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Implementation of National Action Plan suspended due to disruption by Covid-19

The implementation of the fifth National Action Plan has been put on hold due to the work disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.   

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National Action Plan, FG looks to reform ease of doing business

The implementation of the fifth National Action Plan (NAP 5.0) has been put on hold due to the work disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 60-day accelerators which was initially billed to run from February 5 to April 4, 2020, witnessed several disruptions and eventually stopped at day 38.

According to Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the reforms were targeted at improving the Nigerian business climate and supporting the SME business community.

Oduwole said in a statement released on Wednesday, that the PEBEC secretariat still maintains phone contacts with SMEs across the country, in spite of the lockdown.

During the lockdown, the PEBEC Secretariat has maintained close contact with small and medium-sized businesses and key organized private sector bodies nationwide, and have spoken to over 650 SMEs by phone so far to listen to their most pressing needs during this crisis as well as communicate relief measures already being implemented by the Federal Government to support SMEs at this critical time”.

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(READ MORE: Ecobank urges Nigerians to embrace instant account opening with EcobankMobile *326#)

She stated that the implementation of the National Action Plan reforms would resume immediately the pandemic was over.

She added that in spite of the disruptions, certain reforms had already been implemented like the LIRS automation of tax registration, filing and electronic payment of taxes for MSMEs, as well as technical support to the Edo and Kano states judiciary.

The PEBEC was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to oversee Nigeria’s business climate reform agenda and is chaired by His Excellency the Vice President, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as Vice Chair, among other members.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career.As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Companies

GCR affirms Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG)

Global Credit Ratings has affirmed Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG).

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Dangote Cement Plc has announced that Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the cement manufacturer a long-term and short-term national scale issuer ratings of AA+ (NG) and A1+(NG) respectively.

According to the press release issued by the company, the rating which maintains a stable outlook on Dangote Cement would expire by November 2021.

In line with this, GCR reviewed existing bonds of the company and assigned the N100bn Series 1 Fixed Rate Bond of Dangote Cement a rating of AA+.

Why this matters

  • The ratings reflect Dangote Cement Plc’s status as Africa’s leading integrated cement manufacturer with a group-wide installed capacity of 45.6 million metric tonnes per annum across ten countries.
  • The stable outlook which was maintained by GCR reflects the extensive distribution network, significant scale economies and position as the largest corporations on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with sound access to capital.
  • It is important to note that a rebound is expected within 18-24 months, on the back of strong base domestic demand.

What they are saying

Michel Puchercos, Chief Executive Officer, said:

  • Dangote Cement has shown great resilience in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging environment. The Group continues to report strong cash generation while maintaining strong financial discipline. As Africa’s leading cement producer, we are committed to maximizing shareholder value creation.”

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Coronavirus

Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools

24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.

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Lagos orders removal of all unapproved street gates in the state to ease traffic, Sanwo-Olu to stop pension for former governors, deputies, #EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu, Lagos approves resumption of all classes in public, private schools, Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lagos to construct rail line to airport terminal for international passengers, COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office, Lekki regional road: Sanwo-Olu revokes land titles of Elegushi Royal family, Lagos pays N1.3 billion into the RSA of 246 retirees, Lagos State to empower 2.5 million youths in Arts and Crafts

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.

This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.

This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.

Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.

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“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
  • Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.

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Around the World

Breaking: Joe Biden sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States

The whole world watched in awe as Joe Biden was sworn in as the new President of the United States.

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Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

The 78-year-old Democrat and former Vice president to Barack Obama is being sworn in after emerging the winner of last year’s Presidential elections.

Biden’s running mate, Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in as vice president by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, becoming the first woman and the first black and Asian-American person elevated to serve in a role a heartbeat from the presidency.

The inauguration took place at the US Capitol, the same building that was stormed on January 6, by Donald Trump’s violent supporters.

Trump who for months refused to conceded to Biden’s victory at the polls left the White House for the final time hours earlier and flew to Florida after making it clear weeks ago that he will not be attending the inauguration.

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Trump’s Vice, Mike Pence attended the ceremony, as he skipped Trump’s farewell military salute event at Andrews base.

The ceremony includes musical performances by Lady Gaga – who sang the national anthem – as well as Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.

Former Presidents; Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were all present at the inuaguration

What you should know

  • At 78, Biden is the oldest president ever to take the oath of office.
  • In his speech, Biden swore to defend the constitution and the country “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.
  • History was made as Kamala Harris became America’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice-president.
  • Donald Trump skipped the ceremony, becoming the first president not to attend his successor’s inauguration since 1869.

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