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Obi, Soludo, Uba Shun Anambra Guber Debate …Ngige Says I Will Talk To Kidnappers, Armed Robbers

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Three major players in the 2010 governorship race in Anambra State, the incumbent governor, Mr Peter Obi of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Prof Charles Soludo of the People Democratic Party, PDP and Labour Party’s Dr Andy Uba, yesterday shunned public debate organized for all the governorship candidates in the state, by the Nation newspaper in conjunction with Silverbird Television held at Tourist Garden Hotel, Awka, Anambra State.

Our correspondent who covered the event reports that the  affected candidates neither put up physical appearance nor sent representatives at the occasion, till the end of the event at about 5.30pm.

Until the time of filing this report no reason was given as to why the candidates could not be physically reached or through their mobile phones by this reporter to explain why they acted the way they did.

However, worried over the present insecurity of lives and property in the state  a former governor of the State, Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, has promised if reelected as governor come February 6, he would talk to armed robbers and kidnappers in the area to stop their nefarious acts to enable the people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed.

Dr Ngige, who is now contesting the governorship position of the state on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), instead of his former party PDP, made the promise yesterday while speaking on the occasion of the public debate entitled “Anambra Decides: Governorship Debate 2010”.

Describing himself as one of the foundation members of the ruling party PDP, Dr Ngige also promised that if elected, he would build an independent power plant in the state so as to attract more industries to check the high rate of youth unemployment in the area, adding that his government would not toy with youths who are leaders of tomorrow.

He made it clear that during his 33 months in office as governor of the state “ I got out your treasury from the so called God fathers and  merchants and gave it back to you. The major thing we have to do for you now is to make you human beings again by restoring security of lives and property back. I did it before and I know the magic with which I did it. The security of the state must be used to maintain the security integrity of that state”, he advised.

Also speaking, chief George Okoye of the NMPP, identified the problem of the people of Anambra state as the imposition of unpopular candidates on the state.

Chief Okoye regretted that Anambra state had never had a master plan , wondering how the state could develop without a blue print, promising that all pensioners in the state would be paid if he wins the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

 Candidates from  other political parties present at the occasion that attracted hundreds of thousands of Anambrarians equally made promises to the people of the state should they win the February 6, 2010 governorship election in the state which has been described in many quarters as home of champions.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the managing Director of Nation Newspaper, Victor Ifije, said their aim of organizing the debate  to ensure that the best candidate was elected as governor of the state next month in the over all interest of the people.

He, therefore, advised the people of the state not to misuse the opportunity offered by the forthcoming election, adding that it is time for them to take their destiny in their own hands.

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CBN Opens N500 Grants Portal For Graduates, Undergraduates

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To reduce the level of suffering associated with unemployment in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has developed grants of N500,000.00 for graduates and students.
A statement from the apex bank, made available to The Tide, said qualified persons have been directed to visit cbnties.com.ng portal for the CBN N500k grants registration.
This, according to the statement, is under the Tertiary Institution Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), in partnership with Nigerian Polytechnics and Universities to exploit the potential of graduate entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
CBN said the aim of TIES is to increase access to finance for Nigerian polytechnic and university graduates and graduates with innovative business and technological ideas.
The apex bank added that it is also to address the trend of white-collar job seekers and focus on job creation.
The statement quoted the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as saying that the scheme is designed to create a “paradigm shift from a ‘white-collar’ job search culture to an entrepreneurial culture to economic growth and job creation between undergraduates and graduates.
“As for the grant, CBN will allocate N500 million among the top five third best delivery organizations.
“The top five polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with the best entrepreneurial trends/ideas will be awarded first place: N150 million second place N120 million third place N80 million fourth place N80 million and fifth place. Location – N50 m illion”, it stated.
As part of the scheme, the CBN has announced that it will form a private and public sector expert organization (BoE) for two-year regional and national entrepreneurship competitions to assess the entrepreneurial and technological innovations offered by Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
BoE will also recommend high-potential projects and the variable impact on the award of the grant.
Projects funded under the scheme will be monitored by independent monitors set up jointly by CBN and MFIs.

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Economic Growth, Determining Factor For Policies In 2023  – Stockbrokers

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Chairman of Research and Technology at the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Akeem Oyewale, has said that economic growth and development should be the determining factor in policies ahead of 2023.
Oyewale, who said this recently at the institute’s Annual National Economic Review and Outlook 2022 webinar  in Lagos, urged policy makers to act in a spirit of justice and tolerance to avoid acts that could lead to violence in the run-up to the 2023.
Speaking on the topic: “Global Dynamics Shaping Nigeria‘s Economic Future”, Oyewale listed factors such as the process leading up to the 2023 general elections, the response to Omicron, and the effects of COVID-19, as what would also determine the growth of the nation’s economic development.
He used the fora to urge the Federal Government to intensify its engagement with Nigeria’s capital market to better smoothly finance the 2022 budget deficit without increasing borrowing.
Oyewale also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fully consider the effects on the capital market when making monetary and fiscal policies.
According to him, the philosophy of building an economy led by the private sector enshrined in the National Development Plan must be strictly adhered to.
On the need for new listings, Oyewale said Nigeria National Petroleum Company’s trading should continue with the public listing of its shares on the stock market.
This, he explained, would give Nigerians the opportunity to co-own one of the country’s commanding heights.
“The CBN and banks should grant trading facilities to securities trading firms in the country to maintain optimism in the capital market”, he said.
Speaking further, he urged pension funds and other institutional investors to increase their investment in the stock market to create much-needed stability and encourage new investment.
Earlier, President of the CIS Council, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe,  said the institute would continue with initiatives that would enhance its growth and development in 2022.
Amolegbe stated that CIS would undertake activities that would promote capital market literacy in all geopolitical zones of the country, saying that he would strengthen collaboration with international professional bodies such as CISI UK and others for the benefit of their members.
He continued that the institute was working to increase the number of Nigerian universities offering graduate and undergraduate courses in securities and investment/capital market studies.
“Our vision by 2023 is to see the Securities and Investments profession registered in the hearts of young Nigerian academics as their preferred career path and CIS as the model to be followed by other professional bodies,” he concluded.

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PenCom Completes Review Of Pension Reform Act 2014

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The regulatory body of the Nigerian Pension Industry, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it has deliberated on the review of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014).
This was contained in a statement to newsmen signed by Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communications of PenCom, who disclosed that the regulator organised the retreat on the review of PRA 2014 in Abuja between January 12 and 14.
According to Aghahowa, the retreat was aimed at identifying salient issues to be reviewed in the PRA 2014 as a prelude to advancing legislative action on the bill.
Aghahowa said it is expected that the National Assembly would subsequently organise a public hearing to provide an avenue for stakeholders to formally make input into the proposed amendments.
He also said that the PRA 2014 was enacted following a review of the initial PRA of 2004, which introduced legal and institutional frameworks of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and established PenCom to regulate and supervise all pension matters in Nigeria.
According to him, the Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, during the opening ceremony of the retreat, had informed the participants that the PRA 2014 codified one of the most important socio-economic reform initiatives of the Federal Government.
He continued that she said this has brought about a pension industry that has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion invested in various aspects of the Nigerian economy.
He quoted her as saying that “the review is a corollary to some implementation challenges encountered with certain sections of the Act not long after its enactment in July 2014.
“This was also an addition to persistent calls from stakeholders for the amendment of some sections of the Act, which resulted in several legislative initiatives through the sponsorship of Bills for amendment of the PRA 2014 by the National Assembly.
“Consequently, the Commission as the regulator of the pension industry, decided to coordinate and harmonize the various efforts in order to achieve a comprehensive and constructive exercise for the review of PRA 2014”, he concluded.

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