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APC Backs Osinbajo, Says Nigeria Needs Good Governance More than Restructuring

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has joined the renewed debate on restructuring, aligning with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s position that Nigeria needs good and accountable governance, more than the rhetoric of restructuring.

The party said as part of its practical approach to implementing restructuring, its committee’s report on restructuring is being considered by the federal government.

Against the background of renewed debate on restructuring particularly between Osinbajo and the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the ruling party said the calls for restructuring by many politicians are often time a populist and opportunistic ploy to latch on and politically exploit simplistic public narratives on the panacea to Nigeria’s problems and not necessarily for its realism and practicability.

In a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabene, APC said the country will never succumb to ethnic champions who promote campaigns to break up the country into tiny bits or other unrealistic and unpatriotic proposals in the name of restructuring.

“Prof. Osinbajo in his well-articulated response to Atiku submitted that what Nigeria requires now is not geographic restructuring but good governance, honest management of public resources, deeper fiscal Federalism and a clear vision for development. APC cannot agree more with Prof. Osinbajo,” the party said.

APC said that past administrations had splashed billions of public funds to convene several national conferences, subsequently left conference reports to gather dust and achieved nothing.

It held that bad governance, corruption, bigotry and other ills remain the limiting factors that continue to hold the country back.

While reacting to Atiku’s campaign on restructuring, the party noted that the former vice president had the opportunity as Chairman of the National Economic Council throughout the eight years of the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration to bring about the desired order but failed to do so.

Similarly, APC said that former Senate President, David Mark, superintended over the federal legislature for eight years but never sponsored a single bill on restructuring.

APC added, “How did he use his office to correct the imbalance in our federation he expresses today? Senator David Mark was Senate president for eight years and never sponsored a motion on restructuring. Today he is promising to restructure the country.

“We must be wary of latter-day converts to the matter of restructuring, exploiting the issue for populist political campaigns.”

APC said, “Just as Osinbajo submitted, good governance involves transparency and prudence in public finance, it involves social justice, investing in the poor and providing jobs and opportunities for the people, particularly young people.

“This remains the focus of the current administration as seen by the several social intervention programmes currently being implemented.”

The ruling party assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration is committed to implementing a new national minimum wage.

In addition, it said the administration is implementing the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme, comprising, GEEP MarketMoni, GEEP FarmerMoni and GEEP TraderMoni being executed by the Bank of Industry and providing interest-free loans to petty traders and artisans across Nigeria.

On the issue of restructuring, APC said that the Buhari administration has a well-articulated roadmap, considering all the issues involved in ensuring a new, well secured, better governed Nigeria with equitable distribution of resources within the component federating units, is being given serious attention.

It said that a Committee on True Federalism chaired by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, had recommended 24 items including, creation of states; merger of states; delegation principle; fiscal federalism; devolution of power and resources between state, federal and local governments in federating units, which summarizes the views of Nigerians.

According to APC, the Buhari administration believes that good, sincere, focussed, and purposeful leadership at all levels will propel the country to its deserved heights.

 

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank

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Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.

The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursements from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648 entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiarieof its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000 to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.

 With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing list of global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year “Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.

The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the mission to empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating

 billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.

The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.

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Dangote Farms Commissions Tomatoes Nursery To Provide Seedlings For Farmers

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In a bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production, Dangote Tomatoes Processing Limited, owned by the younger brother of Africa’s richest man, Sani Dangote, has unveiled a N2.8 billion greenhouse nursery in Kano to supply the best quality tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers.

Speaking on the project, Sani Dangote said the nursery is designed to use the automated Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capacity to process 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12,000 hectares of tomato farm. The pat moose process takes three weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

He stated that Nigeria consumes about 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually and with the establishment of the nursery, “we have created a capacity to triple tomato production, attaining self-sufficiency in tomato production as well as a potentially exporting surplus to neighboring countries.

“Furthermore, this nursery will produce the highest quality tomato seedling available meaning that the farmers can grow the highest yield tomatoes. Currently, the yields produced by Nigerian farmers are less than the global standard. As a result, farmers will be able to earn more income from selling higher volumes of harvests each season.

“Nigeria is on a trajectory to becoming self-sufficient in rice, tomatoes and poultry production. This means that millions of jobs will be created for her citizens.”, Sani Dangote explained.

The African continent imports $40 billion of food annually despite having 65% of the world’s arable land. The public-private model on-going in Nigeria could be adopted by other African countries to also attain self-sufficiency in food production.

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Tony Elumelu Donates Technology Centre To AAU

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Chairman of UBA Group, Tony O. Elumelu, has made the donation of a multipurpose information technology center to his alma mater, Ambrose Ali University.

Through the UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Elumelu has championed the construction of a state-of-the-art multipurpose information technology building, which will benefit the students of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State. The hall, to be named The Tony O. Elumelu multipurpose hall, is furnished with computers, desks, and chairs measure 839 square meters and have adjoining offices and conveniences.

Elumelu highlighted his motivation: “Education is crucial to Nigeria’s human capital – whether our young people join our national institutions, the private sector or, as I did, take the entrepreneurial path, no one can afford to be cut off from the digital world. It has been a personal mission to ensure that the hall was delivered to specification, for the benefit of the students at the AAU. Success brings with it the duty to give back, and I am just grateful that I am now in a position to meaningfully help the next generation”.

The multipurpose hall was formally handed over to the University, at a ceremony attended by members of the University’s governing council and staff, led by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo.

Speaking at the commissioning, UBA’s Directorate Head, South Bank, Mr. Chris Ofikulu, who represented the UBA Group Chairman, highlighted the contribution of UBA, through its Foundation, to education and development across Africa.

‘As a pan-African bank, operating in 20 countries across our continent, UBA is committed to being a socially responsible institution, and a role model for businesses in Africa. The UBA Foundation actively promotes the socio-economic improvement of the communities in which UBA operates, with a particular emphasis on development in the areas of “Education, Environment, and Economic Empowerment”. We believe in intervening and building capacity within communities, facilitating projects that will act as catalysts for social and economic development’ he stated.

“Tony Elumelu is a product of this great university and is conscious of the need to give back and there is no substitute for world-class educational infrastructure, and this is what has informed the construction of these facilities, that will help equip the future leaders of our great nation Nigeria,” he said.

The AAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo, who expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards the gesture by the UBA Group Chairman, noted that one of the most pressing needs of the University for 2020 had been met, and thanked UBA and Mr Elumelu.

He challenged students to make proper use of the facilities provided by UBA and to ensure that they emerge great leaders and mentors like Elumelu, whose commitment to catalyzing entrepreneurial growth across Africa, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and institutionalizing African philanthropy, had created a strong positive role model. ‘We at Ambrose Ali university are so proud of our son Tony Elumelu and every time we see him doing good across Africa, we feel joy and accomplishment’ said Onimawo.

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