Economy

NEPZA mulls incentives, loans for enterprises in Free Trade Zones

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Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), says the agency is considering incentives and loans for enterprises operating in Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in the country.


Adesugba stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sideline of a two-day familiarisation tour of the FTZ Kano on Wednesday.

He noted that the concept of the FTZ was to made factories competitive within the sovereignty of Nigeria.

The Managing Director said: “The whole idea is to cut transportation of goods from foreign countries into Nigeria.

“In Free Trade Zones, we have incentives such as turfs, duty free for goods entering the zones for production process and provision of infrastructure in terms of energy, good roads and warehouses.

“And Nigeria will not exempt from trying to attract investment in FTZ, the Federal Government is concentrating on providing standard infrastructure that can compete anywhere in the world.

“The current administration is paying attention to developing the infrastructure in FTZ and we can see that from the experience of Kano Zone.

“Most of the companies we visited in FTZ Kano are full of praises even though we have not reached there.”

Adesugba disclosed that NEPZA would soon embark on procurement process to boost power supply in the FTZ across the country.

He said that the Agency was also working to upgrade water supply through the provision of adequate pumps to the industries in the Kano zone.

The Managing Director added that the Agency would work in collaboration with the Kano State Government to supply water to the zone from the Kano Water Board.

NEPZA is to improve on infrastructure of the group network and residences for the investors which are expected to be completed soon.

“We hope to continue to improve on the facilities in the free zones so that the FTZ in Nigeria can be seen as up to the international standard.

“The Federal Government is more particular about ensuring that all the basic things needed are available in all the FTZ administered by NEPZA,’’

Commenting further, Adesugba said security was critical to the operations of the FTZ, adding that proactive measures had been evolved to secure the zones to attract investors.

He said the Agency would provide additional accommodation and other facilities to improve the wellbeing of security personnel in the zones.

NAN reports that Adesugba inspected ongoing construction of the investors’ residence and other viable projects as well as some industries in the FTZ Kano.

Some of the Enterprises visited include: Saby Foods; AFRI Packs, YES Plastic, TOP FRANK FTZ, MUFEX Wires and Cables Limited and MARSHALL Biscuits.

Mr Sulaiman Tanko and Abdullatif Gujba, Managing Directors of AFRI Packs and YES Plastic, respectively, commended Adesugba for the visit.

They also urged the Agency to address epileptic power supply in the zone to enhance their operations.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/nepza-mulls-incentives-loans-for-enterprises-in-free-trade-zones/

COVID-19

NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded  97 new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the country, bringing the total confirmed cases to 57, 242 nationwide.


The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .

It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.

Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.

The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.

Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.

According to the NCDC, the 36 states and FCT have now recorded at least one confirmed case of the virus.

“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.

NCDC stated that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued  to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ncdc-records-97-new-covid-19-infections-total-cases-now-57-242/
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General news

Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.

The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had  heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.

Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director,  Ruth Ango over the matter.

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.

According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.

NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.

The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.

Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.

NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.

SYC/

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/buhari-holds-closed-door-meeting-with-ghanaian-president-at-aso-villa/
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Sport

Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says

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Ndudi Edede, Secretary-General of Nigerian Teqball Federation (NTF), says Nasarawa state will host the first edition of the National Teqball Challengers Series scheduled to kick off on Nov. 7.


Edede disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday after a meeting between the federation’s national and state officials.

He urged Nasarawa state officials to step up preparations for the series.

”Nasarawa state will serve as a litmus test for the series in view of the fact that the 2020 series will be the maiden series in the country since the commencement of the sport in Nigeria.”

Edede said the first phase of the event would be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and would provide an opportunity for youths to learn something new.

He added that the second phase of the event would then hold on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 also in Lafia.

“We had Nasarawa state and the FCT bidding for the hosting rights, and now we are certain that this event will take place in Lafia.

“The national challengers series is a qualifier for the Teqball World Cup slated for Europe towards the late part of this year. So, I am sure Lafia will be a good host,” Edede said.

Speaking also, Promise Uwaeme, NTF’s Director of Competition, said the event in Lafia would be streamed live internationally.

He added that athletes from various states of the country would compete in the singles and doubles events of the competition’s  male and female categories

Uwaeme added that winners in various categories would represent Nigeria at the international level.

“Teqball is an interesting game and you have to be skillful to play teqball. It is played on a curved table with a regular certified ball. You can play with all parts of the body apart from the hands.

“Then the championship will help our players to get world ranking,” he said.

David Allu, The Nasarawa State Chairman of NTF, expressed happiness with the hosting rights given to the state.

He assured the national officials of a strong synergy between the state’s Ministry of Youths and Sports and the NTF, saying this would ensure the events were a huge success.

“We are quite excited that we will be the first state to host this Challengers Series in the country and we will put in our best to collaborate with the state Ministry of Sports to see that we get a befitting venue and get all the arrangements to host this tournament done.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that teqball is a ball sport played on a curved table, combining elements of football and table tennis.

Back and forth, the players hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.

Teqball can be played between two players as a singles game, or between four players as a doubles game.

The game is represented at an international level by the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).

OB/

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/nasarawa-state-to-host-teqball-championship-in-november-official-says/
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Defence/Security

Ebonyi bus accident: FRSC, Police confirm 3 more bodies retrieved from river

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has confirmed the recovery of three more corpses from the Akeze-Ukwu River after a Mercedes 608-model bus plunged into the river on Sept.18.


The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the bus conveying members of a Church who attended their pastor’s burial was returning to Enugu when the accident occurred.

The bus driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle while trying to overtake an articulated vehicle on the bridge.

Mrs Stella Uchegbu, the FRSC Sector Commander in Ebonyi, told NAN on Sunday evening that the retrieved corpses were deposited at the Mater Misericordae hospital Afikpo.

Uchegbu said that the corps sent its personnel to the hospital, where some rescued victims were being treated, to interact with doctors on the true reports concerning the ‘unfortunate’ incident.

“We have been getting conflicting reports on the casualties so we sent our personnel to the hospital to interact with the doctors handling the cases.

“We were able to ascertain that seven persons were actually rescued from the river on the day of the incident instead of five earlier reported.

“One person was confirmed dead, two persons are presently on admission, two have been officially discharged while two opted to return home having sustained no injuries from the incident,” she said.

Ughegbu said that with the 14 corpses retrieved from the river on the second day of the rescue operations and the three other corpses retrieved on Sunday, the total number of retrieval is 24.

According to her, the total number of dead victims is now 18.

Also, the Ebonyi command of the Nigerian Police Force confirmed in a stateement the retrieval of three more corpses on Sunday, adding that a retired police officer was among the deceased persons.

The statement signed by DSP Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer, said that “the lifeless body of retired CSP Livinus Mbah was among the retrieved corpses.

“Efforts are still on to recover the remaining 10 persons,” it stated.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ebonyi-bus-accident-frsc-police-confirm-3-more-bodies-retrieved-from-river/
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