Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s government to boost investment and shake up state-run industries in a flurry of decrees issued after he returned to the presidency on Monday.
The initiatives are part of Putin’s call for a “new economy”.
Putin set out his long-term economic and social goals in the orders, issued on the first day of a six-year presidency during which he will face pressure to improve Russia’s business climate, shrink the state’s role and ease reliance on energy exports.
The president ordered the government to take measures to raise capital investment to no less than 25 per cent of GDP in 2015, from the current level of 20 per cent, and to create 25 million high productivity jobs by 2020.
He also called for a 50 per cent increase in labour productivity by 2018 and a 30 per cent increase in the share of high tech products in GDP in order to lessen Russia’s dependency on natural resources.
Putin, who has repeatedly spoken out against corruption and red tape, with little obvious success, during his 12 years in power, also said he wanted Russia to climb from the 120th place it occupies now in the World Bank’s Doing Business index to 50th place in 2015, and 20th place in 2018.
The orders from Putin, who ran Russia as president from 2000 to 2008 and then as prime minister until Monday’s inauguration ceremony, reflected an acknowledgement of the need to attract more investment and diversify the economy.
In his address after taking the oath of office, Putin said that “the lives of future generations, the historic prospects of our state and nation depend on real successes in creating a new economy and modern standards of living”.
After the ceremony, Putin sent a letter to the speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament, asking legislators to approve the candidacy of former President Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister.
He is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday.
Putin’s decrees formalise ideas and goals he expressed in speeches and articles during the presidential election campaign.
The decrees set tough goals for Medvedev, who is expected to be a much weaker prime minister than his predecessor Putin, with many insiders predicting Medvedev’s time on the job is limited.
Putin and Medvedev are yet to announce their choices for ministerial jobs.
Medvedev would like to squeeze political heavyweights like Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin out of the government and bring in his loyalists.
In line with the law, the government resigned on Monday, with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov becoming an acting prime minister until Medvedev’s appointment.
Medvedev will have two weeks to form the new cabinet.
In the decrees, Putin said he wanted the government to sell its stakes in firms which do not belong to natural resources or defence sectors and are not natural monopolies.
That would require a change to the state’s privatisation programme which he wanted in place by Nov. 1, he added.
During Medvedev’s presidency Russia drafted an ambitious 32 billion dollars privatisation plan but little progress has been made while the role of the state in the economy has continued to grow.
Putin also wanted to limit acquisitions by state-controlled companies, which should also come up with schedules for non-core asset sales by Dec. 1.
The decree asked the government to analyse the efficiency of three “state corporations” whose activity is regulated by special laws and which receive capital injections from the budget.
Putin also asked the government to present proposals by June 1, 2012 on the reform of the government procurement system with obligatory public hearings on all state orders exceeding one billion roubles ($33.63 million).
Putin called for an increase in real wages by 40 to 50 per cent by 2018 and said average mortgage rate should not exceed inflation by more than 2.2 percentage points.
CBN Releases N756bn To Over 3m Farmers To Boost Food Security
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it has released the sum of N756.51 billion to 3,734,938 small holder farmers, cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, to boost the Federal Government’s food security initiative.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, made this known while presenting a communiqué from the bank’s recently held, 280th meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Emefiele said that N120.24 billion of the sum was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
“The sum of N121.57 billion was disbursed to 32,617 beneficiaries.
“For the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), N318.17 billion was released to 679,422 beneficiaries, comprising 572,189 households and 107,233 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.
Emefiele revealed that the apex bank also expended huge sums in its youth investment scheme, to empower Nigerian youths, and to reduce unemployment by providing to the creative sector and Information Technology.
“Under the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the Bank released N3.0 billion to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.
“Under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), N3.22 billion was disbursed to 356 5 beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals,’’ he said.
The CBN Governor also revealed that the apex bank had invested close to N1trillion to boost the real sector of the economy, covering 251 real sector projects.
He said that the bank’s intervention also spanned health sector support initiatives and electricity distribution.
“Under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility, the Bank released N923.41 billion to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro-based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“On the N100 billion, Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), N98.41 billion was disbursed for 103 health care projects, of which, 26 are pharmaceuticals and 77 are in the hospital services.
“Similarly, the sum of N232.54 million was disbursed to five beneficiaries under the CBN Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention (Grant) Scheme (HSRDIS) for the development of testing kits and devices for COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
“On the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N36.04 billion was disbursed to 17 Meter Asset Providers to nine Distribution Companies (DisCos), for the procurement and installation of 657,562 electricity meters,’’ Emefiele said.
Siat Assures Host Communities Of Fair Deal … Offers 15 Varsity Students Scholarships
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to its host communities, an agro-allied company located in Rivers State, Siat Nigeria Limited, has assured that it would continue to cater for the wellbeing and needs of the indigenes of the communities where it is doing business even as it has offered undergraduate scholarship awards to 15 students from the areas.
The company, which gave the assurance during the presentation of scholarship awards to the students at its corporate headquarters in Ubima Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area recently, said it would continue to promote a harmonious working relationship with its host communities and strive as much as possible to contribute to their growth and development.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Felix Nwabuko, who gave the indication in an address during the company’s this year’s undergraduate scholarship programme, said the scholarship initiative is just one of the corporate social responsibility lined up by the company for its host communities.
According to him, the university scholarship award is intended to assist and encourage students of the host communities in the areas of Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Accounting and Engineering.
While congratulating the beneficiary students on their success during the scholarship examination, Nwabuko noted that they are by this award, ambassadors of not only their communities but Siat Nigeria Limited, and urged them to exhibit good behaviour throughout the duration of their university education.
“It is our fervent belief that the beneficiaries will avail themselves of this singular opportunity and study hard to become good citizens of not only the communities they came from but the society at large”, he said.
Nwabuko commended the government at both the state and local levels for providing the enabling environment for the company’s operations as well as the peace the firm has enjoyed from the host communities.
He noted with delight that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and its associated harsh economic effects, Siat Nigeria Limited did not lay off its workers like other companies including banks, stressing that it was because the company took into consideration the excellent relationship and goodwill it has with the host communities.
The beneficiaries of the scholarship were drawn from the company’s Ubima and Elele estates.
The first round of the scholarship programme took place in 2016 and the beneficiaries, according to the company, have all graduated.
By: Donatus Ebi
AKK Project Will Enhance Gas Utilisation For Industrialisation – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says successful completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK Project in 2023 would enhance domestic gas utilisation as the mainstay for national industrialisation.
Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Gas Sector Stakeholders (AKK) Forum organised by the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN) yesterday in Kano.
He was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
“Today’s event reinforces our commitments to realizing the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as transition period to the renewable energy,” he said.
He revealed that the project would also increase government revenue and create more jobs opportunities for the unemployed Nigerians.
The President said that many companies had been shut down due to power supply problem across the country.
He explained that it would take two to three years to reactivate those industries to their optimal performance.
Buhari also said that the Federal Government has reduced the price of gas from 2 dollars 50 cents to 2 dollars 18 Cents.
“Let me use this medium to announce that following successful negotiations between Federal Government of Nigeria and organized unions, the price of gas has been reduced from $2.50 Cents to $2.18 Cents, with immediate effects,” he said.
He said that all the relevant stakeholders had been communicated on the issue.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the AKK project had been on the drawing board for the past 30 years.
Kyari said when completed, it would provide enough gas for both domestic and export purposes.
“Nigeria has huge gas resources, gas means prosperity and delivering gas is an opportunity creation,” he said.
He pointed out that the project would revive about 232 industries along AKK corridor.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, commended the Federal Government for the project, which he said, would also assist to enhance socioeconomic activities in the state.
- Sports4 days ago
Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong
- Editorial4 days ago
Party Defections Taken Too Far
- Opinion4 days ago
Growing Menace Of Campus Prostitution
- Politics4 days ago
PDP’ll Participate In Anambra Guber Poll – Chieftain
- Politics4 days ago
INEC Commences Physical CVR In Rivers
- Politics4 days ago
2023: Group Insists On S’ South Presidency
- Sports4 days ago
Eguma Laments Rivers United’s Tight Fixtures
- Nation4 days ago
Enugu Youths Hail Ugwuanyi’s Governance Style