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The Nigerian market has been described as highly potential and vital in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and should not be ignored but explored and utilized if the country is to benefit from the inherent benefits of the regional economic protocols.

Declaring the two-day Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo opened in Abuja, Mrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture said Nigeria can best achieve the objectives of the AfCFTA when a robust public private sector collaboration is entrenched in the implementation system and allowed to flourish, giving the opportunity for all implementers to play an incredibly valuable and crucial role in ensuring that the AfCFTA regime succeeds.

She commended organizers of the Summit, the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), for providing the forum to discuss the AfCFTA protocols, urging that more platforms should be provided to deepen Nigeria’s understanding of the AfCFTA agreements so as to develop pragmatic, coordinated and supportive implementable frameworks for the country’s full participation in the implementation of the regime at both national and continental levels.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, National President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), reiterated that the choice of the 6th edition of the Summit and Expo which is AfCFTA: EXPLORING INTRA AFRICAN TRADE, TOURISM AND TRANSPORTATION OPPORTUNITIES AND MITIGATING THE BARRIERS TO COLLABORATION. was so chosen because of the need to overcome all obstacles and barriers to the realization of the dream for an all-inclusive trading partnerships for the countries of the African Continent as an entity of a singular market.


He further noted that speakers and discussants at the Summit will do critical examination of the challenging barriers and ways of overcoming them in the interest of the AfCFTA by sectorial stakeholders, key players and implementers of the AfCFTA Regime, calling on both government and the organized private sector to put their efforts together and ensuring that not only the protocol agreements of the trade works, but that Nigeria benefits from the objectives of the Agreements.

Chief Odusanwo stated that like all free trade agreements, the AfCFTA will have both positive and negative effects and thus create both winners and losers, which is why the Summit will also look at how Nigeria as a key player, can be a greater beneficiary of the AfCFTA Agreement given the opportunity and will for all participating institutions to have a common front and synergy of implementation, ‘It is the wish of the organizers of the Summit that Nigeria and indeed the Nigerian people maximally benefit from the AfCFTA regime in all facets of human endeavours as well as to achieve the socio-economic, industrialization and technological breakthrough that the country yearns for, with tourism and transportation as critical areas of focus’, he added.

Addressing the Summit, Mr. Nkereuwen Onung stated that the tourism industry is a very vital critical segment of the Nigerian economy that must be accorded the rightful place in the scheme of socio-economic administration of the country, urging that the incoming new government should create a stand-alone ministry for Tourism and Culture.
Delivering a paper on Blue Economy: Panacea to Sustainable Development of Trades and Transportation in AfCFTA, the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, called on key players and stakeholders in the various institutional frameworks of the AfCFTA Regime so as to maximize the Opportunities and benefits of the Agreements for the growth and development of the Nigerian economy and its participation the wider economic bloc of the African Continent.


Other speakers at the Summit event are, Prof. Magnus L. Kpakol Chairman, Economic Growth and Development Centre Skill Acquisition, Key Element for Labour Mobility in AfCTA Implementation, Hon. Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman, African Tourism Board. Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and the AfCFTA Agreement 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.


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.


“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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General News

I’m not a power manipulator —senator Bamidele



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The Senator leader senator Opeyemi Bamidele has dispelled the campaign of calumny against him in some social media not the Citypost and office of the Leader of the Senate,

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele in a statement from his media directorate says some individuals, either misconstrued the statutory role of the Majority Leader in a democracy or willfully distorted established legislative rules that charged the Majority Leader with the duty of leading the business of the Parliament, including government bills.

The statement reads in parts:

“Senator Bamidele is never a power manipulator, enemy of the people and an obstacle to national peace, as some reactionaries or agents of regressive forces have been peddling in the social media. As a political actor who enjoys vast public trust, he will never or can never act against the core and strategic interests of Nigeria and Nigerians at any level”

“Under Rule 23, the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended) specifically provides for the Office of the Leader of the Senate, who shall be a Senator duly nominated from the political party with the highest number of seats in the Senate. This is the global best practice, which is not peculiar to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also to all democracies worldwide”

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“The rule further establishes that the Leader of the Senate shall (a) lead all government bills; (b) lead the business of the Senate; (c) manage the legislative schedule of the Senate; (d) liaise with Committee Chairmen and other functionaries of the Senate and (e) perform such duties as the President may assign to him.

Consistent with the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended), therefore, Senator Bamidele is under obligation to lead all government bills, a role he has been playing creditably. By implication, he is responsible for sponsoring and promoting government bills originating from the Executive Arm or its ministries, departments and agencies”

“In this light, Senator Bamidele has been able to manage the floor debate on government bills successfully; build consensus across political divides; mobilise support for government bills within the Senate and lead negotiations to gain broader support. Since his assumption of office on July 4, 2023, Senator Bamidele has equally deployed strategies in navigating the complex legislative procedures to advance government bills and coordinated closely with the Executive Arm to ensure that government bills reflect the administration’s policies and priorities”

“Like other principal officers of the Senate, the role of the Leader of the Senate is provided for in the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended). In Nigeria, particularly, this role has been pivotal in advancing the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR through the National Assembly. And he has played the role well through a combination of strategic planning, negotiation and leadership skills”

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