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Buhari Approves Payment of N22bn to Nigerian Airways Retirees

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  • Buhari Approves Payment of N22bn to Nigerian Airways Retirees

The Federal Government has approved the sum of N22.68bn for the payment of retirement benefits to former workers of liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd.

The amount which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari is about 50 per cent of the N45.3bn entitlements of the former workers of the company.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said this on Monday in Abuja during a press briefing held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance.

Apart from the N22.8bn for the former aviation workers, she said that the sum of N20bn was approved for the education sector.

She said, “Upon my resumption of office as the minister of finance,some pending fiscal issues in the aviation and education sectors were immediately brought to my attention.

“As such, I took it as a challenge to quickly address key issues regarding the settlement of existing claims in both of these sectors.

“Consequently, upon this, I am happy to inform you that Mr President has graciously approved the sum of N22.68bn and N20bn to aviation and education sectors respectively.”

The minister said the initial outstanding retirement benefits due to ex-workers of the Nigerian Airways based on their submission was N78bn.

She said after a verification exercise by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit and other relevant stakeholders in line with the condition of service of the liquidated Nigerian Airways Ltd, it was the sum of N45bn was agreed as the total retirement benefits to the affected staff.

“The ex-workers of Nigeria Airways Ltd in liquidation were not paid their retirement benefits for the past 15 years despite the liquidation.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption

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The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.

The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.

This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.

Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.

The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.

Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.

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Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.

Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.

During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.

He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.

Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.

The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.

Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.

The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.

The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Untapped Coffee Sector Holds the Key to $2 Billion Annual Revenue

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People stand in front of coffeeshops in Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam

Amidst declining foreign reserves and the need for alternative revenue streams, Nigeria’s overlooked coffee industry emerges as a potential powerhouse capable of contributing over $2 billion annually to foreign exchange earnings.

Industry experts emphasize the necessity for strategic investments and modernized farming practices to unlock the full economic potential of the coffee sector.

While Nigeria is not among the top 10 coffee producers in Africa, the country’s untapped coffee industry holds the promise of significant financial gains, job creation, and sustainable agricultural development.

The urgency for revitalization comes as Nigeria grapples with a decline in foreign reserves, dropping from $38.25 billion in September 2022 to $33.23 billion in the third quarter of 2023.

Salihu Imam, Chairman of the National Coffee and Tea Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, highlighted the global significance of coffee, stating, “Coffee is the second most traded/valuable of all commodities and first in Agricultural commodities in the world.”

The potential economic impact extends beyond immediate financial gains, with Nigeria positioning itself as a key player in the global coffee trade.

Despite its potential, Nigeria’s coffee exports remain modest, producing less than one million bags annually.

In contrast, Ethiopia, the largest coffee exporter in Africa, is projected to produce 8.25 million bags. Experts suggest that Nigeria, with its unique coffee varieties, could generate $2 billion annually.

Segun Lary-Lean, President of the West Africa Specialty Coffee Association, emphasized the robust global demand for coffee, comparing it to water in Western countries.

He noted the significant earnings of coffee-producing nations like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and Kenya, which experienced a 17% increase in coffee earnings.

In a call to action, industry players urge the Federal Government to prioritize strategic investments, modernized farming practices, and value-added processing to harness the coffee sector’s full economic benefits.

Unlocking the potential of Nigeria’s coffee industry stands not only as a financial opportunity but as a catalyst for broader economic growth and diversification.

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