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Economic Recovery: RMAFC Urges Solid Minerals Dev

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The Acting Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mr Shettima Abba-Gana has called for a sustained intervention in the solid minerals sector to enhance economic recovery and growth.
Abba-Gana made the call  in Abuja in an interview with  newsmen.
He spoke on the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the nation had exited recession in the second quarters of 2017.
NBS had last Tuesday announced that the nation, which slipped into recession in 2016 following five consecutive quarter contraction, was out of recession.
Abba-Gana said that diversification through the solid minerals sector and agriculture were the surest ways to sustain the economy.
“RMAFC has been at the fore-front of diversification, urging states and local governments to embrace it fully. The best tools of diversification for the Nigerian economy are solid minerals and agriculture.
“Solid minerals are in every state and local government; so we must rededicate our attention to it as it can create employment, boost the economy and generate revenue.
“In addition, let the state governments be interested in solid minerals in their states, because they will get 13 per cent derivation, just like those from oil producing states,’’ he said.
Abba-Gana said that illegal miners, who made up 80 per cent of miners in Nigeria, should be brought on board and educated on the new techniques of modern mining to boost the nation’s revenue base.
He commended the Federal Government for taking Nigeria out of recession, adding that the feat was made possible because of the measures it employed.
“We are very happy that the recession has come to an end; it was initially caused by the collapse in the price of crude oil and the fact that we did not manage the surplus when we had.
“What has happened now is the discipline that this government has brought into place and the fact that the government has found ways of increasing sources of funds by efficient revenue generation and collection.
“Some borrowing also helped to revamp the economy,’’ the RMAFC chief said.
Abba-Gana expressed optimism that the exit would bring about more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) as the citizens and foreign investors would begin to have more confidence in the economy.
The Tide source reports that the data released by NBS showed that the country’s GDP grew by 0.55 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarters of 2017.
The bureau added that the recovery was driven principally by the performances of oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors.

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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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