Taxi drivers, okada riders receive FG N30,000 COVID-19 grant – Newstrends
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Taxi drivers, okada riders receive FG N30,000 COVID-19 grant

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The Federal Government says it has commenced the disbursement of N30,000 grant to each intra-city transport operator such as taxi drivers, commercial motorcycle (okada) riders and even cart pushers as a means to support those affected by COVID-19 pandemic under its economic sustainability plan (ESP).

A statement signed by Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, confirmed this on Sunday.

The funds are being disbursed under the federal government’s micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) survival fund scheme for artisans and transporters.

The transport support track opened on November 30, 2020, after the artisans’ support track launched on October 1, 2020.

According to the statement, the artisans track is under the government’s survival fund, while the transport track is a different scheme also under the same fund.

Those to benefit from this initiative are ride-hailing drivers (Uber and Bolt); taxi and bus drivers; keke Napep and okada riders; and cart pushers.

“While verified artisans have started receiving the N30,000 one-time grants, Nigerians operating in the transport business – including ride share drivers (Uber, Bolt, etc.), taxi drivers, bus drivers, keke napep riders, okada riders, cart pushers etc., now have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme,” the statement read.

“Under this artisan support scheme, a total of 333,000 artisans and transport business operators nationwide will get one-time operations grant of N30,000 per beneficiary to reduce the effects of income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There will be a total of 9,009 beneficiaries per state for both artisan and transport beneficiaries. Of this number per state, there will be a total of 4,505 beneficiaries under the transport scheme, while the remaining 4,504 will be artisan beneficiaries.”

The government encouraged interested parties to apply through their registered associations, such as the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Keke Riders’ Association, Okada Riders’ Association, among others.

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Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

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Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

The Naira yesterday appreciated in the parallel market to N1,485 per dollar from N1,490 per dollar on Wednesday.

However, the Naira depreciated to N1,485.36 per dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, NAFEM.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N1,485.06 per dollar from N1,483.02 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating N2.04 depreciation for the naira.

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Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to 36 kobo per dollar from N6.98 per dollar on Wednesday.

Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

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R.T. Briscoe begins conversion of vehicles to run on CNG/LPG 

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R.T. Briscoe begins conversion of vehicles to run on CNG/LPG 

R.T. Briscoe Plc has commenced conversion of petrol and diesel vehicles to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Group Managing Director of the company, Mr Seyi Onajide, disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.

He also unveiled a number projects embarked upon by the company including securing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise N10 billion through a savings and investments scheme.

Onajide said the automotive division of the conglomerate decided to set up a CNG/LPG conversion facility in line with the Federal Government’s CNG initiative (Pi-CNG).

“We started the conversion of petrol or diesel engine cars into CNG and LPG without government funding and we believe it is the future of automobile industry. We have successfully done that on some pick-up vehicles,” he said.

The R.T. Briscoe CEO said the company had submitted a proposal to the Presidential CNG committee.

“They invited us to participate in the CNG initiative. We believe that the average vehicle owner in Nigeria and even commuters can benefit from this initiative because it has a lot of benefits. It will save costs for the motoring public,” he said.

Onajide said the CNG conversion kits being used are manufactured in Europe with one of the best global rating standards .

He added that the automotive division of the R.T. Briscoe has well-trained technical and professional team that could handle the installation.

Even as he noted that the future looked promising, he observed the initiative could be impeded by the non-availability of CNG and LPG refilling stations and expressed support for a hybrid model.

He said, R.T. Briscoe had approached some corporate institutions that are fleet owners that have justifiable reasons to build gas-refilled plants on their premises.

According to him, until gas-refilling stations are readily available, CNG would be limited to big organisations that could house and store gas.

The highpoint of the event was the inspection with a test drive of the finished vehicles converted to run on CNG.

RT Briscoe Plc is engaged in the sales and servicing of Toyota vehicles, technical services, material handling and property development and management.

The Presidential CNG Initiative (Pi-CNG) is a component of the palliative intervention of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration directed at providing succour to the masses occasioned by the hardships of the fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government.

With a projected $2.5 billion investment by 2027, the Presidential CNG Initiative plans to drive Nigeria towards a sustainable and prosperous future, where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive.

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Inflation rises again, now 33.95% on soaring food, beverage prices

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Inflation rises again, now 33.95% on soaring food, beverage prices

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.95 per cent in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Saturday.

This was largely due to prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages that continued to surge.

The NBS gave the details in its latest consumer price index (CPI) report.

In April, the inflation rate stood at 33.69 per cent.

“Looking at the movement, the May 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.26% points when compared to the April 2024 headline inflation rate,” NBS said.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.54% points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023, which was 22.41%.”

The report also showed that on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 2.14 percent, which was 0.15 percent lower than the 2.29 percent rate reported in April 2024.

This means that in the month of May, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in April 2024.

An analysis of the top five headline inflation drivers showed food and non-alcoholic beverages led with 17.59 percent.

Following closely are housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with 5.68 percent.

Others are clothing and footwear at 2.60 percent, transport at 2.21 percent, with furnishings, household equipment and maintenance completing the list at 1.71 percent.

NBS said on a year-on-year basis, the urban inflation rate rose to 36.34 percent in May, “which was 12.61% points higher compared to the 23.74% recorded in May 2023”.

“On a month-on-month basis, the Urban inflation rate was 2.35% in May 2024, this was 0.32% points lower compared to April 2024 (2.67%),” NBS said.

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