Federal Government Directs Registration of 1.9 Million PoS Operators

The Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission has issued a two-month registration deadline to Point of Sales companies, to register their agents, merchants, and individuals with the commission in line with legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The agreement was reached on Monday during a meeting between Fintechs and the Registrar-General CAC, Hussaini Ishaq Magaji, in Abuja. According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, there are over 1.9 million PoS terminals deployed by merchants and individuals nationwide.  Speaking at the meeting, the CAC boss said the measure aims at safeguarding the businesses of Fintech’s customers and strengthening the economy.  He further stressed that the action was equally backed by Section 863, Subsection 1 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020 as well as the 2013 CBN guidelines on agent banking.  The CAC boss said the timeline for the registration, which will expire on July 7, 2024, was not targeted at any groups or individuals but genuinely aimed at providing protection for businesses. A statement by the commission read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission …

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FG bans use of foreign syringes, needles in tertiary hospitals 

ABUJA- The Federal Government has mandated all Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to procure needles and syringes solely from NAFDAC-approved local manufacturers. The new directive is contained in a circular addressed to all CMDs and MDs signed by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, on Friday. The minister said that the directive was aimed at boosting domestic production and shielding the country’s manufacturing sector from the influx of foreign goods. The circular also mandated NAFDAC to stop issuing licences for the importation of foreign manufactured needles and syringes. Alausa said the health sector had dentified local pharmaceutical industries that produce needles and syringes that were in serious trouble because of the practice. He also said that out of the nine local pharmaceutical companies that produced needles and syringes eight years ago, six have folded up due to the dumping of largely substandard goods into the market. “Mr President has directed that this must stop. We all agreed to take the necessary steps to immediately remedy this sad situation. “Pursuant to this, NAFDAC has …

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Naira abuse: Expert urges FG to also go after treasury looters

ABUJA- A financial expert, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, has urged the Federal Government to dissipate more effort in arresting and prosecuting politicians accused of looting the treasury. Unegbu, a past president of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja He spoke against the backdrop of recent arrest and prosecution of some Nigerians by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for abusing and mutilating the Naira. NAN reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007 criminalises abuse of the Naira. Section 21 of the Act listed spraying, dancing or stepping on the Naira or any other notes issued by the CBN during social occasions as constituting an abuse and defacing of the currency. The law provides that such acts are punishable by a six months imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both. According to Unegbu, spraying monies at social events has done less damage to the  Nigerian economy when compared to looting of the treasury and other financial crimes committed …

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FG needs Nigerians’ support to make  lives better– Information Minister

KADUNA-The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says the Federal Government direly needs the support of all Nigerians to make lives better. Idris stated this on Saturday in Kaduna at a reception organised in his honour by the State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). He said that the government was implementing many programmes aimed at the betterment of the citizens’ lives, which required the support and complementary efforts in achieving the desired goal. Idris added that the money that was saved as a result of the fuel subsidy removal, the agricultural sector has experienced a boom. “For the first time, our country is experiencing dry season farming being really implemented by the subn-ationals. ”Recently the CBN approved over two million bags of fertilisers to be given to the farmers,”he said. The minister stressed that the Federal Government has resolved to no longer subsidize farmers that don’t have farms. Idris also said the Federal Government was fully committed to the well-being of the citizens, and saw the appreciation of naira against the dollar. He …

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Federal Government allocates N25 billion to improve healthcare services

The Federal Government has approved the disbursement of N25bn to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), to expand and enhance healthcare delivery to Nigerians. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, disclosed this while reaffirming the unrelenting commitment of the present administration to transforming the healthcare system to attain Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) for Nigerians. In a statement signed by a spokesperson for the ministry, Deworitshe Patricia, on Sunday in Abuja, the minister said health transformation, renewal and accessibility would be achieved with the approval of a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp), and the Health Sector Renewal Investment Programme (NHSRIP). According to him, deliberating on the advancement of Nigeria’s primary healthcare delivery through SWAp, the assessment revealed the need for reforms in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) its programmes, operations, fiduciary system of accountability and public trust, adding that all states and Federal Capital Territory have committed to a remediation plan, pledging to improve health services for Nigerians. Pate explained that the guidelines would be revised to cover health …

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FG declares March 29, April 1, public holiday to mark Easter

ABUJA- The federal government has declared March 29 and April 1 public holidays to mark the Easter celebration. This was announced in a statement by the permanent secretary of the interior ministry, Aishetu Ndayako, on Wednesday. Interior minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo made the declaration on behalf of the federal government. Mr Tunji-Ojo urged Christians and all Nigerians to emulate the sacrifice and love displayed by Jesus Christ in dying for man’s redemption. The minister noted that Easter, beyond its religious significance, promoted the values of love, forgiveness, and compassion, which were essential for social cohesion and harmony. He called on Christians to imbibe these virtues, which could positively impact Nigeria’s socio-economic development by fostering unity, reducing conflicts, and encouraging cooperation among Nigerians. Mr Tunji-Ojo further urged Nigerians to show acts of charity and generosity to help alleviate the material conditions of the less privileged amongst them. He said this was in tandem with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration. He wished Christians at home and abroad a happy and blissful Easter celebration. The minister also called on Nigerians …

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FG temporarily bans public funded foreign trips for ministers, others

ABUJA- A few weeks after two sons of President Bola Tinubu joined his entourage on a trip to Qatar, the Federal Government has announced a temporary ban on public funded international trips for all government officials amid economic hardship in the country. The presidential directive to suspend “public funded foreign trips” by government officials was communicated in a memo by the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation dated March 12. The memo stated, “Considering the current economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal management, I am writing to communicate Mr President’s directive to place a temporary ban on all public funded international trips for all Federal Government officials at all levels, for an initial period of three (3) months from April 1, 2024.’’ According to the memo, all government officials who intend to go on any public funded international trip, must seek and obtain presidential approval at least two (2) weeks prior to embarking on any such trip, which must be deemed absolutely necessary. In December 2023, Mr Tinubu travelled to the United Arab Emirates for …

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Student loan not suspended indefinitely- FG

ABUJA- The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has clarified that the federal government student loan has not been suspended indefinitely. Akintunde Sawyer, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), had stated that the programme was suspended indefinitely during a media interview.  However, NELFUND spokesperson Nasir Ayitogo, on Wednesday, said, “While there has been a postponement, we wish to state that it is not indefinite, as alluded to in the reports.” Mr Ayitogo further stated that NELFUND is 100 per cent set for the launch and declared that the “loan application portal is ready, and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has since approved the funds for the smooth take-off.” In June 2023, President Bola Tinubu approved legislation to establish a Student Loan Fund, which would provide interest-free loans to Nigerians for higher education. The bill was sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and current chief of staff to President Tinubu. The scheme was initially scheduled to begin in September or October of 2023.

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Japa: Nigeria lost 16,000 doctors in five years – Minister

The Federal Government on Sunday that 55,000 licensed doctors are in the country to attend to the growing population of patients following the exodus of health professionals to hospitals and health facilities abroad. In the last five years, the country lost about 15,000 to 16,000 doctors to the Japa syndrome while about 17,000 had been transferred. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, disclosed these when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today. Pate, who said the brain drain syndrome has robbed the health sector of its best hands, affirmed that the government is doing its best to expand the training scheme and motivate others who chose to stay back and serve their fatherland. The brain drain phenomenon, otherwise known as ‘Japa’, has seen a generation of young doctors, health workers, tech entrepreneurs, and a number of professionals abandoned Nigeria for greener pasture abroad. But the minister reiterated that though there are 300,000 health professionals in Nigeria, only 55,000 of them are doctors. He said, “There are about 300,000 health professionals working in …

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FG renames Minna Airport after President Bola Tinubu

NIGER- The Federal Government has announced the renaming of the Minna Airport in Niger State after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This decision comes just hours before the scheduled inauguration of the airport on Monday. The airport, which was previously named after the late Abubakar Imam, was one of 15 airports in the country that were renamed after prominent personalities in Nigeria by the Federal Government. The renaming was confirmed by the State’s Commissioner for Information, Binta Mamman, during a media briefing at the Government House in Minna on Sunday. “All is set for the Niger State Government to receive President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Minna, the state capital. “During the President’s visit, he will commission the remodelled and upgraded terminal at the Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport,” she said. According to Mamman, the remodelling and upgrading of the terminal at the newly christened Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport was originally an FG project. She stated that due to delays in completion, the state government took over the project to ensure its speedy conclusion. The commissioner also pointed out the strategic …

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Protests: “We cannot be intimidated”- NLC accuses FG of planning violence against its members

ABUJA- President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, has claimed that the federal government is planning to promote violence against NLC members over its planned nationwide strike on Tuesday. Ajaero insisted that the protest would hold in line with the decision of the NLC national executive council, adding that “the pangs of hunger cannot be vowed by bullets or tear gas.” In a statement on Sunday, the labour leader alleged a plot to attack the protest, warning that there would be a total shutdown if attacks or violence were unleashed on peaceful protesters. He admonished the government to find solutions to the challenges plaguing the country. He noted, “In light of this, we advise the state to put on its thinking cap and find solutions to the pains it continues to cause the people instead of further dehumanising them. “However, if it is irrevocably set on the path of violence against us and other peace-loving Nigerians, it will be making a costly mistake because if we are attacked, there will be a total shutdown via withdrawal of …

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Tinubu’s govt halts export of cooking gas to reduce price

The federal government on Thursday, February 23, announced that it has stopped the exportation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas, to reduce the scarcity and soaring price in the country. Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo, broke the news to reports at the “Internal Stakeholders’ Workshop,” in Abuja. The theme of the workshop is “Harnessing Nigeria’s Proven Gas Reserves for Economic Growth and Development.” Asked what the government has done to control the rising cost of domestic gas, he said, the ministry is discussing constantly with critical stakeholders like the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and operators such as Mobil, Chevron, and Shell to address the issue. He explained that once there is a stoppage of the export of locally produced domestic gas, there will be more volume for the domestic market which will automatically reduce the price of the product. His words: “We are interacting with critical stakeholders to ensure that there is no exportation of LPG. “All LPG produced within the country will have to be domesticated. And when this is …

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Electricity Act: Experts commend FG on 5% compensation to host communities

LAGOS- Some experts in the power sector have commended the federal government for the five per cent set aside to host communities in the 2024 Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill. They gave the commendations in separate interviews on Tuesday in Lagos. President Bola Tinubu, on February 9, signed the Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2024 into Law. The bill, which the House of Representatives passed on July 27, 2023, and the Senate passed on November 14, 2023, was sponsored by Babajimi Benson, who represents the Ikorodu federal constituency. The bill sought to address development and environmental concerns of host communities, thus setting aside five per cent of the actual annual operating expenditures of Power Generating Companies (GenCos) from the preceding year for the development of their respective host communities. The experts said the five per cent would go a long way in addressing host communities’ development and environmental concerns. Akinrolabu Olukayode, chairman of the Customer Consultative Forum of Festac/Satellite Town, described the step as a positive one that would ensure communities benefited from the presence of power generation facilities in their area. …

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FG warns government officials leaking memos

ABUJA- The Federal government on Tuesday warned government workers leaking memos emanating from the ministries, departments and agencies. The warning is contained in a statement from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Esan. Ms Esan noted in the statement that an increase in cases of leaking sensitive official documents in the MDA was discovered, describing such action as “very embarrassing to the government and unacceptable.” It added that as a result various procedures had been put in place to curb such acts, adding that permanent secretaries were to fast-track the migration to the digitalised workflow system, and ensure effective deployment of the Enterprise Content Management Solution. According to the Federal Government, such will assist in reducing physical contacts with official documents and further help in checking the increasing cases of leakage and circulation of such documents. Also, the Federal Government advised permanent secretaries to strongly warn staff against leaking and circulating official information and documents. The statement added, “Any officer caught engaging in such unbecoming act will be severely dealt with in line with the …

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Manufacturers peg cement price at N7,000 per bag after meeting with FG

ABUJA- The federal government and major cement manufacturers have pegged the price of a 50kg bag of cement at between N7,000 and N8,000 depending on the location nationwide. Minister of works, David Umahi, made this known to journalists after a protracted meeting with major cement manufacturers in the country on Monday in Abuja. Cement Manufacturers came to an agreement to sell a 50kg bag of cement at a retail price of between N7,000 and N8,000, depending on the location. However, the manufacturers stated that the price drop from the current market price would depend on the fulfilment of certain government interventions to ameliorate critical challenges faced in the industry. The meeting was against the backdrop of the astronomical increase in the price of the commodity to about N13,000 in several retail stores in the Federal Capital Territory, Enugu and other parts of the country. The meeting, called by President Bola Tinubu to find a lasting solution to the unreasonable increase, had Mr Umahi lamenting that the price was abnormal and detrimental to the economic prosperity sought after by the current …

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Nigerians beg FG to provide passport printers in New York

NEW YORK- Nigerians in New York have again appealed to the Federal Government to provide passport production printers to the Nigeria Consulate to enhance smooth passport services in the U.S. The concerned Nigerians made the call at a virtual 12th Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Consulate for the Nigerian Community under its jurisdiction. The New York Jurisdiction comprises the 20 states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Ohio and North Dakota. Others are South Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. During the question-and-answer segment of the meeting, the Nigerians wondered why the Federal Government would have only one passport production center in the U.S., which is in Washington D.C. Nigeria has three missions in the United States, namely: the Consulates-General of Nigeria in New York and Atlanta, and the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington DC. The embassy in Washington DC is the only passport production centre in the U.S while the consulates take biometrics and forward same to the Embassy in Washington DC for passport production. They …

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