The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has urged Chinese companies operating in Nigeria to respect Nigerian regulatory rules, while pledging China’s support to Nigeria’s development.
This was disclosed by Wang Yi when President Buhari received in audience the Chinese delegation at the State House, Abuja.
The Foreign Minister, responding to questions about harsh treatment of Nigerian workers by Chinese firms said that China would not tolerate such and added that if there were cases of such maltreatment, there were means to address the problems diplomatically.
- “We make this clear to each and every Chinese company doing business in Nigeria, Nigerian laws must be strictly abided by, local customs shall be respected. We believe most of the Chinese companies here are doing well in this regard but there can be a few exceptions because of this or that kind of reasons they might have some labour issues.
- “This is not something the Chinese government wants to see and whenever such issues occur we have diplomatic channels to communicate to make sure that the situation is properly handled to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Nigerian workers.”
Wang also added that China supported Africa’s fight against COVID-19, citing that Nigeria and China’s relationship was a “south south cooperation.”
- “China remains a developing country, China’s cooperation with Nigeria is South South cooperation. What makes this different from North South Cooperation is that the former is all about mutual help and support between friends. China sees to it that we do not interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last month that as Nigeria and US trade continued to falter, China remained a stronger and growing trade partner with the largest economy in Africa.
- According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China/Nigeria trade topped N4 trillion in the first 9 months of 2020 compared to N3.6 trillion in the same period in 2019.
NIMC says it has licensed telecommunication companies to provide NIN
The NIMC has said the agency has licensed telecommunications companies to register applicants who do not have NIN.
The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said the agency has licensed telecommunications companies to register applicants who do not have National Identity Numbers (NIN).
This measure is to help reduce the large crowd that besieges NIMC offices across the country for registration with the risk of contracting the Covid-19 disease.
According to a report from Punch, this disclosure was made by the Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, while responding to an inquiry with respect to measures taken by NIMC to address the complaints made by citizens and the crowds at the commission’s offices.
Aziz pointed out that mobile network operators had been empowered to also give identity numbers. This is in addition to the licensing of the private and public organization by the commission to provide NIN.
The NIMC boss said, “We have licensed private and public sector organisations including telcos (telecommunications companies) so as to create more centres.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had directed that telecommunication companies should block from their network, any SIM that is not registered with valid NINs with effect from December 30, 2020.
- However, following public outcry, the government gave 6 weeks extension to subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, and 3 weeks extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2020.
- However, many Nigerians and organisations had called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN registration process due to the large crowds who had yet to have their NINs.
CBN disburses N106.96 billion to 27,956 AGSMEIS beneficiaries
The CBN has disbursed a total of N106.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries of AGSMEIS.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that it disbursed a total of N106.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries of Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
This information is contained in a recent communique from the last MPC report of the CBN.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the expansion of AGSMEIS beneficiaries to 14,638. In lieu of this, the recent figures show a remarkable improvement of an additional 13,318 beneficiaries.
The apex also revealed that it has disbursed a total of N2.0 trillion as at January 2021. Other key disbursements are;
- The disbursement of N192.64 billion to 426,016 households and small businesses under the COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF).
- The disbursement of N72.96 billion to the Health Care Support Intervention Facility, directly impacting about 73 projects which comprises of 26 pharmaceutical projects and 47 hospitals and health care services projects in the country.
- In a bid to support the provision of employment opportunities, the apex bank provided financial support of N3.12 billion to 320 beneficiaries under the Creative Industry Financing Initiatives and N268 million to 395 beneficiaries under the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
- The apex bank also provided N18.58 billion for the procurement of 347,853 electricity reading meters to Discos, in a bid to support the National Mass Metering Programme.
What you should know
- The Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme is a Federal Government initiative aimed at supporting efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, with the long-run goal of achieving sustainable economic development and employment generation.
- With the CBN AGSMEIS Loan, one can access up to N10M at 5% per year without collateral.
President Buhari approves local production of helicopters by NASENI
President Buhari has directed NASENI, to collaborate with Dynali Company for the local production of helicopters.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), to collaborate with Dynali Company, a Belgian Helicopter Manufacturing Company, for the local production of helicopters.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this directive was given by the President at the maiden edition of the meeting of the Governing Board of NASENI at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
While presiding over the meeting, President Buhari, who is also the Chairman of NASENI, directed the agency to work towards bridging the gaps in research and technology that keeps Nigeria waiting on other countries for supplies and solutions, especially in tackling challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic.
What President Buhari is saying
Buhari said the agency should play a more pivotal role in equipping the country during emergencies, while encouraging research, upgrading local skills, fabrication and international collaborations that would provoke growth in science and technology.
The President said, “The uniqueness of the mandate of NASENI as enshrined in its enabling law towards the actualisation and realisation of our development programmes such as the creation of Ten Million jobs; Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) and Post COVID-19 sustainability Plan.
“It is only deliberate deployment of Engineering, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI) using technology domestication and reverse engineering of capital goods.
“Making them available in Nigeria that can fast-track the realisation of our collective will to build capacity and reduce poverty among our teeming populace. The countries that are at the forefront of economic recovery have only one thing in common: investment and sustained research and development work in knowledge economy.
“Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the Technology and innovation gap between us and the developed World, which NASENI is strategically positioned to fill.’’
Going further, the President said in order to achieve its full potential, NASENI must be empowered through the provision of adequate financial, human and material resources and be given the autonomy and independence to engage in international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic and industrial advancement of the country.
He said, ‘’In this regard, I have directed the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Federal Inland Revenue Service to commence remittance of funds approved by Law of the Agency.’’
‘’It is important to for members of the NASENI Governing Board to note that Agencies of Governments with a similar mandate as NASENI in many countries are directly under the supervision of their respective Heads of State and Government.’’
While making his own remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, revealed that the agency had constructed electronic voting systems and was already working on locally produced jet engines and assemblage of passenger and military helicopters.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Buhari had earlier approved the reconstitution and inauguration of the Governing Board of NASENI on March 8, 2018, with a clear mandate to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which would be critical to Nigeria’s industrial development.
- NASENI was established in 1992 by the Federal Government following the recommendations of the White Paper Committee on the 1991 Report of a 150-member National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure comprising scientists, engineers, administrators, federal and state civil servants, economists, lawyers, bankers and industrialists.