The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the number of beneficiaries under the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) Loans to 14,638 applicants.
This information is contained in a communique from the last MPC report of CBN verified by Nairametrics. The communique also revealed that 250 SME businesses, predominantly the youths, have also benefited from the Creative Industry Financing Initiative.
In addition to these initiatives, the CBN is set to contribute over N1.8 trillion of the total sum of N2.30 trillion needed for the Federal Government’s 1-year Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), through its various financing interventions using the channels of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
A few months ago, the CBN announced that it has unveiled a framework that will integrate a non-interest window in all its intervention programmes aimed at supporting businesses and households that have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nairametrics had earlier reported on how to access the AGSMEIS fund.
Why it matters
Given the impact and accompanying harsh consequences of the pandemic, coupled with the present regime’s focus on diversification of the economy, this intervention is therefore aimed at achieving the diversification goal, reflating the economy, creating more jobs and income, managing inflation, and setting the economy on the path of recovery.
CBN in the latest communique of its last MPC meetings also revealed that it has disbursed a total of N3.5 trillion in interventions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as of September 22, 2020. The breakdown of the disbursement includes:
- Real Sector Funds: N216.87 billion
- Targeted Credit Facility: N73.69 billion
- AGSMEIS: N54.66 billion
- Pharmaceutical and Health Care Support Fund: N44.47 billion
- Creative Industry Financing Initiative: N2.93 billion
In terms of project distribution, a total of 128 projects that comprises 87 real sector funds project and 41 health-related projects have been funded. In like manner, about 120,074 have received funding under the Targeted Credit Facility.
#EndSARS: Lagos orders investigation of Lekki Toll Plaza shooting
The Lagos State Government has ordered an investigation into the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate.
The Lagos State Government has ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by some men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and shared via the state’s Twitter handle.
It stated, “There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza, following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos State to stop criminals, who hid under the #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
“The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised the security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew, which he urges residents to observe for the peaceful atmosphere we all cherish.”
According to the statement, Governor Sanwo-Olu advised Lagosians to remain calm and not allow criminals, who have hijacked the noble protest of our gallant youths, to succeed in their evil plan of turning our dear state upside down.
Omotoso assured that the Governor will do everything within his power to ensure that the lives of all Lagosians are protected at all times.
There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza, following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos State to stop criminals who hid under the #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo @gboyegaakosile #LASG pic.twitter.com/wP0dsQ3sBD
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) October 20, 2020
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Lagos State Government announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew in all parts of the state, with effect from 4 pm, which was later shifted to 9pm Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
This is due to the raging #EndSARS protests and demonstrations in the state which has been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums, with attacks on innocent citizens and destruction of properties.
I won’t approve 2021 budget without provisions for #EndSARS victims, ASUU – Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila said that he will not sign off on the budget unless it guarantees compensation of the families of victims of police brutality.
The Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has vowed that he will not sign off the 2021 Appropriation Bill presently before the National Assembly if adequate provisions are not made for the compensation of the families of the victims of police brutality and meeting the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Gbajabiamila insisted that the implementation of the agreement between ASUU and the Federal Government must also be captured in the budget. Both the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate are expected to sign bills passed by the National Assembly before they are transmitted to the President for assent.
In his opening remarks at the plenary on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said,
“I will not sign off on a 2021 budget that does not have adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence from police in the last decade. I will not sign off on a budget that does not meet the reasonable demands of ASUU to which government has already acceded.”
The speaker said that he hopes to visit the families of those who have been victims of police brutality, alongside some of his colleagues in the house of representatives. He described the youths protesting across the country as midwives of national rebirth, saying their agitation has brought about a historical moment in the country.
“You (protesting youths) have moved a nation to action, and now you must join in doing the hard work of making real the vision of a more just, more prosperous, and more resilient nation.
“We see your true cause. Please do not allow your righteous cause to be hijacked by those with base motives, who see in this moment an opportunity to pursue vendettas, to spread division, exploit the many existing fissures that exist in our society, and bring our nation to its knees.
“You have raised your voices and marched to demand a better Nigeria. From Abuja to Washington, to Calgary and London, your voices have been heard. Do not allow anybody to convince you that to withdraw from the streets now is to concede defeat. This is the time to move your agitation from the chaos of the streets to the painstaking deliberations and strategic partnerships that birth policy and produce legislation.
“It is time to mobilize your voices in support of specific policy interventions that will deliver on our shared objectives of national renewal and a country that reflects the best of us. I thank you, your country thanks you, and history will be kind to you,” he said.
He said the #EndSARS protests have gotten more serious with pockets of violence in parts of the country as it seems to have been hijacked by those who have a different agenda.
Gbajabiamila noted that the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, had set up a panel of inquiry to take complaints from victims of police brutality.
He promised some measures to address the problem of police brutality in the country which includes drafting new legislation that enables a system to hold erring police officers to account for their conduct in the performance of their duties.
According to Gbajabiamila, the draft legislation which will be enacted in collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), will be ready for consideration within 30 days.
2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review
The National Assembly is set to commence a review of the 2020 budget implementation.
The two chambers of the National Assembly are set to postpone plenary to give room for its various committees to commence the review of the 2020 budget implementation.
As well as enable ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) defend their 2021 budget proposal. This is according to a disclosure by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The disclosure is the sequel to the passing of the 2021 Appropriation Bill for second reading last week. In addition, the National Assembly is expected to commence debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which was recently forwarded to the house by President Muhammadu Buhari.
What they are saying
Commenting on both bills, Mr. Lawan said: “On Tuesday, we will be taking the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This will be the last function that we would do in the plenary.”
He remarked further: “We will suspend plenary on Tuesday for the budget defense processes to start immediately”.
On an optimistic note, Mr. Lawan stated that the PIB which had scaled the first reading last week will also be passed for second reading today after the debate.
What you should know
The National Assembly has fixed the deadline for the 2021 budget defense in the red chamber by MDAs to be the first week of November 2020.
In lieu of this fact, Mr. Lawan urged all ministers and heads of government agencies to ensure they comply with the directives within the stipulated timeframe.
Why this matters
The recent development is a big boost in returning the country’s budget cycle back to the January-December timeframe which will expedite effective implementation of the budget provisions as funds will be released on time to concerned ministries, enabling them to execute capital projects and meet their recurrent needs.
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