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FG suspends Lagos NIN registration over crowd

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The Federal Government may have suspended the National Identity Number registration process in Lagos office of the National Identity Management Commission.

This followed the motley crowd that thronged the office of the NIMC on Monday morning, which prompted the management to shut down the office.

A source at the headquarters of the commission said the decision to put the process on hold in Lagos was because of the embarrassing crowd that came for the NIN enrolment on the first day.

The source added that the fear of COVID-19 spread played a big role in halting the [rocess in Lagos until further notice.

Hundreds of people who visited the NIMC office at Ikeja lamented that they could not be attended to.

They accused the commission of wasting their time as a result of lack of good management.

One fellow claimed to have got to the place as early at 6am said he met over 400 people already in the queue.

PREMIUM TIMES also reported an 85-year-old man, Fatai Akinbile, who was at the NIMC office to correct his date of birth, as expressing how bitter he felt with the entire process.

“I came from Ajah, left the house very early. The issue is they wrote 1953 as my date of birth instead of 1935. I have made attempts to correct it and they referred me to Ikeja,” he said

Akinbile, who claimed he did not understand the announcement that SIM cards would be blocked, said he had been on the process for long and was really fed up.

“I have someone here that offered to help me but when I got here this morning, they say we cannot enter and they are not working,” he said.

Many people said the commission shut down abruptly after distributing forms to some of them.

“They chased everybody saying if we don’t go away, they will call the police. Of a truth, the police arrived shortly,” another person who declined giving his name said.

PREMIUM TIMES said it’s reporter saw police vehicles and some police officers at the entrance of NIMC office with the commission’s doors shut and no official present.

The Federal Government had announced last week that subscribers to all networks in the country are mandated to provide their NIN, else, they would be blocked from using their SIM cards.

The government gave two weeks deadline, after which SIM cards without NIN will be blocked.

Communicating the directive, the spokesperson for the NIMC said the major telephone networks must require all their subscribers to provide their NIN.

“The submission of NIN by subscribers to take place within two weeks (from today December 16, 2020 and end by 30 December, 2020).

“After the deadline, ALL SIMs without NINs are to be blocked from the networks.

“A Ministerial Task Force comprising the Minister and all the CEOs (among others) as members is to monitor compliance by all networks. Violations of this directive will be met by stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating License,” the statement said.

Despite the short notice and outrage by Nigerians, the government said there would be no extension of the deadline.

In a bid to prevent their SIM cards from being blocked, hundreds of Lagos residents on Monday stormed the NIMC office at Alausa, Ikeja.

The office, which opened officially at 8am, had numerous people waiting at the gate as early as 5am to be registered.

The commission’s office was subsequently shut down and many of the enrollees dispersed.

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I don’t need your cheques, Buhari tells contractor

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday charged contractors who have enjoyed government patronage as well as other privileged citizens to use their resources to support less privileged members of society.

 

President Buhari gave the charge when he paid a visit to the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk Umar.

 

He said passing gifts and ‘cheques’ to people in authority or already comfortable to buy favour is not the right approach.

 

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari challenged beneficiaries of government patronage to go to their respective communities and engage in corporate social responsibilities.

 

The President said: “I don’t want your cheque. Go and assist our communities” instead of trying to return kickbacks to public officers, including his office.

 

“We don’t want cheques from anyone or organisation as returns or influence of any kind. Let them remember their Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.

 

The President noted he would love to visit Daura more frequently but for the high cost of presidential movements and exposing security personnel to the weather, assuring his heart remains with the people.

“We are known for farming and I have my farm here. I could come every two weeks and no one can stop me.

“But the cost to the movement is high. I would rather that it be used to better our schools, clinics and hospitals,” said the President.

The President said the grace of God had kept Nigeria together as a country in spite of differences that led to a 30-month civil war

 

“We want to thank God always for keeping us together as a country. From January 15, 1966, the country was thrown into political crisis. We had a 30 months civil war that resulted in the loss of about a million lives.

 

“We still thank God for keeping us together. We remain grateful to all those who showed interest in our unity and progress. May God continue to bless them,” he added.

 

The President, who recalled fond memories of visiting the Palace as a military Head of State, expressed happiness that the warmth and hospitality of the traditional institution had been sustained over the years.

 

At the meeting, the Emir publicly announced conferment of the title of Talban Daura on Yusuf Buhari, son of President Buhari.

 

He said a date would be announced for the turbaning ceremony of the President’s son, which might likely be before his marriage.

 

The Emir also announced creation of a District in the community of the President, with headquarters in Dimurkol.

He said the turbaning of younger Buhari and creation of the District was to further extend and deepen the long relationship between the Palace and the family.

 

He said the decision was in agreement with the kingmakers in Daura Emirate Council.

 

During the visit, the Palace used the opportunity to clarify the difference between two titles, Talban Hausa, given to Alpha Conde, the President of Guinea and Talban Daura designated for Yusuf, the President’s son.

 

The Palace explained that Daura, as the linchpin of the Hausa society had conferred titles that have bearing on the Hausa Kingdom and those that are specific to the Emirate.

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World Bank: Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose five-fold in 10 years

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The World Bank says the unemployment rate in Nigeria rose five-fold in the last 10 years.

From 6.4 percent in 2010 to 33.3 percent at the end of 2020, the Bank said the significant increase affected Nigerian youth in their quest to find gainful employment opportunities.

 

In March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that Nigeria’s unemployment rate climbed to 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2020 from 27.1 recorded in the second quarter (Q2) 2020.

 

The NBS had said a total of 23.18 million persons in Nigeria either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed during the fourth quarter (Q4) 2020.

According to StatiSense, a data technology company, with 33.7 percent, Nigeria ranked top among the list of countries with the highest unemployment rate globally.

 

In its recent report, titled, ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth’, the World Bank said the labour market has significantly worsened following the 2016 recession and COVID-19.

 

The Bank said the acute jobless crises caused socio-economic challenges for the rising working-age population resulting in an increase in the number of citizens seeking asylum and refugee status in other countries.

“The expanding working-age population combined with scarce domestic employment opportunities is creating high rates of unemployment, particularly for Nigeria’s youth,” the report added.

 

“Since 2018, the active labour force population has dramatically decreased to around 70 million—lower than the level in 2014— while the number of Nigerians in the working-age population but not active in the labour force has increased from 29 million to 52 million between 2014 and 2020.

 

“Similarly, Nigeria’s active labour force population, that is, those willing and able to work among the working-age population, grew from 73 million in 2014 to 90 million in 2018, adding 17.5 million new entrants to Nigeria’s active labour force.”

 

The Bank advised Nigerian institutions to promote managed migration approaches that help create opportunities for prospective job seekers to find employment internationally.

It also added that Nigeria to implement and support schemes that increase the returns to human capital investments for youth.

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UK plans new scheme to drive trade with Nigeria

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The United Kingdom government has proposed a new scheme to help Nigeria and other developing countries to drive ‘free and fair’ trade in the post-Brexit.
In 2018, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, had hinted about a new trade deal and economic partnership during her visit to Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday, United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the new plan will replace the UK’s generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) in 2022.
The statement added that the new scheme, Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), will be an opportunity for the UK to grow free and fair trade with developing countries, boost the economy and support jobs in these countries as well as for British citizens.
The scheme aims to contribute to developing countries’ integration into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment partners for the future and strengthening supply chains.
“The UK currently operates a similar scheme rolled over from the EU, but as an independent trading nation we can now take a simpler, more generous, pro-growth approach to trade with developing countries,” it stated.
“The UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme will apply to 47 countries in the Least Developed Country Framework (LDCF) and 23 additional countries classified by the World Bank as low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
“The proposed new UK scheme will mean more opportunity and less bureaucracy for developing countries, for example by simplifying rules of origin requirements or reducing tariffs on imports. For instance, this could mean lowering tariffs on products including rice from Pakistan and raw materials from Nigeria.”
Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary, said cutting tariffs for poorer countries enabled them to trade their way to genuine independence.
International trade secretary, Liz Truss, said trade fundamentally empowers people and has “done more than any single policy in history to lift millions of people around the world out of poverty.”
“Now the UK is an independent trading nation we have a huge opportunity do things differently, taking a more liberal, pro-trade approach that leads to growth and opportunity.
“Countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam have proven it’s possible to trade your way to better living standards, and our new Developing Countries Trading Scheme will help others do the same.”
Emma Wade-Smith OBE, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for Africa, said: “The DCTS scheme signals the UK’s strong appetite to promote free and fair trade.
“It is a demonstration of our commitment to help boost economic growth and prosperity in Africa, by enabling businesses there to access the UK market more easily.
“The UK is committed to strengthening our commercial relationship with African partners.
“The new DCTS scheme will create a smoother path for companies to export to the UK. I encourage the African business community to contribute to this important consultation.
“We want to hear a range of views and perspectives, to ensure the scheme targets those areas that will have the greatest positive impact on growing our bilateral trade”.
In line with the development, the British government launched an eight-week public consultation on the UK future tariff schedule and policies in relation to the GPS that began on July 19 and will close on September 12, 2021.
It also invites views from Nigerian businesses and stakeholders with interest across the globe to send responses to the consultation via this link until September 12 closing date.
The scheme is targeted at 47 least developed countries and 23 low income and lower-middle-income countrie

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