Senior Citizens Entrepreneurship: NSCC Seeks NDE’s Collaboration
The Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) , Dr Emem Omokaro, is seeking collaboration with National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to maximise entrepreneurship and job creation for senior citizens.
Omokaro, who stated this when she paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, yesterday in Abuja, said the collaboration would enhance the senior citizens’ productive activities in their communities.
She said the vision of NSCC was to have an inclusive society that guaranteed senior citizens’ right to dignity, healthy, happy and secure lives toward the actualisation of their potential.
“It is also evident that for NSCC to achieve its mandate there is an obvious need for multi-sectorial collaboration of which the NDE has been identified as a necessary partner.
“The mandate of NDE as we are aware; is to design and implement programmes to combat unemployment, articulate policies aimed at developing work programme with labour intensive potential, obtain and maintain a data bank on employment and vacancies in the country.
“The NSCC is mandated to enhance and engage the capacities of older persons to continue to earn income and our organogram reflects that focus with an entrepreneurship development department.
“We are intent to leverage on NDE’s existing and established structure,’’ Omokaro said.
The NSCC’s D-G further explained that the flagship programmes included Functional and Inclusive Primary Healthcare Systems, Digital Equity and Inclusion of Senior Citizens, Building of Senior Centres and Mainstreaming of Older Persons into NDE Entrepreneurship programme.
“We therefore request the D-G of NDE to kindly consider partnering with NSCC in setting up an NSCC/NDE Technical Working Group to map out opportunities and leverage for intergenerational employment creation.’’
Responding, Fikpo commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making the NSCC to be operational for senior people, adding that there was hope for the aged.
He also congratulated Omokaro for what she had been doing as the pioneer D-G of the Centre.
“When I saw that you were appointed as the D-G of the centre, I said could this be the solution to what NDE was struggling to achieve in the last two decades.
“One may be retired but not tired, persons should not be allowed to waste; so we designed a scheme, particularly for the mature people and that is how we called it, `Mature People Scheme’.
“We were looking out for mature people who have retired and those who have not been in the service of government, which is why our client base is huge; no amount the government gives that will be enough for us.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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