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FG Approves Lagos To Test e-Banking

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday endorsed the proposal by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to use Lagos State as a test case for e-banking and cashless economy.

Information Minister, Labaran Maku made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja, after the Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Maku said CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi and his team were present at the meeting to give the overview of the economy in the past two quarters and to discuss the initiatives taken by the apex bank in reforming the economy.

“The CBN has decided to start the cashless economy in Lagos State using Lagos as the hub for the beginning of the project.

“In this new initiative that the CBN has taken in partnership with the government of Lagos State, it is expected that in months to come, Lagos will really move quickly into e-banking,’’ he said.

Maku said Council gave its nod to the proposal because of its multidimensional advantages, particularly, in bringing down the running cost of banks by almost 30 per cent and affording every Nigerian to direct participation in the financial sector.

The proposal by the CBN indicates a limit of N150,000 and N1 million on free cash withdrawals and lodgments by individual and corporate customers respectively.

The minister said the CBN team also told the Council that the economy was on the right path with the growth rate of 6.4 per cent at the first quarter and the overall growth is put at 7.8 per cent.

On the inflationary movement, Labaran said the CBN reports indicated that headline inflation in the first and second quarters of the year stood at 12.8 percent.

The minister said the CBN team also reported to Council the upward progression witnessed in crude oil production which has gone up to 2.4 million barrels per day, due mainly to the peace witnessed in the Niger Delta region.

In a related development, Maku said Council gave approval to the Federal Ministry of Education to forward an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for an Act for the amendment of Education National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institution Act and other Related Matters.

According to the Minister, the bill, if passed, will empower the National Universities Commission to handle cases of proliferation of illegal universities and prescribe punishment for those who violate minimum quality standard for the establishment of universities and courses.

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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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