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We Need More Creative Ways Of Tackling Poverty-Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government is focusing on more creative ways of getting Nigerians out of poverty and also improve the country’s Human Capital Development indices.
Osinbajo made this known while chairing a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC ), Steering Committee on Human Capital Development at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Wednesday.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to lifting Nigerians out of poverty as a crucial agenda towards attaining intended development outcomes.
“Poverty as we know is both a cause and consequence of some of what we are looking at in our human capital development deficit.
“Really, I think we need to focus a lot more on some of the more creative ways of getting our people out of poverty.
“ And of course, we have some social investment programmes, we are looking at some of the examples of what India did, some have been tried and tested in such huge populations.
“I think there is a need for us to sensitise our people to why we need to get a large segment of our people out of poverty. Recently, we have been launching the TraderMoni scheme, which is basically giving credits to petty traders across the country in the markets and all that.
“We must do even more in terms of giving credits and whatever assistance and support to people.
“Obviously, the more money people have, the better it is for them, so they can apply their little resources to some of what we are expected to do to improve human capital development,” he said.
Osinbajo harped on the importance of improving data collection at all levels so as to ensure effective tracking of Human Capital Development outcome areas in the states.
On his part, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, told State House correspondents that the Dangote Foundation was committing 50 million dollars to the fight against malnutrition in Nigeria.
Dangote said that the foundation was focused on three major areas, health, education and empowerment.
“I think we really need to wake up and meet most of our development goals, in education, in health, and also in empowerment.
“One of the things that we are doing is to make sure that we tackle malnutrition.
“The Dangote Foundation has announced a decision to spend 50 million dollars so that we can fight malnutrition in most of the states that are affected, which we have started rolling out,” he said.
He said that the foundation joined the committee to make sure that targets were set and met.
On his part, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the committee was the working group that had been meeting to look at the impact of government intervention programmes in economy, education, health, among others.
“The issue of Human Capital Development is a measure of how we care for our citizens; and so, this is like bringing everybody to the table at the highest level.
“We have the governors, and there is a renewed commitment even at the states because we cannot go far except the states are really on the table.
“There is enough Federal Government commitment; enough of Federal Government involvement, but we need to bring the states on board,’’ he said.
Speaking, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, said that the committee received a presentation on the framework for further investments in the key areas of health, education, social inclusion as well as empowerment.
“We had a very good meeting and we hope that the outcome of the meeting and the work of the core working group will bring out very clear plans and strategies to invest more in education, healthcare, nutrition, empowerment, gender inclusion, as well as job creation for our young people,’’ he said.
The meeting was also attended by the  Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, .
There were also representations from development partners- World Bank, DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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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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