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To eliminate poverty and unemployment, small Business need support,”- Mariam Katagum,



Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, has said that, in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment in the country, small firms need to be supported.

Katagum said this at the 2021 4th Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS21), organised by Nigerian in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at the Congress Hall at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

It had the theme: “Partnership and Linkages for Post-COVID Economic Growth”, and sponsored by nine organisations ranging from banks, real estate, and state governments, among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hybrid summit touches sectors such as healthcare, agribusiness, technology, education, creative, sport and entertainment, oil and gas, manufacturing and infrastructure/real estate.

Katagum said that the present administration, which took office in May 2015, recognised that the economy is likely to be on a persistent and rapid downward trend unless definite, coordinated and necessary steps are taken to improve it.

“It was in this regard that small businesses were acknowledged as constituting the backbone of any growing economy, and that in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment in the country, small firms needed to be supported in Nigeria, including channeling foreign direct investments to them.

“The earliest action taken by this government was the prioritisation of three policy goals of tackling corruption, improving security and re-building the economy,” she said.

Speaking earlier, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that Nigerians in Diaspora represent an indomitable force.

“They are flag bearers of Nigeria’s image and entrepreneurial energy. Also, they represent Nigeria’s irrepressible spirit and incredible can-do attitude in business and politics, in education and in sports, in entertainment and in science, in medicine and in arts.”

He added that Nigerians have demonstrated across the world, what Nigerians genuinely represent. Furthermore, with the contributions of the Diaspora into the country over the years and their recent interventions during the COVID-19 period, including the supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

“Through training and retraining of COVID-19 experts in the country, to educating the citizens on safety measures, they have demonstrated that they are inestimable assets that the government should partner with in spurring rapid economic growth, most especially in this post-COVID era.

“As we seek to grow and diversify the economy and attracting foreign investment into our economy, it is therefore apt that we tap into our Diaspora, particularly at this time when we are witnessing a skewed shift in foreign direct investment.

“As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and certain inevitable problems that the Administration is working assiduously to overcome, I am very optimistic therefore that this Summit will be a very productive one and will indeed build on its success of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the Diaspora,” he said.

Also speaking earlier, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that partnership is essential for credible response with lasting effects.

According to her, therefore in the quest of the Federal Government to go far in repositioning the economy in this post COVID era, there is a need to partner with the Diaspora in achieving these goals.

“This is why the Summit with this year theme is very apt because it creates that avenue and platform of partnership between the Government and the Diaspora in attracting investment into local business and thus enhancing Foreign Direct Investment in the country.

“Beyond this, the summit has over the years been expanding its participants’ network, showcasing their products and services to target audiences such as the Diaspora investors, sponsors and government actors. (NAN)

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Terrorists Release Four More Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack Victims 





Terrorists who attacked  an AK9 Train in Kaduna state on March 28 have released four more hostages in their custody.

Among the released hostages include an  90-year-old woman, Hajiya Halimatu Atta and and her 53-year-old daughter, Adama Aliyu.

A member of the negotiating team,  Tukur Mamu told Channels Television that the victims were released on Friday after spending over four months in captivity.

Meanwhile, Mamu  has drawn the attention of the federal government and the Christian Association of Nigeria about  plan by the terrorists to marry off the  youngest victim, 21-year-old Azurfa Lois John any moment from now, just as they did in the case of Leah Sharibu in Yobe state some years ago.

According to Mamu, one of the top commanders of the terrorists is said to be in love with Ms John.

He however pled with the Federal Government and other stakeholders  to intensify efforts towards the release of the 23 victims still with the terrorists whose health  conditions, he said, is pathetic and require urgent medical attention.

Mamu also called on CAN not to politicize the issue or reduce it to mere press releases, but to work closely with relevant authorities to engage the abductors on the case of Ms John before it is late.

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NBC Revokes Silverbird, AIT, Raypower, Rhythm FM, Others’ Licences



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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the broadcast licences of Silverbird TV, AIT, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM amongst others over failure to renew their broadcast licences amounting to N2.66 billion.

A statement by NBC on Friday noted that the move followed the publication of a list of stations yet to renew their licences.

According to the Commission, a two-week waiver was given to them in May to do so after which they risked the revocation of their broadcast licences.

But three months after the publication, NBC said, “some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the…stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.”

The broadcast regulator said the continued operation of the “debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security”.

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…7,500 Commercial Motorcycles Impounded, Crushed Since June 1

…‘Enforcement’ll Be Total, Livelihood Support For Willing Riders’ – Govt

Lagos State Government, on Thursday, extended a ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, to four more Local Government Areas (LGAs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

Effective from September 1, 2022, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed enforcement teams to fully implement the proscription order and bust erring riders across the councils listed in the Okada ban.

The additional places are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin Local Government Areas. The Development Area Councils are Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

The latest pronouncement came about three months after Sanwo-Olu ordered a total restriction on Okada in six LGAs, comprising Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

This brings it to 25 councils of the 57 councils in which Okada activities have been proscribed.

Announcing the ban at a press conference held at the Government secretariat in Alausa, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, said the extension of the proscription order was a move by the State Government to sustain the gains recorded in the ongoing action against Okada operations in the State.

The commissioner said Okada accidents and fatalities had reduced by 63.7 per cent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of ban had been enforced, stressing that the development also significantly brought down the rate of crimes associated with motorcycles.

This, Oladehinde said, led to resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum, last Tuesday, with interest groups in which the participants unanimously urged the Government to make the Okada ban State-wide.

He said: “The Ministry in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on Okada, having critically accessed these resolutions and the challenges of Okada operations on the security architecture of the State, recommended to Mr. Governor not to go back on the already laid down phase ban in a bid to sustain the gains.

“Based on the apparent positive impact of the ban and the resolution of the Stakeholders’
Forum, Mr. Governor has approved the ban of Okada in another four LGAs and their respective five LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban, in addition to the on-going ban in the six LGAs and their respective LCDAs.”

The State Government advised residents to embrace alternative means of transportation for their journey, noting that the State had provided safe and sustainable First- and Last-Mile Transport Scheme, BRT Scheme, e-hailing taxi Scheme and other acceptable means for the safety of commuters.

Oladehinde disclosed that 7,500 motorcycles had been impounded and crushed in the ongoing enforcement, while resistance had dropped sharply. He issued a stern warning to riders who may want to flout the proscription order, stressing that the enforcement would not be sparing.

The Commissioner said the State Government had interventions in place to empower the affected Okada riders as an alternative means of livelihood. He urged them to embrace the intervention programmes which are being coordinated by six Government ministries and also Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

He said: “It is important to reiterate the State Government’s commitment to the safety, security of lives and properties in the State. In exercising this, any motorcycle impounded will be crushed and the process will be made public.

“Both riders and passengers arrested on proscribed routes will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.”
Commissioner for

Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, observed that the last Tuesday meeting with stakeholders reviewed the enforcement action taken since the total ban, pointing out that the feedback from the public informed further measures to curtail the activities of the commercial motorcycles.

He said Okada riding remained alien to the State’s integrated transportation master plan.
The ban enforcement will be supervised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation.

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