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Subsidy: President Tinubu reviews palliative initiative

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President Bola Tinubu has directed the immediate review of the palliative to cushion the effect of removal of fuel subsidy.

In a statement issued by Mr Dele Alake on Tuesday in Abuja, Tinubu directed the immediate review of the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programme meant to bring succour to most vulnerable households.

He said that this was in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.
The president also called for the unveiling of the whole palliative package to Nigerians.

Similarly, Tinubu ordered the immediate release of fertilisers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively, in all the 36 states and the FCT.

“The President further assures Nigerians that the N500 billion approved by parliament to cushion the pain occasioned by the end of subsidy regime will be judiciously utilised.

“The beneficiaries of the reliefs shall be Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation.

“The President covenanted with Nigerians that their welfare and security will be topmost in the Renewed Hope Agenda of his government.

“In the last few days, the conventional and new media platforms have become awash with stories of the government intending to embark on conditional cash transfer to vulnerable households mostly affected by the painful but necessary decision to remove subsidy from petrol.

“The story has been widely reported that the Federal Government is proposing to give 12 million households from the poorest of the poor N8,000 monthly for a period of six months as government palliative to reduce the discomfort being experienced by Nigerians consequent upon subsidy removal,” the statement read in part.

He said that the administration believes in the maxim that when there is prohibition, there must be provision.

“Since subsidy, the hydra-headed monster threatening to kill the economy, has been stopped, government has emplaced a broad spectrum of reliefs to bring help to Nigerians.

“It should be noted that cash programme is not the only item in the whole gamut of relief package of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he stated.

The president further assured Nigerians that the N500 billion approved by parliament to cushion the pain occasioned by the end of subsidy regime would be judiciously utilised.

He added that the beneficiaries of the reliefs shall be Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation

“President Bola Tinubu has promised to always prioritise the wellbeing of Nigerians and he is irrevocably committed to the vow.

“A number of decisions taken so far by this Administration have buttressed this stance.

“You will recall that the President took a similar decision after listening to complaints from the business community/stakeholders about burdensome taxes, particularly multiplicity of taxes they are made to experience.

“This warranted the signing of four (4) Executive Orders cancelling some classes of taxes, while suspending the implementation dates of others,” he said.

The President had also set up a Tax Reform/Fiscal Policy Committee to bring up recommendations that would engender a wholesome fiscal environment for the country and remove anti-business barriers.

He stressed that: “President Tinubu will continue to be a listening leader whose ears will not be dull to the views expressed by the citizenry.

“The President believes government exists to cater for the interest of the people and he has demonstrated this so clearly.”

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3 injured as 2 armed drones from Lebanon explode in Israel

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Two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Lebanon carrying explosives exploded in northern Israel on Tuesday, lightly injuring three people, Israeli authorities said, amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran and its allies.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the armed drones crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory and exploded in the area of Beit Hillel in the Galilee.

Three people sustained light injuries, Israel’s state-owned Kan reported.

The drones did not trigger air raid sirens, and the military said the incident was under review.

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CBN expresses commitment to harnessing digital technologies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is committed to harnessing the power of digital technologies to enhance financial inclusion.

Mr Yemi Cardoso, CBN Governor, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, during a strategic institutions tour by participants of Senior Executive Course 46 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Cardoso, who was represented by Dr Bala Bello, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, said that digital technologies would also boost productivity and create an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

According to him, the apex bank has already deployed robust digital technologies in driving most of its processes towards achieving optimal performance.

He said that NIPSS, as a foremost national policy think-tank, had made invaluable contributions to the socio-political and macroeconomic development of Nigeria.

“We are, therefore, not surprised at the apt and relevant choice of your research theme.

“The CBN and NIPSS have had a long-standing and robust working relationship since the establishment of the institute. This has culminated into positive mutual benefits for the two institutions.

“The CBN, on the one hand, has provided infrastructural support to the institute through construction of an auditorium and a hostel, in addition to the provision of technical support.

“On the other hand, NIPSS has supported the technical capacity of the CBN through the training of some personnel both at senior executive course level and intermediate course cadre,” he said.

The Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said that the study visiting would be representing the institute in getting information from operators of the apex bank on the relevance of digital technology to developing jobs for Nigerian youths.

According to Omotayo, a lot of progress has been made globally in using digital systems to run the economy.

“The more of our activities that we can put in digital format, the more we get the opportunity of providing employment access to a whole lot of the 120 million active Nigerians.

“We at NIPSS always knock at the frontiers of knowledge, checking what is going to happen in the immediate future.

“We are working towards a system where we believe that almost every service can be delivered digitally,” he said.

The Acting Director, Monetary Policy Department of the CBN, Dr Lafi Bala Keffi, commended the NIPSS study group for its interest in the apex bank.

She urged the participants to explore the time-tested culture of NIPSS, which is to diagnose national, profer practical solutions and recommend ways of making such solutions realisable.

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NCAA suspends licences of 3 private jet owners

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Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended licences of three Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF), otherwise known as private jet owners, over alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements.

Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that after issuing a stern warning to the PNCFs in March, the authority deployed its men to monitor activities of private jet owners at airport terminals across the country.

He said that consequent upon the heightened surveillance, three private operators were found to have violated the annexure provisions of their PNCF and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2023.

Najomo further stated that NCAA would be carrying out a re-evaluation of regulatory requirements compliance of all PNCFs owners within the next 72 hours.

This, he said, this was in line with the authority’s zero tolerance for violations of regulations.

“In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed that a re-evaluation of all holders of PNCF be carried out on or before April 19, to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements.

“All PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours,” he said.
Najomo recalled that in 2023, the use of private jets for commercial purposes had gotten the attention of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), who issued marching orders for cessation of such acts.

He said that in March, NCAA issued a stern warning to holders of the permit for non-commercial flights, PNCF, against engaging in the carriage of passenger cargo or mail for hire and reward.

Najomo said that the riot act was also directed at existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilised aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

“It must be emphasised that only the aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorised to be used in the provision of such charter services.

“Any of those AOC holders who wish to use the aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specification.

“NCAA wishes to reiterate to the travelling public not to patronise any airline charter operator who does not hold a valid AOC issued by the NCAA, when they wish to procure charter operation services,” he said.

The NCAA boss, thereafter, encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to promptly report such illegal activities to the authority for necessary action.

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