The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill seeking to establish the National Council for Tea and Coffee Development.
The passage of the bill tagged, “Nigerian Tea and Coffee Development Council (Establishment) Bill, 2022”, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), in his presentation, said the Council when established would be saddled with the responsibilities of developing and promoting the growth, production, processing and marketing of tea and coffee in Nigeria.
According to him, the establishment of the Council would facilitate the generation of foreign exchange for the country, so as to reduce over dependence on the exportation of crude oil as the mainstay of Nigeria’s source of revenue.
He explained that tea and coffee are most widely consumed beverages around the world.
Citing a report by Euro Monitor International, Adamu stated that Nigerians drank more than 1000 tones of coffee in 2020.
He added that another report by Fitch Solutions showed that overall consumer coffee spending for Nigeria was set to hit $286.8 million (N177.6 billion) in 2023, while listing Nigeria as one of the five coffee markets to watch.
Adamu explained further that the National Council for Tea and Coffee Development would, among others, provide the technical, managerial and horticultural extension services as catalyst for tea and coffee growth and development in Nigeria.
The lawmaker said that the passage of the bill by the upper chamber would be a “bold-step” towards revamping tea and coffee business in Nigerian, while at the same time creating employment for the youths.
Meanwhile, two bills to establish the Federal Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies Kotonkarfe, Kogi State; and the National Innovation Agency have scaled second reading in the Senate.
The bills were sponsored by Senators Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West) and Uche Lilian Ekwunife (Anambra Central).
The bill to establish the Federal Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies was referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary, to the Joint Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Agriculture and Rural Development for further work.
Also, the bill seeking to establish the National Innovation Agency was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology after consideration.
The Committees were given four weeks to report back to the Senate in plenary.
SANWO-OLU URGES RESIDENTS TO STAY CALM OVER CASH SCARCITY
The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and within banking halls.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu today joined a delegation that met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to deliberate on measures to remove the hardship caused by the scarcity of the new currency.
In a statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Sanwo-Olu urges residents to remain calm as the government is doing everything possible to normalise the situation. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to put measures in place to ensure residents have access to currency notes released to banks.
Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.
The president gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The president also tasked the new board to “be the clearing house for the management of Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”
He also called on the new MOFI to work with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.
This, he said, would support the government’s revenue drive.
Buhari urged members of the board to work with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.
He, therefore, directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform.
According to him, the amendments when carried out, would ensure that MOFI was restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government’s investments and assets.
Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI would help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.
According to the president, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004, explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government in its own name.
He said that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years, adding that MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked Buhari for his support and approvals that had made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible.
According to the minister, the council members and board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.
The governing council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, as Vice Chair.
It’s members include: The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo.
Others are: Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele and three experts appointed by the President, namely: Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.
The board members include: Former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman as Chairman, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources and acting Accountant-General of the Federation.
Others are; Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako and an executive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are also members of the board
Members of the Executive Management Team are: Dr Armstrong Takang, Managing Director, Eric solo, Executive Director, Chief Portfolio Officer, Sani Yakubu Chief Investment Officer and Oluwakemi Owonubi, Chief Risk Officer.
Polls: NBC warns broadcasters against compromising national unity
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned all broadcasters against compromising national unity while covering forthcoming general election.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: ”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
”The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.
”This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
”The commission notes that some station now glamorise these situations on their platforms. The NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanor.”
Ilelah said for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to note the sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that the broadcaster shall promote human dignity.
He added: “Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.
“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advice broadcaster to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibit broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Ilelah said that section 5.3.3 (g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme was of any other type.
“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoin broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
”The commission enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order,” Ilelah
He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.
Wike Rejects ‘Interim Govt’, Says Plot To Scuttle Elections Will Fail
ShareRivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has warned cabals reportedly trying to scuttle the February 25 and March 11 general elections...
‘I Will Continue To Campaign For Tinubu’, Buhari Says At Nasarawa Rally
Share President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said he will continue to campaign for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives...
‘Don’t Let Them Cheat Us’, Adebanjo Joins Obi’s Campaign In Abeokuta
Share The leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo on Saturday, campaigned for Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate,...
Ekiti Central: Give me Opeyemi Bamidele to Work with me in Abuja – Tinubu
ShareThe Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appealed to the people of Ekiti Central...
SANWO-OLU URGES RESIDENTS TO STAY CALM OVER CASH SCARCITY
Share The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines...