Dr Inyang Asibong, Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, who monitored the exercise in Ikot Ene-Obong and Ikot Effanga Mkpa communities both in Calabar Municipality, said the exercise was to assess the beneficiaries level of progress.
Asibong said that the YESSO programme, which is supported by the World Bank, is targeted at improving the financial status of the vulnerable in the society.
According to her, the exercise marks the end of the CBT batch, which will usher in a new batch of the programme for more beneficiaries to be captured.
“If you recall, President Muhammadu Buhari had months ago given a directive that at least one million people should be captured under the vulnerable register across the country.
“The Cross River Government did not rest on its oars; we have actually started the process because Gov. Ben Ayade is desirous to see that the vulnerable are captured in the new register.
“The evaluation exercise is to help us know how the last batch of beneficiaries have fared so far with the stipends they received monthly.
“We get the data from the communities and capture them into the register and this exercise is going on smoothly across the state,” she said.
Asibong disclosed that over 10,000 beneficiaries were currently benefiting from the YESSO programme across the state and 12,000 beneficiaries for the Conditional Cash Transfer.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria that the effort was to reduce the poverty index of the state.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Grace Sunday, thanked the World Bank and the Cross River Government for improving her banana business with the stipend.
Another beneficiary, Mr Sunday Akpan, appealed to the Cross River Government to make the payment regular, adding that the stipend had gone a long way in improving his tailoring business.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)https://nnn.ng/c-river-evaluates-vulnerable-households-for-cbt/
Flooding: Kebbi Gov’t assures farmers on dry season farming
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has assured farmers in the state of necessary support to engage in dry season cultivation, taking cognisance of areas affected by flooding.
The governor gave this assurance at the palace of the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammadu Zayyanu-Abdullahi, during a condolence visit to flood-hit communities in the Emirate.
Bagudu commiserated with the people on the losses they suffered, a statement made available to newsmen by his Chief Press Secretary, Abubakar Dakingari, on Saturday said.
He sympathised with them on the recent fatal boat mishap in the area, praying Allah to grant mercies to those who perished.
The governor also conveyed the sympathy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which he sent through the Ministers of Agriculture and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Muhammadu Sabo Nanono and Sadiya Umar Faruk, respectively.
The duo had led a separate delegation to Kebbi to reassure the flood-hit communities of the Federal Government’s commitment to bringing succour to the people.
Bagudu told the Emir that he used the opportunity of the visit to inspect facilities at the Gafara GB Food Factory and areas affected by the flood.
“I have approved the release of between N15 million and N20 million to the local governments affected by the disaster, according to the level of devastation.
“I commend the Emir for his continued support and loyalty to the incumbent administration and assure him that the government will continue to uphold respect to traditional institutions,’’ Bagudu said.
In response, the Emir thanked the governor for the visit and the provision of relief materials to affected persons, which he said, would help to cushion the effect of the flood.
The monarch also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his benevolence to the people of Yauri, especially with the establishment of an electricity sub-station in the town and ongoing roads construction.
“The electricity sub-station has improved economic activities in this area, and I know that the road will no doubt ease the transportation of goods and services.
“I, however, urge the Federal Government to fulfil its pledge of dredging River Niger from Baro to Yauri, to enhance operations of the inland waterways in the area,’’ Zayyanu-Abdullahi said.
He advised all relevant authorities to ensure that dams, rivers and lakes in the country are dredged annually, to remove obstacles hindering free flow of water that could result to flooding.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo
FG set to support 1.7 million businesses, individuals — Minister
Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has stated the Federal Government’s resolve to provide financial support for 1.7 million business entities and individuals across the country in the next three months.
The minister made this known at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) tagged:“Eko Fashion Hub” in Lagos on Friday.
According to her, the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.
She said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.
“The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.
“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs.
“The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September, 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes,” she said.
She said that both schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) being implemented by the Federal Government.
The minister said that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief for the teeming micro businesses in need of space and infrastructural support.
Katagum expressed appreciation to the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for providing a pragmatic and purposeful leadership in establishing a conducive environment that would seamlessly allow MSMEs to grow and prosper.
She congratulated MSMEs across the country and urged the ones in Lagos State to take full advantage of the shared facility as well as the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes to improve their businesses.
“This event is a testimony to the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a conducive environment for operators in the MSME space.
“The establishment of Shared Common Facilities, is one of the key take-away from the organisation of MSME Clinics across the country.
“It is also imperative to state that the provision of Shared Facilities in support of MSMEs, is being complemented by activities in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“It has been established, and rightly so, that Shared Facilities have been found to be effective tools to minimise the infrastructural challenges that have inhibited MSMEs overtime”.
“It is my belief that this initiative has come at the right time for MSMEs in Lagos State in particular, and Nigeria in general,” she said.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Grace Yussuf
Lawmaker promises APC befitting secretariat in Kwara
Rep. Tunji Ajuloopin, member representing Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara, has promised a befitting party secretariat for the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Irepodun local government area of the state.
Ajuloopin made the promise in Omu-Aran, the headquarters of the local government, on Friday during an expanded meeting of the party.
The lawmaker said that irrespective of some of the challenges bedeviling the party either at ward, council or state level, it was still on the right path.
Ajuloopin harped on the need for party supremacy and admonished members not to relent in contributing their quota to the growth of the party.
He urged members to sustain their support for Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration in his bid to deliver on the party’s promises.
He reiterated commitment to the ideal of the party, adding that he would do his best to better the lots of the local government.
Ajuloopin called on all aspirants to remove desperation from their aspiration and support whoever emerged at the party’s primaries, saying the interest of the party should come first.
Mr Shuaib Olarewaju, an APC stalwart, urged all appointees from the local government to familiarise themselves with the structure at the grassroots as there had been complaints of inaccessibility.
He also appealed to the federal government to improve on its job creation so that people could reap more from President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu
NNPC shortlists 78 companies for pipelines rehabilitation bidding
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shortlisted 78 companies to bid for the rehabilitation of oil pipelines and deport infrastructure across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that over 300 companies applied through the official portal published in the national dailies on Aug. 7 and only 78 companies met the expiration time of noon on Sept. 18.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the virtual public bid opening for the rehabilitation of the NNPC group downstream critical pipelines and associated depots/terminal infrastructure on Friday in Abuja, said the corporation was committed to transparency.
Kyari said that the process of selection of companies would be transparent and those who would win the bid would undergo a process of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the corporation to ensure transparency and accountability in all its operations.
He said that this would help the NNPC to deliver its services to all stakeholders efficiently, especially to the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the management of the corporation had aligned to the order.
The GMD said that it was unfortunate that the oil pipelines deteriorated over the years with activities of hoodlums and vandals, forcing its to be underutilised. .
He assured that the technology that would not be compromised by vandals would be deployed by the selected companies for the rehabilitation.
“You know that this project requires huge finances that is why we are adopting BOT, pipelines globally are managed by the private sector. What we are doing today is in line with global best practices.
“The NNPC is challenged because of resources constraints; today, we do not have all the resources required to reform this asset which has become so vulnerable and have lost their values and integrity over the time.
“Some of them are as old as 40 years, they are due for replacement and when you want to do replacement of this scale, we do need a lot of resources, which we don’t have.
“We have decided that we will bring in private partners who will rehabilitate the pipelines, they will fund it, they will operate it with us and ultimately, they will recover their investment from tariff on the pipelines.
“As soon as they recover their costs, earn their margins, they will hand over to the country, that is what we want to do,” he said.
Kyari said that the selected companies would have maximum of two years to deliver on the project, adding that by first quarter of 2021, the names of selected companies would be announced.
In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawal, the representative of the NNPC downstream, said that the corporation operated about 5,120km pipelines across the country.
He said that most of the companies had been inactive due to vandalism and activities of hoodlums on the lines, adding that it had also led to crude oil and revenue loss to the country.
He assured that the process of selection would be transparent as stakeholders were invited as observers to monitor the process.
“We have Infrastructure Concession Regulations Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), among others as our observers,” he said.
“This means that things can be done better in the country, we are happy with the show of interest in PPP, ICRC that will ensure that this project is carried out in a credible manner for Nigeria to see its benefits,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf