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NITEL/MTEL:FG Wants New Investor In 60 Days

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The federal government has ordered the interim  board of the NITEL/MTEL to complete the process of appointment of new care investors for the company within 60 days.

The 51 per cent equity stake of Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) in Nitel/Mtel had earlier in the year been revoked by the federal government, citing a breach of the Share Sale Purchase Agreement (SSPA) among others.

Inaugurating the interim board chaired by Ammuna Ali, permanent secretary Ministry of  Information and Communications, at the presidential villa, Abuja, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan warned that on no account should the board embark on new projects until the company is handed over to the new core investor.

Jonathan said “the president has given an unwritten order that we must conclude the privatisation of Nitel and Mtel with 60 days, but if we cannot achieve what we have to do within the 60 days, we can write to him and explain”.

We must do that even if it means not sleeping. It must be concluded.

“The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) must do all what it takes in conjunction with the National Council on Privatisation to see that we conclude the privatisation.

“It must be done in a clear way that Nigerians should see that the privatisation process is done properly as we can no longer afford to make any mistake,” Jonathan said.

“You do not need to go into new investments, but if there are some critical things you need to do you can clear with my office,” Jonathan said.

Other members of the board are Christopher Anyanwu, director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); Steve Oronsaye, Head of Service of the Federation, the yet to be appointed acting managing director of Nitel; Ibrahim kashim, director, Information and Communication, BPE; Sam Worlu, Senior Special Assistant on Economic Matters to the Vice President to represent Jonathan on the board; a representative of the NCP and the managing director, NigComSat Limited.

The board was put in place by the federal government to carry out the day to day running of the moribund telecommunications company pending the appointment of another core investor.

Jonathan acknowledged that the issue of Nitel/Mtel “is something that had been very disturbing to the nation”, stressing that President Umaru Yar’Adua directed that the interim board be inaugurated as soon as possible to fast track the process of appointment of the core investor.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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