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1,500 Youth Get N2.5bn CBN Entrepreneurship Loan

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The Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) on Thursday in Abuja flagged off the pilot phase of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) aimed at empowering 1,500 youths with a total of N2.5 billion loan.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele in his remarks said that the inability of Nigerian youths to access funding for businesses had been the bane of entrepreneurship.
Emefiele said that entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths had been hindered by low capacity and funding which has made many of them opt for white collar jobs which are not even available.
“ These challenges have continually made many youths to jettison their laudable ideas in pursuit of white collar jobs.
“Their inability to access funding has been the bane of developing the ideas of many educated and enterprising youths in Nigeria.’’
He said that the programme would address the problem of high and rising youth unemployment and restiveness.
While stressing that it was a loan that would be paid back and not a grant, he said that the single digit interest rate of the loan was to allow the youths to grow their businesses without much ado.
He admonished the beneficiaries to be of good character by repaying the loan when due as the success of the scheme depends solely on this first phase.
“We do not anticipate that they would not pay, we have as collateral their NYSC and Degree certificates and we know that our youths know the importance of their certificates.
“I do not think that somebody who has gone to the higher institution for those number of years to gain gainful employment for a gainful life will abandon those certificates because he wants to collect loan and not pay back.
“As far as I’m concerned I have not looked at the equation of them not re-paying so I want to enjoin everybody who accessed this loan to please pay.’’
The YEDP is aimed at harnessing the latent entrepreneurial spirit among the teeming youths by providing timely and affordable loans to implement their business ideas.
It is also serving as a training sponsored by the CBN for National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members in collaboration with Heritage Bank.
It targets youths between the age of 18 and 35 to create one million direct jobs in the productive sectors of the economy within four years.
Some of the qualified business sectors are agro-allied, food processing and preservation, arts and crafts, construction support and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The Director General, NYSC , Brig.-Gen. Sule Kazaure said that the programme was a milestone for the NYSC because it was in line with the its Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme.
He said under the SAED scheme, over 600,000 corps members had been trained in various entrepreneurship programmes but lacked funding to establish their own businesses.
He urged the corps members to take the programme seriously saying their future and the nation’s may depend on it.
“I urge all corps members, irrespective of their course disciplines, to key into the opportunities provided by these collaborations and become budding entrepreneurs through skill acquisition, self employment, wealth creation and employment generation.’’
The Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, told the youths that their success was important as it might mean that a path to creating a society that is worth our while was being charted.
He urged them to exhibit a flawless character and be tenacious in the pursuit of their goals.
“The spirit of entrepreneurship is not just in word but in the character you exhibit and the tenacity you bring to bear, the ability to follow your dreams despite the challenges.
“ If you don’t bring your character to the table this experiment will not succeed. A tenacious spirit, a never say die spirit, a can do spirit.’’
Mr Success Obi, one of the applicants who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the three organisations for providing such employment opportunity for the teeming Nigerian youths.
He assured that if granted the loan they would do their best to create employment opportunity for themselves  and fellow youth and pay back the loan when st

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Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS

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Barely two weeks after seizing a tank-full equivalent of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known locally as petrol, the  Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1005 jerry cans of the same product.
The product, amounting to 3000 litres, is with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth  of N6,974,750.00.
A statement signed by the Command’s Spokesman, DSC Hussaini Abdullahi, and made available to our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend, said the seizure was made during a routine check of the adjoining creeks, beaches, and flash points.
The statement quoted the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, as saying that “as long as unrepentant and undesirable elements engage in acts of economic sabotage and smuggling, so shall officers and men remain a step ahead to counter their illicit trades”.
The statement further reads: “In continuation of our efforts to suppress smuggling of petroleum products within the nooks and crannies of the command, officers and men of the Seme Area Command on a routine patrol along the creeks within Seme and Badagry intercepted another large quantity of petroleum products in sacks.
“After successful evacuation of the said item to the command’s premises where examination was conducted, one thousand and five (1005)x 30 litres of jerry cans of petroleum products each, equivalent to thirty thousand, one hundred and fifty (30,150) litres  were discovered. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) is Six million, nine hundred and seventy four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N6,974,750.00), only”.
While showcasing the seized products, Jibo commended the doggedness, patriotism, dedication and high level of professionalism exhibited by his men, noting that the new Land Cruiser patrol vehicles (Buffalo) recently donated to commands by the Management of the NCS has aided the operation of the command, as the vehicles enhance access to a wider circle.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NASS, MDAs’ Non-Remittance Of Taxes Cost FIRS N5.8bn …NCAA Tops Defaulters With N2,984bn

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Non-remittance of tax deductions by the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies has resulted in a loss of tax revenue amounting to N5.8 billion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2019.
Disclosing this in its 2019 Annual Report on non-compliance, internal control, and weakness issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation said it is for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The MDAs, according to the Report, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Jigawa State; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Assembly Service Commission; and Nigerian Correctional Services.
It stated that between 2018 and 2019, the MDAs failed to either remit one per cent stamp duty, value added tax, withholding tax or Pay As You Earn tax deducted from awarded contracts, thereby contravening sections of the Financial Regulations and Treasury Circular issued on December 29, 2015.
The Report further stated that Paragraph 234(I) of the Financial Regulations states that “it is mandatory for accounting officers to ensure full compliance with the dual roles of making provision for the Value Added Tax and withholding tax due on supply and services contract and actual remittance of same”.
Specifically, it quoted Paragraph 235, saying, “Deduction of VAT, WHT, and PAYE shall be remitted to Federal Inland Revenue Service at the same time the payee who is the subject of deduction is paid”.
It continued that the Treasury circular Ref No. TRY/A12&B12/2015 and OAGF/CAD/VOL.II/390, dated December 29, 2015, states that “1% Stamp Duty chargeable on contract awards and the remittance be made to the relevant tax authority (Federal Inland Revenue Service)”.
The Report also stated: “The audit observed that the sum of N5,828,621,715.06 was the amount of taxes not remitted by 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has the highest amount of N2,984,887,250.00, while Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa has the least amount of N1,021,011.13”.

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NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost

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The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded an impressive performance in its revenue generation and anti-smuggling campaign in 2021.
Disclosing this recently during a review of its activities in 2021, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, said the sum of N870.38 billion of the N2.24 trillion announced recently by the Service was collected in Apapa Command in 2021.
Giving an insight into the command’s revenue profile, Malanta told newsmen that the  N870.38 billion collected by the command was 68 percent more than what was collected in 2020 which was N518.4 billion.
He stayed that the Command recorded 103 seizures worth N31 billion in 2021.
Malanta identified the seizures as 46.55kg of cocaine, which was concealed on board MV Karteria and MV Chayanee Naree laden with raw sugar; containers of foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, secondhand clothes, unregistered pharmaceuticals such as captagon pills, tramadol, codeine syrup, etc.
“These were seizures made in accordance with the provisions of sections 46, 47, and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004. These seizures are condemned by a competent court of law and the suspects are still undergoing investigation and interrogation”, the Customs boss said.
He continued that 5.38 metric tons of non-oil commodities were exported through the command as against 1.3 million metric tons in 2020.
According to him, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items rose from $340 million (N140 billion) in 2020 to $641 million (N264 billion) last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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