The federal government has uncovered attempts by some officials of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority to sabotage efforts at creating Special Economic Zones for the country.
A top government official has confirmed NEPZA officials believe the N42bn allocated to the Nigeria special economic zones investment company in the 2019 appropriation bill should have been allocated to the authority.
The senate committee on trade and investment had rejected the 2019 budgetary proposal of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on April the first for allegedly voting N42bn for a ‘private’ company.
The panel says the firm, Nigeria special economic zones investment company, was a private company, contrary to the ministry’s claim that it was a government firm.
The panel says the position of president Muhammadu Buhari and vice-president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, was that NEPZA officials had disobeyed presidential directives and initiatives.
Nigerian Govt Releases N10bn For Local Vaccine Production
The federal government is putting funds behind its call for local production of covid-19 vaccines. The ministry of finance has released ten billion naira to support the effort and is exploring options to kick-start the vaccine production in Nigeria.
The government has also instructed each local government area in the country to conduct at least four hundred fifty covid-19 tests in line with its testing plans.
During the Monday briefing by the presidential task force on covid-19 in Abuja, health minister, Osagie Ehanire said the government was considering collaborative efforts with recognized institutions for vaccine production in the country.
He said the government is looking at ways to augment the one hundred thousand vaccine doses it would receive by the end of this month, the ten million doses it had requested from the African union, and the more than forty million doses from COVAX. He says those would only cover one fifth of the population, but the government plans to cover an additional fifty percent of citizens.
The health minister says the ministry will hold a national vaccine conference in preparation for mobilizing experts, role players, development partners and stakeholders to deliberate on the nation’s COVID-19 response strategy, especially now that there is a spike in cases.
Presidency Warns Akeredolu Over Herdsmen Quit Notice
The presidency has warned Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, not to unilaterally order herdsmen out of Ondo forests. The governor had issued an ultimatum this week to herdsmen to vacate state forest reserves.
Presidential special assistant, Garba Shehu said the governor should not oust the herders whom he said have lived their entire lives in the state on the guise of clearing the forest reserves of criminals. He said terrorism and crimes should be separated from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion.
In response, governor Akeredolu says only unregistered Fulani herdsmen are being asked to vacate the state’s forest reserves.
State commissioner for information and orientation, Donald Ojogo, characterized Garba Shehu’s statement as “a brazen display of emotional attachment,” which he says is inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
FG Extends NIN Registration Deadline
Nigerians can breathe easy for now as the federal government extends the registration deadline for National Identification Number, NIN.
Those who have not obtained the NIN would now have until February the ninth to tidy that up and link their numbers with their sims.
The National Identification Management Commission, NIMC, had initially given yesterday, January the nineteenth, as the deadline.
The commission warns the NIN enrolment is free.