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Reps to hold another security summit

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The House of Representatives will hold a security summit to explore new ways of addressing the current security challenges in the country.

The Speaker, Mr Tajuddeen Abbas made this known on Monday in Abuja in his remark at the resumption of plenary after the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Abbas said that the country had been caught in the vicious grip of insecurity in spite numerous measures, as such new approaches should be explored to build a cohesive, peaceful and prosperous nation.

According to him, the conventional approaches to security are no longer sufficient and the National Legislative Security Summit will harness new ideas and solutions from stakeholders to tackle the menace.

“It is time to harness our collective expertise, to break the silos that have hindered our progress, and to chart a new course towards peace and stability.

“This aligns with our constitutional mandate as parliament to enact laws that strengthen our security framework, allocate resources wisely,” he added.

Abbas charged relevant security committees of the House to engage with the security chiefs on some of the most immediate measures and resources needed to improve security across the country.

The 9th House of Reps under former Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila had organised similar summit on May 26, 2021, and made some far reaching recommendations.

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Tinubu unveils Single Trade Window Policy to check import-export bottlenecks

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The Federal Government has launched an ambitious policy to check infractions in the nation’s import and export value chain, aiming to bridge over $4 billion in losses owing to bureaucratic bottlenecks.

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the Committee at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday, incorporating egg-heads drawn from representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance, representatives of the Marine and Blue Economy, those of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment as well as Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The Committee also comprised representatives of the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, the Standards Organization of Nigeria, the Nigerian Maritime Administration on Safety Agency, NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC.

The policy is encapsulated under the National Single Window Steering Committee which will explore real-time digital trade compliance.

The National Single Window project will facilitate a paperless trade volume of $ 2.7 billion to the country.

According to the Nigerian President, the country cannot afford to lose an estimated $4 billion annually to bureaucracy, delays and corruption.

He noted that it was time for Nigeria to join the ranks of countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya and Saudi Arabia that have experienced significant improvement in trade efficiency after implementing a single window system.

Tinubu said he was optimistic that through the newly launched project, Nigeria will expedite cargo movement and optimize inter-African trade.

He added that the initiative is a testament to his administration’s commitment to regional integration and collaboration.

His words, “Today, marks the beginning of a new era of unyielding commitment to prosperity, efficiency and endless possibilities. The National Single Window is not just a project. This initiative is not just a policy but a bold statement of our commitment to progress, prosperity, and the well-being of every Nigerian.

“It is a symbol of our determination to build a better future for ourselves and generations to come.

“The benefit of this initiative is immense paperless trade alone, which is estimated to bring an annual economic benefit of around 2.7 billion US dollars.

“Countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have already seen significant improvements in trade efficiency. After implementing a single window system. It is time for Nigeria to join the ranks and reap the reward of a streamlined, digitized trade process. We cannot afford to lose an estimated $4 billion annually to red tape, bureaucracy, delays and corruption at our ports.

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Kaduna Assembly probes El-Rufai’s loans, directs committee to summon ex-gov

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The Kaduna State House of Assembly on Tuesday commenced probing controversial foreign and domestic loans and grants secured by the immediate past administration of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

The Assembly set up a committee to conduct the probe at Tuesday’s plenary presided by the Speaker, Yusuf Liman Dahiru.

The Committee was tasked to embark “on fact-finding of financial dealings, loans and grants and other projects implementation from 2015-2023”.

The probe panel was mandated to invite El-Rufai and other notable personalities, including the former Speaker of the 8th and 9th Assembly.

Others to be invited are former commissioners of Finance and ex-commissioners of Budget and Planning.

Governor of Kaduna State Uba Sani had lamented the huge debt burden left by the past administration which he claimed was incapacitating his government.

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FG commences disbursement for presidential conditional grant scheme

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The Federal Government has initiated the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant scheme.

The scheme, which targets nanobusinesses—enterprises with one or two workers and an annual turnover of less than N3 million aims to provide each beneficiary with N50,000.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment declared: “We are pleased to inform you that the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme has officially commenced. A number of beneficiaries have already received their grants, marking the beginning of our phased disbursement strategy.”

The ministry further explained: “In collaboration with telecommunications providers, we have successfully resolved the initial delays in sending out shortcodes for NIN verification and application continuation.

“By Friday, 19th April 2024, a significant disbursement will be made to a substantial number of verified applicants. It is essential to understand that disbursements are ongoing, and not all applicants will receive their grants on this initial date.”

The Presidential Conditional Grant Programme was launched last year to alleviate economic hardship following the removal of fuel subsidies in the country.

It is expected to reach one million small businesses across the 774 local government areas and the six council areas in the Federal Capital Territory.

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