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FG launches application for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund at 5% interest, how to apply

FG has flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday, October 15, 2020, flagged off the application for the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) recently approved by the Federal Government.

During the launch of the application, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said that the NYIF underscored the importance placed on youths by the current administration.

The Minister said that the fund, which is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), would be spread over 3 years to cater to youth-owned businesses and investment needs.

Sunday Dare stated, “I must mention the support we enjoyed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which in line with the President’s directive, provided the initial N12.5 billion required for the Fund to operate in the remaining part of the year 2020.

“We are also grateful that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has on its part, committed to providing the next tranche of the fund in the 2021 budget.’

The Minister said that the loan, provided under the NYIF, has an interest rate of 5% per annum and a tenor of 5 years with a moratorium of up to 12 months.

He explained that any youth who wished to apply as an individual or a non-registered business could draw up to N250,000, while youth-owned registered businesses could apply for up to N3 million.

Going further, he said, “Our commitment to seeing the youth succeed is such that the loan is bundled with training that will ensure business sustainability for successful applicants.

“It is my belief that the fund will grow to become a permanent feature of our society, where beneficiaries run successful businesses and repay the loans.”

The Minister said that application is available on the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund Application Portal on NIRSAL Microfinance Bank’s site, www.nmfb.com.ng; and the ministry’s website, www.youthandsport.gov.ngor www.noya.ng.

Applicants are expected to provide their Names, Email address, and Website (if available).

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Lagos to totally close Third Mainland Bridge again ahead of full reopening

Lagos State Government has announced a 24hour closure of the Third Mainland Bridge from midnight Friday, February 26.

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The Lagos State Government has announced that it will shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for 24 hours from midnight Friday, February 26 to midnight Saturday, February 27.

The expected total closure of the bridge is to enable the contractors to move the equipment used for its rehabilitation and maintenance ahead of the full reopening of both the Oworonshoki and Adeniji bound lanes open to traffic.

The disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Oladeinde, therefore, advised motorists approaching the Third Mainland bridge from Ogudu, Alapere and Gbagada to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu and Yaba, as alternative routes, while Iyana Oworoshoki-bound traffic from Lagos-Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle and Yaba are to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.

The Commissioner assured that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the affected routes to minimize the impact of the shutdown and address any traffic impediments during the closure.

He was also full of commendation for Lagosians for their cooperation during the prolonged repair works of the bridge and assured that the bridge is now safe for use by everybody.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government had on July 24, 2020, announced the partial shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge for a period of 6 months for another round of rehabilitation works.
  • This was extended by an extra one month due to disruption caused by the #EndSARS protests last year, when the re-opening date moved to February 15, 2021.
  • The Federal Government later announced that the bridge, which was to reopen on February 15 will no longer be opened as work was expected to commence on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before it will be finally reopened.
  • The 11.8km bridge, which was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, is the longest of the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
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FG urged to sell-off “unproductive” Ajaokuta Steel Plant

The FG has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Kogi State.

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The Federal Government has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State. The FG was advised to sell the defunct facility to the private sector, which would be more capable to turn the massive structural investment into a profitable venture.

The call was made by the Chairman and Managing Director of Energy Services Limited, Chief Sunny Onuesoke who spoke to newsmen in Warri after visiting the plant last week.

He lamented that no Nigerian would feel good about the country after visiting the $8bn structural investment which has never“produced a single bar of steel since reaching 98% completion as far back as 1994.”

On his visit to the plant, he reported that it was a very emotional experience for him.

“I went there, I cried and asked what exactly is the problem?” he said.

He reflected on the numbers associated with the moribund Ajaokuta steel Plant from its flag off in 1979 to date.

  • 3.9bn was budgeted for the resuscitation of the facility in 2016
  • 4.27bn was budgeted for the same purpose in 2017

Onuesoke said that successive governments have plunged about $8bn into the complex since 1979. He lamented that the FG has been wasting the huge sum of N2 billion for payment of staff salaries every year for doing nothing.

“Why would anyone continue to pump money into an unproductive enterprise? Why do government keep promoting, paying staff salaries, pensioning, and retiring them?

“Why does government spend an appropriation budget on the maintenance of a plant that is not working? How do you maintain a non-commission plant?” Onuesoke queried.

The Ajaokuta steel plant has been in a moribund state for four decades with no concrete plans on the ground for its full resuscitation.

What you should know 

  • It was earlier reported on the 3 key reasons why the Ajaokuta Steel Plant has remained moribund for more than 4 decades. You can find them here
  • The Ajaokuta steel company was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1979 under a cooperation agreement with Nigeria, the complex reached 98% completion by 1994.
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SEC denies knowledge of Oando shareholder’s court case

SEC has denied ever being served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied the claim by one of Oando Plc’s shareholders, Engr Patrick Ajudua, that he won a court case against the capital market apex regulator.

SEC disclosed in a statement it issued and seen by Themoneymetrics on Wednesday that there was never a time it was served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

It stated, “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to several publications in the media, where it is reported that a shareholder of OandoPlc, purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the Commission.

“The Commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court. The Commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said Court.”

What you should know

  • On Tuesday, Ajudua, reportedly won a legal suit, which was filed at the High Court of the FCT against SEC, according to Our source.
  • He filed that the directive of the SEC suspending Oando’s Annual General Meeting is in breach of his right to freedom of association as guaranteed under Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9, 10 & 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
  • In the said hearing presided over by Honorable Justice O. A Musa, all cases filed were granted in his favor.
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