to ensure they work independently and jointly, while respecting the rule of law.

“We have also worked to address emergent cases of insecurity and insurgency, nationwide, with innovative approaches.

“Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North West are yielding desired results.

“We are determined to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and criminal behaviour from our midst.”

Posted On Friday, 09 October 2020 20:10 Written by

By Kazeem Ugbodaga / PM NEWS

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday presented a budget of N13 trillion to the joint arm of the National Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.

In the budget tagged: “Budget of economic recovery and resilience,” Buhari said the main thrust of the 2021 budget was to complete as many ongoing projects as possible, while giving priority to the ones that most affected the people. He said the 2021 budget would drive the MDAs to generate revenue, no matter how little, while urging the Legislature to pay attention to the revenue as much as they did to the expenditure.

According to him, the 2021 budget was the roadmap for post-coronavirus economy and was aimed at accelerating the economic recovery process.

Buhari said Crude oil is projected at $40bpd, exchange rate at N379 to $1, GDP at three percent and inflation rate at 11.95 per cent.

He said he had directed the Minister of Finance to finalise the Finance Bill and transmit for consideration and passage.

In the budget, the National Assembly got N128 billion, while N380.21b has been allocated to the health ministry.

Buhari said Multiple Rural Electrification Projects, Mambilla Hydro Power Project, Zungeru Hydro Power Project, among others, were key power projects under the 2021 Budget.

He stated that N420 billion had been earmarked for the Social Investment Programmes, while N20 billion had been earmarked for the Social Housing Programmes.

Posted On Friday, 09 October 2020 00:10 Written by

By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja/ THE NATION

The much-criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) cannot be scrapped because it is needed to combat armed robberies and other violence crimes, the Nigerian Police Force has stated.

Several Nigerians, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, have condemned the excesses and brutalities of the unit on social media.

Many had called for its scrapping, saying it has caused more harm than good with #ENDSARS and #WarAgainstSARS trending for days.

But Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Nigeria Police, Abuja, Frank Mba, in a live Instagram chat with popular musician, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley however assured more will be done to police the policemen to prevent violations of human rights.

Marley, who was supposed to be part of a protest to call for scrapping of the unit in Lagos on Tuesday, called off the action.

He said the cancelled protest was to get relevant authorities to listen to Nigerians and do something about SARS.

Mba said the police under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, have been proactive and would not wait for a protest before taking the proper actions.

Mba said the fundamental job of the police is to protect lives and property and they must respect the choice of people to appear how they like.

“There is no law that says dreadlocks, tattoos and other personal choices of appearance are offenses. It is nonsense,” Mba said.

He assured there will be proper policing of policemen going forward, stressing they must operate within the dictates of the law and established code of conduct.

Mba said if a policeman is doing anything wrong, citizens should take pictures and videos of the situation and send it to them for appropriate action.

He however urged that such photos or videos be taken in a manner that does not compromise the taker’s safety.

He said it was not a crime to record a policeman but certain infrastructure and situations should not be recorded for security purposes.

“But if a policeman is doing something wrong, you can take pictures and record videos and send them to us. But make sure you do so safely.

“If you feel in your interactions with the police that they are beginning to cross the line, you can take pictures and videos as long as it is safe for you to do so. When you send them to us, we will definitely follow up the matter and see it to a logical conclusion,” he said.

He also advised against going into arguments with armed security agents.

Mba called on government agencies, well- meaning Nigerians, as well as companies among others to support the Nigerian Police.

He described the ongoing conversation on the activities of SARS as work in progress.

Naira Marley, who said he was not threatened by anyone to cancel the planned protests, called for reform of the police unit.

The musician said: “We want this nonsense to end and we would do all we can to end it. We need to reform SARS.

“We need to get them of the roads. All we really want is for SARS to be like SWAT in the United States. You only see them when the occasion demands it.

“They should be off the roads. In Nigeria we see SARS everywhere. They should only come out when there is a robbery or other violent crime that need their attention.”

The live Instagram chat attracted over 30, 000 participants, including well- known Nigerians.

Posted On Tuesday, 06 October 2020 18:00 Written by

All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the Edo September 19 poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has declared he won’t contest his defeat in court despite faulting the outcome.

Ize-Iyamu, in a statement he personally signed on Monday, said the decision not to contest the outcome was borne out of the desire not to further heat tension in the state.

He however declared the election was neither free nor fair contrary to reports, alleging there “were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.”

He specifically pointed out “there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon while results were falsified from many polling units in Ofunama in Ovia South West, and in parts of Ovia North East, Owan West, Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan North East, Esan West, Esan South East, and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas.”

He further accused security agents of collusion, saying they refused to intervene when “gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations.”

The former Edo Secretary to the State Government (SSG) also said “there were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.”

These malpractices, according to him, could easily form the basis to challenge the election results.

He however said: “We have decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state.

“We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.”

He however said he would continue to pursue two pre-election cases challenging Governor Godwin Obaseki’s eligibility to contest the poll just “as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flagbearers have continued to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against us, all totalling 13.

“Consequently, we have decided to continue with our pre-election cases in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also continue with their pre-election cases against us.”

Posted On Monday, 05 October 2020 18:50 Written by

US President Donald Trump’s campaign events ahead of the November election will be held virtually or postponed after he tested positive for Covid-19, his campaign manager said Friday.

“All previously announced campaign events involving the president’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said.

Events involving First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for coronavirus, have also been postponed, Stepien said in a statement.

“All other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we will make any relevant announcements in the days ahead,” he said.

Vice President Mike Pence, who tested negative for Covid-19, would remain on the campaign trail, Stepien added.

Posted On Friday, 02 October 2020 20:56 Written by

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reversed the August 17, 2020 majority judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal which sacked Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor of Bayelsa State.

A five-man panel of the appellate court, in two unanimous judgments on Friday, held that the tribunal was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction over the petition filed on February 26, 2020 by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) and grant the reliefs sought by the petitioner.

The Court of Appeal held among others, that the cause of action was statute barred as at when the ANDP filed its petition, because its grouses of unlawful exclusion and unlawful disqualification are pre-election issues that ought to be raised within 14 days.

The Appellate Court proceeded to set aside the majority judgment of the tribunal, which had sacked Diri, and affirmed his return as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The judgments were on the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/703/2020, filed Diri and CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/704/2020 by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).

The court which scheduled judgments in seven appeals on the same dispute over the last Bayelsa Governorship election, is currently on the third appeal, marked: CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/705/2020, filed by the PDP.

Posted On Friday, 02 October 2020 18:47 Written by

By Tony Akowe, Abuja/ THE NATION

Member representing Kaltungo/Shongom Gombe Federal Constituency, Hon. Simon Karu, has said members of the House of Representatives receive about N9.3 million monthly as emoluments.

The member said the money includes their monthly salary and office running costs.

Speaking in Abuja at a well-attended event to mark the 60th Independence anniversary tagged: Fixing Nigeria at 60 – “Sustainable and efficient democracy: Issues on accountability and transparency in governance”, the lawmaker however blamed constituents high demand for the cost.

He said: “The official salary of a member, House of Representatives which I also receive monthly is N800, 000.

“I told you I was going to say it. Why don’t you wait for me to say it? The office running cost of a member of the House of Representatives is N8.5m.

“Those of you who know, know that I said exactly what it is. The problem is what the constituents demand and when you don’t meet they begin to call you names.

“Just before I walked to the stage, I received three emails from my constituents demanding for money and demanding for jobs, when you don’t it becomes an issue.”

However, chairman of the House Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols Ossai Nicholas Ossai, countered Karu’s claim.

He asked the audience to disregard the information the Gombe lawmaker provided.

Ossai, who is one of the oldest members of the House said: “I have never received such salary since I came to the National Assembly and I have been in the National Assembly before him.”

Speaking on how to fix Nigeria, Senator Dino Melaye said Nigerians need to reboot Nigeria because “If you get the fight against corruption right every other things will be fixed”.

He advocated for establishment of National Budget Office to address budget padding, Nigeria will continue to have problems with budgeting until it creates such office in the National Assembly.

“We need a National Budget Office. Nigeria is only country without such office and until we have it budget padding will not stop,” he said.

Posted On Thursday, 01 October 2020 18:52 Written by

By Samuel Oamen/ THE NATION

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on Emirates Airlines from operating in Nigeria.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.

He tweeted: “UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria.

“Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks.”

The FG on September 18 announced the ban of Emirates flights to Nigeria.

Sirika said it was necessary for Nigeria to implement the principle of reciprocity to all countries that had banned flights from Nigeria.

Details shortly…

Posted On Wednesday, 30 September 2020 16:06 Written by
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