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Business

LCCI urges government to revamp Nigeria’s paper and pulp industry

Toki Mabogunje has urged governments at all levels to put in place measures to revamp the paper and pulp sector in the country.

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#EndSARS Protest has cost Nigeria N700 billion in twelve days - LCCI 

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, has urged the government at all levels to put in place measures to revamp the paper and pulp sector in the country.

She made this statement while speaking at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, where FAE Limited, a paper packaging manufacturer in the country, unveiled a new product.

According to a news report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the President of LCCI said that the government needed to ensure that the operating environment was conducive for industry players, as it would stimulate operations to enable the sector perform at optimal capacity, without drawbacks in productivity.

She explained that structural rigidities and bottlenecks had strangled the performance and productivity of the sector in recent years, owing to the tough operating environment, supply chain disruptions, tepid milling capacity, policy inconsistency, and the huge infrastructural deficit in the nation.

These issues and rigidities in the structural makeup of the economy has made it impossible for businesses to survive and also for key investments in the sector to yield expected results in line with the expectations of the investors.

What they are saying

The President of LCCI, in her address at the International Trade Fair, said:

  • “The industry has not been performing at optimal capacity over the years due to several structural challenges, including abysmally weak domestic milling capacity, tough operating environment, policy flip-flop and poor infrastructure. These challenges have made it increasingly difficult to attract and sustain private investment. The sector has for long depended on importation and this is a downside risk to the sustainability of the paperwork industry. Government at all levels need to show commitment by engaging measures that would revamp the sector and at the same time create a conducive operating environment for businesses.”

Bottom line

Efforts of government across all levels to revamp the paper and pulp sector in Nigeria will compound on the gains from the diversification agenda of the Nigerian government in other sectors.

However, this is expected to strengthen the resilience of the Nigerian economy and eliminate the sector’s overdependence on imported materials that can be produced locally.

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The end result of the efforts of the government to revamp this sector is expected to lead to more employment for the youths, less dependence on oil and imported items/inputs, and reduction in the exposure to shocks coming from crude oil earnings.

Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor.

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Business

Digital ID will help drive financial inclusion – VP Osinbajo

FG to ensure a friendly business environment is created to promote ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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Digital Identification is one of the keys to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his facility visit to SecureID, a smart card manufacturing and digital solutions company, on Tuesday.

According to Osinbajo, Digital ID would help Nigerians, especially the ones that are not financially inclusive, operate in the global space.

He also assured entrepreneurs that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration would ensure a friendly business environment is created to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria.

He said, “Environment must be friendly for local investors first before foreign investors come in. Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of the technology and manufacturing sector, and I am delighted to be a part of it.

“SecureID Limited has proved to us with this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is not only viable in Nigeria but also brings a plethora of opportunities with it for Africa.

“I must commend this indigenous company for laying the precedent for other local manufacturers to follow. I must also congratulate the founder and CEO, Kofo Akinkugbe, who through her grit and passion to contribute to the growth of the economy, has committed innumerable resources and manpower to bring this factory to fruition.

“It warms my heart to see a woman take charge and create something indelible for other young women to emulate. She is an attestation to the fact that women are dependable collaborators in our quest for nation-building.”

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The company, which recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa, also manufactures sim cards for telecom companies, loyalty cards for retail and security documents for public sector: driving license, national identity cards, international passports and more.

Osinbajo expressed confidence in the company to bolster local content and contribute to the growth of the economy, stating that the recent GSMA certificate and other global certificates bear glowing testimony to the level of high standards demonstrated in its production of first-rate smart cards in the country.

Speaking on the company’s recent milestone, Akinkugbe stated that SecureID strictly upholds high quality standards and protocols to manufacture an array of smart cards in line with global best practices, emphasizing that the company worked resolutely, to attain the GSMA certificate and other certificates.

According to her, the company is an attestation that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is possible in Nigeria.

“As an indigenous company, we are able to produce high quality SIM cards and at the same time, provide job opportunities for Nigerians. The government has seen it, its volume, value and growth, that we are able to contribute is something we would showcase and further prove that this can be done locally.

“On our journey, we sought and received support from many institutions, agencies, and initiatives that have been established to encourage startups SMEs and enterprises,” she said.

What you should know about SecureID

Jaiz bank

The company recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa. This is an addition to its other global certifications including Visa International, MasterCard Incorporated, Verve, Card Quality Management (CQM) and ISO 9001/2015 for Smart Card Manufacturing and Personalization of credit and debit cards for all banks in Nigeria and clients in 21 countries across Africa.

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Business

FG proposes retirement age of 65 years for doctors

Ngige stated that the government wants to keep the nations health workers here in Nigeria.

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The Nigerian Government has announced that it is proposing to increase the retirement age to 65 years for normal health workers and doctors, and 70 years for consultants, in a bid to keep health workers in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, in a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PSC), relevant Federal Government stakeholders, Health Sector Professional Associations, and Trade Unions on Tuesday in Abuja.

READ: Return to work or we will invoke ‘no work, no pay’ – FG tells Resident Doctors

What Ngige is saying about the proposed retirement age for health workers

“We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal and we are reconvening June 1, so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria.

We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria. A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost.

It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here,” Ngige said.

READ: Minimum Wage: State Governments refusing to pay are breaching laws – Labour Minister

The Minister added that health workers could be retained for a longer period, citing a proposed retirement age of 65 for health workers and doctors and 70 years for consultants. He revealed that the FG had called back retired health workers during the pandemic, and delayed retirement age by six months for health workers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What you should know

The FG’s proposal to keep health workers is a complete u-turn from an earlier strategy, as Nairametrics reported in 2019 that the Labour Minister had said he was not bothered about the decision of some medical doctors who chose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

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