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Govt To Address Challenges Facing Cotton Industry – Minister

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Govt To Address Challenges Facing Cotton Industry - Minister

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has expressed the determination of the Federal Government to address the challenges facing the cotton industry with a view to creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.

Addressing a delegation of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) who paid him a visit in his office on Monday evening, the minister noted the cotton industry has the “capacity to transform Nigeria’s rural economy and revive the textile and garment industries by creating over two million jobs, improve internal revenue across three tiers of government, reduce $4.0 billion import bill incurred annually on textile and apparel, earn foreign exchange and make Nigeria a global player in textile and apparel.”

According to him, “In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry, with over 180 textile mills which employed close to over 450,000 people and contributed over 25% of the workforce in the manufacturing sector. Today, most of those factories have all stopped operations, textile factories are operating at below 20% capacity with a workforce of less than 20,000 people.

“I am happy to announce to you that Mr. President is determined to change the narrative and rewrite the history of Nigeria’s struggling Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector. In 2019, the government flagged off the Wet Season Cotton Input Distribution to 150,000 farmers in Katsina under the Anchor Borrowers Programme. They are cultivating over 180,000 hectares of cotton that will feed our ginneries. Production is also ongoing across many states with more to come onboard in the next planting seasons.”

The President of NACOTAN, Mr Anibe Achimugu, had earlier called on the Federal Government to revamp the cotton industry to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.

READ ALSO: How Govt Can Attract Investments To Nigeria’s Economy – Okonjo-Iweala

He stressed that if the sector is revived it would not only help to take youths off the streets but also help to address youth restiveness, banditry, drug abuse and emigration issues.

He noted that the industry is the second largest employer of labour in the country and deserves the much- needed attention of the Federal Government to enable the industry to contribute its quota to the economic development of the country.

Achimugu told the minister that prevailing global economic development called for a wider and more sustained approach to dealing with the challenges in the industry.

He called on the minister to prevail on the Bank of Industry/Leasing Company of Nigeria for special intervention for the cotton industry.

He also sought the support of the minister for the payment of Nigeria’s assessment to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) for the periods of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, which he put at $58,500

 

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Outage Looms As Electricity Workers Threaten To Shut Down National Grid

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BREAKING: National Grid Collapses Again, Triggers Nationwide Outage

Nationwide outage may soon occur as the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has again threatened to shut down the national grid.

The electricity employees are disappointed that the two-week given to the Federal Government to resolve the crisis has elapsed.

While briefing reporters in Kaduna on Thursday, Comrade Dukat Ayuba, the zonal organizing secretary, North West of NUEE, explained that while negotiation was still on-going, the shutdown of the national grid was imminent.

 READ ALSO: Why Shutdown Of Electricity Nationwide Will Continue – Workers

According to him, the so-called privatization of the sector was a scam, explaining that nine (9) years after, nothing has changed to improve its activities, especially to the consumers of electricity.

He added: “That was why we kicked against privitazing the distribution sector, because the investors don’t have the capacity and expertise. As committed Nigerians, we advised government against it. But the government was hell- bent on doing so.”

He noted that the investors were still operating with obsolete equipment dating back to 35, 40, and 50 years, stating that one would expect that with the coming of the investors, they would replace the obsolete equipment but nothing had been done.

He regretted that the nation still generates 5,000 megawatts of electricity, saying that it is the same 5,000 megawatts that they used to generate, with no benefit from privitazation.

He added that the company now generates megawatts with higher tariffs, bringing hardships to the homes of millions of Nigerians and that is what all Nigerians are experiencing at the moment.

According to Wisdom Nwachukwu, a member of Central Executive Committe, the federal government now wants to sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

He stated that they were going behind meeting with some stakeholders and that they would not allow that, as they were patriotic Nigerians that want the best for the country.

READ ALSO: Nationwide Blackout Begins As Grid Collapses

Ado Gaya, the Vice President, North West, NUEE, while elaborating further, revealed that the 16 months remunerations demanded by the electricity workers are their legitimate earnings which involved 55,000 workers.

He explained that nine years after, the workers have not received a dime, regretting that many of the workers have died, while those who were laid off are suffering with their families receiving nothing to help them make a living.

 

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BREAKING: Nigeria’s Debt Hits N42.84 Trillion

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BREAKING: Nigeria's Debt Hits N42.84 Trillion

Nigeria’s total public debt stock is now N42.84 trillion ($103.31 billion), according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

It was N41.60 trillion ($100.07 billion) in March.

According to a statement from DMO’s website on Tuesday, the total debt represents the domestic and external debt stocks of the federal government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It noted that while the foreign component of the debt remained at the same level of N16.61 trillion ($39.96 billion), the local component increased to N26.23 trillion ($63.24 billion).

The local component of the country’s borrowings was N24.98 trillion ($60.1 billion) as of March 30. The DMO said a larger percentage of the external debts were concessional and semi-concessional loans.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits N38.005 Trillion

“Over 58 per cent of the external debt stock are concessional and semi-concessional loans. They were obtained from multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Afrexim and African Development Bank, and bilateral lenders including Germany, China, Japan, India and France,” explained the DMO.

It added that the total domestic debt stock increased from N24.98 trillion ($60.1 billion) in March to N26.23 trillion ($63.24 billion) in June, pointing out that it “is due to new borrowings by the FGN to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation (Repeal and Enactment) Act, as well as new borrowings by state governments and the FCT.”

The DMO further mentioned that the total public debt-to-GDP ratio remained within limits, at 23.06 per cent, while debt-service-to-revenue was still high.

It, however, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is committed to increasing revenue to reduce the amount that went into debt servicing.

“The debt-to-GDP as of June 30 was 23.06 per cent compared to the ratio of 23.27 as of March 30. It remains within Nigeria’s self-imposed limit of 40 per cent,” the DMO noted.

“While the federal government continues to implement revenue-generating initiatives in the non-oil sector and block leakages in the oil sector, debt service-to-revenue ratio remains high.”
(NAN)

 

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23 Million Jobs Lost Under Buhari – Abubakar Atiku

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Only Ayu Can Decide To Resign As PDP Chair - Atiku

Over 23 million Nigerians have lost their jobs since Muhammadu Buhari became the nation’s president, according to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, also lamented that Nigeria’s economy was “crawling” instead of growing, and Nigerians were miserable under Buhari’s rule.

“The Nigerian economy is crawling rather than growing,” the PDP standard-bearer stated.

The former vice president noted that per capita income, “a measure of citizens’ well-being, has progressively fallen since 2015 because of declining output and a fast-growing population.”

He added, “Nigerians are worse off today than they were in 2015.”

READ ALSO: Keyamo Once Sued Tinubu For Certificate Forgery – Atiku Campaign Spokesman

“More Nigerians are poorer and more miserable today than in 2015,” Abubakar further stated.

“Basic commodities are now beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. A loaf of bread costs 100 per cent more today than it did in 2020.”

Abubakar, Nigeria’s vice president between 1999-2007, disclosed this while speaking on Tuesday at the Private Sector Economic Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.

“Under the present administration, our people are not working. More than 23 million people are out of jobs,” Abubakar claimed. “In just five years between 2015 and 2020, the number of fully employed people dropped by 54 per cent, from 68 million to 31 million people.”

The opposition presidential candidate was once in the same party, APC, as Buhari.

On Friday, however, Buhari claimed the Nigerian economy was growing under his leadership despite the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, Russia-Ukraine war and internal crises besetting the country.

“In this period, challenges faced by the world have been many, including lockdowns as COVID-19 raged; disruptions to supply chains around the world, and sharp fluctuations in prices,” the Nigerian leader explained.

“Our economy continues to grow despite the adverse effects of rising interest rates, a stronger U.S. dollar and higher inflation across the world.”

 

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