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FG clears investment risks, assures foreign investors of safety

FG seeks more investments from foreign investors

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Zainab Ahmed, Pres. Buhari to review Finance Bill, tax reform yearly to finance budget 

zainabThe Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed has assured foreign investors of the safety of their investments in the Nigerian trade and business sectors at large.

While speaking at the ‘forum on de-risking trade and investments in Nigeria’, Ahmed assured the foreign investors in a bid to clear the widely circulated perception of investment risks in the country.

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The Minister referenced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), in 2017, granted approval for the membership of Nigeria to the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).

According to Ahmed, the core mandate of the ATI is to facilitate private sector-led trade flows, investment and ‘productive activities’ through the provision of insurance, co-insurance & reinsurance.

“The entrance of ATI has come at a most auspicious time indeed when confidence is returning to our economy,” Ahmed said.

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The Minister explains what ATI functions as. She said; “ATl provides financial instruments and related services; and promote economic growth in member countries by attracting investments and facilitating trade to its member countries, offering commercial credit risk insurance, political risk insurance, political violence, terrorism and sabotage insurance, and bond insurance.

“It also facilitates exports, Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) into and trade flows within the continent.”

Ahmed stressed that some of the risks mentioned are what are generally tagged as high-risk areas where Nigerian local insurance industry requires a complementary/helping hand.

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“We are optimistic that consumption of ATl Products will have important impacts on Job creation; Infrastructure development; Transfer of technology; incremental availability of Bank and Financial Services funding (financial deepening); incremental export and sales to new and existing markets; increased profitability, import substitution and foreign exchange earnings,” she said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria had increased by 435.64 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018. Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria averaged 1279.72 USD Million from 2007 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 3084.90 USD Million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a record low of 435.64 USD Million in the second quarter of 2018.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Business

FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust

The new regulation is part of the amended Nigerian Broadcasting Code.

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Coronavirus, covid-19, Minister of information briefing

The Federal Government on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, announced the increase of fine for hate speech from N500 to N5 million.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the unveiling ceremony of the revised National Broadcasting Code by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Lagos on Tuesday.

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This new regulation is part of the amended Nigerian Broadcasting Code which contains Antitrust provision aimed at boosting local content and encouraging the growth of the local industry, among other provisions.

This disclosure is contained in a press statement that was issued by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister for Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi.

The Minister said that the Antitrust provision will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves. The provision will also open access to premium content.

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, ‘’I must explain that this provision is not new to Nigeria Broadcasting. Exclusivity was disallowed at a certain time in the history of our broadcasting. I recall Multichoice sub-licensing EPL matches to other local operators in Nigeria. I recall HITV engaging several local operators on sub-licensing the EPL when they got the rights.”

In a bid the protect broadcast stations and promote sustainability for the station owners and content producers, the revised code contains law prohibiting backlog of advertising debts. It also contains law on the registration of Web Broadcasting, which will grant the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can be harmful to the country.

Going further the minister also said, ‘’The provisions on the responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies…obviously mandates terrestrial and Pay TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at time of national emergencies – like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment.

He revealed that the review of the broadcasting was done in the national interest as it was necessitated by the Presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections, which sought for an inquiry into the regulatory role of NBC.

The Minister also disclosed that President Buhari had ordered the probe of the conduct of the various broadcast stations before, during and after the polls.

Mohammed also pointed out, ‘’But, as it currently stands, the 6th edition and the amendments, which we are unveiling today, remain the regulations for broadcasting in Nigeria. Our intention remains the good of the country. We need to catalyze the growth of the local industry. We need to create jobs for our teeming creative youths. The opportunities must be created and we believe that effective regulatory interventions are a sure way of attaining this. That’s why we will not waver.

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It can be recalled that in a bid to stem the tide of rising cases of hate speech and fake news, the Federal Government moved to introduce the fake news and hate speech bill, which they said creates apprehension, a lot of mistrust and divides the country along ethnic and religious lines.

Stakeholders and the general public were very critical of the bill because of some harsh clauses in the bill which includes the death penalty.

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Economy & Politics

NDDC reveals more lists of contracts awarded to federal legislators

The Commission said it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly.

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NDDC corruption probe: Commission denies spending N81.5 billion in 6 months 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said there is another list of emergency contracts that were awarded to National Assembly members in 2017 and 2019. This list was not submitted to National Assembly following the recent probe of the NDDC.

This disclosure was made in a press statement by the NDDC earlier today which was signed by the commission’s Director for Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili. According to the statement, the initial list that was submitted by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was actually compiled by the former management of the commission in 2018, not the minister himself.

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READ ALSO: Explained: CBN’s powers to seize bank account of criminals

The statement by the NDDC went further to note that the Interim Management Committee of the Commission stands by the list which came from the files already in the possession of the forensic auditors.

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Commission stands by the list, which came from files already in the possession of the forensic auditors. It is not an Akpabio list but the NDDC’s list. The list is part of the volume of 8,000 documents already handed over to the forensic auditors,” the statement said in parts.

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READ MORE: 2021 Budget: FG projects spending plan of N11.86 trillion and deficit of N5.16 trillion

In the meantime, the NDDC has urged prominent indigenes of the Niger Delta, whose names appeared on that list, not to panic, because the NDDC is aware that their names were used to secure contracts. The ongoing forensic audit would help to unearth those behind those contracts, the NDDC said in the statement.

Furthermore, the commission disclosed that it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly who used fronts to collect contracts from the NDDC, some of which were never executed. Interestingly, the list did not include the unique case of 250 contracts that were signed for and collected in one day by one person, ostensibly for members of the National Assembly.

While assuring that the forensic audit exercise is on course, the NDDC noted that the commission had positioned 185 media support specialists to identify the sites of every project captured in its books for verification by the forensic auditors.

READ MORE: NDDC Probe: Akpabio accuses NASS members of getting most of the commission’s contracts

The NDDC then enjoined members of the public not to be distracted or swayed by a lot of misinformation and falsehood that are being orchestrated by mischief makers, even as more of such will be expected by those opposed to the IMC.

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It can be recalled that Akpabio, while appearing before the members of the house of representatives ad-hoc committee probing the N40 billion corruption allegation against the IMC of NDDC, said that most of the contracts that are being awarded at the commission were given to members of the national assembly.

READ ALSO: Akpabio denies accusing Reps of receiving 60% of NDDC contracts

Not that likely, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the minister to provide within 48 hours, the names of the legislators that benefitted from such contracts with full details or face legal action.

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Senator Akpabio, in response to the ultimatum, sent an official letter to the Speaker, providing the names of the national assembly members that benefitted from such contracts.

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Tech News

Plentywaka raises $300,000, seeks partners as it launches operations in Abuja

The company is in search of partners to join the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership scheme

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Plentywaka records 100,000 rides as it compete with Danfo, OBus, Plentywaka raises $300,000, seeks partners as it launches operations in Abuja

Fast-growing transport/delivery startup, Plentywaka, has raised $300,000 pre-seed investment to facilitate its expansion plans.

According to a statement by the company which was sent to Nairametrics, the funding was led by EMFATO, Microtraction, and Niche Capital. It will help to facilitate that company’s planned expansion into the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and other Nigerian states.

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More details: The funding will also be used to transform the transport system in Nigeria. Plentywaka will improve its mapping technology, especially now that it is kicking off activities in other states and the FCT.

While commenting on the investment and launch, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Johnny Enagwolor, said that Plentywaka is out to transform transportation in Nigeria by taking it one state at a time.

“Securing investment and expanding into Abuja within our first year, in the midst of a pandemic speaks volumes of the demand for the service we provide. We are excited to have investment partners on board that see and believe in our vision.

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“An efficient transport system is fundamental to the prosperity of any city and we believe safe, convenient and comfortable travel should not just be for the few; but for everyone,” he said.

(READ MORE:Biggest oil trader, Vitol, in record compensation, pays over $6 million each to top employees)

Also commenting on the investment, Dayo Koleowo, a Partner at Microtraction, said:

“Plentywaka’s rapid growth since they launched Q3 last year has been tremendous so far. We are glad to be partnering with a very strong team that is passionate about providing convenience, safety, and comfort to everyday commuters. The distressful and uneasy experience by the majority of these commuters, especially in large cities is evident. We are backing the Plentywaka team to change that experience for commuters progressively by creating a transport system that is efficient.”

Plentywaka needs partners: In the meantime, Plentywaka said it is currently in search of partners who are willing to bring their vehicles on board by joining the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership scheme.

The partnership involves Plentywaka working with individuals, corporates, and state governments to expand its technology and fleet in order to provide better transportation services.  Just like other cab-hailing services, registering a vehicle on the platform would provide the partners with an opportunity to earn extra income.

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In view of the pandemic, the company has assured that all vehicles in its scheme would be properly fumigated and equipped in line with government regulations and to keep commuters and drivers safe with the Wakapurse which allows electronic payment.

The Backstory:  The e-bus hailing company, which was launched in September 2019, was funded by Crowdyvest. Since then, the company has built a platform of over 40,000 customers and recorded its first 100,000 rides in six months.

They also recently announced the availability of same-day delivery service to small businesses, as well as the logistics by Plentywaka and its Staff Bus Solutions.

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The company first launched its services in Lagos and the success recorded so far has encouraged its decision to venture into other states. With the gaps seen in the country’s public transport system, the company is optimistic that it can provide a more reliable and efficient bus service.

 

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