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Agricultural investment likely to fail if insecurity persists — LCCI to FG

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By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

The Lagos Chamber for Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has cautioned the federal government to tackle insecurity to reap its investments in agriculture.

This was enumerated in a press statement signed by the Director General of the association, Dr. Chinyere Almona FCA, yesterday as a review on the new year’s address of the country’s President, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The statement reads, “LCCI cautions that the productivity of the farmlands and the effectiveness of investments in food production are subject to adequate security measures. Investment in agriculture has a limited chance of success as long as the Government fails to deal with the security issues.

“LCCI recommends that the Government consider fast-tracking the movement of the Police from the Exclusive list to the Concurrent list to be legislated upon by the Federal and State Governments. This will guarantee effective policing of the nooks and crannies of the society, particularly the farmlands.”

According to the DG, “As the voice and representative of the business community, we acknowledge the challenges faced in the past year and commend the President for his commitment to addressing critical issues that impact the economic landscape of Nigeria.

”The Chamber carefully reviewed the President’s speech as he highlighted vital aspects of his administration’s achievements and challenges faced and outlined plans to address these critical concerns.”

The DG further explained that LCCI has identified positive and concerning elements from the address to foster constructive dialogue and provide a comprehensive analysis. Stating that the commitment to power projects, including the Siemens Energy initiative and efforts to enhance the reliability of transmission lines, is a positive step towards addressing the critical issue of electricity supply, which aligns with the business community’s aspirations for a robust and diversified economy.

Dr Chinyere however noted that there is an urgent need to address the structure of the power sector.

“The Government needs to consider bringing private sector investment into the transmission segment of the power sector. This would ensure adequate technical and financial capacity for a well-functioning sector to power economic growth.

“The announcement of a new national living wage is a positive step towards ensuring the well-being of workers and promoting inclusive economic growth. The dedication to creating a conducive business environment is commendable.

“The assurance to simplify fiscal and tax policies, the commitment to removing obstacles hindering business competitiveness, and the call for collaboration with the private sector resonate well with the Chamber’s vision for a thriving business environment.”

The DG expressed that LCCI believes that while removing the fuel subsidy was necessary, its impact on individuals, families, and businesses, leading to discomfort, must be carefully managed.

She said, “The potential ripple effects on the cost of living and inflation must be closely monitored. Acknowledging the challenges of high inflation (above 28 percent) and an unacceptable under-employment rate is crucial. However, specific strategies to address these issues were not mentioned, leaving room for concerns about the impact on citizens.

”While efforts to address security challenges were mentioned, specific details on comprehensive security strategies were limited. The acknowledgment that security problems are not entirely solved raises questions about the effectiveness of current measures.”

LCCI commended the commitment to building a fair and equitable society and addressing inequalities.

Nonetheless, she expressed that specific policy measures to close the widening wealth gap are unclear. Despite the setting parameters for the evaluation of ministers and heads of agencies mentioned, there is a need for transparency in these evaluations to ensure accountability and performance improvement.

The Chamber urged the administration to provide more detailed plans and strategies to tackle these challenges, such as inflation, under-employment, security, and social inequality.

 

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Fidelity Bank MD commends Air Peace London service

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The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, has commended Air Peace for its Lagos to London operations.

Onyeali-Ikpe gave the commendation in a statement signed by the airline’s Corporate Communications lead, Mr Stanley Olisa, on Monday in Lagos.

She commended the airline’s giant strides and financial discipline which it has upheld since inception.

She said, “Air Peace has been very loyal to us. We are grateful to have them as our client.

“We are celebrating their milestone of launching direct flight service to London and other milestones they will achieve,” Onyeali-Ikpe said.

The Chairman, Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, who said it was not easy to attain the current status, expressed unreserved gratitude to the flying publics, aviation stakeholders, media and government for the support shown so far.

He acknowledged the role played by former Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Ben Adeyileka, in helping the airline secure its Airline Operator Certificate (AOC).

The Air Peace boss thanked Fidelity Bank for the consistent support and stressed that the bank had contributed to the success story of the airline.

Onyema said Air Peace was committed to its Corporate Service Responsibility (CSR), to empower Nigerians economically by creating employment and not to profiteer.

He highlighted how the airline never fails to engage in humanitarian interventions for Nigerians, especially the numerous evacuation flights at critical times,

“Air Peace was not borne out of the intent to profiteer but to create jobs.

“Air Peace was not established because I wanted more money but because of the conviction that running an airline would create massive job opportunities. That was why we went into aviation.”

Appreciating the bank for its support, Onyema said, “I call it our journey with Fidelity Bank. I did not envisage this day would come when an indigenous institution would be celebrating another indigenous institution.

“Fidelity supports real business. They keep removing people from the streets of poverty. Let other banks emulate Fidelity,” he added.

Onyema, therefore, called for the continued support of Nigerians to sustain the newly launched London service, adding that passengers can fly to London from any domestic airport.

“For every penny you pay to Air Peace, you pay to sustain the jobs of thousands of Nigerians and support economic growth.

“Air Peace flies you from any of our domestic routes to London. So, you can fly from Yola to London via Lagos.

“From the local airport, you are taken to the international airport free of charge with a seamless luggage transfer,” Onyema affirmed.

The Air Peace boss also said that the airline would continue to fully adhere to safety standards, while lauding the management and staff for the efforts in realising the London dream.

He advised Nigerians to shun ethnic nationalism, stating that Air Peace is not an Igbo airline but a Nigerian airline belonging to over two hundred million people.

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Tingo Group unveils Tingo Electric, Tingo Cola drink at Lagos launch

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In a thrilling exclusive event on the 16th of April, 2024 at the Tingo place, Victoria Island, the Tingo Group launched its new products, Tingo Cola and Tingo Electric drinks. Present at the event was His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwuyi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife who was the official host and was accomplished by his wives, Traditional Chiefs, Senior government officials and media executives.

In his welcome speech, the Ooni who is also the Chairman of Tingo BV beamed with joy as expressed that the success of the product is a dream come true as he has always wanted to be a part of a team that will design, conceptualise and produce a drink that will bring pride to Nigeria and Africa and these products are on the right path to going global.

He also noted that the ingredients used in manufacturing the drinks were about 80-85 percent home sourced and efforts were made by the Tingo Group to ensure that it meets International standard. Ooni stated that he has taken up the responsibility of ensuring that the beverage is a success as he is the brand’s “number one ambassador.”

Founder of Tingo Foods, Dozi Mmobuosi, said the company has been existing for 23 years and Tingo Electric and Tingo Cola represent not only a “triumph in innovation but also a celebration of Nigerian ingenuity,” while also adding that “the team was proud to showcase these exceptional beverages to the world and are deeply grateful for the support of his Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwuyi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife and all esteemed guests.”

The Ooni towards the end of the event requested everyone to have a taste of the beverages and the feedback was positive. Dr Reuben Abati stated that he felt electrified after taking the Tingo electric and casually joked that he is hoping that there will be many Tingo babies in the coming nine months.

The Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency  Abdullahi Sule, ably represented by the Attorney General of the State, Barrister Shuaibu Labaran Magaji said he is proud to be a part of the product launch and to show his support. He promised to buy and way bill a large number of the product to Abuja and Lafia on the spot and that the product was launched at the right time as the second edition of the Nasarawa Investment Summit is at hand. He asked the Ooni for his presence at the summit  and the Tingo Group for collaboration.

On a personal note, the Tingo Cola didn’t have excessive gas and the Tingo Electric drink was mild in the mouth but gave a sensational feeling, both of which were excellent.

The Tingo BV Plc expressed profound gratitude after the feedback and assured the introduction of a variety of new flavours which include Tingo Electra energy drink, Tingo twist, Tingo booze, Ojaja bitters and Ojaja herbal drink.

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Nigeria to raise $30bn from inaugural forex bond

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Nigeria targets up to $30 billion from its inaugural foreign currency-denominated bond issuance planned for June, 2024.

Patience Oniha, Director-General of the Debt Management Office, disclosed this recently in an interview with newsmen.

Accordingly, the government authority said the sovereign domestic foreign currency issuance aligns with moves to attract more forex inflows to stabilise the naira, which had suffered immensely from dollar shortages.

“It’s when we appoint the advisers that we can probably do a projection.
Oniha said: “But the assumption is that many Nigerians hold dollars in their domiciliary accounts, and not just individuals but institutions including banks and Nigerians in the diaspora as well.

“So it’s a way of bringing dollar liquidity into the system; the federal government of Nigeria (FGN) will get needed dollar liquidity. The target investors are individual Nigerians and institutions, and if Nigerians in the diaspora want to invest, they can also.”

The development comes as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Wale Edun, recently announced that a debut forex bond is planned for the second quarter of 2024 and will be a short to medium-term instrument.

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