Nigeria to reopen land borders soon – Finance minister – Newstrends
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Nigeria to reopen land borders soon – Finance minister

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  • Says no issue with federal workers’ salaries

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the nation’s land borders closed in August 2019 will be reopened soon.

She stated this during an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

Already, she said the presidential committee set up on the matter had completed its job and recommended the reopening of the borders.

The committee would soon submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister who chairs the committee said, adding that a formal pronouncement would be made on the matter thereafter.

She said, “Mr President has set up a committee that I chair, alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other ministers, including Interior, Customs, Immigration, the security services, to review and advise him on the issue of border closure.

“The committee has just completed its work and we’ll be submitting our report. I’ve signed my copy; I gave everybody to sign between today and tomorrow so that we can submit the report to Mr President.”

she also spoke on the plan to save the economy from recession, saying the administration hoped to use the Economic Sustainability Plan to rescue the economy from its current situation.

She said that the government already anticipated the current recession and had designed the ESP to help fast-track its exit from the economic woe, adding that so far the plan was still very much on track and that the economy was expected to come out of recession in the first quarter of 2021.

She said, “The steps that were taken involved a vigorous implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan. You will recall that the ESP was designed to be a 12-month plan, to act as a bridge between the ERGP and its successor plan. Also, it was designed specifically to help us quickly exit recession, which we had projected was going to happen.

“So the ESP implementation is really on course; it’s focused and the implementation of the 2020 budget is really on course and very focused. We have been able to release a large volume of capital funding into ministries, departments and agencies, enabling a lot of public works going on simultaneously all over the country.

“So how we will maintain this is to make sure we continue to implement the ESP as it is planned. It will help us exit recession; it will help us reset back on the path of growth and on a road that is sustainable.”

Asked if there were plans to withdraw and rework the 2021 budget proposal which was with the National Assembly in view of the recent announcement of the contraction of the economy, the minister said, “We are not planning to retrieve the budget or reverse the budget beyond the work of appropriation that the National Assembly is currently doing in consultation with us.”

The minister explained the cause of delay in the payment of federal workers’ salaries, saying, “There’s no issue with federal workers’ salary. We have paid salaries for November and we shall pay salaries for December so there’s no issue at all with federal workers’ salary.

“If you hear about any issue, it is for agencies whose budgets funding on the GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System) was exhausted and we are about to make an adjustment to them.

“When we were doing the 2020 budget, we made estimates of the consequential adjustment that is required as a result of the minimum wage and we had sent the budget before a decision and approval was taken on the consequential adjustment. So, it is anticipated that some agencies might run short and we made a block provision in the service-wide vote of the budget.

“So when we have such a situation, what we simply do is remove funds from the service-wide vote to the agency so that they pay their budget; so there’s no problem of payment of salaries at all.”

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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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