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Search, rescue continue at Gwarinpa building collapse site – FEMA

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The FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has said the ongoing search and rescue for persons trapped in the debris of a collapsed three-storey building at 4th Avenue, Gwarimpa, have entered the second day.

It was reported that the building, under construction, went down at about 11 a.m. on Thursday, trapping an unspecified number of construction workers.

The agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Mrs. Nkechi Isa, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said as of this morning, 21 persons were rescued alive, while three others were removed from the rubble fatally injured.

Mrs. Isa said that the rescue team, comprising FEMA, NEMA, Red Cross, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps and some construction companies are on the ground combing for victims.

She said during a visit to the site of the incident, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello, commiserated with the families of the victims and residents of the FCT over the unfortunate incident.

Represented by the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Shehu Ahmad, Bello said, “this is coming at a time when we are all trying as a nation to come out of this worrisome situation of building collapse.

“These are issues which the FCT environment was not prominent with, but because of some activities of quackery, this has come into the FCT and the FCT is not too happy with these happenings.”

The minister noted that it was the third time such an incident happened at Gwarinpa Estate.

He stated that the FCTA would stop at no limit to identify those involved in the unfortunate development.

“Preliminary report indicates that the land area where this property was standing doesn’t look well and stabilised. There is the presumption of inferior materials in the construction and workmanship.

“To this, the FCTA will take very seriously and engage the agencies involved to find a lasting solution to this type of embarrassment,” he added.

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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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