The executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Muhammad Nami recently disclosed that the key to the economic growth of Nigeria lies in the establishment of Industrial hubs across the nation, as well as active involvement in entrepreneurship among the citizens.
While speaking in his Goodwill Message to Nigerians on the nation’s 62nd Independence Day anniversary, Mr. Nami admonished Nigerians to actively invest in the development of industrialization hubs and entrepreneurship, noting that they hold the “key to unlock the massive economic potentials of the country”.
He also called on state governments to take a cue from the Ondo State’s Entrepreneurship Village which was set up to groom and harvest talents for the industrialization of the state.
He proposed that it was ideal for state governments to set up similar hubs in their states as a way of channeling the energies of young Nigerians to productive uses.
In his words, “Nigeria is a country with limitless potential. We are resilient and talented people, and what these young Nigerians need is the enabling environment to thrive.
“A good place to start is the setting up of Entrepreneurship and Industrial Hubs across every State in the country. This would set off a chain reaction that would turn around the fortunes of the country, and tap into the potentials of our vast young and dexterous population.”
“You will be surprised by the number of jobs that would be created. Multitudes would have their lives changed, and an abundance of economic activities would be sparked across the nooks and crannies of our country in an unprecedented manner. Nigeria has what it takes to lead the world, and this is one way to go.”
Mr. Nami also tasked Nigerians to see themselves as the drivers of the country’s development through their patriotic conduct, such as paying taxes.
He said, “I am a firm believer that each of us has a role to play in building the Nigeria of our dreams.
“But we can only achieve this when we are patriotic and carry out civil obligations expected from us, such as respect for law and order, paying our taxes, and loyalty to our country.”
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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