The rate of unemployment in Nigeria may rise to 33.5% next year from the current rate pegged at 23.1%, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has warned. According to the body, lack of employment opportunities and the shutdown of several companies are the reasons for the renewed fears.
The Details: Timothy Olawale, Director-General, NECA urged the Federal Government to create the necessary policies that will develop the economy and create more jobs.
In addition, he asked the government to encourage industrialization and tailor its fiscal policies to promote ease of business that will eventually raise people out of poverty.
Olawale’s words: “There is no better time for the government to focus on a radical industrialisation of the country to make it the hub of economic activities in the West African sub-region and also ensure Nigeria benefits maximally from the AfCFTA, than now.
“We have consistently taken the lazy path of tax increases that stifle and further burden businesses rather than the ingenious way of promoting and stimulating production.
“The government should demonstrate a bold attempt to industrialise the country and take it out of the woods by embracing a major policy shift from just focusing on taxation.
“What our economy requires now are radical far-reaching policies like the abolition of the Value Added Tax on real estate sales, financial services and domestic airlines ticket sales and abolishing capital gains tax on sales of shares and import duty on spare parts.
“Reduction of VAT on small traders to 3%, abolition of import duty on machinery and raw materials, among many others, will directly stimulate production and create wealth for the nation and its citizenry.”
Why this matters: High unemployment rate indicates the economy is operating below full capacity which will lead to lower output and income.
According to Olawale, it is imperative that Nigeria sorts this issue of unemployment to enable it to reposition itself at the centre of economic activities in the West African sub-region due to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed recently.
Burial date for late Prince Philips announced
The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony.
Prince Philip, the late husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony by royal standards.
The Buckingham palace in making the announcement stressed that the funeral service will be held according to the Covid-19 restrictions guideline with the number of mourners to be limited to 30. This means that members of the royal family including the Queen would be expected to put on face masks.
The College of Arms, which handles most of the ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, had earlier confirmed that the late Prince Philip would not lie in state anywhere accessible to the public, which could have seen thousands of people lining up to view his coffin.
The funeral service for Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence would be observed ahead of the ceremony. There will be no public access nor public procession beforehand with the royal family and UK government asking the public not to gather or leave flowers at the royal residences due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman also confirmed that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who had moved to Los Angeles after giving up royal duties, was planning to attend his grandfather’s funeral, but his pregnant wife Meghan won’t be present as she had been advised not to travel by her physician.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch before retiring from his public duties in 2017, was announced on Friday, April 9, 2021.
- He died peacefully in Windsor Castle on Friday morning and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.
- Since his death, tributes have been flooding in from the UK and all around the world for the duke, who had recently spent a month in two London hospitals, undergoing heart surgery and treatment for an infection, before returning in mid-March to Windsor Castle.
How we source funds to develop handball in Nigeria – Handball Federation
The Handball Federation of Nigeria discusses sponsorships, strides and progress made.
Handball is one of the lesser-known sports in Nigeria, but that doesn’t mean it’s not making strides. Cosmos Chukwuemeka, the media assistant to the President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria, Samuel Ocheho, spoke to Ademola Kadiri in a revealing interview about several issues.
The excerpts are below:
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Cosmos Chukwuemeka and I am the media assistant to the president of the Nigerian Handball Federation. I am also a broadcast journalist with LASU Radio where I head the Sports Unit.
We normally don’t hear a lot about the Handball Federation. What could be responsible for this?
Basically, that has to do with the sporting culture of the country. Football is the king of all sports. Everybody loves football. That has to do with the systemic disparity that keeps football ahead of other sports.
The disparity is like the sun and moon; that’s how far they are from each other. It also has to do with structure, talents and inadequacy of facilities; funding is also a big elephant in the room. Football gets 80% of the chunk while the other federations share the remaining 20%.
It’s not only about publicity. Funding also fuels publicity. All of these are the big issues. Policy defects have affected sports, in general. It is not because other sports are not trying, it is because of the defective policy and the challenges that come with it. It is basically systemic.
How does the Federation source for funds?
When the present president came on board, the sport was almost in comatose. They were not attending competitions and grassroots competitions were not being organized. In the 80s, Nigeria used to be the king of handball, but in the 90s, everything fell like a pack of cards because of a whole lot of issues, mainly maladministration.
But then, Samuel Ocheho came in. He’s someone that played the sport, and as a corporate person, he understood how to drive the sport. The first thing he did was to secure the sponsorship for the league, and that was how Prudent Energy came on board. Prudent Energy and Services Limited is an energy company that sponsors the league for about 4 years now. The first phase of the league will come up in May while the second phase comes up in October.
He also ensured that there is level playing ground for individuals that want to put in their money to develop handball. Since 2018, since he became president, there have been many national and international competitions. Apart from the fact that he puts in his own money, which shows his passion, he and the Board have been able to bring a lot of attraction to the sport, so much that handball can now compete with basketball for relevance.
Do the sponsors get value for money to expand the scope of their sponsorship?
Prudent Energy has expanded the scope of its sponsorship twice in 4 years. They are getting the dividends of their investment in the league. When they started in 2018, they got bigger and bigger. Like most energy companies, people might not know about them. They came in and a lot of people started knowing about them and started understanding what they really do.
They came into the league, and it was a big gain for handball to be able to get Prudent Energy, and the dividends for them has been massive. They have leveraged it and everyone now knows that the National Premier Handball League is sponsored by them.
At the point of the lockdown last season caused by Covid-19, they gave out palliatives to all the teams in the league, the players, and even the referees. If they were not getting Return on Investment, they wouldn’t do that at all.
What will you recommend for improving the perception of handball in Nigeria?
It’s a world of technology, and we are trying our best in that regard. We are on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We churn out content every other time, giving updates about the league, and other competitions we participate in. We stream matches live, so we are trying our best to improve the perception and publicity. We also have some media partners that have been with us from day 1.
They help in propagating the good work that the Handball Federation of Nigeria is doing for the growth and development of the sport in the country. Interviews like this also help, but ultimately, what we seek is for handball to go back to the grassroots, which is the fastest possible way to grow the sport.
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