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Economy

FG Determined to Lift Country Out of Poverty, Unemployment – Minister

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FG Determined to Lift Country Out of Poverty, Unemployment – Minister

The Federal Government says it is determined to do all it entails to lift the country out of poverty and unemployment.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, stated this on Thursday in Jos at the 2020 ITF Merit Award ceremony.

Represented by the Director of Administration of the ministry, Mr Samuel Alabi, the minister said that the commitment of the federal government to diversify the nation’s economy and put it back to the path of growth through policies such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP), the Economic Sustainability Plan and the various support schemes for the MSMEs sectors of the economy had never been in doubt.

READ ALSO: Dangote To Address Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate

He commended the ITF for the enormous work it was doing in ensuring that Nigerians were equipped with the requisite skills.

He disclosed that the fund had become a dependable ally of the federal government by the implementation of several skills intervention programmes that had trained over 500,000 youths since the present director-general assumed office in 2016.

Adebayo revealed that the fund had been mentioned and identified by the presidency as the foremost Agency of the government at the forefront of the federal government job and wealth creation policy.

READ ALSO: How Buhari Can Tackle Insecurity And Unemployment -Tinubu

He enjoined the management of the fund not to relent in empowering Nigerians with technical skills, and urged them to train more Nigerians.

The minister called State Governments, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith-based organisations, among others, to collaborate with the ITF to tackle the challenges of poverty and unemployment bedeviling the nation.

 

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Economy

Emefiele Seeks PPP Model to Improve Healthcare Infrastructure

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Emefiele Seeks PPP Model to Improve Healthcare Infrastructure

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors to collaborate to build a more healthy and robust healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the call at a movie launch titled: “UNMASKED”, a feature documentary on leadership, trust and the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The movie was produced and directed by Mr Femi Odugbemi, a Nigerian documentary filmmaker, and co-produced by Ms Kadaria Ahmed, a renowned journalist, media entrepreneur and television host, on Friday in Lagos.

According to Emefiele, addressing the public health crisis along with the downturn in the economy required strong coordination.

He said the measures and interventions put in place by the CBN and private sector to improve government’s capacity response to the COVID-19 crisis was not enough to build a sustainable healthcare infrastructure.

READ ALSO: 40,000 Beneficiaries To Access Free Healthcare In Kaduna

Emefiele was represented by Mr Osita Nwanisobi, acting Director, Corporate Communications.

“Let me thank the organisers of this event for their efforts in calling our attention to the need to build a more healthy and robust healthcare infrastructure that can cater to the vast majority of Nigerians.

“This work will require the collaborative efforts of both public and private sector stakeholders,” he said.

Emefiele said a study by the World Health Organisation revealed that only four per cent of Nigerians had access to healthcare insurance.

He said that besides food, healthcare expenses was a significant component of the average Nigeria’s personal expenditure.

According to him, out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare amounted to close to 76 per cent of total healthcare expenditure.

He said at such level of health spending, individuals particularly those in the rural communities might be denied access to healthcare services.

READ ALSO: Gov. Obaseki Decries Corruption In State Healthcare System

Emefiele said that one key aspect which would address this was improving access to healthcare for all Nigerians.

He said: “A key factor that has impeded access to healthcare for Nigerians is the prevailing cost of healthcare services.”

The CBN Czar also advocated expansion of the insurance net to capture the pool of Nigerians not covered by the existing health insurance schemes.

According to him, this can help to reduce the high out of pocket expenses on healthcare services by Nigerians.

He said that it would help to increase the pool of funds that could be invested in building our healthcare infrastructure and in improving the existing welfare package of our healthcare workers.

Emefiele said that the private sector had a significant role to play in this regard, given the decline in government revenues as occasioned by the drop in commodity prices.

The CBN governor also called for support for research and development in healthcare.

Given the challenges our nation faced as a result of the pandemic, it is indeed vital that all stakeholders work to building the capacity of our researchers and institutions to address domestic healthcare challenges.

” Strengthening collaboration and partnerships between researchers, public as well as private sector stakeholders across the country is crucial in enabling Nigeria to build a more robust and proactive healthcare infrastructure system,” Emefiele said.

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Economy

Naira 4 Dollar Scheme: CBN To Continue Forex Promo

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Naira 4 Dollar Scheme: CBN To Continue Forex Promo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has promised to indefinitely continue its Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, an incentive programme aimed at boosting dollar remittances into the country’s economy.

The initiative, which rewards recipients with 5 naira for every $1 they receive through licensed international money transfer operators and commercial banks, was scheduled to end on Saturday, May 8, 2021. But going by the apex bank’s pledge, the programme runs indefinitely.

“We hereby announce the continuation of the scheme until further notice,” CBN stated in a statement addressed to members of the public.

Newsrand understands that following a sharp decline in oil earnings which was due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the financial sector regulator devalued the naira thrice, a development that has led to a dollar crunch in the country.

Amongst other things, the incentive programme was introduced to encourage recipients of dollars to use formal banking channels and help the central bank capture such inflows to boost the stability of the local currency, which has been under pressure after oil prices plunged last year.

“In the light of this, the CBN shall, through commercial banks pay to remittance recipients the incentive of N5 for every $1 remitted by sender and collected by designated beneficiary. This incentive is to be paid to recipients whether they prefer to collect the USD as cash across the counter in the bank or transfer same into their domiciliary account,” a memo in which CBN disclosed the floating of the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, read partly.

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Economy

FG To Nigerians: Brace Up For Petrol Price Hike

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FG To Nigerians: Brace Up For Petrol Price Hike

In light of the current economic situation in the country, the Federal Government has insisted that Nigerians should brace up for an increment in the pump price of petro.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, addressed journalists on the sidelines of a graduation and awards ceremony organised by the Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he made this known.

According to the minister, the Federal Government would soon scrap the current subsidy regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which he said was only “benefiting certain businessmen in the country.”

Sylva added, “It is very unfortunate that if (there is) an increment in fuel pump price, (it) would have an impact on the marketplace and we are not happy about that. The President especially does not want to do it, but the economic realities are staring us in the face.

“Can we continue to support the subsidy, which is not necessarily benefiting the ordinary person, but is benefiting certain individuals who are businessmen in the country? I don’t want to identify the people that are benefiting.

“Subsidy is not directly benefitting Nigerians; the biggest contact with Nigerians is kerosene consumption used by local persons for cooking; as for diesel, it is used to transport food items and so on. But these have been deregulated for a long time now.”

According to him, PMS, which he said is not the preferred fuel of the common man, continues to defy deregulation. He added that, because PMS proponents are the most vocal, they continue to kick against deregulation “but we are going to get there.”

Sylvia added, “Right now, we are still in discussion with stakeholders, so we have decided to go on with subsidy for some time until we are able to conclude our discussions with the stakeholders and announce the policy direction.”

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