10/12/2021

[GIST] Only N14billion Of N471billion Loans Released For Farmers By Central Bank – Osinbajo Knocks Governor Emefiele Over Nigeria’s Ailing Economy

[GIST] Only N14billion Of N471billion Loans Released For Farmers By Central Bank – Osinbajo Knocks Governor Emefiele Over Nigeria’s Ailing Economy

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The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has blamed the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria and other banks for failing to implement the N2.3trillion post COVID-19 stimulus package, thereby causing “economic pains” for Nigerians.

Speaking at the midterm retreat of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure, the Vice-President added the exchange rate was artificially low, and hence deterred investors from bringing foreign exchange into the country.

He noted that if Buhari had not set up the sustainability plan, the economic pains associated with COVID-19 would have been deeper and lasted longer.

Dishing out facts and figures of the achievements of the post-COVID-19 stimulus, Osinbajo lamented that the CBN and the banks delayed in releasing much of the funds causing implementation delays in the Agriculture, Solar Power and Social Housing sectors.

“Under the MSME, the Economic Sustainability Plan has resulted into 1.1million beneficiaries under the N75billion ESP Survival Fund for MSMES. This includes 459,000 beneficiaries of the Payroll support for 3 months, 293,000 transport workers and artisans who were beneficiaries of a one-off grant, 244,000 MSMES that benefitted from the CAC Formalisation Scheme and 82,000 businesses that received one-off grants under the MSMES Grants Scheme,” a statement from the Vice President office read.

“The VP also spoke of progress in the Agriculture sector under the ESP including N471billion allocated as loans for farmers across 14 Crop Value Chains, Beef Production, Aquaculture and Poultry Farming. But he lamented that only N14billion of the sum allocated has been released by the banking system; CBN and the commercial banks.

“Of the N471billion, so far only N14billion is disbursed to commercial banks and is yet to be utilised by farmers due to late release for the 2021 wet farming season.

“He had a similar regret regarding the Social Housing programme of the ESP where very low cost, mass affordable housing was planned-300,000 across the country.

“The VP said here are continuing delays in the disbursements of funds from the CBN. The Debenture Agreement for N200billion with the CBN which represents bulk of the financing was agreed on 22nd April and has been signed by all parties. However disbursement is yet to take place.

“There was a similar lamentation when the VP reviewed the Solar Power Naija programme of the ESP where 5million solar power connections are planned. This programme he said will increase energy access to 25million Nigerians. Already he disclosed that 704,000 solar connections are certainly underway now and another 600k connections is in the offing.

“But the 5m Solar Connections target is being delayed because while N140B was allocated through the CBN to facilitate, only N7B of that has been disbursed. Unwillingness of CBN to disburse funds, risk aversion of Public and private financial institutions particularly for Power projects," were among challenges militating against a faster speed of implementation.

“The VP said with the Sustainability Plan in place, revenues improved despite oil production issues, while macroeconomic indices are trending in the right direction. Besides there has been a rebound in a number of sectors like Transport that had risen by 77%, Hospitality by 2%, Education 1%, Real Estate 4%, Trade 23% and construction by 4%.

“The VP noted that CBN reports indicated disbursements of a total of N798B to 3.9m small holder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, N134B to 38,140 beneficiaries in soft agric and small business loans and grants, and a total of N1Trillion to 269 real sector projects and another N103B disbursed to 110 health care projects.

“Prof. Osinbajo (SAN) said during if not for good policies, the Nigerian economy would have been worse off than most economies who are now struggling with the negative impacts of COVID-19. Osinbajo took the audience through the memory lane about the nation’s remarkable exits from two recessions – 2016 and 2020.

“It would be recalled that during the third quarter of 2020, the economy was already on a rebound, adding that the latest fourth-quarter figures show that the recovery of the Nigerian economy is steady thanks to the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP). The ESP is a product of the Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability Committee (Esc) set up by President Buhari in April 2020.

“The Federal Executive Council approved the ESP in June 2020, while the Vice President was requested to lead the implementation of the Plan. The ESP aims to, among others, prevent a deep recession, ensure economic recovery, and inject funds into the economy through direct transfers.”

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[GIST] Six Girls Abducted By Boko Haram From Chibok, Others Escape With Nine Children

[GIST] Six Girls Abducted By Boko Haram From Chibok, Others Escape With Nine Children

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At least six girls have reportedly escaped from the Boko Haram terrorists’ camp with nine children and one pregnant.

The Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum, received the girls who were aged between 20 to 25 years on Monday.

File Photos of Chibok Girls

It was learnt that the girls were abducted at Chibok, Borno State and Hong town in Adamawa State during attacks in northeast Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, told the governor that the girls trekked through the Sambisa Forest for about six hours before they were rescued by security operatives.

“The victims who were freed, ran away from the Boko Haram custody at Buni Yadi axis of Yobe State and trekked through the Sambisa Forest for about six hours before they were rescued by security operatives.

“The three of them were abducted on the 3rd of October 2020, while the other ones were abducted on 5th of May, 2021.

"The three who were abducted at Takulashu village of Chibok; are Maryam Ishaya with one child, Racheal Simon with two children, and Esther Ayuba with two children, while Alheri Ezekiel has two children, Victoria Andrew and Victoria James also with two children were abducted from Cofure village, Hong town in Adamawa State."

Governor Zulum, who received the freed school girls and their children in his office at the Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri, expressed happiness over the new development.

The governor disclosed that the government was doing everything possible to ensure speedy reconstruction and reintegration of all victims of Boko Haram terrorists into the society.

“I am very happy to receive you my daughters after you felt prey to Boko Haram terrorists. We thank God Almighty for rescuing and protecting you from the hands of terrorists.

“As government, we will do everything possible to reintegrate and support you to continue a normal life into the society as we hand you over to your respective families.”

The girls were received alongside some parents, Chairman of Chibok Local Government Area, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, traditional rulers, stakeholders, including the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Borno State chapter, Bishop Williams Naga.

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[GIST] N6.9billion Fraud: Court Adjourns Trial Of Ex-Ekiti Governor, Fayose

[GIST] N6.9billion Fraud: Court Adjourns Trial Of Ex-Ekiti Governor, Fayose

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A Federal High Court in Lagos State, on Monday, further adjourned until December 1 and 3 the continuation of the trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, over alleged N6.9billion fraud.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50million, with sureties in like sum.

The defendant was subsequently, re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Mrs Olatoregun, following EFCC’s petition.

He also pleaded not guilty to the charges and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted, while the case was adjourned for trial.

The commission has since opened its case, and is still leading witnesses in evidence.

Meanwhile, the case, which was fixed for continuation of trial on Monday, could not proceed.

The case, which was listed in the cause list, was called at about 11.40am, as parties were awaiting one of the defence counsels.

When it was eventually called, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) informed the court, that having waited until almost noon, it would be better to grant an adjournment, to enable parties to come back and face the trial.

Although the first defence counsel, Mr Ola Olanipekun (SAN) had urged the prosecutor to begin examination of its witness, who was already present in court, the case was, however, adjourned at the instance of the prosecutor.

The judge had urged parties to take new dates within the year, especially as no progress had been made in the matter since resumption.

Following agreement of parties, the case was consequently, adjourned until December 1, December 2 and December 3 respectively for continuation of trial.

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[GIST] Security Forces Kill 32 Bandits In Zamfara Fleeing To Niger, Lose Policeman

[GIST] Security Forces Kill 32 Bandits In Zamfara Fleeing To Niger, Lose Policeman

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The joint security forces comprising the police and the military have shot dead 32 bandits in their attempt to flee from Zamfara State forests to Niger State.

According to PRNigeria, the incident took place on Sunday after the bandits attacked a security post, and gunned down five policemen who attempted to confront them.

File Photo

The incident occurred at Bangu Gari in the Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

A security source said the bandits, who fled Zamfara due to the ongoing military operation, had earlier wreaked havoc on the community.

“The bandits came in their large number with sophisticated weapons including rocket launchers after fleeing their camps at Danjibga and Munhaye in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

“They stormed the police station at Bangu Gari in Rafi LGA and killed five policemen during the exchange of gunfire.

“Immediately a signal was received and a detachment of joint security forces was dispatched. The troops on reinforcement successfully ambushed the marauding bandits while attempting to escape through Tegina axis.

“At least 32 of the bandits were killed including their leaders, Karki Buzu and Yalo Nagoshi while another kingpin, Ali Kawaji sustained serious gun wounds,” the source said.

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[GIST] Nigerian Polytechnic Student Commits Suicide In Lagos After Being Dumped By Lover

[GIST] Nigerian Polytechnic Student Commits Suicide In Lagos After Being Dumped By Lover

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Olivia James, a Higher National Diploma student of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Ebonyi State, has reportedly committed suicide in Lagos State shortly after her boyfriend broke up with her.

The deceased, who celebrated her birthday on Wednesday, October 6, was said to have consumed a poisonous substance after a misunderstanding with her boyfriend identified as Henry who is said to be on the run.

She was found unconscious in her apartment during the weekend by her friends who rushed her to the hospital, but was confirmed dead on arrival.

“She ended her life after her boyfriend ended their relationship. During the course of their misunderstanding, Henry stopped taking her calls; rather an unknown female was the one answering the calls.

“Unable to live with the realisation that the man she spent all her savings on was likely cheating and acting uninterested in their relationship, Olivia took the move of ending her life,” a source said.

“She left a Whatsapp message for one of her friends about taking her life,” a friend of the deceased posted.

Godswill Chinecherem Okoro, the Students Union Government’s Director of Information and Publicity, of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic also confirmed the incident in a statement.

He said, “Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana loses student to suicide over heartbreak. Miss Olivia James, An undergraduate student of Library and Information Science (LIS), Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana, Ebonyi State, has reportedly committed suicide over a heartbreak.

“The Student was said to have drunk a substance suspected to be sniper and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was confirmed dead on arrival. Sources available said that she committed suicide because of her boyfriend who left her.

“A student of the Polytechnic described her death as "Unfortunate". May her Soul find rest, Amen.”

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