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Why FG should reconsider signing African Free Trade Agreement – Chamber

Abuja – Mr Emeka Okereke, Director General, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), has called on the Federal Government to reconsider the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

President Buhari participates at the African Youth Congress against Corruption Summit in Abuja
Okereke said this in Abuja when the chamber officials visited the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The visit was to create publicity for the forthcoming 30th Enugu International Trade Fair.

The Fair is slated to hold between April 5 and 15 with the theme: “Promoting and Enhancing Value in Addition in the Oil and Non-Oil Sector for Robust Economic Growth And Development.’’

He said that the agreement was meant for free enterprise and building block economy.

According to him, many African countries have signed the agreement and so such can discourage bringing goods through the illegal ways.

AfCFTA was adopted on March 21, 2018 to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of goods and ensure block African economy.

Okereke said that the country had even signed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).

He said that the ETLS was established to encourage entrepreneurship development in the region and increase intra-regional trade and boost economic activity.

Okereke added that the ETLS and Free Movement Protocol are the most promising tolls for enhancing regional integration in West Africa.

” For AfCFTA, Nigeria consciousness is good but we cannot run away from reality; we cannot be an island on to ourselves, even in ECOWAS, we have signed for free movement of goods, persons and services.

” I tell you those goods can still come into our country except we are not obeying the ECOWAS protocol we have signed into,” he said.

Okereke said that challenge was that the country has an open border, adding that even if the country did not sign goods, it would still come into the country through the back door.

He said that the agreement would create a single market for goods and services, with free movement of people and investments across 55 countries.


According to him, the government should try and develop the country’s infrastructure as the main challenge for manufacturers is the high cost of doing business.

He also urged the government to address the multiplicity of taxes and levies.

He complained that most companies left the country due to cost of doing business.

” The government needs to address issues affecting the business environment in order to boost the country’s economy.” (NAN)


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NAFDAC raises alarm over Importation of snuff Into Nigeria from Ghana

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, in Niger State has expressed concern over the safety of tobacco snuff currently imported into the country in large quantities.  

Aniko Ibrahim, the state Coordinator of NAFDAC, expressed the concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Thursday.

“Going by the labels, these products are coming from Ghana into our country because of the nature of our borders. It means that as an agency we have to work very hard to stop the proliferation of products like this,” he said.

Ibrahim expressed concern that many people now sniffed the powdered substance and got addicted to it without knowing the content (ingredients).  

“We have not ascertained the composition of these substances as some of them claim to cure eye disease, pile, waist pain, and headache. Others claim to cure weak erection in men, asthma, cough and catarrh and many more. In fact, they are endless,” he said.  

He said that the composition of the various snuff would be checked to ensure that there were no harmful substances in the imported local powder. The NAFDAC state coordinator said that the agency’s headquarters in Abuja would be notified for necessary action.    

“We will find out who is responsible for bringing the snuff into Niger state,” he said

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Outage hits Facebook, Instagram users worldwide

Facebook and Instagram users lost access to the social network’s applications in parts of the world Wednesday as a result of an outage of undetermined origin.

The California giant which has more than two billion users acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” a Facebook statement said on Twitter.

A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.

“We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack,” Facebook said, referring to what is known as a distributed denial of service cyber strike.

According to the website downdetector.com, outages were heaviest in North America and Europe, but some users appeared to be affected in other regions.

Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of “networking issues.”

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NNPC opens portal for fresh recruitment

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has opened its portal for recruitment of fresh graduates and experienced professionals into the system.

Mr Ndu Ughamadu, its Group General Manager, (Public Affairs Division), confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the portal for the recruitment was opened on Wednesday.

The recruitment portal address is https:/careers.nnpcgroup.com.

“The portal was opened today and I have received hundreds of inquiries weather it is correct or not.

“We are going to recruit people from different engineering fields, especially fresh graduates and equally in the administrative areas,” he said.

Ughamadu said that recruitment would be in three categories of fresh graduates, senior officers/ supervisory cadre and managerial cadre.

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Senate To Begin Debate Of 2019 Budget On Wednesday

The Senate will commence debate of the general principles of the 2019 budget Wednesday, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said.

Saraki scheduled the date of the debate of the general principles of the fiscal document shortly before the upper chamber adjourned plenary session in honour of late member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Temitope Olaoye “Sugar” who was killed by unknown persons.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a budget N8.6 trillion to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration and passage on December 19, 2018.

Christened budget of continuity, the 2019 fiscal document is planned to continue the country’s drive for inclusive economic growth, diversification and sustainable development.

Saraki asked Senators who have contributions to make on the budget to list their names for proper coordination of the debate.

He said that the debate will take two days, Wednesday and Tuesday 19, March 2019 to enable many senators to contribute.

The conclusion of the debate of the general principles of the 2019 Appropriation Bill will pave the way for its reference to the Appropriation Committee for further legislative action.

Saraki also mandated the ad-hoc committee on the new minimum wage Bill to hasten and conclude its assignment.

He directed Senator Francis Alimikhena to take over the chairmanship of the committee in the absence of its substantive chairman, Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

The House of Representatives had debated and approved the N30, 000 new national minimum wage as proposed by the Federal Government.

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Women Are The New Wealth Creators – Linda Ikeji

Billionaire blogger, Linda Ikeji, 38, believes women have become economically productive and are creating job opportunities

Popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji shares new photo as she celebrates International Women’s Day. 

Linda shares some encouraging words as she motivates women to be at the top of their game, adding that women are the new wealth creators. 

She wrote:

“To every young girl out there; believe in yourself. Fight for your dreams. Be the best that you can be! You can be phenomenal. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. Don’t let anyone dim your light. You’re worthy. You’re worth it. You can win. You can be the best! You are the future! Women are the new wealth creators. Be determined to be one of those women. Stand up and be counted. And when you’re done, the world will not only celebrate you, the world will know you were here and you fought a great fight! 

Me? I’m just beginning my next level greatness and I want so many of you to join me.

Happy International Women’s Day! ” 

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MTN earned N453bn in 2018

Lagos – MTN Nigeria recorded N453.1 billion Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) in 2018.

The communications company also attracted additional six million subscribers to its network in the year.

The company made the disclosure in its annual report released on Thursday in Lagos.

It said that the six million subscribers brought the total number of subscribers in its network to 58 million, adding that the 2018 EBITDA represented 30.8 per cent profit growth.

MTN Nigeria also disclosed its intention to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.

The report showed a service revenue increase by 17.2 per cent, data revenue increase by 39.3 per cent, digital revenue decrease by 58.1 per cent and Fintech revenue increase by 32.7 per cent.

It also showed an EBITDA margin increase by 4.5 per cent to a total 43.6 per cent (excl CBN payment).

Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ferdi Moolman, said: “This growth was built on our sustained focus on customer centric delivery – ensuring that customers get much more value for their money.

“This included deployment of proactive interventions to improve customer experience, together with enhancement of network quality and coverage, and optimisation of our services portfolio.

“We also enabled an additional eight million people to access the possibilities that the internet provides, bringing our total data subscriber base to 44 million, of which 18.7 million use more than five megabytes per month.

“We are now even better positioned to ensure that everyone can access the benefits of a modern connected life.’’

Moolman thanked MTN Nigeria partners and regulators for their contributions.

He said that the company understood how access to opportunities enabled by the internet could open up new industries even in the remotest areas.

The chief executive officer said that there was the need to continue to focus on delivering social innovations such as mobile electricity and financial services for all.

He said that the company would leverage on its technology to enable high-impact mobile solutions in education, health and agriculture in communities.

“MTN plans to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange during the first half of 2019, and is looking to simplify the capital structure ahead of this listing.

“The company’s listing on the exchange will create a new telecoms asset class for investors and provide an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to participate in our investment story,’’ he added. (NAN)


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NNPC moves against fraudulent oil marketers, seizes N771m assets

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Tuesday, stated that together with the country’s anti-corruption agencies and the Department of State Security Services, DSS, it has recovered assets worth over N771 million from some fraudulent oil marketers.

In a statement in Abuja, the NNPC said the marketers had under-paid for petroleum products supplied to them from its downstream subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, at the Kaduna Depot.

It stated that the shady dealings of the fraudulent oil marketers were uncovered by forensic experts engaged by the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee for the purpose.

The Chairman of the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee, Mr. Mike Balami, disclosed that some of the assets recovered from the oil marketers include filling stations, water factories and six sports utility vehicles.

He added that the forensic investigation would be extended to the other NNPC depots across the country to stop the bleeding of the national oil company.

He said, “It was established that the affected marketers lifted petroleum products from the PPMC Kaduna depot without evidence of payment and when confronted with the evidence, they admitted to the offence and failed to pay their liabilities.

“The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, was passionate about stopping all the leakages in the corporation. The forfeited assets would be handed over to NNPC Corporate Asset Boarding and Disposal Committee, CABDC, for immediate disposal.”


Balami added that investigation into lifting of petroleum products without evidence of payment was continuing, while he urged all relevant stakeholders to support the NNPC Anti-Corruption Committee in its onerous task of recovering all its monies outside NNPC’s system.

He said that this was the first time that the NNPC would be taking over assets forfeited by marketers who defaulted in their terms of engagement.

Balami disclosed that the Federal Government’s intelligence and anti-corruption agencies that collaborated with the Committee to recover the assets from the defaulting marketers included the DSS, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

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