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5th PEBEC Awards: Gombe Crowned Best State In Ease Of Doing Business



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Lateef Taiwo

Gombe has been crowned the best state in ease of doing business in Nigeria, being the state with the highest score based on empirical data from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the 2021 and 2023 sub-national ease of doing business ranking conducted by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC.

The award was presented to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo during the 5th PEBEC awards held at the presidential villa in Abuja on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

PEBEC also honoured some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as well as private sector stakeholders who have made significant contributions to the ease of doing business interventions.

Recall that when PEBEC released the second edition of the Subnational Ease of Doing Business Report for 2023, Gombe State won the highest points, leading the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

This is the second time Gombe is clinching the first position, having emerged the overall best last year when PEBEC released the 2021 Ease of Doing Business report.

According to the PEBEC report, Gombe scored 7.15 to emerge as the state providing the friendliest environment for business.

In arriving at its ranking, PEBEC looked at six indicators, namely Infrastructure; Secure and Stable Environment; Transparency and Accessibility of Information; Regulatory Environment; Skills and Labour and Economic Opportunity. Gombe State excelled in all the parameters.

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Receiving the award, the highly elated Governor Inuwa Yahaya, expressed satisfaction that the reforms being carried out by his administration have been recognised and appreciated, assuring that it will spur him to do more for the people to feel the impact of what his government doing in terms of providing enabling environment for investors.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, he said, the recognition attested to the huge economic and industrial revolution taking place in Gombe State, citing as examples, the establishment of the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park Dadinkowa, provision of infrastructure and other social amenities, prevailing peaceful atmosphere among others.

He noted that retaining the number one spot in the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria is asymptomatic of purposeful leadership and political dynamism of the APC led government in the State.

Governor Inuwa said, building of a business friendly environment capable of attracting investment has been at the heart of his reform agenda, observing that with an enterprising workforce, vibrant market, robust infrastructure, peaceful atmosphere and favorable regulatory environment, Gombe has all that is needed for MSMEs to thrive and succeed.

The Gombe State delegation at the awards ceremony, which was led by the Deputy Governor, included the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Malam Muhammad Gambo Magaji and his Trade, Investment and Tourism counterpart, Nasiru Muhammad Aliyu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget Planning and Development Partner Coordination, Dr. Ishiyaku Mohammed, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Jalo Ibrahim Ali, Accountant- General, Dr. Aminu Yuguda, Principal Private Secretary to the Governor, Ahmed Kasimu Abdullahi, Permanent Secretary, office of the Deputy Governor, Bala M. Kaltungo, Technical Assistant to the Governor, Ahmed Hussaini, Gombe PEBEC Desk Officer, Babaji Musa among others.

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Business and Economy

Nigerian Minister laments low investment in Infrastructure



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By Iyojo Ameh

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu on Friday said the country has not invested enough in infrastructural development.

According to him, several problems been encountered recently by Nigerian are as direct results of under- investment in several multi- dimension infrastructure.

The minister spoke at the National Assembly during an interactive session with the Senate committee on Appropriation under the chairmanship of Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

The minister was invited to provide insight into the N6.2 trillion supplementary appropriation approval for the 2024 budget by the National Assembly as requested by President Bola Tinubu.

Bagudu commended President Tinubu for the political will yo confront the infrastructure deficit by seeking the N3.2 trillion to fund the projects which include the Lagos – Calabar coastal highway, the Sokoto – Badagry highway and the Trans- Sahara highway.

He commended the President for his confidence that the projects when completed will increase economic activities and shore up the nation’s revenue base.

He added that the projects will encourage massive transformation apart from strengthening economic realities.

The minister while trying to douse the agitation of members of the committee on the fate of other deplorable roads and uncompleted roads projects in their various constituents said the federal government has not abandoned any of the ongoing projects.

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Bagudu categorically stated that the government is not giving priority attention to the innovative projects at the expense of other road projects.

He assured that the Federal Executive Council will continue to consider and give financial approval to other roads as funds are available.

The minister though did not give a detailed statement of the supplementary approval, gave a sectoral overview of both the N3.2 trillion of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Projects and the N3 trillion increase in the recurrent component of the budget.

Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola the government has full capacity to finance the 2024 budget.

He , however implore the minister to make available to the committee a full detail and breakdown of the N6.2 trillion approval as soon as possible.

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Business and Economy

Economy : CBN announces indices on growth and stability …As Senate interfaces with the CBN Gov



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By Iyojo Ameh

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja , rolled out indices , signaling improved growth and stability of the Nation’s economy.

This is as the apex bank through its Governor , Olayemi Cardoso , assured Nigerians of better days ahead .

Rolling out the growth and economic stability indices during statutory engagement with the Senate Committee on Banking , Insurance and other Financial Institutions , the CBN Governor said : ” The
spread between official and BDC rates has narrowed significantly from N162.62 in January to N47.22 in June 2024, indicating successful price discovery, increased market efficiency, and reduced arbitrage opportunities.

“The stock of external reserves increased to US$36.89 billion as of July 16, 2024, compared with US$33.22 billion at end-December 2023, driven largely by receipts from crude oil related taxes and third-party receipts.

” In Q1 2024, we maintained a current account surplus and saw improvements in our trade balance.

“Our external reserves level as at end-June 2024 can finance over 11 months of import of goods and services, or 14 months of goods only. This is significantly higher than the prescribed international benchmark of 3.0 months, indicating a strong buffer against external shocks.

“The banking sector remains robust and diverse, comprising twenty-six commercial banks, six merchant banks, and four non-interest banks. Key indicators such as capital adequacy, liquidity, and non-performing loan ratios all showed impressive improvements, underscoring the sector’s growing stability and resilience.

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“The equity market has shown impressive performance, with the All-Share Index rising by 33.81 per cent and market capitalization expanding by 38.33 per cent from December 2023 to June 2024, reflecting growing investors’ confidence.

“While we are encouraged by these positive trends, the CBN remains vigilant and committed to implementing policies that support sustainable growth in our financial markets, while maintaining overall economic stability”

He added by assuring the committee members , that required measures and strategies , have been mapped out to confront emerging challenges .

“To combat inflation, we have implemented a comprehensive set of monetary policy measures. These include raising the policy rate by 750 basis points to 26.25 percent, increasing Cash Reserve Ratios, normalizing Open Market Operations as our primary liquidity management tool, and adopting Inflation Targeting as our new monetary policy framework.

“In the area of banking supervision, the CBN has taken decisive actions to ensure the safety, soundness, and resilience of the banking industry.

” Key measures include intervention in three banks, revocation of Heritage Bank’s license, increasing minimum capital requirements, and enhancing AML/CFT supervision.

” We also introduced new frameworks for Cash Reserve Requirements and cybersecurity and prohibited the use of foreign currency collaterals for local currency loans.

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“We are in the process of reviewing the Bank’s micro and macroprudential guidelines to reinforce the resilience of financial institutions in Nigeria to withstand tightened conditions, thus creating a secure and attractive investment climate.

“We have signaled our plans to re-capitalize deposit money banks in Nigeria to improve capital inadequacy and their capacity to grow the economy.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a more stable, resilient, and efficient financial system that can better serve the Nigerian economy, while adhering to international best practices”, he said .

Earlier in his opening remarks , the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru said the overall purpose of the interaction , ” is to update the commiittee on efforts, activities, objectives and plans of the Bank with respect to monetary policy”

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Business and Economy

Airlines, Banks, Media Outlets Hit as Global IT Outage Wreaks Havoc



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By Iyojo Ameh

A global tech outage, seemingly linked to issues at cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike and tech giant Microsoft, disrupted operations across multiple sectors on Friday, impacting airports, airlines, media outlets, and banks.

The outage caused significant disruptions in airport and airline IT systems, leading to grounded flights and widespread service interruptions.
Notably, Sydney airport has seen flights halted, United Airlines has ceased operations, and the London Stock Exchange Group’s platform has encountered disruptions.

In Germany, Berlin airport experienced IT problems, causing delays in check-ins due to technical faults.

Also, rail transportation has not been spared, as the UK’s Govia Thameslink Railway reported widespread IT issues across its network, leading to potential cancellations and delays.

The company is actively investigating the root cause and has urged passengers to check their journeys before traveling.

Australia’s Telstra Group also reported service disruptions.

Meanwhile, in a post on X, CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz said the outage was not a “security incident or cyberattack.”

He said it was connected to a “defect found in a single content update for Windows hosts.” He said the issue has been “identified, isolated and a fix has been deployed.”

Also, Microsoft said in a statement on X that “the underlying cause has been fixed,” however, residual impacts continue to affect “some Microsoft 365 apps and services. We’re conducting additional mitigations to provide relief.”

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The affected services include PowerBI, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive for Business, among others. The tech giant is working on mitigation efforts and has already restored some services.

However, this global IT outage highlights the interconnected nature of modern digital infrastructures and the widespread impact that technical disruptions can have across various industries.

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