FG Remains Committed To Empowering 30 Million MSMEs With Interest-Free Loans, Says Osinbajo – Channels Television

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File Photo: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government remains committed to empowering over 30 million MSME’s in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, who represented the VP, said this on Thursday while giving a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni).

“GEEP’s vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans,” Akande said.

He also debunked reports that the TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products – a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme, had been suspended.

Read Also: INEC To Probe FG’s TraderMoni Scheme

According to him, they are still very much in operation and “so far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls.”

He further explained that “what the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages.”

Read the full statement below…

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

30,000 PETTY TRADERS HAVE RECEIVED TRADER MONI LOANS SINCE AFTER ELECTIONS

*With repayments, some have started collecting 2nd (improved) loans of N15, 000

Contrary to speculations in some quarters, the TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products (MarketMoni and FarmerMoni) – a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme, are still very much in operation, Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), has said.

Mr Akande disclosed this in a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni).

According to him, “So far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls.”

Besides, he added that “what the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages.”

“Consequently, disbursements have continued to happen in the states; for instance, we have had over 28,000 disbursements across 10 states since after the elections. Our priority is ramping up these numbers in the balance of states before we move to phase two of the program after detailed reviews and structural enhancements for larger scale.

Under the Next Level agenda, Trader Moni loans will target ten million petty traders, a significant ramp up from the initial target of two million beneficiaries.

On the role of the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment in the implementation of the scheme, he said, “it is actively involved in the project.”

Mr Akande said, “that ministry is, in fact the oversighting Ministry of Bank of Industry, which is the deploying agency. The office of the Minister executes the GEEP program via the Bank of Industry.

“The governance structure of GEEP includes the office of the Vice President (National Social Investment Office), The Ministry of Trade and Investment, and the Bank of Industry.”

Speaking on measures adopted to enhance repayments, the Presidential Media Aide said GEEP has pioneered innovative solutions to drive repayment compliance.

“Working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), we successfully piloted the concept of the BVN as digital collateral; and we saw repayment go up significantly on the MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.

“For TraderMoni, beneficiaries can pay back at any commercial bank in the country just like a NEPA or WAEC bill; all they need to provide the bank teller with is their phone number. We also developed and successfully piloted scratch cards as a repayment option for beneficiaries who stay kilometres away from the nearest banks in their community. The cards are loaded the same way Telco recharge cards are loaded, thus requiring no new learning curve.

“This improved repayment received compliance to the extent that in January, the Bank of Industry began second level disbursements – disbursements of N15,000 – to beneficiaries in Lagos, Borno, Ogun and Oyo states for trader who had successfully paid back their first N10,000 loans,” Mr Akande disclosed.

According to him, “GEEP’s vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans.”

The GEEP programme, a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) has since inception about two years ago, impacted many lives, improved living conditions and expanded opportunities for ordinary Nigerians to do petty trading as well as small and medium scale businesses.

Under the Trader Moni scheme, an initial N10,000 loan is given to petty traders and once they repay within six months, they can receive a new N15,000 loan and when they repay that they can get another N20,000 loan until they get as much as N100,000

Media & Publicity Unit
Office of the Vice President
21st March 2019

Osun tribunal dismisses APC, Oyetola’s objection

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday held that the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Isiaka Adeleke, challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Gboyega Oyetola has merit.

A three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petition has merit and accordingly dismissed the objections filed by Governor Oyetola, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Adeleke and the PDP in their different petitions had urged the tribunal to declare that he scored the highest lawful votes in the election and should be declared as the winner.

However, Mr Oyetola, APC and INEC filed their notices of preliminary objection against the petition on the grounds that the petition is incompetent. They said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

Delivering the‎ lead ruling of the three-member tribunal, the chairman, Ibrahim Sirajo, held that the objections were misconceived and struck them out.

The tribunal also faulted INEC handling of the relevant documents.

The tribunal said that the CTC should and must be exact replicas of the EC8A pink copies. The discrepancies must, therefore, be explained and justified by the 1st respondent: INEC.

In this instant, INEC failed to explain nor justify the alterations and failed to call any witnesses to justify the alterations.

It held further that the attempt to explain the alterations on the basis of mere correction of errors is not acceptable and the fact that the said errors were consistently made in the disputed areas means it was a deliberate action taken.

However, the court is yet to deliver its judgment on the main suit of who the true winner of the election is. The judgement on the main suit will be delivered later on Friday.

Tribunal dismisses Oyetola, INEC’s objections on Adeleke, PDP’s petition

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Friday dismissed the separate objections filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission against the petition challenging their victory at the September 2018 election.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in the election filed the petition urging the tribunal to declare that he polled the highest lawful votes and should be declared the winner.

But Oyetola, APC and INEC filed their notices of preliminary objection contending the court’s jurisdiction and petition’s competence.

Delivering the‎ lead ruling of the three-man tribunal, Justice Peter Obi, dismissed objections as misconceived before striking them out.

The tribunal added that the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear the petition.

There are two other reserved rulings the tribunal is to deliver before delving into the merit of the petition.

Details shortly…

‘His Services Are Free Of Charge’ — NOUN Apologises To Obasanjo Over N40,000 Salary Comment



The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has apologised to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, over the comment that the institution paid him N40,000 annually as a facilitator in the institution.

Professor Abdalla Adamu, the Vice Chancellor had addressed a press conference on Tuesday on the university’s 8th Convocation, where he made the reference.

According to NAN, Obasanjo had, however, denied the claim, stating that he had never received a dime from the institution for his services. 

In a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, signed by Ibrahim Sheme, NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, the institution noted that the figure was stated as the generic amount the institution paid its facilitators.

The statement read: “While it is true that the VC had told the gathering of journalists and NOUN staff present at the conference that the university had offered the former President, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo a facilitation appointment, the honorarium mentioned in the newspaper publications is the generic amount the university issued in the appointment letters of all facilitators.

“For the records, therefore, we wish to clarify that His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is offering his services as a facilitator to NOUN absolutely free of charge and with no strings attached.

“The former President told the university that his decision was premised on the fact that he is giving back to the society out of the great bounties God and the university have given him.

“For this laudable and patriotic gesture of his, we remain immensely indebted to the former President and elder statesman.”

Felix Edoka, the school registrar, also expressed the university’s regret over the inconveniences and embarrassment the newspaper publications might have caused to him.

The Nigeria Army on Friday, March 22, extended its Show of Force Exercise to six violence-

– The Nigerian Army displays heavy military presence in six violence-prone local government areas in Sokoto state ahead of supplementary elections in the state

– The GOC of 8 Division, Maj Gen. Hakeem Otiki, notes that the show of force exercise is not meant to intimidate the public

– Gen Otiki says the exercise would also serve as warning to hoodlums and other disgruntled elements that might plan or intend to disrupt the upcoming supplementary elections

The Nigerian Army on Friday, March 22, extended its Show of Force Exercise to six violence-prone local government areas in Sokoto state preparatory to the Saturday, March 23, supplementary elections in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected local government areas are Raba, Kebbe, Gada, Goronyo, Sabon Birni and Isa.

Addressing the motorcade before taking off from Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division, Nigerian Army, said the exercise was to arouse public attention to the presence of the military.

READ ALSO: BMO replies Saraki, says he is the biggest loser in 2019 elections

Otiki explained that the exercise was not meant to intimidate the public, but to express army readiness to curtail any form of public disturbance.

He said further that the exercise would also serve as warning to hoodlums and other disgruntled elements that might plan or intend to disrupt the upcoming supplementary elections.

The GOC added that similar exercise was conducted for hours in Sokoto metropolis on Thursday and urged the people to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in ensuring peaceful coexistence in the country.

He, however, cautioned all violators of peace to be wary of the repercussion, stressing that the military were always ready to secure lives and safeguard the nation’s territorial integrity.

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‘’I urge you to feel free and to come out on that day to exercise your civic responsibility at the selected places within the periods.

NAN reports that the exercise was conducted in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Service (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

Okiti urged the officers to be disciplined, adding that discipline was the bedrock of achieving success in all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, March 21, announced that supplementary governorship and others elections would hold in 18 states on Saturday, March 23.

This was contained in a document released by INEC showing supplementary governorship polls will hold in five states including Bauchi where the exercise would be held in 14 local government areas.

In Benue, the exercise will hold in 22 LGAs; in Plateau, 9 LGAs; in Kano, 29 LGAs and in Sokoto, 22 LGAs.

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Protect your vote to make it count – PDP Guber Candidate | Legit TV

David Mark blows hot over alleged killing of NSCDC personnel by policemen

Former Senate President, David Mark, has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Abubakar Adamu, to immediately ensure that the police bring the perpetrators of the killing of a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officer in Abuja to book.

DAILY POST reports that Late Ogar Jombo, an Assistant Superintendent of the NSCDC, was allegedly beaten to death on Wednesday in the presence of his wife and children, when he was stopped by some policemen over alleged violation of traffic law.

The Police Command in response said it has taken into custody two of its officers allegedly involved in the matter which happened in Nyanya, Abuja.

However, Frank Mba, the Force PRO in the statement said that the NSCDC officer slumped at the police station which led to his death.

But Mark, reacting in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mr. Paul Mumeh urged the IG to do all that is needed to unravel the cause of Ogar Jumbo Ochigbo’s death in the hands of the policemen.

Senator Mark lamented what he described as “humiliating experience of Ochigbo’s wife and the kids who witnessed the murder of their father.”

The statement reads: “No matter what the issue or disagreement was, Ogar Ochigbo’s death would have been avoided if the police officers on duty applied wisdom and caution in the discharge of their duties.

“Nothing should be compromised in the investigation, saying, “life is sacrosanct and no one has the right to take another man’s life needlessly.

Mark described the murder as cruel and barbaric and wondered why policemen who ordinarily should protect lives and property are now the harbingers of death.

‘Engaging youths, women in fish production will boost economy’

…As Nigeria spends $1b yearly to import fish

By Elizabeth Uwandu

Dr Patricia Anyanwu, Acting Executive Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine  Research, NIOMR stated that  empowerment of youths and women in fish production will encourage self reliance,  boost the economy and reduce the $1 billion spent yearly to import fish.

Catfish

NIOMR ED, declaring the weeklong training on fish production, fish processing and fish feed production for unemployed youths and women from selected Senatorial districts in Nigeria said that the training was organised as part of the  Green Initiative of President Muhammad Buhari led administration. She explained that the training was timely based on the efforts made in diversifying the economy through agriculture, and the shift in oil dependence.

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Speaking to the participants, Dr Anyanwu said, ” I enjoin you as participants to make good use of the knowledge and skills being taught and shown to you through lectures and practicals on fish production and post harvest technology.

” The fisheries sector and aquaculture now occupy prominent position in the economy of Nigeria. This is because fisheries and aquaculture play major roles  in employment generation; poverty alleviation; food security; and foreign exchange earning etc., especially for the rural poor.

” This is as the total demand for fish in Nigeria for 2015 was 3.26 million tonnes according to the Federal Department of Fisheries. Whereas, total domestic production in the same year was 1.027 million tonnes, part of the deficit of 2.233 million tonnes is met through import.

” Why Nigeria spend over $1 billion importing fish, our goal is to be self sufficient in fish production. As the deficit in fish production can be met through local production by engaging the youths and women in agriculture in a  sustainable manner that will increase fish production and improved standard of living. ” NIOMR CEO said.

She added that part of the ways to sustain the drive for local fish production and post harvest technology was to equip participants with Starter packs.

FG restates commitment to food sufficiency

Her words, ” As trainees after the programme you will be empowered with Starter Pack to kick start their own fish business. The Starter pack is  comprised of one tank; catfish juveniles; bags of fish feed; plastic basins; one scale; one plastic sieve; 25kg bag of salt and one logbook for record keeping.

” I encourage you to use this training in increasing Nigeria’s revenue through local fish production and also improved your standard of living. Effective monitoring will be put in place and there will be provision of networking. ” Dr Anyanwu said.

AFCON U-23 Q: Rohr ready to release Onyekuru, Osimhen and other Super Eagles stars to help Olympics Eagles overturn Libya deficit 9ja

Gernot Rohr is willing to do all within his power to help Olympics Eagles overcome their goal deficit; beat Libya and qualifier for 2019 U-23 AFCON and ultimately the Olympics.

After a shocking 2-0 loss to Libya in Tunisia, the Olympics Eagles have it all to do on Monday to qualify for the second round of the qualification when they tackle Libya in the second leg.

Hence, Gernot Rohr has revealed that he is wiling to let go of the Super Eagles players who fall within the U-23 age to help the Olympics Eagles on Monday despite having to play Egypt the next day.

“We have decided in our solidarity that if we can help the U23s, we will help,” Rohr said at a press briefing in Asaba ahead of today’s 2019 AFCON qualifier against Seychelles.

“We want the U23s to go to Tokyo (2020 Olympics) and also the African championship.

“They have to win 3-0. This is a big challenge.”

Likely Super Eagles call-ups who could be drafted to the U23s would include Flying Eagles stars Ikouwem Udoh and Valentine Ozornwafor, Victor Osimhen and Henry Onyekuru.

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Mikel Obi Not Ready For Super Eagles Return

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is not yet ready for a return to the national team despite playing regularly for his English Championship side, Middlesbrough coach Gernot Rohr has revealed, Completesports.com reports.

Mikel is yet to feature for the Super Eagles since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia fueling speculations he may have called time on his career at the international level.

Rohr assures that the former Chelsea and Tianjin TEDA star is still carrying a little injury on his knee and will only return when he is fully fit and well motivated to lead the team.

“Obi Mikel is playing well at Middlesbrough and he is doing well now, but there is still a little problem with his knee and it is not the moment for him to come back to the team in these conditions,” Rohr said during his pre-match conference ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba.

“There are so many games for him to play for Middlesbrough. They are fighting for a promotional playoff spot. And he told me it’s not the right time to return. But if Obi Mikel is very fit and has the motivation, if he shows that he is better than the other people we have, the door is open

“I’m not like Joachim Low (the German coach) who announced that three players are out of the German national team because you never know what might happen. There could be injury or loss of form.

“We are watching what is happening and we hope he (Mikel) can come back one day because we need experience. We now have more young players than the last list.”

On the Super Eagles’ chances of winning the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations in Egypt, Rohr says his side will remain humble as there are other teams who are top contenders for the title.

“I know my friend Herve Renard is a diplomat. His team are favorite to win the tournament because they are number one in Africa so he’s the natural favorite, but he tries to put other countries ahead. This is a tactic already so I say, Morocco is number 1 in Africa and they are favorites,” Rohr stated.

“Egypt with one of the biggest players in the world are favourites as well. They are also playing at home. Senegal and Tunisia and second and third. We (Nigeria) are No.4 and we have a chance though, but please let them speak while we stay humble.

“To declare that we will win the AFCON is stupid. We have to work, we have young players.”

By Johnny Edward.

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Emilia Clarke Reveals Near-Fatal Brain Aneurysms – Channels Television

In this file photo taken on February 24, 2019 Emilia Clarke arrives for the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Mark RALSTON / AFP

 

“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke suffered two nearly fatal brain aneurysms in the early years of filming the hit series, she said in an essay published Thursday.

The British actress — who plays Daenerys Targaryen on the blockbuster show about to enter its final season — wrote that the first aneurysm rupture struck while she was at the gym in February 2011, just after filming the first season.

“At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged,” the 32-year-old wrote in The New Yorker magazine in her piece entitled “A Battle For My Life.”

“For a few moments, I tried to will away the pain and the nausea,” she continued. “To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, some lines from ‘Game of Thrones.’”

Clarke was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage — a form of stroke triggered by bleeding into areas that surround the brain, which kills about one-third of the patients it strikes.

She was 24 at the time of her first brain surgery, and said the recovery period in which she could not even recall her own name — a condition called aphasia — gave her “a sense of doom.”

“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die,” Clarke said. “My job — my entire dream of what my life would be — centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

The condition passed and Clarke left the hospital one month after her admission — but doctors had found she had a second aneurysm that could rupture at any moment.

“Even before we began filming Season 2, I was deeply unsure of myself. I was often so woozy, so weak, that I thought I was going to die,” Clarke wrote, saying she took morphine between interviews while promoting the acclaimed show.

During a routine brain scan doctors found her growth had doubled in size and decided to operate — a seemingly simple procedure that resulted in major complications and another month in the hospital.

Today, Clarke says she has “healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes,” and helped develop a charity to offer treatment to patients recovering from stroke and brain injuries.

“There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of ‘Thrones,’” Clarke wrote. “I’m so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next.”