CACOVID unfolds N150bn youth devt project, four million jobs – Newstrends
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CACOVID unfolds N150bn youth devt project, four million jobs

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  • Okays N100bn to equip police, destroyed stations

The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) says it has set aside N150 billion for a youth development programme to support the Federal Government’s job creation initiative.

The private sector-led coalition also said it planned to spend N100 billion in the next two years to renovate and buy rifles as well as other security gadgets for the Nigeria Police Force, with special focus on the 44 police stations destroyed by hoodlums in the wake of the #EndSARS protest against police brutality.

Co-Chair, CACOVID and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, gave the detailed projects at a media briefing in Lagos on Wedneday.

He spoke in the company with the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; and Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Chief Herbert Wigwe.

Emefiele said, “As a result, CACOVID has committed to creating a high impact youth development programme that will provide technical and vocational education to over four million Nigerian youths over the next five years.

“Students will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria.”

According to him, selected students on the conclusion of the programme will be certified by the appropriate standards board and will be eligible to receive loans to support their entrepreneurial pursuits.

“So far, over N25 billion will be domiciled in a fund to support these entrepreneurial pursuits, which would also include acquisition of related equipment to conduct business activities.

“The ultimate objective is to provide young Nigerians with employable skill sets that will enable them to live a gainful life. We believe this initiative can lead to the creation of over four million jobs over the next five years,” he added.

For the out-of-school graduates that possess certain entrepreneurial skills, Emefiele also said CACOVID would be working with the Bankers’ Committee to complete the creative centre at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos in four select areas namely: ICT and software design / development, fashion, music, and movies.

The project is expected to cost the Bankers’ Committee over N40 billion, he said.

“Given the impact, the unrest had on the conduct of business activities, members of CACOVID has committed to developing a business continuity plan that will enable businesses and firms to share timely information and resources to forestall physical or cyber-attacks, which could derail the smooth functioning of business activities in the country,” he stated.

However, Emefiele while rendering account of the activities of the private sector-led initiative, said the group received a total of N39.64 billion as donations from members of the private sector and spent N43.272 billion on various interventions, including N28.7 billion on food relief, as palliatives to 1.7 million households translating to eight million Nigerians.

He explained that the ultimate objective of CACOVID is to work with the government in providing support in areas that would result in improved health and societal outcomes.

He said the group sought to aid the government in improving testing capability, and management of positive cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

In addition, CACOVID was expected to provide palliatives to vulnerable members of the society, particularly those who earn daily incomes, and had been severely affected by the lockdown.

He thanked Nigerians and businesses that supported CACOVID in its efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, as well as in catering for vulnerable Nigerians.

He said banks and financial institutions would extend reliefs through concessionary loans to affected businesses and firms, to enable them to rebuild and restock their stores and continue to conduct their business activities.

 

Emefiele said to further strengthen the security apparatus in the country, CACOVID has committed to providing over N100 billion to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigerian Police Force over the next two years as its contribution to fully modernise the Nigerian police.

“Providing adequate security is not only the task before the government but also that of the private sector,” he said.

The CBN governor said owners of business premises desire a secure environment to conduct their legitimate businesses.

“We, therefore, seize this opportunity to once again, appeal to members of the private sector, who we will be calling on again, to rally round CACOVID to secure not only our businesses but also our country,” he said.

Speaking at the briefing, Dangote explained that training the youths on technical and vocational jobs would also enable the federal government to draw a database on various skills for vocational jobs.

He said: “We would have a database so that you don’t just call an armed robber to your house. You can go into that data and call someone. We all have repairs, and with that data, you can know who to call for repairs.

“What we are doing is that we are providing them with money to buy tools. So as soon as they get the training which is free, which we are paying for, then they have the guarantee that they would get jobs.

“We have about 30,000 workers at our (Dangote) site, which we are planning to get to 50,000. Only 25 to 28 per cent of that would be foreign workers and the rest will be Nigerians who would be trained.”

Elumelu assured Nigerians that CACOVID will support the federal government.

He said: “The CBN governor has done extremely well. We used to be in banking together, but I didn’t realise his level of passion for the country until we started CACOVID.

“With the level of passion, every day since March this year, we spent several hours discussing how to intervene in the economy through CACOVID.

“So, at times when you hear things outside, you begin to shake your head and say if only people knew the efforts being made by the CACOVID leadership. We had people stay awake throughout the night.”

He noted that it was not easy to reopen the economy, adding that to get the airlines to start flying they had to assure the government that things would happen in certain ways and that they provided money for certain things.

“All I will say is that let’s have a bit of patience. The private sector in Nigeria is committed to poverty alleviation because poverty anywhere affects any of us. So, let’s work together to create more jobs,” he said.

Wigwe said: “Every transformation comes with its own pain and hitches. CACOVID right from inception came to help with the issue that came with COVID-19 and also to protect the livelihoods of people.

“Obviously in that process, there would be hitches from time to time. As we share more information, people will have a clear picture of what we are trying to do. The most important thing has to do with issues of employment.”

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Senate kicks against removal of electricity subsidy 

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Senate kicks against removal of electricity subsidy 

 

The Senate has opposed an attempt to increase electricity tariff through the removal of subsidy.

It asked the Federal Government to drop the plan to remove subsidies on electricity.

The decision came on Wednesday after Aminu Iya Abbas, senator representing Adamawa central, and 10 others sponsored a motion against the removal of electricity.

The red chamber asked its committee on power to probe a claim by Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu,

that the government owes N1.3 trillion and $1.3 billion to generating companies (GenCos) and gas companies.

Last week, Adelabu said Nigeria’s debt to generation and gas companies was N3 trillion, adding that paying subsidy on electricity was no longer sustainable.

While moving the motion, Abbas said the electricity tariff could not be increased because a large number of Nigerians are living below the “poverty line”.

“In addition to the high cost of living being experienced in the country, the unmetered customers who are owners of small and medium enterprises are adversely impacted by this level of exorbitant electricity charges and by implication have their businesses affected,” the senator said.

“While the prospect of the new electricity act, 2023 of ensuring accurate electricity charges will be negated if DISCOs are not investigated to ascertain the current statistical data on unmetered customers, poor provision of electricity service despite exorbitant tariff and regulatory role of NERC which leaves much to be desired.”

The senate also told the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to come up with a lasting solution to the energy billing system.

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Jetour unveils another SUV, X70 Plus, with elegant features

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Jetour unveils another SUV, X70 Plus, with elegant features

Jetour has flaunted to the Nigerian SUV lovers features of its new model, X70 Plus, also called Elegance in this market.
The auto Jetour Mobility Service says in a statement that the model is coming with stylish design and outstanding power.
“Looking for a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that is pragmatic, stylish, and comfortable, delivering power on demand? Then the Jetour X70 Plus, newly introduced in Nigeria by Jetour Mobility Services, is what you desire. The Jetour X70 Plus has both 1.5T 6DCT and 1.6T 7DCT just like the Dashing,” it states.
It is equipped with a 20-inch aluminum wheel hub featuring light weight, higher firmness, faster heat dissipation and better aesthetics, which enhances better fuel consumption, stability and safety.

Still on the exterior features, the vertically aligned transparent LED light, as well as the shark fin antenna improves safety and reduces wind resistance respectively.

According to Jetour, “its impressive grill, large wheels and four LED daytime running lights perfectly complements its bold and muscular look. Featuring a wide, captivating, 62-inch ultra-wide angle panoramic roof that enhances your drive with natural lighting and ventilation.”

The Jetour X70 comes with a number of other features such as a touch screen panel that controls the air conditioning system; infotainment system compatible with latest generation smart phones; digital cockpit; front and rear parking radars; and a 10.25- inch full LCD Dual smart screen.

Its rear seat can be folded for increased cargo space, and the automatic luggage door makes access to the luggage compartment easier.

The vehicle also comes with intelligent air purification system, intuitive infotainment system, advanced wireless technology, 360-degree parking system and electrical 6-directional control driver seat.

Other features include cruise control, lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring, keyless engine start, keyless entry start, multi-functional steering wheel, anti-lock brake system, front and back air bags and tyre pressure monitoring system.

Jetour X70 Plus advanced safety and stability features also include Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, electronic stability.

Paired with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, the vehicle’s 1.6 litre turbo engine produces maximum of 197 horsepower, facilitating better fuel consumption efficiency.

The suspension system has been engineered to withstand both On-road and Off-road terrain, be it city drive or highway drive.

The Jetour X70 Plus, known for its charming and radiant appearance and friendly ambience, comes in a variety of colours such as red, gray, blue among others.

With an apt slogan of Drive Your Future, Jetour is a product of a well-established family, the Chery Holding Group, with more than 120 billion Yuan in total asset.

Based on 23 years of production experiences, Chery Holding Group has sold over 8.5 million cars, exports exceed 1.6 million cars, and it has ranked number one in China’s passenger vehicle export 18 years in a row.
Deriving its name from two words: Jet + tour, the Nigerian representative says that the name connotes: “convenient tour”, meaning that clients who work hard in many industries can finally enjoy the benefit of their wonderful and happy lifestyle, because every moment on the road is worth cherishing and remembering.

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Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

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Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

The officers of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, raided and arrested over 50 illegal Bureau De Change operators in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja, over the continued free fall of the Naira in the Foreign Exchange Market, News Direct reports.

Dayyabu Mistila, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4, disclosed this to News Direct on Monday.

According to Mistila, the operatives said the raid was because of the rising exchange rate of the US dollar and other currencies against the Naira at the forex market.

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“Around 3 pm on Monday, officers of EFCC raided Wuse Zone 4 and arrested over 50 of our members. They were complaining that BDC operators are responsible for the rising exchange rate of the Dollar, the parallel exchange market”.

When asked the rate of Dollar to Naira on Monday, he told our Correspondent that it traded for N1,660 per Dollar.

Similarly, official FMDQ data showed that Naira dropped to N1574.62 per US dollar on Monday.

Efforts to speak with the spokesperson, Dele Olyewale, were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

News Direct recalls that the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso and the Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, met on February 3 2024, in an effort to curb the continued fall of the Naira in FX market.

Naira freefall: EFCC raids BDC operators in Abuja, arrests 50

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