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FG approves N9.2bn premium for civil servants’ Life Insurance

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N9.2billion as premium to insurance companies that will manage the group life insurance for federal civil servants in the country.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said: “On behalf of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, I will like to report that council today approved the award of contract for the appointment of insurance companies for group life assurance for federal government employees, public servants, para-military and the intelligence community for the year 2021-2022 in the sum of N9, 248. 995, 907.

“This premium is for a period of 12 months.

“This is part of the government’s welfare programme for our public employees so that in case of death, they are assured that there would be compensation.”

The minister revealed that the council also approved N18.1billion for development of infrastructure and Kano and Calabar Free Trade Zones, as well as the Textile and Garment Park in Lagos and the Special Economic Zone, Lekki–Lagos.

Mohammed said the approval was of critical importance to the infrastructure development plan of the country.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting, said she presented the first quarter of 2021 GDP results and other performance indicators of the Nigerian economy to the Council.

According to her, the estimates and report show that Nigerian GDP has grown to 0.51% year-on-year in real terms in the First Quarter of 2021.

The minister revealed that the agricultural sector posted a strong growth at the rate of 2.28 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to previous quarters.

“Also, there is a further illustration that the slow, but gradual recovery process is indicative of the fact that business operations are returning to normal and that restrictions of movements and commercial activities have been relaxed after extended close-down in the year 2020.

“Also, the agricultural sector posted a strong growth at the rate of 2.28 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to previous quarters. This growth in agriculture signifies the resilience of the agricultural sector.

“Also, the industry sector has recorded positive growth, even though a weak one, but the growth is a positive one and this marks the past quarter of growth over the past one year in the industry sector.

“Services recorded a slight dip, but a small one at 0.39 per cent.

“In addition to the economic activities and the reopening our businesses, growth was also boosted, in fact by increase in crude oil prices as well as increase in production in the first quarter of 2020.

“We have seen this positive growth being contributed by not just the oil sector, but also by economic activities within the metal sector, the cement sector, electricity, telecommunications, food and beverages as well as human health and social services,’’ she said.

The minister, however, stated that some sectors had recorded negative growth, saying such sectors included quarrying and other minerals, oil refinery, road transport, air transport, rail transport, education, as well as hospitality sectors.

On inflationary trends, Ahmed noted that throughout 2020 airline inflation had maintained an upward trend.

The minister also maintained that prices of food items might not come down as fast as the other aspects of inflation.

She said: “For the first time in 19 months, inflation has shown a slight dip. It’s a very slight dip, but it’s a positive point for us, we had indicated that our projection is that inflation will begin to flatten in the month of April 2021 and this is an indication.

“So, subsequent periods we are looking at inflation beginning to trend downwards. Food inflation will not come down as fast as the other aspects of inflation.

“But it is important to also see that the rate of food inflation also showed a slight dip and the rise in food index, which you will see if you check the detailed report, is driven by foods such as coffee, tea, cocoa, breads, cereals, soft drinks, milk, cheese, not basic food items like rice, maize and millet.

“So this is what we reported to Council today.”

The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Muhammed Mahmud, told the correspondents that the Council approved a revised national policy on climate change.

According to him, the revised policy is aimed at a Nigeria that is sustainable environmentally.

“Its implementation strategy is to be all encompassing. We have met with several MDAs, agencies and civil society organisations and even the media because this is something that requires all hands on deck as we are all potential polluters of environment causing climate change.

“Eventually and ultimately the objective is to help Nigeria that is climate resilient and also gender sensitive in the future and that is the vision of this policy intellectuals because the world is moving towards carbon neutrality.

“It is assumed that by the year 2015, we should have carbon neutrality.

“Now is the time to get prepared for that so that is what the policy is all about to drive towards a Nigeria that is sustainable environmentally,’’ he added. (NAN

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Akpabio’s Comment On N30bn To Govs Misconstrued – Eyiboh

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s statement that Governors recently received N30billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of hardship was misconstrued, his spokesman, Hon Eseme Eyiboh has said.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) denied receiving such amounts.

Eyiboh, in a statement in Abuja, said the Senate President holds Governors in high esteem.

He said Akpabio urged the “sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

The statement reads: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

“During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30billion to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted.

“In considering the well-intended motive of urging State Governments to collaborate with the Federal Government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

“He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Hardship: Afenifere Begs Yoruba Race Not To Join Protest Against Tinubu

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The leader of the Pan Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has appealed to Nigerians, especially from the South West states, against the planned nationwide protest against President Bola Tinubu-led federal government amid the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.

Fasoranti who made this appeal, in a statement personally signed by him, lamented over the current economic crisis in the country, describing it as unfortunate, and urging Nigerians to endure the hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity.

The Afenifere leader said, “As the National Leader of Afenifere, and leader of the Yoruba, I address all and sundry today with a deep understanding of the challenges our dear country is going through at this critical time. The outcry over the hardship, hunger, and price hikes is not unexpected.

“However, we must come to terms with the realities of our national challenges, which the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is striving to resolve.

“While acknowledging the hardships faced by our people, it is important to recognize that these economic measures, although difficult, are part of a larger strategy aimed at restoring economic prosperity and stability to Nigeria.

“The government’s commitment to implementing these measures is a testament to its dedication to addressing the root causes of our economic challenges, inherited from the ills of the previous years”

He said “As a responsible leader, I appeal to every Yoruba man and woman, young and old, and our fellow citizens across the nationalities, to exercise patience and refrain from engaging in protests or actions that may escalate tensions.

“Understandably, the immediate impact of Tinubu’s economic reforms is challenging to everyone, but it is crucial to give the government the necessary time to realize the intended benefits”

Attributing the current economic hardship to the removal of fuel subsidy and has done great damage to the nation’s economy, saying “It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the Naira is not undertaken lightly, as we all know the great damage done to our national prosperity through the nefarious activities of the agents of darkness within the oil and financial sectors.

“These measures by the Federal Government, though painful in the short term, are designed to create a more sustainable economic environment that will benefit us all in the long run. It requires collective understanding and resilience from every citizen as we navigate through these challenging times.

“We cannot afford a preference for the euthanasic approach of painless death of our nation, where we are propped up with loans and subsidies until a total collapse into a failed nation, while we have the opportunity of painful healing through treatment with multiple surgeries that will guarantee not just our survival, but restored health, vigor, and thriving life. We must endure today’s hardship for tomorrow’s prosperity”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to give Tinubu more time and engage in constructive criticism that can contribute towards the development of the country.

“I implore you to trust in the government’s commitment to the welfare of our nation. Let us engage in constructive dialogue and contribute positively to the ongoing economic reforms.

“Join me in appealing for unity and understanding among our people. Together, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger as a nation.

“I want to assure you as the Leader of Afenifere, that we are actively engaging with the government at different levels to address the concerns of our people. Let us remain steadfast, patient, and united in the face of these challenges, confident that our collective resilience will pave the way for a more prosperous future”
Recall that last Thursday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the president-general of Ohanaeze, similarly appealed to the Igbo groups not to protest against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

The Ohanaeze in a communique issued after an emergency meeting asked the people of the southeast to “invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness and hard work” during the period of economic hardship.

The group urged south-east governors and traditional rulers to take “advantage of the upcoming farming season to catalyze massive agricultural production for sustainable food security” in the zone.

Ohanaeze added that since the apex court in the country has ruled on the 2023 presidential election, the group has decided to support the administration of Tinubu.

“We reviewed with intense passion, the level of unemployment, poverty, hardships, especially the rising cost of goods and services in Nigeria, the rate of depreciation of Nigerian currency, and the excruciating effect on the masses; and reminded Ndigbo that they should quickly readjust themselves to the reality of the times and that the Igbo have passed through the worst of conditions in the past,” the communique reads.

“There is no better time than now to invoke the indomitable Igbo spirit of brotherliness, hard work, ingenuity, wisdom, resilience, inventiveness, perseverance, and capacity to turn adversities into diverse opportunities

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FG To Implement Oronsaye Report

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President Bola Tinubu
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..To Scrap Many Agencies, Merge Others

In a landmark decision, President Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the age-long Oronsanye report.

This is one of the decisions taken at this Monday’s meeting of the federal executive council, at the state house.

The report submitted by the Oronsanye committee under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 has endured successive administrations without implementation.

By Implication, some federal agencies would either be scrapped, merged or relocated.

A committee to be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the federation is to work out the modalities for implementation.

 

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